Si King and Dave Myers explore Leicestershire, where they cook a traditional county favourite at Leicester Market. They also taste the king of cheeses, Stilton.
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-We're the Hairy Bikers.
-On the road to find recipes to rip up your appetite.
We're riding coast to coast to discover, cook and enjoy the best of British. Come on!
Today, we're in search of the real taste of Leicestershire.
Here we are, dude, look at it. Leicestershire!
Slap bang in the middle of Britain's diverse manufacturing heartlands.
And you know what, I bet they manufacture some good food here, too.
You know, there's lots of famous people come from Leicestershire.
-King Richard III.
-He got the hump.
-Lady Jane Grey.
-She lost her head.
I tell you, there's one man who definitely did eat all the pies and that's Daniel Lambert.
He's Britain's fattest man.
He was born in 1770 and he weighed in excess of 52 stone.
He had a nine foot four inch waist!
Daniel Lambert's long gone but I bet his dinners are still around.
Dude, do you know what, we're off to a flyer.
On our quest to define the true flavours of Leicestershire,
we cook up a local favourite
that's become one of the county's best-loved exports.
We meet the supermodels of the cow world and taste some cracking beef.
-You are going to leave some for lunch, aren't you?
-I wouldn't bank on it!
We learn the secret of how blue veins get into the king of cheeses - Stilton.
And representing Leicestershire in the cook-off later is Sean Hope.
Will we be able to beat him in a blind tasting judged by local diners?
First stop in our food trip around Leicestershire is Melton Mowbray.
Around these parts, Melton is hailed as the rural capital of food.
Melton has been a market town for over a thousand years.
With that sort of heritage,
it's a great place to discover the county's favourite dishes.
Si, look, it's the farmers market.
There's going to be good food here.
-There's a lot going on here.
-It's a proper market.
What, to you, is Leicestershire on a plate?
I'd say Stilton cheese, first of all.
-And of course, pork pies.
Red Leicester cheese.
-When I think of Melton, I think pork pie.
What would be the iconic product of the county?
-Goes well with me oatcakes, it's got to be Red Leicester cheese.
Dude, bacon, they go great with bacon.
Could you put a rasher of bacon in there? Go on. Go on.
-Thank you very much. Look at that.
Mmmm! Cor, the pork's good. What's Leicestershire famous for in food?
Pork pies. Stilton.
That's the three national products, isn't it?
-The Red Leicester.
-The Red Leicester.
-It's so versatile, but I love Stilton, as well, in cooking.
Well, that's something that everybody's heard of,
-Red Leicester cheese.
-Would you like to try some?
Traditionally oats cheese. Quite dry, hard texture to it.
You get caramelly, toffee oats.
Oh, that's gorgeous.
-It's made just four miles up the road.
To you, what are the iconic products that Leicestershire produces?
-What is it?
-Well, I've lived in the Melton Mowbray for a long time so it would be pork pies.
That sounds lovely. Making me hungry.
This town is full of foody gems and the cheese is great,
but nothing gets a Hairy Biker's mouth watering like a good pork pie
and it's so obviously Leicestershire's signature dish
we need to get some advice from expert pie maker, Steven Hallam.
-Nice to see you.
You've got a lovely uncured natural pork, a rich crunchy pastry.
Lovely pepperiness will come through when you try it.
-How long have people here been making pork pies?
-About a couple of hundred years.
It's a by-product of the Stilton cheese industry, to begin with.
-The whey, the by-products are fed to pigs, lots of pork.
the grocer and the baker got together, started using it in pies.
Well, these pies are superb.
-They are superb, mate.
-Very more-ish, that pastry.
It eats like it's a digestive biscuit, doesn't it?
Rich, sort of melts in the mouth.
-Any top tips?
-Don't use too much flour.
-If you get too much flour on the outside of the pastry, you'll get blisters.
When you get a blister, it burns on the outside, it's raw on the inside.
-It's like the cut of the pork, you know?
You can use any cut you wish.
-We use shoulders and belly.
-Shoulders and belly. Yeah.
We've got that. That's what we pinch.
Well, we've got that in abundance.
-Thanks very much. Thanks, Steven. Thank you.
-Cheers, Steve. Bye.
Armed with the knowledge of how to make the best pie possible, it's time to get the all-important pork.
What do we need to make a pork pie?
He asked me if I was being sarcastic.
