Si and Dave explore Staffordshire where they find some of the happiest free-range hens in the county and pick their own fruit and vegetables.
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-We're the Hairy Bikers!
-We're on the road to find recipes to rev up your appetite.
-We're riding county to county to discover, cook and enjoy the best of British.
Today we are in search of the real taste of Staffordshire.
Staffordshire. The canals here were the waterways that carried the lifeblood of British industry.
Staffordshire is famous for its canals cos there's more canals here than in any other county in the UK.
And it is home to the Potteries, great porcelain makers, china makers like Burslem and Wedgwood.
They are all from round here. Let's go potty!
'On our quest to find the true flavours of Staffordshire,
'we visit Lichfield to cook up a real county favourite.
'We find some happy chickens on a free range farm. Oh, delicious in a sandwich.
'Fruit and veg doesn't get any fresher than picking your own,
'and we find some of the tastiest in the county.
'And representing Staffordshire in a cook-off later is Matt Davies.
'Will we be able to beat him in a blind tasting judged by local diners?'
We are starting our food tour of Staffordshire in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
A we're in Newcastle!
Aye, and not a Geordie in sight.
This is Newcastle-under-Lyme,
right in the heart of the Potteries in Staffordshire.
What is good to eat in Staffordshire?
Bacon and cheese oatcakes with brown sauce, food fit for a king.
-Are they like biscuit-y?
-Oh, no, no.
It is a bit like a wash leather to look at, but they taste fantastic.
You get a lot of different oatcake shops all round the Potteries, and they have all got their own recipe.
Good slapping, as we stay in North Staffordshire.
-Good slapping. Fantastic. What are you famous for here?
I'm not saying they're any good, but we are famous for them.
-It is proper crackling country here, isn't it?
-Yeah, it is.
-Oh, it is like a roof tile, isn't it?
-Do you want a bit of salt on it?
-It is free-range pork.
Beautiful. Really nice.
What, for you, is Staffordshire on a plate?
Staffordshire is very famous for oatcakes. Oatcakes and cheese.
With a bit of bacon. Or sausage.
So, that is a Staffordshire oatcake.
It does indeed look like a floor cloth.
My first Staffordshire oatcake.
The legendary, the only one.
It is good for me! Ho, ho, ho!
I feel like a whole person now.
What is great to eat in Staffordshire?
Definitely the oatcake.
-Not another one! Oatcakes again! You're obsessed with the oatcakes.
-What is Staffordshire famous...?
'But what else has Staffordshire got its larder besides oatcakes?'
Is Staffordshire famous for its baking?
We are quite famous, with the bread. It is all hand-made, and baked in a 100-year-old coal-fired oven.
-We have got to have a look at that.
-Everything we bake here.
-This is Rachel.
-Hello, Rachel. How are you doing, darling?
Oh, look at this!
-You should have come Thursday when I have got 1200 doing.
-Do you do them all by hand?
-It is the ovens.
-They are very special, aren't they?
As you can tell, it is so hot in here, anyway. The heat in here so far is making these rise.
So when they go in, they will rise a lot better.
-Let's have a look at this coal house.
-See what the engine room is doing.
Darren, hello. What are you up to there?
I am just stoking up the fires ready for the bakers this afternoon.
Trying to get up to 400 degrees.
Do you use much coal, Gareth?
Not really. Generally...
I baked the other night, and I think I used about eight or nine shovels of coal, the whole night.
-So they're really efficient ovens?
-That actually really surprises me.
We have good artisan traditional bakers in Britain.
You have got the wonderful coal-fired ovens.
-It is great.
-And we're not going anywhere.
Hats off to you, man. That is wonderful.
What is good on a plate in Staffordshire?
Every time, oatcakes.
-I have to say, you boys and girls are absolutely obsessed with oatcakes, aren't you?
Yes, it is cos they go with anything.
We have entered a community that is obsessed with oatcakes.
It is like the X-Files.
-They don't all come from a microwave.
-There has got to be a holy grail somewhere.
-The cosa nostra of oatcakes.
-That's the one. Let's go.
We are on our way to Hanley in the heart of the Potteries
to visit the last remaining front-room oatcake shop in the county.
There it is on the left!
-The Hole In The Wall. Yes!
-Hi, lads. All right?
-Not bad. We have come to have a look at your oatcakes.
