© 2009-2011 Quality Eating and Drinking London Ltd

 

© 2009-2011 Quality Eating and Drinking London Ltd

Restoring the links

At the turn of the year, we reported the closure of Biggles. We are delighted to report a Bigglesean renaissance: they are back where they belong, and their sausages are as good as ever.

Welcome back, and thank you.

... and meanwhile, ...

… things go on pretty much as before. The recent cold spell has brought plenty excuses for warming meals: we have enjoyed a beefy stew whose only liquid addition was a glass of montepulciano: by the time the meat had cooked down, there was plenty of liquid, so no need for a reservoir-ful of beef stock. Indeed, on reheat 24 hours later, we added a tin of borlotti beans, whose starch release gave a real silkiness to the soup-gravy. Actually, on day 2, I did add some liquid: a tablespoon(ish) of Geo Watkins' Mushroom Ketchup and about the same amount of brandy.

But we have also enjoyed lighter fare, and can heartily recommend a recent piscatorial throw-together. I cubed some salmon at about the 8mm level, matchsticked half a fennel bulb and a few mushrooms, and shredded a couple of leaves of cavolo nero. Sautéed the lot with a slug of pastis added at dry-pan time, and whacked in a tin of borlotti beans (they really are life-savers when time is short). Lemon, salt and pepper added at the plate. Quick, easy, and remarkably good.

... and meanwhile, ...

Don't miss David's recent musings on wine finds.

Breaking the link

Another shrinkage in the electorate of one-off shops: the fine folk at Biggles in Marylebone Lane have squeezed their last kilo of mix, and have shut up shop. The imminent redevelopment of their block has prompted their closure (rather than try moving and re-establishing trade). We have been enjoying Biggles sausages for years, and their Toulouse were always our favourites for cassoulet. But there were so many good sausages there, from the calm simplicity of the Marylebone pork to the hedonistic Périgord, and their lesser-spotted chicken and lemon sausages were just outstanding. We came away on Saturday (final trading day) with some Toulouse, some pork-and-chestnut, and paprika-and-capsicum-loaded Californians, and trotted down to the warm and busy Tube at Oxford Circus. By the time we reached Regent's Park, everyone on the Bakerloo train had a Biggles memory!