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We've travelled the world and eaten everywhere from roadside bars to
restaurants with Michelin stars.
But there really is nothing like a bit of home cooking.
Coming into a warm kitchen filled
with the aroma of a tasty meal bubbling away -
it's one of life's great pleasures.
Lovingly prepared dishes with flavours that pack a punch -
it's the perfect way to put smiles
on the faces of your nearest and dearest.
We also uncover why some recipes are so special that they're handed down
through generations of the same family...
The smell is absolutely fantastic.
..drop in on some of the UK's homeliest tearooms and cafes, and...
..find out what chefs like to cook on their days off.
-Look at that!
-It's much easier and much quicker.
There's nothing quite as comforting as simple home cooking.
Today, a taste of Northumberland,
showing off some great recipes and amazing local produce.
It's food fit for a king.
We're going to do Northumberland lamb meatballs.
And this is a homage to the lamb we have in Northumberland,
because the breeds that we have vary. We've got Mule,
we've got Suffolk, we've got Scottish Blackface,
we've got all sorts.
What I've got here is some pine kernels.
We've toasted off these pine kernels and all we're going to do is just
crush them a little bit in a pestle and mortar and add them to this
-You've got the lot, haven't you?
Cos Newcastle's an amazing city.
You've got the coastline.
The salmon rivers - the Tyne's producing salmon.
Just to the north, you've got the Tweed, and then, of course,
you've got the countryside. The most wonderful beef and lamb.
Well, I think that's the good thing about the diversity
of Northumberland. What frustrates me,
in Northumberland we're not that great at shouting about it.
-Well, do you know what?
-And it is frustrating.
So, we've got the lamb and the pine kernels toasted and crushed slightly.
I'm just going to put some breadcrumbs in here.
I've put a teaspoon of allspice powder,
a teaspoon of cumin, some nutmeg.
Here, I've got some flat-leaf parsley, some mint,
some coriander and dill.
There's a lot going on in these meatballs.
But, you know, I think when you've got a city like Newcastle
and that region, which is an embarrassment of riches
you know, it's justified to use all of these wonderful things.
That is as fresh as you get - parsley, mint, dill, coriander.
A lot of greenery in there.
Would you like it?
Right, then, that's just to bind the meatballs.
-Have you seasoned?
-Not yet, mate.
Should I oblige?
About a teaspoon of sea salt.
And we like our black pepper.
Oh, look at that. Now, that's just coming together lovely.
My hands are really, really clean,
and it's best to just get stuck in there, and get in,
and just push all of those fantastic ingredients through
the Northumberland lamb.
And I know you must be thinking at home, well, "They don't grow cumin!"
-We know that.
But we do have a history of spice in the North East because of the trade,
-Shall I help?
-Yeah, please, man.
-About 20, shall we get?
Oh, no, that's too big.
I think walnuts.
Now, we start these meatballs off in the oven at a hot heat.
We just need to brown them at 220 degrees for about ten minutes.
They'll still be raw in the middle, but then we cook them in the sauce.
-Yeah, get some colour on them.
Look at them!
-Look at that.
-Let's get some heat on.
-Right, so, onion goes in.
And we're going to saute these off for a little bit.
-This is what you need, as well.
Oh! Doctor Livingstone, I presume.
I'll take the stems off. But we're not going to throw them away.
I'm going to cut these and shred them finely.
I'll put those in with the onions and the garlic.
-They look lovely, don't they?
I'll just saute these off a little bit.
A little bit longer. Mate, would you pass the broad beans, as well?
Now these, they're frozen broad beans that have been double-popped.
Let them thaw out.
And the white husk around the bean,
you just pop out these green beans, and it's like a pan of emeralds.
They are such a good eat.
They look so good on the plate.
-Oh, man, that smells brilliant.
-Doesn't it just?
Right, I'm going to put our herbs... Put those in.
Just roughly chop the herbs.
Don't worry about the stalks,
because it is all going to be blitzed.
So it's actually about equal quantity of chopped herbs
-as the chard leaves.
-I'm going to reserve a fifth of the stock
-Now, remember, the meatballs have only been browned.
