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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 Monmouthshire.
Oh, look at that, dude.
Monmouthshire! Oh, man, we're on the edge of Wales, you know, looking in.
It feels like it.
And did you know that Monmouthshire was awarded
the best food tourist destination in Wales in 2009?
I did, dude. That's why we're here.
I mean, what is a food tourist? Are we food tourists?
I see us more as food adventurers, food explorers on a food safari.
-Right, anyway, we better get on.
-Let's head for Abergavenny.
It's over there, nestled in the hills beyond the Sugarloaf Mountain.
On our quest to find the true flavours of Monmouthshire
we visit Chepstow to cook up a county favourite
as old as the hills that it comes from.
We find some of the best cured meats we've ever tasted
and get our hands dirty curing some of our own.
We taste history with a drink made here for hundreds of years.
And representing Monmouthshire in the cook-off is Stephen Terry.
Will we be able to beat him
in a blind tasting judged by local diners?
Our first port of call is Abergavenny,
known as the gateway to Wales.
Abergavenny, it's bonny. Nestling in Monmouth's Black Mountains.
Fab, isn't it? And it's a Mecca of all things foodie and local.
Look, there's some wonderful, wonderful traditional shops.
What's the food of Monmouthshire to you?
-I don't know. Fish and chips?
Nice cakes, pastries.
Erm... Cawl soup.
Right, what's in cawl?
Well, anything, really. Vegetable, meat. It's a personal taste, innit?
I like tripe, my wife doesn't.
That's the same as me.
I like tripe, Dave doesn't.
But I'm not his wife, though.
Si, I know you've been away a long time, but...
Now, we've just popped into a lovely Welsh tea shop.
You know, just for a little cuppa. It's lush.
-Tea shops are really traditional in Wales, aren't they?
-Very much so.
Look, proper cups. China, get your pinky out.
Ah, look at that.
Come and have a sit and a chat.
-Now what have we got here?
-That is the traditional Welsh barrow bread.
It is soaked in fruit and it's also soaked in the Welsh brew tea,
exactly what you're drinking there.
And then when it comes in lovely, we slash on the Welsh butter!
Ah! And it's lovely with a cup of tea.
It was made to go together.
That is our whisky fruit cake.
It's got plenty of organic cherries, lots of whisky, award-winning.
Unfortunately, when it got its gold award,
trading standards looked into it and said
there was far too much alcohol to be able to sell that in our shop
without an alcoholic licence.
-So we get it under the counter for free?
Welsh products, that's what we want.
-Oh, cheese, yes.
-Are you a big champion of Monmouthshire food?
I am. There is some fabulous food in Monmouthshire, especially cheeses.
This is an Abergavenny Y-Fenni cheese,
made with mustard seed and Welsh ale.
You can smell the mustard!
And the ale comes through after a while.
-Packed with flavour.
The next cheese, guys, is a Harlech.
Let's cut you a bit of this to try.
I like that, Dave.
Quite sweet, isn't it?
I was just about to say, there's a sweetness to it.
-And it's got you on the front.
-I hope I had a waist like that, dude.
Is there anything we should look out for in Monmouthshire?
The steak in the butcher's down here is the best steak in the world.
I've eaten it all over the place.
And sausages, cos you've got such a variety of sausages.
Go and get a hot faggot, beautiful.
What's the difference between an English faggot and a Welsh faggot?
-Just the ingredients.
What's in your faggots?
There's a combination of everything to make them so flavoursome.
Everything's fresh in them.
Onions and seeds.
You've got the most incredible selection of sausages
I think I've ever seen.
I started making them in 1990, I done my first competition.
Since then, I've been Welsh champion three times in a row.
This is our sort of place, this, it's great.
These have just won a competition, all local grown herbs.
Oh, that's heaven.
There's no doubting Abergavenny's food pedigree,
but we're still on the look-out for Monmouthshire's signature dish.
Are there any dishes that you had when you were little that your mam made?
-Well, soups and stew, Welsh cawl.
Yes, soup. C-A-W-L.
-Oh, right, what is it?
-It's a soup.
It's made with vegetables and lamb.
Just keep filling up the pot through the week,
as my grandmother used to do.
Any any chance of coming round your house
for something to eat? It sounds great!
Well, I suppose, being Welsh,
-you get a lot of cawl and that sort of thing.
-What is cawl?
