WanderSups creator Hannah Gregory makes the most of this season's wild garlic
You didn’t think I was going to let wild garlic season pass without a gloriously green recipe did you? Wild garlic used to be reserved for foragers and real country folk, you know the ones who walk about with a large forked staff and stop occasionally to nibble on something from the hedgerow.
Now, however, it is the ingredient of choice for anyone who dabbles in the art of cooking. No longer do you have to stick your head out a car window, waiting for that pungent hit of garlic in the air to notify you it is time. Now, just open instagram, check in on your favourite chefs and foodies and if their grid has suddenly become awash with a sea of green, you know now is the time to strike.
Pick up your most aesthetically pleasing wicker trug (a bag for life will also do just fine), head to your nearest patch, usually near water in a woodland and start plucking. Remember, however, the three golden rules: take no more than you need, leave plenty behind and only collect from plentiful populations – luckily in these parts, it is abundant. (Also ensure it’s not from a National Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, where foraging is not permitted.)
Adding the wild garlic leaf into a tortilla dough gives a subtle flavour, but the flavour is most certainly there in every single bite. You could, of course, then load your tacos with whatever takes your fancy – wild garlic really does pair well with everything in my opinion, but then again I have been known to snack on the leaves like some kind of heifer chewing the cud.
I topped mine with marinated hangar steak, a beautiful cut that isn’t used enough – it is full of flavour and texture. I added a green chilli chimichurri, punchy salsa roja and, of course, pink onions. Hanger steak is a hot and fast cook and should be rested properly, otherwise you are going to get a chewy mouthful. Marinade the meat in advance, cook it and then let it sit whilst you cook your tortillas.
This is a true amalgamation of multiple cuisines, English, Mexican, Argentinian and it works fantastically. I love this style of cooking – throw it all together, hope for the best, see what happens and the result is worthy of the deities.
WILD GARLIC TACOS, GREEN CHILLI CHIMICHURRI HANGAR STEAK, SALSA ROJA
Tipple of choice:
Tempranillo works well here.
Ingredients for the tortillas:
1½ cups masa harina (authentic Mexican corn flour)
115g wild garlic leaves blanched, squeezed very dry and finely chopped
Ingredients for the salsa roja:
4 large plum tomatoes
½ bunch coriander
1 clove of garlic
Ingredients for the chimichurri hangar steak:
500g hangar steak
4 garlic cloves
1 bunch of parsley
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
25ml red wine vinegar
150ml olive oil
Salt & peps
First make the chimichurri. Finely chop the parsley, oregano, garlic, shallots and jalapenos. Add to a bowl with the paprika and red wine vinegar, stirring to combine. Pour in the olive oil and stir vigorously until emulsified. You can also do this by putting everything in a jam jar and shaking like your life depends on it. Taste and season with salt, peps and fresh lemon juice.
Douse your steak in the chimmi (you will have some left over and this is great poured over the steak post cooking or can be stored in the fridge for a week). Pop into the fridge, ideally overnight or for a minimum of 6 hours.
To make the salsa roja, blend the tomatoes, garlic and jalapeno in a blender.
Finely dice the onion and chop the coriander.
Heat a glug of oil in a pan and add the tomato mixture.
Heat until it begins to boil, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Stir through the coriander and onion and season to taste.
Add the 250ml of water and wild garlic to a blender and pulse until the water has turned green with a few flecks of leaf left.
Add the wild garlic infused water to the masa and knead until you have a pliable dough.
To test your dough – make sure it is as moist as possible without sticking to your hands. If the dough is too dry it will crack when squeezed between your fingers. To remedy this, add more water as needed.
Cover with a damp towel until ready to use.
When you are ready to cook, remove the steak from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
Heat a frying pan until screaming hot, add your steak to the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side until well seared – this cut should be served rare.
Remove from the pan and allow to rest.
Divide you tortilla dough into six balls and press using a taco press or a rolling pin – I find the best way to do this is to cut a freezer bag, lay one sheet of plastic down, place a ball of dough on top and press lightly into a disc, lay the other sheet of plastic on top and press till you have a tortilla of approximately 15cm.
Heat a frying pan on a high heat and carefully lower your tortilla into the pan, cooking for 30 seconds on each side. Keep under a tea towel to keep warm and repeat with remaining dough.
Slice your hangar against the grain.
To build your tacos, spread some salsa roja on the tortilla, top with the sliced steak, drizzle over any remaining chimmi and garnish with fresh lime, coriander and pink onions.
Find out about Hannah’s upcoming Supper Clubs and what she is currently cooking via Instagram: @WanderSups and at www.wandersups.com