Most areas in any country have regional specialities when it comes to food. In no small part, this would have been down to the availability of local produce. Despite easier availability of foodstuffs, the traditional recipes of a region tend to stick around and become great favourites of residents of the area and some grow to enjoy national or even international fame. Gloucestershire and the surrounding counties in the Cotswolds have a long heritage of good quality meat and vegetables and have always been able to sustain themselves. There are some delightful and interesting recipes using local produce.
Try out a few local recipes in our well-equipped cottage kitchen during your stay with us. Spend a fun day browsing the local farmer’s markets and regional produce shops then come home and cook up a Gloucestershire or Cotswold storm. The whole family can join in and you will end up with a souvenir you can take home and cook for friends and family. Here is a tasty traditional Cotswold meal all the family can enjoy.
Gloucestershire Squab Pie
You may think this tasty dish may contain young pigeons, otherwise known as squabs, but this pie is always been made with lamb. The flavour of local lamb will be delicious set off by the sharp apple and spices. This recipe serves four.
225 g (8 oz) plain flour salt and pepper
50 g (2 oz) butter
50 g (2 oz) lard
700 g (1 1/2 lb) lamb neck fillets, sliced into 12 pieces
1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and sliced
450 g (1 lb) onions, skinned and thinly sliced
1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) ground allspice
1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) grated nutmeg
150 ml (1/4 pint) lamb or beef stock
Fresh milk, to glaze
1. Put the flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Rub in the butter and lard until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add enough cold water and mix in to form firm dough. Knead lightly until smooth, and then chill until required.
Lazy tip: Buy your short crust pastry ready made!
2. Place half the lamb in the base of a 900 ml (1 1/2 pint) pie dish. Arrange half the apple slices and half the onion slices over the top. Sprinkle over the allspice and nutmeg and season. Repeat layers and pour over the stock.
3. Roll out the pastry to fit the dish and use to cover the pie. Moisten edges so the pastry is well sealed. Use pastry trimmings to decorate.
Tip: Traditional decorations are leaves on savoury pies.
4. Brush the pastry with milk and bake at 200°C (400°F) mark 6 for 20 minutes.
5. Reduce the temperature to 180°C (350°F) mark 4 and cook for a further 1 hour 15 minutes.
6. Serve hot with salad, fresh new potatoes, and vegetables.
Speech House Pudding
This pudding was served to Charles II at The Speech House, which was his hunting lodge. The ancient order of the Verderers, love this recipe. They were responsible for the upkeep of the forest and maintaining local laws in the area of the Forest of Dean. Serves four.
125 g unsalted butter
50 g caster sugar
Four egg yolks
120 g self raising flour
1 tbsp raspberry jam
Four egg whites
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, dissolved into 2 tbsp milk
1. With a pastry brush, coat the bottom and sides of a two-pint pudding basin with softened butter.
2. In a bowl cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time then add the flour. Beat the mixture well.
3. Add the raspberry jam and fold in carefully until mixed throughout.
4. Beat the egg whites with an electric beater, until they form unwavering peaks when the beater is lifted out of the bowl.
5. Quickly stir in the soda and milk mixture, and then gently fold in the egg whites. Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin and cover with a lightly buttered foil lid.
6. Place bowl in a saucepan and pour enough water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl. Bring the water to boil then place a lid on the saucepan and simmer for two hours. Add more water if necessary.
7. Remove the pudding from the water. Rest the pudding for a minute or two. Remove the foil lid and invert the pudding onto a plate.
To serve: Melt two tablespoons of raspberry jam in a saucepan and pour over the pudding. Serve with custard, cream, or ice cream.