Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Why Having A Punk Rock Attitude In The Kitchen Rocks

I had a decent stint of cooking at the weekend and I was determined to experiment with an impulse buy that had been sitting in the cupboard for a while. A few weeks ago I was picking up the staples during my shop; vegetables, bread, eggs, dried juniper berries...I know - not a staple item in one's basket but I do like to buy at least one unfamiliar item to add pazazz to shopping. However I usually have a dish in mind but I had no idea where I'd start but I wanted them like most women want chocolate or shoes.

The JP's lay dormant in my cupboard until Sunday. I was looking for something new to cook. Game isn't something I've ever really dealt with and rather fancied trying it when a flash of inspiration came to me - could the JP's make their debut? Would game and the JP's be a match made in heaven? Or would it be hell? So I bought a mix of pheasant, goose, venison and pigeon and raced home to get going.

Attention! Vivi says throw away the recipe book!
I was so determined to make a really delicious game casserole but didn't really want to follow a recipe, I wanted to come up with my own but I was halted halted with thoughts of "will it work?" So I sent a tweet asking fellow foodies what they thought. No response. People were busy enjoying their weekend not fretting over game and berry combos or probably not even interested. Sometimes we're overwhelmed and saturated with cookery shows and books to the point we don't experiment. We're too busy trying to make our Jamie 15 minute meals the best ever and lose the ability to use our skills, follow our hearts and just mix it up Georges Marvellous Medicine style.

So feeling all Siouxie Sioux (and wearing Vivienne Westwood from head to toe in my mind) I just went for it. And blow me down it was blooming delicious! The sweetness of the juniper berries was a welcome presence with the rich gamey flavour of the meat. All I did was sweat down some onion, garlic, celery and carrot and set to one side. I then coated the meat in flour and browned it in the pan and re-added the veg and stirred. I added a glass of red wine and let the alcohol cook off then added about 300ml of beef stock, the juniper berries, a handful of mushrooms and 3 bay leaves. I seasoned with salt and pepper, covered with a lid and let it bubble for a couple of hours on the hob.

Gamey goodness
I served the sweet goodness with celeriac and potato mash, roast parsnip and carrot and some lovely sweet sprouts. The punk rock paid off. But I still listened to Classic fm throughout. The juxtaposition added to the anarchy in the kitchen.

Had to add a close up of the JP's!
So my call to you is throw away the recipe book, embrace your inner punk culinary godess and create something unique and special just like you.



  1. Wow vivi rocking it in the kitchen kiddo, mouth is watering reading that!

  2. It really was delish and dead easy, have a go and let me know how you get on! Vivi.x