Aston Villa F.C.

Aston Villa F.C. ~ Aston Vanilla pudding

Introduction: Aston Villa Football Club are based in Witton, Birmingham. The club was founded in March 1874 by Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. They have played at Villa Park since 1897. Aston Villa were founder members of The Football League in 1888. They have the fourth highest total of major honours won by any English club.

File:Aston Villa.svg

The first villa match was against Aston Brook St Mary’s Rugby team. The first half was played under rugby rules, the second under football.  That was truly a game of two halves.

Preparation time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 10 mins

Home kit: a medium saucepan

Away kit:  4 pudding bowls and spoons

Cooling time: 1 kickball match and a bit

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ Tbsp. butter (optional, but I think it adds a richness to the pudding)

Method:

First half

Combine the eggs, sugar, flour, and vanilla in the saucepan with a whisk. Add the milk, whisking as you go, until everything is silky and smooth. cook on a medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Stir in the optional butter until melted.

Second half

Remove from heat, pour into a container and allow to cool before eating.

It tastes great cold, but I think it’s Villainous when warm.

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Aston Villa F.C. ~ Claret and beef

Introduction: Aston Villa’s colours are a claret shirt with sky blue sleeves, white shorts with claret and blue trim, and sky blue socks with claret and white trim. They are the original wearers of the claret and blue having stated some time after 1886.

File:Aston Villa FC logo (2000-2007).svg

[This is the pre-2007 badge, for extra claret-y]

To celebrate this fact here is a claret, beef and mushroom stew for the making of.

Preparation time: 30 mins

Cooking time: First half 30 mins, second half 3 hours

Home kit: large ovenproof casserole, slotted spoon, two set aside plates

Away kit: 4-6 dinner plates, knives and forks

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 7 rashers streaky bacon, cut into inches
  • 8 shallots
  • 400g quartered button mushrooms
  • 1.5kg stewing steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 tbsp. oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 bottle claret (Bordeaux)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • bunch of fresh herbs
  • flour
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Method: Preheat the oven to 150oC

First half

Fry the bacon in the casserole dish until lightly browned. Add the onions and cook in the bacon fat for about 5 minutes then add the mushrooms, stirring gently for about 5 minutes. Scoop out of the casserole with the slotted spoon and set aside.

Pour the oil into the casserole dish and brown the steak cubes in small batches (too many and they steam rather then fry). Set them aside as you go. That done, put the browned meat back in the casserole dish, add the garlic and sprinkle the flour over the meat. Place in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes while you prep the herbs and perhaps taste a little of the wine?

Second half

Now we season the dish, add the wine and the herbs (any mix of thyme, rosemary, tarragon, bay leaves, parsley), sugar, salt and pepper then cover and cook the casserole in the oven for three hours, while you adjourn to the pub/match.

Full time result

On your return add the bacon/shallot/mushroom mixture. Return to the oven and heat while you boil the potatoes that you are going to serve it with.

Aston Villa F.C. ~ Billy (Walker) Balti

Introduction: This recipe is named after William Henry “Billy” Walker, considered by many to be the greatest ever Aston Villa player. He was born in Wednesbury, Staffordshire and joined Villa in 1914 where he stayed for the rest of his playing career, retiring in 1934. He played for the club 478 time scoring 214 goals, he is still their all time top goal scorer. He played for England 18 times scoring 9 goals.

This recipe is from the Balti Triangle. Birmingham became Britain’s Balti capital following its arrival in the city in the 1970’s courtesy of the city’s Pakistani and Kashmiri communities. A Balti curry is traditionally cooked over a high flame with spiced fresh meat and/or vegetables then cooked again with extra spices and served in the round-bottomed balti dish.

You will find it easier to make the curry if you get all the spices ready beforehand. Do not attempt this recipe if pleasantly light headed. Kickballers, know your limits!

Preparation time: 30 mins

Cooking time: 40 mins

Home kit: a large ovenproof casserole

Away kit: 4 balti dishes, naan bread and spoons

Serves: 4 as a starter

Dry Ingredients

  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds, crushed
  • 1 tsp. Garam Masala
  • 4 dried curry leaves, crushed
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. nigella seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods, bruised

Other ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. groundnut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed and chopped
  • 1 thumb fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 5 green chillies, chopped
  • Bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 250 ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. tomato purée
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large tomato, sliced

Method: preheat the oven to 180oC

First half

Heat the oil in the casserole over a medium heat, when it is hot but not smoking, add the lightly crushed mustard seeds, cook for 30 seconds only, beware they may pop and spit out of the pan. Add the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes until soft but not coloured. Then add all the spices plus the garlic and ginger. Cook for another couple of minutes, taking care to ensure the spices don’t burn.

Add the chicken and sugar stirring briskly to make sure all the chicken is coated in the spices and fry for 5 minutes , continue stirring to make sure nothing catches and burns.

Second half

Add the stock, the tomato purée, the pinch of salt and the bay leaf, bring to the boil and pop in the preheated oven. Cook for 25 minutes until the chicken is tender. Remove from the oven, add the fresh coriander and tomato, stir and set aside to continue cooking while you warm up the naan bread.

Full time result

Serve piping hot in Balti dishes with naan bread and Aston Spumante on the side.