Staffordshire The Hairy Bikers' Food Tour of Britain


Staffordshire

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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Transcript


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-BOTH:

-We're the Hairy Bikers!

-We're on the road to find recipes to rev up your appetite.

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-We're riding county to county to discover, cook and enjoy the best of British.

-BOTH:

-Come on!

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Today we are in search of the real taste of Staffordshire.

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Staffordshire. The canals here were the waterways that carried the lifeblood of British industry.

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Staffordshire is famous for its canals cos there's more canals here than in any other county in the UK.

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And it is home to the Potteries, great porcelain makers, china makers like Burslem and Wedgwood.

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They are all from round here. Let's go potty!

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Let's go.

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'On our quest to find the true flavours of Staffordshire,

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'we visit Lichfield to cook up a real county favourite.

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'We find some happy chickens on a free range farm. Oh, delicious in a sandwich.

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'Fruit and veg doesn't get any fresher than picking your own,

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'and we find some of the tastiest in the county.

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'And representing Staffordshire in a cook-off later is Matt Davies.

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'Will we be able to beat him in a blind tasting judged by local diners?'

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We are starting our food tour of Staffordshire in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

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A we're in Newcastle!

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Aye, and not a Geordie in sight.

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This is Newcastle-under-Lyme,

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right in the heart of the Potteries in Staffordshire.

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What is good to eat in Staffordshire?

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Bacon and cheese oatcakes with brown sauce, food fit for a king.

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-Marvellous!

-Are they like biscuit-y?

-Oh, no, no.

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It is a bit like a wash leather to look at, but they taste fantastic.

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You get a lot of different oatcake shops all round the Potteries, and they have all got their own recipe.

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Good slapping, as we stay in North Staffordshire.

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-Good slapping. Fantastic. What are you famous for here?

-Oatcakes.

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I'm not saying they're any good, but we are famous for them.

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THEY LAUGH

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-It is proper crackling country here, isn't it?

-Yeah, it is.

-Good scratching.

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-Oh, it is like a roof tile, isn't it?

-Do you want a bit of salt on it?

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-Oh, aye.

-It is free-range pork.

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Beautiful. Really nice.

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What, for you, is Staffordshire on a plate?

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Staffordshire is very famous for oatcakes. Oatcakes and cheese.

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With a bit of bacon. Or sausage.

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So, that is a Staffordshire oatcake.

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It does indeed look like a floor cloth.

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My first Staffordshire oatcake.

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The legendary, the only one.

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It is good for me! Ho, ho, ho!

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I feel like a whole person now.

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What is great to eat in Staffordshire?

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Definitely the oatcake.

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-Not another one! Oatcakes again! You're obsessed with the oatcakes.

-What is Staffordshire famous...?

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Oatcakes!

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Clairvoyant, me.

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'But what else has Staffordshire got its larder besides oatcakes?'

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-Morning, ladies.

-Good morning.

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Is Staffordshire famous for its baking?

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We are quite famous, with the bread. It is all hand-made, and baked in a 100-year-old coal-fired oven.

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-Coal-fired, still?

-Coal-fired.

-We have got to have a look at that.

-Everything?

-Everything we bake here.

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Hello.

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-This is Rachel.

-Hello, Rachel. How are you doing, darling?

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Oh, look at this!

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-You should have come Thursday when I have got 1200 doing.

-1200 scones?

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-Do you do them all by hand?

-Yes.

-It is the ovens.

-They are very special, aren't they?

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Very old.

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As you can tell, it is so hot in here, anyway. The heat in here so far is making these rise.

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So when they go in, they will rise a lot better.

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-Let's have a look at this coal house.

-See what the engine room is doing.

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Darren, hello. What are you up to there?

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I am just stoking up the fires ready for the bakers this afternoon.

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Trying to get up to 400 degrees.

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Do you use much coal, Gareth?

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Not really. Generally...

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I baked the other night, and I think I used about eight or nine shovels of coal, the whole night.

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-So they're really efficient ovens?

-That actually really surprises me.

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We have good artisan traditional bakers in Britain.

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You have got the wonderful coal-fired ovens.

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-It is great.

-And we're not going anywhere.

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Hats off to you, man. That is wonderful.

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What is good on a plate in Staffordshire?

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-BOTH:

-Oatcakes.

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Every time, oatcakes.

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-What else?

-I have to say, you boys and girls are absolutely obsessed with oatcakes, aren't you?

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Yes, it is cos they go with anything.

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That's true!

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We have entered a community that is obsessed with oatcakes.

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It is like the X-Files.

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-Yeah.

-They don't all come from a microwave.

-There has got to be a holy grail somewhere.

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-The cosa nostra of oatcakes.

-That's the one. Let's go.

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We are on our way to Hanley in the heart of the Potteries

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to visit the last remaining front-room oatcake shop in the county.

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There it is on the left!

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-Excellent.

-The Hole In The Wall. Yes!

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-Hello, there.

-Hi, lads. All right?

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-Not bad. We have come to have a look at your oatcakes.

-I'll cook you some if you'd like.

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Now, you are the last corner oatcake shop in Britain, aren't you?

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The last front-room one, yes.

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There were obviously ones all over the city, but one by one, they have closed and left.

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We personally have been here 28 years now.

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These businesses are always passed down through the families.

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I think the oatcake was like a weekend sort of thing for the old potters.

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They used to put their oatcakes in the kilns to warm them up,

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-and then have the food on them throughout the weekend.

-Brilliant.

-Cos oatcakes, they last, don't they?

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-Yes, they have got a good shelf-life, about five days on them.

-Can you get some on for us?

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I will do. I will put you a couple on there.

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You can have a taste.

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So what is in the batter?

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There's flour, oatmeal, salt,

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yeast, and then there goes a raising agent in to get them off the plate, obviously, you know?

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Would there be a chance of you giving us your recipe?

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We'll keep it to ourselves, I promise.

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I'll give you something like it, but I won't give you my recipe.

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Every shop has its own, I'm afraid.

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-How many d'you sell in a day?

