River Cottage To The Core
Daily (Midnight ET/9pm PT) | Returning Sun. April 29 to Wed. May 2
We are a nation who still thinks it’s racy to slice a banana onto our cornflakes in the morning! But fruit can truly transform a meaty meal, spice up a fishy dish, revitalize traditional puddings not to mention conjure up tempting tipples!
In the “River Cottage To The Core,” Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – a multi-award-winning writer and broadcaster widely known for his uncompromising commitment to seasonal, ethically produced food – intends to sow the seeds of change and revolutionize the way we in Britain use fruit.
Although food will be at its core, this series will not just see Hugh take fruit out of the bowl and onto our plates. It will lead him into the worlds of history, horticulture, hunting and foraging to reveal the extraordinary cultural heritage that exists in Great British fruit.
Hugh kicks off the series with, of all things, a game show! But amid the fun at River Cottage, ‘Strawberry Fortunes’ has a serious message – Hugh wants to prove to people that strawberries can be served as a savoury, as well as a sweet. Will his guests buy into it though?
Hugh is also throwing a big party to celebrate the re-opening of his barn a year and a half after it was completely destroyed by fire.
And as ever he is keen to put on a fabulous meal for his guests, including the firemen who tried to save the barn.
There’s roast pork with black pudding and gooseberries, a delicious lemon tart and home made aromatic mojitos using surprising foraged ingredients like lemon balm and black currant leaf!
With English orchards under threat, Hugh wants to highlight the joy of British fruit – so he is teaming up with the Woodland Trust, to launch an initiative to give away free fruit trees to schools.
All that and Hugh makes jam, Gill takes on the public in a Rhubarb challenge at a village fair in the heart of London and Nick Fisher joins Hugh for a fishing trip.
Inspired by his new barn, Hugh decides it’s time for a new lease of life for his adventures in the country too. So he is out to try loads of things he has never done before.
And that includes milking sheep – not just one but 48! As well as using a maggot-filled road-kill rabbit to catch a sea trout and bringing back the old tin miners classic, a ‘two course pasty’, with meat at one end and pudding at the other.
Hugh’s also agreed to enter a River Cottage team into a local pub Sports Day for the first time. They’ve agreed to give all the games a fruity twist, if he promises to bring the picnic! So, to create delicious eat-on-a-blanket food, Hugh and the team make blueberry coronation chicken, raspberry and labneh salad and blackcurrant kirs.
Meanwhile the River Cottage team helps homeless soldiers with the farm that they’re setting up to reintegrate themselves into working life, Gill heads to Kent to discover how the British cherry industry is fighting back after years of decline and Tim bakes a fruity focaccia with 6th formers taking a GCSE in agriculture as our ‘free fruit trees for schools’ campaign kicks up a gear.
Hugh’s mission to open our eyes to the culinary flexibility of fruit sees him taking on a pizza challenge. Can he get his fruity pizzas past the ‘meat feast’ lovers at the local gastropub? And the challenges don’t stop there. Gill heads to a stately home to source some fruit with a very special history. And can Tim shoot a pigeon for his supper? He’s brought his gun but also some cherries because pigeons love cherries and he loves pigeon in cherry sauce!
Hugh also teams up with a local pastry Queen to create the perfect chicken pie as they answer a culinary SOS from a local Scout group goes and Hugh continues his ‘free fruit trees for schools’ campaign
If that’s not enough, there’s a fabulous lamb dish, homemade beer and Hugh cooks a Sunday Lunch at an Incredible Edible event in Todmorden.
Saturday, April 22
3pm ET/Noon PT
It’s the final episode of the series and Hugh is getting creative with the late fruits of the year. He’s using them to bring a fruity twist to seafood and he’s got an ambitious plan to finish his porkers on a fruity diet before he serves them up at an end of summer party.
As Hugh prepares for the party, he joins a volunteer gleaning team that salvages fields of delicious fruit rejected by supermarkets for not passing their cosmetic tests, goes on a forage for figs and lays down his leftover harvest for the winter in some lip-smacking preserve recipes.
All that and his ambitious ‘free fruit trees for schools’ campaign comes to an end.