Warm Treacle Cider Ham Hock Spring Barley Salad with Rumpy Rolls
It’s mid May and the height of spring, but with the chill in the air it hardly feels seasonal. All the signs are there with the British Asparagus season in full swing, the first English peas and broad beans coming though. However with the continuing coolness I’m still drawn to cook warmer dishes but at the same time want to celebrate spring with it’s bounty of spring vegetables.
I have fallen head over heals in love with Suffolk and like making day trips to places such as Aldeburgh, Southwold, Walberswick, Orford and Woodbridge. The love interest is not only for the beautiful villages, coast line and nature but also for the culinary delights. The Suffolk produce is second to none, the county is packed with a fantastic selection of various ingredients from grain, chicken, apples, beer, pork, milk, fish, beef, fruit and vegetables, wine and plenty more. There is a farmers market every first Saturday of the month at Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh and as I love the Suffolk produce I made a pilgrimage to this farmers market to savour Suffolk’s finest.
At the Snape farmers market I bought Asparagus, Sutton Hoo Chicken, Suffolk Gold Cheese, Spelt grain from Maple farm Kelsale, Woodbridge Mill Whole meal flour and other interesting goodies before headig off to Orford.
Orford is a beautiful and interesting village but full of contrasts from the grand stately red brick houses to chickens roaming round carefree on the grass verges. It gives you the feeling of wellbeing and I just simply feel safe in Orford. You can walk along the sea inlet verges picking sea purslane and looking at the lambs grazing on the salt marches gives you the sense of tranquility and makes you forget about all the pressing issues of the modern world. I cannot wait for later on in the year when the samphire will be plentiful once again and I can return to harvest handfuls to cook up with Orford-landed fish.
Orford has several smokehouses and I have already written about my favourite Richardson’s Smokehouse in a previous post. I went home with an array of smoked products including the treacle and cider smoked ham hock and smoked chorizo sausages which are the perfect combination for this utterly delicious warm dish served with spring barley salad and freshly baked Woodbridge mill rumpy rolls.
I refer to my bread rolls as rumpy rolls as they are free form and the round shape is by no means meant to be perfect. The Woosbrdige mill flour was a good find and I like the romance of the story behind the flour and the mill.
All in all it was a fantastic and relaxing day with yet plenty of food for thought, lots to write about, my spirits charged and my foodie hunger satisfied. It’s a gourmands dream day out.
Woodbridge Mill Wholemeal Rumpy Rolls
- 15g fresh yeast or 7g dried yest (do not use fast action yeast)
- 250g strong white bread flour
- 80g Woodbridge Mill wholemeal flour
- 1tsp salt
- 240ml water
In a cup mix the yeast with 60ml of water until it's dissolved, leave for 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl mix the two flours and salt and make a well in the centre. Add the yeasty water together with the rest of the water, use a spatula or pallet knife to cut the water and yeast into the flour, mix until it all comes together and knead the dough for 8 minutes to form an elastic and smooth bread dough.
Food Fanatics Tip: please note that wholemeal flour absorbs more water than white flour so if the dough feels slightly dry add a bit more water.
Place the bread dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to proove until double in size.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, use your fingers to spread the dough into a large rectangle and then fold the two long sides inwards to form a long narrow log. Cut the log into 50g balls and roll them into smooth bread rolls. Place the bread roll dough on a lined baking tray with about 6 cm gaps between each, cover the tray with a clean tea towel and leave the to proove until double in size.
Use a very sharp knife to cut marks in the top of each roll and lightly dust with wholemeal flour. Place the baking tray into the preheated oven, pour 150ml cold water on the floor of the oven and quickly close the door. Bake the rolls for 12 - 15 minutes, until cooked with a crisp crust.
Let the rolls cool on a cooling rack.
Makes 12/13 x 50g rolls
Warm Treacle Cider Ham Hock Spring Barley Salad
- 50ml light olive oil
- 120g diced white onion
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- 80g diced celery
- 150g pearl barley
- 100ml St.Peters Honey Porter Beer
- 420ml white chicken stock
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 120g shelled broad beans, or frozen work just as well
- 120g shelled fresh peas or frozen peas work just as well
- 120g flaked smoked treacle and cider cured ham hock
- 1 bunch of asparagus, spears and stalks sliced
- 30g unsalted butter
- Juice and zest of a lemon (optional)
- Hand full of chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Richard's smokehouse smoked chorizo sausages
- Fresh pea tops or shoots
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and saute the onion, celery and garlic until transparent and it starts to take on colour, add the pearl barley and cook for 2 minutes.
Deglaze with the beer and cook until the pearl barley absorbs the beer, add the stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Food Fanatics Tip: do not add salt at this stage as it will make the barley tough, add the seasoning towards the end of the cooking time. Gently simmer the barley for about 30 minutes, add light seasoning after the first 20 minutes. Stir occasionally, and keep the pan covered with a lid at all other times.
While the barley is cooking cut the chorizo sausage in 1cm slices and pan-fry until cooked and golden brows, set aside.
Once the barley is cooked remove the lid increase the heat to a rapid boil, add the ham, peas, asparagus and broad beans and cook for about 5 minutes until the mixture becomes dryer and the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the butter, adjust the seasoning and add the lemon juice, zest and the chopped parsley. Stir in the cooked sliced chorizo sausage, serve the warm salad in a warm bowl, garnish the dish with fresh pea tops and serve with the warm freshly baked rumpy rolls.
Serves 6 as a starter portion or 3/4 for a main