Somerset The Hairy Bikers' Food Tour of Britain


Somerset

Si King and Dave Myers explore Somerset, where they cook a traditional county favourite in Bath, go wassailing in search of cider, and find a West Country herd of buffalo.


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Transcript


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-We're the Hairy Bikers!

-We're on the road to find regional recipes!

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We're riding county to county to discover, cook and enjoy the best of British.

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-Come on!

-Whey-hey!

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We're here to define the true taste of Somerset.

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BIRDSONG

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Ooh, go!

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-Crikey.

-Here!

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What's up, mate? What's the matter?

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Whoa, I've got a shiver up me timber, there.

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We've crossed a ley line.

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Somerset is full of them, you know! I got all whoa...

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Piffle and balderdash! You know I knew this would happen when we come down 'ere! You go all Glastonbury!

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It's gonna be great!

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-I've brought me sarong!

-There's so much more to Somerset than that!

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Look, we want to go and find food.

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There's the cider, the apples, the wassailing, and it's got the great Georgian city of Bath!

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It's Bath, and you never think of Bath in Somerset, do ya?

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You never think of Bath anywhere, mucky pup!

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Somerset is truly the land of the high hedgerow.

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On our quest to find the flavours of Somerset,

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we cook up a dish that shows off the best of the county's fare.

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We come over all Pagan and go wassailing,

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discovering just how important Somerset cider really is.

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-WAH-HHH!

-We get down and dirty in the fields to discover beetroot in all the colours of the rainbow.

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And representing Somerset in the cook-off is Richard Guest.

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Will we be able to beat him using the county's finest ingredients?

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-It's beautiful, isn't it?

-Absolutely beautiful!

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Look at the architecture, man. it's gorgeous!

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There's the Roman Baths where you go off for afternoon tea at the Pump Room, take the waters.

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Ooh, I could do with a steep... Hey, it is beautiful, man!

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It is. It's a city of refinement.

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-Culture in a box!

-'Ere, talking of culture in a box, what do you think?

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-Can you tell me fortune?

-What's them?

-This is a Sally Lunn.

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-A what?

-It's a cake. It's been baked since 1680.

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That is a piece of history.

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With grace, with grace.

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-It's a bun!

-Yeah!

-It's a bread bun!

-It's cinnamon. There's culture!

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-Cinnamon? There's no cinnamon in that!

-This takes me back in time.

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Hark, I hear the sound of hooves!

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Dick Turpin, I believe! HORSE WHINNIES

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What we're after is the iconic Somerset dish.

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We're very rich in agriculture.

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We've got great meat, great pork, great poultry here, good cheeses here. It's a rich land.

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-Apples...maybe with cider, that sort of thing, I think.

-Right.

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-You love your food, don't you?

-What's your favourite, then?

-Apples!

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-Ooh, apples!

-Apples!

-There you go, you see!

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So we can't ignore apples! Cider sounds popular, too! What else is there?

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Lots of goats' cheeses.

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-Cheese.

-Cheese?

-Yeah, cheese.

-You're the man!

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Cheese, and obviously the drink cider goes along with it!

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This is a Keen's Cheddar from Wincanton, so proper local cheddar made with great principles.

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They use all their own cows, they use proper cloth bounding,

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-and I was gonna open it for you guys here now, so...

-Oh, really?

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So you can taste it when it's freshly open.

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-That's the best time.

-Fantastic, yes!

-Slide all the way through.

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-That's a skill, isn't it? Now this is the good bit!

-Wow!

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-Oh, wow! Look at that!

-Like a proper cheese, you've got a bit of blueing

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and the taste now it's opened... This is about 18 months old.

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-Oh!

-Oh!

-It's got a grain to it... Oh, wow!

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-Yes, it's all there!

-The strong cheddars that you buy in the supermarket don't taste like that.

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That has no sense of bitterness or harshness.

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-That's left such a wonderful aroma in the mouth, hasn't it?

-Yeah, it's...

-It's still there!

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It goes on forever!

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Each day the cheese is different and you have to care for it and we've got, what, 180 cheeses here

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and each one you need to know when it's in its best form,

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when the cows are eating hay during the winter and it changes the taste of the cheese compared to the grass.

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-I've had some great cheddar before - never like that!

-No!

-That's the big cheese!

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We need to put all those suggestions together to make a great county dish

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and we think we've found a man who has the answer.

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-Probably ale pie or Somerset Chicken.

-What? Somerset Chicken?

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-It's like a chicken breast with, like, cheese, onion, a bit of mustard seed.

-Right!

-Really good!

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-That's interesting. It's got a bit of cider in it as well?

-Yeah.

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-It's got my Mojo going!

-We haven't done chicken for a bit!

-We haven't!

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Somerset Chicken could be the perfect dish to cook, you know.

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It combines all the ingredients the county is really famous for.

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The cheese has to be from the Cheddar Gorge.

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Our next stop is for cider.

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CHATTERING

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The West Croft Wassail follows an ancient tradition of blessing the apple trees for the coming season.

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We've heard the ceremony involves drinking lots of cider

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so tonight we've parked the bikes up and we're footloose and fancy-free!

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TRADITIONAL MUSIC PLAYS

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-You're not John, by any chance, are you?

-Indeed I am!

-Hee-hee, what a result!

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-How are you, John, nice to see you!

-I've heard that your West Croft Cider is the best cider you can get.

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So they say, yeah. We've won a few prizes, a few awards.

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-Any chance of...?

-Chance of a taster here, yes.

-Thank you very much.

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Straight out the wood. That's the dry one.

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-Cheers. Your good health.

-Cheers.

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-This is the smoothest cider I've ever tasted!

-It is. It's wonderful!

-There's no bite to it.

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Yes, we use bittersweet, which provides a high sugar and a smoothness and a quality.

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Why is Somerset so good for apples?

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We've got the best climate and the best soils.

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-Here and Hereford are probably the two best regions in the world for growing cider.

-Sure.

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There's a good buzz. There's eccentricity.

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There is a buzz about wassailing night. You've seen the weather -

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it's 80 mile an hour winds, rain and still everyone turns out for it.

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-It's amazing!

-What is wassailing?