-I'll cook you some if you'd like.
Now, you are the last corner oatcake shop in Britain, aren't you?
The last front-room one, yes.
There were obviously ones all over the city, but one by one, they have closed and left.
We personally have been here 28 years now.
These businesses are always passed down through the families.
I think the oatcake was like a weekend sort of thing for the old potters.
They used to put their oatcakes in the kilns to warm them up,
-and then have the food on them throughout the weekend.
-Cos oatcakes, they last, don't they?
-Yes, they have got a good shelf-life, about five days on them.
-Can you get some on for us?
I will do. I will put you a couple on there.
You can have a taste.
So what is in the batter?
There's flour, oatmeal, salt,
yeast, and then there goes a raising agent in to get them off the plate, obviously, you know?
Would there be a chance of you giving us your recipe?
We'll keep it to ourselves, I promise.
I'll give you something like it, but I won't give you my recipe.
Every shop has its own, I'm afraid.
-How many d'you sell in a day?
-It varies. About 240 dozen.
That is a lot of dozens.
It is a lot of dozens. It's a fact.
And the toppings are really quite interesting.
You have single cheese, double cheese, bacon or sausage and cheese...
Extra toppings, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans, eggs, black pudding.
-It is a versatile beast.
Would you like something with a bit of cheese and bacon on?
-Aye, that would be lovely.
-That would be brilliant.
It is about a proper, old-fashioned, working man's food history. I think it is just superb.
-Oh, they're fantastic.
These are awesome.
Thank you so much, Glen. They really are lovely. Thank you.
-That's it, then
-If we are going to cook anything in Staffordshire, it has to be the oatcake.
Oh, you toad!
We're cooking our version of Staffordshire oatcake in the City of Lichfield.
The historic market square has been home to Lichfield's market since 1161.
And there is a farmer's market on today, which means a good, foodie crowd.
We'll be cooking traditional Staffordshire oatcakes filled with melted cheese and crispy bacon.
This is Lichfield. Sunny, wonderful Lichfield.
Not any old Lichfield, the Lichfield.
The city of Lichfield, and why is it a city?
Because it has a cathedral, and a very beautiful one it has, too.
-Do you know who I've spotted over there?
Is This The Way To Amarillo Tony Christie?
Come over here and say hello!
-How are you doing?
-Man, the dude's a legend!
So, do you live in Lichfield?
I live in Lichfield, yes. I came to get my papers, and they said the two Hairy Bikers are cooking.
-We are going to be cooking Staffordshire oatcakes.
-I am waiting to have one of your freshly-cooked ones.
-Perfect. Lovely to meet you.
Thank you very much.
Thanks a lot, Tony.
We're mingling with celebrities!
Moving up, aren't we? You will have gathered by now, we are going to cook Staffordshire oatcakes.
It is part crumpet, part pikelet, part pancake.
They last for about a week.
They do. So you can make a batch up, and oatcake freezes.
They're are brilliant.
Oatmeal, fine oatmeal.
The finest you can get, about 500 grams, I reckon, there.
About 250 grams of wholemeal flour.
Now, much like bread, if you want brown oatcakes, use all wholemeal flour.
If you want white oatcakes, use all white flour.
We like to use half and half.
To this, we put a teaspoonful of quick acting yeast.
Into this, some salt.
Who thinks an oatcake should be salty, slightly salty or not salty at all?
-You have got three options there, come on, I'm looking for an answer! ALL:
Slightly salty, not too much.
So, slightly salty they shall be.
Now, mix that up,
and to this, we're going to add a pint and a half
of hand-hot water.
Just to activate the yeast. Just give it a good old mix up.
Leave it at least a couple of hours for the yeast to start to work,
and this will just end up a big, bubbling mass.
If you're wanting oatcakes for breakfast, you could do this the night before.
The longer you leave this batter, the better.
So, that is fine. So, just cover this over,
put it in a dry place out of the wind for about two hours.
Talk amongst yourselves. I'm only putting bacon on a tray.
As it is going to take at least two hours for that to ferment and bubble,
-we have one at that...
-One you did earlier!
You are not wrong. It's bubbled and it's bubbled, and it's formed a crust.
Oh, look at that. Now, that...
is Staffordshire oatcake-dom.
If we were to cook this now, it would be quite flat and bland.
