Nigel Slater: Eating Together episode 5 – Sharing Plates – Nigel’s delicious tour of modern British home cooking takes in iconic dishes that bring people together.
He heads to Trowbridge, Britain’s largest Moroccan community outside London, to discover the charm that draws Moroccan families around a traditional lamb tagine. He gets a lesson in the art of pairing spices for a fabulous Indonesian fish dish and meets Zoe, who shows him how to make jollof, Ghanaian style. Nigel creates a slap-up Sunday roast pork belly and shredded duck with spiced flatbread.
Nigel Slater: Eating Together episode 5 – Sharing Plates recipes:
Roast pork belly with apple bread sauce and rib gravy
This pork feast makes a wonderful alternative to a traditional Christmas, New Year or Easter roast dinner.
- Preheat the oven to 230C/210C fan/Gas 8.
- For the roast pork belly, put the pork belly in a roasting tray, skin-side up. Thoroughly pat it dry with kitchen paper, then rub sea salt all over the skin. Set aside for 20 minutes.
- Roast the pork belly for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 160C/140C fan/Gas 3 and continue to cook for a further 1½ hours. When cooked, set the pork aside to rest in a warm place.
- Meanwhile, for the rib gravy, heat the oil in large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the pork ribs and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, turning them regularly until they have caramelised all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the onions and carrots to the pan, then pour over the stock. Bring to the boil, scraping any burned bits up from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon.
- Return the browned pork ribs to the pan, then add the peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, then continue to simmer gently for 1½ hours.
Method part 2
- Meanwhile, for the apple bread sauce, heat the milk in a large saucepan. Stud the onion with 3 of the cloves and add to the hot milk. Stud one of the apples with the remaining 2 cloves and add to the pan along with the cinnamon stick. As the milk starts to bubble, turn off the heat, cover the pan with a lid and leave to infuse for at least 30 minutes. Once infused, discard the apple, onion, cloves and cinnamon stick.
- Add the breadcrumbs and butter to the infused milk, stir well and heat gently. Just before serving, grate in the remaining apple and stir in the ground cinnamon.
- When the cooking time for the pork ribs has elapsed, remove the ribs and slide the meat from the bone. Chop the meat and return it to the gravy mixture.
- To serve, carve the pork belly and arrange the slices onto a serving platter. Serve the rib gravy in a large jug alongside and the apple bread sauce in a large serving bowl. Allow everyone to help themselves.
Shredded duck with plums and chilli flatbread
Nigel Slater’s Chinese-style duck with spiced chutney goes down a treat slathered over homemade flatbreads.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6.
- For the shredded duck, place the duck in a roasting tin and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the shallots and roast for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, add the plums to the roasting tin and stir the shallots in the fat released from the duck. Cook for a further hour, or until the duck is cooked. (The duck is cooked through if the juices run clear when the bird is pierced in the thickest part of the leg.)
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the red onions and fry for 5-6 minutes, or until they begin to caramelise. Sprinkle over the grated ginger.
- Add the cloves, star anise, redcurrant jelly and prunes to the onion mixture and continue to cook gently for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and set the chutney aside; reheat when the duck is cooked.
Method part 2
- While the duck is still cooking, make the flatbreads. In a bowl, mix the plain flour, yeast, salt and warm water until the mixture comes together as a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly until smooth. Roll the dough into a ball and place in a clean bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside to prove for 20 minutes.
- Grind the garlic, chillies and salt in a pestle and mortar along with the olive oil. Add the butter and chopped parsley and mix well.
- Cut the dough into 6 equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece out onto a lightly floured work surface to a 30cm/12in square. Spread each flatbread with some of the butter mixture.
- Fold the flatbread from left to middle then right to the very left so that it ends up one-third of its original width. Then fold each flatbread from bottom to middle and top to very bottom so that it ends up one-third of its original height. Roll each flatbread out to the thickness of a pound coin.
- When the duck is cooked, pull the meat from the duck carcass and lightly shred it using tongs and a fork. Stir the shredded duck meat into the chutney. Stir in the roasted shallots. Remove the stones from the softened plums and add the flesh to the chutney.
- Dry-fry each flatbread in a frying pan over a high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until light golden-brown on both sides. Serve alongside the warm shredded duck.
Banana leaf-baked sea bass
This authentic Indonesian fish dish is packed with exotic spices which aren’t available in most shops, but can be found online.
Vegetables cooked in turmeric and rice vinegar
This soupy, Asian-style vegetable dish is great either as a side or a light main course – try it with baked spiced fish.
- For the spice paste, grind all of the spice paste ingredients to a paste in a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
- For the vegetables, heat the vegetable oil in a wok over a high heat. Add the spice paste and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Add the lemongrass, bay leaves, galangal, ginger and kaffir lime leaves, then pour in the coconut milk and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring well. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the coconut milk has reduced in volume and thickened slightly.
- Add the green beans, carrots and shallots and continue to simmer for a further 5-10 minutes, or until tender. Add cucumber and chillies and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt, and continue to simmer for a final 2-3 minutes. Check the seasoning, adding more vinegar, sugar or salt, to taste.
- Just before serving, remove the lemongrass stalks and bay leaves. Serve in bowls.
Zoe’s jollof – Nigel Slater: Eating Together episode 5
This filling, flavoursome chicken and rice dish is a West-African speciality. Fried plantains make an authentic garnish.
Authentic lamb tagine
This mouth-watering tagine is sprinkled with sesame-coated dried fruit and almonds for an extra flourish of flavour.
- For the tagine, heat the oil in a medium-sized tagine, or a deep, heavy-based, lidded casserole. Add the lamb leg and fry for 2-3 minutes, turning regularly.
- Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper, ginger, turmeric and saffron and stir well to coat the meat in the spices. Continue to fry for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion has softened and the meat is browned all over.
- Tie the bunches of coriander and parsley together using cook’s string to make a small bouquet. Place it on top on the meat.
- Add the cinnamon sticks and 750ml/1¼ pints water to the tagine, then bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Cover the tagine or casserole with the lid and continue to simmer for 2 hours, turning the pieces of meat after 1 hour and topping up with more water during cooking, as necessary. The tagine is ready when the meat is tender enough to come away easily from the bone when poked with a knife.
- Meanwhile, for the garnish, wash the apricots and prunes, then add them to a saucepan of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes, or until soft.
Method part 2
- Drain the water from the saucepan, then add the sugar, ground cinnamon and 4 tablespoons of the cooking liquid from the tagine.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the blanched almonds and fry for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan during cooking, until golden-brown on both sides. Remove the almonds from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
- Just before serving, reheat the spiced prunes and apricots. Sprinkle a plate with the toasted sesame seeds, then roll the prunes and apricots in the seeds until coated.
- To serve, remove the herb bouquet and cinnamon sticks from the tagine and discard. Pile the tagine into bowls and garnish with the fried almonds and sesame-coated prunes and apricots.