A Taste of Cumbria The Hairy Bikers' Comfort Food


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A Taste of Cumbria

Dave enjoys a taste of his native county, Cumbria, including a supper dish made from Cumberland sausage and the ultimate Cumbrian dessert, sticky toffee pudding.


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We've travelled the world. We've eaten everywhere

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from roadside bars to restaurants with Michelin stars.

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But there really is nothing like a bit of home cooking.

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Coming into a warm kitchen, filled with the aroma

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of a tasty meal bubbling away.

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It's one of life's great pleasures.

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There's nothing like comfort food to put a smile on your face.

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Today, recipes from my neck of the woods -

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Cumbria.

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The Cumberland sausage, the most famous sausage in the world.

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This is like a shortened version.

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It's a bit like those kind of cut-down novels,

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do you know what I mean?

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SI LAUGHS

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But it's quite acceptable for a tray bake.

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First off, some oil in your tin.

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I want onion wedges.

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I tell you what I'm doing,

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I'm just going to prepare this butternut squash.

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Now you could use other sausages but, you know,

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-I like Cumberland sausages because they're peppery...

-They are.

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..and they're full of meat.

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So we're going to add bone-in chicken thighs.

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The reason that we get the bone on, it just adds flavour, doesn't it?

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And the beautiful, beautiful skin goes all crispy

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and lovely and you want that, it's a comforting dish this, it's lush.

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You could take the skin off if you wanted,

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you could take the bones out.

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Cumberland sausage in there as well.

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Lovely. And then on top of that...

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You haven't peeled the squash!

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Well, it's rustic, innit?!

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It's kind of, all the ingredients in this are pretty basic,

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and it's great because it's quick.

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Now I'm just going to strip some thyme onto there.

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Sprinkle it all over.

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While Dave's doing that, I'm going to put a little bit of salt

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and some pepper in there as well.

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A good glug of olive oil on top of there.

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Now, I've got 100ml of water and 50ml of red wine.

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And that's it for the first stage.

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We pop that into a preheated oven, 180 degrees Celsius,

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for half an hour.

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-Did you ever do Cumberland wrestling?

-Oh, yeah!

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No, you'll hurt yourself.

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I'll be all right, gentle.

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Cumberland wrestling, it's like sumo but they wear like white tights

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and you stand on a hilltop, and you go like this, you go...

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And then you try to flip each other up.

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I quite like that.

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Get off me now.

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No, no, we've done the demonstration.

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Right. See you in a bit.

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Lovely.

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HE CHUCKLES

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It's bits like this that really brighten up your dish.

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There's nothing goes better than chicken and mushrooms,

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sausage and mushrooms.

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So I'm going to put a layer of sliced mushies on,

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and again, keeping this quite rustic.

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See, that's just started to turn now, hasn't it.

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-It's lush.

-That looks nice, Kingy.

-Doesn't it?

-Now the glaze.

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We have a tablespoon of maple syrup.

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It's a lovely glaze, this.

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Oh, aye.

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And a teaspoon of red wine vinegar.

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So we've got sweet and savoury.

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-So you're just dabbing that on, aren't you?

-Yeah.

-That's nice.

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You get an even more even coating then, don't you?

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You do, on the sausage as well.

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There we go.

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Now because we Cumbrians are bang on in the 21st century -

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it's not traditional but we like a bit of oomph

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and it can be cold up there -

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so I reckon about half a teaspoon of chilli flakes.

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Beautiful.

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Roast for a further 25-30 minutes until everything is cooked through

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and well browned.

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Now alongside this, we're going to serve some cavolo nero.

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It's like a super-duper cabbage, fresh from the garden.

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It is quite a robust green, this.

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And although it's not fashionable,

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-it's quite nice if it's cooked down for quite a while.

-Mm.

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-Smell that, straight from the garden.

-Oh, beautiful!

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I like cavolo nero because there's a slight bitterness to it,

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-and depth.

-Yeah.

-It's great.

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Great with pasta, isn't it? Or great with minestrone.

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-We might as well chuck this thyme in, eh?

-Why not?

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I'll strip it off first. We don't want stalks.

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That's so lovely. A proper winter green, isn't it, that?

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I love it. Do you want some lemon zest?

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Please, man. Put a little bit of salt in there as well.

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Add a little bit of water.

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Not too much. What we'll do...

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..a little bit of nutmeg in that.

