Monday, 19 April 2010

OFM Awards

We Need your Votes! And you can Win great stuff too ... just for voting!

Our sister bar 69 Colebrooke row is winning all the accolades ... isn't it our turn?

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Halloween means Pumpkin Pie!

My Pumpkin carving skills went down well on the other side of the pond last week and left us with the usual abundance of pumpkin flesh.
I looked up a pumpkin recipe in the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook that I'd sent my sister on her arrival to Boston this summer thinking, rather stereotypically, that she might find herself in need of a whole book
dedicated to cupcakes and 'pies'.
She is sadly been too busy with visiters and with settling my nephews into new school.

We baked the pumpkin flesh in the oven on a fairly low heat for about an hour (kind of steaming it) then mashed it into a puree (or magi-mix it)

We had 500g of pureed pumpkin and to that we added
a small tin of condensed milk 375ml
300 grams of light brown sugar
1 egg and one yolk
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
pinch of salt
Mix up in one bowl and fill your pastry cases (this should make two large flan tins lined with crumb or shortcrust pastry)
We cheated(?!) and bought a couple of pre made crumb pie casings but if you use shoert crust be sure to blind bake thoroughly as there is little worse than a pumpkin pie with soggy pastry.
We had ours in a fan assisted oven at 325c for 50 minutes. Shake the tray, if its still wobbling in the middle then they need longer in the oven.
Pumpkin Pie is rather sweet and I serve with creme fraiche to balance out sweetness.

Barking Crab in Boston Harbour

Our last supper in Boston whilst visiting my sister and her family was one of the finest seafood feasts i've ever had.
Not because of the selection or the quality of the wine list or the consistancy of their mayonaise (which was not home made!). It wasn't posh and the service was fast but not refined, it was though, a great meal out with family in a magically simple setting with great food at great prices.
We ordered a huge plate of crab claws and legs from varying varieties ... the King crab legs having the most amount of meat i've ever been able to extract from one crustacean limb!
The kids had deepfried clams?! and fries with sides of coleslaw.
I chose a good friend of mine on the stateside to join the party in my tummy ... Samuel Addams Boston Lager MMMMMMMmmmmmm,
crab and beer heaven.

Balthazar... Lunch in Manhatten.

Whilst in Manhatten last week I couldn't resist visiting my old favourite, Balthazar on Spring Street, Soho.
The chaotic entrance was crowded with an baying crowd of hopefuls, thankfully our good friend William Clarke had secured us a booth with a great view of the festivities.

Exquisite oyster selection from both East and West coast of the Americas and a chunky brandade with toasted sourdough were followed by a steak frites for me, a boeuf bourguignon with parpadelle for Hobby, warm salad of trout with spinach and lentils for Sarah (Williams wonderful wife, and a whole lot more!) and William had a sauteed skate with capers ... all immaculately cooked with plenty of butter and washed down with a wonderful bottle of 2003 Condrieu, just as it should be in a french brasserie.

With the release of Julie and Julia (which I watched on the flight home!) we are reminded that those pesky yanks do know how to cook french food and its great to find it served in the setting of its homeland with wonderful and informed service. Fabulous.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Huntsham Court Farm Longhorn Beef Box...

We had a delivery from Huntsham Court Farm in Hereford last week which consisted of a mixed box of Longhorn Beef bits. All the meat had been hung for 32 days and was of exceptional quality. The Marrow Bones were straight out of the Natural History Museum!

We managed to get 14 Sirloin steaks (which were served with Roquefort butter,new potatoes and a simple salad)
We also got 4 kilos of stewing beef and a couple of oxtails which became partners in a delicious stew based on one that maman used to make when I was little. A lot of people shy away from oxtail as its quite fatty, but you know how me and Sanchia are about all things fat!
Its difficult to tell what quantities as we make so much at the pub so these are guesstimates for approx 6 to 8 people.
One Oxtail
1.5 Kilos of stewing beef
500ml of red wine
500ml of stock
Tin of Tomatoes
Tomato Puree
8 large carrots
8 large shallots
garlic (to taste)
4 sticks of Celery
the peel of 1/2 an orange
12 juniper berries
a couple of mace blades
8 black peppercorns
sea salt

You can see said stew in 3 stages above. Stringing up the oxtail vertebrae is essential otherwise it falls off the bone and you will get lots of oxtail vertebrae and no defined oxtail meat. Sealing the meat in oil also helps it stay together when added to liquid later.

Sweat off lots of shallots, celery and garlic and orange peel in the same oil that sealed the oxtail until soft then add a generous amount of red wine and equal parts beef or veal stock (or veg stock would also be fine as we are putting in plenty of flavoursome beef into this dish).

Add in Carrots and large cubes of stewing beef... and any other root vegetables that you want (turnips and parsnips would work well) and a few Bay leaves, black pepper corns, the mace and the juniper berries... the oxtail can be returned to the pot at this stage. A tin of good quality peeled tomatoes should be added at this point with a couple of spoons of tomato puree. Taste after 10 minutes and add salt to taste ... you may not need any as the stock should have some in already.

This can then be left for approximately 6 to 8 hours on a low heat simmering away. As most stews, this gets better after a day in the fridge! We served ours with a good potato puree/ mashed potatoes ... you need some thing to mop up the juice with so make sure you have some crusty bread on hand.

We have a couple of Huntsham Farm Tongues and a Longhorn Brisket sitting in Brine awaiting some attention from Sanchia ... watch this space for more beefy offal dishes!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Christmas Menu ...

Its ready, finished, priced and signed off.... This years Charles Lamb Christmas menu is ready to be viewed by all. The bookings diary is now officially open!

Bubbles on arrival … so don’t be late!


Butternut Squash Soup with crème fraiche and truffle oil

Smoked trout pate with pickles and toast

Beetroot, goats cheese and hazlenut salad

Speck (smoked ham) with caperberries


Roquefort and Chestnut Dauphinoise with seasonal greens

Confit Duck, Celeriac puree and spiced red cabbage served with a cranberry and apple sauce

Venison and red wine casserole with rosemary suet dumplings

Smoked Pollock and oyster pie with curly kale


Charles Lamb Figgy Pudding with brandy cream

Spiced poached pear with crème fraiche and ameretti

Manchego with quince chutney


Coffee and chocolates

12.5% Service Charge will be added to your bill which is then distributed between the Bar, Floor and Kitchen.

Tables are available for 6 up to 12 persons

Larger groups can be accommodated at certain times, please ask!

A non-refundable deposit of £12 per person is needed to confirm your booking.

Monday, 12 October 2009

happy Camille

Of course Camille's never happier than when in a pork shop...
and here she is in Charctuerie Mas' shop in the Auvergne, watching as her very own ham is prepared...
of course she had carefully calculated her Ryanair hand luggage...
I'm sure she'll be pleased to know that they also have a blog: - get your fill of pig porn!