Tim Matthews, founder of The Artisan Smokehouse, shares his favourite smoked foods
I love smoked food, in fact I nearly make a living out of it! All of our smoked products are made by me in small batches using maple wood, which gives a slightly sweet edge to a very savoury product. My favourites are perhaps not all those you would expect from a committed carnivore like myself. I enjoy the depth of flavour a well smoked food can add as an ingredient as much as I enjoy the finished article.
● Smoked Olive Oil: delicious as a dressing paired with some fabulous rich balsamic
● Smoked Mushrooms: a fabulous base for a stew or casserole, this is a must-have storecupboard ingredient in my house. Rehydrate with boiling water and leave for 20 mins, blitz and use as a rich dark mushroomy stock
● Smoked Garlic: roast whole in its skin (with more oil than you’re happy about using) in tinfoil for 30 minutes. Allow to cool then pop it in a potato ricer and squeeze out the smokey, sweet, garlicy loveliness. Keep in a ramekin in the fridge with a layer of oil over the top and add a spoonful to mash or a baked Camembert
● Smoked Stilton: we use a rich, creamy small-batch Stilton. The smoking takes away the bitterness, leaving a creamy, rich, subtly smoky maple wood taste. I blend this up with some cream and walnuts, make a paste then let it melt into a rare steak
● Smoked Beef Fillet Carpaccio: our most prestigious product, winner in my dish for Young British Foodies as well as three stars in the Great Taste Awards. Local fillet steak, lightly cured, then smoked and then sliced