Day 33: Venison, Burnt Cauliflower, Carrots & Their Tops

Day 33: Venison, Burnt Cauliflower, Carrots & Their Tops

inspired by Native

This restaurant is one that has been on my radar for a while. I had heard about it before lockdown, but never actually made it down to see them in London Bridge. But I will when they reopen. I love the idea that this restaurant focuses on the wild, foraged and seasonal food of the UK.

So it’s no wonder when I discovered my garden was overrun with three cornered garlic (or three cornered leeks, same thing, they taste more like a leek but smell like garlic!) I was straight onto their website.

And there they were.

Exmouth Mussels, Smoked Bacon, 3 Cornered Garlic & Lapsang Dashi

When I sat down over a month ago and started planning this blog this dish was on the list of ones to try.

I couldn’t wait to cook something foraged from my own garden!

Slight problem. No mussels in Sainsburys now the fish counter is closed. No hope of lapsang. Or dashi. I didn’t even know what dashi was…. I do now. It’s a Japanese fish stock. Thanks google.

So this dish stayed on the list but the likelihood of it making it onto a blog post seemed pretty remote.

In the end I caved and wrote a post about my three cornered leeks inspired by a wild garlic soup from The Coach. I just made three cornered garlic soup instead.

However this week I thought my luck might change. Aidan had to go into work (something to do with voiding beer lines) and so he would be in Central London. And round the corner from his pub is a Waitrose.

He said I should write him a list of a few bits and bobs. He was going to pop in to look for the yeast anyway. Because apparently that’s what we do now, go into a supermarket just to look for those little sachets. A side effect of lockdown no one could have predicted.

What he ended up being given was quite a ridiculous list of ingredients. It read something like this…

Fish (although don’t buy everything just one or two) – gurnard, pollock, sardines, scallops, mussels, brown crab meat

Meat (again don’t go mad, just one or two) – venison, quail, guinea fowl… well and kind of game really. Ooh and see if they have duck legs.

Others (get as many of these as you can) yeast, dashi stock, smoked mozzarella, burrata, seaweed

Poor Aidan. Off he went on his bike to check on the pubs.

I was so excited when he came home! Like a kid who wants to know what present you’ve got them after a trip. Or maybe this is how the chefs feel on Ready, Steady Cook when they get given a bag of mystery ingredients!

I got venison, scallops, duck legs, burrata and brown crab meat. It felt like Christmas! I pop them in the fridge and think about what to make. Not all in the same dish mind. That would be a bit of an odd combination!

Unfortunately still no chance of the three cornered garlic dish from Native’s menu. But a look on their instagram and I find this…

“South Downs Venison, Burnt Cauliflower, Heritage Carrots & Their Tops”

No this sounds possible. I wait a few days until we’ve done the proper weekly shop I’ve got carrots with their tops now. And a cauliflower.

Looking at the picture it looks like the cauliflower is a puree. So I roast the cauliflower until it’s pretty well burnt around the edges. In the meantime I sweat some onions and garlic in butter. I then add the roasted cauliflower and some chicken stock. In goes a sprig of thyme and I let it bubble away for 5 minutes. Then blitz with a food processor. Lovely!

I make a sort of green dressing with the carrot tops. A kind of pesto without the parmesan. I simply blitz carrot tops, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley and a few three cornered garlic leaves (couldn’t resist) together and set aside until I’m ready.

Carrots are kept whole and roasted in the oven. I saved a few slices of cauliflower earlier that I pan fry in butter just before we eat. Once again I wimp out of the actual meat cookery but Aidan does a great job. It’s quite rare but we like it that way.

And there you have it. Three cornered garlic and all!

It may look nothing like the plate at Native. Mainly because my portion control at home is not the same as a restaurant! But it made a pretty amazing dinner. A nice change from the norm to celebrate moving into a second month of the food blog.

Hate to add spoilers but expect scallop and duck leg posts in the near future. Before Wednesday in fact. That’s their use by date.

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