They need to cook through now in that wonderful, ethereal broth of
-It's so good, this dish.
The remaining stock goes into a pan.
So bung this in. I'm just going to sweat that down
for a couple of minutes in that stock.
I just want to wilt down that chard...
..with the 'erb.
-Right, I'll take your device and...
-..and puree this green.
That'll do nicely.
Now, we stir this through the meatballs.
And apart from colour,
this is completely and utterly flavour-packed.
-Look at that.
-That is beautiful, Dave. Yeah.
Oh, yeah. This really is the icing on the cake.
There we are, mate, I'll take this off the heat.
-There we go, mate.
We've tried to make the most
of all the ingredients, not least your lamb.
-Let's have a look.
-I think we should.
They're juicy, which I think
is one of the essential elements of the meatball.
Good old Northumberland lamb, mate, perfect.
-I'll drink to that, shall we?
-What a good idea!
The secret to creating delicious comfort food is using the right
The real work is done by the producers,
who put all of their passion and expertise
into getting their ingredients just right.
I'm Andrew, and this is my wife Billie,
and together we farm and mill in the heart of Northumberland.
We've lived here together for 16 years.
I've been up here for 24 years.
We were the first cereal farm in Northumberland
to convert to organic production.
The considered wisdom was you could only grow milling quality wheat,
so baking quality wheat, in the south of England.
This far north everybody said,
"You're wasting your time, it can't be done."
Now we grow milling quality wheat every year under organic conditions.
We've gone back to growing very old varieties of wheat.
We found, during our research,
that the further back in time we went,
the better the baking quality got.
When we look at what we grow now,
it's akin to what was grown at the end of the First World War.
This is what we grew here this year.
This is spelt that's thousands of years old.
And if you look at any field of wheat anywhere else in the country,
it's 40, 50 centimetres, and we're growing stuff that's over a metre.
And these really ancient varieties - the spelt in particular -
they're so tall that when we grow them in an organic field,
they overshadow all the other weeds.
They grow in an environment they were designed for.
We have very, very deep soils.
And as much of the plant is growing below the soil as above,
so these plants will scavenge for their nutrients in a way that
modern varieties can't.
And they produce really nutritionally rich grains.
So, when you walk into the mill, the first thing you see
is the big 3½-tonne millstones.
It's two stones. The bottom stone is static,
and the top stone is driven and mills the wholemeal flour.
And we mill somewhere around 250 kilos of grain an hour.
The industrial milling process is called roller milling,
and they're milling at about 11 tonnes an hour,
and they are predominantly focused on producing white flour.
The grains that we mill have an enormous amount
of minerals and vitamins in them. And if you mill them slowly,
and you retain those minerals and vitamins,
then you are bringing to the customer, really,
the best nutritional delivery system that we could possibly produce.
It's only half the story to say that we've got grains that have high
nutritional value. The moment you add water to a grain it'll start to
germinate and a chemical process will happen.
And it's exactly the same
when you add water to ground-down grain as flour.
The only way that you can stop that process and make those minerals and
vitamins available to us to digest
is if you lower the pH of your dough.
And low pH is sour, it's acidic - it's sourdough.
Every sourdough starts with a good sourdough starter,
or called a mother.
And my sourdough comes from a lovely bakery in Newcastle.
Add a bit flour to it, a bit of water.
Now, what we've done here is called a poolish,
and that best sits overnight in a plastic bag
and just let it ferment away.
So, here's the poolish I made yesterday, and you can see
it has changed quite a bit.
We need 200g of this.
The gluten now begins to develop.
It's still very stiff.
So with every knead and with every rest, it will be better.
And now the long wait begins.
We put it in the bag
and let it rise for six hours in a warm place.
I think it's just one of the simplest pleasures in life,
to bake bread. It fills the kitchen and the house
with a beautiful smell.
It also satisfies something very deeply inside us.
It nurtures us.
We're going to cook some crab, mate, because it's, you know,
off the coast of Northumberland, absolutely fantastic.
-But what's THIS crab?
-Well, it's crab with tomato and capers.
So, I've got a nice piece of pancetta.
