Si King and Dave Myers explore Oxfordshire, where they resurrect a lost county recipe and cook it for the locals in Henley, and make cheese with rock star Alex James.
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We're on the road to find regional recipes to rev up your appetite.
-We're riding county to county to discover, cook and enjoy the best of British.
We're here to define the true taste of Oxfordshire.
-I'm in it!
-# South of the border
-# Down Oxfordshire way... #
-Guess where we are?
-One of the old English counties, you know?
-I don't know what we'll find.
-It was a county of great prosperity, great education...
It's a a blank canvas. I'm looking forward to filling in the dots and dashes.
-I am. Apart from that, I'm hungry.
-Shall we go?
-We shall. You look like a fly with those glasses on!
On our quest to define the true flavours of Oxfordshire, we head to a farm that is using
an army of local producers to take on the supermarkets.
That's real, proper home baking.
We unearth a forgotten Oxfordshire recipe
that we hope will prove a winner with the people of Henley-on-Thames.
Rock star Alex James reveals the secrets of making your own cheese.
And representing Oxfordshire in a cook-off is Emily Watkins.
Will we be able to beat her using the county's finest ingredients?
First stop, Oxford.
-These cobbles are a killer!
Oxford, city of culture, intellect and dreaming spires.
Never mind dreaming spires, dude, I know what I'm dreaming about - lunch. I'm starving.
Lunch will have to wait. We're going to the Covered Market.
They sell everything from cheese to chicory.
Surely this is the place to discover the real flavour of Oxfordshire?
What represents Oxfordshire for you?
-My favourite one is pheasant and venison casserole.
-Sounds good to me, dude!
-Don't be too hasty. We need something that's unique to Oxfordshire.
-There's plenty of inspiration here, though, isn't there?
-Look at those chestnuts. So plump and lovely.
-This is a fine collection of cheese as I've ever seen in my life!
-This is the local cheese, Oxford Isis.
-But this is washed with honey mead, so it's very special.
Everyone's skint at the moment. I'm making a stew tonight.
-You're lucky, having a market like this, aren't you?
All these great ingredients, yet no-one's come up with a traditional Oxfordshire dish.
This is desperate. We need advice.
We've got a meeting with this lady called Helen.
-She's an expert on Oxfordshire food.
-Where did you get her from?
-Pleased to meet you, Helen. I'm Si.
-Nice to meet you.
-It's not every day you get a date like this, over the internet, is it?
-So, would you say Oxfordshire is a really fine larder?
-It's a fabulous larder.
We've got a lot of mutton, we've got some brilliant pick-your-owns.
Strawberry time in Oxfordshire is magic.
I'll bet it is. What dish represents Oxford really well?
-We haven't got one big dish that says, "This is Oxford," as such.
-We've got the Banbury cake.
That goes back to the days of the Crusades.
-It's kind of like a sweet mincemeat.
Can I get you really excited?
-Yeah, go on.
-OK. Oxford sausage?
Now you're talking! Now, that's a girl!
How to make an Oxford sausage.
An 18th-century manuscript cookery book.
-This is like the Holy Grail.
-Hey, it's great, this!
You take equal amounts of pork good veal, and then an equal amount of suet.
-Sage, thyme, then things like nutmeg.
-This is good.
-It is good, isn't it?
-And you can put lemon and orange in, too.
-Is that OK?
-You're just the lass! Perfect.
We're on the trail of the Oxford sausage. We need to find out more.
It's a proper old butcher's. If anyone can tell us about the Oxford sausage, these people can.
Hello. I'm Si. Hi, nice to see you.
-Nice to meet you, hello.
-Could you tell us anything about the Oxford sausage?
It's an old traditional recipe.
You have minced pork, and you can also use minced lamb, minced veal or minced turkey.
-Do you do it here?
-No, we don't any more, unfortunately.
-There's been no call for it, so we stopped doing it.
-That's what we'll cook.
If we're successful, will you take it on?
-That's a deal.
So we're going to bring back the Oxford sausage to the people of Oxfordshire.
We'll serve it with a full English breakfast.
For the ingredients, we are heading to Foxbury farm shop that stocks only local produce.
We're going to meet Colin Dawes, a farmer who's turned his back on supermarkets and instead
promotes the community of cottage industries right on his doorstep.
-Morning, Col. How are you, sir?
-Hey, you've got a great place, man.
A great place. How did it start?
2001, when the foot and mouth came through, the place...
