Tag Archive: organic


During our last venture around Mainland Scotland, Skye and The Orkneys, we called in to see a dear friend of ours – Mother Malarky.

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Mother Malarky - Shamanic Taxidermist, Drum Maker and ForagerMother Malarky was one of my very first roadkill mentors and we always look forward to playing with dead things whenever we get together, be it learning how to taxidermy in her kitchen, skinning moles on the beach or holding impromptu roadkill workshops in a field somewhere!

It was at her house one evening in front of the fire that my beaver-fur bikini-bottom performance art piece “Nice Beaver” was re-named “Kali’s Pants” after it took on a greater spiritual and emotional meaning – and the addition of a pikes jaw bone from the Malarky mantelpiece and a handmade red velvet vulva, lol.  Ahhhh, some friends you just know you can be yourself with. lol.

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Ahhhhhh, Roadkill Squirrel Sausages - TUFTY-TASTIC!Well, one fine day back in October we descended on Ms.Malarky and her beloved fella.  We have always managed to make magic in her kitchen and this time was going to be no different.  Amongst other things, Mother Malarky is a fantastic cook, shamanic drum maker, wild food forager and roadkill recycler.  I have learned many things from her, and on this day, she taught me the fine art of sausage casting!  Yayyyyyy!  I had always wanted to do this, ever since I was a kid watching random folk on the ‘Generation Game’ totally fluffing it up.  Many a time since then I had wanted to make sausages but never had the equipment.  I often make terrines or pie and dumpling fillings out of small random bits of roadkill, but you can just about put ‘anything’ in a sausage.   Ahhhh, happy days, and Ma Malarky has just the tool for the job.

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carol cooking pike sausagesMalarky has now been dubbed The Queen of Roadkill Sausage Making.  Since purchasing her wonderful sausage machine she has just about ‘sausaged’ everything she can get her hands on!  Even Ozzy the cat and her beloved fella have stayed well out of the way!  lol.

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Now…first we had to decide what kind of sausages we wanted to make so we had a rummage in Pandora’s Ice Box.  A mammoth task!  This is a freezer I wish I had, it has more surprises than a ‘Forest Gump’ box of chocolates, everything but the mammoth.  It feels like Christmas opening the lid… well, it does to a dead thing lover like me, lol.  Every time she finds something on the road, and if the law allows, it goes straight into her ‘special’ freezer.   On this day she decided we will make squirrel sausages and she dug three out of the freezer. Two greys and one red.

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A word about Squirrels and the Law….

red+squirrel The red squirrel is a protected species in the UK and is included in Schedules 5 and 6 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (WCA) (amended by the Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000). It is an offence to intentionally kill or injure a red squirrel or intentionally or recklessly damage or destroy any structure or place a red squirrel uses for shelter or protection, or disturb a red squirrel while it occupies such a place.
Therefore you must be very careful about when and where you fell any trees. See the section on felling advice for more detail.

grey-squirrelThe grey squirrel is regarded as an invasive non-native species following its inclusion under Schedule 9 of the WCA. Grey squirrels are also listed in the IUCN international list of 100 worst invasive non-native species. This highlights the damage that grey squirrels cause to our native flora and fauna; a problem severe enough to be recognised at a level of global significance. As such, the grey squirrel is regarded as a pest species and is afforded no protection under the WCA. Under Schedule 9 of the WCA, it is illegal to release a grey squirrel into the wild, or allow one to escape.

This means if you trap one, you are obliged to humanely dispatch it. You must not let it go as this act would be illegal.

Anyone who carries out, or knowingly causes or permits any of the above acts to occur could be committing an offence.

NOTE: ALL THREE OF THESE WERE ROAD TRAFFIC CASUALTIES.  IF THAT WERE NOT THE CASE WITH THE RED SQUIRRELS I WOULD NOT BE SO STUPID AS TO WRITE THIS BLOG!!

Of course we would rather see these sweet creatures hopping around quite happily alive and kicking, we would rather eat veggies than see them dead, but  this was an exercise in ‘Waste Not Want Not’ guided by our moral code and ethical stance on foraging.  We respect Nature’s delicate balance and Natural Law.  The eating of Red Squirrel could be a controversial issue, but we do “controversial” very well and are both up-to-date on the latest conservation and foraging laws in England and the UK.  We support the various efforts to save the Red.  We still love th grey though, he is still a beautiful creature and can’t help what colour he is.  Ultimately, they both taste pretty much the same!  Life and Nature is all about change at the end of the day!

Here is a well-informed page relating to Foraging and the Law by ‘Roadkill Chef’ and friend – Fergus Drennan – Wild Man Wild Food.

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Okay, that said, let’s get on with some sausage making!! Yayyyyyy!!!

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me and malarky making squirrel sausagesIt was hard and cold work de-fleshing the tiny squirrel bones, but the meat is easier to work and mince when frozen, so prepping took a while. We added ‘red’ things (smoked paprika & sundried tomatoes) seeing as there was a tiny amount of Red Tufty in the mix, and to give the finished bangers a red colour.  Eventually we got to putting all the mixture through the machine and into the castings, which were actually made of Collagen and pretty easy to work with. This bit was fun and I found it hard in the midst of my enthusiasm to work slowly, lol. I wanted full speed and maximum comedy – just like the old days watching the Generation Game! Anyhow, Ms. Malarky reined me in and we produced a huge amount of wonderful sausages that were absolutely TUFTY TASTIC!  Hence, the name was born.

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close up pike sausage in the panThe following morning we were treated to some of her POACHED PIKE sausage for breakfast with homemade chestnut bread and damson sauce. They were absolutely delicious. If you don’t know already, a pike is a predatory fish found in the UK and is not eaten much these days. Sometimes, it can be a bit ‘bottom-of-the-river’ tasting and has bones as vicious as its teeth! But, these sausages were soooo delicate in texture and flavour, poached to perfection.

