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Roast Marrow with Roast Potatoes, Roast Baby Onions, Fresh Greens and Home Made Gravy

Notes from a veggie kitchen

28/4/01

Another week, another meal to note. This weekend, my brother and father came to visit on Sunday, as my brother has bought my car. It's a 6-hour round trip, so I fed them Sunday lunch. Those of you who have read my notes before will have noticed a theme - namely a lack of time. This Sunday was no exception, I had to take a friend of my daughter's back home at 11am, my brother was arriving at 11:45 and would have to be shown the car, go for a test drive to familiarise with the controls and dad had to be shown round the house as he hadn't seen various improvements since he was last here - oh, and I was cooking a full Sunday dinner for six to be ready by 1:30

Ingredients

* 1 large marrow
* 1 large onion peeled and chopped
* 2 peppers diced
* 6 Quorn fillets (you could use 450g Quorn pieces or 500g Soya mince or to get away from anything "manufactured", you could use grains or beans - obviously that would take more time)
* 50g grated mature cheddar.
* 500g Fresh Greens
* 500g Baby Onions
* Roast Potatoes (as previous recipe)
* Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* Black Pepper
* Plain flour
* Vegetable Stock Cube
* 500ml water

Method

* Put the oven on to 200°C (I cook almost everything at 200°C)
* Peel the baby onions and blanch for 5 minutes in a pan of boiling water. Drain and put them in an ovenproof dish, cover with 3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (If you have some, use garlic infused oil) and sprinkle a tablespoon of demerara sugar over them and put in the oven.
* Cut the marrow in half, scoop out the seeds and discard. Use a desert-spoon to remove the flesh from each half, leaving "shells" about 5mm thick, keep the flesh. Wrap each half in tinfoil and place in a baking tray and put in the oven.
* In a heavy pan fry the Quorn fillets in some of the oil to brown on both sides and remove
* In the same pan on a medium heat, fry the onions for 2 minutes then add the peppers and diced marrow flesh. Season with black pepper and fry for 3-4 minutes until browned.
* Trim the greens and wash in salted cold water.
* Remove the marrow shells from the oven; arrange the Quorn fillets and onion, pepper and marrow mix in each of the shells. Sprinkle with the grated cheese, cover again with the foil and return to the oven.
* Put the greens into a large heavy-bottomed pan with just enough water to cover the bottom. Cover with a heavy lid and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to simmer. The leaves should be soft but still recognizable when cooked.
* The marrow, onions, greens and potatoes should all be cooked in the time it takes to make the gravy, so...
* In the pan you cooked the onions, peppers and marrow, add 2 tablespoons of oil, heat and stir to mix in all the flavours and "remains" of the previously cooked vegetables, add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to a paste, add the stock cube, then add water a little at a time, making sure that all of the water is blended into the paste before adding the next amount. Once the paste has become a thick liquid you can add the rest of the water and stir in. Season, and if needed, add some soy sauce or another stock cube.

* OK, everything ready then set out on serving dishes and serve.

It was touch and go bringing this one together with having to go out for drives and "to look at the engine" and show round the bathroom, but it did all work. The roast onions are especially good.

Alternative Potatoes

As an alternative to roast potatoes, last week I did Duchesse. They aren't hard to do, but do take some preparation time.

Take as many potatoes as you would normally use for the number of people eating - then add two (or at least one large one).

Peel and pressure cook for 15 minutes (or boil until quite soft).

Mash and then add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, blend in and then 2 tablespoons at a time blend in 500g of Crème Fraîche.

This makes a really creamy and very soft mash. If you have a catering icing bag and large star nozzle, pipe as many 3-cm roses of potato as you can onto an oiled baking tray. This requires a good deal of strength, but is worth it. However, a good result can easily be achieved simply spooning the mixture onto the baking sheet in 3cm "balls". Drizzle the potatoes with more olive oil, ideally some you have infused with garlic and place in a hot oven until browned - about 25 to 40 minutes.

Dave Wardell

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