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Clare’s Blog Nov 2015

All I want for Christmas...

Nestled deep in the heart of the Northamptonshire countryside the team at Warner's are beginning to witness the festive season come into full force with Christmas orders flying out the distillery doors and the gentle whisper of ‘All I want for Christmas' by Mariah Carey.

The Winter weather has arrived and smugly watches as we all fumble around our glove boxes in search of our de-icer and a pair of thermal gloves. Whether you like it or not, Winter is here and its set to be a mighty chilly one. To warm your cockles and get you feeling cosy and festive we've got the Winter recipes covered.

Mulled gin:

Ingredients:

25ml Harrington Dry Gin
25ml Harrington Sloe Gin
Cloudy apple juice
Any herbs and spices you fancy. We like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, orange and star anise.

Simply pour the gin into the glass and then top it up with the mulled apple juice mixture. And there you have it… mulled gin. Delicious.

Northampton Tawery

If you are anything like me the colder winter weather leaves me with the unhinged ability to consume twice as much food and this recipe by our good friend and hugely talented Chef Joe Buckley at Harrington's local pub, the Tollemache Arms, is guaranteed to please (@Joe__Buckley).

Tawery is a place where the process of preparing leather hides before they were stained or tanned was carried out. The hides would be soaked in different solutions over night to allow them to be cleaned and more importantly letting them relax so they could be stretched to make shoes. Northampton being famous for leather shoes, would have been full of Taweries, so Joe felt it was a term that summed up his signature dish well.

An important part of the dish is the marinating of the meat and also the reinvented cobbler on top, which is made with dripping not butter and enriched further with smoked bacon.

Ingredients:

500g Diced venison haunch or beef chuck
100ml Warner's Sloe Gin
4 Bay leafs
2 Red onions (sliced)
1 Celeriac (peeled & diced)
2 Garlic cloves (crushed)
2 Sprigs rosemary (picked & chopped)
2 Pints of a dark ale
Salt and pepper
2 Litres beef gravy
500g Self-raising flour
150g Beef dripping
75ml Rapeseed oil
150ml Milk
2 tbsp. Chopped rosemary
100g Smoked streaky bacon (diced & roasted)

You can use venison or if prefer diced lamb shoulder or beef chuck, all work really well. The day before cooking I like to marinade the venison which is a great way of getting some more flavour into it. Place your meat, rosemary, bay leafs and sloe gin in a bowl, massage it in and leave to relax in the fridge for the night.

Pan fry the venison until golden brown all over. This is very important as browning meat not only gives the stew a gorgeous roasted flavour but it also starts the cooking process, meaning you can eat it sooner. Drain the venison in a sieve to collect all the fat and juices.

In a deep casserole pan slowly fry off red onions, celeriac and rosemary in rapeseed oil which gives a lovely nutty flavour. Add rosemary and the venison, covering with ale and the sloe gin from the marinade which gives the most incredible fruity note to the dish. Bring to the boil and add gravy. Place in the oven at 120 degrees for 4 hours or place in a slow cooker.

Dripping cobbler:

Rub the flour and dripping together until they look like fine breadcrumbs. Add the rosemary, bacon and a pinch of black pepper. Stir in the oil and milk until the mixture comes together. Briefly knead until it all forms a smooth dough. Roll out to 1 inch thick and cut into a desired shape.

Assembly:

Pour venison mix into a pie dish and top with the dripping cobbler. Egg wash and bake at 160 degrees for 1 hour until all golden brown.

By Clare Haynes, Marketing Manager

***** Clare’s Blog Nov 2015