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Wassailing, the trees have gone to sleep, it's the middle of winter

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and we need to wake them up so we put toast in the trees to attract the robins

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who are the incarnation of the good spirits, then we make a lot of noise to discourage the evil spirits.

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ALL: Yeah!

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Tonight, the traditional day for the wassail!

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That man's John. He's the Chief Druid.

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We've got something to celebrate here and we're gonna scare those evil spirits away!

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-Oh, we get to shout now, dude!

-YEAH!

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-..two, three...

-CHEERING AND SHOUTING

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Thank you all for that,

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and what I'm now gonna do is ask some Morris Men if they'll sing us a traditional Somerset Wassail song.

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THEY SING A TRADITIONAL SONG

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Fantastic! Proper Old English rural country culture! Brilliant!

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We've got just enough cider left to use in our Somerset dish

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and we're cooking for a hungry crowd at Bath's Farmer's Market in the former Green Park Railway Station.

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We're making Somerset Chicken, a traditional dish which combines all the county's favourite exports.

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It's cheddar cheese-topped chicken breasts in a creamy sauce of onion, apple and mustard.

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Don't forget the cider!

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Somerset hospitality is remarkable on account of you produce lots of cider and lots of apples.

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Now, the thing is, we've been slightly tiddly since we got here!

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-Makes us chuckle a lot!

-It does, doesn't it!

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We'll do an old-fashioned Somerset dish called Somerset Chicken

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and it puts together kind of what we think are some of the best flavours of Somerset. We have...

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-Cheese.

-Proper cheddar cheese, the most famous in the world and...

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-Our new best friend, cider!

-And...?

-Apples!

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So Somerset Chicken is a recipe that comes from the Georgian times.

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It does. Put some oil in a pan, like that.

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A lovely supreme of Somerset free-range chicken.

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We're gonna sear and seal the chicken breasts, OK?

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It speeds up the cooking time and gives them a nice crust and a golden finish like an orchard in Autumn.

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-It doesn't take long, does it?

-30 seconds a side, something like that?

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I've just put some oil in that roasting tin.

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Our sauce for our Somerset Chicken is gonna be made in this pan as well so we don't lose any flavour at all.

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-Yeah. When you're cooking, you shouldn't waste anything.

-No.

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I've been handling chicken so for the complainers at home, I will now wash my hands.

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I predict this will be one of those dishes people do again and again.

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That's the sort of colour you want on the skin, just nice and gentle.

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Just put this in a medium-hot oven for about 20-25 minutes to roast through.

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Now then, what I want to do is put a big knob of butter in this pan, like that.

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-Shall we have an onion race?

-Ready, set, go.

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-Look at that, done!

-You've only done one!

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I've already done the other one!

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Stop!

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Running out of steam?

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-Well, I thought I'd do it nicely, you know!

-Mine's nice, but fast!

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So just to stop that butter burning, add a little bit of oil.

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Because you want these onions just to go transparent, not to colour.

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-There we go.

-We need to keep that stirring, don't we?

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Couple of apples peeled and...

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-Yeah, I'll do...

-Two or three?

-Let's put two in.

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The variety of apples that you have in Somerset is remarkable.

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These are russets, aren't they?

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-I'm chopping some button mushrooms.

-Do you have to use button mushrooms?

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No. It'd be nice with wild mushrooms.

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You know, like chanterelles or porcini would be fabulous.

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You could go posh, couldn't you? I think we're trying to keep it to proper Somerset.

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You know what, you can either get from your farm shop or what you could buy locally really easily.

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-You can't rush an onion!

-No, you can't!

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What you're doing is, there's an acid in onions, isn't there?

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There's a harshness, and by doing this, you're getting rid of that.

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-I think they're there!

-Right. So now this sauce,

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the runny bits are made from cider, stock and double cream

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so if we did it with that, it would be very runny so we're just gonna put some flour in.

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-Go on, then!

-One...

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..two, three!

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-That will be nice, do you think?

-Yeah, that will be lovely!

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It's going to be a stick-to-your-ribser, this!

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And what's good about doing it this way, you're absolutely guaranteed it's not gonna be lumpy!

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LAUGHTER

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-There's also tradition in this dish. A couple of teaspoons of wholegrain mustard.

-That's lovely!

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-That's enough?

-Yeah, absolutely!

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Do you reckon we should add the apples and the mushrooms now?

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Yeah!

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Come down here! Now for those of you that are at home and not here, get a bigger pan!

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So what we'll do now is just cook the flour out a little bit.

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If you don't, the sauce will taste floury, but because of this, it won't,

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and now the juices will sweat out the apples,

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the mushrooms will start to drop, then we can start building the yum-yum sauce.

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First off, some really good chicken stock.

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About 250ml.

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Next, it's the other icon of Somerset - cider.

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It doesn't come in a bottle, it comes in a plastic thing!

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-Just tastes good!

-It does, it's brilliant!

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You know you cook with fine wines? This is the equivalent of cooking with a good Chablis.

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It is, absolutely!

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Look at that!

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Just put a bit of pepper in for seasoning. Have a taste of that.

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-Yes!

-Ooh, that's lovely! Right, ready for the last two ingredients.

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-Excellent!

-Some fresh sage.

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Now I'm putting that in near the end because I don't want it to cook too strong.

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Stir that in. Lovely.

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This is the consistency that you're after, before the cream goes in!

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Whoa! And this dish would work equally as well with pork. Pork chops would be fantastic!

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-Ooh, yeah!

-Right, cream!

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Good Somerset cream.

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..And then just stir that through, nice and gentle.

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Cheddar cheese. It is one of the wonders of the world, isn't it!

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So you want copious amounts of this, grated.

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-Let's get the chicken out now.

-All right.

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Oh, look at that!

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-Chicken breasts look lovely...

-Just check it's cooked through. Perfect!

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Absolutely perfect!

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Now, that sauce goes over that roast chicken.

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This is a nice kind of Wednesday night supper, isn't it?

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-Ooh, it's brilliant!

-You know, in front of the telly!

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The Hairy Bikers are just about to come on,

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so you make your Somerset Chicken, you sit down, cos you know it's gonna make you hungry,

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-but now you've got this, your armed for the night, aren't you?

-Oh, look at that!

-Yum-yum!

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I think that's enough, don't you? Lovely!

