***Warning: this post contains evidence of a baking fail***
What a surprise. I don’t really get baking. Hot hands and a cold heart maybe.
Anyway, one thing I always liked about American restaurants and bars is that they serve up burgers in a brioche bap. Makes the whole burger thing that little more decandent.
Now in the UK you can get brioche loaves. You can get brioche finger rolls. You can get brioche with chocolate and brioche with jam. You can get things that are almost baps but they are called cholla (they even taste the same as brioche).
But for someone like me, suffering raging OCD, that will not do. I want brioche baps. So I decided to make my own. And that meant yeast. And that meant ‘oh dear’.
In this wonderful Isle we aren’t allowed to shop before 11am or after 5pm on Sundays (except in little shops for some wierd reason) – even on the day before Christmas Eve.
The only person I know who still goes to church is my mother, and, given the rapture, armageddon, doomsday (call it what you will) didn’t come to pass two days ago, i doubt whether many people will be swapping a trip to the local supermarket for a session on their knees praising the almighty.
Anyway, obviously today is going to be hell on earth for those foolhardy enough to venture out. Of course there are some who have no choice. Like me. I needed brussel sprouts and I needed the ingredients for Pigs-In-Blankets – two essential Christmas meal items.
I’d been awake since about 3am since our opposite-neighbours introduced us to the concept of 24 hour daylight with their latest festive lighting arrangement (it’s getting more outrageous each year), so by 10am I was getting bored has hell:
Over here, on this funny wind-swept island (which incidentally is close to half the size of California yet contains almost twice as many people) we know a thing or two about breakfast.
Now of course the British used to ‘Go to Work on an Egg’! but nowadays it’s more likely to be a bowl of muesli with maybe a bit of organic yoghurt. Perhaps one of those green smoothies (what’s in those?)
However there is still a hardcore of Englishmen and women who yearn for the good old days, when life was less complex, cholesterol hadn’t been invented yet and bacon still had an inch of fat and the rind on.
Yes this group still enjoys a good old-fashioned fry up. But its unpopular. Its full of fat. It’s bad.
So how do you get round this conundrum; on the one hand you want the salty greasiness to fuel your day, on the other you want the approval of your peers (or nutritionist).
Following the Butcher’s Bazaar this weekend I decided to kick off with an oxtail creation. Our recent visit to the BBC Good Food Show in London meant I had come away with a nice collection of recipes, including one from Ash Mair, last year’s winner of Masterchef: The Professionals.
His creation combines oxtail with Pedro Ximenez sherry and serves it with parsnips and pancetta. I didn’t have either of these but I substituted with a different sherry and smoked bacon.
The BBC, that bastion of investigative journalism (if you’ve been following the news recently you’ll know I’m being sarcastic oh deeeeaaaar) also does a nice line in all things food related. A couple of times a year it takes over big exhibition centres and fills them with foodies. We went to the summer event and liked it that much we took the kids to the winter version in London. Getting the train into London is a drab affair though, so I filmed it and shoved the Bellamy Brothers on…
Let Your Love Flow-Desktop
(I’m not sure why I would want to share a drab miserable train trip to London, with no views and grey skies, but I guess I just like playing with the movie maker)