Si and Dave cook a county favourite in Malvern Priory Park and dig their own asparagus. Diners decide who has created the best taste of Worcestershire.
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We're on the road to find regional recipes to rev up your appetite.
We're riding county to county to discover, cook and enjoy the best of British.
Today, we're in search of the real taste of Worcestershire.
Look at that, Dave!
There it is, mate, the most spectacularly beautiful Worcestershire view. Look at it.
-It's gorgeous, isn't it?
And you know, the county town of Worcestershire is Worcester. What do you know about Worcester?
Elgar's from Worcester.
The only thing I know about Worcester is Worcester sauce.
They used to say at one time if you rubbed it on your head it made your hair grow.
I'm going to try a bit on my temples.
-And there's hills as well, in Worcestershire.
-Yes, the Malvern Hills.
Yeah, and the fabulous Georgian spa town of Malvern.
-I'm looking forward to this.
-Come on, let's go and sample some sauce.
Come on, let's off.
On our quest to find the true flavours of Worcestershire,
we rediscover a county classic that satisfies everyone's sweet tooth.
It's on your marks, get set, go,
as we compete to pick the finest asparagus in the world.
We sample a fruity tipple, made by a perry enthusiast in his very own garage.
And, representing Worcestershire in the cook off later, it's Sue Ellis.
Will we be able to beat her
in a blind tasting judged by local diners?
First stop on our tour of Worcestershire
is a little village called Ombersley.
We've heard it's the county's foodie capital, so let's see what it's got on offer.
Look, Kingy! We've got a deli, a butcher.
I bet there's a baker.
Do you know what we're missing? A candlestick maker. Come on.
What we are trying to ascertain is what the taste of Worcestershire is.
Pears, the Worcester black pear in particular, because it's on the county coat-of-arms.
And I think it's also on the county cricket club jumper.
That's great. That's fruit. Anything else?
Well, asparagus, especially at this time of year - it's very local.
You can't forget the beef. A lovely bit of beef here!
Ha! I don't mean you, sorry!
Ah! I was moving in there as well!
Are there any real famous things in Worcestershire that you eat?
-It would have to be Worcestershire sauce.
-The sausage is really nice.
Yeah, Big Dave's is fabulous - from the butcher's just there.
We need to go and have a look at Big Dave's sausage, that's what we need.
-Where's your sausage, dude?
-Oh, look at this, mate.
Hello. How are you fellas?
This is a taste of Worcestershire, isn't it?
So Dave, how long have your family been here?
I am the fourth generation. My family's been here for over 100 years.
-The butcher's always been here, and the delicatessen next door.
-What's your best seller?
Probably our local beef or lamb, really, from local farms, it's very popular here.
-I think for the flavour, and the people knowing it's local.
-It certainly is in your sausages.
We are a bit of a sausage fan.
-Go on, be kind to yourself.
-Oh, I might as well seeing as I'm here.
I think we're probably best known for our sausages around here.
Certainly places do just good value sausages,
but these are real good, free-range pork and they're good quality stuff.
-I'm a devil for a sausage.
Hello. We're looking for a taste of Worcestershire.
We can recommend the Elgar mature.
-Or the Worcester sauce cheese.
-Let's have a look.
-Lea & Perrins.
-So, these are all Worcestershire cheeses.
-All local cheeses, yes.
This is the Worcester sauce.
You can't get any more local than that, can you?
-That works beautifully, doesn't it?
-Do you like it?
-Can you imagine that melted on toast? Oh!
-Can we try some Elgar?
-He was from Worcester.
-He was, from Broadheath.
Thank you. I can feel a Dream of Gerontius coming on.
He's quite a strong old fella, Elgar, isn't he?
That's as English as Elgar, isn't it?
-Nice to see you here.
-And you. Thanks very much, it's very lovely.
-This is very kind of you.
-My husband did all that for you especially.
Do you have any traditional bread of Worcestershire?
We've got some delicious home-baked bread here. We've used...
May's mild beer bread.
Yes. Now, Ted May is the landlord of the pub up the road. The Fruiterers Arms.
And they actually make their own mild ale on the premises.
-Is this it? It's lovely, isn't it?
-Great texture as well, springy.
-I love springy moist bread.
-Nice. Gorgeous, isn't it?
That's lovely. What to you is typically good Worcestershire food?
-I lived in Malvern for a while and I have actually heard of a Malvern Pudding.
-What is it?
