Martinmas sides with Artisan Damson & Sloe Vinegar

The perfect accompaniments to hearty November fare

Happy Martinmas! Today is the feast day of St Martin of Tours, a major beginning-of-winter and end-of-harvest festival in medieval times. In some parts of Europe, the day is still celebrated with roast goose dinners, lantern parades, and other traditions.

If you're whipping up a roast goose today (or even something simpler), consider these recipes to accompany it. Our damson vinegar’s plummy tartness shines in a cheery autumnal salad and a spiced berry sauce.

These dishes come together quickly and can easily be customised according to your tastes and the contents of your kitchen. Both perfectly showcase the vinegar's fruity notes with their festive sweet-and-sour, spiced flavours.

Orange and Purple Slaw

Ingredients for 6 people

  • half a red cabbage
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 sharp, firm apple
  • a handful of raisins
  • a small cup of apple juice
  • Artisan Damson & Sloe Vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

Method

  1. Peel and grate the carrot. Remove the cabbage’s outermost leaves and then cut it into thin strips, ideally using a mandoline.
  2. Salt the carrot and cabbage liberally and mix together. Place in a strainer over a bowl or the sink until liquid begins to drain away.
  3. In the meantime, grate the apple and soak the raisins in the apple juice.
  4. In a salad bowl, mix the drained cabbage with the apple and the soaked raisins. Dress the salad with olive oil and plenty of the vinegar to taste. Serve.

Spiced berry sauce

Ingredients for 4-6 portions

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 50-70 ml Artisan Damson & Sloe Vinegar
  • 2 cups frozen berries (I'm using the summer's leftover raspberries, but currants, blackberries and others work just as well)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 of a nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cold butter
  • black pepper
  • sugar or honey
  • salt

Method

  1. Start by finely chopping the onion.
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a pan. Add the onion and sprinkle over a pinch of salt. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft.
  3. Add 50 ml of vinegar and allow to come to a simmer and reduce a bit. While that’s simmering, microwave the berries briefly to thaw them.
  4. Add the berries to the pan and allow them to soften. Add the cinnamon, grate in the nutmeg, and add 10 or so good grinds of black pepper. Feel free to accessorise with other warming spices.
  5. Allow the sauce to simmer away for a few minutes, using your spoon to break down the berries if necessary. Salt to taste and sweeten with ca. 1 tsp sugar or honey. Allow to thicken to your desired consistency, thinning with more vinegar if necessary.
  6. Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the cold butter until fully dispersed. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Serve with roasted meat, slather on a cheese toastie, use as the base for a very flavourful salad dressing — there are lots of possibilities. For a variation with real medieval flair, mix equal parts of this sauce and dijon mustard and use as an accompaniment to cold cuts or meat pies.

— Beatrix Swanson

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