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Enjoy locally sourced food at The Fleece Inn

PUBLISHED: 09:55 30 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:35 30 October 2018

The Fleece, Bungay.

The Fleece, Bungay.

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The Fleece Inn in Bungay has been extending a warm welcome to diners and drinkers since the 15th century.

Lamb rump and shepherd's pie, The Fleece Inn, BungayLamb rump and shepherd's pie, The Fleece Inn, Bungay

Set against a backdrop of the lovely St Mary’s Church opposite, and surrounded by ancient buildings, the pub is a warren of interconnecting nooks and crannies, endowed with many beautiful features, from exposed timbers to lead windows.

It’s a truly wonderful place to be at any time of day, and the team extends a warm welcome to everyone, whether you’re a walker popping in for a cup of Tea Pigs speciality tea or freshly ground coffee alongside a slice of homemade cake, a community group making use of the upstairs dining room, or diners sitting down to a full three-course supper.

Staying true to the seasons, and using as much locally sourced produce as possible is incredibly important to talented and experienced head chef Justin who, alongside his young team, takes great pride in creating exciting and creative dishes.

Fresh fish comes in every day from Cliff at Earsham Street Fish Co, game such as wild boar, venison and wood pigeon comes from David and Jo at Maisebrooke Farm just two miles away.

Squash samosa, The Fleece Inn, BungaySquash samosa, The Fleece Inn, Bungay

A current delight from the kitchen which customers are currently loving is the venison duo, with Mille-Feuille potatoes, hazelnut carrots and a redcurrant jus. Try out the recipe, which is shared on the opposite page.

Little ones are not forgotten, having their own menu offering, with as few tweaks as possible, the same home-cooked food as the grown-ups enjoy.

In keeping with the local ethos of the kitchen, whatever isn’t made by Justin and his team is bought from the very best suppliers. Bread, for example, is sourced from Johnny at The Penny Bun Bakehouse in Lowestoft, the ketchup is from Stokes, and Alburgh ice cream features on the dessert menu in an array of delicious and unusual flavours.

The offering at The Fleece Inn goes well beyond food and drink, with the community invited to use the inn for all manner of things.

Venison duo, The Fleece Inn, BungayVenison duo, The Fleece Inn, Bungay

The upstairs dining room, as well as being perfect for any occasion, such as weddings, wakes and parties, is being used for training courses and meetings too, including recently yoga and first aid classes recently. In addition, there are regular events.

On the second Friday of each month from 8pm to late the Pianoman Dave Johnson is in residence. And on the fourth Sunday of every month it’s open mic from 6pm to 8pm – get in touch to take part.

Christmas parties are also well catered for, with a three-course meal this year costing only £26.95. Bookings are coming in thick and fast with most weekends now fully booked, so don’t delay – book today to avoid disappointment.

Recipe: Maisebrooke Farm venison duo with Mille-Feuille potatoes, broccoli puree, confit carrots, tenderstem broccoli and redcurrant jus (serves 4)

Ingredients

Bunch of thyme

Bunch of rosemary

Juniper berries

1 bulb of garlic

Oil

4 good-sized venison chops

250ml red wine

1 pack butter

500g venison belly (ask your butcher to roll and tie it for you)

4-8 carrots

3 large potatoes

1 celeriac

125g Parmesan

1 head calabrese broccoli

1 pack tenderstem broccoli

Redcurrants

150g redcurrant jelly

2tbsp balsamic vinegar

500ml beef stock

Head of kale

3 hazelnuts

Method

For the chops:

Combine 2 sprigs of thyme, a sprig of rosemary, 4 juniper berries and a diced clove of garlic with some oil and mix well. Place the chops in the marinade and rub into the chops. Leave in the fridge for 2 to 4 hours or overnight to allow the flavours to enter the meat.

These will be cooked later in a frying pan for 2/3 minutes on each side and then 5 minutes in the oven at 180C. Leave to rest for 4 minutes before serving to allow the meat to relax. Keep the pan, deglaze with a splash of red wine and keep for later to saute the kale with a knob of butter just before serving.

For the belly:

Place the rolled venison belly in a high-sided oven dish and cover with the vegetable oil, add 125g cubed butter, 3 cloves garlic and 2 sprigs of thyme. Cover with baking parchment and tin foil and cook in the oven on 120C for 8 hours. Halfway through cooking, add the carrots to slow cook with the venison. Remove dish from oven, take out carrots and set aside, remove belly from oil and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Once cooled, slice into ½ inch pieces.

For the Mille-Feuille potatoes:

Peel 2 good sized potatoes and the celeriac, slice thinly. Add baking parchment to the base of an ovenproof dish and alternate layering of the potatoes and celeriac, brush melted butter over each layer and sprinkle with Parmesan and season. Cover with foil. Cook for 2 hours or until soft. Remove foil for the last 15 minutes.

For the broccoli puree:

In salted water, cook 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets and a large diced potato until soft. Drain the water and retain in another saucepan and put back on the heat, cook the tenderstem broccoli for 4 minutes and set aside. Add seasoning and 125g melted butter to the broccoli and potatoes and blend for a few minutes until soft and silky.

Redcurrant jus:

Place the red wine, redcurrants, redcurrant jelly and balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and reduce until it starts to get sticky and dark, add stock and reduce by 3/4, whisk in a knob of butter and take off the heat.

To serve:

Spoon the broccoli puree into the centre of the plate, add the Mille-Feuille potatoes, sliced venison belly and chop, roll the carrots in chopped and ground hazelnuts and place the carrots and tender stem broccoli against the potatoes, drizzle over the redcurrant jus and serve.

For more details, click here.

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