Cider making course

cider 1

If you have ever fancied making cider at home but were never sure where to start, we have created an October day course which gives you a fun day of learning, 5 litres of apple juice in a fermenter, yeast and the skills to turn it in to cider!

Our one day cider making course is a day of emersion in to the world of cider: chopping, pressing, brewing and bottling. Date Weds 12th October 2016

We visit the local cider making cooperative and learn how different types of apples are used to create a good flavour balance and see the techniques used to produce a great quality product. The apple chopping machine and press will be in action and we can help in the apple juicing. Our guide Cameron Smith has a wealth of knowledge and experience. He will explain processes and techniques with us and we will be able to see how the village community produces enough cider to fund lots of local projects.

We have lunch back at the barn in our wood and taste some local ciders. The afternoon is spent with passionate homebrewer Steve, he will show you how to make reliably great cider on a small scale in your own kitchen. You’ll learn about different types of cider making equipment from the very basic household items to more purpose made devices — and have a go at using it. Steve will share his tips and techniques to make successful cider and give everyone a step by step guide. Along with the guide you will take home a 5 litre fermenter full of apple juice an airlock and yeast…all ready to turn into cider

The course starts at 10.00am and finishes at 4pm. The course will run in Taste the wild’s woodland kitchen. (Nr Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire) directions will be sent with course booking confirmation. We will have a 15 minute drive to our local cider makers in the morning.

To book visit our website here www.tastethewild.co.uk/courses-extracourses.html

The cost of the course (£95.00) includes:-

  • all tuition
  • lunch
  • cider tastings
  • 5L apple juice
  • a fermenter
  • an airlock
  • yeast

Wild food cookery course

We have had many requests for an ‘in depth’ wild food cookery course, so here it is!

We have designed this day to give you real taste of seasonal wild ingredients and during the day Chris will teach you, as if in your own kitchen, how to cook great dishes that will bring new  flavours to your table.

The venue for the course is The Yorkshire Wolds cookery school, near Driffield, which gives us all the facilities we need for a fabulous day of cooking and eating.

The use of the cookery school allows us to explore some more refined recipes that we would find hard to do over an open fire in the woods. Chris has created dishes that make the most of autumn’s bounty and also teach you some great core cookery skills like game preparation, curing and preserving as well as the processing of interesting wild ingredients like Burdock and acorns.

cured venison

The day will be a mixture of demonstrations from Chris and plenty of hands on cooking sessions in the schools beautiful teaching kitchen.  Lunch will be cooked as part of the course and you will also take away a goody bag and a comprehensive set of recipes for all the dishes.

Planned menu

A terrine of rabbit, black pudding and cobnut with apple and hawthorn.

Cured venison loin, elderberry ketchup, pickled berries and smoked oil.

Roast partridge, hogweed spiced squash, and burdock chips

Acorn panna cotta

Skills covered on the day

Jointing a rabbit.
Terrine making.
Simple curing.
Ketchup making.
Preparing and roasting game birds.
Preparing and cooking with burdock.
Preparing and processing acorns.
Making panna cotta.

To book the course go to our main website here www.tastethewild.co.uk/courses-extracourses.html 

Accommodation is available at the Yorkshire Wolds cookery school and this can be booked directly with Highfield farm. http://highfieldfarm.co.uk/bed-breakfast .

Courses in Aquaponics

Picture1.pngAlthough the Wild Food Aquagarden will produce delicious food for us to supply to local people and businesses, we are setting it up so that we can use it as a teaching facility as well. We want to teach about Aquaponic growing, we have been inspired by what we’ve learnt and want to spread the word. Our core business has always been teaching, our customers are intelligent, environmentally aware people who love nature, food and doing things …

People say “what can we do now… we’ve done foraging, coastal, fungi, what else can we do?”

Well join us in The Wild Food Aquagarden!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/994301377/the-wild-food-aquagarden

We have set up a small Aquagarden at home in our kitchen and this has taught is lot, when we have set up the Wild Food Aquagarden we will  run courses to teach at a day course level. Advanced courses will be run by The Aquaponics lab at our site and hosted by us. We want to inspire people and teach them how to set up their own Aquaponic garden. Whether it’s in a garage or a basement, or it’s a large enterprise or a little fish tank, the principle is the same.Picture7

The day course in Aquaponic growing will explain how the system works and how to set it up, where the components can be purchased, how the monitoring works, when and what to plant and how to keep your fish happy and healthy. This kind of gardening is easy and clean once the system set up, it’s undercover so there’s no wind and rain, and no bending down because the grow beds are at waist height. On the course we will look at possible problems that people could encounter and how to sort them out.

