The Face’s lockdown tasting menu – with drinks pairing!

Ever wondered which Grenache Blanc goes best with a 10 pack of fish fingers? No, us neither. But we asked fancy sommelier Johnny Ragget anyway!

  • APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS  APPETISERS 

Ortiz anchovies on soldiers

Guacamole with corn chips

Roast Chicken thigh with apocalypse curry sauce” dip (1 part mayonnaise, 2 parts rosemary jelly or sweet curry sauce)

Pairing: Dirty Wet Vodka Martini with olives

  • 2 measures of vodka
  • ½ measure of dry vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon of olive brine from the jar
  • Stir all over 4 – 5 cubes of ice in a large glass or cup. Strain into a chilled glass, preferably a cocktail glass but really who cares. Pop 1 or 3 (never 2) olives on a stick or in the glass. Simple joy.
  • FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE  FIRST COURSE 

Potato skins, with baked beans, cheese, Worcestershire sauce and pickles

Pairing: Beavertown Smog Rocket” Smoked Porter, £3.

Around £3. This smoky, malty porter is brewed in London using nine different varieties of malts, including the smoked Rauchmalz” from Bamburg, Germany. This beer will really hit the spot with these loaded jackets due to the deeper, darker molasses and raisin notes, that are in turn balanced against a refreshing top acidity. The inclusion of the US Chinook” hop, it’s resinous nature cuts through those sweeter, richer flavours. Enjoy a beer inspired by the London smokestacks of the industrial revolution.

  • SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE  SECOND COURSE 

Fish fingers with chicken fat rice and a roasted red pepper sauce

Pairing: Julie Brosselin, Mata Hari”, Grenache Blanc, South France, £26.

This is an intense, unfiltered orange wine from superstar lady winemaker Julie Brosselin down south in Languedoc, France. The richness of texture, touch of burnt caramel, and earthier notes show as this wine develops and evolves in the glass over time. Get a case if you can. Available in London from Gergovie Wines.

  • MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE  MAIN COURSE 

Gammon steak with baby carrots cooked in orange juice, whole grain mustard mashed potato and asparagus

Pairing: Thymiopoulos Alta” Xinomavro, Naoussa, Greece, £20.

This is probably one of the most elegant Greek reds you’ll ever come across. A light to medium weight, it offers a touch more punch than your average Pinot, for those that look for a little bit more. This red wine is made from old vine Xinomavro (Zeen-oh-mav-ro) at high altitude in the region of Naoussa ( spot in the north of mainland Greece, southwest of Macedonia). Thymiopoulos do a young vine Xino as well, who’s crunchy, aggressive tannins and lively energy are typical and adorably Greek. This, however, is essentially a fine wine. The nose is full of ageing petals and mulchy’ florals. The palate is just-ripe red berries, more florals, and a unique green tea thread sewing it all up (supported by a subtle tannin that reminds me of a cup of tea when the bags been left in a touch too long). Undesirable in that situation, undeniable genius in this bottle. Available in London at Theatre Of Wine, Tufnell Park and worldwide online.

  • DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT  DESSERT 

Tinned fruit with Ambrosia custard

Pairing: Gianni Doglia, Moscato D’asti, Piedmont, Italy, £14.95.

Moscato d’Asti is a slightly sweet, lightly fizzy white wine with low alcohol levels. At times slightly uninteresting and mass-produced, Gianni Doglia’s small-production rendition goes against the grain here. It’s highly aromatic with melon, peach, blossom and honeysuckle aromas. Available in London at Vinarius, both online and in their shop on Roman Road.

Ortiz anchovies on soldiers

Lightly toast bread in a toaster. Cut into slices roughly 2 – 3 inches in length and 3cm wide. Pan-fry the fingers of bread in a knob of butter for five minutes. Drain the anchovies, dress each finger of toast with one, and sprinkle of salt. Serve.