We need belly pork, shoulder of pork and nice streaky bacon.
-Will this shoulder do?
-What a man.
-A nice shoulder for you.
-Put that in the bag for us. We're off.
There we are. Thank you very much.
There we go, the three ingredients.
The deconstructed pork pie waiting for reconstruction.
We're off to the city of Leicester to get cooking.
Leicester's a wonderfully kind of eclectic cosmopolitan city, isn't it?
We're going to cook our pies in the city's market,
the largest covered market anywhere in Europe.
The Market Tavern, must be getting close.
The market has been on the current site for over 700 years.
There's a hungry crowd waiting and we'll be cooking a traditional
Melton Mowbray-style raised pork pie, full of succulent pork with a crunchy pastry.
-Welcome to Leicester Market.
-Yes. It's rocking here, isn't it? Good.
People have been coming here for 700 years to buy their pegs,
plastic buckets and all sorts of vegetables, fruit and lovely things.
We want to do a pork pie.
-To start with a pie, you've got to make the pastry.
And this is a good old fashioned crust.
Take hunks of lard.
This pastry has quite a high fat content,
being composed chiefly of lard.
Are you ready?
-Go on! I don't want to wait for you. Ready?
Come on. Ah-one, ah-two, ah-one-two-three. Lard!
Now, the lard has nearly melted and into this I've got to mix some water and some milk.
Now, obviously, be careful at home.
You are putting liquid into fat.
Now, it's not boiling fat but it may spit at the camera.
Put the water in.
Continue to heat.
And the milk.
Oh, that's a good idea.
Whisk until it's emulsified.
That means it's all combined.
To this, I've got flour. So we mix that in with that to form a paste.
This could be messy.
-Watch that now.
Could you do some salt and pepper in this, as well?
Now, my main thought,
cos it was like boiling lard,
it's really hot to work with your hands.
But look at that. That, ladies and gentlemen,
is a traditional hot water pastry
which is the right stuff for pork pies.
So what you do is leave this to cool,
then put it in your fridge overnight.
A pork pie is near nothing without said filling.
What we do is we put the belly pork in and this is the minced shoulder.
Put that in there like that. Dave needs to chop said bacon.
There's no mystery meat in these.
You mash it like this.
It gets all the fat particles activating
to make sure that it all sticks together.
Can I add this bacon to your pig fest?
Now, pork and sage, a marriage made in heaven,
so about a teaspoon of dried sage,
a quarter teaspoon of allspice.
Do you use that instead of salt and pepper?
-Oh, no, as well as!
-So allspice and sage and lots and lots of pepper.
So that's the filling. The pastry has only another 23½ hours to rest before we can use it.
Thankfully, here's one we did earlier.
And we've just made it into like little lumps.
Take your piece of hot water pastry which now looks like something you stick windows in with.
But you've got to warm it enough in your hands for the lard to get soft.
Place that onto the board.
This is a dolly. You get these in various sizes and this is what you use to form your pie on.
You put your dolly right in the middle and press it.
Check it's loose.
Now you start to raise your pie.
-It's not easy.
-And raising it, you just kind of cloy it up like that.
And raise it up your dolly. And as you flour the dolly, in theory it shouldn't stick.
Now, you want this to go up nearly to the shoulders of your dolly.
And this is called hand raising.
And you can use the shape of the dolly to raise your crust.
Very carefully, work your thumbs down there.
Gently ease your pastry off your dolly.
And it will look like a pastry bucket.
Now we need to fill it and that's not by any means easy.
We need to get like a cricket ball size piece of the filling.
You need to get this into there without leaving any air so you throw it in.
This requires confidence
because you might actually destroy everything
you've done so far.
-I'm only joking!
Don't worry about filling the edges because you want to leave something for the jelly.
At this point, we need to wash our dick-dandies.
Right. Clean hands, happy heart.
We need some eggy wash.
In the world of a pork pie, egg is glue and glaze.
And then you sit the lid kind of inside it...
..and just nip it.
The traditional Melton Mowbray way is north, south, east and west.
So you seal that and you go...
And then you do the ones in between, like that.
And you get that lovely, hand-raised, butcherific pie look.
-Look at those beauties.
-There we are.
Give 'em a wash of egg.
Now, you might have noticed, we haven't put a hole in.
This pastry's strong enough to take it. We want all the meat flavour
to stay into the pie.
