Gordon Ramsay’s Great British Pub Food Hardcover – 5 Mar 2009
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'With purse-friendly ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes, this is perfect for anyone trying to eat in more.'
***** Heat magazine
'Relaxed, homely and comforting'.
‘It is an undeniably British creation, with nearly every recipe a dish of our heritage cleaned up and presented for the 21st century pub, with a quirky and colourful vibe.’
Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine
About the Author
Gordon Ramsay's radical career change at 17 years old led him to London and to huge success as chef, restaurant-empire-builder and TV star. Gordon has published ten bestselling recipe books and has starred in the hugely successful television series Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, Hell's Kitchen, The F Word and Gordon Ramsay’s Cookalong Live. In 2006 he was appointed OBE.
Mark Sargeant first worked with Gordon Ramsay at Aubergine before spending three years as Sous Chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea. He left there to open the highly acclaimed Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's where he is Head Chef. Most recently, Mark has been overseeing the opening of Gordon Ramsay’s pubs The Narrow, The Devonshire and The Warrington, which opened to excellent reviews and press coverage.
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I have tried the bangers and mash and the chicken and bacon pie to great success. I am sure the others will be just as easy. Compared to Jamie Oliver's random mutterings on a page that sometimes leave vital decisions to the imagination, Gordon's recipes are easy top read and follow. For a nice change these ones are very realistic midweek home fayre too. You don't have to throw a dinner party, scour oriental supermarkets or any of the other nonsense many cookbooks result in. Instead the vast majority of recipes are best serviced by a herb garden, a trip to the butcher, the greengrocers and some store cupboard essentials, my kind of cooking.
My only wish with this book is that some of the bloomin awful pubs around my house go buy this and take on some of the recipes. It is near impossible to name one that provides what I class as good pub food, instead it is either carveries or menus so big there isn't a cat in hells chance of anything being fresh. A simple mixture of some nice grill basics and 4-6 specials for the week should be enough for any of them.
♦ Gammon Steak with Pineapple and Fried Egg
♦ Hake in Beer Batter with Mushy Peas
nestling alongside, the lesser well-known (perhaps), such as:
♦ Pork Cheeks in Spices with Bashed Neeps
♦ Rabbit Hotpot with Perry
and the rather intriguing:
♦ London Particular
Initial impressions and a quick flick through this publication - 'a tribute to British pub food' - one could be forgiven for getting a slightly confused impression of what this book is aiming at.
A lot of the recipe titles certainly have that 'chef spin' on them which suggests something more 'up-market' for want of a better way to put it - i.e. the more 'posh restaurant-side' rather than the 'bar-side' of what I know as the 'traditional pub', perhaps, which could limit appeal.
Having said that, all is revealed with a quick read of the dust-jacket flap:
'...I believe that simple, delicious British food should be found in that great British institution - the pub. However, all too often pub owners think they can get away with serving tasteless, defrosted meals. The gastropubs aren't much better - to my mind many gastropubs sell mediocre food at restaurant prices.
When my friend, Mark Sargeant and I set up the Gordon Ramsay pubs in London, we wanted to produce the sort of simple but delicious British classics that warm the cockles of your heart and to serve them at affordable pub prices.
Dishes like rich, hearty 'Chicken and Smoked Bacon Pie', mouth-watering 'Sausages with Mustard Mash', 'Sweet and Sour Peppers' and indulgent 'Treacle Tart' - classics which have stood the test of time.
That's why I have collected my favourite British recipes into one collection so you can invite your friends round, serve some good, English ale and cook the best in traditional pub food classics in your own home...'
A touch of gold colouring outlines the raised lettering of the title as GR peeks over a dish, on the dust-jacket, although, both disappear off the durable hardboard cover which opens to 256 thick matt pages, split over main chapters:
(1) Bar Food
(2) Savouries with Toast
(3) Soups and Broths
(5) Catch of the Day
(6) Pies and Savoury Tarts
(7) Comfort Food
(8) Grills and Sautés
(9) Weekend Roasts
sandwiched between an introduction and an index.
Each chapter opens with a double title page showing the list of recipes which follow, on a traditional pub blackboard type layout.
Each recipe is clearly laid out with the title, an opening note, the number of servings, the list of ingredients along with suggested accompaniments and the method, presented in the usual GR style.
A small taste of the other recipes contained within:
♦ Scotch Eggs
♦ Prawn Cocktail
♦ Homemade Pork Scratchings
♦ Scotch Woodcock
♦ Cock-a-leekie Soup
♦ Grilled Kippers
♦ Somerset Fish Casserole
♦ Roasted Bone Marrow with Caper and Herb Dressing
♦ Cornish Pasties
♦ Steak and Kidney Pie
♦ Black Country Beef Stew
♦ Lancashire Hotpot
♦ Rib-Eye Steak with Chips and Sauce Choron
♦ Pork Chop with Champ
♦ Roast Chicken with Gravy and Bread Sauce
♦ Christmas Roast Turkey infused with Truffles
♦ Roast Beef with Red Wine Gravy
♦ Summer Pudding
♦ Jam Roly-Poly
♦ Queen of Puddings
♦ Roast Potatoes
This book is interspersed with a fair number of illustrations for a book this size - including some of GR and 'on-location', as usual, but the number of the finished dishes is still on the light side, in my opinion, which may prove negative to those of us who like to see what we are aiming for on the plate, e.g. 'Potted Hough' ('Hough' is Scottish 'shin' (of beef on the bone), incidentally)).
From the introduction:
'...This book brings to you dishes that have become pub classics.
It offers simple, reasonably priced recipes that you can cook at home without fuss or complication. This is the food that has brought the British pub on to the culinary map.'
Although I am a fan of Mr Ramsay, I do question whether this publication will appeal to the market the title initially suggests it is aimed at, and that is part of the reason why it has taken me a good few months to try, taste and...ponder.
Without doubt, there are some great recipes and my overall favourite is:
♦ Honeyed Pork Stew, from (pages 164/165),which panders to my 'one-pot' preference when nobody knows what time they are getting back for dinner. The opening note of this tasty recipe hints that it is the 'perfect winter warmer' and, at this time of the year (at the time of writing), I can certainly endorse that! The recipe makes great use of a relatively inexpensive piece of boneless pork belly with a load of vegetables, all slowly simmering away on a low heat in my favourite Le Creuset pot.
I have quite a few Ramsay cookbooks and would reccomend this one to anyone. Whereas some (like 3 * chef) are almost "food porn" - looks great but little chance of doing it at home, this is easy to follow with everyday ingredients, no special equipment but great wholesome food.
The print is clear, some great photos of the food and of Ramsay & Sarge, a nice retro feel to some of them too.
I don't have a Ramsay pub within about 100 miles so this is the next best thing. Buy it, read it, use it to make something to impress your family and friends, you and they will be glad you did
I have cooked many of the recipes
They are often quick to prepare and tasty with the usual GR twists
Salmon with brown shrimps was surprisingly well received by my guests and the Potted Shrimps were lovely but they are all good recipes that fit in with everyday life.
I have all GR books and they rarely disappoint but some are expensive and if you just want to eat something delicious, this is the book to have!
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