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Nutmeg's great on spinach, too, isn't it?

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-It's lovely.

-Beautiful.

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Right, a little bit. Shall we turn that off?

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You don't want to burn the 'meg.

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Perfect.

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It's surprising, isn't it? You just cook it down for about 15 minutes,

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20 minutes, boom, done.

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Absolutely gorgeous.

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Oh!

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Get in.

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All that walking and drinking tea, dude, I'm exhausted!

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And that's what you need.

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-Look at that.

-Oh, look at that.

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And did you know what we call pork sausages up where I'm from?

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Snadgers. Look at the blush on those snadgers.

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You know why they call sausages bangers?

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Cos in World War II, you know,

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they used to pump the sausages full of water to make them go further.

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You put them on a plate and they went bang.

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That's why they're called bangers. But these are Cumbrian snadgers.

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I've got to go for a sausage.

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Oh.

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Oh, that takes me back.

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That's a proper midweek winter's dish.

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Or after a hike on a Sunday.

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That cavolo nero is superb.

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Isn't it?

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It's indulgent, it's unctuous and buttery.

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Tell you what though, dude...

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I might be rustic but I think if we're doing this again,

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we'll peel the butternut squash.

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Aye 'appen.

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Nothing beats a bit of home cooking, but every now and then

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it's nice to have someone else cook for you.

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Thankfully, all over the country there are tasty places

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that make us feel right at home.

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My name's Doug Gillam.

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I own and run Gillam's Tearoom in Ulverston, Cumbria.

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Ulverston is a very well-preserved traditional market town

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but it has a really quirky edge to it.

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My family had a grocers directly across the road.

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And that closed in 1994.

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In 2005, we saw the building across the road for sale

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and we thought it would be great to bring the family name back.

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We bit the bullet and went for it, and it's paid off,

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we're here ten years later.

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A real big focus of the tearoom is the tea.

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I absolutely love tea.

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We have 108 loose-leaf teas.

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They're all organic, many of them are Fairtrade.

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It's such a wonderful tradition, a proper teacup and saucer,

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Teapot with extra hot water, a tea strainer.

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One of the best selling things we have are the teacakes.

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People love a tea cake. They're comforting,

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a great accompaniment to a cup of proper tea.

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I make my teacakes with strong flour, mixed fruit, spices,

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a bit of oil, sugar and yeast and water, of course.

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I mix it all together in the mixer...

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..take it out, give it a good kneading.

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This is my nana's sifter shaker that I inherited from her.

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It makes me think of her each time I do it,

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and baking with her when I was a kid.

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Now I'm going to put this on here for ten or 15 minutes.

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I think the teacakes are popular because I put

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plenty of fruit in them and they're spiced, and they're a decent size.

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This little bit of dough I make into a tea cake for my daughter

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for when she comes back from school.

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She comes in about half three and has a little snack.

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We have an eclectic mix of customers.

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Everybody's welcome and everybody gets on.

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People chat to each other, table to table.

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We have a laugh together.

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Teacake John comes in every day on his bike,

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cycles in about three miles,

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tried all the 108 teas on our menu.

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He sits quietly upstairs and studies

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and then potters off back home again.

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I'll have my usual.

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-Ceylon Highlands.

-Ceylon Highlands.

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-And a teacake.

-And a teacake.

-Could have guessed!

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-It's a teacake for John, please.

-OK.

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Incredibly, I've been having tea and a teacake almost every day

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for years and years.

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I've been to many teahouses but...

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..this teacake is the best I've tasted.

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There we are, John.

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It's full of flavour, it's spicy, it's just very nice.

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It's always very friendly, always the same.

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A nice welcome and, of course, in the winter, a nice fire.

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People will say hello to you, you can strike up

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conversations with people even if you're not sitting there.

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It's quite difficult, actually, just to come and meet

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one friend in Gillam's because everybody kind of chats.

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It's really important to me that the food represents us and our beliefs.

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Everybody that comes in gets a bit of love.

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I'm going to brown these lamb shanks off in our casserole dish

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just to get a bit of colour on them.

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So these are flageolet beans. They've been soaked overnight.

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I pop them into the water and boil them for ten minutes.

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So, while Mr King's browning off, I'll get on my veggies.

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So to skin tomatoes, put a cross across the base like so...

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..and plunge them into boiling water for about 30 seconds.

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Just to release the skin.

