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The Caterer

Mackerel, Brussels sprouts, Mutton

22 November 2007 by
Mackerel, Brussels sprouts, Mutton

Fish

There have been good landings of red mullet at very reasonable prices in the West Country, and line-caught wild sea bass from Guernsey. Large pollack are in lovely condition and holding their price despite a surge in interest after Gordon Ramsay battered and served one on his Kitchen Nightmares programme.

Some lovely sized scallops are also coming in from the West Country, although the Scottish supply is not so good. Line-caught mackerel from Looe is also an excellent choice now.

Source: Flying Fish Seafoods - 01726 862876

Fresh

Savoy cabbages aren't quite ready yet and won't be for a few weeks. If you're desperate to get them, then large French versions are in good condition, otherwise Primo and pointed cabbages are both available. More exotic British squashes are around, including Queensland Blue, Gem, Turban and Kaboucha.

The summer rain washed a lot of the soil away rom the potato crop, resulting in greening. As a result, prices are still high. Brussels sprouts are in now and cheap. Pomegranates are now arriving from Iran, and custard apples from Lebanon. Grapes are arriving from Brazil but sourcing will switch to South Africa in mid-December.

Source: Fresh Direct - 01869 365600 - www.freshdirect.co.uk

Meat

Most of the meat market has stayed quite firm this week, although turkey demand is going up and up. Lamb remains the best buy, with shoulders still the best-value cut around. Pheasant and partridge are still just under £3 a bird, wild rabbits a similar price and hares about £10 each.

This is also prime time for mutton, with half the animal starting at just over £3 per kg, legs at about £4 per kg and shoulders just under £2 per kg.

Meat source: Birtwistle Butchers - 0161-728 3340 - www.birtwistlebutchers.co.uk
Game source: Chef Direct - 01275 474707 - www.chefclubdirect.co.uk

Pot-roasted new season partridge with sweet and sour white cabbage, smokes sausage and boulangère potatoes

Ingredients
(Serves Four)

4 large potatoes
2 large onions, sliced and softened in butter.
Salt and pepper

40g butter
30ml liquid honey
200g cooked sauerkraut ( see Caterer, 15th Novemeber , page 38 for sauerkraut masterclass)
4 small smoked pork sausages
100g wild mushrooms
100ml game sauce
Game stock to cover

Method

To make the boulangère, layer the potatoes, onions and picked braised leg meat in a small casserole to a depth of about 2 inches thick, Cover with the hot game stock, dot with butter, season and braise, covered in a 170c oven for about two hours. When the potatoes are cooked, glaze the surface with a little of the reduced game jus and allow to rest. Brown the partridge crowns in butter on the range, season and roast for seven minutes until just cooked but still moist. Glaze with honey and set aside. Warm the sauerkraut and add the sliced sausages to heat through. Saute the wild mushrooms in a little garlic butter and season well. To plate the dish, carve the partridge breasts from the bone and lay on top of the cabbage, scatter the wild mushrooms around and pour over the warm sauce. Serve the boulangère on the side in a small gratin dish.

Matthew Tompkinson, head chef, the Goose, Britwell Salome, Oxfordshire

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