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You know, we believe that Britain has the best food in the world.
Not only can we boast fantastic ingredients...
-Piece de resistance.
-Now which is which?
'..outstanding food producers...'
It's brilliant, isn't it?
'..and innovative chefs...'
-'but we also have an amazing food history.'
Don't eat them like that! You'll break your teeth!
'Now during this series,
'we're going to be taking you on a journey into our culinary past.'
It's all ready, so let's get cracking.
'We'll explore its revealing stories.'
'And meet the heroes who keep our culinary past alive.'
Pontefract Liquorice has been my life
and I have loved every minute of it.
'And be cooking up a load of dishes
'that reveal our foodie evolution.'
Look at that, that's a proper British treat.
We have...a taste of history.
-The Best Of British!
Today's show is a celebration of our waterways.
We've got 2,200 miles of them in the UK.
As well as being beautiful,
historically, they were an important source of grub.
We've been getting food from our waterways for centuries.
From shooting ducks to fishing, even harvesting watercress.
From the poor old poacher's tickled trout
to the mega-posh aristocratic fishing parties,
Britain's waterways have given everybody
nutritional food for thousands of years.
# And if you take our advice #
# There's nothing so nice
# As messing about on the river. #
We've been fishing for our supper since the Stone Age.
But it was in the 6th Century
when the Church banned meat on fast days and Fridays
that fish became a regular feature in our diets.
Fish on a Friday!
By the Middle Ages, monks were stocking their moats and ponds
with freshwater fish,
which they served as an alternative to meat.
They soon became inventive chefs,
salting, smoking and drying their catch,
creating culinary delights
often by cooking a single fish in three different ways -
The tail fried, the head boiled and the middle roasted.
What started as fodder for fast days soon became the food of feasts.
The nobility filled their castle moats and ponds
with barbel, crayfish, chub, eel,
dace, lamprill, lampern, perch, pike, pimpernel
and tench from the local rivers.
If you really wanted to flash your cash,
you had to have an angler on your staff.
Our waterways have provided us with more than just what's beneath the water.
Our feathery friends who float on the surface
have also fed us throughout history.
In the Best Of British kitchen, we're cooking up
a traditional wild roast duck
with Bramley apple stuffing and sherry gravy.
Oh, that sounds absolutely quacking!
Ever since I was a little 'un, and I still do it now,
I go down to the pond, the lake or the river bank with my bag of bread
and have a pleasant half hour feeding the ducks.
-Now, it's these beauties' chance to feed us!
We're doing WILD ducks!
That's what they look like with their kit off!
That's our English mallard. A treasure of our English waterways.
We've been eating those for 2,000 years.
This works perfectly well with the ducks
you buy from your butcher or the supermarket.
Actually, the quantities will work just as well.
We have three little mallards here,
just one big fat duck from the supermarket,
use this stuffing, satisfaction guaranteed.
They look a bit scrawny,
but what meat you get is good. It's rich. It's tasty.
We'll do a mega-stuffing for the ducks.
-I think we better get on.
-We should, mate.
-Some oil in there.
-Could you pass me hazelnuts, Dave, please?
These hazelnuts are part of the stuffing.
I'm going to roughly chop them. It's not easy with the hazelnut.
If you don't want to chop them by hand,
you could put the hazelnuts in a plastic bag and bash them
with a rolling pin,
or just give them a quick whizz in a food processor.
This is three slices of bread. All good stuffing contains bread.
This isn't going to be crumbs, it's not going to be croutons,
it's going to be little cubes.
The bread cubes are fried until golden brown in oil
and a little butter.
Look at these. These are coming up lovely!
Beautiful. Before that bread's completely cooked,
a couple of teaspoons of chopped fresh rosemary.
That frying's releasing all the flavour.
Things will gravitate towards this bowl
in the construction of the stuffing.
First in is the rosemary bread cubes.
I want to take some hazelnuts and put them in the pan
that we have just fried the bread and the rosemary in.
We want to toast those off.
The thing about nuts is, keep an eye on them.
We want them to toast, we don't want them to burn.
If you burn them, they get really bitter
and that's going to murder those lovely flavours in our stuffing.
So keep any eye on them.
