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Gourmet on the Go!

Gourmet on the Go!
When not slaving away with only Twitter and mad dog for company, I occasionally have a 'life.' This usually entails cooking for friends, trying far too many wines, and the occasional entire day out. I will post my ramblings, recipes and recommendations here on the 'Gourmet on the Go' blog. Hope you find something of interest!


May 15, 2013

Asparagus, Pancetta & Egg Yolk Risotto Recipe

Filed under: Celebrations & Events,Food & Drink Recipes — Tags: , — gourmet-on-the-go @ 12:19 pm

Asparagus, Pancetta & Egg Yolk Risotto RecipeIt’s Asparagus Season – the start of which is officially marked by St George’s Day on 23rd April and ends on Midsummer’s day June 24th.  Well that’s the official take; the weather of course will have its own way.  Generally, we have around 8 weeks to enjoy the asparagus season.  Freshly grown sweet tender spears, preferably picked that morning – if you can get it!  Your local farm shop will be your best bet.

When I think of asparagus I think of pancetta wrapped around it and a poached or boiled egg to dunk my green and meaty soldiers in.  Although asparagus can be pricey, so I took the same ingredients and went down the risotto route – a main meal, where your asparagus is the still the star of the show.

It’s always worth making your own stock for a risotto – the base flavour of your dish will depend on it.  I put some chopped carrots, spring onion, celery, a couple of bay leaves and the snapped off bases of the asparagus in the pressure cooker with 1.5ltrs of water – 1 hour on high pressure, job done.  Keeps well in the fridge for around five days or put in ice trays and keep for a rainy day.


Asparagus, Pancetta & Egg Yolk Risotto
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 ltr vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, bases snapped off
  • 1 onion , finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
  • 200g pancetta or streaky bacon, cut into lardons/chopped
  • 300g Arborio or Carnaroli ‘risotto’ rice
  • 1 medium glass of dry white wine (about 175ml)
  • A good handful (around 50g) grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Boiling water.
  1. Bring your stock up to heat in a pan. Add your asparagus spears and poach for two to four minutes depending on how thick they are. Drain and then plunge your asparagus into cold water. Keep stock on a low simmer.
  2. Heat the olive oil and butter in another pan and then add your onions and garlic - sweat over the lowest heat, for around five minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium and add your pancetta or bacon. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the fat starts to render down.
  4. Stir in your rice and coat well with the bacon/onion mixture. Pour in your wine, give everything a vigorous stir and then let the wine reduce.
  5. Add a ladle or two of your stock to the pan, stir well and then let reduce. Continue this process for around 20 minutes – add stock, stir vigorously, allow to reduce – until the rice is cooked and the all stock used.
  6. Stir in your asparagus, a generous pinch of salt and pepper and roughly three quarters of the parmesan cheese. Turn off the heat, and cover.
  7. Pour boiling into a pan (I just used the stock pan), boil rapidly and then add your egg yolks. Poach for just a few seconds until the yolk colour changes and is sealed. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  8. Dish up your risotto, add the egg yolk, sprinkle over the remaining parmesan – eat.


Check out for asparagus recipes, tips and info.


March 4, 2013

An Adventure in Burgerdom & Burger Recipe…

Filed under: Food & Drink Recipes — Tags: , , , — gourmet-on-the-go @ 2:53 pm

All the recent talk of horsemeat ‘contaminated’ burgers etc., has made me long for one thing – a thick, juicy, dark crusted burger, its juices soaked up by a lightly toasted bun, melted cheese oozing out as you take a bite into the unctuous beast.  Well, that was the picture in my head, and cause of much lustful salivation.

If you are looking for a burger recipe for a special occasion, you‘re in the wrong place, check out Heston’s rather complexly written recipe for Burgers here, a little too solid for my liking, due to the added salt and tight packing, though he does use sirloin steak, which of course has a great flavour, though is a little too high a price for what I seek in a burger, frankly I’d rather just have the steak thanks…

I’ll be using skirt steak, also known as flank.  Taken from the forequarter, skirt steak is a lean cut and offers great value for money, although doesn’t lose out on the flavour stakes.   However, this cut is a little on the tough and chewy side, so suits slow cooking, quick pan frying or mincing.  Being a lean cut, you’ll need some fat – for flavour and to keep the burger juicy – ask your butcher and he/she will no doubt throw in a slice for free.