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One day, when I have the kitchen space, I will definitely acquire a sausage machine!

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RECIPES TO FOLLOW… you won’t be disappointed!

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Not long after we made Roadkill Sausages for the Beyond Production team whilst filming the ‘Food’ episode for ‘FORBIDDEN’ on the Discovery Channel.

The photographer Jonathan Mcgee has an eye for capturing the moment and a fab sense of humour, lol.

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carol and me sausage making for discovery channel.

Beyond Productions logo     Discovery Channel logo

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TUFTY-TASTIC RED SQUIRREL SAUSAGES – Sun-dried Tomato and Smoked Paprika.  (Gluten Free)

PRE-POACHED PIKE SAUSAGES – With Methy Leaf and Thyme.  (Gluten Free)

PHOTO GALLERY

On our recent trip to Scotland and beyond!   Preparing black birds in Malarkys kitchen for the artwork "Till Death Do Us Part"   "Kali's Pants" - aka - "Nice Beaver" Performance art piece   Scraping a snakeskin - Taxidermy workshop in a field somewhere   Outdoor Roadkill bunny workshop

I always welcome intelligent discussion regarding various aspects of my life, especially ones relating to Sustainable Living.  So, when I was asked if I could be interviewed by Dr. Daniel Allen (a renowned lecturer, writer and editor) for his paper –  Squirrel Meat and Roadkill: Geographies of Alternative Meat-Eating in the UK , I said yes!

Dan has an editorial role with Reaktion Books and he created the new “Earth” series.  He identified and commissioned over 30 expert authors from across the world.

Dan is also a leading expert on the behaviour of Otters and has published many books and academic papers.

I look forward to reading “Squirrel Meat and Roadkill: Geographies of Alternative Meat-Eating in the UK”  in its entirety…

Paper will be presented at the RGS-IBG 2012.
Session: ‘Wanted, Dead or Alive: Biogeographies of Non-Human Animals’

“Squirrel Meat and Roadkill: Geographies of Alternative Meat-Eating in the UK”

by Daniel Allen

The acceptance, or indeed rejection, of carnivorous cuisines is determined by the practices, representations and perceptions associated with the way in which food is produced and consumed. Today, the ethics of eating has become increasingly tied to an animal’s experience of life and mode of death. It is the perceived edibility of an embodied carcass which sanctions its role as meat. Yet, as Bell and Valentine (1997:45) recognize: ‘Transgressions of these cultural norms are considered revolting, sometimes inducing the body to vomit in disgust at what it has consumed.’ In the UK, the meat of grey squirrels and roadkill-as-food are two such transgressions.

When the Save Our Squirrels project started in the UK, their 2006 slogan ‘Eat a grey, save the red!’ was not to everyone’s taste. Suggestions that this invasive species provided an alternative sustainable meat product was met with criticism by animal rights groups and nature enthusiasts alike. Roadkill-as-food is consumed far less openly (Michael, 2004). However, there are individuals who consider it as ethical and organic meat, without the moral dilemma of intentional killing. Despite this, the majority of the public seem disgusted at the thought. This paper examines the unsavoury animal geographies of alternative meat in the UK. By considering the debates surrounding squirrel meat and roadkill, this paper explores the competing material, symbolic, cultural, moral and ethical meanings and values placed upon these embodied animals in the twenty-first century.

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… to be continued, I look forward to it!  Best wishes Dan.

These Questions and Answers were taken from the interview with Dr. Daniel Allen.   I have recently created a blog called “Frequently Asked Questions” seeing as I tend to repeat myself a lot, lol.  Obviously, Dan is the one asking the questions…

1. What was it that made roadkill initially appealing as a source of food?

I remember long ago my father preparing game  in the kitchen, so I wasn’t fazed by seeing dead animals and was used to eating rabbits and pheasants from an early age. I was fascinated by the butchering process and tried to make things from the bit of fur, feet and feathers that were left over (my Dad found it amusing, but my Mum thought it was dirty, lol).

For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed collecting bits of nature and turning them into something else.  As a young adult and an artist who enjoys working with organic and animal materials, I would stop and inspect dead things at the side of the road (UK and abroad) to see if I could learn something about the animal and to see if I could salvage anything… often this is the closest you can get to truly wild animals.  The encounters were always a mix of sadness and fascination.  When an animal was only recently killed, I was curious about eating it, as it seemed a shame not to waste it, however, popular ‘roadkill’ taboo and worry about disease prevented me from doing so.

Eight years ago I saw the car driving in front of me hit a pheasant.  It bounced to the side of the road.  I stopped to pick it up.  “Why couldn’t I eat this?”, I thought.  It was exactly the same bird you would buy in a country butchers, but minus the lead shot! Butchers tend to ‘hang’ pheasants for about a week, so this was definitely fresher than those.  It was perfectly intact so I took it home, and prepared and ate it.  It was delicious and I derived a huge amount of pride and satisfaction from what I had done.  I was living in the country, but still felt like a ‘townie, and this simple act made me feel more in tune with where I was living.  I felt more akin with my environment.  And it was a free meal! Bonus!

Five years ago I began to learn and practice taxidermy using roadkill.  I was in contact with lots of dead animals and the same question kept popping up – why can’t I eat this?  In most cases the meat was inedible, or my lack of knowledge about the animal and any diseases it may carry prevented me from eating it.  Again, it seemed like such a waste!  This was an organic, free-range, pesticide-free, growth hormone-free and cruelty-free piece of meat – this is better than what you would buy in a supermarket!!  It was also something I hadn’t tried before and it had the element of the ‘exotic’.  I have always had an adventurous culinary curiosity and tried all sorts of street food in far-flung places around the world.