We had sheep everywhere and we just couldn't sell them.
-When we could sell them, we were getting something like £25 for a lamb, it was ridiculous.
So we ventured into the local farmers' market, and did that for the first time.
It was unbelievable. People actually wanted to get stuff fresh from the farm.
The nice thing about Foxbury is it's not just your stuff you're selling.
You've got little micro local producers. So Foxbury becomes part of the community.
We've got two or three other producers delivering today.
-We've got a honey man, Ian, dropping stuff off, and he's got all his bees on the farm.
-Very nice to meet you, sir.
-I've bought many things out of the back of a car, but never honey!
-Would you like a taste?
-Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
-Oh, look at that.
-It all comes from within about a five-mile radius.
-Oh, that's one of the nicest things I've ever tasted.
-Oh, that's fantastic.
So full of flavours.
So, Ian, how does the countryside here facilitate such fantastic honey?
Well, the farmers round here plant oilseed rape, field beans, you've get a lot of clover,
and that taste of those flowers adds to the taste of the honey.
That would send Winnie the Pooh into a frenzy, that!
-No wonder he got stuck in that hole!
-I'm gonna have trouble getting out of this car!
-This is Penny.
-Penny, how are you, darling? All right?
She's been making cakes for us for years. We'll leave her to you.
-Wow, look at these.
-How many cakes a week will you produce, Penny?
22 cakes and six sponges this week.
-That's quite a lot.
-Do they all go? Do they all sell?
We know with talking to Colin that he had a vision which has changed the community.
Has Colin's business changed your life?
Yeah, it's made my life, you know?
-I've not got a husband or anything, and I live to cook.
-That's real, proper home baking.
Penny, you're not frugal with your fillings, are you?
No. Don't stint on anything.
-If you're gonna make something, make it good.
So, for the Oxford sausage and breakfast...
Flour, Rollright Plain.
-Eggs, we need eggs.
-Yes, we do.
-Farm shops are the future.
One for crumbs and one for toast.
-I've no idea, but we always buy cream!
How are you? You all right?
You got any Oxford sausages?
No, but I've got the ingredients. Minced lamb and minced pork.
-Can I have a kilo of each, please?
-Morning, gentlemen. You all right?
-Do you butcher your own meat here?
-Yeah, we do beef, lamb and pork.
They come in as full carcasses, and then we butcher them all up.
-So how far's the slaughter house from where you are, then?
-The stress levels are zilch.
-Zero. Have you got any suet?
-Have that on us.
-What a nice man! Thank you very much.
-One tin of goose fat.
-Thank you very much.
All we need now is a few mushrooms, tomatoes, lemons and some herbs.
-Yeah. These are a nice size.
-Oh, look at these!
One of the nice things is that the herbs are in pots outside, and you just take what you want for nothing.
-Ooh, smell that!
-They can't, they're on the telly!
I know, but I've teased them!
Let's go and cook sausages!
Time to get cooking and serve up the quintessential Oxfordshire dish -
a skinless, tangy, spicy banger known as the Oxford sausage.
And the people of Henley-on-Thames look hungry. Let's get going.
-Hey-hey! Now, has anybody here heard about the Oxford sausage?
-It's your heritage!
-People think English food's bland. It really isn't.
-This sausage has lots in it. It's got suet to make it fat and juicy.
-Lemon zest, a main thing.
-It's a tangy sausage.
-Oh, it's lovely!
But we can't just serve a plate of sausages, so we're gonna do a big cooked breakfast.
And it can be quite rustic, this sausage.
We're doing it with pork and lamb mince.
I always get these jobs, me!
-No... All right, that'll do!
-We don't want it too bready.
-Look. Good Gloucester Old Spot.
Oh, man! How come I end up like this and you end up like that?!
It's a local pig, it's local lamb, it's local suet, it's local breadcrumbs.
-It's local breadcrumbs, all right! They're halfway up the street!
-Yes. This is lamb mince.
Now, proper shredded suet.
Bung an egg in.
The zest of a lemon.
Your Oxford sausage has a lot of sage in.
This is wonderful, purple sage. Ooh!
Smell it. It's good, isn't it? We picked that this morning.
Dave, don't give them any more. He'll be rolling it and smoking it next.
They're students around here. They all do that sort of thing!
What have we got there?
Season liberally. Now, obviously if I chopped this up
it'd be like a stick in the sausage, so you need to just
-strip these little leaves. That's where the flavour is.
