The Hairy Bikers get on their bikes to find the best of each county's larder. Si and Dave explore Cheshire, where they visit a smokehouse.
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We're the Hairy Bikers! We're on the road to find regional recipes.
We're riding county to county to discover, cook and enjoy the best of British.
We're here to find the true taste of Cheshire.
We couldn't get the bikes up here, could we? Need a trailer!
-This is Cheshire.
We're looking over the edge of the Cheshire Plains.
It's on the border with Wales, on the border with Lancashire.
Apart from footballer's wives, posh houses and cheese, I don't know anything about it.
It's a mystery, dude.
Do you know what I think we might find? I think it might be an eclectic mix here. I think it might be.
It might be fur coat and no knickers though.
-Let's eat Cheshire.
'On our quest to define the true flavours of Cheshire, we serve up
'an ancient recipe for a hearty soup, using the county's favourite export.
'It's dark and very, very smoky, when we learn the secrets of a traditional smoke house.
'And down on the farm, Carol Bailey introduces us to a Si lookie-likie,
'and a flavoursome alternative to lamb, which we think is a real winner.
'And representing Cheshire in the cook off is David Mooney.
'Will we be able to beat him using the county's finest ingredients?'
'Chester is one of the UK's earliest towns.
'The Romans settled here in 70AD
'and you can still feel their presence today.'
-Look, Si, the old Roman city walls.
-They're lovely, aren't they?
The whole city's living history.
'We're here to find out what Cheshire has to offer us on a plate.
'I can't wait to see what local food's up for grabs.'
-Chester, the county town of Cheshire.
-It's nice, isn't it?!
-Shall we see if there's 'owt to eat?
-Let's have some.
It's a blend of what you might have left at the end of the day.
Maybe a teacake, or some fruitcake.
Nice and moist, isn't it?
What's the essential ingredient of Cheshire food?
-Pastry, I'd say.
-Or gravy. Pie and gravy.
Pie and gravy, that's a good start.
-Our local tasting plate.
The main event is this potted Cheshire cheese,
with sherry, butter and spices. You've got a nice,
simple, very local roast beef from a farm around the corner.
Our sausage rolls are made with Chester sausage from a butcher next door but one.
HE SPEAKS LATIN
-That's a Roman. Are you not a bit cold, son?
What's the iconic dish of Cheshire?
We found remains in the amphitheatre of barbecue beef ribs,
which were eaten and dropped between the seats.
A wonderful, old-fashioned sweet shop.
-Let's get in there. Nice to see you.
-Nice to see you, all right?
-What a great shop.
-A room full of memories.
-Is there a sweetie, though, that's pure Cheshire?
You have Yorkshire mix, so we thought, we're in Cheshire, why not a Cheshire mix?
So, it's the top ten boiled sweets that the people in Cheshire buy.
This, to me, symbolises Cheshire, it's a mix!
'So, we know what satisfies Cheshire's sweet tooth,
'but that doesn't help us in our search for a traditional dish.
'We still don't know what food represents Cheshire so we decided to ask the authorities.'
-Morning, officer. What's Cheshire famous for?
-What's the iconic dish of Cheshire?
I would have said cheese.
I'd go for cheese really. Cheshire cheese.
-How would you cook your cheese?
-Cheese on toast?
-Now then, madness, it seems to me that the reoccurring theme is cheese.
-Shall we go in? Should we?
Cor! It smells fantastic.
Smell? What smell?
-I can't smell anything!
-What is it about Cheshire cheese, Carol?
It's the pastures the cows graze on, they're quite salty,
the Cheshire Plains, so it makes it unique, and it's the oldest cheese on record.
-The oldest cheese on record?
-Yes, Cheshire cheese.
-Oh, it's heaven.
We've also got some cheeses made in Cheshire but to an Italian recipe.
-That's the Federia.
And you can taste it is similar to a Gruyere.
Have you got a smell of it?
-Why not?! It's lovely.
-Ooh, that's lovely.
The Cheshire cheese is super in soup as well.
-Yes. I used to have a restaurant and I used to do a leek and Cheshire cheese soup.
-Nice. Sounds good, that.
-So you'll have to make that.
-That's an education.