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We top with that fantastic grated cheddar.

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Go on, mate, shimmy that plate, shimmy that plate! Oh, lovely!

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Now we just stick that under the grill until the cheese goes golden and starts to bubble

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and hey presto, there's your dinner!

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Now then, time has passed in the land of telly...

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And hopefully, under the grill, bubbling will have taken place and golden-ness happened.

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-Shall we?

-We shall!

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-Ooh!

-Oh!

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Look at that! It's cheddary!

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-It's hot!

-It will be, it's just come out of the oven!

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-The colours...

-Oh, now look at that!

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Aw, hey, and just for decoration, Somerset Chicken!

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Ooh-aah!

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This traditional county recipe was really easy to make,

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-but what will the residents of the county think of our take on the dish?

-Dish up and dig in!

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Good, eh?

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-I love it!

-Good, that.

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-We're not gonna let you leave the county now.

-What do you reckon?

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Absolutely delicious! You can really taste the flavours in there.

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Really nice, really rich. Fabulous. Absolutely love it!

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You like it. You've not said a thing since you got your finger in it!

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-Very, very nice!

-Isn't that delicious, girls!

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-Very happy?

-LAUGHTER

-Look at that!

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They licked the bowls clean!

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Mmm, Somerset Chicken! We'll be making that one at home, then!

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As always, we're taking on one of the county's top chefs in their restaurant,

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using local ingredients to see who can best define the taste of the region.

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It would be up to local diners to decide whose dish best represents the true flavours of Somerset.

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Our opponent today is...

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Richard Guest, Head Chef of the Castle at Taunton.

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Now Gary Rhodes and Phil Vickery both made their names here.

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Richard believes that Somerset produce is best

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and sources most of his ingredients within a 15-mile radius of the restaurant.

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In the ten years I've been here, I learn something every year from the people that supply us.

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These are rural people. They grow vegetables for themselves, they farm for themselves as well as for money.

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These people understand food. It's warmer down here than it is in Scotland and the north of England

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so it gives them a more diverse approach to what they can grow

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and I think that puts us leaps and bounds above the rest of the UK.

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I want to cook British food,

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but I also want to make things that might be of French origin, but I want to use regional produce.

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In my mind, that makes it British, and it's a circular money thing -

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we're keeping people within the environment of The Castle in business.

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It's important customers don't think I'm a smart-arse who swaggers around the hotel with my name on my jacket.

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One of the important things I've instilled is we're humble and stay downstairs. We don't mingle!

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I'd hate to think that I took myself too seriously. You know, I'm a cook...

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To take on the Hairy Bikers, my taste of Somerset is a celebration of West Country Beef.

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-What are you cooking, Richard?

-Beef, in all senses of the word.

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-We're gonna do Oxtail Pudding, braised oxtails there. We've got faggots...

-Yeah?

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-Fillet steak to posh it up a bit.

-Yeah.

-And we're gonna cook a celebration of West Country Beef.

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-OH! Moo!

-Moo!

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-I'm gonna put some plastic gloves on.

-Last time I saw them was in Her Majesty's Customs in an airport!

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-I wasn't happy!

-Did you get that bottle of Mescal through?

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Oxtail is one of my favourites.

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The meat itself was quite mature so we cook these for about three hours,

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but if it's a bit younger, it takes 4½ hours.

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It's just cooked in gravy, no wine.

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It's got a big bouquet garni in there, with bacon fat, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme,

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parsley stalks all wrapped together in a big lump of bacon, tied up.

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-You're not afraid of flavour?

-No, not at all.

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We try and avoid too much wine because we're more about gravies here than we are about wine.

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Bit of jus in there. There's nothing unusual about the suet paste.

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It's half suet to flour, heaps of it, bit of chopped parsley, a bit of salt and water to bind

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and we stick one egg yolk in at the end, which is our preference, but we find it gives it a better crust.

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-Right.

-It's great watching you fill these moulds using a rolling pin.

-We have small aluminium moulds.

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Fill the puddings, put some jus in.

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So, stick it, mould it round the edge,

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then with your rolling pin, see how it's coming away from the edge of the dish, so it's not gonna stick.

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-It's perfect!

-Look at that, man, hands of an angel! Look at that!

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Little prick in the top just to get the air out of it.

0:18:330:18:35

If we don't get the air out there, it's gonna burst round the edges.

0:18:350:18:38

Tin foil. Quite a lot. We don't want to get any steam in there.

0:18:410:18:44

What we'll do next is the faggots.

0:18:440:18:47

-In here I've pre-minced this because it wasn't pretty!

-What have we got in there, Richard?

0:18:470:18:52

Kidney, liver, lights, heart, a bit of pork shoulder to give it some body,

0:18:520:18:57

some breadcrumbs and a bit of suet fat to add some more suet to it.

0:18:570:19:01

15 minutes.

0:19:010:19:02

-15 mins?

-Right, faggot mix.

0:19:020:19:05

Lots of offal. Seasoning-wise, we've got onions that've been caramelised with some garlic as well,

0:19:050:19:11

salt, black pepper and nutmeg.

0:19:110:19:13

We try and not compress these too tightly when we wrap them in the cold webbing.

0:19:130:19:17

-So what is sheep cling-film?

-It's the bag that holds the intestines in.

0:19:170:19:21

-It's then been bleached and brined, so it's cured, essentially.

-Yes.

0:19:210:19:25

That's a great, great tool in the kitchen, isn't it?

0:19:250:19:27

But only one layer - other than that and it starts to get chewy.

0:19:270:19:30

-Right, faggots going in the gravy.

-Aah, look at this, man!

0:19:320:19:35

-How long will you poach those for?

-12 minutes, then rest them in the juice for five minutes.

0:19:350:19:40

Right, puree, mushroom puree, button mushrooms.

0:19:400:19:43

These are cooked mushrooms. The firmer and harder, the better.

0:19:430:19:46

-Yep.

-The softer it is, the more of that it's gonna soak up. It's gonna make the puree greasy.

0:19:460:19:51

-So what's that, Richard?

-Just plain oil... Well, sunflower oil, to be fair.

0:19:510:19:56

-As it's cooking, we're adding a little bit more oil at a time.

-Right.