-Right, I'm gonna put my hand in.
-It's a rural community, what's the matter with you all?!
So, what we need...
We need to make sure that all of
those ingredients are mixed really well together to form said sausage.
This is another traditional ingredient in the Oxfordshire sausage. It's nutmeg.
You can use it ground, but freshly ground's better.
By the way, a nutmeg will last for ten years.
It is, all over the back of my hand!
-Do you think that's enough?
-I think that'll do, dude.
It'll be all right.
-Oh, no! My ring pull's gone!
Story of your life, that, dude!
This never happens on telly, does it, except to us?
I've got it, dude, I'll do it in a minute. Hold on.
A top motorcycling tip - you can always waterproof your biking jacket with goose fat!
-It's always traditional.
-I'm not coming again!
If you were swimming the Channel, you'd be brilliant.
That's all right, that's gone. You'd never notice.
We're doing our bangers in goose fat
cos goose fat'll make them super tasty, as it does roast potatoes and everything.
Put some flour on the table.
I washed my hands first. I have.
Take a handful of this zesty sausagey goodness.
Now, there's no skins involved.
-Shall we have whoppers?
-Who's cooking them?!
You greedy lot!
-You're gonna love this.
Whether you like it or not, you're gonna say that you love it!
They look all right, don't they?
-Now, we can't just serve a plate of these, can we?
We need fine Oxfordshire back bacon.
-Fine Oxfordshire tomatoes.
-..fried in butter and oil.
-That was your cue. "Oh!"
-That's it. Well done.
-Ah-one, two, three, four...
Dude, I've got to tell you, they might have a bit of money, but they're slow!
Good Oxfordshire bacon.
Look at this! The Oxfordshire sausages are now going golden.
I've got some nice field mushrooms. I'll do those in some butter, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Field mushrooms are great because the butter and the oil,
give that lovely black gravy that soaks into your bread.
Just with one egg, they're staying together really well.
That's a lot of bacon for one breakfast.
It is, but there's a lot of mouths to feed, and some of them
have got a look in their eye that's starting to worry me!
So, whack this in the grill.
The Oxfordshire sausages are doing well, the mushrooms are bubbling down to a lovely caramelised-ness.
I'm dying to taste one.
-I must admit, I have never tasted an Oxfordshire sausage.
It's all about the timing, you know!
-Look at that.
-Look at that, done.
Hands are clean.
The star turn...
It's all framing the Oxfordshire sausage in all its glory.
-Davey, are you ready for the bacon?!
-Oh, we've got bacon as well!
Now this is a proper breakfast. Yes.
We'll let that fat dribble on the mushrooms in a provocative, Michelin star-like fashion.
Now, what have we got to do? We have to prioritise the sausage.
The sausage bit...
-A massive bit.
-What do you think?
-That's really nice.
-Nice, isn't it?
-Good old Oxfordshire.
-Delicious. Does it have some lemon in it?
It's good without the skin, and the lamb and the nutmeg really come through. Good flavour.
-It's a real tang on the back of the throat.
Give it a dip in the Oxfordshire sauce.
Oh, that's delicious.
-You can taste the nutmeg.
-Oh, look at that.
-Nutmeg, the lemon zest...
-You can get the zest as well.
Ask your butcher to start to stock the old Oxfordshire s-s-saus... That's easy for you to say!
It's really nice and light and the lemon brings out a good taste.
You better eat it. I'm just about to nick it!
Our Oxford sausage seems to have gone down a treat with the people of Henley.
But our next challenge is just around the corner.
As always, we're taking on one of the county's top chefs in their restaurant,
using local ingredients to see who can best define the taste of the region.
It will be up to local diners to decide whose dish best represents the true flavours of Oxfordshire.
Our opponent today is...
..Emily Watkins, owner and head chef
-of The Kingham Plough.
-Emily sources virtually all her produce from within ten miles of the pub
and trained under the watchful eye of Heston Blumenthal.
I started cooking professionally after university.
Italian cookery I've always been a big fan of, and so I got on a plane and went to Florence.
I had no knowledge of Italian, no CV. After two years of being in Italy, I started to get itchy feet
and my head chef said, "Where would you really like to go?" I said, "The Fat Duck".
Being at the Fat Duck was inspiring.
Heston was a very exciting person to work with, so open to a different concept of cooking.
He introduced me to sous-vide temperature bath cooking, which I'm implementing here as well,
but when you look into the science of cookery, all you see is the pluses for it.