Put that in to the oven now, about 160 degrees, for a good hour-and-a-half.
We're going to make a proper old fashioned pig's trotter jelly.
Get a pan...
and pigs' trotters.
All we've done with these is split them in half
and just pop the pigs' trotters in the water,
bit of seasoning.
As they cook down,
you get the most wonderful jelly.
And that's because the trotters are full of collagen and sinew.
One stick of celery cutt'n off.
And then we're going to put a whole carrot in,
half an onion.
Give it a stir.
Leave it for 3½ days. No, it's four hours!
And then you strain it.
And that's the jelly that you're after.
How do we get that jelly into the pork pie?
These are two pork pies that we made earlier.
Now, they've been left to cool.
You drill a hole in the top.
Piping bag. Oh, look at that!
You need to slit the top off.
Put that over the hole and start to squirt. Right. That's it.
All we have to do now is wait for that to go cold and set to jelly.
And that only takes 2½ hours.
And then, finally, you are blessed, blessed,
with a pair of stunning Leicester Market Hairy Biker pork pies.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
But what's going on inside?
Look at that.
Now it's the moment of truth.
What will the locals make of our take of their signature dish, pork pie?
Take a slice.
-Do you want some pie?
-This is beautiful. The pastry's beautiful.
Tastes like it used to, years ago.
-So does it taste of Leicestershire?
I don't normally eat pork pies. I don't like the meat in them but this is gorgeous.
Go on, have another.
You're a growing lad!
-Good Leicestershire taste?
I think it's really well seasoned.
-And it tastes a bit spicy.
-Oh, geez, it's made my day.
Good. That's a proper old fashioned pork pie.
The bigger the dolly, the bigger the pie.
I'm a big dolly!
Well, the pork pie connoisseurs of Leicester
gave our efforts a big thumbs up.
Next though, an even bigger challenge is round the corner.
As always, we're taking on one of the county's top chefs
in their restaurant, using local ingredients to see
who can best define the taste of the region.
It will be up to local diners in a blind tasting
to decide whose dish best represents the true flavours of Leicestershire.
Our opponent today is...
Sean Hope, the chef and owner of The Red Lion in Stathern.
As well as being named AA Pub of the Year,
The Red Lion won Best Local Produce Menu
at the Leicestershire and Rutland Restaurant Awards.
Being here in Leicestershire,
we are blessed with amazing producers.
Debbie Green's got beautiful pork, local beef,
which we get from Northville Farm.
We've got Stilton houses. The list is just endless.
And I'm still discovering new and fantastic producers and suppliers
who are passionate about growing as we are about providing good food.
We have our own little allotment down the bottom, producing as much fresh produce as we can.
Previously, I worked in London, but there's nothing better than being close to nature.
It really helps with inspiration on the menu.
Presentation's important because yes, we do eat with our eyes, but it can look as pretty
as a doll's face but if it tastes rubbish, you're not going to eat it.
I don't think I could ever do a nine-to-five job.
Every day's not the same and that's what makes it such a challenge.
To take on the bikers, my taste of Leicestershire is...
pork faggots with sage and onion rosti, pickled white cabbage,
steeped in Thirsty Farmers Cider, from Little Dalby.
-That's it. The Red Lion.
-That's nice, isn't it?
-Aye, it's proper.
-Hello. How are you?
-Welcome to Stathern.
-Thank you very much.
-Outline your dish for us, dude.
-We have got pork faggots and we're
going to do it with some pickled cabbage, steep it in some cider. I've got pork mince which we use.
We're also using the other parts of the animal that probably people don't, and throw away.
We've got the liver and the heart in there. That's all minced through.
We've got some diced carrot, shallot and leak, garlic and we're going to finish with parsley.
Sweat this down 'till it gets nice and soft.
I've just got a little treat for you, as well. Thirsty Farmer.
-Thirsty Farmer's giggling juice.
7.2% It'll do more than make you giggle.
Not really looking to get any colour out of that.
A little sherry vinegar.
Put a splash in there and when we've got to that stage, we get our Thirsty Farmer.
That's cloudy, isn't it?
-The tasting panel might be a bit tiddly!
-He's worrying me! He is!
What we do is reduce all that cider right down
so there's no excess moisture.
As you saw earlier on, we minced in there the heart and the liver,
combined with some of the local breadcrumbs, this'll help to absorb the moisture a little bit.