So, into this mixture we put a tablespoon of baking powder.
Look at that.
Know what that is?
Bacon on a tray, that.
Brilliant, isn't it?
Surprise myself sometimes(!)
So, just work the baking powder through.
Now, here is the exciting bit. It is time to make the oatcakes.
Now, we're going to have to make quite a few.
So we take a ladleful of the bubbling broth, about that much.
Place it in your plan.
Swiggle it around...
If you get your ladle in right, there should be enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
-So far, so good.
-It's looking good, man.
These will be ready for turning now. Look at that.
Now, one thing we learned from the man at The Hole In The Wall was don't rush your oatcakes.
They are not like a pancake. You know a pancake, when they go firm, that is it.
These, you tend to want to cook a little bit. I think these are done.
It is crispy and lovely.
It is a lovely texture, because the oatcake should be kind of quite rubbery.
-Has anybody ever seen an oatcake made before? CROWD:
We are going to get away with murder here, dude!
Taste that, straight from the pan.
-That is really, really good.
Right, for the vegetarians, what we are going to do is put a few mushrooms in.
Some butter, some oil, put those in.
A little bit of salt.
A little bit of pepper.
Let them go.
So, we will stuff them.
So, the batter goes in,
and we let that side go firm.
Look at that. Gorgeous, lovely, local cheese.
Oh, look at that. Take some cheese...
Melt that. It is kind of like a Staffordshire pizza.
The Amarillo special.
-Well, there we have it. Our homage to the traditions that are Staffordshire.
-Thank you very much.
-We thank you.
Now it is the moment of truth.
Will the locals approve of our take on their Staffordshire oatcakes?
First up, one of the town's most famous residents, Tony Christie!
Behind every great man, there is a cracking lass.
Now, that is a Staffordshire oatcake. Think of, like, a very flat, healthy crumpet.
-What do we reckon?
Hmm! It would be nice with a pint, this would.
It would be great with a pint, wouldn't it?
Ladies and gentlemen, how about a round of applause for Mr and Mrs Christie?
'That's a good start, but will the rest of the locals approve?'
-The best I have ever tasted.
Are you a Staffordshire lass?
-I am, born and bred.
-Do you think you will have a go at making them?
So, have you had oatcakes before?
-Not home-made ones.
-Never mind crepes!
-See, word is out.
-Competition is here already. What do you think?
Very, very nice. Moreish.
-Go on, then.
-If you insist.
-I am going to start eating more of them.
-Oh, good lad. There you go.
Oh, sorry, darling.
It's you! That is number three! What is the verdict?
So they stand up to your local oatcakes? Oh, definitely, yes.
You have eaten us out of house and oatcakes.
Look at that. Not a thing left.
Judging by that empty plate, our oatcakes got the thumbs-up.
Next an even bigger challenge is just around the corner.
As always, we are taking on one of the county's top chefs in their restaurant,
using local ingredients to see who can best define the taste of the region.
It will be up to local diners in a blind tasting to decide whose dish
best represents the true flavours of Staffordshire.
Our opponent today is
Matt Davies, the executive chef at the Moathouse in Acton Trussell.
Matt has run the kitchens here for over ten years,
and he is also passionate about passing on his knowledge to the next generation of Staffordshire chefs.
Staffordshire is a great county for food.
Our produce is sourced as much as possible within a 30 mile radius.
We use Wells Farm, which is a dairy.
From Lower Farm which is literally two miles in that direction, we purchase free-range eggs.
Our asparagus comes from one-and-a-half miles,
just outside the village, a local farmer called Keith Stevens.
I'm also privileged to teach at our local college,
and that restaurant is actually named after me, it is Restaurant Matt Davies at Stafford College.
So, very important to show colleges what chefs and trends are for today.
Awards twice for the Moathouse, Taste Of Staffordshire four or five times.
Two rosettes for the past 10, 11 years.
It is good to have awards, but I think the most award-winning thing
to any chef is to see his dining room full every night, which it is.
To take on the bikers, my taste of Staffordshire is Tamworth pork fillet,
cured ham, Canalside courgettes, Bertelin Farmhouse cheese,
mousseline potato, lager sauce.
Hello, Matt, how are you? This is another fine place in which to tout our wares. Are we toting wares again?
And you for having us.
