A very autumnal dinner

Sometimes you make a dinner where the flavour combinations come together better than you dare expect, and you end up making a menu that you know you will return to again and again.

Yesterday was one of those dinners. I made:

Slow-braised leg of mutton
Smoked roseval potatoes
Roast crown prince squash

followed by

Orange-baked quince

The mutton recipe I used was derived from this recipe from the Blackface Meat Company although I had a smaller joint of meat so it only needed about 3.5 hours in all.

I really like Roseval potatoes and always pick them up when I spot them in the supermarket. They are a waxy, salad potato with a thick pink-purple skin which I usually peel off, leaving a pink middle layer. To prepare smoked potatoes you boil the unpeeled potatoes in salted water until tender and leave to cool. Peel the potato, trying not to remove too much of the layer immediately under the skin. I cool-smoked the potatoes for about an hour using oak and apple. Then reheat the potatoes in butter when you are ready to serve.

I won’t patronise you with a recipe for roast squash, but I strongly recommend seeking out the Crown Prince, this variety has a light blue-green skin and a lovely delicate flavoured orange flesh. Charbel sells them at Harborne and Moseley markets at the moment.

Baked quince is easy. This is another recipe from Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook. Wash the skin of the quince and then wrap each quince in foil. Sit them upright in an oven dish and bake in a hot oven until quite tender (say 1 hour). Remove, and let cool. To make the orange syrup dissolve 275g caster sugar in 250ml water, add 5 tablespoons orange juice and 1/2 tsp orange-flower water. Remember not to stir the syrup after it has come to the boil so it doesn’t crystallise. Then, halve each quince removing the core as you go. Place the quince flesh-side down in an oven dish and pour over the syrup. Bake until the quince are very soft and “treacly”. Serve with creme fraiche.

Recipes I discovered between 2011-12-25 – 2011-12-31

  • My 2011 meals of the year http://t.co/P7c4EEAy ->
  • Must remember to try and make this pork knuckle pibil recipe some time http://t.co/me8Y5bFb – need some achiote powder ->
  • Afternoon tea at Pennyhill park! http://t.co/pImzHHWz ->
  • Drank 3/4 of a bottle of comte armand bergundy (2007) A very classy way to achieve a feeling of drowsiness. ->
  • Standout dish was sweetbreads with winter truffle and salsify, brought together wonderfully with Comte http://t.co/6u6kEz5U ->
  • Cracking meal at Michael Wignall. Amazing balance of flavours- here's a pic http://t.co/ty7rFusg ->
  • popping down to Pennyhill Park later to see what all the fuss is about re: Michael Wignall at the Latymer … ->

Recipes I discovered between 2012-01-01 – 2012-01-07

  • Crab Linguine Recipe http://t.co/SMReLPuE ->
  • Which? are obsessed with dissing everyone elses services, but still make you call up to cancel the subscription. Twats! ->
  • Antenatal tortilla http://t.co/HXfZBoQv ->
  • Considering making a tortilla for tomorrow's 6 hour long antenatal class. Perhaps fry up a bit of placenta if there's any in the freezer. ->

Recipes I discovered between 2012-01-08 – 2012-01-14

  • Had lots of fun at our San Francisco themed dinner tonight with @loafonline, @oishinboy, @evilgordon and girls. Why San Francisco? No idea. ->
  • Early bird catches the worm at the indoor mkt: some lovely Colchester natives and a nice wild sea bass ->
  • The World Wakes up to Birmingham’s Food http://t.co/a9Cft2TM ->
  • Blog post: The World Wakes up to Birmingham’s Food http://t.co/OKzsel8H your comments welcome! ->

Recipes I discovered between 2012-01-22 – 2012-01-28

Recipes I discovered between 2012-02-05 – 2012-02-11

  • I find duck breast very uninspiring to cook. Any great ideas (i.e. nothing that appears on the BBC Food website) ->
  • Email from River Cottage today subject "Things are heating up" – hilarious I'm sure ->
  • Right who's not too hungover to
    go to harborne farmers market this morning?? ->
  • Superb chippy fish from @chamberlainsB68 – lovely light but very tasty batter … plus a fish finger sandwich for the wife ->
  • Just had a delivery of 2.5kg of white powder from Mexico via @oishinboy … don't worry it was just masa harina ->

Recipes I discovered between 2012-02-12 – 2012-02-18

  • Although if I'm dead tomorrow please remember that chicken picture I tweeted … ->
  • OK well Waitrose swapped the biohazard level 3 chicken for a nice ribeye steak and threw in some jamon iberico so who's laughing now. ->
  • OK. Chicken rethink required. Wonder what would have happened if I'd cooked that Heston style at incubator temp ->
  • seems to have haemorrhages too. leckford. #RT @smokeandumami: Anyone ever seen this on a chicken? Doesn't look right! http://t.co/Q5m8pZJ3 ->
  • Anyone ever seen this on a chicken? Doesn't look right! http://t.co/Y3cJpZvC ->
  • Will roast a chicken later by putting it in a hot oven for an hour or so and letting it rest for 20 minutes. Heston might want to try. ->

Recipes I discovered between 2012-02-19 – 2012-02-25

Recipes I discovered between 2012-03-04 – 2012-03-10

  • Dinner number 2; a salt fish and ackee and a Balti lamb patty from fenky janes thx @oishinboy http://t.co/hpODyZLb ->
  • That mackerel recipe was a bit pants. But maybe I did it wrong, don't really have time to cook properly! ->
  • Mackerel with roasted rhubarb sounds nice .. but it's a Nigel recipe so could go either way http://t.co/UuDxsWYv ->
  • Just tried a slab of @oishinboy's attempt at smoking some of @brockhallfarm's Dutch Mistress. Not bad! (He learnt from the best) ->
  • Anyone got a favourite mackerel recipe? I always seem to end up pan-frying and sprinkling over gremolata. ->
  • Lap has been keeping the blog warm whilst I'm busy with baby stuff. Latest post: Cantonese lobster noodle 龍蝦麵http://t.co/Cm6nHqU3 ->

Recipes I discovered between 2012-03-11 – 2012-03-17

  • Glory be http://t.co/RJdXFctl @oishinboy ->
  • I'm feeling like going left field and going for a non-traditional brisket rub; salt, thyme, garlic, bay leaf, black pepper. ->
  • Birmingham massive; anyone spotted wild garlic yet? ->
  • Two loaves of rye sourdough on the rise for lunch time Reuben's with @oishinboy's smoked ox cheek. ->
  • Senna was a brilliant racer, but spare a thought for lactulose ->
  • Hoppo rice pud http://t.co/F7JSQYIk ->