So I educated myself and began eating roadkill on a regular basis.

2. What is your opinion of pre-packaged meat?

When I see a tray of pre-packaged meat I often wonder how the animal had been fed, looked after, respected and finally slaughtered.  Did the animal suffer?  What has been pumped into it?  Is it full of antibiotics and growth hormones?  What food had it been eating?  Do I want this piece of meat in my body?

If I could afford it, I would only buy organic meat, always.  Ideally I would prefer to eat only animals that I had reared, slaughtered and prepared myself, and this is my long term goal.  Unfortunately, I still have to rely on shops and supermarkets, and occasionally I buy the odd piece of meat that isn’t organic, especially if it looks very good and has been reduced heavily in price – better to eat it than see it go into the landfill.  It seems such a waste of a life.

I would not however buy ‘cheap’ anaemic looking pieces of flesh that have obviously been pumped full of water and synthetic additives to hide the fact that it was raised in battery conditions.

3. Have you ever found injured animals and had to dispatch them?

Occasionally I have had to do this with rabbits and pheasants at the side of the road, but luckily not very often.  I do not like to see animals suffer.  If I can not save its life, I will dispatch it and it always makes me weep. I find it hypocritical if I am not able to do this, when I am more than willing to eat meat.  Your average carnivorous human would eat far less meat if they had to participate in the entire process from beginning to end, and that isn’t a bad thing, in my opinion, environmentally and ethically.

Just two days ago my partner found an injured owl.  It had a broken wing.  We called around and took it to a local vet.  They couldn’t save its wing, so had to put it down.  It was a huge shame and a beautiful bird.  We really wanted to save it.  We asked if we could have the bird for taxidermy reasons, but the vet said no.  The bird went to be incinerated.  What a waste!  We questioned if what we had done was the right thing.  We could have dispatched the bird ourselves had we known that the wing was unfixable and then we could have eaten it, and recycled the rest of it. In most States in the USA, it is illegal to take roadkill, and often, by the time it is collected by the authorities, the meat is unfit for human consumption – What sort of ridiculous laws do we have in the West that allows good meat to go to waste, when there are so many undernourished people in our own countries, let alone in poorer countries?

4. What have you eaten, and is there any meat you wouldn’t eat?

I have eaten all meat that has been put before me that is fit for human consumption (Japan and the Far East in general is a great place to try out new and exotic foods and if the locals eat it, then I will.)  I will try most animals I have found dead if I am confident that it wouldn’t poison me.  (My only close shave was eating a dead penguin in Patagonia).  I travel extensively and to remote places – culinary experimentation is a passion of mine.  I have eaten many kinds of insects.  I like different textures and flavours.  I would not kill-to-eat someone’s domestic pet, but have probably been served it without my knowledge in various countries and accepted it graciously.  However, I would eat anything in a survival situation – including your grandma!  Lol.  I do not, and can not, eat Marmite though.

5. Can you describe a normal days foraging?

Most finds are opportunistic, especially when they are animal.  I always have plastic bags, rubber gloves, a sharp knife or my ‘skinning kit’ in the back of the vehicle.  The places where certain fish, crustaceans, molluscs, plants or fungi are to be found, are often recommended by a friend or similar enthusiast. More often than not, these are closely guarded secrets!  On foraging trips such as these, I go deliberately and thoughtfully armed with what tools I need to collect and contain what I hope to find.  If  I were to plan a day’s hike that included opportunistic wild food foraging, I would first pick a scenic and interesting spot, armed with a plastic and paper bag (paper for fungi), a sharp knife, gloves, my mini pocket foraging books and a camera.  If my partner is with me and carrying a big backpack we will take the tent equipment, cooking apparatus and sleep and dine al-fresco.

6. Why not buy meat from a supermarket, or raise your own livestock?

As I mentioned before….

Unfortunately, at this time I cannot avoid having to shop at the supermarket and local farm shops and butchers, so do buy the occasional and preferably organic item from there.  I prefer not to encourage factory farming so I promote local farm shops and friends who grow their own to sell or barter.

Our long term goal, and one we are actively researching, is to purchase a large plot of land, probably not in this country.  We plan to develop our own organic garden and vegetable patch and breed, raise, butcher and process our own livestock.  We plan to produce our own self sustainable energy, and be totally ‘off-grid’.  We hope to include like minded people and those who want to learn all about self sustainability and living simply with nature.

On a political note:

Apart from this country’s weather, we don’t want to settle in this country as Central and Local Government clearly do not want to encourage this lifestyle, as they would not be able to take their 30-50% fee (in taxes) on our efforts – to fund their greedy, environmentally unfriendly and dangerous schemes of imperialism and manipulation and exploitation of us wage slaves and poorer countries.  (ooops, lol, bit of a rant there!!)   Most people who run our country, be they politicians or captains of industry are morally corrupt or just plain ignorant of their actions that are leading to the destruction of our planet and unnecessary suffering of millions of people around the world. I do not wish to support such people and so living off-grid in a country that will allow this lifestyle is our goal – and we wish to share this and support others around the world in similar ventures.

7. What is your favourite roadkill recipe? 

I do not have a favourite as such; I love to experiment all the time.  If I were to choose a versatile dish that could accommodate any kind of meat no matter how small then it would have to be ‘Terrine’ or a ‘Pate’.

8. When did you first use roadkill in your art, and why?

I first used roadkill bird feathers to make a brooch when I was a child; I found them beautiful and wanted to recycle them. I felt an almost spiritual connection with that animal.  Later in life I discovered what shamanism and animism meant, so began to understand why I had always felt this way.

