Adam Jackson Kitchen Confidential

Adam Jackson, chef at the newly Michelin-starred Black Swan at Oldstead, warms up the winter days with hogget and earthy root veg

Cooking With

After the buzz of Christmas we’re all left feeling a bit jaded, but as a chef I try and make the best of local produce and challenge myself to create something inspiring for our customers. As far as meat goes, it’s probably the best time of the year to cook it. We use Hebridean sheep when they’re at the hogget stage, at 18 months old. They provide a rich, succulent, gamey flavour, which is why I use four cuts in one dish. I braise the shoulder, pan-fry the saddle of the loin, confit the breast meat and mix it with mashed potatoes to make little rissoles and, finally, pot-roast the neck fillet. I serve it all with a tangy pickled carrot choucroute.

I use most seasonal root vegetables in appetisers – for example, Jerusalem artichoke or sweet parsnip soup. I’m still making the most of Brussels sprouts but instead of cooking them the traditional way, which I’m sure everyone will be bored of, I shred them down, stir-fry with bacon, chicken stock and roasted chestnuts and serve with game.

Fish is slightly awkward at this time of year, so I tend to rely on what our fishmonger recommends. He’ll always know what is available in the best quality at any time of year so I base my menu on this. I particularly like cooking with turbot. We fillet the fish and poach it in a sous-vide bag with some beurre noisette, then finish it a hot pan with more of the butter, which adds an extra layer of flavour to the fish.

As for desserts, there can often be the same availability problem in January with a lack of fresh fruit, but this year we’ll have Catalan cream on the menu. It’s a slightly lighter version of crème brûlée; I make the custard with the first of the season’s forced rhubarb, which gives it a lovely colour. Then I spice it all up with some nutmeg and cinnamon.

Who i'm using

Our rare-breed sheep come from Howardian Hebridean, which is run by Gareth Barlow. I’ve worked at the Black Swan for four years now and my oldest supplier is Holme Farm in North Yorkshire, who have provided us with venison from the start. James Wellock, based in Lancashire, sources the best vegetables in the area and supplies to us direct.


I try and make the best of local produce and challenge myself to create something inspiring for our customers


Get Premium access to all the latest content online

Subscribe and view full print editions online... Subscribe