Pop in our vegetables. You can see it's just reduced quite nicely now.
And then we just mix the vegetables through the meat.
Does Leicestershire give you a big, you know, a really good county larder, Sean, to work with?
It's a Mecca. As you guys probably know,
-Melton Mowbray's been depicted as the food capital of the British Isles.
It's a great place to be.
So there we are. That's our base for our pork faggots.
Pop a bit of salt and pepper in there, then.
We're going to bind it but we're using crepinette.
-Pig cling-film, isn't it?
-It is. It's edible pig cling-film.
You can use just some nice streaky bacon
but I tend to find it's a bit too bacony for the job.
-That's a good size.
-That's a good faggot, that.
Two faggots a portion, I think.
So I'm just going to wrap it nice and gently.
-Would you like to roll a faggot?
There you go.
Then roll it over so it's nice and sealed.
It's tidy. I think you'll find mine is the symmetrical one.
Very good. I think you'll find mine is the one with the CND sign on it.
The rebel faggot.
So, we're going to need a frying pan.
Welland Valley rapeseed oil.
It's a great alternative to olive oil.
And it'll take the temperature.
A knob of butter starts to foam.
-A good indication that the pan's hot enough.
-Faggot's going in.
I'll just pop them in like that.
We can start adding them all. Another little tip -
start at twelve o'clock and then go round and use it like a clock face
so you don't forget which one you need to flip first.
Then start turning them round. We're looking to get them golden brown.
They should just stay quite nicely like that.
-We're going to bake them in the oven.
Somewhere about 190, for about 35, 40 minutes.
Not too long, just so they're just hot in the middle and let them rest a little bit.
-We're going to put them on a trivet.
-So you get the heat top and bottom.
-To that, I've got a good old classic cooking apple.
Nice and chunky.
And I'm just going to put it in the pan, support the faggots on to it.
Say you were doing a pork loin, could you make a trivet of baking apples for that?
Absolutely. Right, guys, we're going to put this in the oven to grill.
The main garnish we'll be using is a sage and onion rosti.
And we're going to be doing this pickled cabbage, white cabbage, and steep it with cider.
Cider's in. White wine vinegar in there.
-Could you use cider vinegar?
-Yeah. You could.
I've got in here a little bit of stock, as well.
-Again, this is pork stock. Or if you haven't got it, chicken stock.
But we're using pork stock, anyway.
-Right, now, this is going to go on the stove, right, and we're going to bring it up to the boil.
-Cooking that alcohol out a little bit.
Not too much cos you want it to steep and flavour the cabbage.
Do you want to just scrape this for me?
What we're going to do then is put all our ingredients in...
our cabbage, our sliced onion and apple.
Then, I think, a great ingredient with pork and apple is cinnamon,
-so we've got a little bit of flax there.
-Pop that in.
We'll add a bit of honey, chopped thyme.
It's about a sprig's worth.
Back on steam. Bit of a stir. OK.
So next thing we'll be going on to is the sage and onion rosti potato.
We're using Maris Piper.
I need that mandolin.
We need enough for six portions, don't we?
So, nice and quickly.
We do this other one which went really well, with salmon.
We did a cheese and onion rosti.
Now, we're going to slice the onion.
So just using, probably about a fifth of onion to potato.
If I use too much onion, it doesn't crisp up as much as you like,
and I'm going to put some sage in there, sage leaves. Very quickly, chop through that.
-Every supermarket you can buy fresh sage.
-It used to be a rarity.
Mix it together like that.
We're going to get our frying pan on the go. Can we have a drizzle in that pan there?
-You've got the pickled cabbage that we've done.
It's just come up to the boil so I'm now just going to give that a stir,
all we need to do is grab some cling-film.
Again, this is something that can be done in advance and it's brilliant cold, as well.
This crispy bacon, crumble it in so you get that real crispy...
you know, like frazzle flavour? So, there you go. Keep that now.
It's just going to permeate through.
Brilliant. None of the flavours evaporate into the atmosphere.
Potato, sage and onion, in we go.
Sizzle. Sizzle. Sizzle.
It needs to make that noise...
-Cos otherwise you end up with a boiled piece of potato and it's not going to have that desired effect.
-You want it nice and crispy and golden brown on the outside.
-And lovely and soft in the middle, bit like an armadillo.
