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The next YO31 secret diners club meal will be on Saturday 3rd November. So far I'm making mini Yorkshire puddings with Thorganby roast beef, gravy and horseradish. Hoping to find some wild horseradish locally. I'm also doing brushetta (Italian, I know) made with flour from 'Yorkshire Organic Millers', Spaunton, which is north west of Pickering. They do a great range of Soil Association Organic flours. On that will be black pudding, probably from Murton farmers market, some local soft blue cheese, and a dab of York honey to offset all that saltiness!

I'm also getting some hares from my gamekeeper friend, Richard, who shoots around Howden. I got some beautiful Mallards from him last month, and my traumatic (and wimpish) squeemishness at plucking and chopping is documented in my other blogs. The hare will be the same again, as it will more closely resemble my beloved cats, so I'm going to really have to 'man up' for this one! Wish me luck....

I would like to do hare burgers, as casserole or roast is too obvious, and I've never tried hare minced, and I reckon it's strong flovour should work well cradled in fresh iceberg, red onion rings and some sweet chutney. Mmmmm.

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Comment by Nick West on November 2, 2012 at 21:16

The Dexter beef has arrived from 'Ferryboat Dexters' at Thorganby, delivered by our lovely friend Caroline Littler. These are 100% grass fed cattle, mainly produced on the farm. It is then hung for at least 21 days to really bring out that flavour. Dexters are slow maturing and small cattle, producing marbled beef that is dark and developed in taste - like it was before supermarkets gave us their version!
You can contact them at It really is amazing value too. Way way cheaper than supermarket meat.
This is going to go really well with our mini Yorkshire puddings and gravy tomorrow at the YO31 Yorkshire Tapas. Also on the menu is Ploughmans lunch, with my own Pork pie, loads of ace cheese from all over the county, some lovely duck pate from the wild mallards I butchered last week, home made crusty bread from Yorkshire flour, and my delicious Kohl Rabi chutney, from Paradise farm near Howsham. The Hare will be made into burgers (home made buns, naturally), and quails egg on black pudding on a bed of rocket on brushetta - all from our great county!
It's not too late to book, if you fancy some of this feast.

Comment by Nick West on October 31, 2012 at 21:12

Bookings are still being taken for our Yorkshire Tapas this Saturday. Latest addition to the line up are Wold Top beers from Driffield, Wolds View wines from Westow, near Pickering, Wharfe Valley smoked rapeseed oil, butter from Hawes, flour from the bread is from Appleton Le Moors and Skipton, Swaledale goats cheese, Wensleydale, Harrogate blue, Yorkshire brie and Summerfields cheese, both from near Whitby. The Summerfields is awesome. Tried it at the Farmers Cart. Dexter beef coming from Thorganby on Friday.

It's gonna be a reet Yorkshire feast!!

Book your place now! 

Comment by Nick West on October 30, 2012 at 19:44

The hare burgers were a complete success. I made them a couple of days go using breast meat, chopped onions, garlic, a bit of fresh rosemary and some whizzed up breadcrumbs to help bind. I made some white bread buns, fried the burgers in East Yorkshire rapeseed oil for about 4 minutes each side, toasted the buns and sliced a couple of tomatoes. I was expecting a real 'gamey' aftertaste, but it wasn't there!

I also decided to add 'ploughmans lunch' to the Yorshire Tapas menu. It isn't Yorkshire in origin, as it was launched as a dish nationally by the Milk Marketing board in the 1960's to boost cheese sales. Just where the name or contents of a Ploughmans comes from has been lost in the mists of time though there are records of it mentioned in 18th century literature. I think it should be re-launched because it's a great lunch platter, and gives us a chance to celebrate local ingredients.

I'm having a load of Dexter beef delivered from my friend Caroline, who runs a farm in Thorganby. I don't know much about Dexter beef, but have started reading up and it seems like a fine breed, darker because it's hung for longer and a more marbly appearance. Can't wait to get some in the oven!

I've been thinking that our supper clubs are quite meat laden, and I think we'll try and redress that in future by doing a vegetarian evening. Some of our favourite dishes are vege, and many people overlook the vast array of vegetables that are available, if you are prepared to bypass the supermarket and be a bit more adventerous.

Comment by Nick West on October 30, 2012 at 19:25

Bookings are still being taken for the YO31 Yorkshire Tapas evening (with firework display) on Saturday 3rd November.
  So far we have mini Yorkshire puddings with Dexter roast beef (from Caroline at Thorganby) and gravy, ploughmans mini lunch, black pudding, rocket & quail egg on toasted brushetta, hare burgers, beetroot and rhubarb sweet slaw, Yorkshire parkins.
£25 per head. Bring your own drink!
Do something different this weekend!
  Message me to book and further details.

Comment by Nick West on October 27, 2012 at 12:18
Well, I got the hares and the ducks skinned, gutted and butchered. I was hard work but my mum did a sterling job assissting me. I'll spare the gory details but suffice to say I've got three big bags of duck and hare meat in the freezer.
I'm goona be making some hare burgers, although with its strong 'gamey' flavour, I'll be mixing in some fresh herbs, onion and garlic too.
More Yorkshire tapas dishes will include the classic ploughman's lunch with home made pickle and, Yorkshire parkin or gingerbread. Ideas welcome, bookings are still being taken. Includes firework display. Message to book.
Comment by Nick West on October 23, 2012 at 20:37

The hares were delivered by my friendly gamekeeper, Richard, along with two more ducks! As it was dark by the time I left work, I asked my mum if I could leave them at her house until I can skin them tomorrow, as I have a half day. And she lives exactly halfway between Beverley, where I work and York where I live, so I was passing.

So, tomorrow is the day I get to skin, gut and butcher two hares. I tried persuading her that she may want to help out by plucking the ducks, but she wasn't sure. We'll see how she feels tomorrow. I'm such a coward!

I'm defininately going to make hare burgers, but experiment with different mixture and ratios of meat to other ingredientsn as I may need to play down the hare flavour because it is supposed to be stronger than rabbit, and not to everyone's taste. Mind you, hares and rabbits do have some significant differences: All rabbits (except the cottontail rabbits) live underground in burrows or warrens, while hares (and cottontail rabbits) live in simple nests above the ground, and usually do not live in groups. Hares are generally larger than rabbits, with longer ears, and have black markings on their fur.

The hare's diet is similar to the rabbit's. They are both in the order Lagomorpha.

Hares have jointed, or kinetic, skulls, unique among mammals.

They are currently hanging from the rafters, with the two ducks, from my mums garage. I'll keep you posted on how the next stage goes!

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