Local produce is exactly what we are, it's everything.
We've a couple of guys who go out rabbiting for us, we get vegetables from round the corner, from Mr Cox.
The flavours speak for themselves.
What's your dish? What's the title?
The title? Locally-shot Partridge With Violet Potatoes.
-I thought you meant angry potatoes.
-Purple spuds, dude.
-This is partridge.
It's the beginning of the shooting season, so they're at their best, they're full of flavour.
-These were shot by my husband on Saturday and they've been hanging now for 24 hours.
The longer you hang it, the more intense the flavour will be.
The only reason I'm soaking it off is to stop the feathers flying everywhere.
I'll start off by plucking the partridges. Try and keep the skin intact
-but it's not the end of the world if it doesn't.
-That's a beautiful bird.
Now I want to get it ready to cook.
I'm taking off this part - the supreme.
The supreme is the breast with the wing attached to it.
I'm just going to pull down on the skin to keep the pressure on it, or it will slide all over the place.
I'm making a line across the back of the breast bone,
just like you would if you were doing a chicken or anything else.
Taking the wing with it.
The problem about game is that you can't tell where the guns have shot it and so sometimes you will find
that you've lost the wing or some part of it. There's nothing you can do about that.
You've got to accept it for what it is. Now you've got your breasts, bones and the legs.
The legs, we're going to put into a bag with some goose fat.
-Straight into the bag.
-There you are.
And just some herbs in there to flavour it. That'll be confit.
The breast, all those juices will stay inside. It will be really nice and juicy inside,
so we'll keep it together. There we go.
-Into the vac-pack bag.
Vac-pack. Vacuum pack. Like you would if you were buying a pack of salami in a supermarket.
By removing the air it will make it sink to the bottom
and it will allow no water to enter it when we go into the temperature bath over here.
We're going to cook it really slowly so it's not affected by any outside flavours.
There's 100% partridge in there.
I've set the bath at 57 degrees.
Higher, it starts to dry out. Lower, it's too pink, it's too rare. It's not cooked properly.
-I'm going to vac-pack these now.
-All right then.
So the confit, I'll put into the bath at 64 degrees, and the supreme at 57 degrees.
-I've never been that specific in my life.
-No! I have it just in for a bit!
The bones I'll roast off with some extra herbs to make a sauce later.
A bit of oil on there.
We'll caramelise that, get the lovely, sweet flavours out.
In the oven, very traditionally.
Leave all that to do its thing.
Basically, the bath is set so there's no possible way it can overcook now.
Is that something you did with Heston?
Yeah, very much so. He was the one who opened my eyes to this type of cooking.
-He doesn't sit there saying it's the only way to cook - he would never do that -
but he does say that there are huge benefits to cooking in this way.
The confit is cooked. I'll take it out and put it in a water bath, let it chill down straightaway.
Lots of ice in there. We can let that chill before picking it down to finish off the dish.
I'll prep up the chicken hearts.
I'm not taking off all the fat. There isn't a lot on them anyway.
I'm soaking them with a little bit of oil and some herbs to flavour them.
-Is that sage?
-Sage and thyme. Sorry, yeah.
-They'll be ready to go into a hot pan.
-A nice traditional flavour.
Violet potato dumplings. I'm going to cook them in their skins for two reasons -
one is to keep the nuttiness in there and one is to keep the purpleness.
-If you skin them, they bleed.
-They will bleed, yeah.
-Exactly. They will take a lot of cooking.
-Those have been on for an hour and a half.
-An hour and a half?!
How long do they take to cook?
About two hours. They are actually cooked when they still feel a little bit hard.
So, the potatoes are cooked now. Peel them while they're still hot, let any last moisture evaporate.
Pass them through the ricer while they're hot.
Because Emily handles hot food all the time, she has hands like asbestos. Chef's hands.
Yes. They feel no pain.
Don't touch them, don't squish them.
You can see the steam coming off. That's the last bit of moisture.
-Doesn't it smell of beetroot as well?
How mad's that?
Season that a little bit, and once they're cooled down, I add in an egg white per 750g of potato.
Nothing else. It's purely to help it bind together and it does very little to affect the flavour.
-Just the egg whites.
-You're very conscious of keeping the integrity of the flavours.
I just pureed these yesterday. Egg whites are already in there.
-It looks like Play-Doh!
-Luckily it doesn't smell like Play-Doh.