-Cheshire cheese, you just think, it's Cheshire.
-There's a lot of big cheeses in Cheshire.
-There are a lot of big cheeses!
-I'm the big cheese!
-You are! Hey!
'So, what are we cooking with?
'There's no choice - it has to be Cheshire cheese from the most famous salty Cheshire Plains,
'and Carol's super duper soup sounds perfect.
'That's got to be some seriously delicious grass, which helps make some seriously tasty produce.
'We're going to Heler Cheese to meet Mike Heler.
'They've been making the stuff here for over 50 years.'
He sounds like another big cheese to me!
Right, to get round the cheese dairy,
we need to tog you up in all this gear, because if I don't, I'll get in trouble.
You're not allowed to wear a watch.
And I need you to put a white coat on,
a snood on your beard, a hair net and a hat.
And we've got to take your boots off as well.
-Right. We're off.
-Lead the way.
My father started making Cheshire cheese, cylindrical cheese, in 1957.
Even though it's on a big scale now,
-it's a single herd cheese you produce, isn't it?
The cheese is from our own cows, single herd.
We've got full control, right from the cow to the product on the shelf.
-It's like a premier cru wine.
How well do you look after your cows?
Our cows get spoilt.
Look at that! Look at that!
Look at that! Left a bit, left.
-Wouldn't it be lush to have one of those at home?
I could soon fix one up for you.
Will you stop doing that with your hips?!
There's 4,000 litres of milk in this vat.
You've got this lovely milk, what happens next, Mike?
This morning, early on, we pasteurise the milk,
and then we introduce the rennet.
That coagulates the milk into a jelly.
And it's set like a yogurt.
We're cutting the coagulum,
which is the curd, and the whey is the liquid that we end up with.
And eventually, we will cut this and it will end up about the size of your little fingernail.
In fact, you can have a small taste of it.
It's very, very creamy. Not sour at all.
From milk to the best eating quality of the cheese is 12 weeks.
This will end up as a blue Cheshire.
We'll now go into our Cheshire dairy, and you can see
-it on a grand scale.
-Wow, that's a lot of cheese, isn't it?
-Do you want to taste that?
My granddad used to love it. He used to come in here and take mouthfuls.
In about 35 minutes, this will look like that.
That's a lot of cheese you're producing.
-We will make 29, 30 tonnes a day.
Right, well, here we've got the three different types of Cheshire cheese we make.
We've got white Cheshire cheese,
blue Cheshire, which is what we're making in the vat today,
and then coloured Cheshire cheese, so we have red, white and blue.
This is the white Cheshire cheese.
Look at that, fantastic.
-You like that?
If we go into the coloured cheese...
-How old's that one?
-About 12, 14 weeks of age.
And now, we will taste the blue Cheshire.
-A lot more creamy.
'We're going to make a Cheshire cheese soup with the blue and white Cheshires we've tried.
'Do you think this will be enough?'
'Our panniers are laden with Cheshire's finest ingredients,
'and we'd better get a move on.
'We're off to the local landmark, Chester Zoo.
'It's home to elephants, monkeys, rhinos and a crowd of animal spotters,
'who are awaiting a rare sighting of the hairiest bikerus.
-'What are they?
-It's us. And it's feeding time, so we better get cracking.
'We're cooking up a real taste of Cheshire, a blue and white Cheshire cheese soup,
'with a fried Federia cheese sandwich on the side.
'A truly formidable fromage feast.'
It's Chester Zoo!
It's one of the major zoos in the world
-and it's right in the heart of Cheshire.
-And where are we?
It's the blinking Jaguar enclosure.
We've managed to find an old recipe that goes back to 1800.
It's made with Cheshire cheese, leaks, potatoes, carrots, oatmeal to thicken it and Cheshire cheese.
We have a white Cheshire cheese.
A blue Cheshire cheese.
And this one is called a Federia, which tastes like Gruyere.
First, take two pots of the finest fresh chicken stock.
Obviously, if you're a vegetarian, use vegetable stock.
If you're a vegan, well, just don't bother, really.
Just stick the carrots in water and suffer!
Bring that to a boil. Potatoes.
One, two, three.
We've got some carrots.
