The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book by Matthew Evans, Nick Haddow and Ross O'Meara
Food as it used to taste
By Laura McKinnon
The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book has been penned by, most notably, Matthew Evans of Gourmet Farmer fame (seasons one and two have screened on SBS). However, just like in the television series, he is supported by his fellow partners-in-crime cheesemaker Nick Haddow and Ross O’Meara.
Basically, the book is a celebration of the television series and its mission to show people the more traditional ways of creating and preparing food. It covers things such as the creation of cheese, butter, hams, sausages, smoked fish and pickled vegetables, then follows with recipes including the special ingredients.
The book is divided into four main sections: milk, meat, fish and vegetables and condiments.
The first line in this chapter basically sums up many components of the book: ‘There are hundreds of reasons not to go to the effort of making your own cheese, butter or yoghurt and only one compelling argument to do it: flavour.’
The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book covers making products from the ground up – from the source to the table. It includes such things as sterilising bottles (good bacterial conditions are paramount in dairy product creation), curing and smoking, sausage making, pickling and the creation of condiments.
At first glance The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book can be seen as only being accessible to the committed cook. Making sausages for example will require a lot of effort and requires utensils not found in the average kitchen – a mincer, sterilisation equipment and a sausage cannon. More common alternatives are given but words like ‘painful’ and ‘slow’ are used to describe their effect on the creation of the product.
However, the recipes can be created by sourcing equivalent good quality food products. It is nice to know that you can still put together ‘The World’s Best Hot Dog’ without having to create your own sausages from the ground up.
But it's easy to become far removed from the original recipe simply because many of the ingredients do need to be created from scratch. For example the hot dog recipe requires Ross’s Wholegrain Mustard (p.248), Grandpa Steve’s Tomato Sauce (p.242) and Dill Pickles (p.220) for the true taste sensation. Achieving this with time constraints could certainly be hard.
It must be said that the recipes are fantastic. Highlights include Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy; Cevapcici (an eastern European sausage); Potato, Fresh Herb and Red Onion Salad with Crème Fraiche; Smoked Trout with Scrambled Eggs; Linguine with Bottarga (Sicilian salt-presered fish roe) and Lemon; Tipsy Cake with Orange Blossom Mascarpone; and Clotted Cream Fudge to name a few. Well worth the effort and time.
Overall, The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book is an excellent buy for those who take freshness in their food seriously and who want to work with the best and most wholesome ingredients.
The book would make a fantastic gift for any foodie, containing good food photography and excellent presentation throughout. It would look great in any high end cook book collection and be well placed on any coffee table. Highly recommended, but if time is an issue, steer clear.
The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book written by Matthew Evans, Nick Haddow and Ross O'Meara is published in Australia by Murdoch Books (Sydney, 2012; hc, 260 pp) RRP A$49.99
Subscribers of VisitVineyards.com and Winepros Archive can purchase The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book at 12.5% discount via our book partners Seekbooks (postage extra).
The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book is also available via Booko here »
- Huon and Channel (TAS)
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