It could be dry-cured back bacon.
But this is the bit where Northumbria meets Umbria.
So, we separate the body from the legs.
We'll deal with the body first.
These bits here are the feathers, and they are the filters,
so we want to discard them because it's like...
The reason they're called feathers,
if you put them in your mouth, it is like chewing a feather.
But they're not poisonous.
There used to be this thing, "Oh, they're deadly," and all this.
They're not, they're just like trying to eat, well, feathers.
Yeah. There is a membrane in here that you need to take out,
just like that. You see this here?
This fundamentally is the mouth of the crab and all you do is you push
your thumb there, like that, and break that off.
Now, if the crab's fresh, like this is, what should happen...
..is it should just come out perfectly.
No meat on that, so discard that for the minute.
Then, take a spoon.
All I'm doing with the pancetta is rendering it down slowly.
And this is the first building block of the sauce.
And very gently just prize all of that meat away,
and this is the dark meat. And look at that.
-That's joyous, isn't it?
-There we are.
-That is fantastic crab.
That's such good quality, isn't it?
Then the other ones, it's very simple,
all we do is start to crack the legs.
Just snap them off.
I've got a heap of tomatoes here on the vine.
So I'm just going to chop those roughly.
After you've taken the legs off, you're left with this fantastic
body of the crab, if you like.
You take a knife...
..and in half it goes.
And you just pick all of that meat and it pops out.
I'm going to put in two cloves of garlic.
And I'm leaving these whole.
Give it a bit of a bashing so that the flavour can come out,
and just let those go for a minute or two.
Then we pop the tomatoes in now.
Start cooking them down with that pancetta, olive oil...
Now, onto this. There is a tin of chopped tomatoes, too.
Now, the legs...
I just give it a crack, a little crack...
and then you just...
..scoop the white meat out.
This is enriching already. It's doing down nicely.
It's on quite a reasonable heat because I want it to cook down.
I've got a green chilli here.
Chilli and crab is a classic.
I'm going to chop this finely.
We put in a whole onion,
just like that, they're for flavour, as is this chilli.
And a good pinch of saffron.
That can go straight in. Some fish stock.
Beautiful. Look at that.
How beautiful is that?
To this I'm just adding a teaspoon of sugar.
For now, we just let that go.
If this is slow food, then I'm all for it.
-I'll just have a sit whilst you finish your crab.
You're obviously very happy.
You can give us a hand, if you like.
Oh, no, you're doing fine, you're doing fine.
It is nice to see you doing a bit of work for once.
-What do you mean?!
-Well, you know.
Shall we get the spag on?
-Yeah, let's do that.
-Oh, yeah, defo.
Salt the water. Then you just push that in.
Right, shall I finish this sauce off with the capers?
You might as well.
About a good tablespoon of capers will do us nicely.
And chop them.
And those capers impart such an earthy note, it's lovely.
-All the parsley?
-Yes, all the parsley, mate, yeah.
I'll put this in with the crab, because we don't want this
-to cook too much, do we?
-No, we don't.
Stalks and all, I think.
-Oh, look at that.
-Should I take the onion out now?
-Yeah, take it out.
Right, are you ready?
I'm ready. This is a big moment, Kingy.
Look at that.
There's no lack of generosity...
-..in the amount of crab that's in this dish.
And this is the dark meat. And don't worry, just break the crab meat up.
By heck, that's rich, Kingy. I'll put my parsley in now, Si.
And just let those flavours just meld together.
-Now, at this point, mate, we'll float some butter into it.
Just sprinkle it up, and...
Just clear the decks in anticipation of our feast.
I think that's about ready, mate.
The funnel with a chunnel.
We don't want it TOO dry, do we?
No, because then what we're going to do is...
-That goes in there.
Boom. We'll coat that beautiful spaghetti in the butter.
Just gently push the sauce through the spaghetti.
-Right, Kingy, it's time to go on our holidays.
Now, this is home cooking.
Look at that.
That looks dead right, the amount of sauce to pasta.
That is wonderful.
The taste of Northumberland, with the crab,
the taste of Tuscany, with the spaghetti.
It's good to be home.