Roll it out into a sausage. Use a little bit of semolina.
Spread it out onto a tray, to put the dumplings onto.
They'll stick around the edge and help get a really nice crust around the edge.
-They're not being boiled like Italian gnocchi.
-How will you cook it?
-We'll saute them.
She's cut the dumplings on a cheffy angle, dude.
-It's still quite rustic, though.
Then we'll give it a little gentle shake in that tray so that they
all get covered with a coating of the semolina.
We'll get those out of the way until later.
Basically everything's now prepared.
We'll start getting the whole dish together, so get the confit, which has chilled down.
You can see that because the fat has set.
-Look at that!
-So there are the legs.
-That looks fabulous.
-Can I have a bit?
-Sure you can.
I have to say I was sceptical and I genuinely was, I wasn't just saying it,
but actually it is the application of common sense.
It's tender and juicy...
You've got the intensity of flavour you get with a regular confit
-but you have the texture, so juicy and moist.
So you've got a really hot pan here, a knob of butter
that will make it more nutty to help the nutty flavour of the dumplings.
-That's a very hot pan, isn't it?
-Very, very hot pan.
We want to get that albumen working, get them held together before we start messing around.
At the same time, we can get the chicken hearts in.
They want to be nice and caramelised.
Check the partridges, we're there. It's got to 57 degrees. There you go.
-Three boiled bags.
-I suppose it saves on washing up.
It does! Cutting it open.
-So you finish those off in a pan.
-Yeah. Get the partridge sauce on.
That's really thick jelly.
Where does that go now?
I'll just warm it through and bring it to the boil.
The partridge breast is ready, our pan's nice and hot.
The last thing is to get the clarified butter into our pans.
Partridge breast, it might spit so watch out.
Now we're gonna finish off the dish.
We've got the curly kale from a local grower.
We've got some butter into the water to make an emulsified butter
for the kale so we don't have to over-season it at the end.
I kind of quite like that technique of putting the butter in the water.
-I think we'll nick that.
-Yeah, we will. Say nowt, dude!
The sauce, we're gonna bring that...
-It's on the potatoes.
-Now I didn't expect that.
-They'll finish off cooking all the way through.
-Are you not worried they're gonna fall to pieces?
No. Now you've said that, they probably will!
Oh, look at the colour.
Put that there.
There are the partridges.
The last thing is add that bit of partridge confit
into the sauce, get that all the way through.
Then it's just plating it up.
That's such an intense green.
You want to make sure you've got a little bit of everything.
Dumpling, chicken hearts, confit, the whole lot.
And then all we need after that is a little bit of...
-Nah, I don't like it.
-It looks terrible(!)
-A little bit of the extra sauce.
I couldn't eat that. That's supercharged gravy, isn't it?
It is, yeah. There you go.
So...name that dish!
I'm representing Oxfordshire and this is the locally shot partridge
with violet potato dumplings and curly kale.
She's right, it's absolutely perfectly cooked through, but still juicy.
This kind of boil-in-the-bag techno thing really works.
We're going to have to watch ourselves and up the ante.
-This is Oxfordshire on a plate, isn't it?
But it's the locals who will decide whose dish is best in a blind tasting coming up.
Emily's partridge with violet potato dumplings was a true taste of the county.
Everything was so local.
We're heading to the home of Blur guitarist Alex James
to get some great local flavours with a rock'n'roll twist.
These days he's more into cheese-making than hell-raising.
# Lives in a house, very big house in the country... #
Come in, this is my shed, this is HQ.
-What a shed! Oh, man!
-Because cheese is the tastiest thing
in the universe, it's been at the forefront of the gastro-revolution.
I always loved it. They used to throw it at me in Japan.
They used to throw beads at Damon and cheese at me because they knew
that I liked it but it comes in tins in Japan so...
It's kind of weird.
My wife and I bought this farm on our honeymoon
and we moved right next door to the country's leading cheese expert, Juliet Harbutt.
-We decided we'd embark on a cheese-making extravaganza together.
You've drunk nearly all my milk in your coffees,
so we'll get some cheese out of that. Rennet, that's the special stuff.
-What is rennet?
Juliet. Hello, darling.
Look, they've drunk half the milk. We won't get much cheese out of that.
Just as well I have some spare.
I thought making cheese was difficult but it's not at all.
No. It's difficult to make a really good one.
It's easy to make a very simple one.
It might sound daft, but what is cheese?
Milk, which has curdled or gone sour, and the magic ingredient, rennet.
