When I taste a perfect I opine that it is a classic dish of Cyprus. Alas, as with kebabs, these days it is usually made with pork and not the proper, traditional, lamb or kid, which it should be. And then I found that a proper, good is hard to find in Cyprus, yet it is so easy to make! One such recipe for four uses a half shoulder of lamb, a couple of tomatoes and onions, garlic and herbs of choice (mine is simple: a sprig of rosemary). Into a sealed heavy casserole with half a bottle of red wine and three hours in the oven at 140ºC. What could be simpler? Lovely.
It is to the French kitchen that I suppose one must turn to for the great classics of Western cooking. Many are accessible to every day home cooks, like the Coq au Vin I made the other night from the recipe below. It is a dish that brings back a memory or two.
Once, in London, I attended a PR event at “Boulestin” then a well established and famous French restaurant, where the chef-proprietor, Marcel Boulestin had prepared Coq au Vin with a good but every day red
and a second using a good Beaujolais. The attending hacks and would-be gourmets were asked to tell which was which. About half correctly identified them. So the adage that “a coq au vin is as good as the wine you put in it”, may well not be true. In my experience, the classic recipe I give below is sufficient. I agree with M. de Pomiane when he suggested drinking the same wine as you use in the cooking of the chicken.
One of the best examples of this classic dish I have encountered was at a small hotelrestaurant in northern France. We had telephoned from Paris to book lunch, but on the way our car broke down and by the time we got to the hotel it was past three in the afternoon. The chef was off duty. “I can offer you some the told us, “and some
When it came, it was superb.
Reese Howell Granow (19th. Century London gentleman) Unlike Mr. Granow I make this about once a month. Actually, I assemble it, because it is a joint venture of my wife and me – she makes the pastry and the crème pâtissière, whilst I add the apricots and the glaze. It requires a loose-based pie tin of 25 cms diameter, to make a pastry case which is “baked blind”. 220 g village flour 110 g butter A little water 1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C 2. Sift the flour into a bowl. 3. Cut the butter into small chunks and lightly but quickly rub into the flour until the mixture is like breadcrumbs.
4. Add a few drops of water and mix into flour/butter mixture until a good stiff dough is formed. 5. Roll out to fit a 25 cms round pastry tin, which you have rubbed with a little butter. 6. Cut away surplus pastry. 7. Put a circular piece of grease-proof paper on the pastry and cover with baking beans to present pastry from rising whilst baking. 8. Put pastry tin in centre of oven and bake for 15 minutes 9. Take out the tine and remove the baking beans and grease-proof paper and return pastry to the oven for about another 5 minutes or until it is nicely gold.
10. Decant from the tin and set aside. 60 cl milk 120 g caster sugar 60 g plain flour 1 level tbsp corn flour 2 large eggs, beaten 50 g unsalted butter 1. Warm the milk on a low heat. 2. In a bowl mix together sugar, corn-flour, the beaten eggs. 3. Stir in the warm milk slowly and mix well. 4. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat over a low heat until thicken, and comes to boiling point.
5. Take the pan off the stove and stir the butter in well. Add a couple of drops of a good vanilla essence if you wish.
6. Cover the pan and leave it to cool.
it starts to