Britain has an army of creative chefs who, day after day, send out
sensational dishes to customers in their restaurants.
But back at home, what is THEIR idea of comfort food?
My name's Dave Coulson, I'm a chef, proud owner of Peace And Loaf in Jesmond, Newcastle.
Opening Peace And Loaf was one of the hardest things I've ever done.
Long days, we did all of the painting and stuff ourselves,
picked all of the pictures, got the kitchen ready.
Modern Geordie is our style of food.
Full-flavoured food, just with a little twist.
We just take our local ingredients
and turn them into something a little bit different.
My philosophy on food is buy as good ingredients as you can,
process them simply,
treat it with respect and you'll get good dishes at the end of it.
Thank you, Louis.
Canapes for two, please, one mackerel, one pie, two trout,
-one fries, oui?
Quite a relaxed kitchen.
We're all here for the same reasons, that's to cook lovely food.
It's, like, six chefs, and we are all barging for space.
We get along well. We've got a good team in there.
'Cooking is a great buzz when you have a perfect service.
'The whole team is on a high.'
We get cleaned down and go and have a beer. There's no better feeling, really.
Being a chef is everything to us.
We wake up early, we go to bed late, barely see our families,
but you still come and do it.
It's a passion for cooking great food for the customers.
When you see them enjoying it, it means something to you.
I'm very passionate about the North East,
Newcastle and County Durham.
We have loads of different cultures, we have Polish restaurants,
Portuguese, Jamaican, all serving brilliant food.
You don't have to be down south to be a good chef.
It doesn't matter.
Up north, we know that it's better than down there.
I love comfort food, which is obviously what I eat on my days off
and stuff. I love going for fish and chips at the coast and, like,
a beef burger. There's a lovely Chinese down the road
from the restaurant that does a mean chicken satay chow mein.
Most chefs, if they're honest, eat takeaway food, and 99p burgers -
it's easy, it's convenient.
Get home, get looked after by my lovely girlfriend Laura.
A real change of pace - I don't really do much around the house!
We've just had a little boy, as well, so we're looking after him.
It's hard work, as everybody knows.
When I'm at home, I cook completely different food.
I just knock up, like, steak and chips and salad.
I like a quick curry or stir-fry, or something like that.
Just things that only take 10, 15 minutes.
I'm making my version of mince and dumplings.
Every northern family's favourite.
This is the first dish I ever cooked for my girlfriend.
This is our family favourite.
I start with carrot and onion and leek in a pan,
and I sweat it down just with veg oil.
This is the longest bit, getting the vegetables cooked.
Dumplings is just two thirds self-raising flour,
one third beef suet,
and then just bake them on top of the mince mixture.
They go, like, soggy on the bottom, crusty on top.
When you look at dishes from across all the world,
everybody's peasant food is better than the posh food.
It's natural trying to make tougher,
cheaper bits of meat into something beautiful.
The more you've got to cook it,
the more flavour you're going to get out of it.
Brown the mince, add them both together.
Add stock, and just cook it out until the desired consistency.
A tablespoon of flour in there, to thicken...
Mashed potato - beautiful.
My favourite meal in the world is mince and dumplings.
It's warm, it's hearty, it's cheap to make, it's filling,
it's got everything. I would take it
to a desert island with us and eat it forever.
-Here you go, my love.
-Thank you very much!
'Learning about food has been the best journey I've ever been on,
'you know? Food is my life.'
-What are we doing, mate?
-Deep-fried ice cream, mate.
What on earth has that got to do with Northumberland?
Quite a lot, because we have a massive Italian community
in the North East
and in Northumberland particularly,
because everybody in the big houses in Northumberland
were the big industrialists,
and they got a load of Italians over to make the beautiful plasterworks
in their big country houses, you see?
I do remember you used to take me to that ice cream shop in Whitley Bay.
-There you go.
-It was superb.
So, there is a tradition of ice-cream making in Northumberland.
And this is why I thought
deep-fried ice cream.
Well, I'm working under instruction.
In this bowl I have crushed ginger nuts and desiccated coconut.
I suppose this is your crumbs for your frying, is it?