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And then we plunge into iced water

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and the skin will curl up, fall off,

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then I deseed them and set them aside for later.

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When I was a kid,

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the core of the tomatoes and the skin, I had my own word for it.

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I used to call them the cods.

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I remember saying to my mother,

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"Mother, I don't like my tomatoes with the cods in."

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And I don't know where it came from but since then,

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even if I have tinned tomatoes, I always cut out the cods.

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The skin just peels off.

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Now you plunge it into cold water to cool the tomatoes down,

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to basically stop it cooking.

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Just take the...

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the cods out. Like so.

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The veggies I start off with are finely chopped fennel,

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carrots and onions.

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Right, I'm going to take these out and set them aside,

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-ready for your veggies.

-Brilliant.

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Right, so I'll put this in to sweat down.

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That just needs to moulder away for about ten minutes.

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Meanwhile, I'll get ready for the second flavour infusion,

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and I'll just deseed and chop me chilli.

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I'm going to chop the garlic for this, I want it a little bit...

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a little bit rustic.

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A sprig of thyme, I'm going to put this in in its entirety

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and we can fish it out. A bay leaf.

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A teaspoon of smoked paprika.

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-Lovely.

-Smoked paprika's brilliant.

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It's kind of sweet, it's mild,

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it kind of gives everything a nice barbecuey flavour.

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And 100ml of dry white wine.

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-Some tomato puree.

-Oh!

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A tin of anchovies.

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Since Victorian times, anchovies have been used to season lamb.

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And just push that through.

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And we just need to reduce that by half.

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Right, mate. Pop in your shanks.

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Look at the colour. It's beautiful.

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-Are you going to stand them up like little soldiers?

-I think so.

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Our cooked beans go in the top. They are almost buried in them.

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Now stock.

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Use lamb stock if you can get it.

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If not, well, beef or chicken will do fine.

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Now put that in a preheated oven, 170 degrees Celsius,

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for an hour and a half.

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-Right.

-Right.

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Right. It's been an hour and a half, it's time for those tomatoes.

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Just pop them in.

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And there are going to cook down, to give us a bit more flavour.

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And that goes back into the oven for another hour and a half.

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Slow, slow, quick-quick-slow.

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-Well, we're nearly there, Kingy.

-That's it, dude.

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-A bit of mustard mash.

-Mustard mash. I'll mash.

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-Are you ready for the butter?

-I am, mate.

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-Salt?

-Yes, please.

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Oh, Dave, look. It's come up lovely, that mash.

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Oh, it has, it has.

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And mustard.

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-I think that should be enough.

-Perfect, Mr Myers.

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Let's get the shanks.

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You know when you cook lamb shanks,

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there's always a sense of anticipation, isn't there?

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That's what I love about casseroles, taking the lid off.

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Oh, where've they gone?

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You have to be careful, they're dropping to pieces.

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Oh, look at that!

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-Oh, I'm going to have a taste.

-Definitely.

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Oh, man!

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Big, bold, comforting flavours.

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-Wonderful.

-The beans are superb.

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Lamb's been around for thousands of years and do you know,

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Cumbria has some wonderful lamb.

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I think this really does it justice.

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The secret to creating good grub is using the right ingredients.

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The real work is done by the producers who put all their passion

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and expertise into getting their ingredients just right.

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I'm Jane, and I live at a house called Dalemain which is in Cumbria.

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Marmalade has been my passion.

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I adore it.

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I talk about it a lot.

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It struck me that actually it would be quite fun to set up a competition

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in cahoots with the WI to find out

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whether people could learn more about it and whether we could

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really start young people making marmalade.

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So the recipe that I'm going to make today is one that my mother used.

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I think it's called an economy marmalade.

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Three fruit, so it's grapefruit, lemon and sweet orange.

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We've got a lovely sort of sophisticated overlaying sharpness to it.

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What I love about the way marmalade is made is that, probably, it hasn't

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changed in all the centuries that it's been made.

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You take a skillet, you put water in it and you boil things up.

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It's all very, very similar.

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So this is where I'm doing a bit of cheating, because I'm using a

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pressure cooker and it has to be said that my mother used a pressure cooker,

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so it's probably an influence from there,

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that wonderful sound of the hissing and smashing, but it does make the

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fruit very soft for chopping.

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Having steamed it for about 20 minutes and let it cool down,

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take it out of the pressure cooker, lovely and soft,

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chop it up nice and quickly, in nice big chunks,

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and take out all the pips at that point.