On with the recipe…

Home ground burger with gruyere and chestnut mushrooms.

Home Ground Burgers
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 450 grams skirt steak – roughly cut into chunks
  • 100g beef fat (fat from the rib is good) – separated into 2 x 50g and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  1. First of all render 50g of the fat in a frying over a low to medium heat for around 10 minutes, or until the majority of the fat has liquefied. Set this aside to use later for cooking the burger in, for an added boost of beefy flavour.
  2. Next mix the other 50g of chopped fat with the chunks of skirt steak and the oyster sauce, and put through your mincer on a course grind. You could alternately use a processor or chop the mixture with a sharp knife.
  3. If using a mincer/grinder, put the mixture through on a course grind again, this will tenderise the meat further.
  4. Quarter the mince, lightly roll each quarter into a ball and then flatten with your hand and mould into a patty (about 2cm thick). You don’t want to overwork your burger, as you want to keep it nice and loose, so that the fat and juices have room to move when cooked, leading to a succulent burger.
  5. Heat up your rendered fat on a high heat in a non-stick pan until smoking. Season both sides of your burger and flip them into the pan.
  6. Cook them for: Rare: 1½ minutes each side; Medium rare: 2 minutes each side; Medium: 2¼ minutes each side; Medium-well done: 2½ - 3 minutes each side - Flipping half way through and pushing down with your spatula to ensure they get a nice even crust.
  7. Leave them to rest for 2 to 3 minutes before popping them in your toasted bun with preferred accompaniments.
The oyster sauce adds a saltiness to the burger and enhances the flavour without drawing the natural moisture out of the meat, so you know you’re going to get juicy results. If you can get hold of aged skirt steak & fat, the flavour and texture of your burger will be all the better.


February 28, 2013

An Evening of Fine Food, Wine, Whisky & Sabrage @ The County Hotel in Chelmsford

Filed under: Celebrations & Events — Tags: , , , , , , , , — gourmet-on-the-go @ 3:15 pm

An Evening of Food, Wine, Whisky & Sabrage @ The County Hotel in Chelmsford

Saturday 11th May ~ For the connoisseur and for those who simply enjoy good food and hospitality

The County Hotel in Chelmsford are hosting an evening of fine wines, whisky tasting , generous hospitality, a delicious 3 course meal and the opportunity to enjoy and take part in Sabrage; the art of opening a bottle of champagne with a sabre.

Sabrage @ The County Hotel in ChelmsfordThe enthusiastic and knowledgeable hosts for the evening include the whisky ambassador of Diageo, the founder of the Toastmasters Association and the fine wine manager of Coe Vintners.

You will be wined dined, entertained & informed.  A draw will be held on the evening for those wishing to take part in the sabrage.

The menu for the evening is as follows:


Spicy tomato fondue in a filo cup
Lightly curried chickpea fritter
Crostini, anchovy butter, smoked halibut

Dampierre Cuvee Des Ambassadeurs ler Cru NV

To Start:
Crab quinelle, scallops, pancetta, pea puree and pea shoots

‘V’ Goat’s cheese panna cotta, tapenade, rocket, confit cherry tomatoes

Chateau Tour de Calens Blanc, Graves 2009

Rack of lamb, crispy sweetbreads, buttered fennel,
potato galette

‘V’ Blue cheese, roasted pear and walnut filo tart,
wilted chard and broad bean puree

Chateau Viex Lartigue, Grand Cru St Emilion 2007

Minted raspberry brulee, strawberry granite, shortbread

Gewurztraminer VV Vendange Tardive, Zind Humbrecht 2010

A choice of Grand Cru Coffees or Leaf Teas

Glenkinchie 12 year old (delicate)
Talisker 10 year old (smoky)
The Singleton of Dufftown 12 year old (rich) Dalwhinnie 15 year old (fruity)

£59.95 Per Person

For booking and full details, visit The County Hotel website.


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