Well, it's a very lightly baked sponge, with some fruit in,
obviously from the local orchards.
And also some apple as well, the local apples.
-And it's very tasty.
-Brilliant, thank you.
'So we're on the trail of what could be a unique county dish.
'Will anybody be able to tell us more? Let's keep investigating.'
-Has anybody ever heard of the Malvern Pudding?
-Yes, I have.
Actually, it was my daughter, a long time ago when she was at university, we used to make it.
Has anybody heard of the Malvern Pudding?
-I've heard of it, yeah. My husband's from Malvern.
Do you know what it is?
I'm not sure, actually.
It's driving me mad, this Malvern Pudding.
-It's a mystery.
We still have no idea how to make Malvern Pudding, so we need to head
to the historic town of Malvern, and the museum for some local knowledge.
Wa-hey. The museum.
The fountain of knowledge, and oracle that is the Malvern Pudding.
If we can't find it here, we'll never find it.
Look, Kingy! They've got loads of old fashioned ingredients here.
But will they have any clues about the Malvern Pudding?
There it is.
That's it, we've got it.
Hee hee. The search is over. A pound of cooking apples.
An ounce of butter.
You can't! It's an artefact.
We'll bring it back, don't worry.
'At last, we have the traditional recipe for the Malvern Pudding.
'Time to get into the kitchen. This ancient tasty dish is layers of
'cooked apples with a creamy custard topping. A delicious tea time treat.'
Hello, and welcome to Priory Park, Malvern in Worcestershire!
Back to Georgian times. This time, we've gone super traditional,
and this is a Malvern Pudding.
It is the sort of pudding that the Georgians would have eaten
after they got out of their kind of sulphurous water day of hell.
It consists of the humble apple.
Not just any apple. What's this now?
-That's right, a Bramley apple.
Now, we got this recipe from the Malvern Museum.
And the base for this - we'll do a lot -
we want 4lb of cooking apples, peeled, sliced.
Right. 4lb of cooking apples peeled and sliced.
That'll be about two kilos. In new money.
Two kilos in new money.
-I'll just turn one of these on for you, Kingy.
I need to melt four ounces of butter.
Oh, yum yum, hubba bubba. Add the apples.
And that'll be four ounces of sugar, that's about 125 grams of sugar.
-Apples. More apples.
We have to cook those apples until they go golden and toffee,
and really quite soggy.
A bit like a stewed apple pie.
There's a lot of sugar and butter in there so it should taste great.
It's a bit of a two-part dish, the Malvern Pudding.
They've got it down as sauce.
But I reckon it's a bit like custard, isn't it, this?
So first off, I need to beat four eggs.
And in a pan, I need to melt four ounces of butter, which
is conveniently 125 grams, which we have left over from the apples.
I'm going to mash into that about four ounces or 125 grams of cornflour.
Let it cook.
A couple of minutes, it is bubbling, without browning.
Step two, add the milk and bring to the boil, stirring.
Simmer for two minutes.
There's a lot of milk.
I've added three pints.
I always use whole milk for custard.
I'll just keep tickling it like that.
It comes to the boil, two minutes, it should be a nice thickness.
It shouldn't taste floury cos I've cooked the flour out.
I've got basically a white sauce here. This needs to become custard.
So I'm going to stir in about four ounces, 125 grams of brown sugar.
-The scary bit's to come yet.
And that's the eggs. Because if the eggs scramble, it won't be custard.
Looking good, captain. You see that custardy feeling.
As I live and breathe, that's proper Georgian custard.
The Malvern Pudding is looking a good 'un.
We need two nice dishes.
You line the bottom of the dish with apples.
There we are. Now, this is our home-made custard.
There's a lovely little boy over here, look.
Hurray. What a sweetie.
Now, you may think it was all over, but it's not!
What we do next, we get a bowl,
we put a handful of brown sugar in there.
A couple of teaspoons of cinnamon.
This is cinnamon sugar.
That gets sprinkled all over.
This is good Worcestershire butter.
We just dot this with butter.
Dot, dot, dip, dot.
That's going to have a lovely toffee topping.
Put that in under the grill. Shut the door.
We're nearly finished. You're glad you stayed, aren't you?
-The right response.
-How's yours doing?
-It's bubbling like Kate Winslet at the Oscars.
It's quick, that grill.
-Yes, very hot.
-Look at that, it's starting to skin up nice.
It can only be helped...
by two scoops.
Oh, now, look at that.
And there we have it.
The Malvern Pudding.