Madam, could you help me peel a potato so I get ahead of myself?
There you go, chuck.
Let the potatoes boil down with that.
-We should give this lady a round of applause.
Well done, darling. Well done.
And we're just going to finely chop two leeks.
And we'll grate carrots into that soup.
Where's the lady that does the jaguars?
Come and say hello to our lovely peeps.
-You're the reason we're here, aren't you?
-Yes, I am.
Tell us about jaguars.
The jaguars here come from South America.
They live in the rainforest or the savannah.
What are they like with trimmings, vegetable trimmings?
-Can we give them...
-We could try, put them on a dish and see what they do.
I'm just going to season the soup.
While you're here...
-Go on, chuck it in.
-Joyce, when does the feeding happen?
-We're just about to feed them. Do you want to have a look?
-Yeah, the soup's boiling down.
-Come with us to South America.
-Come and see what you think.
-Ooh. I wouldn't like to meet one of them on a dark night.
-Oh, absolutely beautiful.
-She's going for your vegetables after all.
Yes! No, she's into it.
What on earth is this?!
'Ooh, er! Let's hope our soup goes down better with the locals.'
The next step will be to check that the potatoes are cooked, yes.
-Now, Mr Myers...
-The blue cheese and white cheese.
We'll start with that much.
The Cheshire blue cheese is very, very special.
I think it's got a little taste of Marmite.
It's so creamy, isn't it?
It's really, really good.
I don't know about you but I think it's one of the finds of the trip.
It is for sure. What we're going to do with the soup, I'm going to give that a nice mash down.
That's the Cheshire blue cheese. It melts, it's really creamy.
This, with regular Cheshire, is going to go great in the soup.
Sling in a handful of oatmeal.
That's the clever part of this.
You use oatmeal to thicken it.
Which is an old-fashioned way of doing it.
If you sprinkle oatmeal on the top first, before you stir it in,
it softens the oatmeal.
Be careful with the seasoning on this because the cheese is salty.
Do it to taste, guys.
There's no exact science.
That's the white Cheshire.
In that ancient recipe, it said you literally just chuck the cheese in and it melts and goes into the soup.
-I've got me doubts.
-So have I.
I feel it could go into a stringy mess.
But they reckon that the Cheshire cheese,
because it melts down beautifully, as you found with your cheese on toast,
it's going to be banging brilliant.
Oh, it's taken it.
Right, let's have a taste of that.
More on the blue.
This is lovely, isn't it?
-That's great. More salt.
-Lots more salt. Lots more cheese.
Cheese! Do you want to finish this, mate, and I'll do the sandwich?
I'll stir in and crack on.
-When we thought of doing this soup, we wanted an accompaniment.
I remember something my mother used to make when I was a little boy.
She used to make me fried cheese sandwiches.
She was probably trying to kill me! We thought, to be super indulgent,
we'd use the Federia, which is like Gruyere,
and make fried Federia sandwiches to go with the Cheshire cheese soup.
It's like if Elvis Presley had ever played Cheshire,
this is what he would have eaten.
"I'd like some of the Cheshire cheese soup,
"I'd like 14,000 calories a bowl,
"all surrounded by a fried cheese sandwich."
Top tip, when you're frying bread or making croutons, if you're down south, put butter...
Put butter with your olive oil because the butter will make the bread go golden.
-Take two slices of finest Cheshire bloomer.
-Do you know something?
And I'm excited.
Because I've tasted it and you haven't.
Just make the cheese sandwiches.
I'm going to cut the crusts off because it's Cheshire.
I don't think I've stirred a soup for so long, ever.
I don't want these beauties burnt.
I thank you, Pierre.
The cheese is starting to melt down!
Some recipes we do and you know people are going to cook at home,
I think people will cook the fried cheese sandwiches at home.
If actually you were a paramedic, you'd be all right. You take the ambulance home now.
You go have your tea, get the paddles on standby.
It's all right, that.
Do eat entirely at your own risk.
Little rings of leek.
And two jaunty cheese sandwiches, fried on the side. Look at that.
Cheshire cheese soup and fried Cheshire cheese sandwiches.
A taste of Cheshire.
Top two for the top two jaguar keepers.