It's an enzyme found in the stomachs of calves.
Of any milk-fed animal.
It's often just a powder and you can buy these sachets so people can make cheese very easily.
The quantity of rennet you add is important if you're gonna age the cheese for a long time. That's a lot.
What temperature do we do that at?
65 but if you've got it just so you wouldn't want to put your finger in it, that'd be hot enough.
Stir it through.
What we've got here is proto-cheese.
If the cheese miracle has worked...
-Look at that!
That's the curds and the whey's coming out there.
-That's almost getting cheese-like.
-You got quite a lot of cheese out of that milk.
Yeah, it's quite productive.
A gallon of milk, you get a pound of cheese.
-It's not that tasty.
-It keeps its texture.
-That's not bad.
-It's not horrible, is it?
We all know how to make cheese now, I'm gonna do it with the kids!
If you eat enough cheese, after a while you become an expert.
We get through some cheese but we have...
I'm holding in here, I'm on the telly!
People think cheese is about 70% fat content.
-Do you have any idea?
-No, I'd love to know.
Cheese like this, which is quite soft and runny, it's probably 26.
-And the blue one is probably 30 and cheddar's only 34.
That's positively slimming.
This is a goat's cheese and won in its first year
at the British Cheese Awards best goat's cheese out of 111.
-There's a cream and softness to it that's lovely.
So this is Blue Monday. How many square cheeses do you know?
So we have...boom!
Look at that!
That is absolutely fantastic.
Love the texture.
We wanted to have something more like the European ones, slightly more moist.
-Dolcelatte and Gorgonzola.
-Cheese masters, how do you get the blue bits?
You sprinkle blue mould into the milk when you start and then once the cheese is made,
you have to pierce or poke the rind and by pushing the needles in, you let air into the cheese and...
-It feeds the bacteria.
-Yeah, and it goes blue.
-Nothing to do with copper wires whatsoever.
-Everybody thinks it's because of the wires.
-I did think it was copper wires, I must admit.
I think you could do really good dauphinoise with this cheese.
-I'd never thought of doing it with goat's cheese.
-Why don't we get some goat meat?
Yes! I tell you what we could do - a fantastic goat loin noisette.
-Can I come?
-Goat's cheese dauphinoise!
Brilliant, we'll do noisettes of kid
and using Alex and Juliette's produce, we'll make a goat's cheese dauphinoise.
But we can't leave without giving Si the chance to relive his rock'n'roll years.
Brilliant! That was great.
-Thank you so much.
There's a fruit that's been grown in Oxfordshire for centuries - the quince.
A local retired couple are determined to put it back on the food map.
We think Elspeth and Colin Wainwright's quince products
-might be the perfect finishing touch for our goat dish.
-So that's a quince!
I've got to admit, it's a new one on me in its raw state.
It looks like an odd hybrid between a pear and a lemon...
This one likes the Oxfordshire soil.
In Tudor times they were regarded as an aphrodisiac.
We have heard of people eating it raw occasionally, but I certainly wouldn't.
It's very bitter, very hard.
-It really needs cooking for about two hours.
It's really rather sharp.
What do you cook them in, Elspeth?
-So they change colour?
-That's the quince colour we know.
-You've got this nut and rose colour coming now.
-You don't skin it?
-No, you don't have to.
In fact, a lot of the pectin is just under the skin
so we don't add any setting agent to our jellies.
We don't add pectin. Grandma didn't.
She's very strong, it's quite heavy.
I feel like something from Lord of the Rings.
Cor! Did you build this yourself?
-We did. It's very Heath Robinson, isn't it?
That's it. Do we stand like this now, Elspeth?
For 24 hours, yes!
There's no pressure on that. You just leave it as it is.
-What a great process.
This is what we call the mash. This has gone through a sieve.
So you add sugar and lemon juice to this.
And you stand, sometimes up to an hour and a half, stirring it.
Eventually you have quince fruit cheese.
You get two products from the quince, you've got no waste.
Nobody can quite explain it.
If you do make it in too large amounts, you lose something.
Do you know what you lose? The soul.
-You lose the soul of it.
-You could well be right.
And this is the quince cheese.
Imagine that with your favourite cheese or meat.
-So rich, isn't it?
-That's the jelly.
-Would you like to have a taste?
-I'd love some.
Seeing as we're here...
It's just disappearing. It's as if it's going onto your
tongue, it's evaporating, and when it goes it's leaving this wonderful light fruit footprint in your mouth.