-It varies. About 240 dozen.

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That is a lot of dozens.

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It is a lot of dozens. It's a fact.

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And the toppings are really quite interesting.

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You have single cheese, double cheese, bacon or sausage and cheese...

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Extra toppings, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans, eggs, black pudding.

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-It is a versatile beast.

-It is.

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Would you like something with a bit of cheese and bacon on?

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-Aye, that would be lovely.

-That would be brilliant.

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It is about a proper, old-fashioned, working man's food history. I think it is just superb.

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-They're light.

-Oh, they're fantastic.

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These are awesome.

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Thank you so much, Glen. They really are lovely. Thank you.

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-That's it, then

-If we are going to cook anything in Staffordshire, it has to be the oatcake.

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Oh, you toad!

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We're cooking our version of Staffordshire oatcake in the City of Lichfield.

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The historic market square has been home to Lichfield's market since 1161.

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And there is a farmer's market on today, which means a good, foodie crowd.

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We'll be cooking traditional Staffordshire oatcakes filled with melted cheese and crispy bacon.

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This is Lichfield. Sunny, wonderful Lichfield.

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Not any old Lichfield, the Lichfield.

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The city of Lichfield, and why is it a city?

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Because it has a cathedral, and a very beautiful one it has, too.

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-Do you know who I've spotted over there?

-Who?

-Tony Christie!

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Is This The Way To Amarillo Tony Christie?

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Come over here and say hello!

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-Hello, Tony.

-How are you doing?

-Man, the dude's a legend!

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So, do you live in Lichfield?

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I live in Lichfield, yes. I came to get my papers, and they said the two Hairy Bikers are cooking.

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-Fabulous.

-We are going to be cooking Staffordshire oatcakes.

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-I am waiting to have one of your freshly-cooked ones.

-Perfect. Lovely to meet you.

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Thank you very much.

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Thanks a lot, Tony.

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He's huge!

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We're mingling with celebrities!

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Moving up, aren't we? You will have gathered by now, we are going to cook Staffordshire oatcakes.

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It is part crumpet, part pikelet, part pancake.

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They last for about a week.

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They do. So you can make a batch up, and oatcake freezes.

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They're are brilliant.

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Oatmeal, fine oatmeal.

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The finest you can get, about 500 grams, I reckon, there.

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About 250 grams of wholemeal flour.

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Now, much like bread, if you want brown oatcakes, use all wholemeal flour.

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If you want white oatcakes, use all white flour.

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We like to use half and half.

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To this, we put a teaspoonful of quick acting yeast.

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Into this, some salt.

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Who thinks an oatcake should be salty, slightly salty or not salty at all?

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-You have got three options there, come on, I'm looking for an answer! ALL:

-Slightly!

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Slightly salty, not too much.

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So, slightly salty they shall be.

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Now, mix that up,

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and to this, we're going to add a pint and a half

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of hand-hot water.

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Just to activate the yeast. Just give it a good old mix up.

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Leave it at least a couple of hours for the yeast to start to work,

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and this will just end up a big, bubbling mass.

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If you're wanting oatcakes for breakfast, you could do this the night before.

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The longer you leave this batter, the better.

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So, that is fine. So, just cover this over,

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put it in a dry place out of the wind for about two hours.

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Talk amongst yourselves. I'm only putting bacon on a tray.

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As it is going to take at least two hours for that to ferment and bubble,

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-we have one at that...

-ALL:

-One you did earlier!

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You are not wrong. It's bubbled and it's bubbled, and it's formed a crust.

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Oh, look at that. Now, that...

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is Staffordshire oatcake-dom.

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If we were to cook this now, it would be quite flat and bland.

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So, into this mixture we put a tablespoon of baking powder.

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Look at that.

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Know what that is?

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Bacon on a tray, that.

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Brilliant, isn't it?

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Surprise myself sometimes(!)

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So, just work the baking powder through.

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Now, here is the exciting bit. It is time to make the oatcakes.

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Now, we're going to have to make quite a few.

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So we take a ladleful of the bubbling broth, about that much.

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Place it in your plan.

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Swiggle it around...

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Number two.

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If you get your ladle in right, there should be enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

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-So far, so good.

-It's looking good, man.

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These will be ready for turning now. Look at that.

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Now, one thing we learned from the man at The Hole In The Wall was don't rush your oatcakes.

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They are not like a pancake. You know a pancake, when they go firm, that is it.

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These, you tend to want to cook a little bit. I think these are done.

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Oh, man!

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It is crispy and lovely.

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It is a lovely texture, because the oatcake should be kind of quite rubbery.

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-Has anybody ever seen an oatcake made before? CROWD:

-No.

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We are going to get away with murder here, dude!

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Taste that, straight from the pan.

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-That is really, really good.

-Are they?

-Yeah!

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Right, for the vegetarians, what we are going to do is put a few mushrooms in.

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Some butter, some oil, put those in.

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A little bit of salt.

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A little bit of pepper.

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Let them go.

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-Beautiful, that.

-Lovely, man.

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So, we will stuff them.

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So, the batter goes in,

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and we let that side go firm.

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Look at that. Gorgeous, lovely, local cheese.

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Oh, look at that. Take some cheese...

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like so...

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Melt that. It is kind of like a Staffordshire pizza.

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The Amarillo special.

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-Well, there we have it. Our homage to the traditions that are Staffordshire.

-Staffordshire oatcake.

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-Thank you very much.

-We thank you.

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APPLAUSE

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Now it is the moment of truth.

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Will the locals approve of our take on their Staffordshire oatcakes?

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First up, one of the town's most famous residents, Tony Christie!

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Behind every great man, there is a cracking lass.

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Now, that is a Staffordshire oatcake. Think of, like, a very flat, healthy crumpet.

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-What do we reckon?

-Mm! Scrumptious.

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Hmm! It would be nice with a pint, this would.

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It would be great with a pint, wouldn't it?

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Ladies and gentlemen, how about a round of applause for Mr and Mrs Christie?

