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Yotam Ottolenghi Repped Vegetables at London’s Biggest Meat Frenzy

The world-famous chef brought the vegetables in a frenzy of beef, blood, and bones at Meatopia

Yotam Ottolenghi at Meatopia 2018 Meatopia [Official Photo]

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is truly disappointing pizza.

News of the week

Britain may talk a good game about reducing its meat consumption, but the crowds descending on Tobacco Dock for Meatopia this weekend suggested it will take more than a dubious Byron burger to get the nation to kick its most carnal habit. Of course, Meatopia is not just about meat — there were vegetarian options, not least courtesy of charred brassica wizard Yotam Ottolenghi himself — but Instagram does not care for such subtlety. Animal protein was very much front and centre on the ‘gram, suggesting a revision may be needed to one of news media’s most famous truisms: if it bleeds, it leads the feed.

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Vegetarian alternative of the week

Fortunately, it wasn’t all animal carcasses. If last week was about heralding sweetcorn as the most desirable vegetable of the day — establishing The Corn Identity — then this week saw nothing less than The Corn Supremacy, as the yellow kernel cropped up in domestic and professional kitchens by the armload. Or, to put it succinctly: corn starred.

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CORN, OLOROSO & CHORIZO CLAMS. A RECIPE FOR YOUR WEEKEND: Serves 2 for lunch 400g palourde clams; 1 semi-cured chorizo, diced; 1 shallot, finely sliced; 2-3 sprigs of parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped, stalks finely chopped; 1 clove garlic, crushed; The sweetcorn cut from 1 cob ; 200ml Oloroso sherry; Light olive oil; Freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of lemon to season; A few hunks of good sourdough for mopping up. Put the clams in a bowl, cover with cold water and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to 'purge'. Remove from the bowl, tip the water and grit out, return the clams to the bowl and set aside (back in the fridge if not cooking immediately). Stick a saucepan over a medium-high heat and add a glug of oil. Before that's warmed up, add the diced cooking chorizo and fry for 3 minutes so its oils render out and the meat *just* begins to brown. Add the shallot and chopped parsley stalks and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then the garlic and sweetcorn and cook for 1 minutes more — until everything's bright and fragrant. Turn the heat up a touch and add the drained clams. Shake and cook for 30 seconds. Push a few clams to one side to create hole and pour the sherry into that. Let it bubble for 30 seconds before placing a lid on top. Cook for 2 minutes, shaking the pan a couple of times, then turn the heat off, allow the clams steam themselves for 1 minute more before removing the lid, stirring the parsley through the pan, and seasoning with a good pinch of pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Ladle into bowls, ensuring a fair distribution of broth and gubbins from the bottom of the pan. Spoons. Bread. Done. #f52grams #feedfeed #weekendrecipe #sherry #eeeats #clams #makeitdelicious #mykitchen

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Pasta dish of the week

What else could be in the filling?

Beige-off of the week

This column previously considered an aesthetic provisionally labelled ‘beans cooked in rainwater’: dishes, typically hailing from the Italian tradition of cucina povera, that act as a clear rebuke to the hyper-saturated and -stylised Instagram lewk. Think David Chang’s Ugly Delicious on steroids, basically – and give thanks for these two absolute pinnacles of the form.

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Ears and lenses. #shapeofthegiorno

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Niche seasonal delicacy of the week

One for the completists, this: the giant puffball mushroom appears to be coming into season and favour, along with other late summer fungal icons like the British cep. Scarily, autumn suddenly doesn’t feel very far away at all.

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The mark of a good puffball

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Tart of the week

Proper puddings are back; properly niche puddings are back, too.

London food scene in miniature of the week

Along with the companion tome 500 Fresh Pasta Dishes, of course.

Mash-up of the week

Take one part grilled bread at Bright, one part mushroom salad at Brat, and one part Black Sea pide at Oklava. Eat, probably very messily and fast.

Dish of the week

Just a tad more fancy than a Jacob’s cream cracker.

Shot of the week


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