This is one of my favourite Ethiopian dishes, which I learnt about in Ethiopia during a couple of visits. It is a very rich dish for a special occasion, typically eaten with injera (Ethiopia’s staple flat ‘bread’) and ayib be gomen (cottage cheese with spinach).
Minchet abish is to the left in the photo. It looks deceptively simple – minced beef – but is exquisitely flavoured with fenugreek (abish) and a range of other hot and warm spices.
Injera, berbere, nit’ir qibe (spiced butter) and shiro powder are available in London’s Ethiopian shops and restaurants.
This is Ethiopia’s most famous and prestigious dish, translating literally as ‘chicken stew’. Chickens are very expensive to buy in Ethiopia and therefore a luxury food for a special occasion. One chicken can go a long way, especially when combined with 4kg of onions! The key to the success of this dish is the slow cooking of the onions – around four hours.
Doro wat should be served with injera, Ethiopia’s staple flat ‘bread’, which can be bought in London from Ethiopian shops and restaurants, either home-made or imported from Ethiopia where it is made with the indigenous tef flour (gluten free and high in iron). Berbere powder and nit’ir qibe (spiced butter) can also be found.
This recipe is only slightly adapted from the one kindly taught to me by Egigayeu Abebe in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia, 2011). Egigayeu is my friend Nebiat’s mother, a formidable cook and patient teacher.
This is my favourite way to cook lamb shoulder. Your lamb will be meltingly tender, juicy and full of flavour. You can keep the shoulder whole and present it at the table. You won’t need a carving knife – just spoons and forks to pull off pieces of soft meat. Or you can remove the meat from the bones after it has cooked (as described below) and serve it individually plated. You could pair it with mashed or roast potatoes, a root vegetable gratin, or rice. I think it’s particularly delicious with barley or spelt ‘risotto’, with a dose of salsa verde on top.
The recipe takes some time, but is far from difficult. It’s based on the method I used at Chez Panisse, where we cut the shoulders from the lamb carcasses, trimmed and seasoned them the day before. For best results I recommend starting two days in advance. On the first day, trim and season the meat. On the second, cook it, remove the bones and strain the sauce. On the third, skim off the remaining fat and reheat gently.
Pork shoulder is suited to slow cooking and will be melt-in-the-mouth tender given time. The cider braising liquid, lightly pickled leeks and punchy horseradish make this a surprisingly clean and bright dish. Serve with potatoes or pearled rye or spelt.
Coq au vin is traditionally made with a one-year-old cockerel – full flavoured and perfect for the stew pot. If you can get a real coq, brilliant (a few good butchers supply them – in London try the Ginger Pig, delivered to your door by Hubbub). Otherwise use the legs of regular chickens – one per person. Legs have more flavour than breasts, and are more suited to slow cooking.
To get 10 pieces from the bird: Cut out the spine and save for stock. Take the legs off and divide into thighs and drumsticks. Take the wings off, remove the wingtips and save them for stock. Remove the breast plate and cut the breast in half, then divide each breast piece into two. You should have 10 pieces. Or ask your butcher to do it.
This is two recipes, rolled into one, courtesy of Mia Kristensen from CPH Good Food in Denmark. I collaborate with Mia to give New Nordic cuisine classes in London. This recipe was one of the stars at our Summer 2012 class. You could use the recipes separately, ie use the marinade for a different piece of meat, or cook the leg of lamb without marinating it first.
This recipe is adapted from one by Thomasina Miers. Escabeche usually refers to a technique of frying fish and then marinating it in a vinegary liquid with onions, spices and herbs. Flavourings vary enormously from country to country; escabeche is popular in Italy, Spain, Latin America and the Philippines.
This dish is a relative of good old fish and chips, which is not as British as one might think. They share origins in a dish beloved of the Shahs of Persia some 1500 years ago – sikbāj – sweet and sour stewed beef. This later made its way around the Arabic world, with fish replacing beef in Christian parts. The amazing history is told by Prof Dan Jurafsky on his blog, ‘The Language of Food’.
Dan writes: “The word escabeche came to Spanish from Catalan, which acquired it from its neighbour, Occitan, who got it from the Genoese, who stole it from the Neapolitans, and so on, back eventually east to the Arabic of Baghdad and the Persian of Ctesiphon.” And the story continues with the Jews being expelled from Spain and Portugal and going to northern Europe, taking their fish dishes with them. Finally, in England, Belgian frites were married with battered and fried fish doused with vinegar: fish and chips.
Of course you can buy this in tins (especially easy in southwest France), but the home-made version tends to be less salty and more delicious. While it does take some time, it is far from difficult. And it will keep in the fridge for several weeks.
I was prompted to make a batch of duck confit again this year after a trip through Les Landes in France, where, it seemed, no day passed without a plate of duck confit being placed in front of us. On one particularly successful day we had it twice. Duck confit is also popular in nearby northern Spain, as we found on our trip through Catalonia a couple of years back.
Serve with crispy fried potatoes or braised flageolet beans. I like to garnish with a drizzle of zingy green sauce made from lovage leaves whizzed up in olive oil and mixed with minced parsley, fried rosemary, crushed garlic, diced shallots macerated in cider vinegar, and chopped olives. Yum.
This hearty stew hails from Asturias, in northern Spain, where they grow the best white beans. The beans are dried and then used in this dish year-round. It really is the beans that make the dish – they are large, white and uniquely creamy and should be the most expensive ingredient in your stew since true fabas Asturianas sell for a small fortune. This dish does not take much effort, but do give it time – five or so hours if possible. There is probably nothing better on a dark, chilly evening than a steaming bowl of smoky fabada accompanied by a glass of deep red Rioja.