What’s cooking

Recipe: Sprouts with cream and smoked bacon

Feeds 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
500g sprouts
150g bacon lardons (we get ours from Taywell Farm Shop or Eggs to Apples Farm Shop)
10 chestnuts
100ml white wine
300ml double cream

Method

  • Roast your lardons in a pan and render down the fat until crispy
  • Finely chop and shred the sprouts with a mandolin or knife. Add a squeeze of rapeseed oil, sauté them off, and add to the bacon
  • Peel and roast your chestnuts, and add them to the pan as well
  • Get the heat up and stir dry to soften the sprouts
  • Once they start to soften, add a splash of white wine (we like Bacchus from Hidden Spring!) to deglaze and get caramelisation off the bottom of the pan. When the wine’s reduced and the alcohol’s cooked off, put the cream in and reduce down so that it’s thick
  • Season with salt, and serve in bowl in the middle of the table with everything else

Ingredients of the month

Rhubarb

We love cooking with rhubarb! It’s quite tart in flavour, so works well with duck, or barbecued fish like mackerel. It can be used sweet or savoury, so you can have it with something sugary or fatty, and is also one of the best things to store – sterilise a Kilner jar, chuck it in and pop it in the fridge, and it will last for a year, so you can use throughout the seasons.

Chestnuts

If you’re roasting chestnuts, they don’t need peeling beforehand, but make sure you score them first, to prevent the fruit exploding when it expands. Once cooked, their flavour is delicate and sweet, or they can be dried and milled into flour for breads, cakes, pies, pancakes, pastas, polenta and more. They’re also a wicked thickener for stews, soups and sauces, or can be candied, boiled, steamed, deep-fried or grilled in loads of different recipes.

Will Devlin on… Mental health

In our industry, mental health is being brought to light a lot more. Physical and mental health are both so important, and how you get longevity and sustainability in restaurants – we talk about sustainability in food a lot, but need to be discussing it in people too; they need to be sustainable, because if they burn out, they can’t give their best. We try to make sure that doesn’t happen, and I think the difference now is that people feel they can say that it’s OK to not be OK, which is a huge step.

Meet the team

Jenny is our horticultural expert on the farm! She’s been with us for four months, having previously run the vegetable garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden; after dining with us for her wedding anniversary, she loved the enthusiasm and passion of the restaurant, and wanted to be a part of it. Today, she works alongside fellow farmer Mark, and is making growing plans for 2020, which we can’t wait to get started on!

At the bar, Becca’s been rocking it for a year now. She’s here on Friday and Saturday nights, and smashes it every week with confidence and a friendly welcome to our guests – she’s your first port of call when you arrive, and we couldn’t ask for a friendlier, more charming member of the team to meet and greet customers. With her sunny disposition, beaming smile and relaxed approach, she makes everyone feel right at home.

Where we’ve been

Copenhagen

We ate so much delicious food on our recent trip to Copenhagen! The whole team got to visit Noma, which was just as amazing as expected; these guys are seriously pushing boundaries, and taking provenance and seasonality to whole new levels, which was so inspiring to see and taste. While in the city, we also popped in at Restaurant Barr: Located on Copenhagen’s waterfront, they do super-tasty food in a relaxed environment, and are well worth checking out too. Another highlight was Hart Bageri, whose owner Richard Hart and his team are doing some banging things over in Frederiksberg.

London

Back in the UK, we went to not one, but two of chef Jason Atherton’s restaurants. Pollen Street Social’s Michelin-starred food is set against an informal backdrop of relaxed dining, while the Social Eating House was awarded a star in 2013 for its simple but beautiful food, which is packed with loads of flavour. Plus, The Greenhouse in Mayfair was really special – chef Alex Dilling’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant is so fresh and vibrant in both its dishes and interiors, and unlike any place we’ve been to. It’s totally unique, and a must for anyone who’s serious about loving their food.

Compasses Inn

Will had a great time cooking with chef Rob Taylor from Compasses Inn! We did two nights back to back – one in Crundale and one here in Kilndown – where the pair cooked an eight-course tasting menu for each restaurant’s customers. We love collaborating with our fellow Kent chefs and restaurant owners, and Rob is a brilliant cook and lovely guy, so make sure you pay him a visit. Thanks for having us, guys!

What we’re drinking

Sally wines of the month

There are a couple of bottles Sally’s loving at the moment: Field Recordings’ 2017 Wonderwall Pinot Noir from California is natural, organic, and embodies everything we love about winemaker Andrew Jones’ rule-breaking wines. From Italy, meanwhile, Gaja’s ‘Darmagi’ Cabernet Franc is well worth trying too.

Matt’s beer of the month

Matt’s all about Tiny Rebel’s Clwb Tropicana (5.5% ABV). This tropical IPA is lovely and juicy, and packed full of fruity American hops, amplified by peach, passionfruit, pineapple and mango flavours. Even in British winter, it makes us feel like we’re on our summer holidays!

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© WILL AND MATT DEVLIN