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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-We're the Hairy Bikers!
-We're on the road to find regional recipes!
We're riding county to county to discover, cook and enjoy the best of British.
We're here to define the true taste of Somerset.
What's up, mate? What's the matter?
Whoa, I've got a shiver up me timber, there.
We've crossed a ley line.
Somerset is full of them, you know! I got all whoa...
Piffle and balderdash! You know I knew this would happen when we come down 'ere! You go all Glastonbury!
It's gonna be great!
-I've brought me sarong!
-There's so much more to Somerset than that!
Look, we want to go and find food.
There's the cider, the apples, the wassailing, and it's got the great Georgian city of Bath!
It's Bath, and you never think of Bath in Somerset, do ya?
You never think of Bath anywhere, mucky pup!
Somerset is truly the land of the high hedgerow.
On our quest to find the flavours of Somerset,
we cook up a dish that shows off the best of the county's fare.
We come over all Pagan and go wassailing,
discovering just how important Somerset cider really is.
-We get down and dirty in the fields to discover beetroot in all the colours of the rainbow.
And representing Somerset in the cook-off is Richard Guest.
Will we be able to beat him using the county's finest ingredients?
-It's beautiful, isn't it?
Look at the architecture, man. it's gorgeous!
There's the Roman Baths where you go off for afternoon tea at the Pump Room, take the waters.
Ooh, I could do with a steep... Hey, it is beautiful, man!
It is. It's a city of refinement.
-Culture in a box!
-'Ere, talking of culture in a box, what do you think?
-Can you tell me fortune?
-This is a Sally Lunn.
-It's a cake. It's been baked since 1680.
That is a piece of history.
With grace, with grace.
-It's a bun!
-It's a bread bun!
-It's cinnamon. There's culture!
-Cinnamon? There's no cinnamon in that!
-This takes me back in time.
Hark, I hear the sound of hooves!
Dick Turpin, I believe! HORSE WHINNIES
What we're after is the iconic Somerset dish.
We're very rich in agriculture.
We've got great meat, great pork, great poultry here, good cheeses here. It's a rich land.
-Apples...maybe with cider, that sort of thing, I think.
-You love your food, don't you?
-What's your favourite, then?
-There you go, you see!
So we can't ignore apples! Cider sounds popular, too! What else is there?
Lots of goats' cheeses.
-You're the man!
Cheese, and obviously the drink cider goes along with it!
This is a Keen's Cheddar from Wincanton, so proper local cheddar made with great principles.
They use all their own cows, they use proper cloth bounding,
-and I was gonna open it for you guys here now, so...
So you can taste it when it's freshly open.
-That's the best time.
-Slide all the way through.
-That's a skill, isn't it? Now this is the good bit!
-Oh, wow! Look at that!
-Like a proper cheese, you've got a bit of blueing
and the taste now it's opened... This is about 18 months old.
-It's got a grain to it... Oh, wow!
-Yes, it's all there!
-The strong cheddars that you buy in the supermarket don't taste like that.
That has no sense of bitterness or harshness.
-That's left such a wonderful aroma in the mouth, hasn't it?
-It's still there!
It goes on forever!
Each day the cheese is different and you have to care for it and we've got, what, 180 cheeses here
and each one you need to know when it's in its best form,
when the cows are eating hay during the winter and it changes the taste of the cheese compared to the grass.
-I've had some great cheddar before - never like that!
-That's the big cheese!
We need to put all those suggestions together to make a great county dish
and we think we've found a man who has the answer.
-Probably ale pie or Somerset Chicken.
-What? Somerset Chicken?
-It's like a chicken breast with, like, cheese, onion, a bit of mustard seed.
-That's interesting. It's got a bit of cider in it as well?
-It's got my Mojo going!
-We haven't done chicken for a bit!
Somerset Chicken could be the perfect dish to cook, you know.
It combines all the ingredients the county is really famous for.
The cheese has to be from the Cheddar Gorge.
Our next stop is for cider.
The West Croft Wassail follows an ancient tradition of blessing the apple trees for the coming season.
We've heard the ceremony involves drinking lots of cider
so tonight we've parked the bikes up and we're footloose and fancy-free!
TRADITIONAL MUSIC PLAYS
-You're not John, by any chance, are you?
-Indeed I am!
-Hee-hee, what a result!
-How are you, John, nice to see you!
-I've heard that your West Croft Cider is the best cider you can get.
So they say, yeah. We've won a few prizes, a few awards.
-Any chance of...?
