Black pudding with apples

Or, as they would say in France, boudin noir aux pommes. It is a Norman favourite, but it crops up elsewhere in France and it is delicious. Continue reading


Normandy-style pheasant breast

Norman cooking uses the local ingredients and the most important ones are dairy produce and apples. In practice that means, butter, cream, apples, cider and calvados.

Pheasant is surprisingly cheap these days, so this is by no means a luxury dish, although it is a pretty classic combination.

I sautéed the seasoned breasts in butter for about three minutes on each side and left them in a warm oven to rest while I made the sauce.

I sautéed some cubes of Cox’s apples in the same butter that I’d used for the pheasant and then flambéed them with a good glug of calvados.Once the flames had died down, I added some crème fraiche and the juices that had come out of the pheasant while it was resting. Once the sauce was amalgamated, I served the sliced breasts with mustard mash and some steamed chard, with the apple pieces and sauce spooned over the top.

The whole thing took about 25 minutes to prepare and cook and was delicious.

Apple pudding

This was something of an experiment.

I caramelised peeled, cored and sliced Egremont Russets in muscovado sugar and butter in an oven-proof dish and then left them to cool.

I made a topping from two eggs, a 250 ml tub of cream, some demerara sugar, vanilla extract and fresh breadcrumbs, all whisked together and poured over the top.

This was then baked in the oven until the top was golden and somewhat souffléed (it later sank again!).

I served the pudding at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream and some of the caramelised juices drizzled over the top.

Altogether a success!

Pork, apple and cider pie

Pork and apple is such a classic combination that you can pretty much guarantee that it will work well.

This pie was made with suet pastry, which is the same recipe for making a pie crust as it is for a steamed pudding. All you need is self-raising flour, suet, water and a pinch of salt. You use twice the weight of flour to suet and add just enough water to make a dough. It rolls out a lot easier than a conventional pastry too.

The filling I made was pork shoulder, cubed and braised with a mirepoix of carrots, celery and leeks, sage leaves, some stock and some medium cider. When the meat was nearly done, I added in some roughly chopped apple and left it to cool before filling the pie case and glazing it with an egg. This was then baked until the crust was golden and served with some buttered steamed cabbage and mashed potatoes.