What we are going to do today is a fillet of Tamworth pork,
we serve that with some Canalside courgettes,
Bertelin Farmhouse cheese, some nice crispy crackling, mousseline potato and a lager sauce.
-And I'm going to win!
-Yeah, yeah, well, well.
What I am going to do first is wrap the pork fillet.
Get some of that Parma ham for me.
-So we're just rolling that up there?
-Yes, just roll it up.
We wrap it in the clingfilm to get some shape.
-You do a similar thing with fillet, don't you?
-Yes, you can do, the whole fillet, wrap it in cling film,
it keeps a nice shape, yeah. Right, that is what you get.
That is going to be poached. We will put that back in the fridge, because it is quite warm in here.
Now we are going to start making the garnishes.
We will start grating some courgettes.
We are going to start turning some courgettes.
We'll cook this down in some butter and add some cream,
and then add in the Bertelin cheese from Eccleshall.
-It will be like a courgette fondue.
-That'll be interesting.
Is it enough, Chef?
Spot on. You taste this. It is absolutely fantastic.
Beautiful melting cheese, as well.
Lovely after taste. How much do you want, Matt?
About half of that.
A bit of fine-chopped banana shallot, as well. For sweetness.
-Start sweating this down.
-Just a bit of oil in there?
To soften but not colour.
We don't want to colour the cheese or the courgettes.
Once that gets nice and hot, we will glaze it with the Freedom lager.
Where is Freedom lager brewed?
Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire, nice little brewery, the guy is called Ed.
That is starting to glaze now. Grab the lager.
What we are going to do now is jus that right the way down,
take all the alcohol out of it, sweeten it down.
So we get a better flavour from the lager.
We have got some beautiful double chicken stock here,
which is normal chicken stock cooked and then we add chicken bones into it again.
We cook the baby carrots in the chicken stock.
Butter, add that into there as well.
And what that does, it cooks the butter and the stock at the same time. It will glaze the carrots.
That is lovely.
I like cooking with beer.
We do it quite a lot.
Fresh courgettes, Canalside farm. We just cook these down
slowly now. Let them absorb all the lager, all the shallots.
Pork into the cooking liquor.
It is just salted water.
-How long for?
-About 12 minutes.
What we're going to do now, boys, we're going to roast some shallots.
We actually blanch these first.
I have put a little bit of the veal stock over them.
-I'll put a little bit of rapeseed over them.
-This is the stuff, in a professional kitchen.
We call it kitchen gold.
The veal juice, our demi-glace.
It is just like the building blocks for a lot of things.
All great sauces. We just take a good tablespoon and add that into there like that.
We will melt that on there.
We just leave that on the side for two minutes.
We'll whack it into a hot oven for two or three minutes when we start plating the dish up.
Pommes mousseline. A good knob of butter, add a bit of double cream.
To save time again, I have mashed some potatoes.
And then we start whisking, rapeseed oil, a little bit in.
-Taste that, boys.
-The lemon is great.
Do you have a low-calorie option for this one, chef?
As in what, chef?
What are you trying to say? A little bit of cream in there, and add some more shallots in there.
Now, that pork needs to go on the yellow board.
The lager again, half a bottle left, all of it goes in.
OK. Now what I do is just quickly pan-sear these.
You can see it actually held the shape.
It is a lovely little trick, that, as well, because it presents really well, doesn't it?
How long was that poached for?
-About 12 minutes.
Pan on the stove. A little bit of rapeseed oil.
Get the pan nice and hot, into the pan.
Just a little bit of colour.
Onto a tray. Just put that into the oven for about three or four minutes.
About 180 degrees. Just make sure it is cooked through.
-Right, so now, the courgettes.
Just a little bit of rapeseed oil again.
A little bit of salt.
A bit of pepper.
Right, now we have added the cheese, it has thickened the sauce.
So what that does now, that is going to be the base of the pork fillet.
We take the pork out of the oven.
We let that rest for two minutes, ready to carve.
The reduction is nearly there. If you look at the pan now.
-Look at the colour!
-It is a darker colour, the alcohol has come out of the lager.
That starts reducing. We have got that veal juice on.
So what we will do now is just completely reduce that down for about a minute or so.
I'll also add the sweetness of the onions and there, as well.
And I just reduce that down again.
I have got one thing extra, and that is some beautiful flame crackling.