-Chance of a taster here, yes.
-Thank you very much.
Straight out the wood. That's the dry one.
-Cheers. Your good health.
-This is the smoothest cider I've ever tasted!
-It is. It's wonderful!
-There's no bite to it.
Yes, we use bittersweet, which provides a high sugar and a smoothness and a quality.
Why is Somerset so good for apples?
We've got the best climate and the best soils.
-Here and Hereford are probably the two best regions in the world for growing cider.
There's a good buzz. There's eccentricity.
There is a buzz about wassailing night. You've seen the weather -
it's 80 mile an hour winds, rain and still everyone turns out for it.
-What is wassailing?
Wassailing, the trees have gone to sleep, it's the middle of winter
and we need to wake them up so we put toast in the trees to attract the robins
who are the incarnation of the good spirits, then we make a lot of noise to discourage the evil spirits.
Tonight, the traditional day for the wassail!
That man's John. He's the Chief Druid.
We've got something to celebrate here and we're gonna scare those evil spirits away!
-Oh, we get to shout now, dude!
-CHEERING AND SHOUTING
Thank you all for that,
and what I'm now gonna do is ask some Morris Men if they'll sing us a traditional Somerset Wassail song.
THEY SING A TRADITIONAL SONG
Fantastic! Proper Old English rural country culture! Brilliant!
We've got just enough cider left to use in our Somerset dish
and we're cooking for a hungry crowd at Bath's Farmer's Market in the former Green Park Railway Station.
We're making Somerset Chicken, a traditional dish which combines all the county's favourite exports.
It's cheddar cheese-topped chicken breasts in a creamy sauce of onion, apple and mustard.
Don't forget the cider!
Somerset hospitality is remarkable on account of you produce lots of cider and lots of apples.
Now, the thing is, we've been slightly tiddly since we got here!
-Makes us chuckle a lot!
-It does, doesn't it!
We'll do an old-fashioned Somerset dish called Somerset Chicken
and it puts together kind of what we think are some of the best flavours of Somerset. We have...
-Proper cheddar cheese, the most famous in the world and...
-Our new best friend, cider!
So Somerset Chicken is a recipe that comes from the Georgian times.
It does. Put some oil in a pan, like that.
A lovely supreme of Somerset free-range chicken.
We're gonna sear and seal the chicken breasts, OK?
It speeds up the cooking time and gives them a nice crust and a golden finish like an orchard in Autumn.
-It doesn't take long, does it?
-30 seconds a side, something like that?
I've just put some oil in that roasting tin.
Our sauce for our Somerset Chicken is gonna be made in this pan as well so we don't lose any flavour at all.
-Yeah. When you're cooking, you shouldn't waste anything.
I've been handling chicken so for the complainers at home, I will now wash my hands.
I predict this will be one of those dishes people do again and again.
That's the sort of colour you want on the skin, just nice and gentle.
Just put this in a medium-hot oven for about 20-25 minutes to roast through.
Now then, what I want to do is put a big knob of butter in this pan, like that.
-Shall we have an onion race?
-Ready, set, go.
-Look at that, done!
-You've only done one!
I've already done the other one!
Running out of steam?
-Well, I thought I'd do it nicely, you know!
-Mine's nice, but fast!
So just to stop that butter burning, add a little bit of oil.
Because you want these onions just to go transparent, not to colour.
-There we go.
-We need to keep that stirring, don't we?
Couple of apples peeled and...
-Yeah, I'll do...
-Two or three?
-Let's put two in.
The variety of apples that you have in Somerset is remarkable.
These are russets, aren't they?
-I'm chopping some button mushrooms.
-Do you have to use button mushrooms?
No. It'd be nice with wild mushrooms.
You know, like chanterelles or porcini would be fabulous.
You could go posh, couldn't you? I think we're trying to keep it to proper Somerset.
You know what, you can either get from your farm shop or what you could buy locally really easily.
-You can't rush an onion!
-No, you can't!
What you're doing is, there's an acid in onions, isn't there?
There's a harshness, and by doing this, you're getting rid of that.
-I think they're there!
-Right. So now this sauce,
the runny bits are made from cider, stock and double cream
so if we did it with that, it would be very runny so we're just gonna put some flour in.
-Go on, then!
-That will be nice, do you think?
-Yeah, that will be lovely!
It's going to be a stick-to-your-ribser, this!
And what's good about doing it this way, you're absolutely guaranteed it's not gonna be lumpy!