Well, it's like a stew, a soup.
The school made the best cawl ever.
-Yeah, a little old Welsh lady, absolutely fantastic.
-And what was in that?
Lamb, carrots, leeks, onions, potato,
and a big chunk of cheese and chunk of bread on the side.
Even as kids, I loved that. Dunk your cheese in
so it goes all gooey... and then your bread.
-Now that's a top tip.
Well, there isn't much doubt about this one.
The county dish is definitely cawl.
It's back to the butchers to get our ingredients.
This is what makes real Welsh cawl.
-Best end of neck.
-The neck of lamb.
Would you put that on the bone in your cawl?
-Yes, on the bone - traditional.
All of your thickening agencies
will come from your bone, obviously, in the stock.
-And all that lovely flavour as well.
You'll have a little thin layer of grease on the top. Nice.
I think we've got our traditional recipe.
I think we have.
We're cooking our version of cawl in Chepstow on the River Wye.
-Have you been to Chepstow before?
-Haven't you? It's pretty, isn't it?
The river is a natural border with England,
but, for our recipe, our feet will be firmly on Welsh soil.
We'll be cooking a traditional cawl, a hearty lamb stew,
using best end of neck with potatoes, carrots, leeks, onions and swede.
# South of the border, down Monmouthshire way. #
Over there is England, here's Monmouthshire. We're in Wales! Shwmae, Cymru!
And I've got me symbols of Wales.
# There'll be a welcome in the hillside. #
Will you cut...! We've got to use them.
-We'll skin them.
-That's the River Wye there, look.
-It's beautiful, isn't it?
-It really is border country.
but this is most definitely in Wales.
-We're cooking cawl.
MOCK WELSH ACCENTS
-What is it, darling?
No need to be rude, missus, we were only asking!
Step one in the cawl, stock.
Now, obviously, lamb stock will be best.
Put a couple of pints of that in a sturdy pan.
Lamb, and this is best end of neck,
each piece cut into three on the bone.
Cos there's no thickener in the stew,
the thickening comes from the gelatine in the meat.
-You take your meat and you put it in the stock.
Like that, you see.
So that's the one we put on and simmer for an hour.
Here's one that's been simmering for an hour.
So, basically, we've got a pan of boiled meat.
Next step, it's the vegetables.
Leeks, carrots, swede or turnip.
-That's a potato.
-And onion. The gang of five.
So, top and tail the leeks, get rid of the outer leaf.
Taking the skin off, cutting the ends off
and then moving on to the next one.
We like the leeks cut in rings. I'm gonna wash me leeks.
This is clean, cold water. Leave to soak there for a bit.
Do you say swede or turnip down here?
What do you mean?
It's different, isn't it?
Ask the Oracle.
-Madam, what is it?
-It's a swede.
I'll have to go with that, I'm afraid.
So that's just best end of neck, simmered away in stock.
We've put in chunks of swede,
now the leeks...
See all the colours. It seems odd, there's no seasoning
or anything gone in at this point. It's just the pure flavours.
It's a simple dish, but tasty.
I think we've got enough onion in there now.
Yeah. Put in the tatties.
So, the lid goes on and we simmer that for another hour.
-Should we season now?
-Yes, I would, so it'll boil up nice.
-She's great, isn't she?
What's your name?
-A good Welsh name.
It is. It's either that or Marjorie Jones, isn't it?
Marjorie Griffiths, this is your cawl.
And we simmer that for one hour until the vegetables are soft.
Now, here is one...
We made earlier!
Get out of the way!
Two big pots of lovely cawl.
Look at that!
Let's taste it.
-Actually, it doesn't need that much seasoning.
Aw, look at that.
Lots of pepper. The history of it's very interesting,
because working men and women used to come in from mines
and the fields and all that sort of stuff.
And they'd have different shift patterns, wouldn't they?
My gran, like you said earlier, kept it boiling.
And it would go on for a couple of days.
-On the hob.
-And it was always there.
"Go have some stew," you know.
-Look at that, it's lovely, innit?
Any tips as to what you have your cawl with?
-Bear in mind we've...
-Butter on the bread.
You have butter? With butter, without butter.
It's all gonna kick off in a minute!
-Bread, it's gotta be almost stale bread.
Old bread, so it sucks up the gravy.
Sucks up the gravy. They're the girls!
Excellent. Anything else?
