Ox Roast

Sometimes we take on a challenge. This is a pretty big one. It was Charlie Carroll’s idea. Charlie is founder of Flat Iron, the steak restaurant in Soho specialising in undervalued ‘butchers’ cuts of great quality beef. He sources his meat from a third generation beef farmer in North Yorkshire, who specialises in rare breed cattle. Charlie proposed an ox roast. As far as we can gather, an ox roast has not been done in London since the 50s, although they were very popular in Victorian times. So, Charlie has chosen a 250kg longhorn steer, which is currently on a finishing diet including 150 pints of London stout. We intend to roast the whole animal on a specially designed spit at The Ship on the week of 14th April, for sale on Easter Saturday 19th April. The ox will be sold in advance. A portion, including jacket potato, a salad and gravy, accompanied by a pint of London Stout will go on sale online soon at £12. Further information to follow.

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Fillet of sea bream with clam and saffron butter, crushed new potatoes, Swiss chard

 For two people:

1 sea bream filleted

200g potatoes

Swiss chard 2-3 leaves, with the white centres removed.

A pinch of saffron

Roughly 20 clams

100g of butter

1 lemon

2 diced shallots

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

150ml white wine

Filet of Sea Bream with Clam and Saffron Butter

 

Boil the new potatoes in salted water, drain and cool, roughly mash with the back of a fork.

Finely slice the Swiss chard

Take the tail ends off the fillets and score the skin with a sharp knife.

Soften the shallots in a little of the butter, add 100ml of the white wine and the saffron then reduce by 2/3, then whisk in the remaining butter a little at a time and keep warm.

Fry the new potatoes in olive oil until golden and crispy.

Heat a small sauce pan until very hot, throw in the clams and remaining white wine and cook until the clams open. Stir in two tablespoons of the saffron butter until emulsified. Season with black pepper and a little lemon juice. Keep warm whilst cooking the fish.

Heat a frying pan until smoking hot. Season the bream fillets on both sides. Add a little oil to the pan. Cook the fillets skin side down for two minutes until golden. Add a small knob of butter, turn over the fillets and remove the pan from the heat. Leave to cook in the residual heat for another minute.

Add a little butter to the new potatoes and stir through the Swiss chard until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the potatoes and chard in the center of a large plate, top with the bream fillets and pour over the warm clam butter.

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How to make the Ship’s Scotch Egg

It’s about time we shared our scotch egg recipe with you. There are a couple of secrets to getting it just perfect.

The trick is to have the white fully set and the yolk runny. We use large free range hens’ eggs and we boil them from room temperature for exactly 5 and a half minutes. They are then plunged into iced water to stop the cooking process. The pork used is about 35% fat and we mostly use belly cuts for the mince. Here’s the method:

Finely chop carrots, onions, leeks and celery into a brunoise. Sweat them in a pan until soft. Leave them to cool before adding them to the pork mince, as hot vegetables should not be added to raw meat. Mix the finely chopped sage, parsley and thyme with the pork, season with fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place each egg into a rolling boil for 5½ minutes then quickly submerge in ice cold water. Press 95g of mince flat in the palm of your hand then wrap around the egg. Flour it, then dip in egg. Coat with seasoned panko breadcrumbs and place in the fryer for 5 and a half minutes at 180°C. Take it out and place in the oven at 180°C for a further 5 minutes.

The mince should be cooked through and the yolk should be fabulously runny. Enjoy.

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Cycling in Mallorca

I’ve been commuting for a couple of years on the pushbike, with occasional forays to Box Hill and once to Brighton on a clunky hybrid. I took the plunge only a couple of weeks ago and purchased a half-decent road bike.

For a break, I took a cheap flight to Mallorca to cycle. My old buddy Dan has made himself an expat out there with his lovely family. He lives surrounded by almond and orange, lemon and pomegranate, palms and a pool. He has set himself up a rather cool cycle-touring business on the natural harbour of Puerto de Soller where I was his guest for a couple of days. It was dreamy, ascending with one of his posh bikes behind on a ribbon of perfect asphalt through foothills into rising glens and rocky rugged peaks. Then sailing down the other side through glades of ancient, craggy olive, rocky crevices and unlikely picturesque villages and rolling hills of farmland.