-There's also tradition in this dish. A couple of teaspoons of wholegrain mustard.
Do you reckon we should add the apples and the mushrooms now?
Come down here! Now for those of you that are at home and not here, get a bigger pan!
So what we'll do now is just cook the flour out a little bit.
If you don't, the sauce will taste floury, but because of this, it won't,
and now the juices will sweat out the apples,
the mushrooms will start to drop, then we can start building the yum-yum sauce.
First off, some really good chicken stock.
Next, it's the other icon of Somerset - cider.
It doesn't come in a bottle, it comes in a plastic thing!
-Just tastes good!
-It does, it's brilliant!
You know you cook with fine wines? This is the equivalent of cooking with a good Chablis.
It is, absolutely!
Look at that!
Just put a bit of pepper in for seasoning. Have a taste of that.
-Ooh, that's lovely! Right, ready for the last two ingredients.
-Some fresh sage.
Now I'm putting that in near the end because I don't want it to cook too strong.
Stir that in. Lovely.
This is the consistency that you're after, before the cream goes in!
Whoa! And this dish would work equally as well with pork. Pork chops would be fantastic!
Good Somerset cream.
..And then just stir that through, nice and gentle.
Cheddar cheese. It is one of the wonders of the world, isn't it!
So you want copious amounts of this, grated.
-Let's get the chicken out now.
Oh, look at that!
-Chicken breasts look lovely...
-Just check it's cooked through. Perfect!
Now, that sauce goes over that roast chicken.
This is a nice kind of Wednesday night supper, isn't it?
-Ooh, it's brilliant!
-You know, in front of the telly!
The Hairy Bikers are just about to come on,
so you make your Somerset Chicken, you sit down, cos you know it's gonna make you hungry,
-but now you've got this, your armed for the night, aren't you?
-Oh, look at that!
I think that's enough, don't you? Lovely!
We top with that fantastic grated cheddar.
Go on, mate, shimmy that plate, shimmy that plate! Oh, lovely!
Now we just stick that under the grill until the cheese goes golden and starts to bubble
and hey presto, there's your dinner!
Now then, time has passed in the land of telly...
And hopefully, under the grill, bubbling will have taken place and golden-ness happened.
Look at that! It's cheddary!
-It will be, it's just come out of the oven!
-Oh, now look at that!
Aw, hey, and just for decoration, Somerset Chicken!
This traditional county recipe was really easy to make,
-but what will the residents of the county think of our take on the dish?
-Dish up and dig in!
-I love it!
-We're not gonna let you leave the county now.
-What do you reckon?
Absolutely delicious! You can really taste the flavours in there.
Really nice, really rich. Fabulous. Absolutely love it!
You like it. You've not said a thing since you got your finger in it!
-Very, very nice!
-Isn't that delicious, girls!
-Look at that!
They licked the bowls clean!
Mmm, Somerset Chicken! We'll be making that one at home, then!
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 would be up to local diners to decide whose dish best represents the true flavours of Somerset.
Our opponent today is...
Richard Guest, Head Chef of the Castle at Taunton.
Now Gary Rhodes and Phil Vickery both made their names here.
Richard believes that Somerset produce is best
and sources most of his ingredients within a 15-mile radius of the restaurant.
In the ten years I've been here, I learn something every year from the people that supply us.
These are rural people. They grow vegetables for themselves, they farm for themselves as well as for money.
These people understand food. It's warmer down here than it is in Scotland and the north of England
so it gives them a more diverse approach to what they can grow
and I think that puts us leaps and bounds above the rest of the UK.
I want to cook British food,
but I also want to make things that might be of French origin, but I want to use regional produce.
In my mind, that makes it British, and it's a circular money thing -
we're keeping people within the environment of The Castle in business.
It's important customers don't think I'm a smart-arse who swaggers around the hotel with my name on my jacket.
One of the important things I've instilled is we're humble and stay downstairs. We don't mingle!
I'd hate to think that I took myself too seriously. You know, I'm a cook...
To take on the Hairy Bikers, my taste of Somerset is a celebration of West Country Beef.
-What are you cooking, Richard?
-Beef, in all senses of the word.
-We're gonna do Oxtail Pudding, braised oxtails there. We've got faggots...
-Fillet steak to posh it up a bit.
-And we're gonna cook a celebration of West Country Beef.
-I'm gonna put some plastic gloves on.
-Last time I saw them was in Her Majesty's Customs in an airport!
-I wasn't happy!
-Did you get that bottle of Mescal through?
