Mostly Food and Travel Journal has articles on and reviews of Cookbooks, Restaurants,
Chefs, Ingredients, Drinks, New Products, and the People behind them.
Use the buttons above to take a stroll through them all!
Hawksmoor at Home
I am, and it’s evident to you, dear regular reader, not
only a restaurant reviewer but a cookbook reviewer. I love my work and
almost every book that passes across my desk (IKEA computer stand) has
a recipe or two to which I will return, time after time. I can’t say
the same for Hawksmoor at Home.
Now that’s got your attention. I can’t say that there are only one or two
recipes that I might cook from time to time: I would cook the vast majority
of these over and over again. This is in my top 5 cookbooks reviewed
for the whole year. It’s the book that, had I not already reviewed, I
should have enjoyed receiving as a gift on Christmas morning, a book to
leaf through and actually read. OK, so I won’t be doing a lot of that
during Yuletide, but this is truly a food almanac not only of
beef-based recipes but of all manner of British fare.
Many “foodies” wax lyrical about French culinary flair, vibrant Italian
dishes, and Spanish tapas have never been more popular; but, in typical
British fashion, we ignore our own heritage of quality ingredients
cooked with care. We were the inventors of the steakhouse but we
imagine that it’s the sole preserve of our cousins from across the
pond. Hawksmoor continues to carry the British carnivore torch with
great style, in their steakhouses and now with this eponymous book.
Steak is a treat for most of us these days so we need to know how to
make the best of it. Plenty of advice here for cooking various steaks,
everything from Sirloin to Chateaubriand. You will want a sauce to
complement your meat, and there are several classics like
béarnaise sauce and peppercorn sauce, but also some others that
are worthy of garnishing your perfectly-prepared protein. Gentleman’s
Relish is popular chez nous, and Hawksmoor have a recipe for those who
want to try their hands at this celebrated spread. Anchovies are the
key ingredient: no, it won’t make your steak taste like a kipper but it
will add a particularly salty savouriness that is truly unique.
Hawksmoor seafood recipes are just as enticing. The Battered Oyster
Roll has my vote for delicious succulence and it’s a take on the New
Orleans po’ boy, although oysters have also been popular in Britain for
hundreds of years. A little different, as this version has the oysters
dipped in batter rather than being crumbed. Hawksmoor do offer a hot
dog but I am bound to promote the truly British oyster over an iffy
sausagey thing that seems to be a staple in the US and in DIY store car
parks in the UK. Granted, Hawksmoor have elevated theirs, but hot dogs
are like marmite: you love them or hate them. If you are a sausage
aficionado then try instead the Hawksmoor sausage mix, and (assuming
you are British) swell with pride that we do bangers better than anyone.
Puds are here in profusion and they are a collection of traditional
stunners. My favourite is Queen of Puddings. Sounds rather grand but it
is in fact a rather humble dessert crowned with meringue. The monarch
in question is Queen Victoria and the pud was first presented to her in
Manchester. There is also, just to add to the confusion, a version
called Manchester Pudding: the same thing sans breadcrumbs and minus
the meringue topping.
Hawksmoor at Home is one of the must-haves of 2011. It’s an absorbing
read with many an informative historic anecdote as well as rather good
recipes. A book that will be well received by the blokey food lovers,
but there is plenty here for everyone – family meals as well as
Cookbook review: Hawksmoor at Home
Author: Huw Gott, Will Beckett and Richard Turner
Published by: Preface