That's a lovely stuffing. It's very nice with pork.
It's very old-fashioned, isn't it?
It's a really good, old-fashioned stuffing.
Finely chop the onions and garlic
and then soften in butter for three to four minutes.
And now for the magic ingredient! Can you pass us an apple, please?
-Bramley or eating?
We have been eating ducks for a long time.
It's always tradition to eat them with some fruity sauce.
We've been doing it for years.
I'm going to quarter a Bramley apple.
Then we'll cut it into chunks.
And that is also going to go into the stuffing.
Everybody's got their own culture of fruit eating with duck.
We have duck with apple and peas.
Polish people have it with red cabbage and sweet sultanas.
And the Italians have been known to have it with duck and cherry.
French have the duck a l'orange.
Iranians have duck with pomegranate and walnuts.
It's not just duck has a history in our country, apples have as well.
In our sceptred isle,
there are more than 2,000 varieties of apples.
That's a different type of apple for every day for six years!
Cook the apple with the onion and garlic until soft and squishy.
It smells fabulous.
I love the way the apple goes so well with fatty meat
like apple and belly pork or apple and duck.
It's the sharpness of apples like Bramleys that offset
the grease and the fat in the meat.
It's that acidity. It cuts straight through it.
-We will add some parsley and the zest of an orange!
Mrs Worthington, put your slippers on,
you're in for a treat.
Don't you wish you had something more exciting
than fish fingers for your tea now?!
-Put that fish finger sandwich down.
-Go out and shoot a duck!
Only joking! Stay in and watch this!
Stick the apple, onion and garlic
in with the hazelnuts and the golden brown bread cubes.
Parsley in stuffing is great
and the orange zest will give it a zingy citrus kick.
The hot apple will begin to make those golden croutons go soggy.
That will all bake in the duck.
Now it's time to stuff a duck!
-It's not every day you get to stuff a duck.
-They are only little.
You can have one duck per person.
Proper old-fashioned, earthy lovely flavours.
In the tin, I have made a bed of sliced onions.
It's like a trivet for the ducks to rest
on and that will give us really good gravy.
-The problem with wild ducks
and a lot of wild game is it going dry.
With this, we are using butter and bacon.
Don't be shy with the butter!
-You will not be dry!
You will be juicy!
You are full of stuffing!
You are covered in butter and now you are wrapped in bacon!
You will be plump and juicy!
On that note, to ensure this, we only cook it for 35 minutes.
It's best eaten slightly on the pink side,
you overcook this, it will be like a doggy chew.
Place these in a pre-heated oven, a hot oven,
about 200-220 degrees Celsius.
It's a hot oven, it's a short, sharp shock of a cook!
-A short time later...
-35 minutes to be exact.
Let's get them out. Time to make the gravy.
Put the roasting tin on the hob and stir in a little of the flour.
Any flour will do.
Then scrape up all those lovely crispy bits, and the onions.
Fruity flavours go well with duck and game.
I'm going to put some sherry in the gravy
and let that bubble for a few minutes
and then top it up with chicken stock.
-Oh yeah, that's lovely.
Dave, do you ever find gravy really hypnotic?
Snap out if it, we've gotta crack on and make this gravy silky smooth.
Saucepan for the sauce.
-Sieve for the lumps.
-Look at that.
That's great gravy.
I'll put that on a low light now to cook a bit more.
-Shall we have a tasting platter?
-I think so, me old mucker.
A bit of crispy bacon. Never go wrong.
-That's cooked nice.
-A little spoon full of the gravy.
Not forgetting some of that wonderful stuffing.
You know what, for me, I think the stuffing's the best bit.
I thought that since I was a kid!
Wow! I'll agree with that.
-That's very good.
-That stuffing is great.
The flavour of that duck breast is really big.
It's a very different flavour. It's a different texture.
It's in the wild. It's a wild animal. It works hard.
The flavour is a bit deeper and it's a lot more gamier.
Which justifies that wonderful apple and herby stuffing.
Really, that on a plate does depict
the British countryside and the waterways.
We have the wild mallard from our rivers,
the apples from our orchards, the hazelnuts,
the rosemary, the herbs.
-It really is kind of Britain on a plate, that.