Oxtail is one of my favourites.
The meat itself was quite mature so we cook these for about three hours,
but if it's a bit younger, it takes 4½ hours.
It's just cooked in gravy, no wine.
It's got a big bouquet garni in there, with bacon fat, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme,
parsley stalks all wrapped together in a big lump of bacon, tied up.
-You're not afraid of flavour?
-No, not at all.
We try and avoid too much wine because we're more about gravies here than we are about wine.
Bit of jus in there. There's nothing unusual about the suet paste.
It's half suet to flour, heaps of it, bit of chopped parsley, a bit of salt and water to bind
and we stick one egg yolk in at the end, which is our preference, but we find it gives it a better crust.
-It's great watching you fill these moulds using a rolling pin.
-We have small aluminium moulds.
Fill the puddings, put some jus in.
So, stick it, mould it round the edge,
then with your rolling pin, see how it's coming away from the edge of the dish, so it's not gonna stick.
-Look at that, man, hands of an angel! Look at that!
Little prick in the top just to get the air out of it.
If we don't get the air out there, it's gonna burst round the edges.
Tin foil. Quite a lot. We don't want to get any steam in there.
What we'll do next is the faggots.
-In here I've pre-minced this because it wasn't pretty!
-What have we got in there, Richard?
Kidney, liver, lights, heart, a bit of pork shoulder to give it some body,
some breadcrumbs and a bit of suet fat to add some more suet to it.
-Right, faggot mix.
Lots of offal. Seasoning-wise, we've got onions that've been caramelised with some garlic as well,
salt, black pepper and nutmeg.
We try and not compress these too tightly when we wrap them in the cold webbing.
-So what is sheep cling-film?
-It's the bag that holds the intestines in.
-It's then been bleached and brined, so it's cured, essentially.
That's a great, great tool in the kitchen, isn't it?
But only one layer - other than that and it starts to get chewy.
-Right, faggots going in the gravy.
-Aah, look at this, man!
-How long will you poach those for?
-12 minutes, then rest them in the juice for five minutes.
Right, puree, mushroom puree, button mushrooms.
These are cooked mushrooms. The firmer and harder, the better.
-The softer it is, the more of that it's gonna soak up. It's gonna make the puree greasy.
-So what's that, Richard?
-Just plain oil... Well, sunflower oil, to be fair.
-As it's cooking, we're adding a little bit more oil at a time.
If you put loads of oil, in you've no idea
how much oil the mushroom can soak up. It's gonna get greasy.
I haven't put any salt in yet. As soon as I do, I'm just gonna fill the pan with water
then we'll reduce that water down until the mushrooms are almost cooked.
-I remember that one!
-Yeah? Cream in here.
-The salt went in right at the last minute. See how these have puffed up?
-Oh, yes, beautiful!
-Going all dry and fluffy.
-The cream's gotta come right down.
it's gonna get a lot of motion as well, as it's going to be blended up.
-It's four horsepower...
I've got a smaller engine than that on my dinghy!
-Put peppercorns in, it'll set them on fire!
-I'll turn it on first. Are you ready for some noise, guys?
MACHINE WHIRRS RAPIDLY
That's mushroom. We're gonna sear these.
Fillet steak, decent heavy pan. You want that to hold its heat,
not too much oil but again, those that will tell you to put the tiniest bit of oil in,
it's never gonna caramelise. You've got to put some oil in the pan...
A bit of salt. I'm not gonna put any pepper on this.
I put pepper on after it's cooked.
-I don't like to burn it, and a lot of peppermills just...
-Now, you've put that salt side down,
-Yes, yes, straightaway. You don't want to draw the moisture out.
No more salt on that until we turn it.
We're about good to go. A bit of salt. Just brown the sides.
So what is your attitude when a customer comes in and wants a well-done fillet?
It's their money, isn't it?
They earned it, they worked hard for it, if they want it, they can have it well-done.
It is upsetting, because it's just... It is upsetting! Right, blue, you see it's blue?
-I'm gonna pull that off and I wanna turn it and rest it so the juices stay in the pan
-so I've got the juices to go in there.
So we're constantly making gravy.
Right, mushroom puree.
Let's just get the rest of this out here. Looks good to go.
Just before that goes, we'll add a tiny knob of butter.
We've got some pomme puree, which is just basically
-creamed-down Maris Pipers with a lot of butter and we've got some onions.
We candy them, but instead of just plain water, sugar and spices we use sherry vinegar in this.
It adds a warmth to the flavour.