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'That's a good start, but will the rest of the locals approve?'

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-The best I have ever tasted.

-Really?

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Are you a Staffordshire lass?

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-I am, born and bred.

-Do you think you will have a go at making them?

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Definitely.

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So, have you had oatcakes before?

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-Not home-made ones.

-Delicious.

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-Thank you.

-Oh!

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Crepes? Oatcakes!

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-Never mind crepes!

-See, word is out.

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-Competition is here already. What do you think?

-It's delicious.

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Very, very nice. Moreish.

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-Fantastic.

-Good lad.

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-Go on, then.

-If you insist.

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-I am going to start eating more of them.

-Oh, good lad. There you go.

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Oh, sorry, darling.

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It's you! That is number three! What is the verdict?

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-Excellent.

-Phenomenal.

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Wonderful.

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So they stand up to your local oatcakes? Oh, definitely, yes.

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You have eaten us out of house and oatcakes.

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Look at that. Not a thing left.

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Judging by that empty plate, our oatcakes got the thumbs-up.

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Next an even bigger challenge is just around the corner.

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As always, we are taking on one of the county's top chefs in their restaurant,

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using local ingredients to see who can best define the taste of the region.

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It will be up to local diners in a blind tasting to decide whose dish

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best represents the true flavours of Staffordshire.

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Our opponent today is

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Matt Davies, the executive chef at the Moathouse in Acton Trussell.

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Matt has run the kitchens here for over ten years,

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and he is also passionate about passing on his knowledge to the next generation of Staffordshire chefs.

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Staffordshire is a great county for food.

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Our produce is sourced as much as possible within a 30 mile radius.

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We use Wells Farm, which is a dairy.

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From Lower Farm which is literally two miles in that direction, we purchase free-range eggs.

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Our asparagus comes from one-and-a-half miles,

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just outside the village, a local farmer called Keith Stevens.

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I'm also privileged to teach at our local college,

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and that restaurant is actually named after me, it is Restaurant Matt Davies at Stafford College.

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So, very important to show colleges what chefs and trends are for today.

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Awards twice for the Moathouse, Taste Of Staffordshire four or five times.

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Two rosettes for the past 10, 11 years.

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It is good to have awards, but I think the most award-winning thing

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to any chef is to see his dining room full every night, which it is.

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To take on the bikers, my taste of Staffordshire is Tamworth pork fillet,

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cured ham, Canalside courgettes, Bertelin Farmhouse cheese,

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mousseline potato, lager sauce.

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Hello, there.

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Hello, Matt, how are you? This is another fine place in which to tout our wares. Are we toting wares again?

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And you for having us.

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Cheers.

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What we are going to do today is a fillet of Tamworth pork,

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we serve that with some Canalside courgettes,

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Bertelin Farmhouse cheese, some nice crispy crackling, mousseline potato and a lager sauce.

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-And I'm going to win!

-Yeah, yeah, well, well.

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What I am going to do first is wrap the pork fillet.

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Get some of that Parma ham for me.

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-So we're just rolling that up there?

-Yes, just roll it up.

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We wrap it in the clingfilm to get some shape.

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-You do a similar thing with fillet, don't you?

-Yes, you can do, the whole fillet, wrap it in cling film,

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it keeps a nice shape, yeah. Right, that is what you get.

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That is going to be poached. We will put that back in the fridge, because it is quite warm in here.

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Now we are going to start making the garnishes.

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We will start grating some courgettes.

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We are going to start turning some courgettes.

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We'll cook this down in some butter and add some cream,

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and then add in the Bertelin cheese from Eccleshall.

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-It will be like a courgette fondue.

-That'll be interesting.

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Is it enough, Chef?

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Spot on. You taste this. It is absolutely fantastic.

0:17:520:17:56

Beautiful melting cheese, as well.

0:17:570:17:59

Lovely after taste. How much do you want, Matt?

0:18:020:18:05

About half of that.

0:18:050:18:07

A bit of fine-chopped banana shallot, as well. For sweetness.

0:18:070:18:11

-Start sweating this down.

-Just a bit of oil in there?

0:18:110:18:13

Rapeseed oil.

0:18:130:18:15

To soften but not colour.

0:18:150:18:17

We don't want to colour the cheese or the courgettes.

0:18:170:18:20

Once that gets nice and hot, we will glaze it with the Freedom lager.

0:18:200:18:24

Where is Freedom lager brewed?

0:18:240:18:26

Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire, nice little brewery, the guy is called Ed.

0:18:260:18:30

That is starting to glaze now. Grab the lager.

0:18:300:18:34

What we are going to do now is jus that right the way down,

0:18:370:18:39

take all the alcohol out of it, sweeten it down.

0:18:390:18:41

So we get a better flavour from the lager.

0:18:410:18:43

We have got some beautiful double chicken stock here,

0:18:430:18:46

which is normal chicken stock cooked and then we add chicken bones into it again.

0:18:460:18:51

We cook the baby carrots in the chicken stock.

0:18:510:18:53

Butter, add that into there as well.

0:18:530:18:55

And what that does, it cooks the butter and the stock at the same time. It will glaze the carrots.

0:18:550:19:01

That is lovely.

0:19:010:19:04

I like cooking with beer.

0:19:040:19:06

We do it quite a lot.

0:19:060:19:08

Fresh courgettes, Canalside farm. We just cook these down

0:19:080:19:11

slowly now. Let them absorb all the lager, all the shallots.

0:19:110:19:15

Pork into the cooking liquor.

0:19:170:19:19

It is just salted water.

0:19:190:19:21

-How long for?

-About 12 minutes.

0:19:210:19:24

What we're going to do now, boys, we're going to roast some shallots.

0:19:240:19:27

We actually blanch these first.

0:19:270:19:29

I have put a little bit of the veal stock over them.

0:19:290:19:31

-I'll put a little bit of rapeseed over them.

-This is the stuff, in a professional kitchen.

0:19:310:19:36

We call it kitchen gold.

0:19:360:19:38

The veal juice, our demi-glace.

