• bercovici

Pizza - A four seasons meat feast

We are incredibly fortunate to have a brick oven in our garden but it does take a while to fire it up so, unless we are mass catering (there hasn't been a lot of that for a while) or making top some stews (summer is coming, apparently, so there's not much demand for these at present), we often use the hot plate of our barbecue to cook pizza. It's really rather good. Of course, everyone enjoys a different topping (which, surely, is one of the attractions of pizza).


For the base, make the dough at least 48 hours in advance and slow-ferment in the fridge. Four or five days is even better to get a hint of sourdough flavour and, even better, texture. We use 500g strong bread flour, 15g dried yeast, 10g salt, 50ml olive oil and 350ml water.

The tomato sauce is quite controversial here but, for this one, I gently fried onion and garlic until soft then added a pinch of chilli, some mixed herbs and tinned tomatoes and cooked together for a few minutes before blending them smooth.

After that, its simple: divide the dough into balls (six to eight for this quantity, depending on how hungry you are) and stretch it out rather than rolling as this will make it more airy and crispy. Spread some sauce and then sprinkle some dried oregano before adding toppings as desired (but who wouldn't want some venison chorizo, sweet salami and spicy 'Nduja?) before adding the cheese and black olives. If using a barbecue to cook it, let it get hot before sliding the pizza onto the hot plate and cook for two to three minutes (lid closed) until the base is crisp and starting to blacken slightly (not too much!), then lift onto the warming rack so it can cook from above, getting the cheese nicely browned. At the same time, you can start off another pizza... Delicious.

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1. Start with some of our mincemeat, either the traditional one (made with beef suet) or the vegetarian one. 2. Make a tasty sweet pastry as follows: Sift together 140g plain flour and 30g icing sugar