As stolen from Malvern Museum.
THEY CHEER Let's hear it for the pudding, yay!
'Malvern Pudding is really simple to make.
'Time for the local people to tuck in and give us their verdict.'
The legendary Malvern Pudding.
Thank you very much, what a sweet talker.
There you go, darling.
-It's fantastic, cos it's got apple, it's got the custard.
You can really taste the cinnamon too.
-Did you make this yourself?
I've got an apple orchard and I've never tried this recipe.
-I'm going to try it.
-I'll have a go at making my own custard, because I've never tried home-made.
-It's pretty easy.
-Great. I've lived here all my life and never had it.
'We've helped the locals rediscover their traditional county dish. It certainly seemed to be a hit.
'But a bigger 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's up to local diners to decide whose dish best represents
'the true flavours of Worcestershire.'
'Our opponent today is Sue Ellis,
'head chef at Belle House in Pershore.'
Recently named Worcestershire Chef Of The Year, Sue has been selected
as one of the top ten female chefs to watch by the Independent.
This local girl is destined for international fame.
I started off at Worcester College Of Technology, which is obviously local.
I worked my way up the ranks quite quickly to junior sous chef.
I then went down to Gordon Ramsay's Hospital Road.
From there I went to the French Laundry and did a stage.
We first opened Belle House six years ago.
Three years later we opened up the Deli, which is a traiteur,
which is ready meals, all our home-cooked bread.
All the food from there comes from the same team of chefs in the kitchen.
We are very big on having a good rapport with all of our suppliers.
We have a look at the asparagus, at how it's grown,
so we've got a real respect then for the food.
90% of all our produce is local, so we get our eggs from Bromsgrove
Nurseries, cured ham from Oxsprings.
And then we have Pershore Produce who is all our vegetables and fruit.
And we design the menu around what is good and good quality.
We have quite a lot of height in our dishes, intricate detail.
It's quite artistic on the plate, but also it's about the flavours.
We do what people love, so stews, broths, things like that.
And we know where we've come from.
We've also just started doing food demos,
cos our customers are interested in what we do and want hints and tips.
To take on the bikers, my taste of Worcestershire
is local pigeon with honey, wrapped in filo pastry,
creamed artichokes, local purple sprouting, and cabbage.
Hurry up, mate, we're here.
It looks a nice place, doesn't it?
-Hi there, guys, how are you doing?
-Nice to meet you.
-Nice to see you.
-Do you want to come on in?
-Oh yes, chef.
Sue, can you headline your dish for us?
I certainly can. We're doing pigeon wrapped in filo pastry, with honey.
Artichoke puree. Cabbage, and also some creamed potato.
-Are they local then?
-From the local park?
They are pretty local. They've been shot yesterday. Put them in this, a vac-pack bag.
We're going to put them in a water bath. Yes, certainly.
Don't even say boil in the bag, no.
I can see it coming!
So you've got butter and thyme.
We've got some thyme in there, some honey as well.
-Ah, I see.
-This now is going to cook this to perfection.
Just pop this in the vac-pack machine now. Seal them up.
Just going to put that in now.
-There we go. 25 minutes. 68 degrees.
Next we are going to do potatoes and the artichokes.
Are you going to peel these for me, then?
Give you all the good jobs!
Just put a bit of vitamin C powder in to stop them discolouring.
-Ah, so that's a top tip.
-It is, yes.
-Would you say it's better than using a squidge of lemon juice?
Because you've got more control over what you put in, how acidic it is.
You don't get that lemony flavour, just a bit of acidic flavour.
-There you go.
You're a bit on the slow side there. I'll help you out there.
What do you mean!
-So are these Worcestershire potatoes, Sue?
-Yeah, these are Marfona.
So these are just grown up the road.
Cut the ends off. I'm just making a little cylinder out of this.
That's an efficient way of doing this.
So we've got mash going on, artichoke puree going on in a minute.
I'm just going to pop this into a pan.
Do you want water in this, chef?
Yes please, and a bit of salt would be great.
We're going to do the artichokes next.
Potatoes, salt. I'll let you salt your own.
I don't want make a mess. What did you do with those potatoes?
I've just put a little bit of potato in. There's milk in there.
Then our artichokes.
-And then this is for the artichoke puree.
-So the artichoke puree has got some potatoes in.
Yes, that just helps to thicken it.
All I'm doing is the artichoke and the milk. Then I'm using the milk to blend it in. And that's the puree.
