FENNEL RUB & GRAVY
The team at Piper’s Farm have kindly extended a 15% discount code across all their products* for delivery in January, use JASMINEHEMSLEY15.
Try this fragrant spiced rub to flavour your Christmas meat roast. It calls for fennel seeds because of their powerful digestive properties, as they help metabolise your food. I love combining the natural anise flavour with earthy rosemary, garlic for tang and orange to add some Christmas zest. Make it ahead of time and leave to infuse with the meat before you bring it to room temperature ready to cook. It’s simple, great for digestion and adds an unexpected taste to your festive spread. This rub would be equally delicious on cauliflower steaks or tempeh.
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbsp fennels seeds
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp ghee (or coconut oil)
½ tsp salt
Juice of ½ an orange
Zest of 1 orange
Mix the crushed cloves of garlic, the finely chopped leaves from rosemary and the fennel seeds with the ghee, pepper and salt to make a crust.
2. Rub all over the turkey, cauliflower or tempeh, scaling up the recipe if needs be.
Ah, gravy… that liquid goodness that ties several dishes together on a plate. That eco elixir that uses up all the cooking scraps. That rich umami flavour that wets the tastebuds and makes the driest of meals a total comfort. So much more than just a condiment, the history of this British Sunday essential epitomises the waste-not-want-not attitude of yesteryear, before industrial farming and food production made everything cheaper, more convenient and… less decent.
Gravy is a bit of an art form but an art worth perfecting if a) you wanna do something a bit more exciting (and nourishing) than ready-made granule gravy, b) if you like gravy and c) if it’s for the ultimate “Sunday roast” — the Christmas dinner. For those cooking a traditional turkey roast you might well end up with the giblets which you can simmer with aromatics to make a delicious gravy with your meal. After all, you won’t have the carcass ready yet! For those not cooking a meat roast, start off by heating a tablespoon or two of your favourite cooking fat in a pan then continue from step 4. Instead of the broth, add vegetables peels, and any saved vegetable cooking water. Add a touch of bouillon or miso paste for flavour and everything else in step 5 and you’re away.
Turkey giblets (neck, heart and liver), rinsed
1 celery stick, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 fresh bay leaves
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp gram flour (AKA chickpea/besan flour)
150ml dry white wine
1 tbsp cranberry sauce/chutney
Optional: small handful of leftover herbs if they need using up
Rinse the turkey giblets and add to a heavy-bottom pan.
Cover with just enough water and simmer with the onion, carrot, celery and bay leaves for a few hours to make a broth, checking from time to time that there is still enough water in there.
Once the turkey is cooked and resting, pour off the cooking juices into a small pan, adding any caramelised bits from the bottom of the pan for flavour.
Add a tablespoon of gram/chickpea flour and cook on a medium heat to make a roux.
Add a good splash of white wine, a good grind of pepper and salt, the cranberry sauce and half a teaspoon of whole-grain mustard. Add a couple of ladles of the broth and simmer, lid off, until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve.
East by West tip: For vegetarians and vegans or a gravy alternative, try my tomato gravy on page 134 of East by West.
Save leftover cooked giblets/bones from broth and when soft from cooking mush them and save for the dog or cat. Make sure not to include onion etc, and on that note be careful of raisins, which some dogs can have lethal reactions to — so watch those mince pies!!!
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