From Terre à Terre, Amanda Powley with Philip Taylor, Absolute Press, 2010.
When I’m in a real cooking mood one of the books I might turn to for something to make is Terre à Terre. The recipes here are general involved with many different items to make before combining them for the final dish. The resulting dishes that I have made from here have usually been full of strong flavours, richly complex—and they are fun to make.
This recipe took me over two days to make. On the first day I made a white stock. Then some of this was used to make a demi glaze sauce. That was the first day done. Not difficult at all but just took a little time.
The second day I began by making mushroom duxelles. This took very little time. It was put aside while I made the polenta for creating sausages. When the polenta mixture was cooked and while still hot it had to be formed. The recipe called for it to be piped out of a piping bag into the sausage shape. I was somewhat unsure of the piping idea so took small rectangular dishes that were the size needed. I covered them with cling film and spread out the polenta onto them. The duxelles was spread down the centre of the rectangular shape and, using the cling film, I rolled them up. The film was fastened at each end and the sausages placed in the refrigerator.
Next job was to make the tomato casing. Sun dried tomatoes were placed in a mixture of water with some sherry vinegar and a cinnamon stick. They were brought to the boil and let simmer for 20 minutes. They were now drained (the liquid saved) and let cool. Next began the task that I failed in. The tomatoes were placed on a sheet of cling film slightly overlapping to form a square. Another sheet of cling film was placed over this and the tomatoes were rolled, bashed and pummelled with a rolling pin until they had become a thin sheet. This was not easy and holes kept appearing but eventually I had something that looked like it might work to wrap the polenta sausages in. It didn’t. They seemed all right until I tried to fry them later when the tomatoes began to peel off. The sausages went into the refrigerator until time to cook them.
The water left from softening the tomatoes was used with the demi glaze sauce to make a big red sauce.
Other tasks were now begun. Some fennel butter was made. Barley was roasted in the oven and then combined with diced vegetables to make a roast barley water. Some garlic cloves were roasted in olive oil to be ready for making a garlic confit mash.
When it was time to make the meal the sausages were fried to brown on all sides and then went into the oven to cook through. Potatoes were put on to boil then mash with the garlic to make the garlic confit mash. Cavolo nero was put into water to boil until tender. The greengrocer was calling this vegetable ‘Tuscan cabbage’. Some mushrooms were fried.
Now the meal was put together: some mash, some cavolo nero mixed with fennel butter and roasted barley water, a sausage, mushrooms and big red sauce to go with them.
I loved the mash and the cabbage with its hint of fennel and the barley. The sausage did not really work, probably due to my ineptitude in making it. The tomato casing was falling off, the polenta was too thick and hid the richness of the duxelles. Nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed the cooking, as I always do when using this book—and I’ll certainly make the garlic confit mash again.
Ease of cooking: ✔