And very proud we are of it, too.
To make our Hairy Bikers' roast duck
with apple and rosemary stuffing and sherry gravy,
you can use any shop-bought duck.
And although we used Bramleys,
any nice tangy variety of English apple will do the job just as well.
Now we're on the road to try our hand at fly-fishing
on one of our finest waterways, the River Usk in Wales.
The Glanusk estate is home to Tiggy Pettifer and her family.
They've been fishing for their supper for generations.
Growing up by the river, Tiggy learnt to fish as a young girl
and is now a fly-fishing instructor.
We're looking forward to improving our techniques
with some top tips from a master!
-We're going fishing!
-We have so looked forward to this.
Well, a bit of screaming reels, hopefully.
Let's say our casting is not the most delicate.
We're what's known as...
We fish quite a lot, but we're a pair of thrashers.
You won't be by the time I have finished with you!
Yes, we need to know.
As far as casting's concerned, for us, it's 10-to-2,
10-to-2, put their eye out!
That's a different technique than I know, but we'll give it a go.
-We do lose a lot of fish!
We have a lot of stories, but maybe not so many in the pan.
The estate has relied on fishing to keep it fed for centuries
and there's a room dedicated to the family's fishy history.
With all great grandpas, his stags, and his fish, and his rods.
If you could sum it up, what is it about fishing that you love?
It is the most exciting thing.
It's the anticipation of every single cast.
You think, "This is the one! Here we go, here we go." So exciting.
It's the most lovely feeling.
What I love about fly-fishing
-is you get to eat what you catch.
I love that. You take it to the table. You eat it.
That is the full cycle which has gone on since prehistoric times.
Family tradition means every fish caught is noted down
and over the years the estate has had some impressive trophies.
My grandfather caught 58 trout in one day.
-It's the all-time record.
To his own rod, him.
They go all the way back to 1904.
-The fishing is in your blood?
-It really is.
One's been incredibly lucky to have a mother and a grandmother
who both stalked fish and Dad was up for his girls
doing exactly the same as the boys.
So one was - it was always assumed we would want to.
I think what's fascinating about this,
it's a reflection of how many fish were caught for table, to eat.
-Is that how the estate fed itself?
-Very much so.
The whole estate was a community to itself.
It had its own dairy, creamery.
Mum can remember making the cream and the butter.
So the whole estate was sustainable within a community
and everybody fed everybody.
Thanks for showing...
-I'm itching to get on the river.
-Can we go fishing?!
Yes, let's go catch fish!
Ooh, I'm so excited.
-It's time to get suited...
-You look good.
-So do you. Hunter gatherer.
Come and meet Stuart.
-He's got some rods then we will head on down.
-Very nice to meet you.
-Very nice to meet you.
We have two rods for you. Both identical.
-A standard river trout rod.
How long have you been fishing this river, Stuart?
I think I have fished it for 40 seasons. As near as damn it!
'Right we've got the best guides in the business,
'and we've got all the right gear...
'But no idea! And Dave's caught something already.'
OK, Dave, creep in.
But we're not just here to catch dinner,
we're here to learn.
-Rod tip down. Relax.
Well done. That's great.
-That's the best cast yet.
-Very nice, Dave.
'Fly-fishing takes years of practice to become a master caster.
'Tiggy and Stuart's knowledge of this river is amazing.'
There was a reasonable fish rising there.
'And up until today I thought I knew what I was doing.'
Don't drop it behind you.
The art of fly-fishing has been around for centuries.
The idea is to trick the trout into believing that your hook
is actually an insect that has landed on the water.
There's a little rise.
That's when the trouties have come up
and they are sucking the flies off the top
and then he's dropping back down again.
'It appears as if I've got the hang of it.'
-God love him!
You can't eat those, they're too small!
It's another monster.
We are going to catch one.
-We'll beat them.
This is absolute heaven.
Izaac Walton wrote in his The Complete Angler
"Time spent fly-fishing isn't deducted from the sum total
"of your life, so two years on the river means you have an extra two."
In that case I shall live to 200!
Fishing isn't just a passion of us Hairy Bikers,
it's a national obsession.
And officially it's Britain's most popular pastime.