This is obviously rind, pork rind.
We cut it like that.
We place it between two pieces of silicon paper.
Then we put another tray on top of the silicon, and we put the heaviest weight we can find.
Put in the oven at about 100 degrees and slowly dry out the crackling for about two hours.
Then you have got beautiful pieces.
We just put a little bit of honey in that sauce, sweeten it up slightly.
Right. We start off with the Staffordshire cheese and the courgettes.
The Bertelin Farm cheese and Canalside courgettes.
Then we will slice the pork.
Sit the carrots over the top.
Decorate it with some nice chervil pieces.
Just a drizzle of oil. And that is my taste of Staffordshire.
Fillet of Tamworth pork wrapped in cured ham with a mousseline of
potato, roasted shallots, young carrots, courgettes and cheese.
-What some lager sauce.
You have set the bar high, mate.
We will start with the posh scratching.
Staffordshire is very famous for scratchings, isn't it?
Top scratching. The pork is beautifully cooked.
It is wonderful.
-That's a great plateful.
-It is, isn't it?
I love Matt's kind of classical techniques, you know?
He is not afraid of flavours, is he?
It all does, what you see is what you taste. It is really good.
Interesting, because the gravy really does taste beery.
I think it is dead simple.
Everybody says this. Buy the best, don't mess about with it.
Let's do it for once.
Now, it is all very well what we think,
but the real judges are the locals,
who will decide whose dish is best in a blind tasting coming up.
Matt's dish really made the most of some great Staffordshire produce.
Our local ingredients have got to be the very best.
We're heading to meet a young farmer whose award-winning free range chickens could be just the answer.
Alec Mercer had the idea to set up his own poultry
business while still at university, and is now doing exactly that, using fields on his family farm.
What I'm going to do is show you the chickens from
when we get them at a day old until when they're ready to go.
These ones we got yesterday, just two days old.
We've got to be quite quiet when we go in.
If we are quiet, it means they'll all be comfortable.
-If you start making a lot of noise, they'll all run to the edges.
It's very warm in here as well.
Very warm. When the birds first arrive, we try and get this shed
32 degrees so they'll be nice and warm to start with.
As they get bigger we'll get the temperature further and further down
and then at three weeks, we then let them outside.
-Would you ever have a greater quantity than that in there?
-No, I wouldn't.
At the start, they always look like they've got a lot of room because they're only two days old.
Did you start farming chickens just after university?
That's right. I finished uni and was very keen to try and give consumers exactly what they want.
They were becoming more educated. And with chickens, it's such a large amount of meat we consume in the UK.
I thought they weren't able to get a fully traceable product
and that's why I decided to do this.
The modern chickens are reared to get to their weight as quick as possible.
And that's the focus.
Whereas I'm actually slowing the growth of the birds down so that their body grows at a natural rate.
So they can use their leg muscles more, pumping blood around the legs, creating more flavour in the meat.
That's what gives you a lot better tasting chicken.
These chickens here are ready to go this week.
These are right at the end of their time.
How old will they be now?
Around eight weeks.
And they drive tanks! It's like tank commander under there, isn't it?! Like Chicken Run.
It's for shade. Chickens are originally forest animals,
they'll perch on the logs, go on to the logs, go round the bales.
-If you were a chicken, this is where you'd want to be.
-Good big 'uns, aren't they?
I wanted to try and produce a roasting bird, start getting
roast chicken back on the table to rival beef and pork and lamb.
What's your favourite way of cooking chicken?
-Roast chicken. Easy. On its own.
-So is farming in your blood, then?
I'll be the fourth generation in Staffordshire.
I started off here two years ago now, selling about 600 a week.
Now I'm on round about 1,800 a week.
There's only one thing left to ask now, really.
Keep your voice down!
-Is there any chance of a nibble?
-I was hoping you'd say that!
-We've got some in the oven for you now.
That's not too shabby, is it?
Mm. That's really good chicken, it's so juicy.
-I'll second that.
-Here you are, guys.
A chicken each.
Fantastic. Thank you.
We'll roast Alex's chicken with a sage and onion stuffing.
What could be better with roast chicken than home-made chips and gravy?
We just need the finishing touches to make this dish shout Staffordshire.
The county has a strong tradition of fruit growing and pick-your-owns are a local favourite.