0:19:380:19:40

It is just like the building blocks for a lot of things.

0:19:400:19:43

All great sauces. We just take a good tablespoon and add that into there like that.

0:19:430:19:49

We will melt that on there.

0:19:490:19:51

We just leave that on the side for two minutes.

0:19:510:19:53

We'll whack it into a hot oven for two or three minutes when we start plating the dish up.

0:19:530:19:57

Pommes mousseline. A good knob of butter, add a bit of double cream.

0:19:570:20:00

To save time again, I have mashed some potatoes.

0:20:000:20:03

And then we start whisking, rapeseed oil, a little bit in.

0:20:060:20:09

-Taste that, boys.

-The lemon is great.

0:20:110:20:16

Do you have a low-calorie option for this one, chef?

0:20:160:20:20

As in what, chef?

0:20:200:20:21

Crispbread!

0:20:240:20:26

What are you trying to say? A little bit of cream in there, and add some more shallots in there.

0:20:260:20:31

Now, that pork needs to go on the yellow board.

0:20:310:20:35

The lager again, half a bottle left, all of it goes in.

0:20:350:20:40

OK. Now what I do is just quickly pan-sear these.

0:20:460:20:50

You can see it actually held the shape.

0:20:520:20:54

It is a lovely little trick, that, as well, because it presents really well, doesn't it?

0:20:540:20:58

How long was that poached for?

0:20:580:21:00

-About 12 minutes.

-That's all.

0:21:000:21:02

Pan on the stove. A little bit of rapeseed oil.

0:21:020:21:05

Get the pan nice and hot, into the pan.

0:21:050:21:09

Just a little bit of colour.

0:21:090:21:11

Onto a tray. Just put that into the oven for about three or four minutes.

0:21:150:21:19

About 180 degrees. Just make sure it is cooked through.

0:21:190:21:22

-Yep.

-Right, so now, the courgettes.

0:21:220:21:26

Just a little bit of rapeseed oil again.

0:21:260:21:28

A little bit of salt.

0:21:300:21:32

A bit of pepper.

0:21:320:21:35

Right, now we have added the cheese, it has thickened the sauce.

0:21:370:21:41

So what that does now, that is going to be the base of the pork fillet.

0:21:410:21:45

We take the pork out of the oven.

0:21:450:21:47

We let that rest for two minutes, ready to carve.

0:21:500:21:53

The reduction is nearly there. If you look at the pan now.

0:21:530:21:56

-Look at the colour!

-It is a darker colour, the alcohol has come out of the lager.

0:21:560:22:00

That starts reducing. We have got that veal juice on.

0:22:000:22:03

So what we will do now is just completely reduce that down for about a minute or so.

0:22:050:22:09

I'll also add the sweetness of the onions and there, as well.

0:22:090:22:12

And I just reduce that down again.

0:22:120:22:15

I have got one thing extra, and that is some beautiful flame crackling.

0:22:150:22:18

This is obviously rind, pork rind.

0:22:180:22:20

We cut it like that.

0:22:200:22:22

We place it between two pieces of silicon paper.

0:22:220:22:25

Then we put another tray on top of the silicon, and we put the heaviest weight we can find.

0:22:250:22:29

Put in the oven at about 100 degrees and slowly dry out the crackling for about two hours.

0:22:290:22:34

Then you have got beautiful pieces.

0:22:340:22:37

We just put a little bit of honey in that sauce, sweeten it up slightly.

0:22:370:22:42

Right. We start off with the Staffordshire cheese and the courgettes.

0:22:420:22:46

The Bertelin Farm cheese and Canalside courgettes.

0:22:460:22:49

Then we will slice the pork.

0:22:490:22:51

Potato.

0:22:530:22:55

Pork.

0:22:550:22:58

Sit the carrots over the top.

0:22:580:23:01

Fresh courgettes.

0:23:010:23:02

The shallots.

0:23:020:23:05

Decorate it with some nice chervil pieces.

0:23:120:23:15

Just a drizzle of oil. And that is my taste of Staffordshire.

0:23:170:23:21

Fillet of Tamworth pork wrapped in cured ham with a mousseline of

0:23:210:23:26

potato, roasted shallots, young carrots, courgettes and cheese.

0:23:260:23:30

-What some lager sauce.

-Fabulous, man.

0:23:300:23:33

You have set the bar high, mate.

0:23:330:23:35

We will start with the posh scratching.

0:23:370:23:39

Staffordshire is very famous for scratchings, isn't it?

0:23:390:23:41

Top scratching. The pork is beautifully cooked.

0:23:430:23:45

It is wonderful.

0:23:450:23:47

-That's a great plateful.

-It is, isn't it?

0:23:490:23:51

I love Matt's kind of classical techniques, you know?

0:23:510:23:54

He is not afraid of flavours, is he?

0:23:540:23:56

It all does, what you see is what you taste. It is really good.

0:23:560:24:01

Interesting, because the gravy really does taste beery.

0:24:010:24:04

I think it is dead simple.

0:24:040:24:07

Everybody says this. Buy the best, don't mess about with it.

0:24:070:24:10

Let's do it for once.

0:24:100:24:12

Now, it is all very well what we think,

0:24:120:24:14

but the real judges are the locals,

0:24:140:24:16

who will decide whose dish is best in a blind tasting coming up.

0:24:160:24:19

Matt's dish really made the most of some great Staffordshire produce.

0:24:190:24:24

Our local ingredients have got to be the very best.

0:24:240:24:27

We're heading to meet a young farmer whose award-winning free range chickens could be just the answer.

0:24:290:24:34

Alec Mercer had the idea to set up his own poultry

0:24:360:24:39

business while still at university, and is now doing exactly that, using fields on his family farm.

0:24:390:24:44

What I'm going to do is show you the chickens from

0:24:440:24:47

when we get them at a day old until when they're ready to go.

0:24:470:24:49

These ones we got yesterday, just two days old.

0:24:490:24:52

We've got to be quite quiet when we go in.

0:24:520:24:54

If we are quiet, it means they'll all be comfortable.