That's a big rosti.
That's my type of rosti, that, dude. It's a big'un.
So, just compacting it down a little bit and just waiting
for it to golden brown in about two or three minutes.
-It's important that you have enough oil for it to fry evenly.
Otherwise, it could catch. We're going to caramelise some apples.
We are going to be using a Brava.
We're going to give it a nice covering of sugar.
This will help it to caramelise nicely.
Straight back on the gas.
So I've got asparagus, beautiful little baby turnips, as well.
We've blanched them, what we call blanch and refresh.
We've cooked them perfectly. All we need to do is reheat. Gravy.
This is made from pork stock with a little bit of cider and Madeira reduction and white wine.
OK. So we're going to warm that up.
OK. Rosti is about ready now, guys, so we just flip that.
-Look at that.
That's nearly done. These are our
caramelised apples. Probably a bit of sherry vinegar would be good.
Gonna need that tray there. Let's see how our pork faggots are doing.
In the middle.
They do look great.
-Oh, that's a crunch!
Bit of apple on there.
A little jus.
Crispy bacon, and these little bad boys.
-You might say.
-Are you nicking it?!
This is Red Lion's interpretation of Leicestershire on a plate.
Pork faggots, pickled white cabbage,
local cider, and sage and onion rosti.
Get stuck into the faggot.
Oh, yeah. I think what's great about it, the balance of meat to offal.
-What Sean's put in's perfect.
-They're really tasty.
-It's got the regionality of it perfect, hasn't it?
Try some of the apple with it.
It's just perfectly executed.
Yeah. It's lovely.
-That's a good plate of food.
Let's not try and get too fancy?
No. No. It's got to be real food, you know.
It's all very well what we think but the real judges are the locals
who will decide whose dish is best in a blind tasting coming up.
Sean's faggots were a great use of the county's produce.
We'll need some superb ingredients to compete
but I think we might just have the answer.
We're off to visit Pat Stanley and her award-winning longhorn cattle.
Longhorn beef is prized around the world
but the breed's origins lie right here in Leicestershire.
-You can't keep a longhorn in here.
-It'll trample your rhododendrons.
-You'd never get your roses up.
-There she is.
-Can we come in?
Up there. There's cows with handle bars.
-It's good, isn't it?
-Hello. I'm Dave.
-Hi. I'm Pat.
Hello, Pat. Very nice to meet you.
This is Natasha, the Claudia Schiffer of the cow world.
She was breed champion of the longhorns at the Royal Show in 2004.
It's not the first supermodel that's walked out on me, you know.
Are they traditional to Leicestershire?
They are indeed and they were made very famous here in the 18th century
by a man called Robert Bakewell, who was the first person
to ever breed them just specifically for meat.
-Yeah. They were the first beef breed.
Right. In the country?
-In the country. In the world, in fact.
-In the world?
In the world. The meat is incredibly flavoursome and tender.
You don't need to chew it.
You just push it to the top of your mouth and it just melts in the mouth. It's beautiful.
-Which cuts are the best?
-The ones at the back.
They are kind of back end heavy, aren't they, the longhorns?
Absolutely. And that's what Robert Bakewell did.
He moved the meat from the front end of the animal and he changed
-all that flesh to the back end where all the good bits are.
All the roasting joints and the steaks,
instead of at the front where it's all stew and mince.
So, really, it's one of the first attempts to turn the cow
into a product for eating, rather than a tool, you know, for the farm.
-You know, Si, it's wonderful.
I think here, we've established the longhorn, it's kind of at the roots of British beef eating
and also, that's in Leicestershire, in the heart of England.
And maybe Pat can advise us how to cook it, as well.
-Walk this way, boys.
-Oh, not half.
-I like her, she's good, in't she?
Oh, let's taste it, then.
Scary moment cooking for cooks.
-There we go, boys. Try that.
-That smells fantastic.
Me first longhorn.
You are going to leave some for lunch, aren't you?
I wouldn't bank on it. What cut is this, Pat?
Braising steak. It's amazing, isn't it?
-It's just falling apart. It's just melting.
-It is absolutely great.
The grain of the meat, as well, is wonderful, isn't it?
The flavour's fantastic. Are they all for the longhorns?
They're all for the longhorns and they are last season's haul.
-That's one season?!
And I have to say that a lot of those cups have gone back already.
I see why you call them supermodels.
