The Hampstead Butcher & Providore
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Warming Winter Food

Posted Saturday 4th February 2017

The festivities of Christmas may be well over, but there are still lots to inspire winter cooking and nothing is more hearty and satisfying than the dishes traditionally enjoyed in the mountains at this time of year.

A day outside in the cold mountain air demands hearty, tasty, satisfying meals that use all the wonderful local produce of the region. Smoked bacon, melting cheeses and generous cuts of juicy meat make for simple yet satisfying meals.  Perfect accompanied by a generous glass of local wine or beer.

Cheese

Fondue and Raclette are both sumptuous melting cheese dishes that are favourites in the Alps.  Fondue is often made using a variety of local cheeses such as Reblochon, Comte and Gruyere that are all melted together into a big pot ready for dipping crusty bread into.  Raclette is just one half moon of cheese (often Emmenthal) melted in front of a grill on the table and spooned over a meal of potatoes and meat served with either salad or vegetables.

Tartiflette is another hearty meal of cheese, but this time layered in a dish with potatoes, cream and smoked bacon. Served with a simple green salad it’s hot, tasty and very filling!

Meat

Cassoulet harks back to our Slow Cook blog.  It’s yet another hearty French meal that will warm you up on even the coldest of days! It has a base made up of beans and meat, most often pork sausage but traditionally also with goose or duck and lamb is also a good alternative. The beans give it a delicious creamy texture and with just an onion and a few herbs such as thyme and bay for seasoning it’s again served very simply with a fresh green salad.

For a soup with punch try Goulash Soup, made with tender pieces of braising steak and beef stock accompanied with root vegetables, potatoes and a generous seasoning of paprika! After a good couple of hours simmering on the hob it’s ready to serve with a swirl of sour cream and parsley.  Originally from Hungary, this thick soup is also a favourite in the Austrian mountains at lunchtime!

If you can’t wait till lunch time, start the day off with a traditional Tirolean fry-up. Essentially using yesterdays left overs, it’s made up of smoked bacon, onion and potato cooked together in a frying pan and topped with a fried egg.  Just make sure you have a big day ahead of you to burn it all off!

With food inspired by the European Alps, it has to be a big Italian Chianti or a full bodied French Chablis that you enjoy alongside this most indulgent of winter food!


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