Aquaponic gardening can produce delicious food in a small space using very little power, whether you’re growing wild or cultivated plants. We think it is time the world looked at food production and the environment together, hopefully with your support we can do our little bit. Please have a look at the rewards and see if there is a way you can join with us to create our goal. Thank you.Picture2

 

 

 

Evergreen Ice Cream

We served this to a friend last week and he said it was the best ice cream he had ever tasted! So here is the recipe.

This recipe requires you to make a tincture of Pine needles 24 hours before you make the Ice Cream. It’s very simple to do with Pine, Spruce or Fir tree needles.  

Pine Needle Tincture

  • 3 tablespoons of washed and finely chopped Pine needles
  • 30ml Vodka
  • ¼ teaspoonful of sugar
pine tincture

There has been no colour enhancement here. It really does turn this green!!

Dry the pine needles on a piece of kitchen roll, chop very finely and put them in to a small jar. Add the vodka and sugar, put on the lid and give it a good shake. Leave for 24 hours shaking it every few hours. When you are ready to use it strain through a tea strainer into a small clean cup or jug.

 

Pine Chocolate Chip Ice CreamPine Choc Chip ice cream

  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • A few grains of salt
  • 200ml Milk
  • 200ml Double Cream
  • 2tbsp/30ml Pine Needle Tincture
  • 100g Dark Chocolate Chips
  • A couple of drops of green food colouring (optional)

Put the egg yolks, sugar and salt in a large bowl and beat until well blended. Put the milk in a pan and heat gently until very hot but not boiling. Then pour immediately onto the egg and sugar mixture stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a clean bowl. Add the double cream and Pine needle Tincture then leave to cool. If you have an ice cream maker pre-cool it, add the Ice cream mixture and churn for 30 minutes or until nearly ready, add the Chocolate chips and churn for another few minutes. Then put it in a sandwich box and store in the freezer. If you do not have an ice cream maker put the mixture in a freezer proof box and freeze until nearly set, then stir vigorously. Repeat this until the mix becomes ice cream again adding the Chocolate Chips when nearly set.

I made some little tuile biscuits to go with the Ice Cream. (recipe below) The orange in them complimented the pine and chocolate nicely. A pine syrup would be good as well… Let us know if you come up with other good combinations.

Gluten Free Almond and Orange Tuiles

  • 50g Ground Almonds
  • 30g Potato flour (or plain flour)
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 70g butter melted
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon orange or lemon zest

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with baking parchment.In a bowl mix together ground almonds, potato flour, sugar and salt then whisk in the egg whites, butter, zest, and vanilla extract until combined well. Drop rounded teaspoons or batter about 10cm apart onto baking sheet and with back of a spoon spread into 7cm ovals. Try to keep these distances – if you let the tuiles get too close, they’ll morph into one giant slab. This is fine, but it won’t look as nice when cut into squares. Bake for 8 minutes, or until golden on the edges.

Working quickly, remove the tuiles, from the baking sheet with a thin spatula and rest over a rolling pin to make then curl. If you want flat tuiles transfer them straight on to a cooling rack.

Continue until the remaining batter is used up. You can re-use the baking parchment until it becomes damp and wobbly, then replace. When the tuiles are completely cool store in an airtight container. They can be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container.

Wild herb Dukkah

I have never been keen on dipping bread in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Of course if you are fortunate enough to have some terrifically good oil or deliciously aged balsamic it makes sense, but more often than not the condiments in my cupboard are not top notch.

If you want to create a dipping experience that makes up for the imperfections of your oil,here is a perfect solution.

Dukkah.  A crunchy mix of herbs, seeds and nuts that makes dipping delicious again.  The original recipe is from Egypt, its name coming from the word ‘to crush ‘ or ‘to pound’ and that describes its preparation perfectly.

This simple version uses three ingredients we regularly forage for and preserve. Nettle, Wild garlic and Sumac.  For this recipe they are all used in their dried form.

013

 

Wild herb Dukkah

Ingredients

 2 tablespoons Golden linseed
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 heaped tablespoon dried nettle powder
1 heaped tablespoon dried garlic powder
1 Teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 Teaspoon Sumac (foraged or bought) For foraging tips see this related article.
Black pepper to taste.

