Somehow everything has become less complex; what we cook has become more about the quality and heritage of what we source and the way we marry flavours in a more down to earth, robust style. There are classic combinations that have been in use in the kitchen for decades, even hundreds of years, but it is the paring back of these things that is shaping what we serve at the dinner table more than ever.
The traditional roast leg of lamb we might have had a few years back has now become a slow-braised shoulder; we still, however, serve it with its bedfellows of either a home made mint sauce, Shrewsbury, or redcurrant jelly. I might now though, as with last year, add a spoonful of so to the gravy for a hint of sweetness.
Some things can’t be messed with though. You can’t better a roast potato, one of the finest culinary inventions in my book. Another great tradition that must not be forgotten is Simnel cake, the moreish, dark fruit cake enriched with marzipan. This recipe comes from one of my favourite London gastropubs, The Coach and Horses in Farringdon.