Is there any chance we can buy some of your supermodel?
Just step outside and go and see our butcher.
Brilliant. Thank you.
-Away, Mr King.
-It's like a sweetie shop, this.
-What can we do for you, gents?
-Let's do what Pat did.
That was fabulous. It's gotta be.
So Rich, are you a fan of the longhorn?
Yeah. Very much so, actually.
It's a superb soft texture with it.
That's just what you want.
-All the very best.
To take on Sean, we'll make a longhorn beef pie with our own puff pastry.
We'll serve it with a celeriac mash and honey roasted beetroot.
But the dish wouldn't be complete without another famous taste of Leicestershire - Stilton.
Stilton and Leicester cheese.
The king meets the king of cheese.
Alan Whiston has been making cheese here for over 25 years.
What this man doesn't know about Stilton isn't worth knowing.
-Welcome to the store.
What a smell.
-You'll get ammonia in here.
How long have you been making cheese here, Alan?
There's been cheese on the premises since 1780
but the fundamentals are the same as they were donkey years ago.
What has changed is the modern controls. The controller with the ingredients...
-And hygiene, which is why we're like this.
There's only six dairies left making Stilton, across Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
The birth of a Stilton is like many other cheeses.
After rennet has been added to milk, the whey is removed and the curds are packed into moulds.
After five or six days, the coat of each cheese is smoothed to prevent any air entering.
But as the crust begins to form, its time to add the famous blue veins
that turn an ordinary cheese into the king of cheeses.
So, Alan, how do you get the blue bits in the Stilton?
Well, actually, we call the process piercing.
-Follow me and I'll show you where it happens.
There's no blue in these at the moment. Put it on this machine here.
-It's simply called a piercing machine.
Place the cheese on the rotating wheel.
Close the safety hood.
WHIRRING AND BANGING
You can see the needles have actually come through
into the centre of the cheese to allow the oxygen in there.
Right. So where the oxygen goes in, the seed grows and you get
the blue veins running along the lines of the needles.
-Absolutely. We'll go and have a look at some maturing cheese, eh?
-Yes. That'd be great.
Now, just to give you an idea of the maturing process
from a young cheese right the way through to the real McCoy,
as we might say,
this is what we call a cheese iron,
so the grader will come along
and actually do a grade on the cheese.
-And, of course, this is much too young, at the moment, to select for any customers.
-Yeah, it is.
-You can see that it's young.
-It's very pleasant, though.
We'll now look at another cheese which is now six to seven weeks.
You'll see a lot more bluey.
The blue that is there becomes a little bit more defined.
So I'll put that back in.
I love that. I think that's great. What happens next?
The only thing that makes good Stilton is age.
So we now move to something around eight to nine weeks of age.
We're looking for nice open texture,
blue two thirds of the way up the iron.
Lovely, nice and creamy on the back of the iron.
That's blue, too, isn't it?
A lot happening between six weeks and ten weeks.
That's when it really all happens.
That's lovely, isn't it, Dave?
If we move on again, to something that's around about ten to eleven weeks of age...
-Do you want to have a go, Si?
-That'd be great.
-There you go.
-This is a privilege.
-You can join the club then.
Oh, that's a lovely feeling.
You are now a Stilton iron thruster.
The blue bits are now really quite...
That's perfect for cooking.
Yeah. It is perfect. I reckon the king's met the king.
-I like the idea of this cos you can snaffle.
-Is that the one you'd like to take away with you then?
-This is the king.
-Is it heavy?
It is. Thanks ever so much, Alan.
I think we've found the one. It's time to go home.
This is the boy-o, dude!
-Come on while it's still daylight.
-Do you want a blanket before we go outside in the cold?
We've done our homework.
-We're doing longhorn beef and Stilton pie.
Served with local celeriac and potato mash.
And honey roasted beetroot balls.
With a butternut squash puree with a little bit of nutmeg.
But, will local diners think our dish is good enough
to beat Sean in the blind tasting?
Look at this. It's an ugly looking beast, isn't it, celeriac?
But, basically, what I've done is, I've just cut them even sizes.
-Potatoes in one pan. Keep the flavour in one pan.
Celeriac in the other.
-I'm going to stick them on the stove.
It's going to be like an open-top kind of bistro pie.
I'm going to make some puff pastry. I am a great fan of frozen puff pastry.