After a trip to Australia in 2001 I made a necklace from roadkill kangaroo claws.  Roadkill was all over the place in the outback – I had my partner at the time stop at the side of the road every time I saw a bleached white skeleton.  He thought I was mad sawing off the claws – he didn’t understand my art or curiosity with death.  I saw a rare resource and an opportunity to create something beautiful out of something that had passed away and was decomposing.  I see beauty in the whole cycle of life.  Death is so taboo in many societies and the fear of death makes it ugly.  I strongly disagree.  It can be a beautiful transformation, like the changing of the seasons.

9. How does the public generally respond to your art?

Until recently I owned an art gallery in Harrogate that specialized in authentic Tribal artefacts and ethnographic curiosities.  The response from the public was mixed.  A lot of people didn’t understand it, but many had the nerve to come in and browse and ask questions.  They were snared by the stories of these beautiful and sometimes eerie looking objects and fetishes, which were anthropologically fascinating, tapping into the myth and magic of other cultures in remote far away places.  Kids especially loved it, and I went to schools with an armful of artefacts and taught a kind of ‘anthropology for kids’.  Afterwards, we would make masks and other tribal objects.

The gallery was a success, but unfortunately my relationship with my partner and co-owner was not and it closed down in 2007.

Whenever I have a studio to work from, I make sure that at times it is open to anyone curious enough to question what I do.  My last studio was in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.  Once every 2 months, me and the other artists in the building had an ‘Open Studio’ evening for members of the public.  My studio room (which I practically lived in) was quite different to everyone else’s and very weird to the uninitiated.  The walls were covered in old tribal masks and animal skins, pictures of female gladiators and goddesses, and scarified and tattooed faces.  I had a glass case full of interesting tribal jewelry from all over the world and an extensive specialized library.  There were taxidermy projects in progress on the tables and I was more than happy to explain and chat about anything they saw.

After meeting me and listening to my stories about how and why I think the way I do, they left my studio with a deeper respect for, and understanding of, the objects I transform.

 

Wild Food Foraging and Roadkill!  BBC Radio York 12th January 2012

Had a very entertaining discussion LIVE on air with DJ Jonathan Cowap and fellow guests yesterday.

The topic was about wild food foraging and public attitudes toward it.   I covered the Roadkill side of things!!

There were two other guest speakers;

Chris Bax who is a wild food forager and expert in edible and useful plants (www.tastethewild.co.uk)

Stephanie Moon who is a well known chef and food consultant who resides at Rudding Park, Harrogate. (www.stephaniemoon.co.uk).

It was very informative and funny and the team were great fun!

The full show is 3 hours long, so start the sliding bar at 1.08.28. Click here & Enjoy!!

Just before the New Year, I spoke on a couple of other radio stations, same topic, just different countries –

A lively discussion on a radio station in South Africa, just after Christmas day.  Was a bit strange being introduced in Afrikaans, but luckily the interview was in English!  We discussed alternative eating habits and variations on the traditional Christmas dinner.  Was a really informative and funny show.

Another radio show but this time in Atlanta, on the B98.5FM Morning Show With Vikki and Kelly!   You can hear the unedited version when I can figure out how to upload the damn thing, lol!

There was also a lovely interview with Sarah, a food producer with TakePart.com, from Beverly Hills, California.  We chatted about extreme foraging, roadkill recipes and taxidermy art.  She did really nice follow-up piece called…

The True Story of the Roadkill Cook…

I have been asked to put up some of my ROADKILL recipes.   There are lots so I will start with one of my favourites… TERRINE!!

It has humble beginnings as a hearty meal for French labourers, but is now served in upscale restaurants as a starter.

Wild Game Terrine was one of the dishes I served up on Come Dine With Me earlier this year, alongside Curried Pheasant & Quinoa Roadkill Pies.  I served two dishes as I wanted to spark a debate if my guests wouldn’t eat the roadkill, but would eat the butcher bought meat.  My question was – so whats the difference?  It was the same wild animal, the difference being one had been delliberatly shot with a gun, the other had been accidentally hit by a car!  If it was a question of ethics, which one was the most humane?  If it was a question of freshness, one had been hit by a car within a few hours, the other had been hung for over a week in the butchers shop…. which one would you eat? 

As it happened they devoured them, and loved it all!    Phewwww!! 

I hope you enjoy the following recipes!

 

Wild Game Terrine with Foraged Fruit Chutney & Toasted Brioche

Since the meat mixture is best marinated and left in the fridge for a day, then cooked and cooled the next day and then left up to two days for proper pressing to occur, terrine is a time-consuming dish.

Roadkill/ Meat Ingredients 

  • 1 pheasant
  • 1 rabbit
  • 1 organic (if possible) pigs trotter 

 

(Or whatever nature provides when using road-kill – however, the trotters are hard to find on the road!! LOL.) Use the breasts of pheasant, pigeon (or other bird) and saddles of rabbit or hare for the terrine; throw the rest of the game meat and bones into the stock pan, cook, cool and pick clean the bones, you can freeze the meat bits for later to use in another recipe – or, include them in this dish). 

Also think about including… 

  • Herbs and fruits of your choice – for example; parsley, lovage, thyme and Autumnal fruits such as plums, apple or apricots!  Be creative!!

 

For the forcemeat  – This is a cold pressed terrine!

  • Chosen cuts of cooked meat, or/ and cold meat picked off the carcasses of pre-boiled game
  • livers from all the game (optional) fry off/ cook first 
  • 1 handful fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp (lemon) thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs red wine or brandy
  • salt and pepper
  • trotter jelly
  • coriander leaves
  • 6 juniper berries

(My own special touch…If I don’t use bacon to line the tin, and use a jelly, say, from a pigs head, ham hock or trotters, I occasionally like to decorate the top (first layer in the tin) with a few foraged edible leaves, like lovage.  I love using offal, I once tried a terrine using a pig’s uterus and trotters, it was incredible!  I called it the ‘Foot & Fadge’ – opposite.)

