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Receta Bramley Apple, Bacon
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Bramley Apple, Bacon & Black Pudding Risotto - it's Bramley Apple Week!
Yes folks, the next week has been dedicated to the lovely Bramley Apple. Seems a bit of an odd time, if you ask me, as it's not the beginning of the season for Bramleys but instead coming to the end of their season - but then, they're available in the shops any old time of year if you're prepared to accept Bramleys from abroad.
Good old English Bramleys are still available in the shops now, though, so make the most of them while you can buy British!
Knowing that Bramley Apple Week was rolling towards us, I was having a bit of a brainstorm with hubby about what we could cook to honour our lovely Bramley. We went through all the usual Apple Cake, Apple Muffins and Pork with Apples ideas but they all seemed so predictable. Nice, but predictable. We wanted something different.
So, we started thinking along the lines of what flavours go particularly well with apples. The first one is the obvious pork. So, what types of pork are there? Loads of types of pork, loads of types of bacon, loads of types of side products from pork. Hmmn. That's not helping much. Okay, so what sort of recipe don't you see very often, that includes pork products and apple? Casseroles? Loads. In sauce? Loads. Chinese?. Quite a few. Italian? Hmmn, not so many. Risotto? ~thinks~ Nope, can't remember seeing any. ~goes to internet to ask Google~ Nope, just one from Jamie Oliver. Aha!
So, risotto. Well, we know that bacon goes well with risotto, so that's a given. What about the apple, though. Hubby was warming to the theme by this time and came up with the ruse that if the apple was diced and pan fried to begin with, then included at the last minute to ensure that it didn't disintegrate, it could work. But what else to put with the bacon and apple? Sage? Well yes, but he didn't want it to go along too herby a route. (Hubby is the Chief Risotto Maker, so the end decision as to the recipe was his). I began to think along sausagey routes and remembered the Black Pudding I'd used for the English Farmhouse Breakfast recently. Done similarly, I felt sure it would stand up to a risotto. Hubby liked the idea and the Bramley Apple, Bacon & Black Pudding Risotto was born.
Now I really, really like risotto - and I really, really like hubby's risottos, as they're always very creamy (without the use of cream), moist and unctuous with some quite complex flavours. This risotto, however, knocked them all into a cocked hat (as we say in the U.K.).
The first forkful immediately gives you that salty hit of the bacon with the background hint of sage. Then, with something of a double-act, the Bramley apple comes in. First sweet, then sour, it gets the music pumping and the stage set for the Black Pudding, whose earthy spiciness just gets that party going on your tongue. And that's just the first forkful.
If you've never experienced black pudding before and have been cautious about doing so, this is the perfect recipe for you. Because of the accompanying flavours, your tongue is allowed to taste the black pudding without it becoming dominant (as it so often can).
Do, please, try this recipe. It really is completely gorgeous.
BRAMLEY APPLE, BACON & BLACK PUDDING RISOTTO (serves 3)