0:24:540:24:57

-If you start making a lot of noise, they'll all run to the edges.

-Wow.

0:24:570:25:01

It's very warm in here as well.

0:25:030:25:05

Very warm. When the birds first arrive, we try and get this shed

0:25:050:25:08

32 degrees so they'll be nice and warm to start with.

0:25:080:25:11

As they get bigger we'll get the temperature further and further down

0:25:110:25:14

and then at three weeks, we then let them outside.

0:25:140:25:16

-Would you ever have a greater quantity than that in there?

-No, I wouldn't.

0:25:160:25:21

At the start, they always look like they've got a lot of room because they're only two days old.

0:25:210:25:26

Did you start farming chickens just after university?

0:25:260:25:28

That's right. I finished uni and was very keen to try and give consumers exactly what they want.

0:25:280:25:33

They were becoming more educated. And with chickens, it's such a large amount of meat we consume in the UK.

0:25:330:25:38

I thought they weren't able to get a fully traceable product

0:25:380:25:41

and that's why I decided to do this.

0:25:410:25:43

The modern chickens are reared to get to their weight as quick as possible.

0:25:430:25:47

And that's the focus.

0:25:470:25:48

Whereas I'm actually slowing the growth of the birds down so that their body grows at a natural rate.

0:25:480:25:53

So they can use their leg muscles more, pumping blood around the legs, creating more flavour in the meat.

0:25:530:25:58

That's what gives you a lot better tasting chicken.

0:25:580:26:01

These chickens here are ready to go this week.

0:26:070:26:09

These are right at the end of their time.

0:26:090:26:11

How old will they be now?

0:26:110:26:13

Around eight weeks.

0:26:130:26:14

And they drive tanks! It's like tank commander under there, isn't it?! Like Chicken Run.

0:26:140:26:19

It's for shade. Chickens are originally forest animals,

0:26:190:26:21

they'll perch on the logs, go on to the logs, go round the bales.

0:26:210:26:25

-If you were a chicken, this is where you'd want to be.

-Good big 'uns, aren't they?

0:26:250:26:29

I wanted to try and produce a roasting bird, start getting

0:26:290:26:33

roast chicken back on the table to rival beef and pork and lamb.

0:26:330:26:36

What's your favourite way of cooking chicken?

0:26:360:26:38

-Roast chicken. Easy. On its own.

-So is farming in your blood, then?

0:26:380:26:43

I'll be the fourth generation in Staffordshire.

0:26:430:26:46

I started off here two years ago now, selling about 600 a week.

0:26:460:26:50

Now I'm on round about 1,800 a week.

0:26:500:26:52

There's only one thing left to ask now, really.

0:26:520:26:55

Keep your voice down!

0:26:550:26:57

-Is there any chance of a nibble?

-I was hoping you'd say that!

0:26:570:27:01

-We've got some in the oven for you now.

-Top man!

0:27:010:27:04

Snacks.

0:27:040:27:07

Fantastic.

0:27:070:27:09

That's not too shabby, is it?

0:27:090:27:11

Mm. That's really good chicken, it's so juicy.

0:27:130:27:16

-I'll second that.

-Here you are, guys.

0:27:160:27:19

A chicken each.

0:27:190:27:20

How lovely.

0:27:200:27:22

Fantastic. Thank you.

0:27:220:27:24

We'll roast Alex's chicken with a sage and onion stuffing.

0:27:260:27:29

What could be better with roast chicken than home-made chips and gravy?

0:27:290:27:32

We just need the finishing touches to make this dish shout Staffordshire.

0:27:320:27:37

The county has a strong tradition of fruit growing and pick-your-owns are a local favourite.

0:27:370:27:43

We're off to one of the best - Essington fruit farm, which has won

0:27:430:27:47

the Taste Of Staffordshire award for local produce.

0:27:470:27:50

Come on!

0:27:500:27:53

Farmer Richard Simpkins is showing us around.

0:27:530:27:56

I thought it was pick your own fruit and veg - not a dog track!

0:27:560:27:59

It's like that, isn't it, yeah?!

0:27:590:28:02

HE IMITATES RACE COMMENTATOR Hello?

0:28:020:28:06

-Oh, hello!

-Can you pick us a good runner?!

0:28:060:28:08

-How are you?

-The strawberries are good runners at the moment!

0:28:080:28:11

LAUGHTER

0:28:110:28:13

Pick-your-own has to be the ultimate in seasonality and getting fresh food.

0:28:130:28:19

You'll never get it fresher than if you pick it yourself.

0:28:190:28:22

Unless you grow it yourself.

0:28:220:28:23

So we grow about 35 different crops here, been doing it since 1978.

0:28:230:28:27

It's a great idea.

0:28:270:28:28

You lose a bit. Some get trodden on, some get pinched.

0:28:280:28:32

We like to draw the distinction between sampling and gluttony!

0:28:320:28:35

We're interested in your famous Staffordshire gooseberries.

0:28:350:28:38

It's tended to go out of fashion a little bit, because it's more

0:28:380:28:41

the older generation that know how to cook gooseberries.

0:28:410:28:44

Richard, we just need to know what's absolutely bang in season.

0:28:440:28:47

What have you got that's absolutely prime now?

0:28:470:28:50

Coming into season today, you'll be virtually the first pickers in the field, broad beans.

0:28:500:28:54

Oh, yes! That's it!

0:28:540:28:56

I'll show you some proper strawberries.

0:29:000:29:02

-Oh, good man!

-I feel like Heidi, do you?

0:29:020:29:05

-Yoodlee hooo!

-Hooo!

0:29:050:29:08

That'll be the strawberries then, Richard!

0:29:080:29:10

That's the idiot-proof guide so you know where you are!

0:29:100:29:13

And this one's Symphony. This is my daughter's favourite variety. This has got quite a tang to it.

0:29:130:29:17

-How many varieties of strawberries do you have here?

-About a dozen.

0:29:170:29:22

Have a sample.

0:29:220:29:24

That's beautiful.