 

Method 

Day One…

  1. Marinate the choice cuts of the game (saddles, breasts and thighs) in a generous splash of red wine (you could also throw in a few teaspoons of soft brown sugar if you want).
  2. Make a pork ‘binding’ jelly.  This can be made a day in advance by boiling the trotter or hock in a sauce pan, then simmering on a low heat for 3 hours, until the skin dissolves and the knuckles separate. 

The gelatine removed from the meat is used as a preserving & jellying agent (as in the making of pork pies).  Nowadays artificial gelatine is often added, but I prefer the traditional method.

Day Two…

  1. Mix (in a blender) the cooked meat, cooked livers, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, thyme, juniper berries, wine/ brandy, season with the salt and pepper and mix together thoroughly with 4 or 5 tbsp of melted trotter jelly.  This is the forcemeat.
  2. Cut the marinated game meat into long strips about 2 fingers thick.
  3. Fry the game in oil/ butter until nicely browned, do not overcook the meat.
  4. Grease a 1lb loaf tin or glazed earthenware terrine dish with the butter. 
  5. Press some herb leaves to the buttered base for decoration.  Be creative!!  Pour on a little of the warm, liquid jelly to bind the first layer!  Allow to cool and set.
  6. When set, add a layer of forcemeat followed by a layer of game meat, and repeat this action until the game is gone.  Again, when layout of the meat strips, be mindful, think about the finished pattern when it is cut into slices.  Finish with a layer of the forcemeat.
  7. Terrines must be pressed as they cool to release trapped air.  This makes for a smooth texture and they’re easier to slice.  Find a piece of wood or plastic that fits snugly inside the terrine dish and weigh it down with a house brick (wrap in cling-film or foil in case it is a bit dirty).  If you have a spare loaf tin the same size, use that with a brick inside it.  Put the terrine in the fridge for 24 hours.

Day Three…

  1. To serve, remove from the tin, guide the knife around the edges and tap upside down on a chopping board to release.  If it doesn’t come out, pour some boiling water into a baking tin and warm the terrine for 10 seconds at a time, so the jelly begins to melt inside, but not so much that it melts the bulk of the terrine. When released, chill again and slice thickly while cold with a very sharp knife, clean the blade between slices.  Arrange on a plate with the chutney and warm brioche.

 

For the Foraged Fruit Chutney: 

Gathering the fruits, jars, and the time consuming job of peeling, stoning and chopping is often made easier and more fun by working as a team.  We all then get to share the end product. This was originally my amazing friend Tina’s recipe.  She doesn’t really use weights and measures, but to make it easy she gave a ‘guess-timation’. 

 

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb small yellow wild plums
  • 10 fl oz white wine vinegar
  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • ½ tspn pepper
  • 3 whole dried chillies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 black pepper corns
  • ½ tspn cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp celery seeds
  • Honey to taste

 Method 

  1. Wash, slice and de-stone your chosen foraged fruits.
  2. Put all the spices in a muslin bag.  You can make one by cutting a large circle of muslin, putting all the ingredients in the middle and tying securely with a piece of uncoloured/ clean/ unbleached cotton or string. 
  3. Gently soften the chopped onions in a little butter.
  4. Put the vinegar in the pan and add the plums and spice-bag.  Bring to the boil, and then simmer until soft – about 15 mins is okay.
  5. Add honey to taste.
  6. Pour into hot, sterilised jars if preserving.  Try not to use the dishwasher to sterilise your jars, it makes them smell.

…serve with lightly toasted slices of Brioche or toast

 

You can experiment with all of this in your own way of course…nothing is carved in stone when it comes to these kinds of recipes!  It depends on what nature offers you at the time and your personal tastes!   This terrine was made out of a pigs ear and a trotter!  It was a beautiful thing to look at, and tasted damn good too, dipped in a chinese style sauce made from soy with ginger, garlic and spring onions…. mmmmmm!  It was called “The Silk Purse Terrine”!

Enjoy!!

 

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Hairy Harrogate & Road Kill Thrills – Come Dine With Me  Series 20 Episode 29….program synopsis.

What a funny episode, we all loved it and loved making it!  It was edited pretty well and got a lot of laughs at our expense, but we expected that and are fine with it – why else set yourself up and go on the show?  lol.

Watch the episode now  – using Channel 4 link or or Seesaw link.

I would like to make a few points as I feel the editing left some important bits out.  I am aware that what people think of me is none of my business, but it doesn’t hurt to get a few important facts right now does it?  Some people do tend to believe everything they see on TV!  I also want to praise a few people who were wonderful and supported my menu, but didn’t get a look in.

In order of appearance….

The Motor home – I borrowed the motor home from a friend of a friend.  The idea was to show an alternative option to living in bricks and mortar.  It was meant to be a visual-aid, while still shopping for my own motor home on ‘ebay’ (which I now live in).  Unfortunately the borrowed van did not reflect my personality and no real filming of it or explanation of it took place.  I hope ‘As Seen On TV’ will help it sell as it was for sale at the time.  Many thanks anyway Clive.

Butchering the Road Kill Dear  – I had help from a wonderful man who stopped and offered to help.  He happened to be a local deer stalker and gave me the most amazing butchery lesson.  Thank you!  I wish I could find the card you gave me with your email address on it.

