Pickling and preserving has always been part of the kitchen and using natural preservatives such as vinegar and sugar means that the short season for fresh produce can be extended through the dark winter months.
As well as the obvious practicality, pickling for flavour had a renaissance over the last few years. We’ve moved from regarding it solely as a way of preserving our crops, to understanding how much the unique blend of crunch and piquancy creates a pleasing contrast to richer ingredients. If you’ve had chance to taste our Ham Hock and Black Pudding Terrine, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Executive Chef, Stuart Phillips explains that new equipment ,such as the steam oven makes creating innovative flavours even more enjoyable. He talked me through the how he creates the pickled carrots that feature in the Ham Hock and Black Pudding Terrine. As with all good things, it’s deceptively simple. Sugar, vinegar and water are combined to make a hot brine, which is poured over blanched carrots, herbs from our garden, a blend of spices and zing of lemon for a subtle citrus kick.
These gorgeous goodies are steamed for around ten minutes at eighty degrees, in either vacuum packs or jars and that’s it. Sadly the exact recipe is a HH secret, but a little experimentation you could create something similar at home. Personally I’d just nip down to the Hundred House for a mini feast !
The fresh flavours are so different to the vinegar laden jars of beetroot many of us have languishing at the back of the fridge. The sophisticated choice of flavours and the quick steam method creates a bright,sparky pickle that instantly becomes best friends with the other ingredients on the plate. I love it !