-Ah, so all the flavours are retained. Brilliant.
Just to recap. In there we've got some milk, sliced potato, sliced Jerusalem artichoke.
Yep. We are going to pop that on stove now.
There we go.
This is the little galette potato.
-Just slicing these.
-They make me eyes cross!
Put some cornflour in now.
We add a little bit more starch, obviously there's some already in there.
So we've got very thinly sliced potatoes.
-We've got some salt and butter and cornflour.
-Rubbing the cornflour in.
-This dish, you want the potatoes to stick together.
Just going to pop them on there.
-Fan them around.
Just overlap them enough so that they are sticking together.
-Hey presto, bake it off, and you've got potato galette.
-That's it, yeah.
What a nice thing to see happen.
Do you know what I mean, it's lovely, it's great.
-That's something we'll pinch, Kingy.
I'll put another one on top, it stops it from slipping.
Then we'll put the other one on top.
-I have to say, there's nothing worse...
-A tray on top.
-We'll get the pigeon out next.
-# Catch the pigeon! #
Now we are going to chill it down enough so that it starts to firm up a little bit.
-If you want to run that in the fridge for us.
-That will be great.
You need to be careful cos he keeps locking himself in the freezers.
-He was in there for a day and a half once.
-Didn't let him out?
-I thought we'd have a bit of a rest.
Ooh. It's those potato galettes.
What's eating in there?
MYERS! Stop eating people's stuff!
For God's sake, what are you eating?
-Nothing. I just had a peek.
-Yes, give us a look? It's nutty.
-I love a good fridge.
-Now he's out of the fridge.
-I'm really sorry.
-That's OK, that's all right.
-Could you drain these off for me.
What else do you need, chef?
I've put those potatoes back on the heat to dry out. Any excess water.
I'm just going to put these in.
And then while you're doing that, I'll get a bit of cream on and a bit of butter to reduce that.
Great, chef. That's it, through.
Great, thank you. Got our butter and our cream. We'll boil that up.
And we'll pop that mash in now.
We don't need anything else in that. A bit of salt and we are all done.
-We'll keep that for later until our pigeon's all ready.
We'll pop him over there. Now our artichokes are going to be ready.
I'm worn out, me.
-If you can drain half that liquor off for me.
Just blend this down now to a puree.
-OK, that's my timer for my galettes.
So if you can carry on there, that would be great. Cheers my dear.
-Wow! They're fantastic, aren't they?
-A fine set of galettes you have there, madam.
They're like sunflowers, aren't they? Brill.
And get rid of that, that's hot.
That will be grand now, thank you.
Next, we just need a pigeon. That's all perfectly cooked now.
Even though it looks still quite red, it's cooked all the way through perfectly, the same temperature.
-That's why we use it, you don't get the bull's eye effect
of cooking on the outside, and red in the middle.
Just pat all this dry.
Filo pastry is lovely, isn't it? Egg yolk.
-OK, egg yolk.
-Egg yolk on pastry.
Yep, we do want any water in there, we just want it thick.
Love it when it comes to wrapping things up into nice little parcels.
-It appeals to me.
-There we go.
So, on there.
-You'll be wanting another egg yolk, won't you?
-I will! Thank you.
I'll just go to the fridge!
< It's gone quiet.
I fell over the fridges!
That's that done. I'm going to pop this on the tray with a bit of the old egg wash.
And pop them in the oven for about six to eight minutes, just so it's nice and crunchy.
Then do our purple sprouting and our cabbage.
You can use a small part of this.
The spring cabbage is obviously in season right now.
-Purple sprouting broccoli - very fashionable, isn't it?
So, Oxsprings oak-smoked ham.
Going to cut it down.
It's little lardons, isn't it?
Going to cook our cabbage first.
We're going to pop that in there.
That is literally just going to take 30 seconds.
Meanwhile, put a knob of butter into our pan.
And that's the timer for the pigeon, so I'll just go and grab that.
Oh, it's all kicking off now, dude, isn't it?!
There's our little pigeons.
Chef, this cabbage is ready.
A little bit more butter. And a bit of black pepper.
Beautiful. Going to pop our purple sprouting in the water as well, crispen the bacon up now.
Tiny bit of salt in there, cos we're going to put the salty bacon in.
Bit of pepper.
Just a bit of clarified butter, good knob of butter in there for good measure.
At that jaunty chef angle!
-There you go.
-Still pink in the middle.
-There you go.
