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Richard's Diary

October 2013

Swiss Regional 2013 in stock!!

By David on October, 30th 2013 - 10:31 am

The new Swiss Regional Production for Switzerland 2013 is here. Bolivar Presidente. This is will be the only vitole for Switzerland for 2013, as Habanos has decided to limit the Regional productions to one per year, per region. A Geniales size (like the Montecristo Eagle), this is truly big smoke. Ideal size to carry the Bolivar flavours and power, the Presidente will appeal to aficionados who enjoy rich and complex cigars. Limited to 5000 numbered boxes, containing 10 Bolivar Presidente. Definitely needs a bit more time to develop, but has enormous potential.

Game Recipe with Cigar Pairings

By David on October, 18th 2013 - 5:45 pm

The Game Season is now in full swing here in Switzerland, which means that it is time for the traditional Game Recipe for 2013. This year, we will prepare a Loin of roe venison with rosti, celeriac, cabbage, carrot and game gravy (by Nick Nairn).

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. First make the game gravy. Roast the venison bones for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a medium-sized saucepan, add the butter and venison trimmings and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes until well browned. Add the shallots, mushrooms, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and crushed peppercorns. Gently fry for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Pour in the red wine vinegar, followed by the port and red wine (and a glass for yourself, of course!). Boil until a thick, syrupy glaze is achieved. Add the stock, redcurrant jelly and roasted bones and simmer for 45 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve into a small, clean pan and boil again to reduce by half. Thicken with arrowroot, then check the seasoning and set aside. Reheat for serving. (This makes more gravy than you need for this dish; keep the rest in the fridge or freeze it.)

Next make the rosti. Place the grated potatoes in a clean tea towel and squeeze out the liquid. Place in a bowl, add 2 tbsp of the goose fat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well. Heat four blini pans. Add 2 tbsp of goose fat to each and then divide the potato mix between them, pressing it down gently. Cook until crisp and golden on the base, then carefully turn over and continue cooking until the other side is golden and the potatoes are tender. Place in a low oven to keep warm. For the vegetables, heat 2 tbsp of goose fat in a heavy-bottomed frying pan and sauté the chopped vegetables with the thyme and garlic for 15-20 minutes or until coloured and cooked through. Place in the oven to keep warm.

For the venison, heat the butter in the frying pan, then sear the venison until well coloured and cooked medium rare. Remove the meat from the pan and place it somewhere warm to relax. Pour out the fat from the pan, return it to a high heat and deglaze with the wine and vinegars. Boil fast to reduce, then add the stock and reduce again by one-quarter to really intensify the flavours. Strain and keep warm.

Then reheat the cabbage, adding the cream, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. To serve, place a pile of cabbage in the centre of each plate. Place the rosti on top and place the sautéed vegetables around the outside. Place the venison on the rosti, and pour over the reduced jus. Drizzle the game gravy around the outside of the plates. You are now ready to serve your Game banquet.

Enjoy and Bon App!


Beat the price changes!

By David on October, 01st 2013 - 6:24 pm

As you will have read and heard, Habanos S.A. applied their annual price changes for 2013 in April of this year (Habanos have an annual price change on their products) and we will apply these prices from October 10th 2013.

To make things easier, here’s a cheque for you for $30 to spend before the price rise comes into effect*. Simply enter the promotional code, TOPPRICE13 in the ‘Promotional Claim Code field’ in step 4 of the order process and take advantage of an immediate rebate of $30.

Happy smoking,

(*Conditions: can be used once per order, minimum order $250. Offer runs through the 10th October, midnight local time. Please do not ask for extensions, as this is a time limited offer, therefore no extensions will be given)

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