0:19:580:20:01

If you put loads of oil, in you've no idea

0:20:010:20:04

how much oil the mushroom can soak up. It's gonna get greasy.

0:20:040:20:07

I haven't put any salt in yet. As soon as I do, I'm just gonna fill the pan with water

0:20:070:20:11

then we'll reduce that water down until the mushrooms are almost cooked.

0:20:110:20:15

-I remember that one!

-Yeah? Cream in here.

0:20:150:20:21

-The salt went in right at the last minute. See how these have puffed up?

-Oh, yes, beautiful!

0:20:210:20:26

-Going all dry and fluffy.

-Yeah.

-The cream's gotta come right down.

0:20:260:20:30

it's gonna get a lot of motion as well, as it's going to be blended up.

0:20:300:20:33

-It's four horsepower...

-Is it?!

-Yeah!

0:20:330:20:36

I've got a smaller engine than that on my dinghy!

0:20:360:20:38

-Put peppercorns in, it'll set them on fire!

-Crikey!

0:20:380:20:41

-I'll turn it on first. Are you ready for some noise, guys?

-Yep!

0:20:410:20:44

MACHINE WHIRRS RAPIDLY

0:20:440:20:48

That's mushroom. We're gonna sear these.

0:20:510:20:54

Fillet steak, decent heavy pan. You want that to hold its heat,

0:20:540:20:58

not too much oil but again, those that will tell you to put the tiniest bit of oil in,

0:20:580:21:02

it's never gonna caramelise. You've got to put some oil in the pan...

0:21:020:21:06

A bit of salt. I'm not gonna put any pepper on this.

0:21:060:21:08

I put pepper on after it's cooked.

0:21:080:21:10

-I don't like to burn it, and a lot of peppermills just...

-Now, you've put that salt side down,

0:21:100:21:15

-haven't you?

-Yes, yes, straightaway. You don't want to draw the moisture out.

0:21:150:21:20

No more salt on that until we turn it.

0:21:200:21:22

We're about good to go. A bit of salt. Just brown the sides.

0:21:220:21:28

So what is your attitude when a customer comes in and wants a well-done fillet?

0:21:280:21:32

It's their money, isn't it?

0:21:320:21:34

They earned it, they worked hard for it, if they want it, they can have it well-done.

0:21:340:21:38

It is upsetting, because it's just... It is upsetting! Right, blue, you see it's blue?

0:21:380:21:44

-Yep.

-I'm gonna pull that off and I wanna turn it and rest it so the juices stay in the pan

0:21:440:21:49

-so I've got the juices to go in there.

-Yeah.

0:21:490:21:52

So we're constantly making gravy.

0:21:520:21:53

Right, mushroom puree.

0:21:530:21:55

Let's just get the rest of this out here. Looks good to go.

0:21:550:21:59

Just before that goes, we'll add a tiny knob of butter.

0:21:590:22:01

We've got some pomme puree, which is just basically

0:22:010:22:05

-creamed-down Maris Pipers with a lot of butter and we've got some onions.

-Onions?

0:22:050:22:10

We candy them, but instead of just plain water, sugar and spices we use sherry vinegar in this.

0:22:100:22:15

It adds a warmth to the flavour.

0:22:150:22:17

We've got brown, yellow and black mustard seeds in there, a bit of cinnamon, a bit of star anise.

0:22:170:22:22

The steak is resting nicely.

0:22:220:22:24

Vegetables, we've got some young carrots.

0:22:240:22:27

These have been boiled in the skin and just scraped, young turnips,

0:22:270:22:30

-they've just been braised in butter and look at that.

-It's still alive.

0:22:300:22:34

This is very simple.

0:22:340:22:35

I want a bit of cream and a big dollop of horseradish.

0:22:350:22:40

Carrots, turnips, purple sprouting.

0:22:410:22:45

We're just coating that. A bit of salt, touch of white pepper.

0:22:450:22:49

They're good to go.

0:22:520:22:53

I'll put those in a cooler pan and then we've got all that juice to go in there.

0:22:530:22:57

-Now that's like us, we never waste any flavours.

-Travesty, isn't it!

0:22:570:23:00

Pass from one to the other.

0:23:000:23:02

And just smash through a bit of parsley.

0:23:020:23:04

Flat parsley I think is my favourite herb, whereas the curly parsley

0:23:040:23:08

-you need to generally chop it in advance.

-Yes.

0:23:080:23:10

-It tends to lose its flavour.

-Yeah.

-Shall we plate up?

0:23:100:23:14

Aah, look at the puddings on him! Ooh, look at how he's plating this up!

0:23:140:23:18

I'd worry about the calories in this.

0:23:180:23:20

Yeah, that's never a balanced meal this, is it?

0:23:220:23:25

And now we've got the fillet.

0:23:250:23:26

-Cut at a jaunty chefy angle!

-That's a plate of food, isn't it!

0:23:260:23:32

And popped on the side, a plump juicy faggot!

0:23:320:23:36

And dropping off his faggot is a cascade of candied onions.

0:23:370:23:42

A bit of jus. We'll serve the sauce apart so it doesn't skin over.

0:23:420:23:46

All that in a gravy boat, creamed potato and side dishes on the side.

0:23:480:23:52

That's your take on Somerset cuisine then, yeah?

0:23:520:23:55

-Yeah!

-Somerset on a plate!

0:23:550:23:58

-Right. It looks...

-Fantastic!

-It looks fantastic!

0:24:010:24:04

-Should I?

-Yeah. That is perfect.

0:24:040:24:06

-Somerset Beef, bring it on!

-That is just amazing with the...

0:24:060:24:11

-Mushroom puree.

-The mushroom puree and the beef.

0:24:110:24:13

Horseradish mixes in nicely with the beef and the mushrooms.

0:24:130:24:17

Do you think it's too generous?

0:24:170:24:19

-Personally, this is our type of food, isn't it?

-Yep.

0:24:190:24:22

-So, it's hard to be objective, because it's brilliant!

-Yeah.

0:24:220:24:25

However, we know what we've got to do. Quality, not quantity!

0:24:250:24:29

But it's the locals who will decide whose dish is best in a blind tasting coming up.