But it was the Victorians who made fishing fashionable fun for all,
for posh and working classes alike.
And provided the British with
the perfect excuse to get out of the house.
There's nothing like it, nothing in the world.
But it's the sense of competition that's half the fun.
This is a float tube.
It's a sophisticated inner tube from a lorry tyre.
With a tube, you're so low down, they come in very close to you.
You can get two or three shots at them.
It's just absolutely addictive.
So pike, carp and other coarse fish
favoured by those foodie monks
of the Middle Ages now help us prove our manliness...
What a lovely fish.
'Only an expert can bring in his fish this way!'
..and our womanliness!
I think women are better than men at fishing.
Women have far more patience and tenacity,
and so, consequently, they stand a better chance of catching a fish.
Now relax. You can have a jolly...
And it appears that my guide's feminine touch is paying off.
Eat your heart out, honey!
You got the little ones, but we got the big one!
-Well done, Si.
-Thank you, darling.
-Well done, mate.
'Right. Job done. Let's get cooking!'
Wow! Hunter-gathers provided dinner. You're good at this, you.
-Well, it's just quite fun, isn't it?
-There's not many food sensations beat this, is there?
The river, catch the trout, put it on a fire, eat it.
-Can you get a better lunch?
-No, you can't beat it.
Here's to you, boys.
Well done. Yummy, yummy!
-There's something elemental about this.
At some point in our evolution, we have all done this.
Fished, cooked it, eaten it. Brilliant.
Mate, I've got to hand it to you. I got five, but they were so small.
Today, you are the man!
-Shall we tell them?
Lunch has come from two pools up there two nights ago!
You mean, you planted them?
Well, I didn't!
I just held the rod.
We had to have something just in case we didn't have any luck.
I have learnt more the past two hours
than I have in 30 years of thrashing the water on my own!
-Does life get any better than this?
'Now us Brits have a voracious appetite for TV cooking programmes.
'And we Hairy Bikers owe our love of food to those classic TV chefs
'who helped to change British eating habits,
'and who inspired us as a nation to get into the kitchen.'
'So we're going to catch up
'with a legend who hit our screens in the '80s.
'He loved the British waterways and their produce as much as we do.'
-Fancy a bit of Floyd? One of the old ones - Floyd On Fish.
FLOYD'S THEME TUNE PLAYS
That theme tune, when this came on you knew you were in for a treat.
-He made cooking fun. He had a good time. He had a good drink!
Look at the size of that mouth.
It seems to be a terrible thing to do to your family,
but I always wanted my mother-in-law on one of my programmes
and it's taken me 25 years to catch her actually!
I'm going to show you how to cook this magnificent beast.
One of the first things you have to do is cut him.
We're going to take a superb fillet off here,
running the knife hopefully up the bone...
He's just hacked a lump off!
I'm sorry. I have just done that completely the wrong way round.
You must always start filleting a fish from its head
and run with the flow of the fish.
-Do you know what I love about him? He was dead honest.
It's, like, "There it is, that is what I do. This is it."
I'm sorry. I will do it properly from hereon in.
Before that, I will have a little slurp
because I'm a bit nervous today.
I'm hot, tired, trying to do it right and make mistakes.
Please excuse me.
DAVE LAUGHS There we are.
I'm back at the piano, which is what we gastronauts call a cooker.
I'm sorry for the cock-up earlier.
Now I will get down to the serious business of turning a pike,
a fish which some people throw to their cats,
or even back into the river,
or generally despise, into a gastronomic delight.
I'll show you what we're doing.
Trust Floyd to cook up an unfashionable fish like pike.
It was unheard of on British menus in the '80s.
Yet it was a staple food for centuries.
In the Middle Ages, nutritionally it was as important as bread.
Well, Floyd got us eating all kinds of fish.
He got the nation cooking. He got the nation enjoying food.
Actually, I remember people,
at those times, people didn't eat much fish at all.
As with all fish, if you are poaching them,
the liquid must be still.
This IS cooking. It's not bubbling away.
If the liquid is bubbling, it will destroy the flesh of the fish.
-Yeah, it is.
-It wasn't cooking made easy.
I can remember buying his cook books
-and it got me cooking properly.