This is it. The most important thing is, about deep-fried ice cream,
is your ice cream balls need to be as tight as possible, because,
-you know, we're going to deep-fry them.
-They've got to be super-cold,
And we're going to put them back into the freezer.
You want them rock-like, don't you?
-I've got two eggs and I'm going to stir in some coconut cream.
So, I can see that we've got the Caribbean vibe coming on
with the rum, the coconut... I'm beginning to like this, Mr King!
You see? I know it sounds a bit bonkers, but it's not.
Do you know what, as well, mate?
I just thought it's a nice wintry recipe for ice cream,
do you know what I mean?
Because it's deep-fried and warm on the outside.
Most of us have got freezers, and I, actually, to be fair,
most of the time in my freezer,
-I have to wait for the ice cream to thaw before I eat it.
-Should I put the raisins on, Si?
-Would you mind?
No. So, the raisins go into a pan.
-How much rum would you like in there?
-About 150ml, mate, please.
-Well, you know what we're like up in the north, dude.
We don't do anything light.
-Two, four, six, eight...
-Right, I'm going.
-Put them in the freezer.
Yeah, I've got to put them back in the freezer.
-Don't be long.
Now, he said to put a teaspoon of cinnamon.
As soon as it comes to a simmer, I'm going to grate the zest of a lime.
-I don't want this to catch light because, if it does,
we'll take the kitchen out. So, I've got the cinnamon, the rum
-and the raisins.
-Perfect, mate, perfect. Right, now...
Well, I did some earlier, you see.
-They've changed character, haven't they?
-Right, we'd better be quick.
-We do. So,
into here first, and just scrunch it a little bit,
so you get a nice coating.
-Now, I've got my eggs and my coconut cream.
And it's back to you, isn't it?
Yeah. And you cover it again in the ginger nut and coconut mixture.
And you have to work quick.
That's one of the fundamental things with ice cream,
its propensity to melt.
-I'm getting it, though, Kingy.
-Are you getting it?
Yeah, yeah. I think those ice-cream balls need to go back in there
for a couple of hours to firm up.
I'll bash on with this, but don't linger. I know you -
once you go out there, that's it, I never see you again.
I mean, this is possibly the ultimate grown-up
rum-and-raisin ice cream sauce. Now, we turn the heat off.
I want the zest of a lime.
This needs to go cold.
And whilst the ice cream's getting harder,
this will be macerating all that lovely lime, cinnamon,
raisins and rum.
And those raisins are going to plump up and look absolutely amazing.
Do you know what, I'm beginning to like this recipe, you know?
But it's very odd being here on my own.
Right, now, we haven't finished with the sauce yet.
We're going to make a caramel.
Sugar. Do you know how we've always told you not to stir caramel?
Well, this is a little bit different.
So, we're taking 100ml of water...
..and we're just going to stir it until it looks like wet sand.
So, like that.
And then, we'll turn it up and let it turn into caramel.
Now, at this point we definitely, definitely do not want to stir it.
While that's going, you can see the bubbles now,
Dave's just swirling it around.
-And we don't want it to go to toffee, do we?
That's it, Kingy, look. It smells of caramel now.
We don't want it to go any more, so let's get that cream in.
Now, bearing in mind, when you put the cream in,
it is going to split and splatter.
Look at that. And this is very, very, very, very hot.
Now, this is what you call a rum-and-raisin sauce.
Now, we will have to wait for this to go cold
before we put it on the ice cream.
Now, THAT is a rum-and-raisin sauce of some calibre.
And as it cools, it'll thicken.
Oh, this is nice. I think the nice thing is,
we should serve this sauce warm, but JUST warm, just tepid.
Yeah, nice, nice.
Here we go, mate. So, these have been in the freezer again.
They are like rock. That's what you want.
That's what you want. The oil is preheated to 190 degrees,
and we're going to drop the three balls in at the same time,
and cook them for 15 seconds.
Take them out, set them aside.
-Are you ready? Are you counting?
-I'm counting, now!
That's the 15.
Oh, yes, golden and crispy.
A three-ball scoop of magnificence, Si.