0:24:290:24:34

Richard's three ways with Somerset beef was fantastic

0:24:340:24:37

but to take him on, we found one of the county's best-kept secrets.

0:24:370:24:41

We've heard that Tony and Jane Corpe are breeding water buffalo, right here in Somerset!

0:24:410:24:48

I've never cooked a buffalo before!

0:24:500:24:52

-Me neither!

-It's not all apples and cider!

0:24:520:24:56

No. It's west-country water buffalo!

0:24:560:24:58

An electric fence keeps them in.

0:24:580:25:00

-Are we switched off?

-Do you wanna go over or under, or?

0:25:000:25:04

Over. Tony, have you ever had a stampede?

0:25:040:25:08

Not quite! It's something a bit different for Somerset!

0:25:080:25:12

And yet because of all the Westerns we watch, they're so familiar!

0:25:120:25:15

They always stay in a bunch and they've got lovely eyes.

0:25:150:25:19

They have, they have! Do you treat them the same as beef, or is it...?

0:25:190:25:23

-Very similar.

-Right, and what's the meat like?

-It's much tenderer than ordinary beef.

0:25:230:25:27

-Oh, that's a good thing!

-And it's 40% lower in cholesterol than beef.

0:25:270:25:31

It's lower than chicken.

0:25:310:25:32

-Wow!

-Wow!

-What made you go for water buffalo?

0:25:320:25:36

Well, I bought them with the intention of milking them to make mozzarella cheese.

0:25:360:25:40

-Yes?

-Because I've been a dairy farmer all my life, up until about 13 years ago.

0:25:400:25:45

We bought 22 and a bull and we've reared them up and gone from there and now we've got just about 200.

0:25:450:25:51

-Would you like to come in and meet Barry a minute?

-Yes!

-And see some of the meat!

0:25:520:25:56

Wow, look at that! Is the fat similar to beef?

0:25:560:26:00

Yes, but it's very white, not like ordinary beef which is very yellow.

0:26:000:26:04

-How long do you hang the meat for?

-Three weeks.

0:26:040:26:07

You cut them exactly the same as ordinary beef.

0:26:070:26:09

Silverside there, your rump runs through there and the sirloin runs through there

0:26:090:26:14

and they don't produce so much meat as ordinary beef.

0:26:140:26:17

-Oh, right.

-They are a unique animal.

-Yep.

0:26:170:26:20

It's cutting like butter!

0:26:200:26:21

-Buffalo fillet, all trimmed, ready for use.

-Excellent!

0:26:210:26:24

What we ought to do is take you indoors and let you try some!

0:26:240:26:27

You're talking our language now!

0:26:270:26:30

-This is Jane, my wife.

-Hello, I'm Dave. Pleased to meet you.

0:26:300:26:33

-Hello Jane, I'm Si.

-How are you?

0:26:330:26:35

Here's some fillet they would like you to cook.

0:26:350:26:38

We're buffalo virgins... never cooked a buffalo before!

0:26:380:26:41

Right, see what we can do. My way of cooking it is I just oil it both sides with olive oil

0:26:410:26:46

and then salt and pepper it into a really hot pan, both sides very quick.

0:26:460:26:50

-Do you reckon two minutes each side, Jane?

-That's what I do.

0:26:510:26:55

-Right. I can smell it already!

-Yeah you can.

0:26:550:26:57

Two minutes.

0:27:000:27:01

Mmm.

0:27:030:27:06

-I think that's ready now.

-Bang on!

-Bang on?

0:27:060:27:08

-OK.

-OK, take it off and let it rest.

0:27:080:27:10

The anticipation is killing me!

0:27:110:27:14

-Yeah, that's lovely!

-Oh!

-But that's really quite rare.

0:27:170:27:22

-You get the best out of the fillet.

-I think so.

0:27:220:27:25

-We need to eat more.

-Yeah, all right.

0:27:250:27:27

Go on!

0:27:270:27:28

# Oh, give me a home Where the buffaloes roam. #

0:27:280:27:31

Voice like crystal!

0:27:310:27:33

Breaks anything!

0:27:330:27:34

LAUGHTER

0:27:340:27:36

Jane's cooking has really whetted my appetite. Let's cook a water buffalo fillet with a marrowbone crust...

0:27:370:27:42

Brilliant... But we need to serve it with some home-grown county veg.

0:27:420:27:47

Time to pay a visit to market gardener, John Rowswell.

0:27:470:27:50

Supplying some of the UK's top chefs,

0:27:500:27:53

John grows around sixty varieties of veg, including beetroot...

0:27:530:27:56

a traditional Somerset speciality.

0:27:560:27:59

Last year we planted these wonderful globe artichokes.

0:27:590:28:02

And that's these?

0:28:020:28:03

Yeah. We've looked after them all summer.

0:28:030:28:06

We're gonna be producing hundreds of them.

0:28:060:28:08

This is some of the finest soil you'll ever find.

0:28:080:28:11

It's a really sandy loam, you can't grow without some manure.

0:28:110:28:15

You've got to keep adding something to it and then it will grow anything.

0:28:150:28:20

The trouble is, it's growing loads of rabbits.

0:28:200:28:22

We were going out ferreting. We've had the first ferreted rabbits baked in cider in stock

0:28:220:28:27

with onions, some of our golden beetroot, pink, absolutely gorgeous.

0:28:270:28:31

-Aah, beetroot we're interested in.

-We are.

-There's no shortage!

0:28:310:28:35

These rows here go on for about three miles and we're gonna pull a few now to show you the beetroot.

0:28:350:28:40

We've got a lovely pink root.

0:28:400:28:43

-Look at them!

-What type of beetroot are these, John?

0:28:430:28:46

They're an Italian variety.

0:28:460:28:51

-They're a beautiful colour inside.

-Wow! It's like aurora borealis!

0:28:510:28:55

Listen, man, it's all tie-dye round in Somerset and Glastonbury...

0:28:550:28:59

even the beetroot are tie-dyed, dude, it's great!

0:28:590:29:01

Yeah, absolutely, they're psychedelic, literally!

0:29:010:29:04

So, John, that's a candy beetroot?

0:29:040:29:07

-Yes. Let's go and see the golden.

-That would be great!

0:29:070:29:09

-There's a world of beetroot I didn't know existed!