Mallorca is an island of contrasts. Further on were forests of sweet-scented pine, huge thickets of redolent juniper, and gorse down to a beautiful craggy red rhyolite bluff shoreline. With warm fresh air and unseasonable sunshine over a warm sea it was enough to lift the soul.

En route we refuelled at unassuming cafes on local delicacies and tapas; Empenadas; snails in pork broth; peas with artichokes and calves liver; spicy mejillones; albondigas con salsa and beer so refreshing that never tasted so good. With very little traffic and accommodating drivers it is easy to see why Mallorca is hugely attractive to both amateur and pro cyclists. We climbed to the top of Galilea, through tree lined streets of Puigpunyent and dropped at exhilerating speed down the sweeping descent from Valldemossa in the direction of Palma.

I’ll surely be back, the short trip for a few days worked well. Next time I’d like to to take a leap, to be fit enough to tackle the 10km climb of Sa Calobra and the 14km climb of Puig Major – these two are the iconic routes Dan has promised to show me on my next visit to this unique and beautiful island.

Marsh-mallows.com is Dan’s enterprise. He specialises in the luxury end of the road biking world. Challenging holidays rather than training camps. That, along with private bespoke trips for small groups of cyclist and challenge events for the competitive corporate lot.

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The Scotch Egg Challenge 2013 Finalists

We’re very pleased to announce the full list of finalists for the Scotch Egg Challenge 2013, taking place on Tuesday 17th September. Congratulations to all.

The British Larder

Bumpkin Restaurants

The Canbury Arms

The Drapers Arms, Islington

Duck & Waffle

Fino & Barrafina

Fish Market

Gauthier Soho

The George Inn, Chideock

The Grove, Balham

The Henry Root

Kitchen Table

Marquis of Westminster

The New Inn, Baschurch

Peyton & Byrne

Porters

Princess Victoria, Uxbridge

Rivington Grill

The Swan, Bampton

Thatched House, Hammersmith

The Queen Adelaide

The Victoria, East Sheen

Whyte & Brown

To purchase tickets, go to http://endhunger.actionagainsthunger.org.uk/scotchegg – all proceeds go to international charity Action Against Hunger. It’s set to be a brilliant night. If you’d like to learn more about the Challenge, have a look here: http://www.theship.co.uk/blog/2013/05/03/its-back-scotch-egg-challenge-2013/

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Regarding the wonderful Sipsmith distillery.

If you haven’t yet visited the Sipsmith distillery, you’re missing out.

On being invited to a distillery ‘tour’, a certain image forms in your mind of being led through cavernous rooms crowded with giant vats of bubbling, fermenting liquids; the ultimate big boy’s chemistry set. Imagine our surprise when we arrive at the address provided to find a small, pretty, suburban house with a two-car garage attached. Tentatively knocking at the door, we are beckoned in by our guide for the day and all-round expert Georgie to discover that Sipsmith’s distillery is indeed housed in an ordinary garage.

This small scale is crucial to their production process. Each batch of their artisan gin and vodka consists of 500 bottles, a figure which, as Georgie informs us, most major global distillers would be able to bang out in the time it takes to sneeze. It’s a cliché to say that the smaller the scale of production, the higher the quality of a product, but that doesn’t stop it being any less true. The buttery, peppery vodka warms as it slips down the throat and can quite happily be drunk neat, as can their riotously fruity London dry gin.

Sipsmith's delicious Summer Cup

Crucial to their product is their use of a magnificent copper still by the name of Prudence (her sister, Patience, is still under construction, the result of increased demand for their goods). Copper is a porous metal, the  molecules of which expand when heated, and thus is easily absorbs impurities. As a result it’s the perfect material for the dedicated distiller. It does, however, cost a fair whack of money to create a copper still, and that’s one of the reasons why they’re actually the first distillery to open in London within the past 200 years.

