I had popped into the local Deli (Cook & Butcher, Thatcham), its recently moved to a larger location and was checking on my whether they had expanded on their range of Fox’s Gourmet products. A quick look around the shelves and yes, they had, my eyes drawn to a Tarragon & Champagne Mustard which looked interesting.
There were some freshly made sausages in the chilled counter, and I was soon walking out of the Deli, my brain whirring away with ideas on various recipes and thoughts on what I could prepare to delight the taste buds, Sausages & Mustard!
This isn’t a 30 minute meal, we are going to make a Chicken Stock from scratch which needs 2 hours simmering so read the whole post first, the stock can be made in advance and the leftover frozen for future use.
There is one picture in this post you might find a bit distressing, you have been warned…………………………
So as the dish developed there was a common theme developing, Aniseed. Linking flavour profiles and textures makes what might seem a boring meal that bit special, and I wanted to take the humble sausage (I am an addict of this British favourite), to the next level.
So if you fancy having a go, you will need the following;
- 1.5 Kgs Chicken Wing Tips
- 1 Calfs Foot, Split!
- 1 Carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 or 2 Sticks Celery roughly chopped
- 5 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Tsb Tomato Puree (Double Concentrate)
- 1 Glass White Wine
- Olive Oil
- 6 Litres of Water
- 1 Jar Fox’s Gourmet Tarragon and Champagne Mustard
- 6 Pork Sausages (the BEST you can get, don’t skimp!), 3 per person!
- Jersey Royal potatoes
- 1 Apple (I used Pink Lady), peeled, cored and cut into 10mm approx. slices
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Fennel Bulb (sliced 5mm thick)
- 300 Ml Double Cream
- 1 Egg
- Plain Flour for dredging the apples
- Panko Bread Crumbs for coating the apples
- 2 -3 Star Anise
- Ghee (clarified Butter)
- 10 White Peppercorns
Making the Chicken Stock from Scratch
Using the baking tray for the meat, place on the stove top, add the vegetables, 5 roughly chopped Cloves of Garlic, and start to scrape the bottom of the tray, releasing any sticky meaty bits.
Then, add the remaining litre of water, add to the Stock Pot and start to skim off any scum that rises to the surface with a large spoon. The Stock needs to gently simmer for 2 hours, Chicken does contain quite bit of fat, so keep checking the surface and remove as the delicious broth develops its deep rich flavour.
After 2 hours, remove any remaining fat on the surface, and put to one side to cool down. You will only need about 1/2 Litre for the recipe, but now you have an amazing base for sauces and gravies which will be so much nicer than anything you get in the shops.
To cook the main event is quite straightforward. Bake the Sausages in the Oven, mine took about 35-40 Minutes at 180 deg. The Fennel once sliced, is placed in a baking dish and almost covered with some of the freshly prepared stock, add a decent knob of butter, season with Pepper, and squeeze 1/2 Lemon over the top. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for about the same time as the Sausages.
I boiled the Jersey Royals, let them cool and they also got the oven treatment to crisp up in some clarified butter, and seasoned with Sea Salt when served at the end.
With everything doing its cooking in the oven, you can prepare the Apples, which need dunking in well seasoned flour ( I only used Black Pepper, no Salt), beaten Egg and then Panko Breadcrumbs as in the picture above. At this time, you might want to stick some plates in the oven to warm up, ready for serving.
To cook, add a decent amount of Butter in a frying pan, then 3 – 4 Star Anise, you don’t want the Butter too hot or the solids will Burn.
You will start to see the Aniseed theme, in the Mustard, in the Apples, and of course, the Fennel. Once cooked to crisp on both sides, remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper, they can rest for a few minutes in the warm over whilst you finish the final stage, the amazing sauce.
When everything is cooked, we are ready to get the sauce done and serve up. Take a frying pan, place on the heat and add about 300 mls of the Chicken Stock and boil vigorously, reducing by at least 1/2, then add a ‘glug’ of white wine, and continue to do the same.
Take the dish with the Fennel in, and take about 2 Tbls of the cooking Liquor and add to the frying pan, this enables the Fennel theme to travel further through the dish, and the Lemon Juice in the cooking liquor, adds a further lift, finally add about 150 mls of Double Cream and continue to reduce.
This part of the process requires YOU to estimate, based on taste and consistency, every Pan and Hob is different so use YOUR judgement to adjust and you will be rewarded with a sauce of beauty.
The last stage is too add the Fox’s Gourmet Mustard, I used about 2 Tsp’s, again adjust and taste to get to your preferred flavour, finally season with salt after tasting again, if needed. If you are happy with the consistency, then serve up, if not reduce or add more cream, whatever you feel is needed.
Yes, preparing the stock takes some time, but its really well worth it as now you have the base for further cooking with all the major prep done.
Hope you have a go at this and get the same satisfaction that I did. I am off to France in the next few days to learn some more cooking skills at The French House Party, I will be posting if I get the time and a full review will get posted after.
Until next time……………………L8ers…………..