0:29:240:29:26

-Is it good?

-Straight from the ground.

0:29:260:29:28

-It's the mixture of the sweetness and the tang.

-Absolutely, Richard.

0:29:280:29:31

Has Staffordshire always been good for pick-your-own and growing?

0:29:310:29:34

We've got a combination of decent ground for growing and a very big population.

0:29:340:29:38

The two together make Staffordshire a good county for pick-your-own.

0:29:380:29:42

It's great if you're a city dweller and haven't got a garden.

0:29:420:29:45

The strawberries are fantastic, Richard.

0:29:450:29:48

But they don't go with chicken! Gooses, that's what we're after!

0:29:480:29:51

Right behind you!

0:29:510:29:53

Poor victim.

0:29:530:29:55

It grows on a bush.

0:29:570:29:58

You know, Si, until I was six,

0:30:000:30:04

I believed I was found under a gooseberry bush!

0:30:040:30:06

I went through life thinking I was a foundling.

0:30:060:30:10

You know, your parents had a lot to answer for!

0:30:100:30:12

Look at the size of that gooseberry! Beautiful.

0:30:120:30:15

Hairy little devils, aren't they?

0:30:150:30:16

Yes. I had a suite that colour once.

0:30:160:30:19

What, a bathroom suite?

0:30:190:30:21

Oh, no. A lounge.

0:30:210:30:22

-A lounge suite that colour?

-Yeah.

0:30:220:30:24

It was nice, actually. It had pale pink cushions.

0:30:240:30:27

Great with that, that contrast.

0:30:270:30:29

'With enough gooseberries for a great gravy, it's time to hunt for those broad beans.'

0:30:310:30:37

Loads down here.

0:30:370:30:39

That's what we want!

0:30:400:30:41

Gardeners' gold!

0:30:410:30:43

You see, that's the thing about broad beans, they lull you into a false sense of security

0:30:460:30:50

cos you think you've got quite a lot. But in one of these pouches,

0:30:500:30:53

you're going to get a maximum of five or six beans. That's not a lot.

0:30:530:30:57

But these beans, I tell you what, mate, thousands!

0:30:570:31:01

What are they like, Si?

0:31:020:31:04

Double popped?

0:31:040:31:06

-Sweet.

-Oh, crikey!

-Aren't they wonderful?

0:31:060:31:09

Stunning, yeah.

0:31:090:31:11

-Really sweet.

-Wonderful.

0:31:110:31:13

You see, we can't go wrong! We've got chicken - simple.

0:31:130:31:16

These are fresher than a fresh thing. Gooseberries are superb.

0:31:160:31:19

Let's do chicken and chips, broad beans and gooseberry gravy.

0:31:190:31:24

Maybe even the flamboyancy of a sage and onion stuffing.

0:31:240:31:28

Yes! That's it!

0:31:280:31:31

Right, we've got a belter for you!

0:31:370:31:38

They're going to do free-range Staffordshire roast chicken, stuffed with sage and onion stuffing.

0:31:380:31:44

-And chips.

-And we're going to do a gooseberry and white wine gravy.

-And beans.

0:31:440:31:49

We've got Staffordshire sausage meat balls, to garnish it in that flourishy way.

0:31:490:31:53

Yeah, we have.

0:31:530:31:54

But will the local diners think our dish is good enough to beat Matt in the blind tasting?

0:31:540:31:59

Step 1 in a big chicken dinner - the chicken!

0:31:590:32:03

The Paddington poultry.

0:32:030:32:04

-Nice pair, aren't they?

-They're fabulous, aren't they?

0:32:040:32:08

First, in making proper sage and onion stuffing, you need to blanch the onions to take the fire out.

0:32:080:32:13

-While blanching, you bring the sugar out as well.

-Right.

0:32:130:32:15

# Stick your onions in a pan

0:32:150:32:16

# of boiling water for five minutes... #

0:32:160:32:18

And after it's sufficiently blanched,

0:32:180:32:21

just regular fresh breadcrumbs.

0:32:210:32:23

The yolk of an egg,

0:32:230:32:25

a pinch of nutmeg.

0:32:250:32:27

And 40 grams of butter.

0:32:270:32:31

And some salt and pepper, mix this together, mash the butter in.

0:32:310:32:36

So we take eight sage leaves.

0:32:360:32:37

And we want to blanch them as well.

0:32:370:32:40

Because if you don't, the sage can be a bit harsh.

0:32:400:32:42

-Probably blanch seven, and leave one...

-Leave one...?

0:32:420:32:45

Yeah, cos you need those aromatics to come through as well.

0:32:450:32:48

-I think you might be right, you know.

-Right, pull one out.

0:32:480:32:51

There you are. It's a minute for them.

0:32:510:32:53

Strain them off. Now, over to the blender.

0:32:530:32:58

The un-blanched one.

0:32:580:32:59

Oh, perfect!

0:33:030:33:05

-So the sage and onions go into the bowl.

-Let's have a taste, uh?

0:33:050:33:10

-That's fine.

-Good.

-Now, we take the patient, and we stuff it.

0:33:120:33:18

-Guys, aren't we seasoning the cavity first?

-We don't.

0:33:180:33:21

-Sometimes it draws the moisture out.

-I would have seasoned the cavity.

0:33:210:33:25

-You're not us, though! Because that, then, would be you!

-Absolutely!

0:33:250:33:29

A spoonful here, just to get the breasts.

0:33:290:33:34

Handy wash.

0:33:340:33:35

Now Dave's stuffed the chicken, you take your nice clean hand

0:33:350:33:39

and then you smear...

0:33:390:33:42

..it all over with butter.

0:33:420:33:45

-Unsalted butter?

-Yeah.

0:33:450:33:46

Now just again, to keep the moisture up, I'm going to put some water, just cover the tin.

0:33:460:33:52

Then just tent some foil over it.

0:33:520:33:54

We don't want it to dry out either.

0:33:540:33:57

So with a chicken like that, you want about two hours at 180.

0:33:570:34:01

And that allows for the stuffing as well.

