Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Confit Duck Hash

This has been the last meal made with the confit duck we bought. I really can't stress what a bargain the £10 tin was. We got 5 pieces of duck, which has made 3 gorgeous meals - cassoulet, duck confit with white beans - and this hash. And we're still left with a good amount of duck fat for some proper roasters as we head into Sunday Lunch season.

As there's two of us and we got 5 pieces of duck we were scratching our heads for what to do with the last piece. Thinking about it now we could have made Michel Roux's duck and mushroom pudding, which will be on the menu when we next have some confit duck. Instead we chose to make a hash, it seemed like a good excuse to cook some spuds in duck fat.

That's how we started things. Peeled potatoes, enough for two, chopped and par-boiled. As they steamed dry I got the confit duck into the frying pan with some chopped shallot. The gorgeous fat soon renders and the meat begins to fry. As it's tender already it only takes a few minutes before it starts to fall apart which means you can remove the bones.

With the duck and shallots sizzling away I added the potatoes to give them a chance to get brown and crispy.

As it is, those 3 ingredients would make a very nice meal. But I really wanted to try and produce a really balanced dish and I thought that I needed to add something to cut through all the richness, so I added a couple of dessert-spoonfuls of chopped capers. That just about did it. A generous squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped parsley did the rest.

It was a lovely meal, the only thing missing was poached egg, duck egg ideally, but other than that it was a fine way to use the last piece of duck confit. I can't wait to buy some more!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Streat Food Collective at Arnos Vale Cemetery

On the face of it it doesn't sound like your ideal setting for any kind of festival, a cemetery. But we're talking here about Arnos Vale Cemetery.

The street food scene in Bristol isn't big, but with quality like the stalls on offer here it's bound to grow.

After a bit of a stroll around to check out the stalls we opted to kick things off with some oysters from The Glorious Oyster.

These are delivered fresh from Cornwall and served with a choice of dressings. The missus went for Bloody Mary which she loved, I went for Thai which worked very well with the raw oyster.

In fact, we enjoyed them so much we went back for more after we'd finished working our way around the other stalls. Second time round we kept it classic. The missus went for the shallot dressing, delicious by all accounts.

I loaded up with a few shakes of Tabasco, a squeeze of lemon and a hint of black pepper. For all that oysters have a delicate taste, it's surprising what they can match with.

It would be impossible for me to go to a street food festival and not eat meat. Luckily I had 2 great options at the Streat UK food festival at Arnos Vale Cemetery.

The sounds and smells of meat cooking over coals meant I was compelled to go to the BBQ & Jerk Stop stall.

We shared some BBQ Rum wings which were delicious, and a bargain at £3.50. Even the missus thought they were delicious and she has a weird thing against wings.

More meat satisfaction came Bagel Boy.

I am simply a sucker for salt beef so I went for the New York Boy. Salt beef, American mustard, sauerkraut and gherkins on a sesame bagel. Very good, and at £4, another bargain.

It's a lovely place, Arnos Vale Cemetery, and all the better for being restored. Hopefully events like this will help bring people into the place, aside from those that inevitably end up here that is!

If you want know more have a look at the websites of Streat Food Collective and Arnos Vale Cemetery.