Toast the seeds gently in a hot pan. Once toasted golden brown, set aside to cool. Once cool add the rest of the ingredients, put into a pestle and mortar or food processor and grind to a rough granular texture.  Taste, adjust seasoning and serve with bread and good olive oil.

Dip your bread in the oil, then the Dukkah to create a delicious, crunchy aromatic crust.

 

Wild Garlic or nettle powder
(Nettle powder is made in the same way using just the top 4 sets of leaves from each plant.  Leave the stems on until after drying and remove before crushing leaves to a powder)

For this preserve you need a large carrier bag full of leaves.

Wash and dry the leaves and chop off the stems (you can use these in a stir fry or similar). Now lay the leaves on the shelves of the oven with a large baking tray on the bottom to catch any bits. Put the oven on at a low heat 50-80 degrees C with the door open a crack. In our fan oven the leaves dry in about an hour. Periodically check the leaves and move them around if there are wet and dry patches. Once the leaves are bone dry put them in a pestle and mortar or a food processor with a sprinkling of sea salt flakes. Grind or blitz them until you have a rough powder and then store it in an airtight container. This powder is incredibly versatile and  is a perfect way to have delicious wild garlic flavour all year round.

 

Wild herb and ricotta pithivier

Rose wanted me to call this a pasty, she thought I was being pretentious but I’m sticking to my guns because I think they are a little more refined than a true pasty.  Of course you could make them much bigger if you wanted to use them for a lunch dish or a picnic but these are perfect for a starter size with nice dressed salad.

I had a walk along the riverbank yesterday morning and collected some lovely young wild greens/herbs. I just needed a few handfuls and fifteen minutes of foraging gave me a lovely selection of Ground elder, Stinging nettles, Common sorrel and Cleavers.

Common Sorrel rumex acetosa

Common sorrel

A perennial plant that grows to 80cm tall when flowering. Outside its flowering season common sorrel has oval dark green leaves up to 12cm long and 4cm wide. The leaves have two pointed lobes that stick back from the leaf stem. The flowers grow on stems up to 80cm tall and are like little red and green beads. The leaves on the flowering stalks are smaller and more pointed than those that grow from the ground. They clasp around the stem.

 

Cleavers galium aparine

Cleavers 2One of the first plants to emerge in spring. This annual plant has a distinctive growth pattern where rings of narrow slightly bristly leaves are borne at regular intervals along the slightly bristly stem. The plants leaves are up to 3cm long. It will generally climb up the plants near it, managing to grow through hedges up to 1.5m. The tiny greenish white flowers open in summer to be followed by little hard ball seeds that stick to your socks.

 

Ground elder  Aegopodium podagraria

ground elderA perennial plant that can spread to form dense patches. The leaves grow to approximately 30cm tall, the flowering stalks to 70cm. The leaves grow straight out of the ground in early spring. They have a grooved stalk which divides into 3 and each of these 3 stalks has 3 leaves on it. These oval leaves have a serrated edge and a pointed end. There are also smaller leaves with fewer leaflets. In early summer the plant sends up a grooved flowering stem. This branches and has umbrellas of white flowers (sometimes pinkish) which smell a bit like celery and aniseed.

 

Wild herb and ricotta pithivier  Makes 6

IMG_3119[1]

Ingredients

500g pack of puff pastry
250g Ricotta cheese
30g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tablespoons of olive oil
5 large leaves of wild garlic
3 Handfuls of wild greens
Salt and pepper
1 egg,  beaten for egg washing

Method

Wash the wild greens very well, blanch them in boiling water for 20 seconds and refresh in very cold water.  Once completely cold, squeeze out as much water as possible from the greens and blend to a paste with the olive oil and Wild garlic in a pestle and mortar or stick blender.

In a bowl, stir together the Ricotta, Parmesan and herb paste until you have a nice even mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set this filling aside and prepare a well floured surface to roll out your pastry. Divide the pastry into two and roll each piece out to about a 2mm thickness, you really need to get the pastry this thin as it will overwhelm the flavours of the filling if it is too thick. Out of one sheet cut out six circles 11cm in diameter put onto baking parchment and set aside. Now cut six 12cm circles from the second sheet, these will form the tops of the pithivier and need to be this slightly bigger size to accommodate the filling.