0:34:010:34:04

When you're stuffing a chicken, what you need to do is add the cooking time of the stuffing to the chicken.

0:34:040:34:09

-Because you want it all cooked together.

-Pop you in the oven, girls!

0:34:090:34:12

And after two hours, your chickens will look like this!

0:34:140:34:19

Cos here's a couple we put on earlier.

0:34:190:34:22

Those two, they'll do for our supper!

0:34:220:34:25

Ah yes, lovely! Doubly, doubly check that they're cooked.

0:34:250:34:28

We want to put that into the thickest part of the breast.

0:34:280:34:31

It is a meat thermometer.

0:34:310:34:33

It certainly is. And it should read about 77, I should think.

0:34:330:34:38

Just above 65.

0:34:380:34:40

So the here's-one-we-did-earliers, are going back in the oven for 20 minutes.

0:34:400:34:44

-Thus, by using the thermometer, we've averted disaster.

-Disaster, eh?

0:34:440:34:48

I'm dead pedantic about chips. Not too fat, not to him.

0:34:510:34:55

I don't like chunky chips.

0:34:550:34:57

I think it's the perfect bar,

0:34:570:35:00

-look at that.

-While Dave's chopping chips, I'll do the gooseberry sauce.

0:35:000:35:03

I've got some fantastic local gooseberries.

0:35:030:35:05

I'm making a sugar syrup, and poach the gooseberries in the sugar syrup.

0:35:050:35:08

You want to melt that sugar into the water.

0:35:080:35:11

The zest of a whole lemon.

0:35:110:35:15

The gooseberries going now, look.

0:35:150:35:17

Just poach them for about three minutes.

0:35:170:35:21

I could sit here all day making these chips, like this.

0:35:210:35:23

I just see the pile grow and feel satisfaction.

0:35:230:35:26

-It must be very therapeutic, isn't it?

-It is.

0:35:260:35:29

I'm good with repetitive tasks.

0:35:290:35:31

This is the second part of the sauce.

0:35:310:35:34

We're going to put about 300 millilitres of white wine.

0:35:340:35:37

We're going to boil that really quite hard, so it reduces by half.

0:35:370:35:40

See the flame over the top of the pan?

0:35:400:35:43

That's the alcohol burning off. That's what we're after.

0:35:430:35:46

All right, Kingy. Stick your tool in.

0:35:490:35:52

Come on, my little beauty.

0:35:520:35:54

60 degrees and rising, captain.

0:35:540:35:57

We definitely want it over 71 degrees.

0:35:570:36:00

We've made 71.

0:36:000:36:02

That's a cooked chicken! I'm just going to cover those.

0:36:020:36:05

I'm just going to put them aside to rest.

0:36:050:36:07

I need some of that cooking juice off.

0:36:070:36:10

All right. It's mostly fat.

0:36:100:36:12

You know that double, double fantastic chicken stock?

0:36:120:36:16

-Can I nick some?

-Yes.

0:36:160:36:18

Double chicken stock. That's liquid chicken, isn't it?

0:36:180:36:21

That's just pure chicken essence.

0:36:210:36:25

-Shall I get my chips on?

-Get your chips on, then.

0:36:250:36:27

Two stage chips. I give them ten minutes at about 130 degrees.

0:36:270:36:32

This is to blanch them, to cook them through, not to get them golden.

0:36:320:36:36

I'm going to leave the syrup in the pan and just take the gooseberries out.

0:36:360:36:41

Just push that through the sieve.

0:36:410:36:43

It's a bit of a faff, but it's worth it.

0:36:430:36:45

You get a proper puree.

0:36:450:36:47

You do. It's lovely. It's just worth making the effort.

0:36:470:36:49

This is wonderful Staffordshire smoky streaky bacon.

0:36:490:36:53

All I'm going to do is run the broad beans in the bacon fat and serve.

0:36:530:36:56

-Where is that puree going?

-The puree...

0:36:560:36:59

-Is going into that sauce?

-Is going into this sauce, you see.

0:36:590:37:02

Ugh, I don't know about that.

0:37:020:37:05

Don't you? Tough. We do.

0:37:050:37:07

Spoon at a time.

0:37:070:37:09

The pan heated with oil, wonderful smoky bacon and we're going to render that down so it's crispy bacon bits.

0:37:090:37:15

All that bacon fat is what we're going to use to cook the broad beans.

0:37:150:37:19

Put that on to sizzle away. As you can see, they're beginning to colour

0:37:190:37:23

a little bit, not appreciably, but they've cooked through in the middle.

0:37:230:37:27

These can go cold now, and just before service,

0:37:270:37:31

crank this up to 190, and do the chips

0:37:310:37:34

for five minutes and you'll get the crispiest, most lovely chips ever.

0:37:340:37:37

With the stock syrup that we had before, I'm just going to put a little bit in at a time.

0:37:370:37:42

Whisk it round.

0:37:420:37:44

I think that's spot on.

0:37:470:37:50

-I think it's too tangy.

-Too tangy?

0:37:500:37:53

OK. Bit more syrup.

0:37:530:37:55

That's better.

0:37:580:38:00

Sausage balls. They really are a nice little garnish. Nothing fancy.

0:38:000:38:04

We want three balls on each serving, because we must never have even numbers on a plate.

0:38:040:38:10

We've just added a little bit of butter to that, so just to give it a nice gloss.

0:38:100:38:15

Lovely. That can sit, just nice, off the heat.

0:38:150:38:18

I'll crack on, Dave, with these broad beans.

0:38:180:38:22

This amount of broad bean-ness, in its raw state,

0:38:220:38:26

there's quite a lot there. That's all you get from it, OK?

0:38:260:38:30

We've been double-podding them.

0:38:300:38:32

It comes out of the pod like that, crack off the husk at the back, take the thing off the top.

0:38:320:38:36

You want that little golden green nugget in the middle. It's a faff, but worth it.

0:38:360:38:41

-What are we doing with the broad beans?

-You know the lardons that Dave fried off before?