Yeah. You've just let them rest a bit, haven't you, Sue?
Yes. They've rested as they've come out of the oven. OK.
And then just a bit of our bacon.
There we go.
It's like a little plant pot!
-Would that be a smear or a drag quenelle?
A swipe! Oh, that's a new one!
Oh! Sauce! Where's that come from?
All we do is chop up the bones, we've got some red currant jelly
and then we boil that up and then here's one we made earlier!
Headline your dish, kid!
OK, so we've got local pigeon, honey, wrapped in filo pastry,
creamed artichoke puree, our galette potato, purple sprouting,
air-dried ham, and our local cabbage.
It's been a pleasure!
-What an elegant dish! And it's executed perfectly.
And what's interesting is that what's actually on the plate is pretty simple.
But, as you say, her execution is amazing.
-That sauce is great.
-The sauce is awesome.
That was fabulous.
One thing that strikes me, though, is that presentation-wise, whatever we do, it's got to be perfect.
Yeah, it has. It has.
It's all very well what we think, but the real judges are the locals
who will decide whose dish is best in the blind tasting coming up.
Lots of people have told us about Worcestershire asparagus.
Quite right! It's said to be the best in the world.
'The Revell family have been farming in Defford for five generations
-'and grow 70 acres of the gorgeous green spears.'
-Look at that!
Fresh new season asparagus, doesn't get better than that!
-'Farm manager, Darren Hedges, is showing us around.'
-How do you fancy cutting some asparagus?
-We've got the buggies here for you. Fancy giving it a go?
I think it's one of the culinary treasures.
OK guys, what I need you to do is cut the asparagus the length of the knife, OK?
So basically, what we do, we're just holding the asparagus,
knife in, simple as that. OK?
-At an angle?
-At an angle.
You ready, Kingy?
On your marks, get set, go!
Why is it so good for asparagus round here, then?
We're blessed with perfect soil conditions,
the drainage is really good.
And the light conditions are perfect for growing asparagus in this area.
Keep up, Kingy! I've got lots more than you, I think!
D'you know, if I was doing this full-time, I'd pimp me ride!
-I'd bling it up, yeah!
Be nice to have a nice sound system, wouldn't it? You know, ddhh! Dhhh! Dhhhh!
Is it right the asparagus season starts on St George's Day and lasts for about six weeks?
-Or how long is it?
-That's how it used to be in the old days.
But now we're sort of running to a 12-week season with the asparagus.
-Just with the light conditions and we grow some
under some small tunnels as well, earlier on in the season, to bring it on early as well.
Have you ever tried it raw?
-Raw, it tastes like peas, fresh peas.
Oh, that's fantastic, isn't it?
So, don't cut that small one, let's cut that larger one just in front.
Perfect. Yeah, you've got a whole run here, really good.
Yeah, leave that one. This one's good.
Come on, Kingy, what's up?
-Get a move on!
-I've got trouble with my buggy!
I'm like a one-man combined harvester!
It's funny, asparagus is often thought to be a luxury item.
But what is it the locals call it?
Asparagrass. They call it a grass, locally.
Ah, this is the food of emperors!
And Kings. And the poor man.
Asparagrass. Asparagrass souffle!
Oh, now look. That is the king of asparagus.
Asparagus with hollandaise!
There's so much. Just blanch it with butter, salt and pepper.
OK guys, I think we've nearly finished this row.
-What d'you think - head back and try some?
I'll race you back!
Hurrah! First one past the last standing spear!
Look at that, it's so fresh!
Listen, you can hear the freshness.
That's the stuff that you cut this morning.
Straight into there. Washed it under a tap.
It doesn't get any better, does it? You've got purple asparagus here.
-Never seen that!
-Yes, it's the Stuart variety.
Originates from New Zealand. And it's grown to eat raw in salads.
What we found with it is if you cook it in a griddle like this,
not to overcook it because you lose the colour. It's a bit like purple sprouting, the colour comes out.
-Look, it's green in the middle. The flavour's fab!
-Some of that purple in the pan.
-Oh, let's have a taste, Darren!
It's gorgeous stuff. Look at that! It's a picture, isn't it?
-Ee, thanks, Darren!
Asparagus is a true taste of Worcestershire, so we have to use it to compete against Sue.
It would go beautifully with some pork stuffed with black pudding.
But to really represent the county on a plate, there's another ingredient we can't ignore.
A traditional Worcestershire's speciality is perry.
And it's been made in the area for centuries.