Cheese, a slice of cheese.
I'm looking forward to this.
Goat's cheese. Monmouthshire cawl with some goat cheese and bread.
Monmouthshire's finest, fabulous.
'Now it's the moment of truth.
'Will the locals approve of our Monmouthshire cawl?'
-Hello. Thank you.
Who's got knives and forks?
There you are. Come in, come on.
Right, there's no pressure. What do you think?
-Wouldn't have thought it was that simple.
-Have you had cawl before?
-I haven't, it won't be the last time.
Gone. Yeah, it didn't touch the sides!
What do you think?
Lovely, really nice.
It tastes like really simple stew, but it's well seasoned.
That seems to have done well.
Did you like it? Yeah?
What was your favourite bit about it?
-It tastes like it's full of flavour.
Marjorie, font of all knowledge.
-It's as good as my gran used to make. Marvellous.
-Oh, come here!
Even our Marjorie thought the version of cawl was authentic.
Next though, an even bigger challenge is around the corner.
As always, we're taking 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 Monmouthshire.
Our opponent today is Stephen Terry,
the chef and owner of the Hardwick in Abergavenny.
Stephen has previously worked with the likes of
Marco Pierre White and Michel Roux Jnr.
The Hardwick won a national award for its use of local produce
and has been named the Welsh Restaurant of the Year.
My inspiration comes from the produce that I can source.
And in Monmouthshire, I am spoilt for choice.
Local free-range chickens from Chepstow.
We have fantastic goat from three fields back that way.
And pork, everyone breeds pork.
I like to put food on a plate so halfway through eating it,
it resembles half of what arrived in the first place.
We don't go for big towers of things,
because you have to deconstruct the tower to eat it.
Then it's all over the plate, it looks like a dog's dinner.
To be awarded the Good Food Guide's Best Use Of Local Produce award,
throughout the UK, I was blown away by that.
We just got a letter in the post!
We got that award from just doing what we do.
And that is because, being in Monmouthshire, we have the produce.
To take on the hairy bikers today, my taste of Monmouthshire is
pressed local pork belly with black pudding,
roasted sea scallops, broad beans and fennel.
-How are you, man?
-Nice to see you.
-Lovely to meet you.
Now, there are a panel of nine tasters waiting outside,
just ready to sample the fruits of your pans.
Dude, headline your dish.
We've got today Monmouthshire belly of pork, pressed with black pudding,
with roasted sea scallops, fennel and broad beans.
It's all the things I like.
This is a Gloucester old spot pork.
What's important is that we reserve the layer of fat underneath the skin.
And that's what we use to moisturise the layers as we build it back together.
Because the dish, otherwise it would be dry.
And also, as you know yourselves, fat is flavour.
So we need to get as much of that in there as possible,
cos that's going to build the dish up.
Me and him are a cannibal's dream, you know! It's true.
It goes into a small roasting tray with a little bit of water,
a few vegetables if you like, tin foil.
Once that has been cooked for 12 hours, we have the end result.
That smells brilliant.
That protects it because sometimes tin foil breaks down.
-You've lost nothing of the flavour there.
-That is unbelievably wonderful.
-So that was water when it went in.
So you can see it produces a pork stock we can use in other things. Have a little taste.
There is no vegetables or anything, that is just water with the pork.
-It just makes its own stock.
Just remove the top layer of skin.
As I run my finger along there,
this is the layer of fat that I want to keep.
You can squeeze it through your hand. There is flavour in that.
-It's first class.
-It's like butter, isn't it?
So you remove that. That's that fat, we'll keep that there.
This is the first top layer, so work it off like so.
It is sort of a man's dish, I suppose.
Generally speaking, more men tend to order this than ladies.
So once we've it like so, get some of the fat on there, like that.
This is HG Edwards black pudding, that is fantastic.
Sorts it out for me. Remove the black pudding from the skin.
Slice the black pudding. One of the things I always find,
especially showing people something different, they think
"Oh, God, I'll never be able to produce that."
When you do it at home, no-one will tell you off.
Are you deliberately going against the grain with this piece?
Yeah, you can go either way. It's like the MDF of the pork world.
Once all that belly pork is used up with the black pudding,
we're just going to wrap it up in the Clingfilm, like so.
And then that'll be pressed overnight,
so what you end up with is this. It's pressed.
It's the pork fat that solidifies,
acts as the glue that keeps it all together.
