One of Jas highlights – inspiration for a Christmas meal alternative

Happened in the beautiful little village of Moniaive, south-west of Scotland back in 2008-2010.

This 36-cover restaurant was the heart and soul of Jason. He designed the kitchen himself, produced home-made cracking food from the freshest of the local ingredients whilst managing a team of eight people to run this brand new Scottish-with-a-Mediterranean-twist restaurant. See the local newsletter review below 🙂

Regretfully it only lasted 2 years as an opportunity was offered in London at The Savoy and had decided to take the next adventure on board.

One of the most popular dishes at the Three Glens was the Veal Osso Buco which was also featured in this review. This is where this week’s recipe comes from and we highly recommend it to be tested.

If you’re looking for a Christmas meal alternative, this is it!

Osso Buco – translated to literally a “bone with a hole”.

Ok, so this really reminds me of my good old childhood food fun. We used to love eating its marrow (mudullun in Maltese) but not before blowing it out of the bone hole and seeing it splashed onto the plate, or elsewhere really!

Veal might not be the cheapest option for a budget meal and this particular recipe might take longer than what you want to do on a regular evening, however Christmas and New Year are just around the corner and it would be a great treat for all the family.

Just a nicely cooked, delicate piece of meat which literally falls off the bone before you even dig into it. Highly recommendable!

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Head Chef and Manager of the Three Glens in Moniaive, Jason Azzopardi has come a long way since he first started in the restaurant industry.
Hailing from Malta where he learned the trade, Jason has worked for top fine dining restaurants in Malta, England, Ireland, Scotland and Australia.
He has maintained the position of Head Chef since the restaurant’s opening in December 2008 and  has watched it go from strength to strength as its popularity with local food-lovers grows.
Jason advocates the use of fresh, local produce which he combines with herbs and spices to create honest dishes with an Italian Mediterranean twist that are full of flavour.
“I let the food speak for itself”, he says. The Three Glens, situated in the eart of Moniaive, where the Craighdaroch, Castlefairn and Dalwhat glens meet, caters for all tastes and appetites.
It’s a la carte menu is a favourite of discerning local diners, while the wide range of pizza and pasta dishes are both satisfying to the stomach and the pocket.
Jason makes pizzas and breads fresh from the wood burning oven imported from Italy when the restaurant opened in December 2008.
The Three Glens is a 36-cover restaurant: small and intimate it creates a homely feel in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

Rob

 

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Veal Osso Buco with Mashed Potates and Vegetable Jus

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • 4 Veal knuckle steaks about 350g each with bone and marrow
  • 2 large Carrots
  • 1 large Onion
  • 1 Leek
  • 4 Celery stalks
  • 6 large Potatoes
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Few springs fresh Thyme & Rosemary
  • 15ml Tomato puree
  • 200ml dry White Wine
  • 2 Beef/Veg stock cubes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Some Butter and Double Cream for mash potatoes

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 Method

  1. Wash the potatoes and put them in a medium pan with water. Start boiling them on medium heat until thoroughly cooked.
  2. Pre-heat oven on mark 3-4 degrees.
  3. Prepare a large frying pan on high heat so we can seal the veal.
  4. We need to score the veal before sealing so it doesn’t turn upwards whilst cooking, see video at 1:19 to see how.
  5. Place veal on a tray and season well with salt & pepper.
  6. Add oil to the pan and brown the veal from each side.
  7. By the time the veal is sealing we can start preparing the mirepoix; in a bowl roughly chop the carrots, onion, leek and celery. Add the bay leaf, thyme, rosemary and garlic as whole.
  8. Transfer the veal to a plate once it’s sealed from both sides and put it on the side for now. Leave the frying pan on the hob.
  9. Add the vegetables, herbs and garlic and fry for about 6 minutes.
  10. Add tomato puree and stir for further 2 minutes.
  11. Add wine and scraping the bottom of the pan over a high heat, reduce the liquid quantity by half.
  12. Add stock cubes and give it another gentle stir.
  13. Transfer the mirepoix to a deep roasting dish and start placing the veal on top of it.
  14. Cover the whole dish with a large piece of foil, make sure it is covered tightly so no vapour can escape.
  15. Stick it in the oven and leave it to cook for 1.5 – 2hrs.
  16. In the meantime, potatoes should be ready by now. Drain the water, add butter, cream and seasoning and give it a quick mash leaving skin on.veal-out-of-the-oven-jpg

 

We’re on Gravody TV

We are delighted to announce that we have been approached and are now in collaboration with Gravody Network. This is a new 24-7 smart TV and subscription network available on Apple TV. It will be officially launched in January 2017 and you can have a look at http://gravody.net

We will be broadcasting our video recipes and full written recipes on the cooking channel, however we will still be uploading more videos on our YouTube channel.