-Thank you very much.
Thank you for having us.
You'll share? Have that one. I hope you enjoy it.
The cheese has just gone a bit crispy. This is heaven.
-What do you think?
I wouldn't have thought of putting so much cheese into a soup.
-It's worked really well.
-You can taste the calories.
It's heaven as it goes down.
-Feels like it's doing good.
It's really nice.
'Our Cheshire cheese soup and fried cheese sandwiches went down a storm with our captive audience at the zoo.
'But a bigger challenge is just around the corner.
'As always we're taking on one of the county's top chefs in their restaurant,
'using local ingredients to see who can best define the taste of the region.
It will be up to local diners to decide whose dish best represents the true flavours of Cheshire.
Our opponent today is David Mooney,
head chef of the Belle Epoque in Knutsford.
Loved by local residents and footballers alike, David prides himself on modern British cuisine,
that never compromises on flavour.
Our menu consists of things that, first and foremost, taste fantastic.
Our clientele are all very knowledgeable about food.
They know what's good and what's not good.
That's what keeps us on our toes.
I went off as a very young man to work for Raymond Blanc,
which was an eye opener, to say the least.
It was the hardest I've ever worked. Unbelievable.
I was in France for two years and learned that passion just for food,
whether it's a loaf of bread, an orange or a fantastic piece of game.
When you've worked away, I think you realise how utterly brilliant your own neck of the woods is.
Cheshire is just fantastic. We've got everything here.
Pete Mosley should be...
He better be digging potatoes for me now. He's two, two and a half miles.
Our potatoes are out of the ground and in the kitchen within hours.
A guy phoned me this morning, he had two wheelbarrows full of apples, could I use them? Could I ever.
We all try to source as near to our back door as we possibly can.
At the end of the day, it's all about good products.
You can't make chicken soup out of chicken poop.
To take on the bikers,
my taste of Cheshire is wild boar,
preserved plums and pommes dauphinoise.
We've heard what he's about, now it's time to meet the man for ourselves. This is Knutsford.
We're looking for the beautiful era.
La Belle Epoque!
-No, Belle Epoque,
not belly pork!
-Looks like we're here.
-Pretty fancy, eh?
Yeah, but will his cooking be up to scratch?
-So, David Mooney...
..what are you doing?
Beautiful Arley wild boar,
a little bit of wild boar liver,
and then pommes dauphinoise organic spinach,
with a red wine jus, with a little of those preserved plums in.
-Shall we get cracking?
-Go on, chef.
-We have got this fantastic tenderloin of wild boar.
-Absolutely horrible animal, fantastic meat.
I'm going to take the sinew off here. Just a bit there.
Trim that off and cut that in half.
That is ready for the pan now.
-Thinly slice... Are you listening?
-You could learn here.
I'm waiting for your fingers. If you had a food processor,
put your potatoes there and woof, they're there. It's the way forward.
It's the future.
You know, everything modern isn't best, you know?
We layer those round like that. Very important this.
Salt and pepper every layer
and throw in some really finely chopped garlic,
and then a bit of this strong mature Cheddar.
Then start on the potatoes again, by hand.
This way you can layer them nicely. If they're in the food processor, you dump straight in.
I bought a mandolin and that night was sitting there covered in plasters and Steri-Strips.
It really hurts.
Season that up as well.
The important thing is to end up with a layer of cheese on top.
We want it nice and gratinated on the top. The double cream goes on.
That goes in till you can just about see it there.
If you put too much, they come out sloppy and horrible.
We want nice, tight layers. That's about perfect.
-How long do you aim to cook that for?
-Three to four hours.
Till you can put in a knife in, it comes out really tender. That's why we cut them thinly.
Tin foil on that, 150 degrees, three hours.
I'm going to foil it up.
It's thin, cheesy chips.
Cheesy chips and old pig.
-Let's get the sauce on the go.
In here, a little tiny bit of oil.
Finely diced carrot.
For you, boys, I cut them beautiful.
I always cut them like that. A pinch of celery as well.
It's a classic brunoise. An onion.
Then the garlic left over from the dauphinoise. That's the bedrock of our sauce.
I'm going to sweat those down for a few minutes.
