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Bock and bock beer pie

As well as it being goatober, it's also bocktober! So a double helping of bock in the form of goat meat and bock beer. With the change in the weather, it's definitely pie season too and who doesn't love a good pie. We certainly do chez Kitchen Exile. 

Makes 4 medium size pies using a 10cm pie dish

To make the pie filling
400g neck of goat sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 large carrot peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped to the same size as the carrot
2 medium onions finely chopped
150ml bock beer

150ml lamb or chicken stock
15g plain flour
15g tomato purée
Sprigs of thyme and rosemary
1 bay leaf
Oil for frying
Salt and pepper to taste

In a cast iron pan fry the neck on a medium heat in the oil to get a nice sear on the outside and place to one side on a plate
Next fry off the carrots, onions and celery on a low heat in the residual oil until soft and glossy, it should take about 15 minutes
Add the tomato purée and cook out for 3 minutes
Add the flour, this will help thicken the stew and cook out again for 3 minutes
Now add the beer and stir to ensure that any flour stuck to the bottom of the pan has been removed
Tip in the goat and add the stock and  bring to the boil briefly for a couple of minutes.
Add the herbs
Put a lid on the pot and place in a low oven at 110c (fan) 120c (normal) for 3 hours.
Allow to cool before adding to the pastry, remove the herbs before assembling the pies

To make the pastry
200g plain white flour
115g butter
1 medium egg yolk
30ml iced water
pinch salt
Beaten egg yolk to glaze the pastry

Rub the butter and flour together until it resembles bread crumbs
Add the egg yolk and water and bring the mixture together until it forms a stiff dough
(this can also be made in a food processor, simply pulse the flour and butter mix until it resembles bread crumbs, then add the water and egg yolk until it comes together)
Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for an hour to rest
Once the pastry has rested then roll out to 2mm thick
Next get your pie dish and cut out the pastry using the pie dish, ensure you have excess pastry around the edges
Then take the cut out pastry and press into the pie dish making sure there are no air bubbles, pushing the pastry into all the corners
You can trim any excess pastry from the edges of the pie dish using a knife if need be

Also cut out round shapes for the lid of the pie, place on a plate and cover with cling film and place back in the fridge until ready to fill and cover the pie

To assemble the pies
Fill the chilled and lined pie dishes with the stew mix about three quarters of the way up
(If you like you can add some goat cheese to the stew mix, about 50g cut into small pieces should be sufficient.)
Glaze the sides of the pastry with either water or egg wash and then place the lid on top.
Press down the sides of the top to ensure it is all sealed
With a knife make a small slit in the top to allow steam to escape
Glaze with the beaten egg
Cook at 190c (fan), 200c (normal) for 30 - 40 mins, check after 30 mins to see if the internal temp is up to 84c before serving

Pulled aromatic goat with spiced date sauce

This is my kick off recipe for Goatober 2019! 
The preparation takes a couple of days but the brining of the meat infuses lots of flavour into the meat. Followed by low and slow cooking on the BBQ, it makes for a tasty dish. 

1 kg goat shoulder
If cooking with larger pieces then you will need to adjust the cooking time. 
It could take up to 16 or more hours hours if you have a larger piece.

For the brine

1l water
10g salt
10g brown sugar
1 whole garlic bulb (cloves removed and crushed to release the oils)
3 bay leaves
10 cloves
10g whole cumin seeds
10g whole coriander seeds
5cm piece of cinnamon
5g ground ginger
1 onion cut into eighths
2g saffron strands

Lets start with the goat
48 hours before you want to BBQ or slow cook, put all the brine ingredients in a plastic or glass bowl and stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved
Add the goat and ensure that the liquid covers the meat
Cover with a lid or cling film and place in the fridge to marinade for 48 hours