Richard Reynolds has been making it for the last seven years
and his hobby has become an award-winning business.
There's an orchard, there's a fella, that must be Richard! Hiya!
Just make this very clear -
-Perry is made from...?
And cider is made from...?
-So perry's pears, cider's apples.
-That's the one!
This tree we're looking at is a perry pear tree.
Very different to culinary fruit or eating fruit.
-And the pears of this variety would be made traditionally into a perry for drinking.
How old would this pear tree be?
This is about 80 years old, this tree, I would say.
You can't tell for sure, but pear trees take a long time to come into fruit.
-It could be 20 years before they become productive.
Yeah, they live a long time as well.
It's not like these apple trees, you know, some of them are 50 years, they're finished.
What does the blossom tell you?
Well, what we're looking at this year is to see what sort of crop we're going to get in the autumn.
-Can you tell now?
Yeah, you can tell now. Last year, we got very little fruit off these trees.
And this year we've got a magnificent spray of blossom, as you can see.
So that's an indication of a good crop to come?
It will be, yeah. Well, let's hope so. If it all gets pollinated.
Richard, what can learn from the blossom?
You're looking at some strong flowers
and making sure, really, that they're setting and not dropping off.
What sort of yield would you get from a tree like this?
What we're looking at would be a quarter to half a ton of pears off this tree.
It could be about 120 litres, something like that.
-240-odd bottles, pints, something like that.
-And is this your orchard, Richard?
-No, this is not my orchard.
I'm lucky enough to be able to come and pick here.
The guys at Home Farm allow me to come in
and take whatever fruit I want in exchange for just a few bottles.
-That's really good.
-It is, yeah.
So I've got a few different perries for you to taste.
-Some from this tree, actually.
-That would be fab, wouldn't it?
'Richard makes all his Perry in his garage at home in the heart of the city of Worcester.'
Dude, this is my sort of shed.
-Right, you want a try?
-Little nips, though.
-We've got the bikes.
-Yeah, we've gotta be steady.
No problem. The first one we'll taste, then, is the Tainton Squash.
-That was the tree we were looking at in the orchard.
Oh, brilliant! Oh, that'd be nice.
-That's fine, thanks.
-So what should we be looking for on the nose of this, then, Richard?
Taynton Squash should have a sort of champagne finish to it.
But see what you think.
-Oh, it's lovely.
-It's certainly quite refreshing, isn't it?
Yeah. It's got that freshness, the astringency of a good champagne.
This is the Blakeney,
also known as the circus pear.
-Also known as the painted lady.
-Ooh, that's sweeter than the other one.
-I like that, man.
-I love that.
-That's totally different, isn't it?
-God, that's mad. It's floral.
It is floral. It does have a few citrussy notes, as well.
How long does it take to brew, from tree to barrel?
-The first pears that we press would be mid-September.
And then they're sort of racked at about January, February time.
Then now, in the spring, is when they're first ready.
But we've made over 2,500 litres of perry this year.
-What do you reckon would be a good one for cooking with?
-Well, I think Blakeney.
That's an excellent perry to choose.
It's balanced, it's got lots of sugar and
-a little bit of acidity.
-I think that's the one to go for.
Well, it'd be nice to take a couple of samples, as well.
-Y'know, when we're off the bikes, we can enjoy them a bit.
-I'm with you.
As Keith Floyd would say, to cook with it, first we need to understand it,
and I can feel some understanding coming on.
I think you're gonna be our new best mate!
Our dish, it's a fillet of Worcestershire pork stuffed with local black pudding...
..served with Worcestershire pear and perry sauce...
..with little roundels of fondant sweet potatoes...
..served with asparagus puree and some buttered asparagus tips.
But will the local diners think our dishes good enough to beat Sue's in a blind tasting?
the pork fillet.
We're gonna trim the ends. This sinew here, that all needs to come off.
I'm gonna make a smoky bacon blanket, which is what we're gonna wrap the loin in.
Take the rind off.
What I'm doing is I'm stretching the bacon out over the knife.
It makes it thinner, it'll make it crispier.
Plus, I get more coverage from me rasher.
Right, look at that! Beautiful.
I'm gonna cut that, taking care not to cut all the way through.
I'll get on with the preparation of the pears, Dave.
Now, one ingredient we can't ignore in Worcestershire is Worcestershire sauce.
Dribble that down the crevasse.
Look at that! A good Worcestershire black pudding.
Born to be mild!