We've got brown, yellow and black mustard seeds in there, a bit of cinnamon, a bit of star anise.
The steak is resting nicely.
Vegetables, we've got some young carrots.
These have been boiled in the skin and just scraped, young turnips,
-they've just been braised in butter and look at that.
-It's still alive.
This is very simple.
I want a bit of cream and a big dollop of horseradish.
Carrots, turnips, purple sprouting.
We're just coating that. A bit of salt, touch of white pepper.
They're good to go.
I'll put those in a cooler pan and then we've got all that juice to go in there.
-Now that's like us, we never waste any flavours.
-Travesty, isn't it!
Pass from one to the other.
And just smash through a bit of parsley.
Flat parsley I think is my favourite herb, whereas the curly parsley
-you need to generally chop it in advance.
-It tends to lose its flavour.
-Shall we plate up?
Aah, look at the puddings on him! Ooh, look at how he's plating this up!
I'd worry about the calories in this.
Yeah, that's never a balanced meal this, is it?
And now we've got the fillet.
-Cut at a jaunty chefy angle!
-That's a plate of food, isn't it!
And popped on the side, a plump juicy faggot!
And dropping off his faggot is a cascade of candied onions.
A bit of jus. We'll serve the sauce apart so it doesn't skin over.
All that in a gravy boat, creamed potato and side dishes on the side.
That's your take on Somerset cuisine then, yeah?
-Somerset on a plate!
-Right. It looks...
-It looks fantastic!
-Yeah. That is perfect.
-Somerset Beef, bring it on!
-That is just amazing with the...
-The mushroom puree and the beef.
Horseradish mixes in nicely with the beef and the mushrooms.
Do you think it's too generous?
-Personally, this is our type of food, isn't it?
-So, it's hard to be objective, because it's brilliant!
However, we know what we've got to do. Quality, not quantity!
But it's the locals who will decide whose dish is best in a blind tasting coming up.
Richard's three ways with Somerset beef was fantastic
but to take him on, we found one of the county's best-kept secrets.
We've heard that Tony and Jane Corpe are breeding water buffalo, right here in Somerset!
I've never cooked a buffalo before!
-It's not all apples and cider!
No. It's west-country water buffalo!
An electric fence keeps them in.
-Are we switched off?
-Do you wanna go over or under, or?
Over. Tony, have you ever had a stampede?
Not quite! It's something a bit different for Somerset!
And yet because of all the Westerns we watch, they're so familiar!
They always stay in a bunch and they've got lovely eyes.
They have, they have! Do you treat them the same as beef, or is it...?
-Right, and what's the meat like?
-It's much tenderer than ordinary beef.
-Oh, that's a good thing!
-And it's 40% lower in cholesterol than beef.
It's lower than chicken.
-What made you go for water buffalo?
Well, I bought them with the intention of milking them to make mozzarella cheese.
-Because I've been a dairy farmer all my life, up until about 13 years ago.
We bought 22 and a bull and we've reared them up and gone from there and now we've got just about 200.
-Would you like to come in and meet Barry a minute?
-And see some of the meat!
Wow, look at that! Is the fat similar to beef?
Yes, but it's very white, not like ordinary beef which is very yellow.
-How long do you hang the meat for?
You cut them exactly the same as ordinary beef.
Silverside there, your rump runs through there and the sirloin runs through there
and they don't produce so much meat as ordinary beef.
-They are a unique animal.
It's cutting like butter!
-Buffalo fillet, all trimmed, ready for use.
What we ought to do is take you indoors and let you try some!
You're talking our language now!
-This is Jane, my wife.
-Hello, I'm Dave. Pleased to meet you.
-Hello Jane, I'm Si.
-How are you?
Here's some fillet they would like you to cook.
We're buffalo virgins... never cooked a buffalo before!
Right, see what we can do. My way of cooking it is I just oil it both sides with olive oil
and then salt and pepper it into a really hot pan, both sides very quick.
-Do you reckon two minutes each side, Jane?
-That's what I do.
-Right. I can smell it already!
-Yeah you can.
-I think that's ready now.
-OK, take it off and let it rest.
The anticipation is killing me!
-Yeah, that's lovely!
-But that's really quite rare.
-You get the best out of the fillet.
-I think so.
-We need to eat more.
-Yeah, all right.
# Oh, give me a home Where the buffaloes roam. #
Voice like crystal!
Jane's cooking has really whetted my appetite. Let's cook a water buffalo fillet with a marrowbone crust...