We need a bit of the liquor off these preserved plums. We get a glut of them in autumn.
People bring them in.
We preserve these, stock syrup, little bit of cinnamon, mixed spice, pop a star anise in the bottom.
A lovely, lovely taste. We put a bit of kirsch in there as well.
Ah, right, OK.
A little bit of that in there.
Then a bit of the old...
-What's the adage? If you can't drink it, don't cook with it.
That will reduce to a syrup now. The flavours of the marinade in there.
The sweetness and the boar will work off there.
I'm going to do roast carrots just as a garnish.
Smoking hot pan, sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, bang, bang, bang.
You cannot fry carrots, you loony.
You loony Mooney.
The fans need cleaning.
Don't come in here with your attitude, young man. S and P again.
I'm going to finish these now.
A bit of sugar in there. As that cooks it's going to caramelise.
Nice and tasty, that.
Sauce, back to the sauce, I made a wild boar stock.
All I did was roast the bones off for about an hour, get them nice and golden, vegetables in there,
all the trimmings off these things here, all went in with it.
Bit of bay, bit of garlic.
Then we simmered it away for four hours.
Such simple tastes in there.
-The sugars bring out the savoury in meat.
-It's all about balance.
That's all we're trying to do.
We need a smoking hot pan to seal the outsides.
Get loads of colour on it. You don't want to put your hand there.
We just put that in
very quick. Just season it again.
-You see that lovely colour on there.
That's what we're after. Beautiful.
That's just spot on.
All that's going to happen to that is straight in the oven, eight to ten minutes, job done.
I'm going to throw this in the oven.
Sauce is just about, dare I say, perfect.
Taste that, it needs a bit of seasoning.
-Give us a taste.
I'm going to put it back on there, I'm going to sieve it out and get rid of the bits and bobs.
Have you tasted these puppies here?
-What do you think?
-No, they're gorgeous.
I'm going to put two or three of those... You can chop them finer if you want.
Now we sear that liver,
one minute each side, a bit of salt and pepper both sides.
There we go. Into a nice hot pan.
Look at that, that is just...
Oh, yes. Beautiful!
We have the dauphinoise out of the oven.
I'm going to leave that to cool, then cut out chefy rounds.
These are the ones I made earlier.
All we have to do now
is roll the spinach round the pan in there. Some butter.
Now, because this has been rinsed off, there should be enough moisture to cook this down.
-Shall we plate up?
-Plate up the winning dish.
Very caramelised is the expression here.
-Just call them Cajun.
-I'd call them burnt.
The meat's resting here. I'm going to slice it once longitudinally.
Oohhh! Look at that!
Spinach is beautiful now.
Sit nice and neatly. Then plop a bit of the wild boar on top there.
-We've got this beautiful nugget of the wild boar liver on the top there.
Then we're going to sauce.
# Oh, it's all gone quiet over there... #
Here we have, Arley wild boar, organic spinach, roast carrots and pommes dauphinoise.
I give you the winning dish.
-The sauce is lovely.
-The liver's gorgeous.
-That's very good.
The dauphinoise have huge flavours.
It's very generous, the flavours are big, and it's a good portion.
It is good. That's lovely food. Yeah.
Still going to beat him, though.
But it's the locals who will decide whose dish is best in a blind tasting coming up.
'David has raised the bar with his wild boar.
'His flavours are big, but ours need to be bigger.
'And we know exactly where to look.'
Harold Bailey's farm is just down the road and specialises in
well-reared rare breed livestock that claims fantastic flavour.
But will it have the produce to give us the edge?
-It looks promising. To take David on, we need a good meat.
It doesn't have to be organic, but it has to be good husbandry.
It does, and we like to molly coddle our animals a little bit,
because it gives a better flavour.
The better you treat them, the better the flavour. There's nothing in the fields.
-They're all in the shed.
-There you go!
-Most of these are grey-faced Dartmoor, particularly
this one here, she's like a pedigree one here.
The grey nose is typical.
And this big forelock.
You can see...
-It's all there!
-It's very similar.
They're a rare breed sheep. Then we're crossing some of our other
sheep to them to try to improve them and get a nice cross-bred lamb.
What's so good about Cheshire for sheep?
