“There may seem like a fair bit of sweetness going on here and if that doesn’t work for you before the dessert menu arrives, then perhaps this is the one side to avoid. But for fatty roasts like pork this works brilliantly well, and the dripping gives a meaty, savoury edge which prevents it from ever getting too sweet,” say The Quality Chop House pros.
2 bunches of leafy carrots
50g beef dripping
100g Lyonnaise onions (see below), blitzed to a purée with a stick blender
40g caramelised walnuts (see below)
For the Lyonnaise onions:
6 small white onions, thinly sliced
150g sliced beef fat
1/2tsp picked thyme leaves
For the caramelised walnuts:
400g caster sugar
200g walnut halves
Oil, for deep-frying
1. First make the Lyonnaise onions. Combine the onions with the beef fat and salt in a heavy-based saucepan and place over a low heat. Add the thyme and gently stew until the onions begin to caramelise, stirring occasionally. This takes a couple of hours to do properly. When the onions are a rich golden brown colour, remove from the heat and strain off any excess fat. If you want to store them for a few weeks, don’t discard the fat but leave it covering the onions to preserve them.
2. Make the caramelised walnuts. In a heavy-based saucepan, warm the sugar and water over a low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, drop the walnuts in. Bring to a medium simmer until the water reaches 116°C on a kitchen thermometer. Meanwhile, heat some oil for deep-frying in a small saucepan to 180°C (or use a deepfat fryer). Drain the walnuts through a colander and shake off the excess sugar syrup. While the walnuts are still hot, deep-fry them in the hot oil for 15–20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on kitchen paper. Season generously with Maldon salt.
3. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
4. Cut the tops away from the carrots, leaving 3cm of stalk still attached. Pick the green leaves off the tops, wash and reserve. Peel and wash the rest of the carrots.
5. Coat the carrots in the beef dripping in a small roasting tray and season with salt. Roast for 15 minutes before adding the butter and honey. Mix well and roast for another 15 minutes. You want the carrots to caramelise but still have a little bite – keep testing them with a skewer.
6. Leave the carrots to rest while you heat the onion purée and roughly chop the walnuts.
7. To serve, get yourself a lovely sharing dish or platter and start by spreading over the warm onion purée. Add a layer of carrots and pour over the carrot resting juices and fats. Finally, sprinkle over the carrot top leaves and the caramelised walnuts.
THE QUALITY CHOP HOUSE: Modern Recipes And Stories From A London Classic by William Lander, Daniel Morgenthau & Shaun Searley, photography by Andrew Montgomery, is published by Quadrille, priced £30. Available now.