Brilliant... But we need to serve it with some home-grown county veg.
Time to pay a visit to market gardener, John Rowswell.
Supplying some of the UK's top chefs,
John grows around sixty varieties of veg, including beetroot...
a traditional Somerset speciality.
Last year we planted these wonderful globe artichokes.
And that's these?
Yeah. We've looked after them all summer.
We're gonna be producing hundreds of them.
This is some of the finest soil you'll ever find.
It's a really sandy loam, you can't grow without some manure.
You've got to keep adding something to it and then it will grow anything.
The trouble is, it's growing loads of rabbits.
We were going out ferreting. We've had the first ferreted rabbits baked in cider in stock
with onions, some of our golden beetroot, pink, absolutely gorgeous.
-Aah, beetroot we're interested in.
-There's no shortage!
These rows here go on for about three miles and we're gonna pull a few now to show you the beetroot.
We've got a lovely pink root.
-Look at them!
-What type of beetroot are these, John?
They're an Italian variety.
-They're a beautiful colour inside.
-Wow! It's like aurora borealis!
Listen, man, it's all tie-dye round in Somerset and Glastonbury...
even the beetroot are tie-dyed, dude, it's great!
Yeah, absolutely, they're psychedelic, literally!
So, John, that's a candy beetroot?
-Yes. Let's go and see the golden.
-That would be great!
-There's a world of beetroot I didn't know existed!
Well, these are the golden beetroot. This is the Burpee's Golden.
This one here... the germination is poor.
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
so that the crow's got one, one rots, and one grows and then at the end of the day you've got enough.
Let's look inside.
-Right, there we go.
-Now that is a real golden.
Wouldn't it be great to get the different beetroots and put the colours together,
because they complement each other in flavour, but visually - the colours!
-It's got great flavour.
-We grow everything slow. This was put in in May, you know.
-We've got to take some.
-Oh-aye! I want to have a look at the rest...
Do you want to take some home?
-Yeah, can we?
-Yeah, come on, mate!
-Here we go. It's the garlic I've grown. I've grown banana shallots.
-John, what do you reckon is the best garlic for roasting?
-That's the Albigensian.
Let's take a couple of heads of this.
This is called the Somerset Cockerel Leg Shallot.
-It's purple all the way through.
-Look at that!
-I've bred this on the farm.
-This is a Detroit. That's a gorgeous beetroot...
-Look at the quality.
-There's a lot of love gone into it.
-Yes, we've put in about 18 hours a day.
We're thinking about it when we're in bed! Come on over.
Pamela's been cooking. She's being at it all day.
She's taken four or five hours to cook this.
-It's all local produce. We've got this local lamb roasted with banana shallots, garlic...
-Stop talking about... I'm dying to get in!
We've got some lovely carrots there.
-We've got a garlic each because we want you to try the garlic, absolutely.
-This is food!
Absolutely! Look how it's roasted up.
If you pass me the soup. Oh, dear!
We've got soup left as well! Great!
Let me show you that soup. Look at these carrots.
-Aye, I'll be all right.
-Dinner lady... That was like a dinner.
We've got to give thanks to the pagan god over here, in amongst this greenery, the Green Man.
He's like a pagan god that was before Christianity.
-He's looking after you because this is superb.
It's fantastic. Well done!
-Well, it's not bad!
-This is just bloody great!
We've realised we've got to up the ante, cooking against you, so you know we're way out west.
Well, we've gone way, way out west to like the Wild West.
We're doing buffalo, water buffalo, which is farmed in Somerset
and we've got the most incredible beetroot!
It will be up to local diners to decide whose dish best represents the true flavours of Somerset.
-We have to get the beetroot on.
-Let's get them on. I've got the pans ready.
-Three golden, three Bolivar.
-Detroit! Whoa, candy beetroot.
Now, they're good.
-It's good that, though.
-Right, I'll get them on.
Thank you very much.
We're putting the same variety of beetroot together in the same pot.
We want to keep the integrity of the colours all the way through the dish.
How long do you reckon?
I would say the small ones about 20 minutes,
the larger ones about 40.
Now, lovely buffalo fillet. You know those lovely barrelled pieces of fillet?
Well, we're gonna show you how to do that.
Put your fillet, like that, and then you roll it, really tightly, as tight as you can get it.
You kind of want to force the meat into like a sausage shape, isn't it?
-Yeah, it is.
-Which is good for presentation.
Do you remember the old tournedos rossini?
-It's kind of like that, but buffalo rossini!