It's to do with the Cheshire plains and the salt in the ground that makes the grass grow.
You get a really good, lush,
but meaty grass that feeds grass-fed animals perfectly.
Carol, I don't see any lambs.
There are one or two, they're our breeding lambs, so we don't eat those.
What I have in mind for you are hogget lamb.
What's a hogget?
It's an older lamb anywhere from about nine months up to 15 months of age.
The longer the meat grows the better the flavour.
-It's not mutton though, is it?
-No, mutton is an old breeding sheep.
Some of these old girls here may only have one or two lots of lambs and then they become barren.
Those would then go for mutton.
-We do hogget, we can beat David Mooney?
-Here we go.
Now, that is a hogget lamb.
How long has that been hung for?
About 14 days.
-That's where your meat's coming from.
Do you want the shoulder or the leg?
A bit of both.
-We've got to win this.
-Let's get me leg off, and shoulder.
Ready? There we go. That's your chops.
-Chop City. Look at that.
-Let's have the back end off.
Yes? Look at that.
You're a dab hand with a knife, you.
Let's split it. There you go.
And then that is your leg of lamb.
Carol, show us on this, what's different for the hogget than the lamb?
There's that little bit more fat cover on there.
You have a bit more fat in the muscle itself.
But it's that which gives you the flavour.
So it's a bit older, it needs a bit more sympathy.
Hogget is better for stews and casseroles and slow cooking?
-As do we all, a slow cooked, bit of sympathy. Absolutely!
Now we know what we're cooking - spiced hogget with a swede and Cheshire cheese gateau.
'To complement the full flavour of our hogget we need something equally as tasty.'
Where better to head than the Cheshire smokehouse?
They smoke anything, from pork to garlic.
I can't wait for a nibble.
-How long have you been smoking stuff here?
-We've been here 15 years.
But my great grandfather started smoking food in 1907, so I'm fourth generation.
These are smoke kilns that we actually built to exactly the same design as my great grandfather.
-Look at this.
-In here we have bacon that's been smoking and garlic.
This has been in here for 18 hours. This is coal smoking, getting the flavour in.
But it does get in your eyes.
# Smoke gets in your eyes... #
That bacon is going to taste incredible.
What are you smoking it in?
This is a mixture of oak and beech chippings.
That bacon's very dark, what's it cured in?
It's been dry cured to start with, then it's soaked in molasses and honey.
-We have won awards for that one.
-I'm not surprised.
I bet the rind on that's lovely.
I'm going to show you the dry curing process for the bacon.
This is a mixture of salt, sugar and saltpetre.
This curing process, whether you're making
smoky bacon or ordinary bacon, that turns the pork into bacon?
Exactly, without this it would be a piece of smoked pork.
You get it all over the meat, rub it in. And on the fat side as well.
The fat will take the salt as well.
What will start happening is this salt will start drawing the moisture out of the bacon.
You'll lose say about a pound and a half, two pounds of moisture out of that.
-When you cook it you're not going to get the goo running out.
-How long do we leave that now?
That'll be left for round about four or five days.
After that we soak it in a marinade of molasses and honey, about another five days.
Then it will be smoked for 18 to 20 hours, then we're ready to slice it and eat it.
Got a bit of smoked chicken and duck, if you want a taste.
-Oh, God, yes.
-Are you mad?
This was hot smoked. First of all, it has been cured,
bit of garlic, honey, salt, and a tiny bit of brown sugar.
There ain't no dried up chicken breast taste there, is there?
Oh, hey. Stunning.
Some of our duck breast.
-Look at that.
-Because you're in a smoky environment now,
you're probably not getting the full flavour of that.
-Get that home and it tastes completely different.
What is the difference between hot and cold smoked?
Hot smoked is cooking and smoking at the same time.
Cold smoked is what you have as bacon, smoked salmon,
you're not cooking it, you're just imparting the flavour.
We're in footballer country, is this where they come for their shopping?
-We get a few.
Bobby Charlton comes in quite a but.
-Loves his bacon, and Peter Crouch banged his head on that ham,
I think, last time he was in.
-I'm going to do a bit of shopping.
The molasses sweet-cured bacon, he's got streaky.