0:38:410:38:46

We're just going to sit them and toss them...

0:38:460:38:48

-In with the beans?

-In with the beans.

0:38:480:38:50

So, they go in there, like that.

0:38:500:38:52

-They're going to be so nice, aren't they?

-Yes.

0:38:520:38:56

Interestingly, what we've done, we've just put them in.

0:38:560:38:58

-We've not blanched these because they're so soft.

-Do you want butter in there?

0:38:580:39:02

That would be brilliant.

0:39:020:39:03

Just put those into some hot oil and watch them sizzle away, until they're golden all over.

0:39:030:39:09

They used to be a dead nice garnish with the stuffing.

0:39:090:39:12

Put the chips on, these will take five minutes.

0:39:120:39:14

They'll go mega crispy and golden.

0:39:140:39:17

Not that long from plating up now, skipper.

0:39:170:39:19

-Just like that, Si.

-Perfect.

0:39:220:39:24

There we are. That's our tribute to Staffordshire.

0:39:310:39:34

-It's a classic, free range, simply roasted chicken, with a sage and onion stuffing.

-And chips.

0:39:340:39:40

You know? Just a nice gravy made from gooseberries.

0:39:400:39:43

And we've got some broad beans, and sausage meat balls from good local sausage.

0:39:430:39:47

-Well done, boys. Excellent.

-Thanks for your help.

0:39:470:39:51

-I think I'll start with the chicken first.

-That way you can't miss it, can you?

0:39:520:39:56

The chicken is actually cooked fantastic. Tastes really good.

0:39:560:40:00

Broad beans are good. The stuffing is amazing, yeah.

0:40:000:40:03

I think overall...

0:40:030:40:05

excellent dish. The chicken is really good.

0:40:050:40:09

The chips are good, vegetables good, I really like the stuffing.

0:40:090:40:12

For me, me personally, I'm not too great on the gravy.

0:40:120:40:16

-Really?

-Being honest. That's me.

0:40:160:40:19

-Fair enough, fair dos.

-That's absolutely straight, that's great.

0:40:190:40:22

I think you're wrong, but...

0:40:220:40:24

HE LAUGHS

0:40:240:40:26

-Thanks very much.

-High praise indeed.

0:40:260:40:28

It's crunch time. The diners here will taste both dishes, without any idea who cooked which.

0:40:300:40:35

First up is Matt's fillet of Tamworth pork,

0:40:350:40:37

with mousseline potatoes and organic lager sauce.

0:40:370:40:40

I thought the presentation was fantastic, really good contrasting colours.

0:40:400:40:44

You have the orange of the carrots and the splashes of green.

0:40:440:40:48

You eat with your eyes and I saw it, and I watched her get in there and start eating.

0:40:480:40:52

Probably, there needed to be a bit more on the plate. As a farmer's wife,

0:40:520:40:56

I'd have been sacked for serving that much up!

0:40:560:40:58

The flavours were good, but the sauce wasn't strong enough

0:40:580:41:01

to complement such a beautiful piece of pork.

0:41:010:41:04

The grated courgette had a bitterness to it, but I liked that,

0:41:040:41:08

I thought that was something different. They often can be quite bland.

0:41:080:41:13

I think the sauces were excellent. The pork was beautifully cooked.

0:41:130:41:16

We've got lots of lovely pork in the county, so let's just eat more of it. It was just lovely.

0:41:160:41:22

Some mixed reviews, there. What will they think of our dish?

0:41:220:41:26

Fingers crossed.

0:41:260:41:28

I've served gooseberry sauce before, with fish, but never with chicken.

0:41:280:41:33

I'll be trying this at home, because the contrast in flavour was absolutely superb.

0:41:330:41:39

If you call being brought up in Stoke eating chips in gravy

0:41:390:41:42

for about the first 10 years of life, then that does represent a part of Staffordshire.

0:41:420:41:46

Presentation lacked a bit of finesse, I think.

0:41:460:41:49

Staffordshire on a plate was represented

0:41:490:41:51

by the chips and gravy, something I have always grown up with, having gravy on my chips.

0:41:510:41:57

I thought the stuffing worked really well, and it went very well with the chicken, which was really succulent.

0:41:570:42:02

For Staffordshire, chips and gravy, definitely makes it very representative of the county.

0:42:020:42:08

Thank you so much for coming today.

0:42:130:42:15

We've had a cracking time in Staffordshire.

0:42:150:42:18

We've got good memories of the county, thank you for that.

0:42:180:42:21

Thanks for your hospitality, it's been fantastic. I'm going to name both dishes, OK?

0:42:210:42:25

What I'd like you to do is a clear show of hands for the dish

0:42:250:42:30

that you thought best represented the county that you live in.

0:42:300:42:35

So, a clear show of hands, please, for the pork dish.

0:42:350:42:39

OK, can have a show of hands for the chicken dish.

0:42:410:42:45

Right. So that's one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine.

0:42:460:42:52

Thank you very much indeed.

0:42:520:42:53

The pork dish was Matt's.

0:42:530:42:56

HE LAUGHS

0:42:560:42:57

The chicken dish was ours.

0:42:570:42:59

Wow! Chicken and chips, see? Wahey!

0:42:590:43:02

The last thing that remains to be done is to thank Matt so much for having us here.

0:43:040:43:08

He's a wonderful chef. You're very lucky, you have a great restaurant.

0:43:080:43:11

Thanks, Matt. Thank you so much.

0:43:110:43:14

-Brilliant job.

-Time for a pint, now.

0:43:140:43:16

-Absolutely.

-After you, chef.

0:43:160:43:19

Nice one. Cheers, thank you.

0:43:190:43:22

Wow, I can't believe it was a clean sweep.

0:43:220:43:24

Matt is a great chef but the nostalgia for chips and gravy in this county won the day.

0:43:240:43:29

Staffordshire is a brilliant county and if you're ever on the look out

0:43:290:43:32

for an oatcake, we know exactly where to come.

0:43:320:43:35

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:490:43:53

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:530:43:56

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.


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