Hairy Bikers’ Best of British episode 9 – A Taste of the Med: The flavours of the Mediterranean have had a huge influence over modern British cuisine. Brought over at first by the Romans and more recently by hordes of holidaymakers returning from the sun, the range of dishes and ingredients Britain has adopted from the Med are now commonplace on our menus and in our homes. Dave and Si look at how this has evolved and create their favourite dishes.
Dave and Si continue their culinary journey through time as they celebrate British food.
Hairy Bikers’ Best of British episode 9 – A Taste of the Med
The Hairy Bikers’ moussaka
This delicious lamb moussaka recipe from the Hairy Bikers provides a wonderful meal for a family occasion. Completely comforting.
- Put the lamb, onion, garlic, oregano, mint, bay and cinnamon in a large heavy-based frying pan and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the meat.
- Stir in the flour and add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Add the wine, tomatoes and tomato purée and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender and the sauce has thickened. Season again if needed and set aside.
- Meanwhile, place the aubergine slices in a colander and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Rinse the aubergine slices under cold running water and pat dry with a clean tea towel. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan and fry the aubergines for 2–3 minutes on each side, adding more oil when necessary. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
- Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain in a colander under running water until cold.
Method part 2
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
- To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for a few seconds, then gradually stir in the milk. Add half the Parmesan and the grated nutmeg. Simmer the sauce gently for 4–5 minutes, stirring regularly. Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the sauce to cool. When cooled, stir in the egg.
- Spoon one-third of the meat sauce into a shallow ovenproof dish large enough to hold 2.5 litres/4½ pints. Cover loosely with a third of the potatoes and then a third of the aubergines – you don’t need complete layers, just to arrange them roughly on top. Repeat the layers twice more, finishing with the aubergines. Pour over the white sauce, making sure it covers everything in a thick, even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake for 35–45 minutes, or until deep golden brown and bubbling.
Hairy Bikers’ Best of British episode 9
David Myers and Si King collectively known as the Hairy Bikers, are British television chefs. They have presented a range of television shows that combine cooking with the travelogue format, mostly for the BBC but also for the now-defunct Good Food channel. They have also produced a range of cookery books published to accompany their various television series.
Myers and King have known each other since the 1990s, with both having backgrounds in television production. Their first appearance on UK television was as presenters of The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook, which began on the BBC in 2004 and continued for four series.
The followed this with The Hairy Bikers’ Food Tour of Britain, The Hairy Bikers’ Mums Know Best, Hairy Bikers’ Meals on Wheels, Hairy Bikers’ Best of British, The Hairy Bikers’ Bakeation, Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight, The Hairy Bikers’ Asian Adventure, The Hairy Bikers’ Northern Exposure and The Hairy Bikers’ Pubs That Built Britain for BBC Two, and The Hairy Bikers’ Mississippi Adventure for Good Food.
Both Myers and King have a background in TV and film production. Myers is a professional make-up artist, specialising in prosthetics, while King served as locations manager on numerous productions including the Harry Potter films and Byker Grove.
They met in 1992 on the set of a TV drama entitled The Gambling Man which was based on a Catherine Cookson novel. King was the second assistant director and Myers was head of prosthetics, hair and make-up on the production. Both have a tattoo of Che Guevara on their right arm. The pair got the tattoos in 2006 while filming in Argentina. Simon King is a supporter of Newcastle United.