Wine and Booze

Red Onion & Beetroot Tatin, Green Lentil Stew, Orange & Mint Dressing

My Dad is visiting, he likes his food meaty, hearty and tasty. This dish seemed to fit the bill (even though it had no pork chops in it!)

We had a thorough beer tasting before dinner, sampling the full range on offer. This got my inspiration well oiled for cooking dinner. Like almost all of the BHK food, this required little thought, preparation and execution.

The tatin works a treat with the sweetness of carrot, onion and beetroot being lifted by the touch of balsamic and orange. You can do the tatins individually, but one large one is easier and much more impressive when you flip it out (queue a few ‘ooohhhhhhsss!)
The green lentil stew would be better with puy lentils, but they were expensive. Your humble green lentils still have a nice bite with some earthy flavour. The stew is rich with addition of coriander.

The orange and mint dressing is an added dimension of flavour that balances the sweetness of the tatin.

I’m not a huge pastry fan at the minute, but this was a real treat. Dad happy munched away, without mentioning sausages of chops for at least half an hour. A major breakthrough!

We are so lucky that all of these veggies come from Hootons, the organic farm down the road.

The Bits

Tatin
Puff Pastry (we bought ours, make your own if you prefer, enough to adequately cover your dish, needs to be snug)

1 chopped carrot

1 red onion

2 beetroots (veg should fit snuggly in your dish after cooking, so add around a 1/4 more initially and allow for shrinkage)

Small glug of balsamic vinegar

Glug of cooking oil (we use sunflower)

1 knob vegan butter/ margarine

2 teas of fresh thyme

Zest of 1/2 orange

Juice of half an orange

2 teas light brown sugar.

 

Lentil Stew
3 cups of green/ puy lentils

1 finely chopped onion

2 garlic cloves

Big handful of chopped cherry tomatoes

1 carrot

Zest and juice of half a lemon

Handful chopped coriander

1 bay leaf

1 glug olive oil

1 teas thyme

1 teas chilli flakes,

Good veg stock.

 

Dressing
Zest and juice of half a orange

1/2 cup of good olive oil

Handful of finely chopped mint

1/2 teas dijon mustard

Touch of sweetener (to just slightly sweeten)

Alittle lemon juice (if your orange is super sweet, needs a little sourness in the dressing)

Salt + Pepper

 

Do It

Preheat an oven, 200oC.

Lentils

Cover the lentils with water and bring to a simmer in veg stock, add bay leaf, herbs (not coriander), veggies (except toms), chilli (monitor chilli level depending on who’s eating!).

Cook for half and hour, or until tender.  5 minutes before serving, add toms and olive oil, stir well and just before serving stir in the lemon and coriander.

Tart

Roughly roll out and measure you pastry, should be slightly larger than the dish you are using, prick well with a fork, keep in fridge until needed. We used a heavy bottomed oval casserole dish.

Tatin Pre-bake

Heat dish in the oven for a few minutes, then take out and add your oil, veggies, sugar, vinegar, thyme and season.  Mix well and bake in the oven for half an hour or until caramelised.  Then take out dish, squeeze on orange juice and a splash more oil.  Stir the veggies around to loosen and coat with the oil, make sure the veggies are packed in nice and tight (and flat), then carefully lay on your pastry case (brush top side with some olive oil), tuck in at edges, should fit nice and snug.  Put back in oven for 20-25 mins, or until pastry is nicely golden brown…..

Prepare dressing.  Add all ingredients to a bowl (small blender would be good for this) and mix vigorously together.  Check for seasoning and make sure its nicely citrus, to balance the sweetness of the tart.  Perfect when drizzled on all over the tart.

This is a good time to throw a green salad together.

P1150134

The Voila! Moment

Take tatin out of oven and grab a serving plate that fits over the dish, place on top and skillfully using your oven gloves/ cloth, hold plate and dish together and flip over.  There should be a nice gentle thud, your tart is turned! Take off dish and viola!  A steaming, beautifully caramelised tatin in all its sticky glory.

Green Lentil Stew

Serve 

We chopped the tart up and served everything family style on the table with a nice glass of beer (flavoured with elderflowers!) and a green salad (rocket, romaine lettuce, cucumber and more mint).

We Love It!

This was a proper feast for St Georges Day.  The patron saint of England (I am English) and countless other countries, including Syria, Serbia and the Isle of Gozo.  Strange day really, celebrating the slaying of a dragon?!

Foodie Fact

You know we love our beet!  The greens of beetroots contain more nutrition than the roots and a higher iron content than spinach.  Beetroot is a great blood cleanser and builder for the blood.

 

Categories: Baking, Dinner, Dressings, Local food, Organic, Recipes, Special Occasion, Welsh produce, Wine and Booze | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Purple Moose Brewery (Bragdy Mws Piws) – Our local brew

http://www.purplemoose.co.uk/pmb_home.htm

I have encountered few better pints in my time and never a Purple Moose.  These are delicious ales, some of the finest in Britain, making them the finest beers in the world (or am I slightly bias?!).

Purple Moose are lovely folk brewing an award-winning range of beers just down the road in Porthmadog, North Wales.  They brew four ales throughout the year with regular specials, available to buy in bottles or by the cask.  We have been looking for an excuse to buy a whole cask for the Beach House!  Anybody fancy a barbecue?

Purple Moose beers are always interesting and full of character, reflected in the brew names which started with ‘Startled Moose’ and also include such classics as ‘Dark Side of the Moose’ (they are Pink Floyd fans), ‘Madog’s Ale’, ‘Myrica Gale’, ‘Old Wobbly Antlers’ and at Christmas time ‘Merry X-Moose’.

The ‘Myrica Gale’ is particularly interesting, brewed with Halletau Hops and Welsh bog myrtle this is a brilliant, malty dark ale which has hints of Marmite.  The Myrtle adds an almost aniseed-y flavour.  You won’t have tried anything like this.

I love my dark ales and stouts, so the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ is a real winner.  Described as ‘chestnut-hued, malty, nutty and chocolaty’.  It has recently won a golden fork at the Great Taste Awards 2011.  With the temperature rising, I hear there is a summer elderflower pale bitter coming.  I’m getting thirsty.

The Range

‘Purple is my favourite colour and everyone loves a moose, don’t they?’ says Lawrence Washington the man behind the moose.  It all started as a little jokey ‘brand’ being brewed in Lawrence’s home.  He thankfully decided to make these beers on a commercial basis in a former saw mill.  Six years on and they have recently celebrated their 1000th brew.

What I love about real beers, wines, foods etc like Purple Moose is the tale behind them.  There is always an interesting human story behind all quality produce, normally a tale of passion and commitment that defies logic and reason.  You have to be slightly nutty to commit your life to good beer, cheese,  carrots etc.

We are not drinking much alcohol at the minute, which makes us savour great beer even more.  We are incredibly lucky to have the Purple Moose just down the road.  They never fail us for quality beers and quirky names.  If you can’t get hold of Purple Moose locally, you can now buy cases on-line.

Iechyd da! (pronounced ‘Yechidda’, Welsh for ‘Cheers!’)

Don’t just take our word for it, see the Purple Moose trophy cabinet here:

http://www.purplemoose.co.uk/pmb_awards.htm

Foodie Fact

Real ale contains folates, which are good for the brain, heart and bones.

Categories: Local food, Treats, Wales, Welsh produce, Wine and Booze | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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