Cos he was a classically-trained French chef.
-He had a French restaurant in France as an Englishman!
We can let that reduce a little.
If you heard any noises there,
the cameramen were tripping over their equipment.
It's a very hot, tight kitchen.
He was a restaurateur who was discovered
-and asked to be on the telly.
But he kind of... He strikes you as someone who thought,
"Well, why not? It would be good for the restaurant."
He didn't... He just went on and did it.
OK, so one egg yolk in...plop. Come on in.
I remember being very, very interested in food,
what Mam did and what my sister did and what me brother did
and how they cooked.
Then when he came along, it blew that out of the water.
It was, like, "Wow!"
It was exciting. It was an adventure.
And people must never forget Floyd filmed 20 television series
and around 25 books.
That is a lot of work.
-His programmes are still being shown in 40 countries.
That is incredible.
How he propelled food into...
It was just wonderment and kind of excitement
and this kind of slightly eccentric character
and personality who was just having a great time with food.
What the French would call "nap", which is a lovely word,
but we're going to call it "coat".
Coat the fish.
Before then, it was instructional,
but Floyd took you with him as gastronauts on a great adventure.
Isn't that pretty? What a wonderful way to celebrate freshwater fish.
You could do this with perch, you could do it with trout,
you could do it with carp, you could do it with pike,
you could do it with anything.
One little mouthful.
There he goes again -
really bigging up all those fish we used to eat centuries ago.
For those of you who might be fishermen
and catch a pike and throw it back or feed it to your cat
or say it's inedible because it's full of bones and tastes earthy,
I have to tell you, you are quite wrong!
Yes, it's a real call to arms to get us fishing in our waterways
and eating our freshwater fish.
Whilst Floyd likes to delicately poach his catch...
..in Gloucestershire on the River Wye there's one fish
that provided a seasonal treat for lucky locals for generations.
But now this fish has almost disappeared from their diet.
It's not really a fish, is it?
Yes, it is, but it's an elongated fish.
And although it might not win any fish beauty pageants,
our Best Of British Food Hero
thinks the eel is Britain's loveliest fish
and wants to get them back on our dinner plates.
It is a fantastic creature.
It's strong, it's quick, you know.
And when you come to eat it, yeah, when you come to eat that product,
it's got genuine flavour, it's got real bite
It's just a fantastic fish to eat.
Richard Cook's passion for eels started when he was a boy,
fishing with his dad for elvers or baby eels,
which the locals used to go mad for.
-It is like a drug.
-It's almost a drug!
Yeah, yeah, the fishing gets in your blood.
To go home and have a feed of elvers with some good fatty bacon,
well, it was paradise for them.
It was caviar.
Historically, people living close to major rivers
have always loved their eel treats - jellied eels, eel pie -
but in Gloucestershire it's the baby eels, or elvers,
that were a specialty for hundreds of years.
All eels are born in the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda.
They spend two years swimming to the UK to grow up in our waterways.
And in Gloucestershire fishermen would
gather on the river as elvers arrived on the spring tide.
Fishing and eating them was major part of local life.
There was 1,000 men fishing eels on the Severn,
so this was a big industry
that operated under the cloak of darkness.
It only happens during the dark of night
and the tides are better during the dark for fishing.
-It was a great night out, wasn't it?
-It was a great night out.
There was always a fire, there was always...
they'd always have a bottle of beer or a bottle of cider.
-It was a great craic.
-It was a great craic.
Bear in mind, this is poor man's food.
This is peasant's food. Fishing for elvers was a right of the poor.
The salmon fishing and the sea trout
fishing that took place in this river,
that was controlled by the Crown, or by landowners and aristocracy.
Elver fishing was for the peasants.
It's a way of life.
It is a culture I have been involved in and Dad's taken me on the river.
And we've both... And our family's been involved in, yeah?
And it's...it's been good to us.
My life experiences have been built up on the river, you know.
Richard has turned his passion
for eel and all things fishy into a family business.
His smokehouse supplies some of the UK's top retailers.
And he's determined to make eel fishing and consumption sustainable
to keep this local tradition alive.
He now only sells adult eels which have been farmed in Europe...
Because in the UK, there's a problem.
In fact, there's an eel crisis.
