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Ex-Genesis Drummer Chris Stewart Creates Spanish Flavours from Brit Ingredients

Ex-Genesis Drummer Chris Stewart Creates Spanish Flavours from Brit Ingredients
Chris Stewart is the ex-Genesis drummer who moved to the Andalusian Mountains and set up a sheep farm, El Valero. Here he shares three recipes from his forthcoming book, “Last Days of the Bus Club”.
 
Last Days of the Bus Club
Sort Of Books
Available from 5th June 2014
£8.99
 
When I think of Spanish food, what comes to mind for me are the deep, earthy, fresh and spicy flavours of Andalucía. But you don’t need to use chorizo in everything in order to make a gorgeous meal that sings of Spain. Good quality, British produce has all the depth, variety and flavour potential to make great Spanish inspired dishes. Here I share with you recipes from my own kitchen to bring a bit of Andalucía to your table.  
 
Tangy Nettle Soup
Spanish and English nettles are different, but the best type to go for in the UK are your standard stinging nettles. These grow in abundance and are best eaten before they flower in late May. Make sure you wear gloves to save yourself getting stung and wash the nettles well before cooking.
 
In a food processor, whizz up 400g of nettle, one medium sized potato with a clove of garlic, one onion and a red hot chilli to give it some edge. Add approximately a litre of vegetable stock and allow it to simmer until you reach a nice, thick consistency. Serve it in a dainty bowl with a swirl of soured cream and a handful of small golden croutons for perfection.
 
Spicy pomegranate and chilli glazed lamb
Take a big leg of lamb, rub it all over with lots of olive oil, any old olive oil will do... and salt - kosher, Maldon, marine, Himalayan quarried... any old salt will do. Then smother in some thick pomegranate syrup (marmalade or plum jam are also good). Place it on a baking tray on a thick
Ex-Genesis Drummer Chris Stewart Creates Spanish Flavours from Brit Ingredients
bed of sliced onions and rosemary, spattered here and there with bits of unpeeled garlic, a chilli or two, some bay leaves, the peel of a bitter orange, and a dozen peppercorns.
 
I know people who boil their leg for five minutes in water with a dash of vinegar to cut the fat, and having tried this last night with a sheep's head I reckon it works rather well. If you've boiled the leg, dry it well before you rub it with the oil, pomegranate and salt.
 
Blast the lamb on the highest heat you can get for a bit, until you can hear it sizzling. This seals it to a certain extent. Then take it out and let your oven cool down a bit, and then put the lamb back in to cook slowly. Baste it from time to time with the pan juices, which should be a rich mix of oil, garlic, orange, chilli, and pomegranate. Timing with lamb is down to personal taste, so keep an eye on it. For this recipe, my advice is don't overdo it; the middle ought to be pretty saignant if you know what I mean, while the outside should be a bit blackened and sweet and crispy.
 
Bitter Orange Drizzle Cake
The Alpujarras region of Spain where our farm is based, is famous for its oranges and lemons (hence Driving Over Lemons). This recipe is one I make very frequently and that you can adapt to suit your own tastes and availability.
 
First you’ll need some amazing Seville oranges which are more bitter and zesty than regular oranges. These should be available at a larger supermarket or decent market. You can also use good quality lemons if you can’t get your hands on the oranges. Zest and juice 3 bitter Seville oranges (or lemons).
 
Melt together 175g butter and 175g dark brown sugar. Add to this the just grates rinds, 125g raisins and 25g desiccated coconut. Then stir in two beaten eggs and fold in 150g of wholemeal flour (preferably one that contains nuts and grains). Bake at a medium/high head (180 degrees for those who like exactness) for 35 minutes.
 
Warm the juice of your fruit up with 50g of brown sugar. Puncture the cake all over with a chopstick (thin end) and drizzle (hence the name) the sugary juice into the cake. Eat while warm.
 
Accompany all these courses with a rich strong-bodied ruby wine, like a Rioja or a Ribera del Duero for an amazing Spanish feast that will spice up your summer table. 
 
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19 May 2014
By: Chris Stewart
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