-Brilliant!

0:29:090:29:14

Well, these are the golden beetroot. This is the Burpee's Golden.

0:29:140:29:18

This one here... the germination is poor.

0:29:180:29:20

You're putting in one for the rook, one for the crow, one to rot and one to grow, so you put in enough seeds

0:29:200:29:26

so that the crow's got one, one rots, and one grows and then at the end of the day you've got enough.

0:29:260:29:32

Let's look inside.

0:29:320:29:33

-Right, there we go.

-Wow!

-Now that is a real golden.

0:29:330:29:36

Wouldn't it be great to get the different beetroots and put the colours together,

0:29:360:29:41

because they complement each other in flavour, but visually - the colours!

0:29:410:29:45

-It's got great flavour.

-Yes.

-We grow everything slow. This was put in in May, you know.

0:29:450:29:51

-We've got to take some.

-Oh-aye! I want to have a look at the rest...

0:29:510:29:54

Do you want to take some home?

0:29:540:29:56

-Yeah, can we?

-Yeah, definitely!

-Yeah, come on, mate!

0:29:560:29:59

-Wow!

-Here we go. It's the garlic I've grown. I've grown banana shallots.

0:30:040:30:09

-John, what do you reckon is the best garlic for roasting?

-That's the Albigensian.

0:30:090:30:13

Subtle flavour.

0:30:130:30:14

Let's take a couple of heads of this.

0:30:140:30:17

This is called the Somerset Cockerel Leg Shallot.

0:30:170:30:20

-It's purple all the way through.

-Look at that!

0:30:200:30:23

-I've bred this on the farm.

-Beautiful!

0:30:230:30:25

-This is a Detroit. That's a gorgeous beetroot...

-Look at the quality.

0:30:250:30:30

-There's a lot of love gone into it.

-Yes, we've put in about 18 hours a day.

0:30:300:30:33

We're thinking about it when we're in bed! Come on over.

0:30:330:30:36

Pamela's been cooking. She's being at it all day.

0:30:360:30:39

She's taken four or five hours to cook this.

0:30:390:30:41

-Wow!

-It's all local produce. We've got this local lamb roasted with banana shallots, garlic...

0:30:410:30:47

-John, John!

-Roasted potatoes...

-Stop talking about... I'm dying to get in!

0:30:470:30:51

We've got some lovely carrots there.

0:30:510:30:53

-We've got a garlic each because we want you to try the garlic, absolutely.

-This is food!

0:30:530:30:58

Absolutely! Look how it's roasted up.

0:30:580:31:00

If you pass me the soup. Oh, dear!

0:31:000:31:02

We've got soup left as well! Great!

0:31:020:31:04

Let me show you that soup. Look at these carrots.

0:31:040:31:07

-Aye, I'll be all right.

-Dinner lady... That was like a dinner.

0:31:070:31:11

We've got to give thanks to the pagan god over here, in amongst this greenery, the Green Man.

0:31:110:31:16

He's like a pagan god that was before Christianity.

0:31:160:31:19

-He's looking after you because this is superb.

-Thank you.

0:31:190:31:22

It's fantastic. Well done!

0:31:220:31:24

-Well, it's not bad!

-This is just bloody great!

0:31:240:31:28

We've realised we've got to up the ante, cooking against you, so you know we're way out west.

0:31:310:31:36

Well, we've gone way, way out west to like the Wild West.

0:31:360:31:40

We're doing buffalo, water buffalo, which is farmed in Somerset

0:31:400:31:43

and we've got the most incredible beetroot!

0:31:430:31:46

It will be up to local diners to decide whose dish best represents the true flavours of Somerset.

0:31:460:31:52

-We have to get the beetroot on.

-Let's get them on. I've got the pans ready.

0:31:520:31:55

-Three golden, three Bolivar.

-Three Detroit.

-Detroit! Whoa, candy beetroot.

0:31:550:32:03

Now, they're good.

0:32:030:32:04

-It's good that, though.

-Right, I'll get them on.

0:32:040:32:07

Thank you very much.

0:32:070:32:09

We're putting the same variety of beetroot together in the same pot.

0:32:090:32:14

We want to keep the integrity of the colours all the way through the dish.

0:32:140:32:18

How long do you reckon?

0:32:180:32:20

I would say the small ones about 20 minutes,

0:32:200:32:22

the larger ones about 40.

0:32:220:32:24

Now, lovely buffalo fillet. You know those lovely barrelled pieces of fillet?

0:32:240:32:29

Well, we're gonna show you how to do that.

0:32:290:32:31

Put your fillet, like that, and then you roll it, really tightly, as tight as you can get it.

0:32:310:32:35

You kind of want to force the meat into like a sausage shape, isn't it?

0:32:350:32:39

-Yeah, it is.

-Which is good for presentation.

0:32:390:32:41

Do you remember the old tournedos rossini?

0:32:410:32:43

-Yeah.

-It's kind of like that, but buffalo rossini!

0:32:430:32:46

-Stick that little piece of gorgeousness in the fridge.

-Right.

0:32:460:32:50

Another little trick is making like a little marrowbone crust to go on it.

0:32:500:32:54

Is it wildebeest marrow or is it beef marrow?

0:32:540:32:56

This is Somerset beefy marrow.

0:32:560:32:58

That's just been roasted in an oven?

0:32:580:32:59

Yeah, yeah. Whoo hoo hoo! That's plenty... And to that marrow, just put a handful of breadcrumbs.

0:32:590:33:07

Just mash that marrow into the breadcrumbs, chop some parsley into that, melted butter.

0:33:070:33:13

This is gonna be the juiciest buffalo.

0:33:130:33:16

We'll just pour that onto some greaseproof.

0:33:160:33:18

Spread it out, chill this down in the fridge so it goes solid.

0:33:190:33:25

We're gonna serve the buffalo with a confit of garlic.

0:33:250:33:28

-We're gonna confit it in butter.

-Aah, that's good garlic!

0:33:280:33:31

A bit of salt on the top, a bit of pepper, not too much.

0:33:310:33:34

-It's gonna lose its strength when it's roasted.

-We'll stick it in the oven.

0:33:340:33:38

Pull that out, stick that in there.

0:33:380:33:40

-We'll have to keep an eye on that, won't we?

