Disclaimer: this recipe was created as part of a competition organised by Heinz [Seriously] Good Mayonnaise. T&Cs here.
Old Tories like me have a very strong love for localism. Whether born in the Shires or adopted from a far away lake town on the continent, we flick through Country Life and just about love to shop local, support the farming industry etc. When I saw this challenge by this brand from a former colony
(and that, folks, is how you get around the issue with the title!), I knew there was only one theme I could go for. So I thought about three of the most beloved countryside things, and it happens they also all have an anecdote in 18th century Britain.
Ingredients (serves 1, woe me I’m single)
The Oxford Dictionary allegedly quotes John Walker as having written in 1791 that “Sparrow-grass is so general that asparagus has an air of stiffness and pedantry”.
125 gr (kept half for a risotto actually)
One of the possible origin of the name mayonnaise is a Spanish town where the French beat the British in a naval battle in 1756.
A generous squeeze, to taste
William Blake wrote a poem titled “The Lamb” in 1789.
1 lamb steak, approx 150gr
in the 18th century they were used to make blackberry wine and cordials.
200gr, not very sweet ones (it’s better if they have a little bit of sting to them), I used about 6 and ate the rest, mostly while cooking
Also 1 small shallot, finely minced; 1tbs of oil to cook the meat if you need to (I used EV Olive Oil); salt (I used fine Pink Himalayan Salt)
1. Put some water to the boil to steam the asparagus, unless you’re one of those lucky people with a big kitchen and a steamer. In that case follow the instructions on the manual of use. I wouldn’t know what to say because I don’t have one (I’m just a poor student entrepreneur in London). Leave to steam for 8-10 minutes, just the time to cook them without making them soft, so they give the crunch to the whole bite.
2. Finely mince your shallot and split the amount in half. Put one half in a small bowl and squeeze as much Heinz [Seriously] Good Mayonnaise as it needs to cover the layer of shallot. Give it a good stir. Leave it aside.
3. Warm you pan if you’re one of the lucky ones like Mother who have non-sticky marble pans, or warm something to pan fry the meat in a regular pan if you’re like me. Add the other half of the shallot to give it some taste, and cook the meat (approx 8 minutes for fully cooked).
4. Eat some blackberries, crush approx 6 of the remaining depending on size and add them to the mayo. Give it a good stir until the mayo gets pink.
5. Move everything that is cooked to the serving plate, or in my case to the serving spoon, and enjoy!