You could do it between two baking trays, couldn't you?
And half a pint of water on the top.
As long as the Clingfilm's nice and tight,
it won't go anywhere, it'll hold it.
It would need a minimum of six hours, really.
-I bet it tastes nice, though, now, doesn't it?
So we come through the belly pork and remove the Clingfilm.
-That's fabulous. They chorused.
-Then slice it like that,
and then when you see it on the plate it's like that,
but with breadcrumbs around it.
-So, there's no problem in reheating the cooked pork?
That's them finished. That's the finished breadcrumb version.
We just pass it through a tray of flour,
make sure it's all coated in flour, through the egg
and through the breadcrumbs. That's how you breadcrumb.
That's the result. So that's the belly pork element.
Obviously, we've got the scallop element. So these are live.
I use a knife to separate the shell there,
just to break the little bond down there.
And then just pass the knife through there which now exposes the scallop.
This is the bit I'm going to use today,
this is the actual scallop meat here.
Pass the knife underneath.
That comes out like so.
Once it's like that, we need to remove the skirt
and the roe and this little mucky bag thing.
And I do that, there's a little muscle on the side here
and there's a slight line coming down there.
I rub my thumb, work it down between the two...he says...
like so. And then put that one around and it all sorts of...
comes away like this.
-A pure nugget of meat.
Quickly rinse these off.
So, I'm gonna pop those on there and pat them dry.
-Look at the sheen on them.
-I could just eat those now.
Monmouthshire broad beans and some fantastic fennel.
I'm gonna pop some of those and blanch them in a bit of water.
There's a few there I managed to get done earlier.
Take this top off here,
slice it really thinly.
I remember having a salad once with just loads of this fennel
with lime juice and a bit of lemon zest and a carpaccio of swordfish.
It was just amazing. I thought, what a good idea.
I'm just gonna put more dressing on there.
The dressing is extra virgin olive oil. We use a Greek olive oil.
-With Amalfi lemon juice.
-Do you want to just blanch those for me?
How long would you blanch the broad beans for?
A couple of minutes, I mean, those are tiny.
You want a bit of a bite to them.
Look at that. It looks almost like spaghetti.
It looks like grey tagliatelle, doesn't it? Brilliant.
So that's that. Broad beans can come out about now.
-That's out, chef.
-There we are.
Put cold water in there to cool them down.
-Make it a little easier so we don't burn our fingers.
Yeah, that's good. A little bit of that dressing.
And the other thing I'm going to put on here is sea salt.
A little bit of that on there.
What's that for, chef? Deep-fat frying?
-Do you know what they're for?
-Tell him what it says.
-Ah! Onion glasses, dude.
So all we need to do now is deep-fry these pork portions.
Place them on there. It is quite a thin crispy coating, so to speak.
-So pop those on there.
You may have noticed that chef has asbestos fingers.
At home, don't do it because you'll burn yourself.
There's not a lot of fat on there. I'll just pass the knife like that.
So there we have a little cross section, there.
Just like that for two seconds.
And a tiny bit of salt on each one just there as it goes in.
Pop that in the oven there.
Top shelf. It is hot, isn't it?
-It is hot.
-I've got a non-stick pan here,
so I don't need to put loads of oil on it.
Just toss the scallops in a little bit of the oil.
Did you season the scallops first?
I'm a big fan of seasoning them afterwards.
You could season them now, but where the salt makes contact
with the raw shellfish, it immediately starts to draw moisture.
It would almost blemish the scallop,
so I'd rather put it on after when it's sealed at the edge.
Because they haven't been soaked, and these are the best scallops
that money can buy, there's no water diluting the flavour.
And also when you cook them, the caramelisation, that's 100% natural
just from the natural sugars inside the scallops.
Three lots of fennel for each plate.
These are ready now. A little bit of salt on them,
set them on top like so.
Broad beans, they're all seasoned.
Salad leaves, we'll pop them in the middle.
A little bit of nice peppery rocket and slightly peppery watercress.
Your craft is just fabulous.
I think, anyway.
That's just Bramley apples cooked down to a puree
and a little bit of English mustard.
Finish with a bit of rapeseed oil.
-That's an absolute delight.
So, here we have Monmouthshire pressed pork belly
with black pudding, roasted sea scallops, fennel and broad beans.
I hate you!
I quite like you guys!