My Nomadic Lifestyle – After returning from a long trip abroad last summer my partner and I decided we were not going to settle in the UK, and wanted instead to buy a bit of land elsewhere to build an eco home, grow organically, raise our own animals and accommodate our friends.  The way the program went gave the impression that I lived my entire life ‘dossing’ from place to place  and taking advantage of my friends.  This isn’t true.  I was going through a transitional period only, meant to last about six months and only until we found our new motor home – which we did a few weeks after filming.  All stays with friends were wonderful and of mutual benefit.  Also, I do not coin it in with my little rented house, it pays the mortgage and that’s that!  lol.

Matt and his attitude – Matt is actually a really nice bloke and ‘hams it up!’ a lot.  We have kept in touch since and had a great laugh, he’s a great sport and a big softy really. 

Water Buffalo Bourguignon – On the show it makes out that the buffalo I used was not local.  It was!  The buffalo are reared in North Allerton, also in North Yorkshire.  Langhorne’s Buffalo Produce visit all the local farmers markets.   The buffalo was not called ‘James’.

The Dessert – The Bailey’s was not mentioned in the desert, and the recipe my dear friend Nick gave me was not used because of it.  Shame, it was a great recipe.

Extremely Exotic Petit Fours – The show did not use the clips of the Civet Coffee that I served, or the Scorpion Lollies that I gave as gift bags.  Many thanks and also apologies to Fenwicks and The Food Company Anglia for donating those, but not seeing them on TV.

Ali cooking
Ali cooking road kill on Come Dine With Me

I am a road kill recycler, cook and wild food forager. I love being creative and injecting humour into what I ‘rustle up’!  I enjoy the challenge of using the body parts other cooks don’t like to use!
This is one of many creations – the ‘Foot & Fadge’ terrine made from an organic pig’s trotter and uterus with goji berries!   I didn’t serve this pork terrine on Come Dine With Me though… maybe I should have!  lol.
I often hold impromptu workshops at camps and small festivals, teaching the joys of Road Kill Preparation.  It always amazes me how squeamish your average carnivore is!  I love what I do. I am a very happy scavenger and I dislike waste.

Soooo, take a look at my latest ROAD KILL cookery adventure …  COME DINE WITH ME – ROAD KILL THRILLS

Watch me make some road kill pies by following this link or clicking on the large pic above: Series 20 Episode 29 – HARROGATE »

To watch the full  hour long programme click here: Hairy harrogate & Road Kill Thrills – Come Dine With Me.

Come Dine With Me Harrogate 2011
Come Dine With Me Harrogate 2011

Earlier this year, after encouragement from friends, I put myself forward as a contestant on Come Dine With Me.  “Nutter!!”  I hear myself say. lol.  They must have thought so too … nomadic, shamanic artist and road kill recycler???  Hmmmmm.  “We’ll have her!”

I grew up in Leeds, but moved to Harrogate (in North Yorkshire) in 2003 and made a life there.  Since 2007 I have been nomadic, using Harrogate as a base, so I can confidently say my home is there… even if it is on wheels! I spend the warmer months on the festival scene, back and forth, and travelling abroad to live and learn with various tribes.  I arrived back in Harrogate last summer, having spent time in remote regions of South America (Andes, Patagonia and the Amazon jungle), Papua New Guinea and Japan, learning about tribal life, cultural diversity and FOOD of course!!  I enjoy my life immensely and I feel I am one of the freest people I know!!  I had to borrow a home and kitchen for the show as I am currently nomadic (by choice, I hasten to add). Possessions are albatrosses around our necks, and to be quite frank, I’d rather eat the albatross (but would never shoot one out of the sky!). Possessions own us as much as we own them.

I love food!!  All food! (except Marmite. lol).  I love traditional food, exotic food, raw food and rich food, Michelin star quality food and the opposite of that — street food and jungle food. My education has been vast, from one end of the spectrum to the other. I love really basic food and preferably organic — all vegetables and animals, including the ones lower down the food chain like bugs and worms etc.   I have a passion for strange unidentifiable things on sticks and the cuts of meat we Brits have turned our back on such as offal, lights and lungs etc.

Over recent years, the way I see food and our relationship to it has changed. I now eat much more ethically and healthily. I love cooking outdoors over real wood fires while camping, in earth ovens at festivals, or in the passenger footwell of a car on a mini gas stove while wandering (I cooked Penguin breast and Rhea thigh in Patagonia this way washed down with a beautiful Mendoza Malbec).

I am a wild food forager and love anything free of pesticides and growth hormones.  I especially enjoy preparing traffic casualties — proper free range meat that has only had one bad day in its wonderfully organic life!!  My passion for being a road kill chef has shocked and delighted many a friend.  Lol.   I use the fur, feathers, teeth and claws in my art — nothing gets wasted — I use it all!

Now, I don’t have a television — haven’t had one for over four years, but I occasionally watch CDWM with friends or family.  I played with the idea of being totally straight, dumbing myself down, so as not to offend others and go for the thousand quid, but instead I chose to be ME — totally true to myself and authentic, risking crucifixion, but making bloody good telly!!

Enjoy… 3 minute clip – Come Dine With Me | Road Kill Thrills

Full episode –  Channel 4 – Series 20  Episode 29: 17th June 2011 — “Hairy Harrogate & Road Kill Thrills”

Check out the ROAD KILL category on my HOME page!

Big love….

Ali (aka Tribal Ali) Brierley

Come Dine With Me

Special Thanks

Harrogate – Series 20 Episode 29

 Special thanks go to the following people and companies who very generously donated ingredients & things in order to make my contribution a truly wonderful and authentic experience.    

                                     Thank you.                           

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 In order of appearance…     

 

The House

 A huge, positively massive “Thank you” to my dear friends Les & Marisca, for offering their home to me. 

