Rose's August Shop Watch - Forman and Field
Forman and Field
Pâté and cheese
Re-create a French garden lunch
A platter of pâté and terrines. Another of cheeses – creamy and just beginning to ooze. A green salad, maybe of salad leaves, dressed simply in a vinaigrette. And a ripe red tomato salad, dotted with basil leaves with fruity olive oil sprinkled over. A baguette or two. And a glass of rosé wine. Although France is known for its haute cuisine, there is nothing, in my view, to rival this simple but quintessentially French lunch. And if you are not in France this summer, why not capture its essence by recreating this meal in your garden? To do so, I am turning to a website where you can order it all: Forman and Field. World famous for their smoked salmon, they also sell a wonderful range of artisan foods and it is worth browsing the site for lots of ideas. I suggest you add some smoked salmon to your order as well.
But back to our lunch. There are a huge selection of pâtés and terrines to choose from. You can obviously order the fish-based ones, like smoked salmon or smoked mackerel pâté or the salmon and langoustine terrine. There are vegetarian terrines too - beetroot and goat’s cheese or layered vegetable. But I have chosen two meat pâtés, because that is what I would naturally think of for this meal. The first is a smooth velvety chicken liver and brandy parfait, every bit as good as any you would find in France. The free-range livers have a hit of cognac added and are sealed in butter in a small glass French pot. Just add a cornichon.
The second is a coarse-set ham hock terrine with parsley (or jambon persillé as it is known in France) to give a completely different texture. It is a classic pressed terrine, from free-range pigs, with chopped parsley and enrobed with delicious ham stock jelly. You just run a knife round the edge and turn it out onto a plate.
The cheeses I have chosen are all French in character, but made in Britain! The first one is a soft, silky cheese, with a nutty rind: Baron Bigod. It is Britain’s only raw milk farmhouse Brie style cheese, unlike in France where it is often difficult to find a pasteurised cheese. It is handmade on the farm in Bungay Suffolk and the wheel comes wrapped in waxed paper in a wooden box. It can genuinely be called a true farmhouse Brie. The second is Winslade – a cross between a Vacherin and a Camembert. It is encircled in a spruce strip which gives it a piney note, and is rich with a soft texture throughout.
Add the salads and bread and some Bungay Raw Butter, an unpasteurised butter from the makers of Baron Bigod, which tastes like butter used to be – a revelation. And don’t forget the rosé.
So, re-create your own garden picnic or déjeuner sur l'herbe (but perhaps less risqué than the famous Manet painting) and you could be in France.
Déjeuner sur l'herbe
Telephone: 0203 601 5464
Availability as of 31st July 2020