That could be great, imagine haricot beans tossed in that.
I think the pancetta's gonna be perfect, what do you reckon with the hogget?
What about smoked garlic to go with the swede?
Swede, yeah. Be lovely, wouldn't it?
That should do us well. Look at that.
-Thank you very much.
-Great, we're off.
It's our turn now. We have a belter.
It's a busy place so we better get on.
Spiced hogget, swede and Cheshire cheese gateau, braised fennel, filled with haricot beans,
tossed in that wonderful molasses bacon, then we're doing beetroot squares in a beetroot syrup.
Get on with it.
It will be up to local diners to decide whose dish best represents the true flavours of Cheshire.
-Oil. Oil. Pan.
-Oil. Pan. We're off to a good start.
We're putting nice pancetta in there.
-That's a lovely Cheshire delicacy that(!)
The Cheshire smokehouse!
Now we need to brown the hogget. Right now.
I just know this has got "losing dish" written all over it.
-You haven't seen what we're doing with this, though.
-I don't need to, I know.
-Garlic, old fruit?
-Yes, please, mate.
Time to get a bit of liquid into it - some good red wine.
I've just cut meself again.
You have not! You have not!
Look at the state of me.
It's like being on the set of Saving Private Ryan, this.
Set of bloody Casualty.
-That's fine red wine, Chilean merlot.
-About half a pint.
-Two great things with hogget, anchovies and capers.
The zest of a lemon.
I got my dry goods now.
Stick of cinnamon.
A teaspoonful of cumin,
ground coriander, and half a teaspoon of ground ginger.
So that's going to give you a nice bit of underlying heat.
In fairness to you, you're showing promise here.
Two bay leaves.
To that, some lovely thyme.
Strip the good bits off the stalk.
Sage, now some traditional rosemary.
Look at that. Lovely. OK. That's all the ingredients in now.
We stick it in the oven for a couple of hours.
You think I've got all day to hang round with you guys.
Here's the thing, we've got one on the go already you see.
Oh! Crafty bikers!
Look at that.
That's concentrated Cheshire.
-Let's do the beets.
-You may ask, why am I peeling the beetroot?
Dave, why are you peeling the beetroot?
I want the juices to leech out, because the beetroot juice, we're
going to add sugar and some balsamic vinegar and make a beetroot syrup.
-Lovely reduction, you see.
Right, now possibly the piece de resistance and your downfall is the swede and Cheshire cheese gateau.
Down South they call them turnips.
-It's a swede.
-It's a swede.
-Can I barrow your mandolin?
I've got one here.
I fear we might need more plasters.
No, I'm not touching it.
Oh, dear me.
I can't do
this on a mandolin while slicing the...
Meanwhile, I'll prepare the dressing.
-I need two tablespoons of flour.
-Is that plain flour?
This is ground coriander.
White pepper, magic with turnips and mashed potato. About a teaspoonful of sea salt.
-You used to do this with chicken in the 1980s.
-What's this? The dressing for...
-I'll show you, love.
One perfectly sliced piece of turnip, swede.
I'll take this cutter,
mind me hands!
Just for once today.
There you have it.
A perfect rondelle.
-A swede rondelle.
-You could use the other bits for soup.
Aye, you could. Go and make turnip crisps for your punters. Go on.
I toss me swede rings in the seasoned flour.
-This builds up the gateau.
You will be. So, I need to line the chef's ring.
Just stop the cream going out.
I'll tell you what we need to do... You know our smoked garlic?
Is it smoked seriously?
Oh, yeah. Actually, that is lovely.
Put some olive oil in there, stick it in the oven so all those cloves
just pop out. Mash it with butter, Bob's your uncle.
The ultimate garlic butter.
The ultimate garlic butter.
You take that wonderful smoked garlic butter, simply apply the brush
to the inside of the foil thingy.
While Dave's cracking on with that, this bacon, sweet black streaky bacon,
it's in molasses and honey.
Oh! That is absolutely sensational.
It is sensational stuff.
Remember this? This is my flour, put it in there. Shake. If it
were Jamie Oliver, I'd sell this plastic bag for £13.50, wouldn't I?
You'd be knocking them out,
-stick it on the website.