To cook

Additional ingredient 500ml chicken or lamb stock

Set your BBQ for indirect cooking at 120c
Place the goat uncovered on the bbq and cook for 4 hours on indirect heat
After 4 hours, I take the goat off the BBQ
I then place the goat in a roasting tin with the stock and cover it with foil and return it to the BBQ for another 4 hours
Remove from the BBQ and allow to rest for at least 1 hour before serving
Reserve the juices and stock for the sauce

Spiced date sauce
5 dates 
200ml chicken stock (you can use the stock that was used to roast the goat)
1 red chilli finely sliced
1 bay leaf
5g whole cumin seeds
5cm piece of cinnamon
1 onion roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
2 g ras el hanout
30ml oil for frying

Fry off the onion and garlic on a low heat in the oil until soft and glossy, 
Add the cumin, ras el hanout, chilli and cinnamon and cook out for a further 5 minutes
Add the stock and simmer for a further 15 minutes
Remove the cinnamon and transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and whizz until smooth

To serve
Shred the goat using two forks
Pour the sauce over the goat and mix through
Serve in flat bread or brioche buns

Blackberry and almond Crumble

The humble crumble, one of life's comfort foods and always easy to put together. This year I had quite a few blackberries in my front garden. Normally I'd make jams or a compote but have never used these solely in a crumble. As I had rather a lot of blackberries this year, I thought why not! I like to add some almond flour to the crumble topping for extra depth of flavour.

Crumble mix
150g plain flour 

100g Almond flour
100g brown sugar
110g unsalted butter

To make by hand 

Rub the flours and butter together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles bread crumbs, add the sugar and stir through

To make by machine

Place all the ingredients together in a food processor and pulse until resembling breadcrumbs

500g blackberries
50g sugar

Place the blackberries in a baking dish, sprinkle over the sugar and top with the crumble
Bake for 40 mins at 190c (fan) 200c (normal)

If cooking on the BBQ, then set up for indirect heat at 190c, ensure the baking dish you use is suitable for the BBQ, so use a deep dish cast iron pan or good quality ceramic deep dish

Courgette and basil frittata

Courgettes are a pretty flexible vegetable and add that little bit extra to dishes during the summer and early Autumn months. I love frittatas as they are an easy dish to prepare and you can adapt the dish from season to season. This dish makes a great brunch or lunch dish.They are now coming to the end of their season, so it is best to make the most of them while you can. 
1 large courgette diced into small cubes
1 clove garlic finely chopped
3 sprigs spring onion finely chopped
30g basil torn into small shreds
30g parmesan
4 eggs
30ml creme fraiche
20g butter
Salt and pepper to taste

In a pan fry the courgette, garlic and spring onion for 3 minutes in the butter on a medium heat
In a bowl whisk the eggs and creme fraiche, stir in the basil and parmesan
Pour the egg mix into the pan over the courgettes  and cook for 3 minutes
Place under a medium grill for 5 - 7 minutes until the top starts to brown

Roast figs with grilled goats cheese and pecans

I used to serve this as a dinner party starter as it was something that little bit different and also easy to prepare especially when serving several courses. I like to keep things simple from time to time, and this is a good way of using up the figs from my tree every year. This also makes a really nice alternative salad too. 
6 figs quartered
3 crottin de chevre sliced in half
30ml honey to drizzle
10g  pecan nuts roughly chopped

Arrange the figs on a baking tray and drizzle over the honey
Set the oven for 150c (fan) 160c (normal) and roast for 10 minutes
Take out from oven and place to one side

Next place the crottins under the grill and grill on a high heat and cook for 5 minutes or until they start to brown on top
Serve atop salad leaves with a balsamic vinaigrette (20ml balsamic to 30ml extra virgin olive oil)

How the time has flown, Kitchen Exile is 5 years old!

When I started this website five years ago it was merely as a way of committing my recipes to some form where I could easily find them and access them. There were no grandiose notions of putting my dishes out in the ether to gain fame and fortune. I merely wanted to access my own recipes and if other people fancied trying them out, then good for them too.
I am in this for myself, not to gain followers or recognition. You may have noticed that I follow my own path not trends, I don't apologise for what or how I cook. I eat meat, veg, fish whatever and whenever. I don't tell people what diets or food fads to follow, it's not me. I just want people to enjoy good food and respect the products and producers, maybe give an actual shit about where their food comes from. One thing above all, its not about me, its the food (hence the lack of selfies and foot pictures), I'm very much the background noise in this instance.