Guacamole with corn chips 

Flesh of 1 – 2 avocados
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 – 2 fresh green chillies, finely chopped
1 – 2 limes, juiced
Handful of chopped fresh coriander
Sea salt

Put half your onion, half your green chilli and a pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar. Grind to a paste. Add the paste, avocado and dash of lime juice into a bowl and mash with a fork. Once at a good consistency, stir in the rest of your chopped onion, chilli, lime juice and coriander. Serve with your choice of crisps/​chips.

Roast chicken thigh with apocalypse curry sauce” dip

Take your chicken thighs (1 per person and skin on preferable) and roast in the oven at 200°C for 25 minutes. Use tin foil under the chicken to collect the fat for later. Remove the crispy skins and keep to one side to cool. Keep all chicken fat you can in a cup and leave with the skins for the chicken fat rice later. 

To make the sauce, just mix mayonnaise with rosemary jelly or sweet curry sauce at a ratio of roughly 1 – 2, to taste. Slice your chicken and place on skewers with sauce on the side to serve.

Potato skins, with baked beans, cheese, Worcestershire sauce and pickles

Take a choice of small-medium potatoes – enough to make a portion of mashed potato for the number of people dining – and coat the skins with butter. Bake in the oven for 45 mins to an hour at 200°C. Once cooked, slice in half and scoop out the insides, keep all to one side for later.

Place the number of skins you need (1 per person) back in the oven while you cook the baked beans on the hob, add a couple dashes of Worcestershire Sauce. Cooking should take 5 – 6 mins on medium heat.

Remove the skins from the oven, fill with a spoon or two of beans, grate cheese of your choice over the top, and dash with Worcestershire sauce. Place the loaded and dressed skins under the grill on a high heat until the cheese is melted and browning. 

Serve your choice of jarred or homemade pickles on the side. Classic deli-style gherkin would be my choice.

Fish fingers with chicken fat rice and a roasted red pepper sauce

Grill your frozen fish fingers (2 per person) according to instructions on the packet.

Long grain or basmati rice is good for the chicken fat rice. Rinse your rice under the tap using a sieve, place in a saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. Set to simmer for around 10 minutes until al dente.

Take off the heat and strain out. Place the rice back in the saucepan, add a knob of butter, a few pinches of salt, mix through and place back on a low heat. Roughly chop your crispy chicken skins from earlier and add to the rice with the chicken fat you saved before. Mix through and cook-off. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Drain a jar of roasted red peppers, and add to a blender along with 1 clove of garlic, the juice of 1 lemon, ½ cup of olive oil, ½ cup of almonds (or pistachio or whatever), a small bunch of parsley and a few pinches of salt and a dash of pepper. Blitz until at a good sauce consistency. Add more nuts to taste for texture. Salt and pepper to taste if necessary.

Serve 1 – 2 fish fingers per person on a neat helping of chicken fat rice, with red pepper sauce to the side.

Gammon steak with baby carrots cooked in orange juice, whole grain mustard mashed potato and asparagus

Slice your steak per person. Roast for 20 mins at 180°C. It doesn’t need much cooking usually and you don’t want it to dry out, so keep an eye on it.

Blanche your baby carrots in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain off and place in a saucepan over a low heat and add a knob of butter, pinch of salt, pepper and a cup of orange juice. Simmer the orange juice.

Take your potato insides from earlier and place in a saucepan over a low to medium heat. Mash for a minute or two. Add 2 – 3 knobs of butter and a splash of whole milk. Mash again more gently until a good consistency. Add 2 two teaspoons of wholegrain mustard, generous pinches of salt and a dash of ground pepper, and mix through to taste.

Griddle your asparagus with butter and salt until al dente.

While your gammon is resting having come from the oven, add any fat collected to the carrots.

Serve as you wish. Dress carrots on the plate with the juice/​sauce from the saucepan and a touch more salt if necessary.

Tinned fruit with Ambrosia custard

Open your tin of fruit and drain if you want. Open your packet/​tin of Ambrosia custard and heat if you want. Add both together and enjoy those childhood flashbacks.


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