-Shall we spoon some of this over?
-Oh, yeah, go heavy on the raisins.
-I just can't wait to taste it.
Right, let's do it.
Remember, the outside of the ice cream is crispy and red-hot,
and the inside is frozen solid.
The coconut's toasted, the ice cream's fabulous.
The sauce is immense.
Kingy, I'm not really an ice cream man...
This is the best ice-cream dessert I've ever tasted.
it's always a joint effort.
Nothing beats home-made comfort food,
but every now and then it's nice to have someone else cook for you.
Thankfully, all over the country
there are places that make us feel right at home,
and keep enticing us back.
My name is Mary Manley,
and we've been running this bookshop since 1991,
when we opened in only 800 square feet of the shop,
which has grown since to 8,000 square feet.
In 2008, our shop manager was looking around for space
for an office.
And he found space on the other side of the building.
When we walked in, it was this glorious room, really,
and I said, "This isn't going to be an office,
"this is going to be my buffet."
This building was built in 1888. Huge - it's 30,000 square feet.
The first room that was discovered, we changed into the buffet,
was a boiler room,
for boiling water to heat foot warmers that go in the carriages.
Then the next room we expanded into
was the gents' first-class waiting room.
And the third room is the ladies' first-class waiting room,
which still has the original marble fireplace.
We get a lot of regulars come in every morning, read the paper,
have breakfast. Some stay all day, some people come with their dogs.
What I wanted in the buffet was just simple, good food, local produce.
Creamy mushrooms and a quiche.
Simple but well done.
And people liked it.
And we grew.
Well, they're one of the best bacon sandwiches in town.
Plus, I have quite an affinity towards the place.
My father used to work on the railway,
and he's got his name up on the board along the side there.
And I have fond memories of coming here as a schoolboy, actually.
And also, we feel very proud of it, because so many people visit it,
and are so enamoured by the place,
that we feel it's part of us, as well.
It's been named by one magazine
as the British Library of second-hand book shops.
And the difference between this and the British Library is here you
can see all the books at once and handle them.
This cafe is wonderful.
You can take a book in, you can read it over a teacake and coffee.
The only problem is, you mustn't get the jam on the pages of the books.
That's frowned upon.
The thing I love cooking most is the macaroni cheese.
Cream cheese going in.
A lot of people say mac-cheese and they think of what they had
in school, but mac-cheese can be an art.
Put in our magic.
That's the cream reduction that has the herbs, the wine, the butter,
the whole lot, really.
Now we just add the sharp Cheddar.
Just warming the pasta through.
Boiled in water beforehand.
And in we go.
Sprinkle the crumbs.
And I love doing...
a simple dish like that, but really well.
That's what I'm after in our buffet.
The macaroni cheese is wonderful.
You get the bacon bits on the top.
They're really, absolutely divine.
Very nice American influence, I have to say!
The cafe is definitely an added draw for me.
It's grown so much over the years.
Whenever I come in, I like to come, sit at this table,
table number nine.
I've warned the staff that when I die, I'm going to come back
and haunt table nine.
Restoring the old station has been a great joy, the whole thing.
Restoring all the clocks and all of the architectural features of the
station. Labour of love, yes,
but we've a canny business idea behind it.
What we do is what brings people in.
I love it.
I really tell myself and think it's true,
the very kind of customers we have
are the same ones who used to come to the railway station.
Every age, every...class come here.
And that is what I aim for.
That, to me, says Northumberland, Kingy.
-Some of the best coldwater fish, I think,
in the UK comes from the North Sea.
We thought, we'll do a John Dory.
And then we thought, we might do a turbot.
Then we saw this brill.
-Look at that.
We've got a few bits and pieces to do.
We've got the most wonderful langoustines, mussels and the fish.
And they're going to be steamed,
which is like the purest form of cooking.
The first thing that we're going to do is
I'm going to give our beautiful brill a bit of a haircut.
So, it's just...
Take that off...
And then the same on the other side.
This is a celebration of what you have locally.
-What I love about brill, Dave, and I know you do, too,
the flesh of the brill is quite compact and solid,
and it flakes beautifully. And also,
it just imparts this wonderful, wonderful flavour.