Can we ask your advice? We were going to do some goat.
Going to use the jelly to make a glaze.
Is there anything in the quince cheeses you'd recommend that would go with goat?
The outstanding one would be with the quince fig and balsamic vinegar.
Balsamic vinegar just gives it the edge, that slight tartness.
-We love you!
-Our secret weapon, Elspeth!
-For our contribution, we've scoured the county and I think we've got a winner.
-It's the potato.
No, we've got Oxford potatoes. We found it - it's goat and quince!
It's an Oxford goat, and we thought we'd make a dauphinoise, goat noisettes.
Dauphinoise? That's French.
It's kind of, you know, it's an amalgam.
We'll do carrots with caraway seeds, and we'll do broad beans.
But it's the locals who will decide whose dish is best in the blind tasting coming up.
So we'll put some beans on to blanche.
We're gonna get going with the dauphinoise.
Bring the potato backwards and forwards, and you get lovely thin slices.
Perfect for dauphinoise potatoes.
Now what I'm gonna do is season between layers.
Alex James' rock'n'roll goat's cheese. Just crumble that...
So what do you reckon? Do you reckon this is gonna work?
Yeah, I don't see why not.
Enthusiastic, you know.
No, it will be great.
I'm just chopping some garlic now.
That's gonna sit on top of the goat's cheese.
I'm gonna cut down the goat's cheese into me magnificent spuds.
So instead of just all cream on this, we're using half goat's milk as well.
-You just pour enough in till it comes to the surface.
Don't be mean, plenty of cream.
So it's basically just below the last level of potatoes, isn't it?
Yes. The goat's milk, I feel, will give us the edge.
I'm gonna put some more butter on the potatoes.
Just to make sure if the first layer didn't kill you, the last one will!
This is the caraway seed, a much maligned seed.
-Absolutely beautiful with carrot.
Caraway bread, lovely.
Bring to the boil. Then we're gonna puree them.
Goat's cheese dauphinoise.
Bang it in the oven, about an hour and a quarter, until it's golden and cooked and lovely.
Thank you very much. Here we are. The main event.
This is two loins of goat meat.
It's as fine as you like.
It's a bit like lamb. What we're worried about is it may dry out.
So we're gonna do little noisettes, wrap them in bacon,
sear them, then bake them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.
So they're still juicy on the inside, but a bit caramelised on the outside.
What we do for this noisette, we're gonna take two knuckles.
One knuckle, two, in depth. So we want about that size as a noisette.
That's what you call in the trade a twin knuckle noisette.
I'll show you why, cause that sits.
That's gonna sit lovely. As as Dave wraps it...
-So about that size.
-And because I'm clumsy, I'm gonna secure the bacon with a cocktail stick.
-I've got to admit, I think the sous-vide method of cooking would be great for this loin.
I'm just gonna bung it in the frying pan and sear it both sides.
I want the bacon crispy, but we'll do that in the oven.
I didn't toast the caraway seeds because I want them to be fresh.
I kind of want the caraway to be absorbed into that lovely flavour
of the carrot, so you taste more carrot than you do caraway.
-Sometimes if we do caraway in bread, we'll soak it in boiling water first...
-To toughen it.
The trademark big knob of butter.
-Perfect, Mr King.
-These are gonna go into the oven for about five minutes at about 180 degrees.
Take them out, let them rest, and then we're not too far away from plating up.
I've got my garlic sweating down in the butter to make me glaze.
I don't want that to burn though.
I have some hot oil here, cos I reckon a really nice finishing touch
is gonna be a crispy fried sage leaf.
The secret to good vegetables is not to overcook them.
Even though we're gonna puree them, I want to maintain the flavour. Now look...
There's a little snap to it, which means that...
-Oh, that's lovely.
-Elspeth and Colin's.
They're amazing. They're a great example of Oxfordshire ingredients.
They're brilliant. Just about half a jar of that and melt it down.
I'm gonna put some rosemary into that, some salt and pepper and a couple of teaspoons of beef stock.
I've drained the carrots with the caraway seeds.
I'm gonna pop them into a little liquidizer.
And at this point, because of the heat of the carrots, I'm gonna pour some butter in there.
I've put some rosemary in there now.
The jelly's melting. And the garlic and butter...
Kingy, the goat!
That just needs to rest now.
Can't you cope with your loveliness, dude?
-It's got bounce.