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So one of the things which is important is getting the size of the chunks right.

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Now, "right" means whatever it is that you like.

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So for some people, like my husband,

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he would probably prefer no chunks at all.

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And for me, as I'm chopping now, I think this is marmalade for me,

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probably, because I'm going to make nice big chunks.

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Roughly chopped, for everyday marmalade, I think is good.

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It means you can do it very, very quickly.

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You're not chopping it up into tiny little bits and it has a bit of body

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to it, and I think body in marmalade is a really lovely thing.

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It's got texture.

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I love marmalade because it has so many facets to it.

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It's something about making it and making it with other people,

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which I love. It's something about the scent of it,

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the aroma, which is extraordinary.

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It's all part of our heritage.

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We've had it as a little golden thread coming through from the earliest of times.

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Even Queen Elizabeth I was eating marmalade.

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When you're making marmalade, getting to what is called, I think,

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a rolling boil, and it's a sizzling boil, it's wonderful.

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And if you've ever been to a marmalade factory,

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where they still cook marmalade by the open pan method,

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it's the same thing. You have this sizzling effect of the sugar boiling

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in the marmalade and it gets to a point where you just know that it's ready.

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However, my mother always used to do the saucer test.

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So it looks like it's ready.

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It's just got a delicious colour to it.

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It's been rolling boiling for a bit.

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So I'm going to try this saucer test,

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which has been tried and tested over centuries, I'd have thought.

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You put a tiny bit in a saucer.

0:20:500:20:53

Perfect.

0:20:570:20:58

And you just want it to rest for a minute.

0:21:000:21:03

Just to...

0:21:030:21:05

let the shred get settled.

0:21:050:21:07

The strength of marmalade is that it is quintessentially British and it

0:21:120:21:17

comes right from our roots.

0:21:170:21:18

This is something that people remember doing with their granny.

0:21:180:21:22

That granny probably did it with her granny and so it's going back

0:21:220:21:25

centuries of time, where people have just made this delicious thing.

0:21:250:21:29

And the satisfaction of having 12 lovely jars of marmalade is immense.

0:21:310:21:35

-Oh, Kingy.

-What?

-That's the first date you've had for a bit, isn't it?

0:21:550:22:00

It flaming is, dude, I tell you! Look at that!

0:22:000:22:02

But dates are the secret to a good sticky toffee pudding.

0:22:020:22:06

This goes back to old-fashioned times.

0:22:120:22:14

Cartmel is near where I live

0:22:140:22:15

and sticky toffee pudding is said to have originated there.

0:22:150:22:19

Now don't bombard me if it's wrong, but, you know, for me,

0:22:190:22:23

Cartmel sticky toffee pudding -

0:22:230:22:25

eee...stick to yer ribs - it's lovely.

0:22:250:22:27

That'll do us.

0:22:270:22:28

So one teaspoon of bicarb, just sprinkle it over.

0:22:300:22:34

And then there's exactly measured...

0:22:350:22:37

..300ml of boiling water.

0:22:390:22:41

And you just let that sit while Dave makes the batter.

0:22:440:22:48

First up, I have some butter, which I'm going to cream

0:22:480:22:51

with some soft brown sugar and some muscovado sugar.

0:22:510:22:54

So, what I'll do now is I'll break an egg into there.

0:23:030:23:06

So it doesn't separate,

0:23:060:23:07

what I'm going to do, while Dave's whisking that,

0:23:070:23:10

I'll just add a spoonful of flour.

0:23:100:23:13

Beautiful.

0:23:180:23:20

And now we crack in another egg.

0:23:200:23:22

And another spoonful of flour.

0:23:280:23:31

I mean, there's such a debate around who originated,

0:23:340:23:38

what is a genuine sticky toffee pudding.

0:23:380:23:41

I think it's something that's come out of the gingerbread that goes

0:23:410:23:45

back to the 18th century, you know?

0:23:450:23:47

It's coming together. I think we can get the rest of the flour in now, do you?

0:23:470:23:50

Yeah. Absolutely.

0:23:500:23:51

And I just put the rest of the flour in.

0:23:510:23:53

I always remember one of the earliest sticky toffee puddings

0:24:020:24:05

that I made was Delia Smith's.

0:24:050:24:07

And Delia was the one who said the secret is the dates.