-Yep. Let's give it ten, because it's a good oven, that!

0:33:400:33:44

-Yeah, ten...fifteen.

-If you do the potato, I'll crack on with the beetroot.

0:33:440:33:48

I want three perfectly-formed fondant potatoes! This could be messy!

0:33:480:33:54

-It's likely!

0:33:540:33:58

-Go on, go on! There you are, look at that!

-Look at that! Lovely!

0:33:580:34:03

-I'm just gonna carve the edge off.

-Just to stop the edges burning?

-Yep.

0:34:030:34:07

-Now all I've got to do is make three identical ones!

-Go on, mate, you can do it!

0:34:070:34:10

-Mind your fingers, mate!

-Right,

0:34:100:34:13

I'm just gonna nip a couple of those mushrooms off.

0:34:130:34:17

Now, the fondant potatoes will take about half an hour, and you know we're bad for butter,

0:34:190:34:24

well this one is absolutely ridiculous! Butter!

0:34:240:34:27

Get that going! I want it really kind of quite bubbly, but I don't want to burn it.

0:34:270:34:31

I'll put these in now, I think. I just wanna do these and leave them until they're golden.

0:34:310:34:36

He's blubbing like Kate Winslet getting an Oscar! Look at that!

0:34:360:34:40

Now with a bit of luck, these are golden. Oh, yes!

0:34:400:34:44

Same colour as the butter! Same colour as the butter!

0:34:440:34:47

Now, here comes the interesting bit. Add in the chicken stock.

0:34:470:34:51

Do you know why you're doing that?

0:34:530:34:55

Cools it down, creates steam, which finishes cooking it, and then when the stock's gone,

0:34:550:34:59

the butter re-clarifies and re-colours it.

0:34:590:35:02

-I think that's enough.

-Mr Myers!

-Have some seasoning.

0:35:020:35:07

-Can I borrow your white pepper?

-Not that one.

-This one?

-That's coriander!

0:35:070:35:12

-You're a very nice man!

-Well, you could have nobbled us there, dude!

0:35:120:35:16

We'll just cover that, leave it to bubble away for about half an hour.

0:35:160:35:19

-Look, if we'd taken the skins off these, they would have bled.

-That's the golden beetroot, isn't it?

0:35:200:35:25

-Yeah. I always forget the name of these. B-B-B...

-Bolivar.

-Bolivar!

0:35:250:35:30

-First off, the golden beetroot. Look at that!

-Oh, yes!

0:35:300:35:34

We're gonna dress it in some lemon juice, some sugar and some salt.

0:35:390:35:43

-This one is...?

-Detroit, whoa!

0:35:430:35:47

Mr King, I must say these are cooked perfectly. This is the raspberry ripple of the beetroot world.

0:35:470:35:53

Onto my last one, which is the Bolivar.

0:35:530:35:56

We're kind of ready, aren't we, to put this together and create culinary magic? Right, then.

0:35:560:36:02

-All right there, dude?

-I'm bearing up.

-Are you? Good lad.

0:36:020:36:05

-OK, there we are, it's been in the fridge for about an hour.

-It's formed!

0:36:050:36:10

It has! We need to bring the meat up to room temperature before we cook it.

0:36:100:36:14

If you don't, the meat's shocked into submission in the pan, so I'm gonna make three golden croutons.

0:36:140:36:19

This is buffalo fat, and what we're gonna do is we're gonna cook these fantastic buffalo steaks in the fat.

0:36:190:36:25

You don't waste any flavours! The road to a golden crouton is butter, and a bit of oil.

0:36:250:36:31

-Look how that fat is rendering out, and we don't want much more than that.

-No.

0:36:310:36:35

Lovely flavour, though, eh?

0:36:350:36:39

Plunge the bread discs into the butter and the oil, and cook until golden,

0:36:390:36:43

and it's the butter that will give you a golden crouton instead of fried bread.

0:36:430:36:47

So we're just gonna cut through that, nice and gently. Look at that!

0:36:470:36:52

-It's almost got that, you know, like, ostrich?

-It's not as tough as ostrich.

0:36:520:36:56

It really is a soft eat. When I salt them, the same as Richard did with his...

0:36:560:37:00

-And then we put them.... Listen to that!

-SIZZLING

0:37:000:37:04

-just on there.

-Now, these are done, Si.

-OK, mate.

-So I'm gonna take them off.

-Right.

0:37:040:37:10

Season both ends, just like that. Look at that, perfect!

0:37:100:37:15

Another thirty seconds, that's it, take it off, rest it.

0:37:150:37:18

The butter, marrow and parsley is all set into this kind of cake,

0:37:180:37:22

-so we can cut lovely roundels.

-Right, so what we're gonna do

0:37:220:37:27

is just sit these on the top here. We're gonna stick them in the oven,

0:37:270:37:30

170 degrees, four minutes, no longer.

0:37:300:37:34

The traditional Rossini has a slice of foie gras, but we haven't,

0:37:340:37:38

we've just ordinary, good, Somerset duck's liver, and so I'm going to use Si's dirty pan,

0:37:380:37:43

with the flavour of the buffalo, and just sear the liver for 45 seconds each side.

0:37:430:37:47

While Dave is doing that, in other pan, a little bit of oil, just let those mushrooms glow.

0:37:470:37:55

These are caramelising nicely. Oh!

0:37:550:37:58

-I think that's done, mate.

-Yep, let's take them off, mate, and let them rest.

0:37:580:38:03

Finish them with a little truffle oil. Leave them aside, just to sit.

0:38:030:38:06

This is the traditional sauce for the Rossini.

0:38:060:38:09

It's Madeira, splash of port and some brandy, but we're using wonderful Somerset cider brandy.

0:38:090:38:15

While Dave's deglazing the pan with that Madeira, I'm just refreshing these pieces of beetroot.

0:38:150:38:22

Just about a dessertspoon of port, about the same of the cider brandy. To that,

0:38:220:38:28

some wonderful demi-glace.

0:38:280:38:30

That's beef stock that's been reduced by half, so it's like a supercharged beef stock.

0:38:300:38:35

-Now, we'll let that cook down.

-Is the beef ready?