Lay out the bases (smaller circle) and divide the filling between the discs making sure you leave enough pastry around the edge to seal it, about 1cm should be good. Egg wash this outside ring of pastry and place a larger pastry circle on top , push down the sides and seal the egg washed edges You can then use a larger circular cutter to trim the sealed parcels into a perfect circle if you wish.  I then use a fork to seal the edges further by pressing the tines all around the edge where I have sealed it with my fingers.   Repeat for the other pastry discs. Use a knife to make two holes in the top of of each sealed parcel.

Egg wash the pithivier, place on a lined baking sheet (or two) and bake at 180 centigrade for 20 minutes until golden and puffed up. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving with a dressed salad.

 

It’s Spring and things have started to get exciting in the woods and the kitchen too!……………….. Wild garlic gnocchi with slow cooked venison ragu.

Sorry we have been quiet for this winter, but we are back in foraging/cooking mode and will be posting lot’s of new recipes.

The Wild garlic season comes to us a little later in Yorkshire, my southern friends have been harvesting for what seems like almost a month, but it has arrived and what a treat it is to have it back in the kitchen.

This recipe was my dinner last night.  A simple, warming dish (it might be Spring but its still a bit chilly) that is easy to make and tastes great.  I love gnocchi, they are extremely satisfying to both make and eat and when flavoured with something like wild garlic they only need the simplest of sauces.  However!  I had a real treat as our butchery tutors Colin and Alan had given me some beautiful venison and I used it to make a lovely slow cooked ragu.

I really enjoyed this hearty supper I hope you do too.

If you have not picked wild garlic before here are some identification notes. Remember!  Do not anything unless you are 100% positive of your identification. With Wild garlic trust your nose, if it doesn’t smell of garlic don’t eat it.

Wild Garlic   Allium ursinum

wild garlic flw

A hairless perennial that forms large patches. The leaves emerge in early spring growing to 30cm long. They are smooth, oval and pointed and come straight out of the ground on a short leaf stalk. Crush part of a leaf – it smells of Garlic. The flowers follow in April/May and are like little umbrellas of white stars held above the leaves on stalks about 30cm tall. These turn into seeds after a few weeks and what was white stars is now green balls. The whole plant dies back in late spring not to be seen again until the following year.

Wild Garlic Gnocchi with slow cooked Venison ragu.  Serves 2 greedy people

For the Gnocchi
1kg Floury potatoes.
350g Plain flour.
2 eggs beaten.
1 large handful of wild garlic leaves finely chopped.
large pinch of salt.

For the venison ragu
500g Venison
1 Carrots finely chopped
2 Onions finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic minced
A little flour
Olive oil
2 Tablespoons tomato puree
3 sprigs of Thyme
1 sprig of Rosemary
1 Teaspoon of Juniper berries
500ml dark meat stock (beef or venison).  Maybe a little extra.

First get the ragu on the go as it needs long slow cooking.

Cut the meat into 3cm cubes and dust in seasoned flour. Put a little olive oil a heavy based casserole over a fairly high heat and brown the meat in batches. Set the browned meat aside. In the same pan lightly fry the carrot, onion and garlic until soft. Now return the meat and any resting juices to the pan and add the Tomato puree, Thyme, Rosemary, Juniper and stock. When you have added the stock scrape around the bottom of the casserole to release any of the sticky bits from frying the meat and veg. Cover the casserole and place in the oven at 180 degrees for at least 2 hours top up with extra stock if it looks like it is getting too thick. Serve immediately or cool and chill until required

To make the Gnocchi

Take the potatoes and prick them all over with a fork, put them into the oven with the casserole and bake for approximately 1 hour or until cooked through.  Once the potatoes are baked remove them from the oven and allow to cool slightly before scooping out the fluffy insides into a large bowl. Add the flour and eggs to the bowl along with the wild garlic and season well. work the mixture into a thick dough with your hands. Just bring the mixture together do not knead as this will make your gnocchi tough.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll 1 piece into a long sausage about 2 cm thick. Once you have your sausage, use a large knife to cut it into 2cm slices they should look like little pillows.  Put these formed gnocchi onto a lightly floured baking sheet until required. Repeat with the other three pieces of dough

When you are ready to finish off the dish heat your ragu until it is piping hot. Bring a very large pan of salted water to the boil and drop in your gnocchi, cook until they rise to the top of the water and remove with a slotted spoon.  If you don’t have a big pan cook them in batches.

Serve warm with venison ragu or the sauce of your choice. I finished the plate off with a grating of parmesan.IMG_3035