Hope you enjoy the show!!  

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The Studio

Artists Ltd is a UK Company based in Yorkshire. The founders of the company all have a background in the arts either as practitioners or suppliers. They started the company to provide a comprehensive UK based Internet presence which would facilitate the development of an artistic community.

Thank you dear friends – Bernie, Fraser and Andy for the loan of your studio in Harrogate, it was great fun having the Channel 4 crew there for the primary interviews. 

By email: info@artists.ltd.uk

www.artists.ltd.uk

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The Motor Home

While we were waiting for our new home to appear (which it now has) we borrowed a motor home from a friend… it turned out to be a bit bigger than we anticipated.  It was a 30ft RS Motorhomes Race Cruiser!  It is used most of the year for race weekends with Track Torque Racing and the odd weekend getaway for the family. 
Track Torque is a racing company who own and rent out race cars to race drivers.  They also look after race cars for their owners.  Most weekends in summer are spent at a race track somewhere in the UK or Europe.
Thank you Clive, Les and Mariska for sorting that out.

Track Torque Racing Ltd, Units 8+9, Rudgate Business Park, Rudgate, Tockwith, North Yorkshire YO26 7RD

Map Direction Here >

Tel  – 01423 359768
Clive –  07971 978775
Simon –  07971 154703

http://www.tracktorque.co.uk/

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Frangelico & Vodka cocktail shot served with Caramelised Lime wedges

 This cocktail shot was inspired by one I believe was called a Funky Monkey, tried whilst staying in La Paz, Bolivia last year.  It was my first night out after recovering from a bad case of Salmonella acquired from eating a dirty old pigs trotter at a Cholita wrestling match!  I have searched for it on the web since returning to the UK and have come up with at least four completely different cocktails.  I made it up the best I remember…

Thank you nameless Bolivian Bar for the inspiration and thank you Mum for buying the booze!

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       The Wine

All the wine was hand-picked to match each dish within my menu by my good friends and Wine merchants at Harrogate Fine Wines – Andrew & Julia Langshaw.  They have a great reputation for hand-picked wines and excellent bespoke customer service. They taste all the wines they stock for quality assurance – what a great job!!  Lol.  They hold regular customer tastings in the shop and hold a few wine dinners throughout the year generally with a winemaker on hand to talk you through the wines. They are proudly independent which means they can stock rare and small selections.  They have over 100 South African wines and visit this amazing country regularly.  You join their mailing list to receive the newsletter and learn about future events.  Thank you so much guys!

www.harrogatefinewinecompany.com

   Harrogate Fine Wines, Corn Exchange Cellars, The Ginnel, Harrogate, HG1 2RB

Tel: 01423 522270

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Curried Pheasant & Quinoa Mini Road Kill Pies

A favourite amuse-bouche of mine and a great and easy idea for using road kill rabbit, pigeon or pheasant.  I love making these for my friends!  A wonderful and juicy little ‘mouth-pleaser’ that also pushes a person unfamiliar with eating road kill gently out of their comfort zone. 

 http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/tv-show/come-dine-with-me-recipes/series-10/pheasant-road-kill-pies-recipe

The pheasant was a gift from the A61 – Harrogate to Ripon road. 

Thank you Nature for providing what I needed.

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   Wild Game Terrine

Outside the show, the ‘game’ in my terrines is always road kill.  I wanted to provide an alternative to the road kill pies, just in case someone objected!  I don’t like to see my guests go hungry. lol.  I wanted to use butcher-bought game for my terrine, so in case contestants ate one dish and not the other… an interesting question was awaiting…”So what’s the difference?” 

Thank you Peter Hutchinson at Hutchinson’s Butchers opposite the C15th Ripley Castle for supplying the rabbits and pheasant for the Wild Game Terrine.  This is a real olde-worlde butchers shop with a wonderful atmosphere and incredibly friendly, authentic staff.  I have used their services on various occasions over the years and have especially loved to see the game hanging up outside their front window – a wonderful reminder to folk that what they are eating was once hopping or flapping around recently.  I really admire how they operate – real butchers performing an honest job that reminds one of being part of a food chain – not ‘poshed-up’ like other places, where the meat is so sanitised, wrapped in layers of plastic and separated from nature that one can almost forget that the flesh being eaten was once alive and then killed before ending up on the dinner table!

 HUTCHINSON’S BUTCHERS, Ripley, Harrogate, HG3 3AX

Tel:  01423 770110.

 map

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Foraged Fruit Chutney

The chutney recipe was donated by my beautiful friend Tina Langshaw of Harrogate.  She substituted the sugar for honey especialy for an awkward friend…who, me? lol.

The Gambian spices were gifted from her relative from The Gambia.

http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/tv-show/come-dine-with-me-recipes/series-10/foraged-fruit-chutney-recipe

The plums were picked locally in Amanda & Andrew’s garden in Harrogate. Thank you for letting us raid your crop.

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The Vegetables

Eating organically grown vegetables is something I always try to do.  I wanted to promote a local producer of organic vegetables and meat. 

The wonderfully all organic vegetables I used were donated by Steven, Patrick & Louise Snowden from Hawthorne Organics.  Organic farming prohibits the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers and promotes a less intensive way of farming. Crop yields are generally lower which which tends to result in higher prices than conventionally farmed crops. Farming in this way is much more labour intensive.  They started farming organically 20 years ago and today the farm is entirely organic. They have 220 acres of mainly arable land, 12 acres is coppiced willows grown on contract for Drax power station to be used as a carbon neutral fuel; 20 acres are wooded on the farm, which is the site of an ancient settlement. The wood is home to many wild animals including badgers, deer and foxes and many species of birds. The farm is in the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and Higher Level Stewardship Scheme providing areas of land dedicated to wildlife by the planting of crops suitable for winter feeding birds. Thank you Hawthorne family for being so generous and such good sports.