Equally important is Sipsmith’s willingness to innovate and experiment. The shelves lining the walls are heaving with the weight of hundreds of glass bottles containing smoked venison vodka, mustard-infused gins and other crazy creations, some of which have worked brilliantly and some of which will never see the light of day. But every now and again their spirit of discovery has created a winner – their master distiller invented the utterly delicious Summer Cup (a stronger, punchier, tastier version of Pimm’s No.1) simply because one hot summer’s day, he wanted to see if he could come up with a better recipe. In short, he succeeded.

Although you’d think a proliferation of craft distilleries would be the next logical step after the recent and welcome explosion in the microbrewing trade, Sipsmith are really the only significant small venture of this nature currently operating in London. It’s a wonder that more haven’t followed in their footsteps, but few would show the level of dedication, persistence and sheer honest hard work that the Fairfaxes and their colleagues have put into setting up this business. If you haven’t sampled their wares, come down the Ship and we’ll have you converted within minutes.

Jo Ellery

@elleryface

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A Sunday night announcement.

Exciting times here at the Ship. We’ve got some news to share with you, and we hope it’s the news you’ve all been waiting for.

On Sunday 1st September, Levi Roots a.k.a. Mr Reggae Reggae Sauce himself will be playing live acoustic music from his new album here at the Ship. It’s going to be a Caribbean-themed day, with our barbecue given over to fantastic grilled food inspired by his recipes. Expect spicy flavours and plenty of jerk chicken. Levi will be here all day to hang out so swing by and say hello; he might even give a cooking demo, and there will certainly be lots of his famous sauce knocking around. No tickets, entry fee or bookings, just a laid-back day of great food, drink, music and company.

If that isn’t reason enough to head down here, 1st September will also see the return of the Sunday night band. We’ll have one of our much-loved duos playing in the bar from 8.30pm. What’s more, they’ll be playing here every Sunday night from that date onwards.

We hope you’re as thrilled about this as we are. There will be more information to follow, but we just couldn’t wait to tell you all.

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Shaun’s Recipe: Calves’ Liver, Confit Onion, Poached Plum Tomatoes, Broad Beans

This dish is not only very straightforward, it’s also a bit of a British classic. Shaun recommends cooking the liver medium rare, but of course it’s up to you!

1kg calves’ liver

4 x white English onions

16 x baby plum tomatoes

6 x fresh tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato purée

3 x sprigs of rosemary

200g broad beans

3 x banana shallots

200ml veal stock

If possible get your butcher to clean and slice the liver for you. This saves a bit of work.

Cut the top and bottom off the onions until they are about 1 inch in thickness. Place into a pan of veal stock until just covered, then cook slowly until just cooked all the way through. Drain and chill, keeping the stock to one side.

De-eye the baby tomatoes and blanch in boiling water for 5 to 10 seconds then place them straight into iced water. Peel and set aside.

For the tomato sauce, dice the banana shallots and garlic and place in a pan. Add the tomato purée and rosemary and cook until the mixture becomes sticky. Add the fresh diced plum tomatoes, seasoning, and the stock from the onions.

Cook out this sauce until reduced by a third. While still simmering add the peeled baby plum tomatoes and leave to infuse.

Peel the broad beans and set aside.

Cook the liver in a hot pan which has been well-seasoned and oiled –  it needs to be hot or the liver will stick. Place the onions in another hot oiled pan. Finish them in the oven or under the grill until heated through. Heat the broad beans in a pan with some butter and seasoning. Drain well.

Plate up, serve and enjoy!

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Canada Day Burger Monday

The Ship is teaming up with Daniel Young of Burger Monday on 1st July to celebrate all things Canadian. This day marks the birth of Canada as a country in 1867, though it often gets sidelined in favour of the more bombastic 4th of July festivities. We’re marking it in the way we at the Ship do best – with food, food and more fantastic food.

