Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lamb Hearts Braised In Scrumpy

Hearts are a very underestimated choice of meat, and should be used much more than they are. Not only because they are cheap - around £3.50 per kg - but because they have a delicious flavour and texture. They also have just enough fat to thicken the meat liquor slightly.

It is important you use a decent cider for this. Ideally a good scrumpy, but if you’ve drunk it all, a full-bodied still cider will do. The other beauty of this dish is it takes only a couple of minutes to prepare, if that. You just bung it in the oven and wait for it to cook while finishing off the rest of the cider.  

(Serves 2)

2 lamb hearts
1 pint scrumpy
2 carrots, diced
2 slices swede, diced
4 sticks celery, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt, pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
Two handfuls of frozen peas

Wash the hearts and put them in a casserole dish. Surround with the diced vegetables, thyme and garlic. Pour in the cider and season the hearts and vegetables liberally with salt and pepper. Cover the dish with foil and cook in a pre-heated, medium oven for one hour.

Take out, remove the foil, and stir the vegetables, and turn the hearts over. Add the peas, put the foil back on, and cook in the oven for another 15 minutes. Serve with a baked potato and plenty of English mustard. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

World's Best Food Jokes

Well, I’m very pleased to say my new book, World’s Best Food Jokes, is finally done and available on Amazon here for the price of half a lager...

It was written with my good friend Dom Bailey and is a collection of hundreds of the best food gags foraged from the four corners of the Earth, as voted for by the International Symposium On Food And Cookery Humour. 

Ranging from vintage cheese jokes - How do you approach an angry Welsh cheese? - to curry gags - What’s a chicken tarka? - to celebrity chef jokes - What's the difference between Gordon Ramsay and a cross-country run? - to the far more fruity - What's the difference between marmalade and jam? - it will hopefully leave you holding your sides more than a dodgy, late-night kebab in Blackpool.

Anyway, I hope you like it. Here’s a sample...

Q: Why should you never insult an Italian baker?

A: Because he’ll beat the focaccia.

Most of the jokes are pretty short. But here’s a long one that I quite like that didn’t make the cut...

One day, a priest gets a bit bored and decides to go for a walk, and walks down past his church to a huge lake. He looks around and finally stops to watch a fisherman loading up his boat. The fisherman notices, and asks the priest if he would like to join him for a couple of hours.

The fisherman asks if the priest has ever fished before; the priest says no. He baits the hook for him and says, “Give it a shot, father.”

After a few minutes, the priest hooks a huge fish, the rod’s bending, and after an hour he manages to get it on to the boat.

The fisherman says: “Look at the size of that, that’s a huge fucker, father!”

The priest crosses his chest and says: “Ah, please sir, can you mind your language?”

The fisherman says: “I’m sorry father, but that’s what the fish is called - it’s called a fucker! And an enormous one it is too!”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” says the priest. “I didn't know.”

The priest gets off the boat and slings the fish over his shoulder and walks back to the church. He walks into the kitchen, and the bishop comes in, and the priest says: “Bishop, will you look at the size of this fucker!”

“Please father,” says the bishop. “This is a house of God, we don’t use language like that here...”

“No, you don’t understand,” says the priest. “That’s what the fish is called, it’s called a fucker!”

“Oh,” says the bishop. “I didn’t know. I apologise father. Do you want me to clean it for you? The Pope’s coming round tonight and we could have it for dinner...”

So the bishop takes the fish and cleans it, and Mother Superior comes in.

“Mother Superior, look at the size of this fucker,” says the bishop.

“My lord, what language!” says Mother Superior, blushing.
“No, sister,” says the bishop. “That's what the fish is called - it’s called a fucker! Father caught it, I cleaned it, and we thought we could serve it to the Pope when he comes round for dinner tonight.”

“That’s a splendid idea bishop,” she says. “Would you like me to cook it for you?”

The Pope comes round for dinner and they’re all sitting there, eating the fish, and he says “This is a magnificent fish, where did you get it?”

“Well,” says the priest. “I caught the fucker.”

“And I cleaned the fucker!” says the bishop.

“And I cooked the fucker!” says Mother Superior.

The Pope stares at them for a minute, rolls up his sleeve, pulls out a spliff and says: “You know, you cunts are all right.”