Nigel Slaters Spelt and Sausage Cobbler has been on my radar for a few weeks as I had lined it up as my potential recipe for the February Dish of the Month Challenge hosted by Farmersgirl Kitchen. I tweeted my intention to give it a go and got a reply from the man himself@realnigelslater @foodiequine @serialcrafter A warming dish, cheap and filling. An edible duffel coat against the snow. (But much tastier.)
I couldn't not make it after that endorsement.
It featured on my Meal Planning Monday post for the last two weeks but kept being bumped because of lack of Pearl Spelt. The recipe came from the Sainsbury's Magazine so I assumed that they would stock it. I was wrong. I asked at customer services in my local store but no. They even checked nationwide but apparently it isn't actually stocked at all by Sainsbury's. The assistant helpfully suggested that I may wish to use spelt flour as an alternative. As if that would have worked. She really couldn't understand why I was unimpressed that they didn't stock a product mentioned in their magazine.
So I took to Twitter and asked Sainsbury's why they didn't actually stock one of the key ingredients required for a recipe in their magazine. No reply. I emailed them. No reply. Kind of says it all really.
I did however get a response from
@realnigelslater @foodiequine The Magazine is actually independently owned. They often feature things not in store.
I then asked if any of my followers could suggest where I could buy some of this elusive "pearl spelt" and got lots of suggestions but alas those online had prohibitive P&P and none of those closer to home stocked it. I gave local Aberdeen Deli Hammerton Store a tweet and was delighted with the response
And get it they did. From Sharpham Park an organic estate in Glastonbury.
When I popped in past Hammerton to see if my spelt had arrived it literally just had and the cardboard boxes were being unpacked so I also bought some other goodies. Spelt Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and Spelt Crunchy Fruit and Fibre Cereal.
The supermarket had let me down so I continued to #shoplocal for the ingredients for my dish
Pearl Spelt - Hammerton Store
Carrots and Free Range Eggs - Fernieflatt Farm
I kept pretty much to Mr Slaters recipie but added some English Mustard powder to the spelt cobbles and some mushrooms to the casserole. My favourite part was where he instructed you to cut the sausages into cork lengths. That is a unit of measurement with which I am very familiar. The resulting dish was really tasty and so filling. The spelt had a fantastic texture and nutty flavour. I shall definately be using it to cobble more dishes.