I’m becoming addicted to anchovies, not in a ‘wake-up and snarf a couple from the bedside’ way, but more that anchovies are creeping into more and more dishes, lifting them to new and wonderful heights. Anchovies are incredibly versatile, capable of giving an umami hit to most dishes, enhancing existing flavours and creating a salty tang that no other ingredient can do.
They are the magic ingredient behind Worcestershire sauce, Ceasar Salad, Gentleman’s Relish and a good Bloody Mary.
You can start gently, adding anchovies to your Bolognaise sauce or beef stew and seeing how it subtly lifts the flavours, before upping the intensity and using them as the key sauce ingredient, such as with lamb and beef steak, either as a rub on a shoulder of lamb, or anchovy butter melted onto steak, and can bring a new level of interest to baked cod or haddock.
As the addiction kicks in, your anchovy butter can get stronger and stronger. You can adjust the intensity according to your audience, but anchovy butter and veg is a winner. Try purple sprouting broccoli, toasted almond flakes and anchovy butter, or cauliflower, anchovy and garlic as a pasta sauce.
We have Geo Watkins anchovy sauce, as well as two types of anchovy fillet. Ortiz buy their Cantabrian anchovies daily from auctions along the north coast of Spain and process them the same day. They are put into salt for a period of 6-12 months depending on the size of the fish.
When ready, they are gently washed, to remove excess salt, and the fish are trimmed and filleted by hand.