It's funny, black pudding's different the world over, isn't it?
This is quite a dry one.
Now just crumble the black pudding
into the... like so.
I'm gonna peel a pear and cut it into eight, de-core it. Very simple.
And we turn that sort of scar side down onto the bacon, just near the edge there. Get some sage leaves.
And I want little bits of sage in each slice.
Some sea-salt flakes and a few lovely twists of white pepper.
Now we just roll that up.
Get the ends tucked under.
Look at it!
In this pan, I'm just gonna put a touch of vegetable oil in.
Doesn't need to be too much. Thirty grams of butter is about that much.
We're gonna melt that. The reason we've put oil in with the butter is to stop the butter burning,
because we're gonna caramelise the pears, you see.
This is dark brown muscovado sugar.
We just sprinkle it over the pears and let that go for the minute.
Then we'll start the sauce, which is in another pan.
I'm gonna get on with the fondant sweet potatoes.
There we go. There we are.
That'll make a fondant. We'll just
take off that little bit there, and it makes it look like a lozenge.
Right, mate, I'm gonna take these pears out.
What about that?
Look at that!
You can imagine it now, the pork with the black pudding,
the fondants, the pears down either side like that.
-And we haven't even got on to the asparagus.
-You'll have me nervous.
-Hey, look at those.
For the fondant, I need quite a lot of butter.
And into that I'm gonna sweat down a crushed clove of garlic and a sprig of thyme. To that,
the fondant sweet potatoes, a bit of salt, and when it goes golden, flip it over.
What I'm gonna do is get on with the sauce.
Now, it's a perry sauce to go with said pears, the pears that we just prepped, you see.
And now... OK? Have you got it so far?
Now, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna put some onions in...
Right, I'm gonna put some onions in the frying pan and put a little bit of oil,
and then we're gonna put some more butter. One onion, finely chopped.
I could be browning off the pork now, couldn't I?
Whilst me oil's heating up, I'm just gonna turn the fondants.
We'll finish cooking those off with chicken stock in there
and let those just moulder away till they're cooked through.
Now time to get on to Mr Pig.
-And we need to sear it joint side down, or else...
Well, it'll unravel like a ball of string, won't it?
So once it's sealed, we'll be all right, y'know?
-We'll just leave that for a moment.
-Do you want the grill on?
-Oh, yes, please.
-Do you want me to save your bacon?
Hey, man, hey.
We just pop this under the grill, just to finish the top off.
Yeah. To that we add some button mushrooms, about 150g, and we just
cook them off for a minute, now, just to soften them, yeah?
And button mushrooms cook really quickly, so... Now, look at this.
Blakeney Red from our mate Richie.
For the sauce, we want about half a bottle of this.
I'm just gonna put it in the pan.
To that, we're gonna add this bouquet garni.
Now, that consists of some celery, a bay leaf, some thyme, some parsley.
Then a dessertspoon of Dijon mustard. Let that reduce.
That's all crisped up. One of them's gone a bit frizzly.
But, y'know, the bacon's there just to protect the pork.
Turn that over, try and make it look a bit better.
Pop that in the oven now. Job's a good 'un.
Fifteen minutes, out it'll pop.
Beautiful. Evesham asparagus.
We have green, we have purple.
Now, this is brilliant. It's new season. We need to prep it properly.
So you feel where it's gonna give naturally.
That's the bit you use. That bit we don't.
I'm gonna peel this,
and we want these perfectly presented tips.
And these are gonna be used for the puree.
-Shall I give you a hand with this?
Eventually, what we're gonna do with these - we need them slightly soft, but we're gonna puree them.
All I'm gonna do with the tips are blanch them for about two minutes.
Let's just taste.
I think it's pretty much there.
Oh, yeah! Right, the asparagus has had precisely two minutes,
so they're still gonna be slightly al dente. But look at that colour.
That goes into cold water.
That'll really keep it fresh.
Time for the meat.
Nice one, mate, yes.
Now, let's just check it.
Ah, that's spot-on.
Yeah. Perfect. I'll just put this to rest, to chill out.
To have its little holiday.
I'm just gonna melt some butter for refreshing the asparagus.
I'm gonna put them into the Robocook here.
While Kingy's making the puree,
I'm just gonna finish the sauce off with some cream, salt and pepper and chopped parsley.
I'm gonna put the zest of half a lemon...
Give it a whizz.
And these pears, they're just like chutney, almost, now. Fabulous.
-I'll put them just to keep warm.
