Friday, 7 January 2011

G is for... garlic puree, giblet gravy and greens



The garlic puree worked beautifully alongside the goose. Its smoky sweetness added an extra layer of ceremony to the main course which elevated the dinner far above traditional roast. 

Garlic Puree

Preheat the oven to 180 C (160 C Fan)

4 heads of garlic
Olive oil
5 fl. oz/ 150 ml double cream
2 ladles of guinea fowl (or chicken/veg) stock
1 oz/ 25 g unsalted butter 
Salt and pepper


Peel off the papery outer skin and slice the tops off of the garlic heads, so that the flesh of each clove is faintly visible - don't slice too far down, you don't want to waste the garlic. Drizzle over a glug of olive oil and wrap loosely in foil. Seal the ends and place on a baking tray and pop in the oven for about 45  minutes, or until golden and soft.

Remove from the oven and carefully squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skin into a saucepan. Add the cream and stock, stir and gradually bring to the boil. Blend the mixture into a smooth puree and add the butter. Stir until the butter has melted and season to taste.

Giblet gravy

After making the guinea fowl terrine, I made a vast vat of guinea fowl stock with the bones, which came in handy for many of the other savoury components of G's menu. I can't recommend making your own stock enough. People seem to think it's difficult or a bit of a hassle, but it really couldn't be easier. Simply bung your meat bones in a large saucepan with some roughly chopped vegetables (classics are onions, carrots, leeks and celery), with some herbs (bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, sage or oregano are always good bets), salt and a scattering of black peppercorns. Pour over enough water to cover the bones and heat until the liquid begins to boil. Then, turn the heat down and leave to simmer for a few hours. Strain it and you not only have a delicious home made stock which is the perfect base to any gravy, but also enough left over veg to make a wonderful soup. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week or you can freeze it.

People too often get squeamish about the idea of giblets and I can only think that the reason for this is because of the irritating habit of supermarkets, and even some butchers, of placing them in a plastic bag and whacking them so far back up inside your bird that you need Arnold Schwarzenegger's biceps, with child sized hands to pull them back out again. Luckily, I am no wimp and also have unusually small hands for my height. If you're upset by the idea of inserting your hand so far inside the goose, just pop on a latex glove and try not to leave it up there as you withdraw. It really will be worth it for the delicious flavour the giblets will add to your gravy.

Goose giblets
Half an onion cut into rough chunks
1 carrot, scrubbed and roughly chopped
1 celery stick roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 1/2 pints of guinea fowl (or other) stock
A large glass or so of Madeira
2 bay leaves
A bunch of thyme 
A few black peppercorns
1 oz/ 25 g unsalted butter 

Place the giblets in a roasting pan with the vegetables. Drizzle over some olive oil and roast for about half an hour - stirring them every so often to ensure even browning. Remove the giblets from the oven and place on the hob. Scatter over the flour and stir over a medium heat for about a minute. Add a couple of ladles of stock, reduce the heat and stir to ensure all the goodness stuck to the pan dislodges. Transfer the giblets and vegetables to a saucepan and add more stock and a large glass of Madeira. Pop your herbs into the gravy and leave to simmer for a couple of hours, topping up with more stock or Madeira if needed, and scooping off any scum which forms on the top. Strain the gravy through a fine mesh sieve and skim off any excess fat. Taste for strength and seasoning and reduce further if necessary, before stirring in a little butter and serving.

Greens

Greens are best steamed when served as a side vegetable, so simply get rid of any nasty outside leaves, remove the end of the stalk and chop into four. Wash thoroughly, place in a steamer and sprinkle with sea salt before popping on the lid for about five minutes. Serve with a little butter and seasoning. 
 

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