0:24:080:24:12

What they do is they enrich the pudding and they make it sticky.

0:24:140:24:17

-They do.

-We've got the toffee sauce.

0:24:170:24:20

And also they give it that lovely earthy flavour as well.

0:24:200:24:23

Yeah. The Cumbrians, being great adventurers,

0:24:230:24:27

cooks and generous of spirit,

0:24:270:24:28

would have brought the dates back from our trade with the mysterious East.

0:24:280:24:32

Now let's put in the dates and the water and the bicarb.

0:24:340:24:39

Let's just throw those in.

0:24:400:24:42

Now the batter's virtually there.

0:24:460:24:47

Dave's just stirring all those lovely dates and date water in,

0:24:470:24:51

we've lined...

0:24:510:24:52

..a lovely baking dish with butter

0:24:540:24:57

and a little bit of baking parchment.

0:24:570:25:00

The thing is, the clue's in the title, it's got to be sticky.

0:25:000:25:03

That's why it's quite a loose mixture.

0:25:030:25:05

Try and get those dates so they're evenly distributed.

0:25:090:25:12

Pop that into a preheated oven, 180 degrees Celsius,

0:25:140:25:18

25-30 minutes until risen,

0:25:180:25:20

golden and just about springy.

0:25:200:25:22

So the toffee sauce.

0:25:230:25:27

It is simplicity itself.

0:25:270:25:29

Melt the butter.

0:25:290:25:31

We've got Demerara sugar.

0:25:310:25:33

Muscovado sugar.

0:25:330:25:35

I'm just going to put some cream in there now.

0:25:410:25:43

So then what you do, once all the sugars have dissolved and the butter's melted,

0:25:450:25:49

you continue to stir and then you just bring it to the boil

0:25:490:25:54

and you simmer it.

0:25:540:25:56

Now, there may be a temptation to stick your finger in it,

0:25:560:26:00

because it's glossy and lovely.

0:26:000:26:02

Don't, because it'll be incredibly hot. Now look at this.

0:26:020:26:06

This is what we're talking about for a simmer.

0:26:060:26:08

Just a couple of minutes like this.

0:26:080:26:10

And what will happen is those sugars will start to darken even more,

0:26:110:26:15

and it'll just make this beautiful, beautiful sauce.

0:26:150:26:18

Turn it off.

0:26:220:26:23

Leave it to cool.

0:26:230:26:25

Oi! In yonder oven, I smell a pud.

0:26:250:26:28

I'd better get it out before it's a dud.

0:26:280:26:30

Although it was very liquidy, it's really firmed up a treat.

0:26:330:26:37

-Lush.

-In fact, it's too firm.

0:26:370:26:39

We want it sticky.

0:26:390:26:40

Now, you could use a skewer, a piece of spaghetti,

0:26:400:26:44

but we find chopsticks is just the right bar for that thick toffee sauce

0:26:440:26:48

to go. I want reasonably...

0:26:480:26:51

Not too random, because every bit's

0:26:510:26:53

got to have the right amount of stick.

0:26:530:26:55

Ohhh...

0:26:570:26:59

So you just leave that to soak in. Leave it for a good few hours,

0:27:060:27:09

-just so that soaks in.

-Mm-hm.

0:27:090:27:11

And then reheat it, reheat the sauce, serve with a bit of cream,

0:27:110:27:16

job done.

0:27:160:27:17

-Oh, mate.

-That's lovely, isn't it?

0:27:260:27:31

-Oh, God.

-Oh.

-Oh, dear me.

0:27:330:27:37

It's one of those just great puddings, isn't it?

0:27:410:27:45

-It is, it is. But it's all about the dates, isn't it?

-Mm-hm.

0:27:450:27:49

Actually, do you know what? It is great.

0:27:500:27:52

Everybody after Christmas has a box of dates left there they don't know

0:27:520:27:55

-what to do with.

-That's a good idea, actually.

0:27:550:27:57

Just knock yourself up a sticky toffee pudding.

0:27:570:28:00

-I tell you what, this taste of Cumbria episode's doing well, isn't it?

-Aye.

-Brilliant.

0:28:010:28:06

Dave enjoys a taste of his native county - Cumbria - as the Bikers cook recipes with great local ingredients to remind him of home. These include a comforting supper dish made from Cumberland sausage and the ultimate Cumbrian dessert, sticky toffee pudding.