As I sit on the plane back from Terra Madre I am feeling humbled, inspired, and reminded of the wonderful produce that Scotland has to offer and the duty to which I am bound to celebrate it. This dish is fairly typical of my favourite type of cooking; take whatever ingredients are available in season and put them together in a way that I think should work. Flavour for me really is about instinct. I’m also very fortunate that my Dad has an allotment that not only produces amazing vegetables and the occasional berry seemingly all year round, but he is also happy to take orders each year for what should be grown the following. It reminds me of our attachment with the Earth, and the fact that if more people were able to grow their own food, not only would they be healthier for it, so would the planet. This concept is absolutely key to the Slow Food ethos and is as relevant in Glasgow as it is in Paraguay, Mozambique, or Armenia. So this recipe celebrates my journey to Terra Madre Salone del Gusto using wonderful Scottish produce and home grown vegetables in a way that is as comfortable cooked in an oven, on the hob, or even over a fire outdoors. It is food for sharing. Feel free to use whatever ingredients and cuts you have. I used neck and shank of hogget from Nethergate Larder, a farm that epitomises what good, clean, and fair means, as the bones give depth of flavour and the fat cooks down beautifully. Flank, and shoulder would work just as well, whatever you can get.
Pot roast hogget
700g-1kg hogget neck (I used 400g neck and 1 shank);
2-3 beetroot roughly diced with the leaves kept and chopped;
1 purple top turnip (roughly diced);
2-3 carrots chopped;
3 cloves garlic;
Half bottle red wine;
1 onion roughly chopped;
4 small thick skinned potatoes like Apache, roughly diced;
2 sprigs rosemary;
A good sprinkling of sea salt;
Oil for frying
Heat the oven to 140c. On the hob hear the oil in a heavy oven-proof pot and brown the meat;
Arrange the vegetables bar the beetroot leaves around the meat, adding the garlic, rosemary and salt last.
Pour over the wine and cover. Place in the oven for 3-4 hours. Add the beetroot leaves for the last ten minutes. Remove the meat from the bone and serve.