As promised, we’ve dusted off our grease splattered notebooks, attempted to mend the wobbly ‘shift’ key on the work laptop and pulled our neglected blog boots back on in time for spring and all its promises. This week we’re treating you to a brand new recipe straight from the hobs of FRENCH & GRACE, a sneak preview of our upcoming cookbook and some other stuff only we know, and soon you will know and then other people might find out too…
First things first:
Ham hock, mustard and kale casserole
One of our most popular specials to date, this creamy casserole marries some of our favourite British flavours and never fails to sooth and sate the cold and hungry crowds, flocking to Brixton Village from ever further afield after the recent press deluge. Our waitresses have been asked for the recipe over many an empty bowl and it would be rude of us not to let you in on the action.
2 large unsmoked gammon knuckles (rinsed)
2 bay leaves
Pinch each of fennel seeds, cloves & pepper corns
Glug of olive oil
2 medium onions (red/white or one of each), sliced
1 pinch fennel seeds
1 small white/green cabbage, sliced
6 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
Splash of white wine vinegar
1.5 litres chicken stock
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
2 x 400g tins cannellini beans, drained
Pinch of grated nutmeg
3 large handfuls of curly kale, chopped into strips
Sourdough toast, caperberries & olive oil to serve (optional)
Cover the knuckles in water (or better still, cider), throw in the bay leaves, fennel seeds, cloves and pepper corns, cover and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 hours until the meat starts shrinking away from the bone. Drain, leave until cool enough to handle and shred the meat, discarding any fat or gristle along the way. Set the shredded hock aside for later.
Pour a long glug of olive oil into a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onions, a pinch of fennel seeds, the sliced cabbage, thyme leaves and nutmeg and stir until everything is soft and pale. Add the garlic and white wine vinegar and stir for a few minutes before pouring in the stock. Bring slowly to the boil, stir in the mustard and beans and leave to simmer for 5 minutes before adding the shredded ham hock and kale. Simmer for another 5 minutes and then remove from the heat, stir in the cream and give everything a generous going over with the pepper mill. Taste and add more nutmeg/mustard/seasoning to taste.
Now if pig’s knuckles don’t turn you on, then how about this:
That’s right, two of our mighty wraps (lamb merguez or halloumi) for a tenner. Not only that but each wrap earns you a stamp on your F&G loyalty card and the tenth is on us. Now that’s generous and, if you live, work or waste your time in Brixton during the week it makes total sense. In other exciting restaurant news, from March 16th we will be staying open until 11pm so we won’t have to decant you and your wine out onto the streets of Brixton before you’ve asked for the bill! You might even have time to for a coffee and one of those amazing puddings from the blackboard photo up there.
Some of you are starting to make impatient grunting noises about the book and we’re very sorry to say that publication has been delayed by a month. We’re so impatient to hold the thing and get it up on a shelf in the restaurant for all to see but we’ll have to hold tight until late May – at least we’ll have t-shirt weather by then and you can get straight on with cooking our favourite spring/summer recipes. In the meantime, here’s a cheeky preview exclusively for you, our loyal blog readers:
We’re so pleased with the look and feel of every page – it truly feels like our book and we really hope you like it too. Well that lot should fill you up for now and we’ll be back shortly with news of our Spring menu and other exciting changes at F&G, plus more recipes of course and no doubt a bit of profound moaning and astute weather analysis! See you soon.