We're off to one of the best - Essington fruit farm, which has won
the Taste Of Staffordshire award for local produce.
Farmer Richard Simpkins is showing us around.
I thought it was pick your own fruit and veg - not a dog track!
It's like that, isn't it, yeah?!
HE IMITATES RACE COMMENTATOR Hello?
-Can you pick us a good runner?!
-How are you?
-The strawberries are good runners at the moment!
Pick-your-own has to be the ultimate in seasonality and getting fresh food.
You'll never get it fresher than if you pick it yourself.
Unless you grow it yourself.
So we grow about 35 different crops here, been doing it since 1978.
It's a great idea.
You lose a bit. Some get trodden on, some get pinched.
We like to draw the distinction between sampling and gluttony!
We're interested in your famous Staffordshire gooseberries.
It's tended to go out of fashion a little bit, because it's more
the older generation that know how to cook gooseberries.
Richard, we just need to know what's absolutely bang in season.
What have you got that's absolutely prime now?
Coming into season today, you'll be virtually the first pickers in the field, broad beans.
Oh, yes! That's it!
I'll show you some proper strawberries.
-Oh, good man!
-I feel like Heidi, do you?
That'll be the strawberries then, Richard!
That's the idiot-proof guide so you know where you are!
And this one's Symphony. This is my daughter's favourite variety. This has got quite a tang to it.
-How many varieties of strawberries do you have here?
-About a dozen.
Have a sample.
-Is it good?
-Straight from the ground.
-It's the mixture of the sweetness and the tang.
Has Staffordshire always been good for pick-your-own and growing?
We've got a combination of decent ground for growing and a very big population.
The two together make Staffordshire a good county for pick-your-own.
It's great if you're a city dweller and haven't got a garden.
The strawberries are fantastic, Richard.
But they don't go with chicken! Gooses, that's what we're after!
Right behind you!
It grows on a bush.
You know, Si, until I was six,
I believed I was found under a gooseberry bush!
I went through life thinking I was a foundling.
You know, your parents had a lot to answer for!
Look at the size of that gooseberry! Beautiful.
Hairy little devils, aren't they?
Yes. I had a suite that colour once.
What, a bathroom suite?
Oh, no. A lounge.
-A lounge suite that colour?
It was nice, actually. It had pale pink cushions.
Great with that, that contrast.
'With enough gooseberries for a great gravy, it's time to hunt for those broad beans.'
Loads down here.
That's what we want!
You see, that's the thing about broad beans, they lull you into a false sense of security
cos you think you've got quite a lot. But in one of these pouches,
you're going to get a maximum of five or six beans. That's not a lot.
But these beans, I tell you what, mate, thousands!
What are they like, Si?
-Aren't they wonderful?
You see, we can't go wrong! We've got chicken - simple.
These are fresher than a fresh thing. Gooseberries are superb.
Let's do chicken and chips, broad beans and gooseberry gravy.
Maybe even the flamboyancy of a sage and onion stuffing.
Yes! That's it!
Right, we've got a belter for you!
They're going to do free-range Staffordshire roast chicken, stuffed with sage and onion stuffing.
-And we're going to do a gooseberry and white wine gravy.
We've got Staffordshire sausage meat balls, to garnish it in that flourishy way.
Yeah, we have.
But will the local diners think our dish is good enough to beat Matt in the blind tasting?
Step 1 in a big chicken dinner - the chicken!
The Paddington poultry.
-Nice pair, aren't they?
-They're fabulous, aren't they?
First, in making proper sage and onion stuffing, you need to blanch the onions to take the fire out.
-While blanching, you bring the sugar out as well.
# Stick your onions in a pan
# of boiling water for five minutes... #
And after it's sufficiently blanched,
just regular fresh breadcrumbs.
The yolk of an egg,
a pinch of nutmeg.
And 40 grams of butter.
And some salt and pepper, mix this together, mash the butter in.
So we take eight sage leaves.
And we want to blanch them as well.
Because if you don't, the sage can be a bit harsh.
-Probably blanch seven, and leave one...
Yeah, cos you need those aromatics to come through as well.
-I think you might be right, you know.
-Right, pull one out.
There you are. It's a minute for them.
Strain them off. Now, over to the blender.
The un-blanched one.
-So the sage and onions go into the bowl.