I'm just going to make, like, the steaming vessel now.
So, I'm making sure that I've got
enough to wrap around.
Because we want to create some vapour...
..for the fish.
I'll put some oil on this side, Si.
-Yes, please, mate.
-So, some oil on here, and a little knob of butter.
-A couple there. A couple of bits of garlic.
And some zest, mate.
So, we've got, like, the strip of lemon peel, so we'll get the aroma,
but you're not actually eating the lemon.
Look at this. Gosh, there's some meat on that.
I've put some garlic just in its inside.
-And there's some more zest, mate.
-And some salt in here.
Some lemon zest.
Bits of garlic.
And now the steaming liquor.
You can use white wine, water, or vermouth.
Vermouth is, it's lovely.
So you want about 100ml of this.
I'm just pouring it around the sides, cos I don't want to take off
any of the seasoning that Dave's put on.
And it's almost cooking in this wonderful,
-kind of, nice, boozy steam.
-That's about there, mate.
And just gather your foil up.
We want to do what you call a tent.
We want the steam to be able to circulate around the fish,
which it will do.
So, we need to put this in now for about 15 minutes,
for a fish of that thickness.
The oven's being preheated to 200 degrees.
So, it's quite a fierce oven, but we want the steam.
-There we go. Now, we'll time this.
Again, what do we serve this with?
Well, you don't want to detract from the quality,
you want to focus your head on the langoustines, mussels and fish.
So, I'm going to do some game chips.
You know, just posh crisps on the side.
Basically, the first one's sacrificial,
and then you turn it 90 degrees, 90 degrees, 90 degrees 90 degrees, and,
look, we get these lovely perforated crisps.
And I'm going to do an aioli, which, fundamentally,
is really a garlicky mayonnaise.
In a bowl, take two egg yolks.
Just to start the emulsification, we're going to put a little,
little bit of lemon juice in.
A teaspoon of Dijon mustard in.
A little bit of salt. I'll give these a whisk.
Suddenly, when you start to make crisps or game chips,
you realise what a lot of crisps you get out of one potato.
The game chips are deep-fried at 190 Celsius until crisp and golden.
Now, a key ingredient with aioli is garlic.
So, we're going to put one lovely fat clove in.
And, you whisk it until the egg yolks change colour,
and they go slightly light, and then from that point
you start to add your sunflower oil.
Just in a little dribble every now and then.
And then I'm just going to add a little olive oil, just for flavour.
Whisk it in again.
A little touch of lemon juice.
And I think, mate, just have a taste of that and see if we're there.
Oh, yeah. I mean, it's going to be the richest thing on the plate,
but I think you leave that to people,
-how much they want to enrich.
-You forget, you know,
little garnishes like this add such a lot to a dish,
and they really are supporting players to that gorgeous fish.
Right, mate, I'm going to take this brill out.
-I've got my last batch on.
-So, at this point...
Oh, yeah, mate, come and have a look at this.
-We can put our langoustines on.
Yeah. Put our langoustines and mussels in.
That's an event, isn't it?
Absolutely. For people who are frightened of cooking fish,
this is a great way to do it, because it's simple.
How beautiful is that?
Now, more butter...
and then we're going to seal her up again.
Five more minutes, mate.
I think we've got enough game chips here.
Right, bit of a tidy-up, eh?
Yeah, and wait for the main event.
Now, this is a bundle of joy.
I'm so excited...
Oh, look at that!
See, Mr Fish, there you go.
Oh, come on, Si, at least let's get it on a plate.
There we have it.
Brill with mussels and langoustine from the cold waters around the UK.
It's completely brill.
-Drop of white wine?
Look at that.
When people say about opalescent,
white, flaky fish, that's what you want.
It's the best, Si. It really is.
Because the pure way we've cooked it, it ticks all the boxes -
it's moist, it's tasty, it's lovely.
It's one of those occasions, in cooking,
where you just let the ingredients speak for themselves,
because they are of such a high quality.
Cheers. Here's to Northumberland.
Here's to Northumberland. Cheers, mate, cheers.