-That is beautiful.
Let's just hope it tastes horrible.
-I think that highly unlikely.
-So do I.
You know that little zap of apple sauce has a really nice bit of
acidity that just pushes through the black pudding. Perfectly balanced.
-Fennel and the scallops with that dressing.
I think this is Monmouthshire on a plate, but it's modern food.
It is pretty perfect, isn't it?
Should we get on then, cos I think we've got quite a lot to do.
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.
We've got a real challenge on our hands
to compete with Stephen's dish,
but we've heard about a small producer
that might just be the answer.
Tucked away in an idyllic corner of Monmouthshire
is Trealy Farm Charcuterie.
Set up by three mates who are obsessed about great cured meat.
They source only free-range traditional breeds from local farms,
but they use techniques they've learned from all over Europe
to produce award-winning meats.
One of the owners, James, is showing us around.
This is a salami hanging room.
We've got a lot of different types.
Shut the door, dude. Me and Dave'll be fine.
This is fabulous.
We've got venison salami, wild boar and beef.
How did you learn to do all this?
Well, we went around speaking to lots of little old men
in mountain-top villages in Spain, Italy, Germany, Sardinia, France.
So, you bring your skills back to Wales,
a Welsh business, using Welsh products.
All local meat, cos we've got such great pigs in Britain.
Probably better than a lot of what they're using on the continent,
perfect for this sort of stuff.
-Charcuterie really is the art of preserving meat.
And in that, you can have flavours and textures.
And it's like a whole palate of food has grown out of it.
Anything that's not fresh meat.
When I was about 12, I had my first salami.
And I had a friend, a little girl whose dad was Polish.
In my town, there's nothing like this.
I can remember tasting my first salami,
thinking it was the best thing I'd ever tasted.
Hams, loins and bellies.
Oh, this is the big boys.
You can always tell a person's personality by the fridge.
Yours is fairly impressive.
'It's time for a masterclass from the butcher of the team, John.'
-What's this cut here?
-This is a top rump.
We use this piece cos you can get two nice
really lean muscles from it for making bresaola.
That's the dry cured beef, isn't it? It's beautiful.
Thin slices on your plate.
I'll trim it up for you now.
The butchery in charcuterie is a bit different
-because we do all seam butchery.
-What is seam butchering?
It's actually breaking the meat down by muscle,
rather than cutting straight through into joints.
These two nice solid muscles,
once they're pressed they come out nice and round,
so we can get a good shape to it.
Next up, it's Graham and the curing.
This is our bresaola spices that use.
I dunno if you want to have a whiff of that.
There are cloves in there, rosemary and muscovado sugar.
It's our own recipe. Put these dry ingredients into your salt
and make sure they're really well mixed in.
-All of it?
-Yep. All of it.
That's quite difficult for the salt to penetrate.
What I want you to do is to give it a stab.
Think shower curtain and Hitchcock!
Really rub the mixture in,
and make sure it's rubbed into all of the crevices.
I'd really love to come on a curing holiday.
-If you stuff your meat right into the bottom there
and try to push it all the way down as much as you can.
It draws the salt into the product
and you get an equalisation between, you know.
This has been in the vac pack for ten days, this is the next stage on.
What you want is even-drying maturing throughout.
So, we use an intestine, a beef bone.
You can see it flakes quite well.
So what you need to do is pull this over the end quite a lot.
It's like Nora Batty's tights!
Push your bresaola, push it right through.
-That's it, I've got it.
-Now we'll cut this off.
So, the same process with that.
-If you put it over and pull it all up.
Because the netting is elasticated,
it will dry back with the product, it'll go back with the product
so you won't get any air between the bum and the product.
There it is, me first bit of charcuterie!
Our very own bresaola needed to be pressed and dried,
but James had something made for us
to sample along with a whole range of other meat treats.
OK. So, we'll have a go at that bresaola that you're holding.
It's been dried about three, four weeks.
That's about as much as we'd ever dry it.
-It's like tissue paper.
Some people like it like that.
-Such a small amount of meat, with such an intense flavour.
Another thing about charcuterie, you use every part of the animal.
This is a pig cheek.
Hot smoked and cured.
Here's one we roasted up for you to slice up.
Unctuous is the word for this, unctuous.
Oh, that is good.
Oh, oh! That just makes you giggle.
It's making me lips stick together.
That is awesome.