-Let's have a taste, uh?
-Now, we take the patient, and we stuff it.
-Guys, aren't we seasoning the cavity first?
-Sometimes it draws the moisture out.
-I would have seasoned the cavity.
-You're not us, though! Because that, then, would be you!
A spoonful here, just to get the breasts.
Now Dave's stuffed the chicken, you take your nice clean hand
and then you smear...
..it all over with butter.
Now just again, to keep the moisture up, I'm going to put some water, just cover the tin.
Then just tent some foil over it.
We don't want it to dry out either.
So with a chicken like that, you want about two hours at 180.
And that allows for the stuffing as well.
When you're stuffing a chicken, what you need to do is add the cooking time of the stuffing to the chicken.
-Because you want it all cooked together.
-Pop you in the oven, girls!
And after two hours, your chickens will look like this!
Cos here's a couple we put on earlier.
Those two, they'll do for our supper!
Ah yes, lovely! Doubly, doubly check that they're cooked.
We want to put that into the thickest part of the breast.
It is a meat thermometer.
It certainly is. And it should read about 77, I should think.
Just above 65.
So the here's-one-we-did-earliers, are going back in the oven for 20 minutes.
-Thus, by using the thermometer, we've averted disaster.
I'm dead pedantic about chips. Not too fat, not to him.
I don't like chunky chips.
I think it's the perfect bar,
-look at that.
-While Dave's chopping chips, I'll do the gooseberry sauce.
I've got some fantastic local gooseberries.
I'm making a sugar syrup, and poach the gooseberries in the sugar syrup.
You want to melt that sugar into the water.
The zest of a whole lemon.
The gooseberries going now, look.
Just poach them for about three minutes.
I could sit here all day making these chips, like this.
I just see the pile grow and feel satisfaction.
-It must be very therapeutic, isn't it?
I'm good with repetitive tasks.
This is the second part of the sauce.
We're going to put about 300 millilitres of white wine.
We're going to boil that really quite hard, so it reduces by half.
See the flame over the top of the pan?
That's the alcohol burning off. That's what we're after.
All right, Kingy. Stick your tool in.
Come on, my little beauty.
60 degrees and rising, captain.
We definitely want it over 71 degrees.
We've made 71.
That's a cooked chicken! I'm just going to cover those.
I'm just going to put them aside to rest.
I need some of that cooking juice off.
All right. It's mostly fat.
You know that double, double fantastic chicken stock?
-Can I nick some?
Double chicken stock. That's liquid chicken, isn't it?
That's just pure chicken essence.
-Shall I get my chips on?
-Get your chips on, then.
Two stage chips. I give them ten minutes at about 130 degrees.
This is to blanch them, to cook them through, not to get them golden.
I'm going to leave the syrup in the pan and just take the gooseberries out.
Just push that through the sieve.
It's a bit of a faff, but it's worth it.
You get a proper puree.
You do. It's lovely. It's just worth making the effort.
This is wonderful Staffordshire smoky streaky bacon.
All I'm going to do is run the broad beans in the bacon fat and serve.
-Where is that puree going?
-Is going into that sauce?
-Is going into this sauce, you see.
Ugh, I don't know about that.
Don't you? Tough. We do.
Spoon at a time.
The pan heated with oil, wonderful smoky bacon and we're going to render that down so it's crispy bacon bits.
All that bacon fat is what we're going to use to cook the broad beans.
Put that on to sizzle away. As you can see, they're beginning to colour
a little bit, not appreciably, but they've cooked through in the middle.
These can go cold now, and just before service,
crank this up to 190, and do the chips
for five minutes and you'll get the crispiest, most lovely chips ever.
With the stock syrup that we had before, I'm just going to put a little bit in at a time.
Whisk it round.
I think that's spot on.
-I think it's too tangy.
OK. Bit more syrup.
Sausage balls. They really are a nice little garnish. Nothing fancy.
We want three balls on each serving, because we must never have even numbers on a plate.
We've just added a little bit of butter to that, so just to give it a nice gloss.
Lovely. That can sit, just nice, off the heat.
I'll crack on, Dave, with these broad beans.
This amount of broad bean-ness, in its raw state,
there's quite a lot there. That's all you get from it, OK?
We've been double-podding them.
It comes out of the pod like that, crack off the husk at the back, take the thing off the top.