-All right, mate.
I'm not that far away. I'm putting the cream in now.
Has this Robocook got a turbo button?
Well, no. It's going as fast as you guys.
You're starting to irritate me!
I'm just gonna add some seasoning to it.
I'm just gonna strain the fat off, because underneath there
is some wonderful meat juices, and it's got to go in the sauce, hasn't it, really?
-I think the elements are there. We're ready to plate up.
-All ready to plate up.
This asparagus I'll just put in some hot butter.
Now, first off, Mr Pork.
Carefully, Dave. Don't get too excited.
Porco de gracia.
Right, there we are.
There we have it,
our tribute to Worcestershire on a plate,
a stuffed fillet of Worcestershire pork with local black pudding...
-..and perry-caramelised pears...
-..and fondant sweet potato...
..and a puree of asparagus.
Mm. That is beautiful.
Yeah, really good.
I like that a lot. Let me try the sweet potato.
-It's a cosmopolitan society.
-Yeah, it's great fondant.
-That is stunning. Absolutely stunning.
Oh, thank you very much!
We haven't had a "stunning" before!
-I can feel meself flushing up!
Oh, thank you very much.
I like the black pudding, I like the bacon, the pears...
Yeah, it's beautiful. Especially that asparagus.
-What is that like!
-Yeah, that's really good.
It's the best in the world.
It's the moment of truth. The diners here will taste both dishes but without any idea who cooked which.
First up is Sue's beautiful honey-glazed pigeon with artichoke puree and purple sprouting.
Obviously, a lot of thought had gone into how the plate was put together, and I thought it looked great.
Purple sprouting broccoli being served in the espresso cup was a nice touch.
The air-dried ham changed the flavour of the purple sprouting completely.
-I enjoyed that.
-I particularly liked the fan shaped like a flower, and Worcester is a very floral county.
Pureed artichoke, as well, was very nice. That's something I haven't had before.
Unfortunately, I actually found that pigeon really quite dry.
It had quite a livery sort of taste, for me, which I enjoyed.
Medium rare, which is unusual.
Some people overdo pigeon, but that was good.
Quite a lot of interesting different flavours.
It kind of felt like a little bit of a tour on a plate, if you like.
Most people seemed to like that.
Next to be served is our dish.
Ooh, fingers crossed...
That is gorgeous.
Presentation was great, possibly a little bit overcomplicated.
I was a little bit surprised about pureeing the asparagus.
We've got the best asparagus in the world,
so it would have been better to have it as a side dish just as it is.
The asparagus puree just...
had virtually no flavour whatsoever and a total lack of seasoning, as well.
I thought it was just slightly untidy.
The sweet potato, I thought, complemented the pork perfectly.
The pork was lovely mixed with the black pudding.
And it was so good, it could have been my own.
Very representative of Worcester because of it having Worcestershire sauce on the pork.
The pears surprised me in the mushroom sauce, but the combination was very good.
Well, thank you very much for coming.
Worcestershire's been great.
We're having a wonderful time going round the country and eating it and stripping it bare, really.
Worcester's been no exception.
-We've met some great people with some great food, and thank you again for coming.
-Now to the nitty-gritty.
Could I have a show of hands, please, for the pigeon?
So that's one, two, three.
Could I have a show of hands, please, for the asparagus and pork dish?
Five, six. OK, thank you very much.
The asparagus and pork dish was Dave and I, and the pigeon was our Sue's from Belle House.
I just feel remotely embarrassed.
I am blushing! Y'know, it's either that or blood pressure.
-I just wanted to say both dishes were absolutely fantastic.
-The presentation on dish one, if you could put that with the flavours of dish two, would be just perfect.
-Looks like you're working with us, then.
All that remains for us to do is to thank Sue very much
for letting us into her kitchen. We've had a wonderful afternoon.
We've learnt a lot, as well, and the Belle House is a beautiful restaurant. You're very lucky.
-Thank you. Thanks very much.
Sue's pigeon was fantastic and so beautifully presented, but asparagus and perry
are such traditional flavours of the county, we couldn't fail.
Worcestershire is packed with foodie treasures.
There's so much to choose from.
This county has filled us up!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Si and Dave explore Worcestershire, where they cook a traditional county favourite in Malvern Priory Park. They dig their own asparagus and find a man making award-winning perry in his own garage. Finally, they face the challenge of a cook-off against top chef Sue Ellis. Restaurant diners must decide who has created the best taste of Worcestershire.