I was wittering away to someone on the phone about how I had adopted the East Midlands – leaving behind my south-western ways since heading up here to be with Nick .
To be honest that fact that the produce round here is so good really helped me acclimatise. In fact I recently got quite snarky reading Tom Parker Bowles Full English- a journey through the British and Their Food when the Midlands section covered only the West Midlands totally excluding the counties that make up the East Midlands Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and most of Lincolnshire.
It’s actually made me quiet determined to make sure I dig up as many traditional East Mids recipes as possible .
This is a favourite from Nicks’ pack-up sandwiches is Haslet (pronounced ‘Hacelet’, or azelet) . Originating from Lincolnshire it was something I had never seen before coming up this way. However every market stall sells it’s own version of this coarse pressed pate usually sliced , even the supermarkets have it next to packets of ham and chicken roll.
The nicest I have had recently ever had came in a hearty chunk from from Lincolnshire’s Grasmere Farm (www.grasmere-farm.co.uk), stall at the farmers market. It was much coarser than some of the more pastey versions.
I really wanted to have a go at making my own and it was suprisingly easy , as pate always turns out to be , a case of mixing the ingredients and baking in the oven.
It is delicious sliced in sandwiches with mustard or can even be eaten hot with gravy and mash in the winter.
8 thick slices of white bread cut into small pieces
water for soaking
500g of lean pork mince
1 tbsp dried sage, chopped
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and pepper
1. Soak cubed bread in enough water or milk to cover.
2. When soft, squeeze out excess moisture.
3. Mix the bread, pork, onion, sage, salt, and pepper.
4. Push into a loaf tin , pressing down firmly and evenly.
5. Place the loaf tin in a roasting tin filled with freshly boiled water
6. Place the roasting tin in a preheated 175degC oven bake 1 1/2 hours.
7. If top browns too quickly, slip a foil over the tin.
8. Let the tin stand for a few hours to cool .