-Look at that ring of swede microscopically dusted with loveliness.
Place that in the bottom of me ramekin.
It's a tight fit, but it will shrink.
To that we do a layer of the finest Cheshire cheese,
then we do one of the swede rings, which has been garnished with a flour, then we stack them like that.
Top that with cream.
We have the best cream in Cheshire, without a doubt.
Do you know how to make a fennel spoon?
Oh, I see, it's like a Chinese spoon.
That simply needs steaming.
Can you smell burning beetroot?
He's not wrong, actually.
-Ah, you're joking.
Oh, no! Oh, no!
Here's one we did earlier!
Kingy, we're going win.
If we don't win, we've had a good time trying, you know.
While you're doing that then, I'll get on with the beans.
I'm going to fry this lovely bacon off like that.
-Want a bit of red wine in there?
-I think so.
Some sugar, and some of Cheshire's finest balsamic vinegar.
The smell off that bacon!
I wish you could smell this at home.
We've put the beans in that rendered fat.
It's all leeched out of the fantastic bacon we bought from the smokehouse.
It's going to be brilliant. I'm really looking forward to eating it.
That's the beetroot syrup. Our entities are coming together, Mr King.
Yabba dabba doo! We're ready to plate up.
You get the gateau.
I'll get this hogget.
-Right, now there's the hogget.
-Look at that!
Oh, Mr Myers!
I don't think they collected that much foil
for the Blue Peter appeal, did they?
They've got two guide dogs.
Look at that, lovely and golden.
To the side of that,
jauntily place a fennel spoon.
A little spoonful of beans in there.
That's Cheshire on a plate. We have spiced hogget with
a fennel spoon of haricot beans and molasses bacon, served with a swede and Cheshire cheese gateau.
I've got to start with this.
Much as it grieves me to tell you,
it's very good. Swines!
Just try the gateau.
Look at that. In fairness, cut straight through it there like that.
Tell us that didn't work. It works doesn't it? It's good, isn't it?
On your bikes!
I knew it! I knew it!
Top drawer, boys, well done.
Let's see what the punters say.
First to be served up is David's dish of local wild boar with preserved winter plums and pommes dauphinoise.
The diners don't know who cooked which dish.
Quite a strong taste of garlic from something.
-Love the spinach.
-The boar cooked beautifully, all of it.
Everything, melt in your mouth. A beautiful dish.
I liked the taste of the plums with the boar.
The sweetness with the meat was very good.
Earthiness of the spinach went very well.
The downside for me was the garlic, which I felt was in the potatoes.
The boar was fabulous, the spinach was fabulous, I loved the way the plums worked.
The garlic in the potatoes ruined it as well.
I loved that we had a Cheshire dish in front of us and it tasted so good.
They seemed to enjoy the wild boar, well, apart from the garlic.
Will our spiced hogget be a success too?
Delicious. Nice beetroot in season.
My favourite. Mmm, lovely. I thought that was delicious.
That was a plate that I wanted to clear.
I felt that the chef had hit the nail on the head with this dish.
They'd taken a lot of time in thinking how the flavours worked together.
In terms of presentation, I found the beans on the fennel was a bit
-bland, similar colours, they didn't stand out.
-Not a meat I've had.
It's something I'd like to try again.
A lovely, rustic, wholesome dish which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Well then, here we are.
This is the moment of truth.
Who preferred the wild boar?
And for the hogget?
The hogget was the Hairy's. That was us.
David, it's been such a good laugh and such a good time with you.
Guys, the pleasure's all mine. All I need is the keys to one bike and I'm a happy boy.
'I can't believe it, Kingy, our hogget was a winner.'
'David put up a good fight with his wild boar, mate, and he was a great laugh in the kitchen.'
'We feasted on fantastic flavours on our journey round Cheshire.
'We'll never forget the salty plains.
'They're the real reason for the distinct flavours of the county.'
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Si and Dave explore Cheshire, where they cook a traditional county favourite at Chester Zoo, visit a smokehouse and tuck into some of Cheshire's famous cheese. Finally, they pit their new-found knowledge against top local chef David Mooney in a cook-off. Restaurant diners decide who has created the dish that best defines Cheshire.