Nobody can be exactly sure why, but in the last 25 years
the number of baby eels arriving on the spring tide
has decreased by 95%.
So tragically the Gloucestershire tradition of fishing for elvers
and eating them by the pint has died out completely.
Richard believes that one reason for the decrease in elvers
is that some of them get caught up in weirs and dams
on their way through our waterways.
The fish get into the river and they're stuck.
They can't get over the weirs.
They can't get out of the sluice gates.
We have to find a way of helping these fish.
But Richard's got a plan to keep eel-eating on the local menu.
Richard catches the elvers as they arrive,
before they get caught in the machinery.
Then he releases them into lakes and marshland where they can feed
and grow to adult size, ready to make the journey back to Bermuda
for some sun, sea, sand and...reproduction.
We don't conserve this eel
because we think it is going to be pretty to look at in the future.
You'll never see them. This was an important source of food locally.
I just want other people to enjoy what is a brilliant...
a brilliant fish to eat.
Richard also involves
Gloucestershire schools in his local conservation project,
part of a European campaign to save the eel.
Can you see them? There they go.
He wants to show a new generation that
sustainable farmed adult eel is tasty too.
He's brought Tanya, head chef in his restaurant,
to cook up some eel treats here on the river bank.
I am hoping, I am hoping, I am desperately hoping, yeah,
that we can engage these children
to try and eat and enjoy this fantastic food product.
Fantastic. Well done.
Are these slimy?
I did a good bit of research on the internet about eel pie,
trying to come up with a really sort of authentic 18th-century recipe.
I got a classic short suet pastry,
then we poached the eel in its own stock
after cooking them, and made a nice liquor with some bacon,
with a little bit of cream and parsley.
This is basically just the plain skinned, filleted fresh eel
which was done this morning.
We've done nothing to it. We haven't put any seasoning on it.
This one will be barbecued and have its natural flavour as it is.
Those lucky kids are getting well stuck in to smoked eel kebabs
and jellied eel.
And they're loving it!
There you go.
It is so yummy!
I had all the eels that you can imagine!
We can't believe how popular it's been.
The children have been coming back for seconds.
This has been the most popular, the smoked eel.
Just little skewers and simply cooked on the barbecue like this.
The true barometer of the success
is that the kids are coming back for seconds,
so I am absolutely delighted, yeah, that these children
are now engaged in smoked eel and are engaged in fresh eel.
It will become important to them in the future, I hope.
That's a really great thing for us.
I don't know about you, Si,
but that has certainly changed the way I feel about eel.
The great thing about fish is you can eat it fresh from the river,
like we did with Tiggy or with a fancy sauce like Floyd.
-So if you fancy a bit of sauce with your fish...
..here's the Hairy Bikers homage to the great British waterways.
But with ingredients that you can find at your local supermarket.
We are going to do rainbow trout
with a creamy prawn sauce on a bed of watercress.
This is a classic fish sauce. It is good with all fish.
It's good with everything, with Dover sole, cod goes really nice
and any meaty white fish is good too.
Oil goes into a pan.
What we want to do is first brown off some onion, fennel,
which goes well with fish, celery and carrot.
This is rustic. We want the veg for flavour, not for appearance,
so there's none of your fancy mirepoix.
-Fennel is great with fish, isn't it, Kingy?
What's nice about fennel is it has a lovely aniseed flavour.
It is very gentle. Really nice.
It's a little sweet as well, which is good.
Don't worry about browning this veg. You want a bit of colour on it.
-Celery leaves are great.
They are full of flavour and hardly anybody uses them, but do,
because they're... Ah! ..lovely, man.
This really will start to smell good!
We're shelling the prawns to use later in the sauce
but we're not going to waste the heads and tails,
they'll flavour the stock.
What we do now is, we take the heads off...shell 'em.
You can do this while that's cooking down.
There's the poo tube down the prawn. See that?
It's like a black elastic band.
You want that out. You don't want to eat what the prawn's been eating!
I know this bowl may look like a fisherman's dustbin -
that's full of flavour.
-That's the foundation stone of our sauce.
-If you can get flavour out of it, don't throw it away!
Now, these go in here...
..because this is the basis of your stock.
