“The Quality Chop House” writes the great food critic Marina O’Loughlin in her foreword “is a restaurant with a clientele of regulars…. The London scene is rammed with novelty hounds, not so much in search of dinner as the next social media post. They make a lot of noise but have the attention span of gnats, always buzzing off to the next best thing. Regulars are a lot quieter and, to my mind, a whole lot more desirable. What greater testament to any restaurant could there be than people who want to keep coming back?”
And this book entirely reflects that: it’s a book you want to return to again and again, full of recipes that offer warmth, comfort, reassurance and - so very important, too - delight. Yes, there is some decidedly restaurant fare in there too, which is entirely reasonable, but for the home cook, there is so much richness to plunder. Corn on the Cob with Marmite Butter? Yes please. And I cannot tell you how much I need to make the Bone Marrow Puree, even though I feel I will do a perhaps less refined mash with the marrow fat. Beef Mince on Dripping Toast? Already subscribed. I hunger for the Seared Onglet Steak with Baby Gem Lettuce, Caesar Dressing and Dripping Breadcrumbs and I long, too, for the Beef Fat Hispi Cabbage (also with Dripping Breadcrumbs, which I want to add to almost everything). Before I list every recipe in the book (and get round to sharing one of them with you) I do want to put down a marker, too, for the Honey Custard Tart with Ginger Crème Fraîche and Blood Orange, Pistachio and Olive Oil Upside-Down Cake with Blood Orange Cream. But the recipe I’m enthusiastically sharing with you now is for their justly famous “croissant-gold” Confit Potatoes.
THE QUALITY CHOP HOUSE: Modern Recipes and Stories from a London Classic by William Lander, Daniel Morgenthau & Shaun Searley (Quadrille, £30)
Photography: Andrew Montgomery