This is very exciting for us and we hope you take time to sign up for this entertaining network and continue to give us your support, thank you!

Rob & Jas

gravody

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Fresh Spinach & Mango Smoothie

Ingredients

  • Small bunch fresh Spinach
  • 1 Mango
  • Half a Pineapple
  • 1 Banana
  • 50ml Natural Yogurt
  • Honey
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Strawberry and a pinch of Chia seeds for garnish

    spinach-mango-pineapple-smoothie-ingredients-jpg
    ingredients

Method

  1. Start chopping off the long stalks of your spinach and give it a thorough wash, leave it on the side to drain.
  2. Roughly chop the mango and banana, place in blender. Add the yogurt.
  3. Start peeling the pineapple (watch video at 2:56 to see how) and roughly chop it to add it to the blender.
  4. Now add the spinach, lemon juice, honey and water.
  5. Start blending it on medium speed until all is blended well and smooth enough to your liking.
  6. Pour into a glass and garnish with a strawberry, a piece of pineapple and chia seeds.

Kitchen won’t function without …

Preparation, Food and Service

So let’s continue where we left from in the last blog Life’s a journey not a destination.

Food – Is the main thing in our household, the bigger the family gets the more we give importance to it. Jas relates this to his background at home, they’re a family of 7 and he always says “I remember my dad he made sure the fridge and freezer are always full and I believe I took his tradition”.

We always make sure we stock and pile up with food and this is how we work it out:

  • A4 shopping list book in the kitchen to write down what we need as we go along so nothing is ever missed (we try our best at least cause annoyingly there is always something missing)
  • Every last week of the month I do our big shopping online and get it delivered by the beginning of the following month.
  • On top of that, we buy fresh products that we consume daily/weekly.
  • Ingredients that have a long shelf life we try to stock as much as we can and look out for good deals so our pockets can benefit from that too.

Preparation – What is it exactly, what does it mean? This is the million-dollar question.

According to our experience, preparation is a great tool to follow in everything we do in life in general. When it comes to food, without a good preparation (what they call mise-en-place in the professional kitchen) we don’t have or are able to put together a good plate of food.

At home, preparation of food includes the writing down of a big monthly shopping as mentioned earlier. This is when it gets easier to have an idea of what you’re cooking on a daily basis and those not-knowing-what-to-cook days are dramatically reduced.

When it comes to kitchen, before we even start cooking, preparation has to include making sure that:

  • Recipe’s instructions are well read through.
  • We’re keeping a good eye on the ingredients amounts, utensils needed for the whole recipe and cooking timings.
  • When we get to the cooking stage, we’d have ready peeled/cut/chopped/rinsed etc ingredients all set to go on the hob.

If either of these are not prepared well, it’s easy to find ourselves stuck in the middle of a recipe and cooking time will be all over the place, resulting in an overcooked ingredient disaster.

I understand that sometimes it is not as easy to follow a recipe and that’s why we launched this robandjas project to provide you with an easy step-by-step guide for a successful family meal.

Service – It’s all happening here!

Rob

Fresh Mussels in White Wine Sauce

Ingredients – Serves 3

  • 1.5kg Fresh Mussels
  • 1 large shallot/onion
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 300ml white Wine
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Lemon wedge/slice for garnish

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    ingredients

Method

  1. Clean and wash the mussels under running water, watch video at 00:58 to see how. Put them in a bowl.
  2. Prepare a medium pan on a high heat with lid on.
  3. Start chopping shallot, slice garlic and add them to the mussel bowl.
  4. Add fresh thyme, bay leave and wine to the bowl.
  5. By this time the pan is really hot so we can transfer mussels to the pan and cover it immediately. Leave to steam until all mussels are open.

    mussels-method-5-jpg
    transfer mussels mix to the pre-heated pan
  6. In the meantime, you can start chopping the parsley.
  7. When all mussels are open, add the butter, the cream and chopped parsley to the pan. Give it a gentle stir.
  8. Cover pan again and wait until the cream comes to a boil.
  9. Give it another gentle stir and plate.

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    plate and enjoy!