However, cos I'm a mad man, we try and make our own puff pastry.
-I've got flour, some salt.
And I want my buttery chunks. The butter's chilled. It's cold.
I do great pastry at home.
I've got Carrara marble-tops.
Oh, you had to say that, don't you? You're such a tart.
So, I'll just break this up.
Now, I'm not going for crumbs cos I want bits of butter
cos the butter's going to make it puff up and it's going to make it super rich.
I'm going to do the butternut squash puree. I'm going to start with this.
All you do is cut it in half.
Get those seeds out.
I've got big lumps of butter in there. I've got lots of air in.
To that, add some iced water.
I'm going to smear some butter on them.
-So now, I just need to wrap that in cling-film.
Put it in the fridge. Leave it to stand.
We're going to add salt and pepper.
-There you go then, man.
And face down and they go in to a hot oven for about 35 minutes.
-I'll get on with my puff.
There's such a lot of butter in it. Should hold together nicely.
So roll that out.
Look at that. The colour of it's fabulous, isn't it?
This is the second stage in making puff pastry.
You fold it into three.
It's the layers that are going to give you the flake.
So now, we roll it out again.
We put that back like that.
Now, that goes in to the fridge for half an hour. There we go.
-I'm going to get on with the filling for our longhorn beef and Stilton pie.
-This is the longhorn.
Yeah. Now, this is braising steak.
Before we make the pie, it has to marinade.
-Put the meat in to the bowl.
-What's the marinade?
Some garlic. And we just chop that.
Just keep them whole cos they'll start to release the flavour
as they expand and we're going to put some nice sprigs of thyme in.
Pour the brew in. And we want about 400 mils of this in here.
Give that a stir like that.
Put clingfilm over it and it sits in its own loveliness for two-and-a-half hours.
-Shall I put this out the way?
-We haven't got two-and-a-half hours to wait.
Here's one we've done earlier.
Yeah. This has been sat now for about three hours.
Now, look how the colour of the meat's changed.
-It's started to absorb nicely.
-It has. I'm going to take the meat out.
Strain off the marinade.
That's that. We'll keep that cos that's going to be part of our gravy.
This is some seasoned flour.
Pat this dry. The important thing is to do it in batches, really,
because the last thing that you want to do is stew the meat.
Pastry's ready now. This has chilled out and we've got to do the next double turn.
Roll this out. One.
I always think a rough puff pastry is plywood.
You've got one grain one way, one grain the other.
And roll it.
-Can you pass us that oval cutter, Kingy?
This is the chef ring we're using for packing the beef.
-So the logic is that it should sit.
One. Two. I always do spares because I'm an insecure person.
-Put them in the fridge now till we're ready.
-Shall I take them?
Brown this off now.
There's going to be a celeriac and potato mustard mash.
So it can all go back in the same pan.
What I'll do now is I'll put that back on the stove
to dry it, cos when it's mashed, it'll be super fluffy.
What we've got in the pan is a little bit of colour.
And just continue like that until all the meat's browned.
-Could you get me those kind of puff-pastry tops out the fridge?
-Course I can.
What we're going to do now is give it a little bit of kind of bistro chic.
We're going to slash the tops.
Then egg and bake them and they'll come out like an armadillo's back.
-Pop that into an oven, preheated, about 180 degrees.
About 15 minutes till it's light and fluffy and barking at the moon.
-Nought like a bark at the moon, dude, is there?
To this pan we're going to add some shallots, halved.
If you want super-fine mash, you need one of these.
-And the answer is, "No, I don't know what I'm doing."
-I'm going to add the mushrooms to these shallots.
There's no lumps in that.
Some cream. Some butter. I mean, you can't go wrong with butter.
I really want to beat that. We don't want lumps. White pepper for this, not black.
-I've browned off the mushrooms. I've browned off the shallots.
And we're going to add that to the browned beef.
Mustard, the final ingredient.
I think about...that much.
I've deglazed the pan with some of that lovely local beer. Half a litre of beef stock.
The marinade, just added a sprig of thyme there.
Transfer this to the hob. Now, we can cook this in the oven, 160 degrees,
for about an hour-and-a-half to two hours.
That'll start to thicken up and it'll end up looking like that.
Honey beetroot balls. Now, this beetroot has been blanched for about half an hour till it's soft.
You plunge your baller into the centre
-and out pops the beetroot ball.
What about using baby beetroot?
Shut up, you.
Put some thyme on there. Oil.
A splash of balsamic vinegar.
And some honey.
Now, we need to roast that
for about 15 minutes.
-That's all right.
-That is good timing.
Kind of hot, like. It's so roasted.
-It's almost gone like mashed potato inside, anyway.
-Lovely, isn't it?
-Give it a blitz.
I'll start chopping up the Stilton for the sauce.
I'm going to put this in a pan to get any of the excess moisture out of it, OK?
The honey beetroot balls are coming along terrifically.
Sean, three of your finest dinner plates, sir.
The longhorn beef's done. That needs the Stilton putting in and stirring.
-That's just gently melting through?
It'll still be quite predominant?
And... The rough buttered puff-pastry tops are done, so we'll put those up there.
I'll fill my piping bag with the potatoes. Can you roll my beetroots, Kingy?
-Yeah. No worries, dude.
-This is a very hot world that Sean exists in.
Sean used to be 23 stone up until two years ago but he turned the extractors off.
-Shall I do the beef, Kingy?
-Yes, please. Yeah.
We top that with our little beauties.
Look at that. Just like Mr Whippy.
-Nice, dude. Nice.
-Oh, you beauty, Kingy.
Honey-roasted beetroot balls.
-With a little nutmeg.
-That's fantastic. You've done Leicestershire proud.
Well, there we have it. Leicestershire on a plate.
There we go, chef.
We've made a longhorn beef and Stilton pie.
-Served with potato and celeriac mash.
-With honey-roasted beetroot balls.
And butternut squash, puree it with nutmeg.
He's gone for the beetroot balls, Kingy.
He's gone for them, dude.
They are a little bit sweet, man, those beetroot.
The beef, it just has absorbed that ale really well, so the marinade,
as you say, just takes it on really well.
The beef and Stilton is superb. Just got that masked overtone of it now.
And I like the rough...
The rough folk love it. Thanks!
That's fantastic. Thanks, guys.
Leicestershire will be proud of you two.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you very much.
It's crunch time. The diners here will taste both dishes without any idea who cooked which.
First is Sean's pork faggots with pickled cabbage in cider and a sage-and-onion rosti.
The faggots were presented nicely.
It looked meaty and hearty,
but at the same time, having the fresh vegetables gave it a kind of counterbalance.
I love the mixture of the pork and the apple and the sage.
I was surprised how moist it was, how rich it was, how sweet it was.
-The little baby turnip went so well with it.
-Delicious. Loved it all.
The softness of the meat of the faggots and the crispness of the rosti, in particular,
worked well together.
I actually think it represented the county very well.
We have a predominance of local meats here,
so, all in all, I would say that is a good Leicestershire dish.
That seemed to go down very well. How will our dish fare? Well, fingers crossed.
The beef was fab. Beautifully tender.
Subtle Stilton coming through.
It was fun and colourful and represented the whole of Leicestershire.
I thought it was really rustic.
It reminded me of home cooking, something I could have done myself.
Whilst the pastry was nice at the beginning, it was quite crispy,
towards the middle it felt a bit heavy.
The flavour of the celeriac and mustard mash was too strong in comparison with the meat dish.
Immediately drawn to the beef.
-It looked tender and succulent and juicy.
Wonderful beef. I would put that down as Leicestershire.
Hello! How are you?
Well, thank you very much for coming today.
We've had a great time.
It's been fabulous, cooking with Sean.
It's been great. We've had a great time in Leicestershire.
We've got to get down to the nitty-gritty of it.
You must vote for one or the other.
OK? You can't vote for two.
All right. For the faggots, please, could I have a clear show of hands?
One. Two. Three. Four. Five. OK.
And for the beef and Stilton pie, please.
One. Two. Three.
That was just...!
OK. The faggots...
Obviously, the beef and Stilton pie we got from Marks'!
'Well, Sean is a talented chef and those faggots are some of the tastiest we've ever eaten.
'Leicestershire is a county with real food traditions that are loved around the world.'
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Si King and Dave Myers explore Leicestershire, where they cook a traditional county favourite at Leicester Market. They visit the supermodels of the cow world and taste the king of cheeses, Stilton. Finally, they face the challenge of a cook-off against top chef Sean Hope. Restaurant diners decide who has created the best taste of Leicestershire in a blind tasting.