Hawthorne Organics, Weeton Lane, Dunkeswick, LS17 9LP

Tel: 0113 2886637 or 07779 140120

Fax: 0113 2886754

Email: info@hawthorneorganics.co.uk

 

Or visit the farm shop: Weds – Sat, 10am – 4pm (open till 6pm on Thurs)

  http://hawthorneorganics.co.uk/

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Water Buffalo Bourguignon

I really wanted to use something a little more exotic than beef.  I chose to promote a local farm that bred other cattle, that didn’t do as much damage to the environment as commercially farmed cows.  I was recently in the Amazon and I was dismayed to see swathes of precious forest cut down for grazing cattle. One could drive past miles and miles of cows en route to anywhere, bred for mass production of hamburgers!  Buffalo produce far less methane and the meat is far sweeter and less fatty. 

The water buffalo was generously donated by the Langthorne family, doing a fantastic job rearing special breeds such as buffalo, highland cattle, wapiti, longhorn, pere david, emu, boer goat, yak, white park, bison, red deer, soay sheep, dexter & ironage pigs.  The whole family Paul, Kate, Jennifer, Diane and Andrew help care for the animals, staff their farmer’s market stall and run the family farm tours.  They brought their first two buffalo, Fleur and Georgina, approximately 10 years ago to supply buffalo milk for Andrew who suffered severe dairy allergies. He also has Cystic Fibrosis and the home sourced meat, milk and cheese are extremely good nutrition for him.  The herd has grown to over 300 in the last 10 years. The deer, wapiti, emu, ironage pig, sheep & goats have arrived over the years and are lovely to see in the fields. They do not ship their animals out to be slaughtered. They have their own abattoir to ensure the most humane of practices which minimises stress to the animals.  Jennifer, Diane & Andrew will answer any questions you have whilst on the ‘farm tour’.

Langthorne’s Buffalo Produce, Crawford Grange, Brompton, Northallerton, DL6 2PD

Tel: 01609 776937

Visit or collect from the farm or at local farmers’ markets. Please telephone in advance

 www.langthornes-buffalo-produce.co.uk 

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Baileys Brûlée

with Drunken Foraged Fruits

  The recipe for the Baileys Brûlée and sound advice is courtesy of Nick Ellam, my friend and top chef of Harrogate.  Thanks for letting me pick your brains and for your helpful hints, tips and especially the ‘6P’s…

 “Planning & Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance!!”

– thanks Nick!!

  The Blackberries picked from local hedgerows. Thank you Nature again for providing what I needed!

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The Honey

The honey was donated by my friend Mary of Wakefield – her husband keeps bees.  A very important job considering the shocking decline in the bee population over recent years.

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 The Bush Tucker Challenge

I am an avid traveller with a keen interest in anthropology and I learn as much as I can about indigenous peoples, how they live and cook, new & raw ingredients, and the impact they have on the environment and our health.  I also seek out the weird and wonderful, be that ‘Cuy’ in Peru, ‘Fugu’ in Japan or deep fried crickets in Cambodia… I love anything unidentifiable on a stick and have even licked termites directly off the trees in the Amazon Jungle!  Lol.  Mmmmm, minty!  I absolutely ADORE all food.

The end of the meal as an unforgettable experience for my diners and something that is very typical of my personality.  Whenever I come back from travelling, I always bring back some culinary delicacy or oddity for my friends to try.  This year it was a selection of Japanese ‘Otsumami’ – beer snacks!  These can be anything from peanuts and baked baby sesame seed crabs to fish spine crisps and shredded dried squid. Of course I brought back the strangest thing I could find. My Bush Tucker Challenge was very generously donated by two EDIBLE.com stockists.

The winner of my BUSH TUCKER CHALLENGE won a small prize relating to the theme of the meal that evening – a Collins Gem FOOD FOR FREE!  I keep a copy of this in my little motorhome at all times.

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 Civet Coffee

  Kopi Luwak, as it is known, is considered to be the world’s finest coffee by Native Sumatrans. This coffee has an intense, but delicate flavour and no aftertaste, which is unique in coffee. This flavour is due to the fact that the coffee has been partially fermented by passing through the digestive system of the Civet (a small, lithe-bodied, mostly arboreal mammal native to the tropics of Africa and Asia).

 Extremely exotic petits fours

The coffee, chocolate-coated scorpions, leaf cutter ants, BBQ worms and thai curried crickets by edible.com were generously donated by Kevin Hadlow, Head of Retail at ‘The Food Company Anglia Ltd’, Essex.   Thank you Kevin. You have been a real star!

The Food Company Anglia Ltd, 86 London Road, Mark’s Tey, Colchester, Essex, C06 1ED

 Tel: 01206 214000, Fax:01206 214019

http://www.thefoodcompany.co.uk/

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Gift Bags

I wanted to give each contestant a gift to open in the taxi on the way home.  I thought a genuinely edible scorpion encased in a mouth watering hard candy lollypop would do.  Mmmmmm

These edible.com gift bags were very generously donated by the incredibly friendly & professional Neil Setterfield, Store Director, FENWICKS in York.  Thank you Neil for the Vodkalix Scorpion lollies.

Fenwick Ltd, Coppergate Centre, York. YO1 9WY

Tel: 01904 643322

Email: neilsetterfield@fenwick.co.uk

 http://www.fenwick.co.uk/

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The Fancy Dress Costume – Dead Fred Elliot 

Thank you Asda Harrogate for the loan of the hat and smock.

Thank you Country Butchers on Leeds Road for the loan of the apron.

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