Our head chef Shaun Harrington and sous chef Nathan Richardson are beavering away in the kitchen, perfecting their recipes for the night. The menu is here:

Jucy Lucy

Cheese-stuffed burger

Pastrami Poutine

Fries, cheese curd, gravy, Montréal smoked brisket pastrami

Conut

Maple syrup ice cream, waffle cone, donut

Poutine goodness

Background research has been crucial to this menu. The more we’ve spoken to Canadians, the more we’ve realised how divided opinion from the ex-pats is on exactly how poutine

should be served. The most controversial element thus far has been cheese curds – we’ve been vehemently informed that these must be the right kind of cheese, consistency, squeakiness and flavour, or there will be uproar. We’ve even honed details such as how finely chopped the pastrami should be. It’s been a learning curve for us, but we reckon we’ve got it nailed down.

Furthermore, we’ve got pastrami maestro Jacob Harrison on hand to guide us along the way. He’s providing us with his speciality Montréal smoked meat – in his own words, ‘beef brisket with a peppery seasoning’. It’s hand-made from scratch, cured for 7 days and utterly delicious. Check out Jacob’s blog here: http://tinyurl.com/p7y45pt

The centrepiece of the menu is the Jucy Lucy, a decadent burger in which the cheese is not

Jucy Lucy's first test run

used as a topping, but stuffed inside the ground beef itself. Although technically a northern American dish rather than strictly speaking Canadian, we are simply desperate to showcase this splendid burger. Once it’s cooked through to a tender, pinkish medium, the cheese melts and oozes out of the patty with each bite. Combine this with the Ship’s secret recipe Viennoise–style bun, relishes, crisp lettuce, crunchy pickled cucumber and onion, and you’ve got one tasty burger on your hands. Probably all over your hands too, by the end of it.

Our conut. About to be snaffled.

The ‘conut’ is our own cheeky nod to the current explosion in popularity of the ‘cronut’, a croissant-doughnut hybrid originating in New York. A waffle ice cream cone is packed with maple syrup ice cream, drizzled with Jack Daniels and maple sauce and garnished with a glazed doughnut. It’s an indulgent dessert, but it’s only a one-off, so get stuck in.

Our restaurant manager, Kristi, is Canadian and has set down stringent standards to be met. We can promise a truly authentic experience for all those lucky enough to hold a ticket; but even if you’re just coming down on the night to hang out, you’re guaranteed a great time and buzzing atmosphere.

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Recipe: Rachel McCormack’s Turkey Escaldum

Rachel McCormack is a familiar voice to many as a panellist on Radio 4′s kitchen cabinet, and is just as well-known for her boundless knowledge of Catalan cuisine. On Monday 13th May she will be hosting a Balearic-themed pop-up at the Thatched House in Hammersmith, so to whet your appetites we’re blogging her recipe for one of the dishes on the fantastic menu – turkey escaldum. Read on for the recipe, and to buy tickets follow this link: http://balearicpopup.eventbrite.co.uk

Rachel writes: “In Mallorcan, turkey is called gall d’indiot – hen from the Indies - and ‘escaldum’ is based on the medieval way of cooking capons and chickens using sugar, almonds, egg yolks, herbs and spices.

“Nowadays, escaldums is a much nicer and far less complicated dish using almonds, wine and onions as a basis. Try it at home, or come and eat it at the Thatched on 13th May.”

For 4 generous portions:

800g of diced turkey meat

500g of finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

1 glass white wine

2 tomatoes peeled and diced

8 prunes

Salt

Pepper

Majoram

2 bay leaves

50 g of peeled and toasted almonds

Olive oil

Season the turkey with salt and pepper and, after heating the oil in a pan add the turkey until the pieces are golden.

Remove the turkey and add the onions then a few minutes later, add the garlic. Once the onion is softened add the tomato then the wine, 1/2 teaspoon majoram and 2 bay leaves.

Add the turkey to the pot and put on a very low heat for about 15 minutes.

Crush the toasted almonds with a pestle and mortar or put them in a blender with some of the liquid from the pan.

Add the crushed or blended almonds and the prunes and cook for another 10 mins.

Serve with boiled potatoes.

Rachel McCormack

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