Call it black pudding, call it boudin noir,
invent a new name for it, but...
Let's call it boudin Welsh.
That's been really lightly heated through.
-Hardly been cooked on at all.
This is, and I mean it, this is the nicest black pudding I've eaten.
-There's a sweetness to it, it's absolutely gorgeous.
Mm, that is really good.
How about having a slice of pancetta,
the belly version of an air-dried ham, basically.
That was a happy pig.
Oh, dude. Definitely didn't expect to taste anything like that.
This is some of the best charcuterie we've ever tasted.
It is, without a doubt. That's not for effect. It absolutely is.
I think it would be wonderful to turn this into a meal.
You know, I mean, you've done most of the work for us.
James, we will do our absolute utmost to make it sing.
Cos I tell you what, it's got a loud voice as it is.
Making the bresaola was a real experience,
but it's the piggy products that we want to use
for our cook-off dish.
We'll roast a smoked pig's cheek, and serve it on pickled cabbage.
We'll wrap cured ham in crispy pancetta
and pair Welsh boudin noir with sausages,
served up with caramelised apples and onions.
To complete the dish,
we're in search of a very historic taste of Monmouthshire.
Amongst the steep and lofty cliffs of the Wye Valley,
rises the imposing Tintern Abbey.
Monks from the abbey planted vineyards and made mead here
from as early as the 12th century.
Today in the shadow of the spectacular ruins,
Judith and Colin Dudley
are continuing the tradition at Parva Farm vineyard.
I didn't expect to see a vineyard in Wales.
There aren't many of us, I think there's about 20 altogether.
It's... not an ideal place for vines, I suppose you could say.
Perhaps a bit wet sometimes.
-Well drained, though, it's a steep hill!
Judith, what's the history of wine-making
and vineyards in this part of Wales?
We like to think that there was a vineyard here
when the monks had the abbey.
Tintern Abbey is only just across the hill there.
This vineyard was actually planted in 1979.
We came here in 1996.
-And you make mead?
-Yes, we do.
With the wine that you produce.
The traditional mead is honey and water fermented together.
Things like wine and cider-based meads
probably came about because in the old days,
people tended to drink alcohol rather than water,
because the water wasn't very safe to drink.
-Can we have a taste of your mead?
-You can indeed, yes.
This mead was actually made in 2007.
We find it best when it's been in the bottle for a couple of years.
-It's a spicy mead.
-Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, things like that.
-That is lovely.
It is quite dry at first, not a sweet, sticky concoction.
The spices are fab.
The honey used by Judith and Colin is supplied by local beekeeper
Richard Liddle, who keeps two hives at the vineyard.
How much does the honey contribute to the mead?
Obviously, sort of, half of it really, isn't it?
When we started making it, we didn't have any beehives on the farm.
I knew Richard made honey,
so I asked him if he could supply some local honey.
He suggested having beehives here. He looks after them.
Of course they have all the natural wildflowers in this area.
So it's mostly wildflower honey. It definitely gives the flavour to it.
There is a floral end to it on the palate.
There is. You get the spices first, I think, but at the end
you're left with the honey flavour, aren't you?
Yes, that to me is Monmouthshire in a cup.
I think this could just give us the edge.
So, guys, as they say here in Monmouthshire, what's appertaining?
Well it's a celebration of Welsh charcuterie, we have a roasted
smoked pig's cheek, served with a lightly pickled cabbage.
Cured ham, wrapped in pancetta on some tiny buttered beans.
Some Welsh boudin noir, and Monmouthshire sausages,
serve with caramelised onions and apples.
And mead and thyme jelly to bring it all together.
But, will the local diners think our dish is good enough
to beat Stephen in the blind tasting?
I think mead conjures up Henry VIII or something like that.
He could have almost been a third hairy biker.
It's monks, it's monks, dude.
But this mead is spiced.
-It's slightly dry.
-This is a beautiful, beautiful cheek.
This is what used to be called a bath chap.
-It's cured and smoked.
We're putting it in the oven for about an hour at about 160.
-It's a pig fest!
-What we're going to do is a lightly pickled cabbage.
We've got some white wine vinegar.
Some sugar, allspice.
Just a little bit with a few sour seeds
and then some water.
Then what we're gonna do is bring that to the boil.
It's amazing, you think of all the things that we eat every day
with sugar and acidity in,
all the pickling things, it's enough to make your mouth water.
