What a feast it was at Dunkirk Mill back in September. We were mid-harvest and enjoying the plentiful fruits of early autumn. Here is a rundown of the menu and all of the heroic, local food producers we are proud to be in partnership with.
Starter: Mussels cooked in white wine, cream, caramalised shallots and chilli, slow cooked basil infused cherry tomatoes and 'Kelston Park' brie, baked with honey, hazelnuts, rosemary and garlic, all served with freshly baked multi-grain bread and butter.
Sourced via Bristol Fish, on North Street in Bedminster, these mussels come from the river Exe; a special area of conservation and national & local nature reserve on the east coast of Devon. I was inspired to cook this favourite of mine, not only by my Breton cycling adventure this summer, when I ate the little creatures in various guises more times than remember, but also because they are one of the most sustainable, low impact sources of animal protein we have available to us.
An important element of most of my french meals was the trusty onion, and this was also true for this dish. I sourced shallots from The Community Farm, an amazing community supported agriculture project based in Chew Magna. who aim to help people develop a better understanding of where their food comes from, reconnect with the land on which their food is grown, and learn more about sustainable farming.
They also gave us some incredibly delicious cherry tomatoes, that were too small to sell, from their 'veg on the edge' waste reduction scheme. We transformed these perfectly wonderful little retail rejects into a slow cooked, basil infused sensation for the non meat-eaters among us. They supply veg boxes and wholesale all around Bath and Bristol, so look them up now and get yourself on the drop off list now!
Served along side my favourite from The Bath Soft Cheese company, the organically produced, brie like 'Kelston Park', baked with honey, hazelnuts, rosemary and garlic, it was needless to say that starter went down an treat! You can get yourself some of this yummy, local stuff at the Bath farmer's market every Saturday or, like us, pop into their cafe in Kelston, meet the makers and have a lovely cup of tea while you're at it!
Main: Steak au cheval and Oeufs en Cocotte
No, not horse! Beef, and the best in country in my opinion! Stream Farm's award winning organic Dexter beef, topped with poached egg, parsley and caper sauce served with Bristols' edible futures salad and nasturtiums! As well as a medley of baked oeuf (free-range organic eggs) shitaki mushrooms, potatoes, parsley, chard, courgette, shallots and cream with Wife of Bath hard cheese. Served with the most beautiful multi-coloured beetroot grown by Flo at Dunkirk Mill, harvested myself and roasted with lots of butter, salt and pepper! Yum!
Stream Farm is unique. Not only does it supply consistently award winning produce, it is run as a shared farming model that helps people learn skills in organic farming. As well as delivering to some of the top restaurants in Bath, Bristol and London, they deliver to your door, for free, every wednesday, helping you cut out that supermarket and make the most earth friendly, people positive, healthy food choice. Visit their website to order organic chicken, smoked trout, beet, lamb, pork, apple juice, honey and water. Do watch out for the delivery driver though, he is dodgy! (Note: delivery driver is actually Dylan, hands featured below, who played the piano and made the bread for supper club and is actually very polite and efficient - so please don't let that one stop you!)
Pudding: Breton style pear tart with salted caramel sauce, crème fraîche and crumbled raspberries!
All of the delicious pears were grown at Dunkirk Mill, as well as the raspberries. The crème fraîche was supplied by Rhoddas, the trusty Cornish dairy we all want for our cream teas, plus butter from Yeo Valley; the Somerset family run organic farm that now is available in most good food shops.
Thanks to Wags, who did most of the perilous pear harvesting us a rickety ladder. The next day, the lovely neighbour presented a specially designed, long reaching, pear picking gadget for the next time!