You want that little golden green nugget in the middle. It's a faff, but worth it.
-What are we doing with the broad beans?
-You know the lardons that Dave fried off before?
We're just going to sit them and toss them...
-In with the beans?
-In with the beans.
So, they go in there, like that.
-They're going to be so nice, aren't they?
Interestingly, what we've done, we've just put them in.
-We've not blanched these because they're so soft.
-Do you want butter in there?
That would be brilliant.
Just put those into some hot oil and watch them sizzle away, until they're golden all over.
They used to be a dead nice garnish with the stuffing.
Put the chips on, these will take five minutes.
They'll go mega crispy and golden.
Not that long from plating up now, skipper.
-Just like that, Si.
There we are. That's our tribute to Staffordshire.
-It's a classic, free range, simply roasted chicken, with a sage and onion stuffing.
You know? Just a nice gravy made from gooseberries.
And we've got some broad beans, and sausage meat balls from good local sausage.
-Well done, boys. Excellent.
-Thanks for your help.
-I think I'll start with the chicken first.
-That way you can't miss it, can you?
The chicken is actually cooked fantastic. Tastes really good.
Broad beans are good. The stuffing is amazing, yeah.
I think overall...
excellent dish. The chicken is really good.
The chips are good, vegetables good, I really like the stuffing.
For me, me personally, I'm not too great on the gravy.
-Being honest. That's me.
-Fair enough, fair dos.
-That's absolutely straight, that's great.
I think you're wrong, but...
-Thanks very much.
-High praise indeed.
It's crunch time. The diners here will taste both dishes, without any idea who cooked which.
First up is Matt's fillet of Tamworth pork,
with mousseline potatoes and organic lager sauce.
I thought the presentation was fantastic, really good contrasting colours.
You have the orange of the carrots and the splashes of green.
You eat with your eyes and I saw it, and I watched her get in there and start eating.
Probably, there needed to be a bit more on the plate. As a farmer's wife,
I'd have been sacked for serving that much up!
The flavours were good, but the sauce wasn't strong enough
to complement such a beautiful piece of pork.
The grated courgette had a bitterness to it, but I liked that,
I thought that was something different. They often can be quite bland.
I think the sauces were excellent. The pork was beautifully cooked.
We've got lots of lovely pork in the county, so let's just eat more of it. It was just lovely.
Some mixed reviews, there. What will they think of our dish?
I've served gooseberry sauce before, with fish, but never with chicken.
I'll be trying this at home, because the contrast in flavour was absolutely superb.
If you call being brought up in Stoke eating chips in gravy
for about the first 10 years of life, then that does represent a part of Staffordshire.
Presentation lacked a bit of finesse, I think.
Staffordshire on a plate was represented
by the chips and gravy, something I have always grown up with, having gravy on my chips.
I thought the stuffing worked really well, and it went very well with the chicken, which was really succulent.
For Staffordshire, chips and gravy, definitely makes it very representative of the county.
Thank you so much for coming today.
We've had a cracking time in Staffordshire.
We've got good memories of the county, thank you for that.
Thanks for your hospitality, it's been fantastic. I'm going to name both dishes, OK?
What I'd like you to do is a clear show of hands for the dish
that you thought best represented the county that you live in.
So, a clear show of hands, please, for the pork dish.
OK, can have a show of hands for the chicken dish.
Right. So that's one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine.
Thank you very much indeed.
The pork dish was Matt's.
The chicken dish was ours.
Wow! Chicken and chips, see? Wahey!
The last thing that remains to be done is to thank Matt so much for having us here.
He's a wonderful chef. You're very lucky, you have a great restaurant.
Thanks, Matt. Thank you so much.
-Time for a pint, now.
-After you, chef.
Nice one. Cheers, thank you.
Wow, I can't believe it was a clean sweep.
Matt is a great chef but the nostalgia for chips and gravy in this county won the day.
Staffordshire is a brilliant county and if you're ever on the look out
for an oatcake, we know exactly where to come.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Si and Dave explore Staffordshire where they cook a traditional county favourite in Lichfield. They find some of the happiest free-range hens in the county and pick their own fruit and vegetables. Finally, they face the challenge of a cook-off against top chef Matt Davies. Restaurant diners decide who has created the best taste of Staffordshire.