It's that thing about sweet and sour.
You know when you catch...
Do you know when the vinegar catches the back of your throat?!
When reducing vinegar, you normally get the new boys
-and say "smell that". It knocks them out.
-That'd be me!
That has to simmer for ten minutes.
-Great. What's next?
First off, leaves of gelatine.
Break them up into the bowl
and top with cold water.
It won't take long to go flaccid.
250ml of chicken stock.
That's the base of the jelly.
Two tablespoons of mead
and a tablespoon of wine.
While it's heating up, I'll strip some thyme.
See, that gelatine has gone sloppy.
Now we can just put that into the pan.
That'll melt down. Give it a stir.
It's a fantastic thing, setting a few things up,
it adds an interest to the plate.
While Dave's chopping that, all I'll do is put butter into a pan
and about a teaspoon of muscovado sugar.
I'm just gonna add the onions to it and just let them go.
Nice and gently. I don't want too much.
All of those onions, just coated. Right, Dave, I'm off.
Put in a heap of chopped thyme.
I've got these little dishes I'll just line with Clingfilm.
-Put that in the fridge.
-Put it in the fridge.
Put those in there.
-Dude, can you pass that bowl over?
-So I can...put that away.
Is that served at room temperature?
Yeah, we don't want it mega hot.
Do you want Clingfilm?
That would be great.
All of the steam then will drop back in the cabbage.
I'm gonna put the sausages on nice and slow, Dave.
-Do you prick them or not?
-No. No. Cos I'm gonna fry them.
It's a bit of an urban myth, that whole pricking sausages.
Oh, yes. Don't prick your sausages. You want that to cook.
This is your pancetta crisps, they look fantastic.
Nice textural difference, contrast.
Put that in there like that.
More paper on top.
Then a baking tray on top of that.
-Right, on the top. Put the sausage in the middle shelf.
I put it on the bottom, dude. Yeah, just to slowly roast.
Look at this, man, it's starting to go as we wanted.
How fantastic is that?
That's coming out, that's doing what we want it to do.
The onions are browning off.
Let me get the apples on now.
Butter, splash of oil.
The apples will caramelise,
but I don't mind if these end up being like toffee apples.
I've got Granny Smiths, they're pretty sour,
but I'll put lemon juice on to keep them fresh looking.
A little bit of sugar. Put the apples in.
So you've got the cabbage, apples, all on the go,
the sausages cooking, the pancetta cooking,
so what's the deal with this black pudding and this ham here?
Look at this.
-We're both northerners.
We love our black pudding, but we've gotta admit we were blown away with this.
It's different to the black pudding you use,
-yours was with the fat bits.
You're doing the butter beans, can you get on with the ham?
No worries, dude.
This is one of James' hams.
It's made with rosemary and thyme.
It's brilliant. I want this quite thin.
This may seem wasteful,
but you can use the rest of the ham in a sandwich.
-How's the apples?
-They're looking canny mega.
I'm wrapping my rondelle in the pancetta.
-Is that going to stand, do you want a cocktail stick?
-Yes. I think so.
I wouldn't want it to go wrong for you,
and you not win because of the cocktail stick.
Dude, he's trying to psyche you out. Ignore him, dude, ignore him.
Shall we look at the pancetta?
Dave, make space, quick, dude!
Right, fingers crossed.
-What are we reckoning?
That is stiffer than a crocodile with rigour mortis!
I've just fried off and sweated off some shallots.
I'm just gonna add a little bit of garlic to that.
I'm not gonna put too much garlic in.
Try not to burn it, cos if it burns, it goes bitter and awful.
The beans are gonna be tossed in that
just to warm through. I'm just gonna do that now, Dave.
Butterbeans, again, is fantastic with any pork products.
-I think we should get the pig out.
That is first-class, isn't it?
I'm going to use this ring here,
-I'm gonna start searing off the rondelles.
Obviously, they're already cooked so you want to caramelise them.
Yeah, I'm gonna try to seal this edge.
We're gonna add some lemon zest, as well.
-Are you putting thyme in there?
The pancetta is wrapped around.
-It is almost Clingfilm round the top of the rondelles.
Give us those black puddings.
-The boudin noir.
We could almost put them on that tin, couldn't we?
Are you guys worried about putting this together
with so many elements coming together at the same time?
