Saturday, January 30, 2010

Delicious carnage

On a recent trip to Borough Market I was lucky enough to be around for the delivery of a huge batch of wild game.  Geese, ducks, grouse, pheasant and the list goes on.

Of course, all birds, no wild boars or reindeer or moose, but still very pretty and majestic, this catch.

I shot a few pictures and noticed as I took them that I was not alone in my admiration of the beauty of these colorful feathers and still bodies.

I'm sure not everyone would feel the same glee and appreciation over these boxes of birds.  I'm sure there are many who would lose their appetites over these birds, but there's just something very romantic to me about food that comes from field to table and I see this as just one step in that process.

While I'm on the topic of the visceral side of cooking and dining, I had a stock making marathon this month.  I recently quit my regular deliveries from Abel and Cole and replaced them with Riverford Organics.

In order to have a chilled meat box packed, the minimum order is £25.  Now between my tiny under counter fridge and the quantity of meat a family of 2.5* this is a challenge, to make up a box that costs that much and not waste much of it.  So I seized the opportunity to fill in the order with necks, backs and shin bones.

I chopped up some leeks, onions, carrots, celery, grabbed bunches of herbs, added splashes of wine.  To the first stockpot, I added beef bones, chicken went into the second

and fish bones (from my fishmonger, however) and heads to final pot making myself some very nice stock.  After carefully straining

and reducing each batch I froze every drop as ice cubes I can use throughout the year here and there in soups, sauces and myriad other recipes.

 It's so nice to always have stock around, in the winter it can be such a nice way to warm up the kitchen- simmering meat and veg away while the aromas make your palate tingle.

*our toddler generally eats about half a grown up portion, with no insinuation that he's half a person, if you'd heard him playing or screaming you'd know he is certainly not a half!