Oh, and you may have noticed I don't do pretty pictures, I'm not a stylist, I cook and if the plate happens to look ok, then great! The vast majority of pictures are taken in the 1 minute window when I've stuck the dish on the plate and we're about to have breakfast/lunch/dinner. I try my best, but plating even when I trained as a chef, was not my strong point. Not everyone is lucky to have taken time off, trained as a chef and worked in the industry, I was lucky enough to do that and the classical training I got has helped a lot in the dishes I create from a technical and flavour perspective.

If I support or mention brands, its ones I've been using for years. I would never recommend something that I could never consume or use myself. If I've been to a restaurant and reviewed it, it's all paid for by me. Which is why you don't see much in the way of sponsorship. This is a hobby not my full time job. I'd love for it to be full time but I'm not willing to sell out my principles to do so.

For me it's all abut seasonality, supporting small farmers and local producers and highlighting all the good work and tasty products that they are producing. I've got to cook with them using their wonderful produce. I've also been lucky to meet some wonderful chefs over the years too as well as some great people in the hospitality industry. 

So once again a BIG THANK YOU, to my readers and supporters and also the brands, chefs, farmers and producers that I've been involved with in the last five years. Here's to many more!

So enough about me for the time being, normal service will resume next week with more recipes!

Confit Duck legs with roast honey figs

Confit duck legs are something I like to make in large batches and then either store in the fridge or freezer for a quick no fuss meal. They take a while to prepare and cook, but the preparation is simple enough. Duck naturally goes well with figs and I'm lucky to have a fig tree in my garden so nothing better than picking some lovely ripe figs for this dish. The addition of a little honey adds a little extra sweetness and the balsamic helps to cut through the richness of the fat from the duck. This would also make a great dinner party dish. 

2 duck legs
200g duck or goose fat (100g for each or if using non sous vide method 500g)
10 sprigs thyme
5 Sprigs rosemary
10 garlic clovesv
5 bay leaves
50g Salt

For the Figs
Allow 2 figs per person, make 2 slits on each side but not cutting all the way through
10ml balsamic
20ml honey
Pinch Maldon sea salt

You need to start this the day before
Take each duck leg and salt them all over, you may not need to use all the salt stated in the recipe, just enough to cover both sides of the duck leg
Place the duck in a bowl in the fridge overnight, salting helps draw the moisture out and helps preserve the leg

Next day - sous vide method
Clean off the excess salt and dry the duck leg
Place the duck leg with the fat, herbs and garlic in a plastic pouch and seal with a vacuum packer
Set your sous vide to 82 Celsius temp and cook for 8 hours
Once cooked, the duck legs can then be allowed to cool and will keep for about a month in the fridge 

Next day - Old school method
Melt the duck fat in a deep cast iron pot or heavy bottomed sauce pan and add the cleaned duck legs, herbs and garlic to the pan
Place in an oven 130c fan, 140c normal and cook for 3-4 hours.
Take the dish out of the oven and then allow the fat to cool and set
The duck legs can be placed in a sealed jar in the fat in the fridge until you want to use them at a later date and will keep for up to a month

Pre heat your oven to 200c or set your BBQ up for indirect cooking at 200c
Take the duck legs out of the fat, remove any herb sprigs and any excess fat
Place some of the duck fat in a heavy cast iron pan, allow the fat to melt over a gentle heat on the stove
Turn up the heat and place the duck legs in skin side down, crisp the skin quickly
Take the pan off the heat and add the figs, drizzle the figs with the honey and balsamic and sprinkle with the salt
Place the pan on the oven/BBQ and cook for 20 minutes
Serve with roasted new potatoes which you can make using the excess duck fat!