-Stick that little piece of gorgeousness in the fridge.
Another little trick is making like a little marrowbone crust to go on it.
Is it wildebeest marrow or is it beef marrow?
This is Somerset beefy marrow.
That's just been roasted in an oven?
Yeah, yeah. Whoo hoo hoo! That's plenty... And to that marrow, just put a handful of breadcrumbs.
Just mash that marrow into the breadcrumbs, chop some parsley into that, melted butter.
This is gonna be the juiciest buffalo.
We'll just pour that onto some greaseproof.
Spread it out, chill this down in the fridge so it goes solid.
We're gonna serve the buffalo with a confit of garlic.
-We're gonna confit it in butter.
-Aah, that's good garlic!
A bit of salt on the top, a bit of pepper, not too much.
-It's gonna lose its strength when it's roasted.
-We'll stick it in the oven.
Pull that out, stick that in there.
-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!
-If you do the potato, I'll crack on with the beetroot.
I want three perfectly-formed fondant potatoes! This could be messy!
-Go on, go on! There you are, look at that!
-Look at that! Lovely!
-I'm just gonna carve the edge off.
-Just to stop the edges burning?
-Now all I've got to do is make three identical ones!
-Go on, mate, you can do it!
-Mind your fingers, mate!
I'm just gonna nip a couple of those mushrooms off.
Now, the fondant potatoes will take about half an hour, and you know we're bad for butter,
well this one is absolutely ridiculous! Butter!
Get that going! I want it really kind of quite bubbly, but I don't want to burn it.
I'll put these in now, I think. I just wanna do these and leave them until they're golden.
He's blubbing like Kate Winslet getting an Oscar! Look at that!
Now with a bit of luck, these are golden. Oh, yes!
Same colour as the butter! Same colour as the butter!
Now, here comes the interesting bit. Add in the chicken stock.
Do you know why you're doing that?
Cools it down, creates steam, which finishes cooking it, and then when the stock's gone,
the butter re-clarifies and re-colours it.
-I think that's enough.
-Have some seasoning.
-Can I borrow your white pepper?
-Not that one.
-You're a very nice man!
-Well, you could have nobbled us there, dude!
We'll just cover that, leave it to bubble away for about half an hour.
-Look, if we'd taken the skins off these, they would have bled.
-That's the golden beetroot, isn't it?
-Yeah. I always forget the name of these. B-B-B...
-First off, the golden beetroot. Look at that!
We're gonna dress it in some lemon juice, some sugar and some salt.
-This one is...?
Mr King, I must say these are cooked perfectly. This is the raspberry ripple of the beetroot world.
Onto my last one, which is the Bolivar.
We're kind of ready, aren't we, to put this together and create culinary magic? Right, then.
-All right there, dude?
-I'm bearing up.
-Are you? Good lad.
-OK, there we are, it's been in the fridge for about an hour.
It has! We need to bring the meat up to room temperature before we cook it.
If you don't, the meat's shocked into submission in the pan, so I'm gonna make three golden croutons.
This is buffalo fat, and what we're gonna do is we're gonna cook these fantastic buffalo steaks in the fat.
You don't waste any flavours! The road to a golden crouton is butter, and a bit of oil.
-Look how that fat is rendering out, and we don't want much more than that.
Lovely flavour, though, eh?
Plunge the bread discs into the butter and the oil, and cook until golden,
and it's the butter that will give you a golden crouton instead of fried bread.
So we're just gonna cut through that, nice and gently. Look at that!
-It's almost got that, you know, like, ostrich?
-It's not as tough as ostrich.
It really is a soft eat. When I salt them, the same as Richard did with his...
-And then we put them.... Listen to that!
-just on there.
-Now, these are done, Si.
-So I'm gonna take them off.
Season both ends, just like that. Look at that, perfect!
Another thirty seconds, that's it, take it off, rest it.
The butter, marrow and parsley is all set into this kind of cake,
-so we can cut lovely roundels.
-Right, so what we're gonna do
is just sit these on the top here. We're gonna stick them in the oven,
170 degrees, four minutes, no longer.
The traditional Rossini has a slice of foie gras, but we haven't,
we've just ordinary, good, Somerset duck's liver, and so I'm going to use Si's dirty pan,
with the flavour of the buffalo, and just sear the liver for 45 seconds each side.
While Dave is doing that, in other pan, a little bit of oil, just let those mushrooms glow.
These are caramelising nicely. Oh!
-I think that's done, mate.