-Yes, nice. Nice.
Doing all right.
Into my glaze, I'm just gonna add a couple of spoonfuls of beef stock.
-It's all I've got!
-We're on the road, you know!
That's tempering the jelly to a glaze.
All that remains for this is to be seasoned.
These have been popped from their winter coat of hideousness.
That's why you want the green bits in the middle.
The other outside bits are chewy and horrible.
I'm gonna whack these in here.
Sage leaves, I'm just gonna deep fry those.
They're gonna go crispy and each one is gonna surmount me noisettes. It doesn't take a minute,
like popcorn. There you are, I've got me crispy sage leaves.
All that remains for me to do is to check the seasoning on the glaze.
Get your smackers round that.
Dauphinoise, if I cut a square out like that, and then the other square into three on there...
-Do you want a trick to do that so it doesn't move?
-Have you got a trick?
If you put down a board on top of it and cut round it.
She's got a trick.
If you press that down, the potato's not going to move and then you get a straight line.
Emily, you know we love you in all sorts of weird ways. Look at that.
It seems an awful convoluted way to cut a square of potatoes.
-It's working. It does work.
-I think it's imagination.
This is the quince glaze.
Yeah... Don't want much.
Look at the colour.
Now for the noisettes. Just take the sticks out.
-Quite healthy portions, aren't they?
-They are healthy portions, yes.
I mean, we wouldn't make any money if we had a restaurant!
-So you don't think that's going to melt?
We're not bothered really.
It's almost like having a little bit of chutney on the top.
A little crispy bit of sage leaf, again a texture thing.
That'll break down nicely with the rest of it. Nice textures there as well.
-There we go!
-The presentation there is very impressive.
-Thank you, chef.
There you have it, we've discovered Oxfordshire on a plate.
So the goat...
-How's it cooked?
-It's perfectly cooked. Pink in the middle.
-The flavours are great.
-Actually it was quite difficult to get the kid here.
Go on girl, keep chewing, keep chewing!
-She's like a dog chewing a caramel!
-The kid flavour was delicious.
The flavours are all very nice. There's a lot of them on the plate.
It's a powerful dish really.
The diners here will taste both dishes, but without any idea who cooked which.
First up is Emily's locally shot partridge with violet potato dumplings.
A taste of Oxfordshire in the flavour of the meat.
It was clearly fresh and very attractive.
The meat was good but very difficult to cut.
The first piece I had was chewy but the next piece was very tender.
I like the way the kale kept its colour.
I don't often have fowl with dumplings, so worthwhile to do.
Mauve potatoes? You expect potatoes to be creamy white.
Some mixed reviews there. We're next in the firing line.
Fingers crossed for our noisettes and goat's cheese dauphinoise.
I live in Oxfordshire and that's the first time I've had kid.
But I must say I'm going to have it again because I did enjoy it.
The flavours were really, really nice.
The meat was just slightly tough.
I found it lovely to eat, except the meat.
We love quince. I don't know if it's goat, but it's very acceptable.
Well, I loved the flavours, I really did, because I have a sweet tooth.
Dauphinoise, creamy and excellent.
Just the meat let it down, I'm afraid.
Hello, good evening. How are you?
Thank you very much. Good people of Oxfordshire, thank you very much for coming today.
We've worked hard in the kitchen.
We have, the three of us, haven't we?
We'd like you to choose which dish you prefer.
Either the partridge or the goat.
Now could we have a show of hands for the partridge, please.
So that's one, two, three, four.
Could we have a show of hands for the auld nanny, the goat, please.
One, two, three, four, five.
Actually Dave and I cooked the goat, Emily cooked the partridge.
But for us, Emily's the winner really, because we're not professional chefs.
We're cooks. Emily's the professional chef.
And we have to say we've learnt so much from you.
-That's very kind, sir.
-You've been such a generous chef.
It's been good fun having you.
That was a close call, and Emily was a great sport.
But without the stunning local produce, we'd never have done it.
Oxfordshire, what a fantastic county.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Series which follows the Hairy Bikers as they visit a different British county in every episode, sampling the best of local ingredients and meeting the people keeping culinary traditions alive. Si King and Dave Myers explore Oxfordshire, where they resurrect a lost county recipe and cook it for the locals in Henley. They make cheese with rock star Alex James and sample the local quince. Finally, they face a cook-off against top Oxfordshire chef Emily Watkins. Restaurant diners decide whose dish best defines the taste of their county.