Friday, 2 November 2007

A Rare Bit

Heston Blumenthal. What a name! It makes him sound less like a chef and more like a kosher deli service station on the M4.

Inspired by the slap-head gastro-boffin, I've decided to share one of my favourite recipes.

I hope you enjoy it!

1. Make some bread. It's no good buying it, as a modern supermarket with over 210,000 sq acres of bakery will not stock what we need. We're looking for a coarse-ground multi-grain flour loaf, using free-range yeast. I like to add some cranberries and then remove them again just before we bake to give a subtle, fruity sharpness to the bread.

2. While the bread's baking, scour your locality for some wood. I find that old pallets are best, but if not, you could make do with ordinary garden waste. Build it up into a large bonfire - but be careful to build a small fence around it, to prevent hedgehogs from taking refuge.

3. Get onto Google. Find your nearest dairy farmer that stocks Jersey cattle. Pop over there and milk some of his cows. You'll need about 5 pints, but get 6 in case of spillage. If the farmer catches you, throw the spare pint in his face and run for it while he's scrabbling around, blinded.

4. When you get home, you need to start making the milk into cheese. This stage can take up to a year for a good quality, mature hard cheese, which is what we're after. Thinking about it - maybe this bit (and the previous one) should have been first... Sorry!

5. When your bread and cheese are ready, light your bonfire. Don't forget to be considerate and ensure that none of your neighbours have their washing out! If you own most of the town, like Heston does, you can probably do it whenever you like.

6. While the fire is burning away, pop out to the supermarket and buy some Marmite. If you don't like Marmite, you won't like this recipe, so if you've got this far already... Well, tough!

7. Slice your bread. Each slice should be between 12 and 18mm thick. Less than that and it will disintegrate. more than that and it just looks common.

8. Go back to the supermarket again. We need butter. You could have made it out of the spare milk, but you threw that over the farmer, you clumsy oaf!

9. When you get back home (don't forget your keys) the fire should now just be down to glowing embers. Using a toasting fork (available from all good antique shops) toast the bread over the fire. I usually do 3 slices. You might want to do 2, or maybe 4.

10. Butter the bread. On one side only.

11. On the buttered side of the bread, spread some Marmite. You could spread it thickly or thinly, depending upon your taste. If you do it too thick, you might retch a bit, so be careful.

12. Slice some cheese and lay it on the bread, on the same side as the butter/Marmite combination. The cheese should exactly cover the bread and should be between 2 and 5 mm thick.

13. Seasoning. My preference is Aromat. Some people like pepper and/or Worcestershire sauce. They are wrong.

14. Now slide the slices of toasted, Marmitey, cheesey bread under a hot grill. You can't use the bonfire as the cheese will slide off, so make sure you extinguish the embers with a bucket (or two) of water.

15. Quickly rush back to the kitchen so your snack doesn't burn! Phew. That was close. When the cheese is bubbling and just about to turn brown, it's ready.

16. Season with Heinz Salad Cream and serve, on a tray, in front of the TV. This meal goes best with detective dramas (Columbo, Monk, Murder She Wrote) or The Antiques Roadshow.

And that's my special, cheesey, Marmitey, toasty treat!


chux said...

yuk! anything thats touched by either Cranberries or Marmite gets a thumbs down from me

lyw said...

Tee hee! Thanks for brightening my day & making me chuckle!
I hope our good old mate Heston doesn't read this or he'll think you're taking the pee...oh would appear that you are....Mmmm...I see....

PT said...

Chuckie - you're wrong, and you know it!

Lyw - I really wish that Heston WAS my mate, then I could get a discount at the Fat Duck!

MaryB said...

I've seen something like this before - some random uber-involved recipe - but it left out the Marmite bit. It would've been pointless without the Marmite, right?

Hilarious, by the way. Wonder if anyone actually tries to make this? I wonder if they're allowed to vote? Drive? Reproduce?