-Yep, let's take them off, mate, and let them rest.
Finish them with a little truffle oil. Leave them aside, just to sit.
This is the traditional sauce for the Rossini.
It's Madeira, splash of port and some brandy, but we're using wonderful Somerset cider brandy.
While Dave's deglazing the pan with that Madeira, I'm just refreshing these pieces of beetroot.
Just about a dessertspoon of port, about the same of the cider brandy. To that,
some wonderful demi-glace.
That's beef stock that's been reduced by half, so it's like a supercharged beef stock.
-Now, we'll let that cook down.
-Is the beef ready?
Wait now! BLEEPING
-That's that bleeper! We're on time.
-Do you want a sieve?
-Yes, please, chef.
-That will just rest beautifully now.
You've got to taste this!
Oh, hellfire, that's lovely! It needs seasoning.
-Some salt in there.
-That will do us.
I'm gonna sieve this, cos we don't want any kecky bits in.
-I'm just gonna knap that sauce with a little bit of butter.
-Look at that little bunch of gorgeousness!
-Just gonna pop that out.
-Right, shall we start?
Jumping Jehoshaphat, they're hot!
-They will be!
Look at that! Any resting juices, they're gonna soak into the crouton, and that's a good thing.
That can go back into the sauce.
A bit of butter over the top. No?
Well, that's perfect!
-Why don't we just dress it like that?
-Yep, and serve it that side up.
This is very "restauranty", if I can use that term!
Richard, we knew we were up against you! One, two, three little mushies.
I'm with you, I can see what you want.
Beetroot, just down there, dark there.
Golden...and the candy... Right, I'll start doing the sauce.
-There we have it.
-That's it! Done!
Our Somerset Treat. Water buffalo with a marrowbone crust...
Local fondant potato and fantastic Somerset Beetroot...
With a crouton piece of seared duck liver, a few wild mushrooms, a bit of truffle, and a confit of garlic.
Come on! Yes!
-And the bone marrow is lovely!
My brain... My brain couldn't work out how you were gonna serve dressed beetroot with the steak.
But it's a bit like having a tomato on the side.
Yeah, that's what we wanted, something like that.
It gives you a foil for the meat. I am a bit worried, actually!
Truth be told, I don't wanna be insulting, but I thought you were going to bring
a steak and turn it into an Asian affair. But that's really smart.
Smart it might be, but is it enough to beat Richard?
The diners here will taste both dishes, but without any idea of who cooked which.
First up is Richard's Celebration of West Country Beef.
It looked fantastic. The gravy smelled fantastic.
The faggot was beautifully made, because that is not easy to do.
I found the suet was quite heavy, quite claggy in the mouth.
The fillet steak was delicious.
The mushroom, I don't know what that is but I really like it.
I think it's a great dish coming from Somerset, as you see all the cattle
when you're in the countryside, and to have all the components of the cattle in one dish
-is really interesting.
-They loved it... no surprises there!
Next is our Water Buffalo with the Marrowbone Crust and a Beetroot Rainbow.
The buffalo - I can't believe how delicious that was!
The beetroot worked. I loved the appearance of it,
but it didn't go with the water buffalo.
I actually liked the beetroot. I liked the variation between the four pieces.
The tiny mushrooms and the herb crust was gorgeous.
The skill level putting a dish like this on the table demonstrates it's astonishingly high.
-Oh, hello, how are you?
Well, thank you so much for having us in your county.
We've had a great time. Wassailing on Saturday night nearly killed us!
-You're not wrong!
-I'm still recovering!
-I have to say, your hospitality here is second to none,
and on that note, we'd just like to say a big, big thank you to Richard,
-because his hospitality here has been absolutely brilliant.
-Could you please raise your hands for the beef dish, please?
So for the beef, that's three. Could you raise your hands for the water buffalo?
And for the water buffalo, that's six.
-The water buffalo was ours!
I liked Richard's dish as I preferred his use of the vegetables.
I did like your dish, and the beetroot was fabulous, and it was a really torn vote.
It's fair to say that you've had two great-tasting...
The thing is to have to judge between them because actually it was a pleasure to taste them both...
-a real, real foodie pleasure!
-next time I'm gonna come so I can stay and have a wonderful meal here.
-Thank you very much.
Richard was a great competitor,
but that amazing buffalo really gave us the advantage!
Somerset has so much to offer us here.
We'll definitely be back, but maybe next time,
I'm gonna go a bit easier on the cider! Oo-aar!
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 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.