At the last Hampshire Farmers’ Market Editor Dani and I picked up two bottles of Isle of Wight tomato juice from The Tomato Stall and we thought they’d make great BMs to go with Woodlands Jersey Beef burgers. I present the two greatest recipes for Bloody Marys the world has ever seen.
There are several tricks to BMs, but one of them is certainly not to go over-board with the booze. It ultimately dilutes the flavours of the other ingredients and just provides a burn that is far less satisfying than the ones I’m going to tell you how to achieve. Read on and sweat!
The tomato juice itself was a delight when raw. We had two kinds, the basic red one and a sweeter golden juice. To be honest, there was little to chose between the two, both had fresh acidity and a good, sweet tomato flavour. The fresh flavour of the juice was far better than those piss-awful tomato confections one buys in the supermarket made from concentrated tomato juice – this was the stuff all right.
If you’ve got quality tomato juice you don’t want its flavour diluted so no messing about with ice. The vodka comes out of the freezer and the juice straight from the fridge. No other cooling is required.
So let me present you with:
A winning Bloody Mary recipe
Get a large highball glass and pour in a measure and a half of Absolut pepper vodka. Add a heaped teaspoon of grated horseradish, quarter of a measure of balsamic vinegar and an enthusiastically furious grind of salt and pepper. Mix these up. Fill the glass with your quality tomato juice and mix again. You can have a little taste to check it’s up to standard and adjust levels of balsamic, horseradish, salt and pepper if necessary, but that should be ready to burn.
We drank these with Woodlands Jersey Beef burgers in Reeve the Baker’s best crusty rolls and they worked a treat. The burgers had great meaty, fatty flavours with the most satisfyingly ground texture of almost any burger I’ve had. They just tasted superb and were a delight to eat. I’d recommend using only the best rolls with them, as we did, and some extremely mature Cheddar plus a little bit of mustardy mayonnaise to complete the dish.
Dani suggested most people would have found my winning BMs quite fiery, and I took this as a challenge and immediately upon finishing my burgers I took to the kitchen and started mixing. I devised:
The Bloody Hell Mary
Highball glass with measure and a half of pepper vodka as before. Then 1 dessertspoonful of Perfect Pickles Red Hot Tomato Chutney, an impressively heaped teaspoon of grated horseradish, the most vigorous grind of salt and pepper you can manage – just don’t hold back. Mix these up together, you have to be careful as the chutney is quite dense and you don’t want uneven chutney distribution. Once mixed add you lovely tomato juice, give it a final mix, sip carefully and feel like you are king of the world! I have never had a better BM in my richly booze-infused life. It was a shame we’d already eaten the burgers as these would have been a spiffing match.
I leave you with a picture of my lunchtime delight and he is modeling the Bloody Hell Mary. After that are contact details for the produce providers.
Woodlands Jersey Beef
The Tomato Stall
Email Dwayne at Perfect Pickles
All of these people are usually at the Hampshire Farmers’ Markets.
Hmm! I am unconvinced by this concoction. The perfect bloody mary requires a dash of fino. And also celery salt. Lea and perrins is not to be sniffed at. You are suggesting a daringly modern version. have you no sense of order? Of what is proper?
Don’t say you are afraid of new things too, Edward, please! Change is good; we must always continue to grow and develop. Onward, ever onward!