Filming in the flowers

Last June  film makers from the BBC came and spent the day on our hill making an insert for a James Martins Home Comforts . It was well timed, the midsummer sun cast its warm glow on the billowing flowering stitchwort; earthy speedwell, honeyed clover and perfumed honeysuckle. The footpath by our house is an old drovers road and for hundreds of years people have beaten a path over the hill, breathing in the same perfumes, plucking berries from the same brambles and nibbling nuts from the same trees we now gather our finds.

After the days gathering and filming we headed to the local village hall for a wild supper to celebrate the flavours of early summer. Walterstone village hall used to be the local school, children that learnt there would’ve chewed on grass, suckled the nectar from honeysuckle and breathed in meadowsweet’s perfume while filling their stained mouths with wild strawberries plucked from the shady embankments that are etched  into the landscape around here. The flavours we use at Forage are inspired by the same tastes and smells the drovers and children from these hills experienced and loved. We are proud that our products are known for being delicious, but we are equally pleased to know that they celebrate the flavours of our very green and perfumed  lands.

We hope you enjoy this little film about Forage (It’s worth watching the whole progamme, but if you just want to see our bit, it’s 33 minutes into the programme)

Pontack

Pontack is a legendary sauce made with cider vinegar, elderberries and spices. Use it like a wild worcestershire sauce or as you’d use a balsamic vinegar. All our customers have their own ways of using it, from splashing it over tofu to marinating squirrels with it…here are a couple of our favourites:

For hunters….haunch of venison marinated in pontack sauce
rub 2 tbsp of Pontack into a haunch of venison, leave in a casserole over night and then add a wine glass of good red wine, 2 bay leaves and 8 juniper berries. Cover the venison in a very fatty bacon (thinly sliced lardo – cured back fat, is ideal) Seal the casserole with a tight lid and cook slowly (120c)  for hours.. and hours. Occasionally check there is enough liquid and baste the venison well. Serve with a buttery potato and chestnut mash and irony greens.
(If you like this you’ll love deglazing the pan of any dark meat especially liver with a splash of pontack)

For gatherers…Home made coleslaw with a pontack and honey dressing
good coleslaw is one of life’s simple pleasures. The flavours of pontack pair amazingly with sweet carrots, onions and cabbage.
To make the dressing, pour a tablespoon of honey and 2 of pontack with twice the amount of good olive oil and a pinch of salt into a jam jar, seal and shake well. Finely shred equal amounts of carrots and cabbage and add a finely chopped red onion. Mix in a tablespoon of lightly toasted cumin seeds, and a handful of sultanas; stir through the dressing, leave for a while for the flavours to take hold and tuck in!