0:38:350:38:38

Wait now! BLEEPING

0:38:380:38:41

-That's that bleeper! We're on time.

-Do you want a sieve?

0:38:410:38:44

-Yes, please, chef.

-That will just rest beautifully now.

0:38:440:38:48

You've got to taste this!

0:38:480:38:49

Oh, hellfire, that's lovely! It needs seasoning.

0:38:490:38:53

-Some salt in there.

-That will do us.

-Yeah.

0:38:530:38:57

I'm gonna sieve this, cos we don't want any kecky bits in.

0:38:570:39:02

-I'm just gonna knap that sauce with a little bit of butter.

-Look at that little bunch of gorgeousness!

0:39:020:39:09

-Just gonna pop that out.

-Right, shall we start?

0:39:090:39:12

Jumping Jehoshaphat, they're hot!

0:39:150:39:17

-They will be!

-The crouton.

0:39:170:39:20

Look at that! Any resting juices, they're gonna soak into the crouton, and that's a good thing.

0:39:210:39:27

That can go back into the sauce.

0:39:270:39:31

A bit of butter over the top. No?

0:39:320:39:35

Well, that's perfect!

0:39:370:39:38

-Why don't we just dress it like that?

-Yep, and serve it that side up.

0:39:380:39:43

This is very "restauranty", if I can use that term!

0:39:430:39:46

Richard, we knew we were up against you! One, two, three little mushies.

0:39:460:39:51

I'm with you, I can see what you want.

0:39:520:39:54

Beetroot, just down there, dark there.

0:39:540:39:56

You beauty!

0:39:560:39:58

Golden...and the candy... Right, I'll start doing the sauce.

0:39:580:40:03

-There we have it.

-That's it! Done!

0:40:090:40:12

Our Somerset Treat. Water buffalo with a marrowbone crust...

0:40:120:40:16

Local fondant potato and fantastic Somerset Beetroot...

0:40:160:40:21

With a crouton piece of seared duck liver, a few wild mushrooms, a bit of truffle, and a confit of garlic.

0:40:210:40:26

Come on! Yes!

0:40:260:40:29

-That's lovely!

-Yeah?

-And the bone marrow is lovely!

0:40:310:40:34

My brain... My brain couldn't work out how you were gonna serve dressed beetroot with the steak.

0:40:340:40:41

But it's a bit like having a tomato on the side.

0:40:410:40:43

Yeah, that's what we wanted, something like that.

0:40:430:40:46

It gives you a foil for the meat. I am a bit worried, actually!

0:40:460:40:49

Truth be told, I don't wanna be insulting, but I thought you were going to bring

0:40:490:40:53

a steak and turn it into an Asian affair. But that's really smart.

0:40:530:40:58

Smart it might be, but is it enough to beat Richard?

0:40:580:41:02

The diners here will taste both dishes, but without any idea of who cooked which.

0:41:020:41:07

First up is Richard's Celebration of West Country Beef.

0:41:070:41:12

It looked fantastic. The gravy smelled fantastic.

0:41:120:41:15

The faggot was beautifully made, because that is not easy to do.

0:41:150:41:20

I found the suet was quite heavy, quite claggy in the mouth.

0:41:200:41:23

The fillet steak was delicious.

0:41:230:41:25

The mushroom, I don't know what that is but I really like it.

0:41:250:41:28

I think it's a great dish coming from Somerset, as you see all the cattle

0:41:280:41:32

when you're in the countryside, and to have all the components of the cattle in one dish

0:41:320:41:36

-is really interesting.

-They loved it... no surprises there!

0:41:360:41:40

Next is our Water Buffalo with the Marrowbone Crust and a Beetroot Rainbow.

0:41:400:41:45

The buffalo - I can't believe how delicious that was!

0:41:450:41:49

The beetroot worked. I loved the appearance of it,

0:41:490:41:51

but it didn't go with the water buffalo.

0:41:510:41:54

I actually liked the beetroot. I liked the variation between the four pieces.

0:41:540:41:58

The tiny mushrooms and the herb crust was gorgeous.

0:41:580:42:02

The skill level putting a dish like this on the table demonstrates it's astonishingly high.

0:42:020:42:07

-Oh, hello, how are you?

-APPLAUSE

0:42:070:42:11

Well, thank you so much for having us in your county.

0:42:110:42:15

We've had a great time. Wassailing on Saturday night nearly killed us!

0:42:150:42:19

-You're not wrong!

-I'm still recovering!

-I have to say, your hospitality here is second to none,

0:42:190:42:24

and on that note, we'd just like to say a big, big thank you to Richard,

0:42:240:42:29

-because his hospitality here has been absolutely brilliant.

-Thank you.

-Now, then.

0:42:290:42:34

-Now!

-Could you please raise your hands for the beef dish, please?

0:42:340:42:39

So for the beef, that's three. Could you raise your hands for the water buffalo?

0:42:400:42:44

And for the water buffalo, that's six.

0:42:440:42:47

-Loser!

-Aah!

-Fantastic!

-The water buffalo was ours!

0:42:480:42:54

I liked Richard's dish as I preferred his use of the vegetables.

0:42:560:43:00

I did like your dish, and the beetroot was fabulous, and it was a really torn vote.

0:43:000:43:03

It's fair to say that you've had two great-tasting...

0:43:030:43:06

The thing is to have to judge between them because actually it was a pleasure to taste them both...

0:43:060:43:12

-a real, real foodie pleasure!

-Richard,

0:43:120:43:15

-next time I'm gonna come so I can stay and have a wonderful meal here.

-Thank you very much.

0:43:150:43:20

Richard was a great competitor,

0:43:200:43:23

but that amazing buffalo really gave us the advantage!

0:43:230:43:26

Somerset has so much to offer us here.

0:43:260:43:29

We'll definitely be back, but maybe next time,

0:43:290:43:32

I'm gonna go a bit easier on the cider! Oo-aar!

0:43:320:43:35

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:460:43:49

Email [email protected]

0:43:490:43:52

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 Somerset, where they cook a traditional county favourite in Bath. They go wassailing in search of cider, and find a West Country herd of buffalo. Finally, they face a cook-off against top chef Richard Guest. Restaurant diners decide whose dish best defines the taste of Somerset in a blind tasting.


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