This could be a busy plate, I think.
-This is the pickled cabbage, the Welsh sauerkraut.
-Look at that.
That's nice, look.
This is the caramelised onions.
It would be a laugh if someone were a vegetarian.
They're lost on all accounts, aren't they?
Right, this is the jelly.
All you want is little cubes.
This is really like your chutney.
This is the Welsh pancetta.
It goes mega crispy, just cut in shards.
Are you happy with that, guys? What's the name of the dish?
It's a celebration of Monmouthshire charcuterie...
With a mead and thyme jelly.
Fair play. There is so much to choose from.
-The pig's face first.
With some cabbage.
Get in there.
A little hint of vinegar, very nice.
Beautiful, unctuous texture to the pig's cheek.
Lots of fat, a fantastic delivery of flavour.
Mead comes in, little sweet delivery at the end. Very nice.
So far, so good, dude.
The pancetta works nicely, a slight smokiness there.
The beans are fabulous. Like little parcels of mashed potatoes
in these little silk robes, beautiful.
Apples, pork, black pudding, boudin noir and onions
is a no-brainer. This has been very skilfully put together.
It's very good.
You guys, as far as I'm concerned, have produced
an incredibly high standard, first-class, fantastic dish.
-Thank you very much.
-Thanks very much.
It's crunch time. The diners here will taste both dishes,
but without any idea who cooked which.
First up is Stephen's pork belly and black pudding,
served with seared scallops.
The scallop for me was a little bit undercooked for my personal taste.
I'm surprised to see the scallops there
because I don't associate scallops with Monmouthshire at all,
but I'll always each scallops anywhere.
Belly pork can sometimes be a little greasy, but this wasn't.
It was very nice and crispy on the outside.
I enjoyed the black pudding
running through it which made it a little moister.
The fennel, the lemon was absolutely beautiful. Tender, succulent.
Monmouthshire is a livestock-producing county,
so the scallops were a surprise.
The pork, I really enjoyed.
I'm not a lover of black pudding.
In fact it is something that I would never choose,
but it went really well with the pork.
I really enjoyed it very much.
Some mixed reviews there. What will they think of our dish?
It was a much heartier looking meal.
I can imagine it would appeal to the farmer type in this area.
You've got pig on a plate, everything but the squeal,
which I thought was excellent.
The pork cheek was very nice.
Something that I haven't eaten before in Monmouthshire,
only in Italy, previously.
Loved the sweetness of the onions
with the pork sausage - it was very good.
The mead and thyme jelly,
I had no idea what that was doing there. It did nothing for me.
It tasted a bit like mouth wash, I thought.
I've never had pig's cheek before.
It was a little bit on the fatty side for some people's taste,
but I happen to enjoy it. It was lovely.
Unlike some, I loved the jelly.
I thought it reflected Monmouthshire on the plate.
We do have some really good pork producers in the county.
I think it really identified with Monmouthshire.
You had pork in three different ways, so ideal.
Hello, how are you?
Well, thank you so much for coming.
-We've had a wonderful time in Monmouthshire.
It's so pretty, isn't it? You are very lucky.
Now, I'm going to name both dishes.
I would like you to put your hands up for the dish that you think
represents Monmouthshire on the plate.
Could I have a clear show of hands, please,
for the scallop and belly pork dish?
One, two, thank you.
Could I have a clear show of hands, please,
for the charcuterie.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.
OK, thanks very much indeed.
The scallop and belly pork dish was Stephen's.
The charcuterie dish was ours.
-Thank you very much, it was very, very nice.
You know, no hard feelings cos I loved your dish.
I thought it was fantastic.
I'm already a winner cos I live in Monmouthshire anyway.
I work with the produce,
you know, I feel very privileged and honoured to do that.
I thought your dish was one of the nicest meals I've had for a long time.
It was perfect. We've learnt a lot.
-Thank you very much. Thanks, Stephen.
-Thank you very much for having us.
'Wow! What a victory!
'Well, we could hardly go wrong with those fantastic meats.'
'Monmouthshire is a real foodie county, we'll definitely be back.'
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Si and Dave explore Monmouthshire, where they cook a traditional county favourite in Chepstow. They learn how to make charcuterie and taste some Welsh mead. Finally, they face the challenge of a cook-off against top chef Stephen Terry. Restaurant diners decide who has created the best taste of Monmouthshire.