ʽʽHi, I’m Benjamin Nunn – critic, gourmand and author of Ben Viveur. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You might have read me in an in-flight magazine, or a beer publication, but here on my own blog I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others so anything goes.

I deal with real food and drink in the real world, aiming to create recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. Likewise, I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!

There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended.

Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!
ʼʼ

Friday, October 3, 2014

Flap-Jack-Jock-Beef-Cock

Like 45% of the people in Scotland I was disappointed with the referendum result, even though it panned out exactly as I predicted.

Not because I'm a Nationalistic Scot or have any kind of Nationalistic Scottish interests, but because I care rather more passionately than most about answering the West Lothian Question and the unfairness that is the Barnett Formula. Independence for Scotland would have provided a clean and fair resolution to these issues and left the Jocks to do their own thing without impacting unreasonably on the rest of us.

For that reason I was staunchly and unashamedly in the 'vote YES and FUCK OFF' camp. I'm surprised there weren't more of us really. (Not that we got a vote.)


Yes, but why would a sane person make beef flapjacks?!?


The political elite are all twatting on about further devolution and the obvious face-saving solution now would be for Scotland to become like the Isle of Man or Channel Islands - i.e. more autonomy in exchange for Scottish MPs getting fuck out of parliament. 

That's right. Beef flapjacks.
As it is, we'll likely see Scotland having even more cake and eating it, because these hideously unfair arrangements happen to serve the Labour party very nicely indeed (just like the rise of UKIP and the inbuilt pro-Labour bias in the electoral system).


All of which will mean, in all likelihood, that we'll see Ed Miliband elected as Prime Minister next May with the flimsiest mandate in history, propped up by Scottish MPs who get to pass laws that don't affect their consituents.

England's natural inclination is to alternate between centre-left and centre-right governments. Scotland typically wants either centre-left or hard left. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just a marked difference between the two nations.

Same as how in Scotland they drink Irn Bru and have salty porridge rather than sweet.

Anyway, inspired by that oaty, Scottish saltedness, here's a simple - but, for the English, possibly slightly unsettling - recipe for an amuse-bouche if you're having a belated referendum party.


Beef Flapjacks

Ingredients - makes 8-10 flapjacks:

Porridge oats, 4 ounces
Looks chocolatey - but it isn't
Butter, 1 ounce, softened
An egg
Beef stock, reduced to about 1/8th pint of very thick stock 
English mustard
Black pepper

A small fillet of beef (ideally Scottish)


Method:

Beat your egg in a mixing bowl and gradually stir in the oats, before adding the beef stock and making sure everything is nicely coated.

Continue to work the mixture, adding the butter and a shot of mustard, before finally grinding in a bit of black pepper.

The stock should have coloured it brown so it looks a lot like a chocolate flapjack mixture, but with an intensely savoury aroma and flavour.

When you're happy with the mix, spoon it into a shallow baking tin and spread it to regulation flapjack thickness, before putting it in an oven at about 175 degrees for 20 minutes to half an hour.

These things vary, depending on fan-assistance'n'shit, but if you've ever baked any kind of flapjack before (and if you haven't, I wouldn't start of with these, frankly) you'll know when they're ready to come out.

Leave to cool, before slicing into individual flapjack squares. Yes, they should still look like 'normal' flapjacks.

Finally sear a piece of beef fillet for no more than about 40 seconds on either side, then leave it to rest for a few minutes.

Slice off thin strips and use to top your flapjacks, before finally sprinkling with ground black pepper.

These should be served cold and can be kept in the fridge for a day or so.

1 comment:

  1. Aye, ye English sasanachs think ye can rule us. Scotland Forever!

    ReplyDelete

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