Culinary provocateurs Bompas and Parr certainly know how to throw a party. Now they're telling the rest of us how it's done.
Almost certainly Britain’s best loved jellymongers, the (young) old Etonians rose to prominence the conventional way - you know, by creating a glow in the dark jelly for Mark Ronson, and inventing chewing gum that changes flavour as you chew it. That sort of thing.
Now they've released a lavishly photographed book, ‘Feasting’, just in time for Christmas. It's peppered with recipes and illuminated with anecdotes - an ideal culinary aid, perfect for those who find Delia Smith too boring and Nigella Lawson too erotically charged.
Here's a sample recipe - cook a perfect beef shin (pictured above):
Braised Beef Shin (serves 8)
4 kg/8 lb 13 oz piece of beef shin, bone in
2 star anise
2 onions, cut in half
1 bay leaf
8 black peppercorns
2 celery sticks
Beef shin is a magnificent cut – it’s got a bone of epic proportions, it’s inexpensive and becomes meltingly tender with ease. Your butcher will be happy to procure a shin bone for you. Ask him to leave the meat on the bone. For this recipe about 4 kg/8 lb 13 oz of meat is ideal. This works out as about half the shin. If you are cooking for more people you can get the entire shin but you’ll need to cook it in the oven – make sure you can fit it in! It’s big and nasty.
Place the shin bone in a casserole or large saucepan, add the aromatics and top up with water. Bring slowly to the boil, skimming off any scum and then turn down to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid. You can either place in a low oven for about 3 hours, or continue to cook on the stove over a very low heat. The meat is ready when the bone is sticking out proud and the meat is on the verge of falling apart.
Carefully remove the meat from the pot. If the meat is very delicate it may be easier to drain the stock off first. Lift the meat, bone aloft onto a serving dish and serve with buttered greens and mashed potatoes.
Images taken from Feasting with Bompas & Parr (Pavilion).
Image photography by Nathan Pask and Beth Evans.