You could write a cookbook -
Things To Do With Stuff You Should Have Put In The Bin.
Now, a top tip -
take a wooden spoon, or two, and give them a bash,
just so you are extracting as much flavour as you can.
Give it a mush. We're going to strain this sauce,
so all the big chunks of veg, the prawn heads, tails
and everything, they go in the dustbin.
Once we have extracted the goodness. Smells great.
Next step, tomato puree. We need to cook this in for a minute.
A good old glug of wine in true Floyd tradition.
I always remember one thing that Keith Floyd said that stuck with me
was, "Never use wine for cooking
"that you wouldn't be prepared to drink."
-I think he's right.
-Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
What's the point in putting cheap wine into great food?
-Let's have a bit more, then!
To this we add water...and salt.
And that, my friends, needs to simmer for 40 minutes.
Cor, look at that!
After the stock has simmered, we're going to make sure there's
no bits of prawn shell left in by straining it through a muslin cloth.
Make sure it's clean. Don't use dyed cloth,
or all of a sudden your sauce turns purple! I know. I've done it!
-My mother used to use her old tights, but it is not nice.
-Did you get many visitors for dinner after school?
Mash it through.
That's quite a potent broth.
We're going to reduce this even more.
Add cream and salt and then cook the prawns in that sauce
and that is what we're using to dress the watercress and the trout.
And don't forget -
all "reduction" means is reducing the volume to intensify the flavour.
That means that if we lose weight, we should get stronger,
which would probably be true.
Let's talk trout.
These are rainbow trout fillets.
Rainbow trout is what you will find in British supermarkets.
We first farmed trout in Britain in the 1950s
and it was a Danish entrepreneur who set up a trout farm in Lincolnshire.
Now we have 360 fish farms in Britain,
producing 16,000 tonnes of trout a year.
And that's a testament to the amount of trout that we eat.
We've mega-flavours going on in that sauce.
So the trout, it's a pure flavour, it's lovely.
We're not going to confuse that.
We simply fry them in oil and butter.
Place these in, skin-side down.
Don't forget that top Hairy Bikers tip -
oil in the pan first, then the butter.
The oil stops the butter from burning.
You still get the butter flavour and that lovely golden colour.
Now add cream to the reduced stock to give it a rich loveliness.
It's really quite intense, isn't it?
-We're going to drop the prawns in.
That will add to the flavour of it.
We're using fresh raw prawns which will turn a lovely pink colour when cooked.
Be careful you don't overcook them or they will end up as a chew
and we don't want that, do we?
'Once the trout has cooked for four minutes, skin side down,
-'the skin is really easy to take off.'
'And the other side just needs to cook for another three minutes.'
See how the skin's coming away?
That's what I want. I want to lose that.
Easy-peasy lemon squeezy! This is good fish.
As soon as those prawns are pink... we're ready.
-We are ready to talk watercress.
-We certainly are.
This is watercress from the chalk streams of Hampshire.
It's interesting that it's sold in posies.
This goes back to Victorian times
when the train would go up to London
and children would go round the streets and Covent Garden market
selling posies of watercress.
Victorians would eat them like ice creams, just like a cornet.
What was lovely, a watercress sandwich,
cos it's so full of iron and purifying things for your blood.
People would have watercress sandwiches for breakfast.
It's full of vitamin C. It's full of calcium.
It's a bit of a super-food, watercress.
It's very peppery.
We used to mix it with samphire and serve it with fish.
Watercress and samphire, the samphire's salty -
it was like nature's salt and pepper.
Let's get a couple of these trout fillets out.
I think you'll agree... that's kind of perfect.
Ho-ho-ho! Simon King - prawn sculpture.
That's what you call prawnography on television!
Some of that...over the top.
There we have it, our homage to the British waterways.
-prawns on a bed of...
-Hampshire watercress. Ooh!
Looks good. Tastes good.
By golly, that's going to do you good.
So from the medieval tradition of fish on a Friday...
..to fishing becoming a national obsession...
..British waterways have shaped our culinary landscape
and our culture for thousands of years.
And if you want to know more...
..to discover some amazing facts about the history of food...
..and to find out how to cook up the recipes in today's show.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd