The Hairy Bikers get on their bikes to find the best of each county's larder. Simon King and Dave Myers explore Anglesey, where they cook an ancient local favourite.
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-We're the Hairy Bikers...
-We're on the road to find regional recipes to rev up your appetite.
-We're riding county to county to discover, cook and enjoy the best of British.
We're here to define the true taste of Anglesey.
Here we are, dude - Anglesey! The Menai Straits behind us. Oh, fabulous!
This county is an island and used to be known as Mam Cymru, the Mother of Wales.
That's because it was Wales's larder, its pantry.
Also very famous for its mussels, oysters, its coastline, fish...
Its livestock, its black beef.
Let's go and the people.
The people of Anglesey, what are you all about?
On our quest to define the real flavours of Anglesey,
we moor up at Beaumaris Lifeboat Station to cook up an ancient traditional dish.
We get stuck in mud on the Menai Straits in search of the freshest mussels and oysters on the island.
And we taste the diamonds of the deep - sea salt like you've never seen it before.
Representing Anglesey in the cook-off is Stephen Duffy.
Will we be able to beat him, using the county's finest ingredients?
Here we are, and this is the place where we need to find out what the people of Anglesey really eat.
What, to you, symbolises Anglesey? In food?
-The mussels to start with.
Obviously seafood. Oysters from the Straits.
Proper Welsh lamb. You can really taste the difference in it.
-Here we are, great.
-Isn't it lovely seeing a butcher's shop that's got cooked HOT meat?
-It's very popular.
-Look at that. That's proper crackling.
-That's scratchings for you!
Don't be shy!
Ohhh! Stan, what's special about Welsh meat.
It's a lot to do with the grazing on the island.
They do look after their cattle. The lamb especially, and the Welsh Black. They are very, very popular.
-That's the business.
-Stan, is this Anglesey beef?
-It's all off the island.
-That's good beef.
A cup of tea, I think.
-Welsh high tea for you.
-Fabulous, thank you very much.
We've got fruit scones, Welsh cakes, which we serve warm with butter.
Hmm. Nice and spicy, aren't they?
-And the bara brith. Fruit bread. That's what bara brith is, fruit bread.
-Fruit bread. Hmm.
-Nice to meet you. I'm Sarah.
-Hi, Sarah, nice to meet you.
-We've got some pork and leek Anglesey sausages.
-You know how to get to a man's heart pretty quick, don't you? Yes.
-Exactly. Happy pigs, we say.
-Very nice sausages.
-This is our Anglesey blue.
-I've heard about this.
-That it's the most expensive blue cheese in the world.
-How much is a kilo?
£29 a kilo.
-That is good cheese.
We've got Tracey with her home-made pate.
Ooh! This is smoked mackerel and Stilton pate. Wow.
You are not frightened of your flavours, are you?
If anybody's going to tell us what Anglesey is about, food-wise, it's got to be you, you're the lass.
-Is there an iconic dish of Anglesey? A good old-fashioned recipe?
-Anglesey eggs. Have you heard of that, Tracey?
-This was a dish
Mum could put in the oven, ready for when the kids came home from school.
-It was classed as a family filler.
Mum always had potatoes in the store, eggs in the fridge,
-bit of cheese that might have gone a little bit hard. Leeks, we've always got.
-It's our national vegetable.
-It's Wales, isn't it?
-Anglesey is going to be good.
Anglesey eggs sounds like a great dish - simple yet flavoursome
and can be created from basic Welsh ingredients.
Let's breathe life into an ancient county classic.
We need to head somewhere special to find the finest example of the Welsh national symbol - the leek.
James Hooton's family have been farming on Anglesey since 1964.
That's what we are after.
The hallowed symbol of Wales.
James, where are those lovely leeks bound for?
They're going into our farm shop, which is just behind the trees.
-10am, you cut the leeks, you can have them with your lunch.
-You don't just grow crops, do you?
-We grow a wide range of fruits and vegetables,
-but we also keep livestock.
-What sort of beef cattle do you keep?
-They're all Welsh Blacks.
-They are quite famous, aren't they?
-The native breed of Wales.
Come on, James, show us your bullocks.
-So this is the Welsh blackface.
-The famous sirloin on forked hooves. They're magnificent, aren't they?
What makes the Welsh Black beef taste so good?
They are a slow-growing breed.
They've got marbling in the meat, which adds to the flavour.
-Do they adapt well to the climate here?
-They can cope with all sorts of weather. Look at their coats.
They are very woolly. One over there looks like Tom Jones.
Champion, James. Take us to your shop. We need a few bits and pieces.
Let's get cracking.
'And get all our ingredients for our traditional Anglesey dish.'
-I suppose Anglesey eggs, step one.
-It's a start.
Ah, there they are.
-They are smashing.
-Potatoes. They are over here, mate.
-Nadines. These are good mashers, good chippers, good general purpose.
-Now, we call them "nads".
Here, you know this Anglesey eggs is a vegetarian delight, but you know what it would be great with?
-These ruddy great big bacon chops.
-Just a bit on the side.
Welsh Cheddar. Full-flavoured, mature Cheddar from Wales.
-I tell you what, Dave.
-We better get some...
-THEY TALK NONSENSE
READS WELSH BADLY
Oh, Charlotte Church(!)
We're off to Beaumaris Lifeboat Station where a hungry crowd
are looking forward to seeing us re-create a county classic
that'll bring back childhood memories.
We're making Anglesey eggs - mashed potatoes and leeks with sliced boiled eggs
and a creamy cheese sauce and a crunchy cheese topping to finish.
Welcome to Beaumaris Lifeboat Station.
That, in the deep, dark mists, is Snowdonia mountain range.
-What a place to be, what a place to cook.
We're doing Anglesey eggs out of the symbol of Wales - the leek.
-It's mashed potatoes and leeks put together, a bit like a colcannon.
-Onto that, it's sliced hard-boiled eggs.
-On top of that,
there's a fantastic cheese sauce and a lovely, crumbly topping.
It's a really good vegetarian dish.
-However, it's even better with some bacon chops.
-First step, my friend...
-..is on the spuds.
I am putting half a dozen eggs in boiling water.
Leeks are a fantastic veg.
And the leeks only take about five minutes to blanch.
-Do you think that's enough leeks, Kingy?
-Aye, that'll do.
-The eggs are boiling.
-The eggs are boiling.
-The leeks are coming to a simmer.
-The leeks are coming to a simmer.
And Kingy's "nads" are on a slow rumble.
Meanwhile, I'll make the cheese sauce.
And I'm going to make the crumbly topping loveliness.
We are using two types of cheese in this.
There isn't a cheese made on Anglesey that's like Cheddar.
They have blue cheese, goat's cheese, but there isn't a hard cheese.
So we've got Caerphilly and a nice Welsh Cheddar from just over the water.
-It's not grating. Look at it. Have you seen that?!
That's how Heston Blumenthal would grate cheese.
He wouldn't. He'd put it through a sieve and blow it up!
These leeks I just blanched. They're not boiled to death, they are just right.
We're going to do the topping. It's really simple.
I'm going to put some breadcrumbs in,
mix it up...like that. What that's going to do is give you two different types of textures.
As the cheese melts, you're going to get a little crust and crumb of crunchiness.
We're going to put some nutmeg in, maybe half a teaspoon. No more.
But some black pepper into it.
-Season it, a little bit of salt.
-I think these are done, don't you?
-We don't want them rock hard.
-No, they'll be lovely.
Does everybody know how to make a cheese sauce?
Melt some butter...
This is what is known as a roux.
Flour goes into the butter.
About that much - nice thick one.
Mix that to a paste.
Dribble some milk in...
If it goes lumpy, I just get the whisk on it.
It's smooth, it's lovely.
Some nice black pepper.
A few grains of the caviar of the salt world.
We're going to wait for that sauce to thicken up and cook the flour off a bit,
-then we'll add the cheese and some English mustard.
-The good thing about adding mustard,
-it just give it a slight piquance.
-A nice consistency, nice sheen.
And no lumps!
I want it to be more like a fondue than a runny sauce.
Something you can just dip your bread in and eat.
That's what's going to make it super tasty over the hard-boiled eggs.
-Look at that.
-I have to say,
I've never known potatoes take so long to boil in all my life.
-Should I shell my eggs while I'm waiting?
-Dave, shell your eggs while you're waiting.
Course we all know where an eggshell has been.
I'll just check...the potatoes.
Come on, girls, be nice.
-I have the hard-boiled eggs, leeks and cheese sauce ready.
-Have you? Good lad.
In the pan we cooked the potatoes in, it's warm, we're going to melt the butter slowly,
a little bit of seasoning.
This is white pepper because that goes really well with potatoes. This is called a ricer.
You stick your potato in there, give it a good squash. It's like a giant garlic press.
It comes out and it's absolutely smooth mash. It's a lovely way to do it.
That egg white end, I'm chucking it.
-I am, because I don't like it.
Each slice is going to contain a little disc of good Anglesey yolk.
Just a tip - when you're doing eggs, if you want them to slice easily, wet your knife.
Stir that round like that.
Before we put the cream in, what we want to check is the level of butter and seasoning we've got in there.
-Do like you do - have a taste.
-Then put more butter in.
-Then put more butter in! Exactly that!
She's getting excited now, that lady over there, about the amount of butter going in.
-You'll be all right!
-You'll be all right, love!
Look at that. You just push that butter through like that.
Putting a little bit of cream in. Look at that.
-You may. Have a go of that.
Look at that! That is fluffy, isn't it?
-Terrible, isn't it?
Shall I put the leeks in?
Put in as many as you fancy, really.
-It can take it.
-It can take the lot, Dave.
-We are ready to build.
-Right, let's go.
Into a lovely buttered dish we place the leeks and the potatoes.
Look at this.
What we do now is placed the lovely hard-boiled chuckies on there.
You can't have egg without salt and pepper.
Look at that. No lumps.
Ohh... Do you want a hanky, darling?
I can see you dribbling from here!
Then, on top of that, that lovely crumb that we made before,
with the cheese and the breadcrumbs...
All we've got to do is bake this at about 180 degrees, about 15 minutes.
If it hasn't gone golden, we'll stick it under the grill and cheat.
-It's been 25 minutes.
Look at that.
GASPS AND APPLAUSE
Whilst that's been cooking, we've put some bacon in the pan.
Nice, thick bacon chops. Lovely.
The Anglesey eggs - nice big bit of crust on the top...
Aw, now, look at that!
Lovely, creamy, full of flavour.
We will just garnish that with some parsley. There it is.
Anglesey eggs with optional bacon.
This is such a hearty, warm dish but will the people of Anglesey feel warm hearted when they taste it?
ALL TALK AT ONCE
-Here we are!
-Can you take one?
-What do you reckon, Tracey?
-Very nice, very creamy. Perfect.
-I must admit, the white pepper in the potato...definitely.
-It brings out the flavour.
-White pepper always in mash.
-This is lovely.
-It sticks to your ribs, doesn't it?
The crumble makes the big difference. Really nice, adds to its...
-It seems to be popular.
-It does, doesn't it?
Anglesey orgasmic eggs. You've heard it here!
Those Anglesey eggs certainly had people going weak at the knees.
I know - good work, Kingy! But our biggest challenge is just around the corner.
As always, we're taking on one of the county's top chefs in THEIR restaurant, using local ingredients,
to see who can best define the taste of the region.
It will be up to local diners to decide whose dish best represents the true flavours of Anglesey.
Our opponent today is...
Head chef of Treysgawen Hotel, Stephen Duffy.
Young Welsh Chef of the Year Stephen looks locally to source ingredients.
-Almost everything he cooks comes direct from the island of Anglesey.
-I just love food.
I've been involved with food most of my life. My grandma was a great cook. Food became an obsession.
99% of the ingredients are sourced off Anglesey.
The food here is some of the best food you'll get in the world.
Local scallops are hand dived 20 minutes away.
We've got beautiful venison. The Welsh Black beef we use is two minutes from the hotel.
There's a fantastic abundance of local produce.
The style of food we do is modern European with influences from around the world.
I worked in Bangladesh for a year, so I've got a few Asian influences in the food as well.
Last year, I was crowned National Asian Chef of Great Britain - a unique achievement for me.
It was fun.
I like to express myself on a plate. Presentation is paramount.
Some guests take pictures of food before they eat it. It's nice.
The guys in the kitchen ask me what I cook on my days off. I'm quite happy to make home-made pasta.
My favourite food is bangers and mash.
But it's good-quality bangers and mash.
To take on the bikers, my taste of Anglesey is
roasted fillet of Welsh Black beef
with locally smoked shiitake mushrooms
and a superb smoked local mashed potato.
Ahh, Treysgawen Hotel - what an amazing place!
But will Stephen Duffy's cooking be as impressive? Let's get in the kitchen and see what he's all about.
What are you going to cook, Steve?
We're doing the roast fillet of Anglesey beef with basil jelly, creamed potatoes with smoked butter
and a gratin of wild mushrooms. Beautiful product. Five miles down the road.
-Anglesey Black beef.
-That's been hung properly.
-Yes. Hung for 21 days.
-You can't go wrong with good beef, can you?
No. Look at the product, it speaks for itself.
-To clarify, this is fillet?
-This is the fillet, which runs on the underside of the cow.
Get nice big steaks because... THE BIKERS LAUGH
-You are big guys, aren't you?
-What are you trying to say?!
Lightly season it. Lightly seal these, a little bit of olive oil. PAN SIZZLES
-Listen to that, viewers. Listen.
You get a nice bit of colour on the steaks. Colour is flavour.
In the kitchen here, we used oil for heat and butter for flavour.
-But one of the products I'm using is a smoked local butter...
..which will give a nice twinge to the steak and we'll get a nice colour from the butter as well.
99% of the ingredients we use here in the hotel are sourced off the island.
-All we've done is lightly seared that...
Look at that.
Hardly need to cook it at all.
We're going to let the steaks rest off a bit.
The butter is foaming.
We're going to drop a little bit more in there.
All we're doing is basting the steaks and then we can finish them later.
In all seriousness, they have a beautiful glaze on them.
-Lovely, I'd eat that now.
-So would I.
-You could eat them with a spoon.
We are going to make the sabayon for the gratin of wild mushrooms.
We've got local mushrooms, which are dried, but they are smoked.
-Lovely. They've got some strength to them.
-If you dry products, they become more pungent. You can season your steaks with the dust.
You've got the wild mushroom going on through your steak then as well.
Six egg yolks and the wild mushroom powder.
We're just going to melt a packet of butter down.
-He's a man after our own hearts.
We've got the egg yolks in there, a little bit of wild mushroom powder,
-a touch of salt.
-A touch of pepper.
-That's a gorgeous colour.
We've got our butter just melting down.
It's brilliant when you get good eggs, cos you'd swear you'd put saffron in there.
You would. They are like liquid gold.
You can't add the butter cos it's too hot. It'd split the egg yolks.
-You'd end up with scrambled eggs.
-This is the other form of the mushroom we're using.
-We're doing a gratin to accompany the sabayon.
-They are. Grown in Wales.
We're just going to slice these down.
-Either of you left-handed?
-No. Are you left-handed?
All the best chefs are.
-My missus is left handed and she can't cook. Oh, no...
-I was only joking, pet.
Here we go. So, guys, we're going to whip these up a little bit...
-to what we call ribbon stage.
-Now, why do you call it a ribbon stage?
As soon as you can see the trail of the whisk, the egg yolks are cooked.
If you take them any further, they'll scramble and knacker your sauce.
-There's some heat coming off that range.
-It's quite hot here, yeah.
Can you imagine, when we've 40 covers and we've got this one on, this one on, that on, the grill on...?
It gets a bit hot. So all we're going to do...
-Normally, you need three pairs of hands, but just whack that there...
-That's why there's two of us!
-.and then add the butter very slowly.
-Shall I steady that?
-Fantastic. Thank you.
I'm just going to add the butter very, very slowly, to create an emulsion.
I'll just mop your fevered brow. Hold on!
-Very kind, thank you.
Right, guys. We're done. We're going to keep this warm because if it goes cold, it'll split.
Shiitake mushrooms. Cooking them in locally smoked butter. Get them going.
-Aw.. They are awesome!
-Little bit of seasoning.
You don't want to overcook them because you want to give the dish a bit of texture.
To accompany this, we've got a beautiful smoked potato. What we've got here is mashed potato.
You use a little bit of smoked butter and double cream.
-This is the locally smoked butter, yes.
-Doesn't he supply El Bulli?
-In Spain, yes, one of world's greatest restaurants. It's not harsh, though.
-Interesting, though. Big salt.
-That's why you have to be careful when you season the potato.
-That is fabulous.
-Just going do a bit of mash.
-How much do you want in?
-Fat means flavour.
-Look at that! Ho-ho! I'll take that!
So we're just going to emulsify this together.
-The butter's obviously taking on the mash and the cream now.
Hey, man, that looks fantastic.
-It does, doesn't it?
-Quite handy in the kitchen, these. Disposable piping bags.
So we'll put the mash into the bag...
To keep the mashed potato nice and warm...just wrap him up and we'll keep him under the lights.
-Under the lights.
Little bit of oil. Just going to warm that through.
We start the sauce for the beef, which is just going to be a red wine and thyme and mustard reduction.
Little bit of shallot.
-There's something elemental about that. I love it!
A little bit of red wine.
We turn that down now, reduce it to nothing, so it goes syrupy, and then we'll add the jus to it.
-The other flavour I spoke of was thyme.
Thyme's a lovely, natural marriage with beef. Just give the steaks another little baste.
All the red wine has evaporated, we've flavoured the onions. To that we're just going to add a jus.
We've got the steaks here. We'll finish them under the grill. Now we can start putting the dish together.
These are wonderful, lovely little copper pans.
-We're gonna put the gratin of mushrooms in these.
-And the sabayon we did earlier.
-Pile a little bit over the mushrooms.
Put one into each gratin.
Keep them warm there.
-Now, this is interesting.
-This is quite unique. It's a basil jelly.
We actually serve it warm.
It's so intense. It's about a kilo of basil, which gives me a pint mixture.
It's like eating snot.
So what we're going to do is pop these on the plate
and we'll get our beautiful smoked mashed potato that we prepared earlier.
There's more bits to this than the Airfix Bismarck.
Just pipe him on the plates. Elements that we're going to finish it with are...
shallot puree - which is just blended shallots, garlic, olive oil, thyme,
-and pushed through a sieve so we get a nice consistency with it. Creamed swede.
Just drag him down the plate. Beautiful steaks.
Lay him on there...
Just place the pan under the grill.
And we just finish it with our sauce for the beef.
-Look at that.
-There you go, guys.
Gratin, which you just glaze under the grill.
That's just gorgeous.
Anglesey on a plate. Roasted fillet of Welsh Black beef, basil jelly,
creamed potatoes with smoked butter and a gratin of wild mushrooms.
-The meat is perfectly cooked.
-The meat's gorgeous.
Absolutely fabulous. It's accomplished, isn't it?
-If this is the sort of food that the taste is like...we're sunk.
-Yeah, we are.
Because it's superb.
The shiitakes are an odd choice of mushroom.
-The sabayon does balance the shiitakes, doesn't it?
-It does. Yes.
And accompanies the beef... perfectly well.
-I love it.
-I know. I do, too.
All I can say is, from here, there's a cameraman with his tongue hanging out.
You know who you are, don't you?
But it's the locals who will decide whose dish is best, in a blind tasting coming up.
Stephen's Welsh Black beef was fabulous.
But Anglesey's Menai Straits are famous for mussels and oysters,
so we're gonna look to the sea for our ingredients. Ah!
What a beautiful part of the world!
Sean Crynen began farming shellfish in 1994
and now supplies 100,000 oysters and 125 tons of mussels every year.
-Are we ready?
-Ah, it's a bit wild!
-Right, skipper, I'm there.
-I think we're well sorted.
Mr Myers's hat is the bane of my life, so with that in mind...
-I love this hat.
-..we are going to Sellotape his hat...
-It's not going to blow off?
Are we ready? Let's go.
Sean, it's not the easiest form of farming, is it?
No, it's not. Mussels produce vast quantities of mud.
So that's mussel poo?
-Effectively, yeah. One ton of mussels - 17 tons of mud, every year.
-That's a lot of mussel dump!
-The Menai Strait is the largest area in Britain for producing mussels.
-50% of all Europe's mussels
are produced from the Menai Straits.
-That's crazy. So how do we get some?
-We'll grab some trays.
-And then it's all hands.
-Come on, mate.
OK. Now what we need to do is to get stuck in now.
I bet that ruddy chef doesn't do this!
No. I've ever seen Rick Stein doing this.
-No, not at the coalface.
-This is hard work, mate.
-It is, isn't it?
-Me and the other lad will get a ton a tide.
-A ton a tide? Dear me.
This is what you call getting your own grub. Mine's full, skip.
"Mine's full, skip," Ooh(!)
-Do you want some help?
What do you get for a ton? Because whatever it is, it's not enough.
Are you all right there, dude?
I'm going vegetarian after this.
-Come on, mate!
-Step two. Sticking your boot in.
-Does it not harm them?
They're tough mussels, these.
Growing into tidal, the shell gets good and strong,
-so then you end up with a tray with no mud.
-The mussels are ready to go.
-Wait for me!
So that's the fruits of our labours?
That it is, yes. Can you see all the mussels now? They're all stuck together.
-What you want is all that rubbish out and the pure mussel left in.
Now, these boxes contain about 40kg of mussels.
That's a lot of weight there.
But a lot of this weight will contain very small mussels, so that will then go back onto the beach.
We'll leave that to grow for another 12, 18 months, then we'll come back.
So what we'll do with these mussels now, they'll go into a tank of clean sea water.
They'll spend two days in the clean sea water, then they'll go through one of these machines again,
so they're double-graded, and then they'll be spotless.
The mussels aren't the only ones that need a good wash!
Sean's equally as known for his oysters.
I love 'em but Dave's allergic.
Ah, yes! Look at that.
Oh, God! They are fantastic.
I might be allergic to oysters but I'm not allergic to mussels.
Come on. Look at these.
Just steamed till they're open.
You can use this one as a nipper.
They are beautiful.
Give us a go, mate.
Ah, God! The quality is superb.
How convenient - a foodstuff that provides you with its own implement.
# Wah, wah, waa! #
Duffy, you're dead in the water!
We're gonna do a medley of seafood to show off what Anglesey's shores have to offer.
We'll serve some sea bass with Sean's mussels and oysters and some proper chips.
But we still need a sprinkling of something special.
Anglesey's Halen Mon salt is world famous, but David and Alison Lea-Wilson's company began simply,
with just a saucepan of sea water on top of the kitchen stove.
Despite their worldwide popularity, the couple believe in putting the local community first.
-What a day!
-This is what I consider work, really.
What we've got in front of us is fantastic ingredients. That's how I see it.
-I've got clean, clean sea.
Just go through with us, David, why it is so pure.
Because it's come from the Gulf Stream, which is coming into the Menai Straits here,
and we've got two pipelines that are into the middle of the straits, here.
You can see where they come ashore here.
-What are we going to do now, then?
-OK, all I'm going to do is check that that sea water
is A, salty enough, and B, that there's no pollution in it.
I'm going to take one drop of sea water and, from that, the way the light goes through
that sea water on the lens, I can tell how much salt there is in that.
-If you want to have a look through that.
It's just under 4%.
-OK, that's telling me that that is 4% salt in the sea water.
-So, do we have a good day for making salt?
-We have a cracking day. Have you ever harvested sea salt before?
-No. I'll give everything a go, though.
-My mother always said I'd end up down a salt mine.
-It is, it's absolutely amazing.
-Beautiful, isn't it?
-You've seen on the seashore
-that the sea water is 4% salt.
-So we've got to get rid of 95% water, and that's mostly been done already.
-Oh, it's amazing.
In the very final stage, we've got these wonderful crystals, and then we're going to leave these to drain.
This is the sea salt when it's been rinsed.
I'm dying to get my hands in it.
Now is the time.
Just be gentle.
-Your salt, it's very identifiable by the flakes and the size of the flakes, isn't it?
'David does really clever things with salt.
'His special flavoured varieties could be our secret weapon against Stephen.'
We'll start with the simplest possible thing - a flake of sea salt on half a cherry tomato.
It brings the flavour of the tomato out. It's just wonderful.
But we're giving a dish of four component parts.
I wonder if we could use a different salt for each one, to help us win!
The first one will be mussels. Now, there is some celery in the broth.
Perhaps a fraction of celery salt would be...a suggestion there.
-Preserving was the first thing that salt was used for. They preserved meat.
And the spiced salt, we've used a 200- to 300-year-old recipe that was used for preserving meat.
That will work on tomatoes.
That works on its own!
There's an also awful lot of top chefs that are using your salt, aren't there?
I believe that at least eight of the world's top 50 are.
-I've heard Barack Obama likes your salt as well!
-He does, and in fact, it's this smoked salt.
In that case, it goes to Seattle, to a chocolate factory, and he puts it on top of a soft caramel
and it's just a little bit of salt on there, and that actually enhances the chocolate flavour.
-Oh, I get that!
-I get that, too.
Every so often, we get a large sea salt crystal, and we decided we'd call them diamonds of the sea.
-Diamonds of the sea.
What we do is we serve them with the chips, put those on the top and then they have to...
-Break it themselves.
-That's a much better idea.
-And they put exactly the salt on the bit of chip you want.
We want to have a go at salt-baking a sea bass, so we need a lot of salt.
-I can do you a special deal because if anyone's got sea salt, it's me.
-Be prepared to be shocked.
-Shocked and amazed. Stunned, even.
We're cooking Menai Straits oysters in a corn crust, mussels cooked in celery salt,
and salt-crusted sea bass on a bed of leeks and cabbage, all served with proper chips.
It will be up to local diners to decide whose dish best represents the true flavours of Anglesey.
Firstly, I'm going to show you have to make chips.
The potatoes have been soaking. It gets rid of the starch. You get a better chip.
Because we're with you and it's high-end, the chips are going to be perfect.
You don't want them too thick.
We want these just so.
That, to me, is a perfect bar of chip.
Right, now, see this? We're going to salt-bake these wonderful sea bass.
Look at that beautiful, beautiful salt.
Use one of the chips you've cut before to measure this potato...like that...
-Are you having a laugh?!
-No. No, I'm not.
Right, put your salt in here. Like that.
Look at that. So, you take this clove of garlic, heel of your hand like that, and go... Look at that.
I'm going to put that in there. Nothing too fancy. Very simple.
-Put that there.
-I'm getting the hang now.
Now, you see the whole thing about salt-baking is,
the salt actually won't seep into the skin.
When it's cooked properly, it will take beautiful, succulent pieces of fish.
-So that will have to form a crust?
-Which you then just break?
-Exactly, yeah. Now, that goes in the oven.
20 minutes. The countdown's about to go. Approximately 180.
These perfect chips, they have to be cooked first at 130 degrees.
They won't colour up. This is so that they're cooked through and we'll finish them off after.
Just give them about five minutes.
I'm going to prepare the bed for the mussels.
The symbol of Wales! Cut the leeks up finely.
Now, for a little treat, we're going to use celery in this, and it really works well with the mussels.
Right, we're going to do a lovely thing to go with the sea bass.
I've just put some butter in the pan, some leeks, some cabbage, and I've just stuck the vinegar in.
We're just going to let that go for a little while, OK?
-Because we've got the Halen Mon celery sea salt...
..I think we can cut down the content of the celery. Into the pan...butter.
And this is kind of making the base, because it's all going to happen very quickly.
I've got my leeks, my celery, my shallots - go into the butter.
-We cook those down with some thyme and bay leaves.
-How are your chips?
They're just perfect. They've taken on no colour but they're cooked through.
So what I do with them now, put those aside to rest.
Now, Mr Blumenthal, he cooks his three times, but that's over-egging your chip.
We do ours twice. Let them go cool.
We put them back in at 190. Bars of gold! The leeks are sweating.
-Not as much as Dave!
-It's all going lovely.
Chuck in a couple of bay leaves. Plip, plop. And a bunch of thyme.
Now we bung the wine in. Half a bottle.
Now I'm going to add some parsley.
Just there...sweat down. That's really for the mussels.
So, the one missing link in our extravaganza is...oysters.
Now, then. This is an oyster knife.
Menai Strait oysters. Fabulous.
So you just put the edge of it in there, like that,
and you just twist, nice and gently, like that. OK?
Lift it up, like that, and when you can see it, just run it through.
And then...take that off like that. Ah, look at these, man!
-They're nearly as plump as you!
-You're a good lad! They are whoppers, aren't they? Fabulous.
I'm going to make a corn crust.
We've got some cornmeal.
To that, about a tablespoon of cumin.
Teaspoon of ground fennel and our secret ingredient - some Anglesey spiced sea salt.
Just taste that, Kingy, see what you think.
-Just ordinary salt.
So, cabbage. It's going to be like a bed of seaweed underneath the wonderful salt-baked sea bass.
So to that, we lob in fish stock...and cream.
-That'll be enough.
-Mussels, into pan.
When they're open, they're done.
Chips, now, go in here.
About 180, 190.
Great. Let's get these oysters on, eh?
So Kingy dips the oysters into the egg, into the cornmeal, fries them for a minute...
Literally 30 seconds, boomph, and then it's out. Look at that. Right.
Now, the mussels need seasoning with Anglesey celery sea salt.
Then a bit more parsley for a bit of colour. Oh...
OK, so that's the oysters done.
Right. All the stock and the cream has evaporated.
All that flavour has gone into that cabbage.
Right, let's crack this fish.
Now, THAT's chips.
What do you reckon, Kingy?
-Well, the eye's gone white, which is a good sign.
-Right, some cream now, in the mussels.
That's all the celery salt, the thyme, the celery, leeks, good white wine. Look at those.
Absolutely fabulous. Chips.
Look what we're doing here, we're just peeling back the skin.
These are the sea salt diamonds, so people can just pick the diamond up
and crumble it over their chips. How cool's that?
This is not the easiest way to get fish off the bone, is it?
-Yeah, let me just put this back because this fish is under. It's undercooked.
-Ohhh... I knew it.
-I knew it was a big fish.
-It's well under, isn't it?
-Kind of worried about the oysters.
-They're fine. I've tasted them.
Now, what's happened is, with the salt-bake, it's quite a big fish so we've slightly undercooked it.
We've put it back in the oven for another five minutes to see how it comes out.
-Right, let's put these under the lamp to keep warm, eh?
-I can't believe it...
It's still slightly raw. It's nuts.
There's nothing more stressful than this.
20 seconds, do you reckon? I'm counting, mind, I'm counting.
Is he done?
-Oh, yeah. Yeah.
-That's cooked superb.
Look at that.
-Shall we get that one out the oven and try to get some more?
Yeah. See if we can get some nice bits off that.
Ah, yes. Right, we're in business.
We are in business.
-Let me just put some juice on these mussels to bring them back to life.
-Let's get this salt on, get them out.
A taste of Anglesey from the sea.
Chips with Welsh sea salt.
Mussels with leeks and...Welsh celery sea salt.
Menai Straits oysters with a lovely corn crust with...
-And then we've got...
..fantastic salt-crusted, roasted sea bass.
Lovely. Jolly good.
All right. Thank God for that.
-I'll have a chip, eh?
Love the potatoes.
Greens are lovely.
Vanilla's beautiful with the fish.
-Have a look at the mussels.
-See what they're like with the celery salt.
-Massive, aren't they?
-Aren't they're huge?
-Nice bit of cumin...
-You get the curry as well. I'm having another oyster. They are absolutely gorgeous.
It's crunch time. The diners here will taste both dishes but without any idea who cooked which.
First up is Stephen's Anglesey beef with a smoked mushroom gratin.
-Ah, that's really tender.
-The sauce is going down very well, isn't it?
-I knew that was a Welsh Black fillet. Beautiful.
Presentation is fine. Serving the gratin in the little pan like that is very attractive.
I would say the mushroom gratin was slightly too sweet for my liking.
I didn't think the basil cube did much to the dish.
The beef, it was absolutely beautiful.
We knew that would be a hit. If only our dish goes down as well. Oh, fingers crossed!
-Oh, to die for.
-Hmm. That's interesting.
It's quite a clever play on fish and chips, isn't it?
My first observation was it looked a very busy plate.
I seriously enjoyed the sea bass. That was delightful.
I was slightly disappointed with the mussels, to be honest. The celery was a bit overpowering.
I don't like oysters coated. I like them straight from the shell!
This really did go down a treat.
We've had a great time in Anglesey!
Now, this is the moment of truth, really.
So, could I have, please, a show of hands for the beef dish?
One, two, three... So that's three for the beef dish.
And for the fish dishes, please? One, two, three, four, five, six. Six for the fish.
The beef dish was Stephen's.
And the fish dish was the two lads that are now legging it out the back.
So thanks very much. Thanks, Stephen, thanks a lot.
Hey, we won! What a great result, Kingy!
Stephen helped with the sea bass, but the produce of Anglesey
-was the real winner.
-It really is a county of plenty.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Si and Dave explore Anglesey, where they cook an ancient local favourite in Beaumaris, harvest mussels from the Menai Strait and sample some very special sea salt. Finally, armed with the finest of the area's ingredients, they go head-to-head in a cook-off with top local chef Stephen Duffy. Restaurant diners decide who has best defined the taste of Anglesey in a blind tasting.