Marmite: Let Me Count The Ways…

Apologies for those of you with Egg Fear – this pic is pretty graphic!

As my regular readers will know, my relationship with Marmite has exceeded the expectations of how a person should feel about a condiment.  I’m not saying that I want to marry Marmite but I do feel that I’d be anxiety-riddled should I ever be parted from a pot of the yeasty elixir for too long.

Tomorrow I am travelling to Austin, Texas to shoot a documentary about the South By Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Festival.  It’s going to be one of the most awesome, crazy and incredible experiences ever and I am giddy with the excitement of it all.

This means that I won’t be able to go through any more Irish Food Blogs from The Irish Blog Awards longlist, as I will not be cooking for the next 9 days, but instead living on a diet of Breakfast Burritos and Tex Mex Tacos *droools*  I will, of course, do my best to document on this here blog.

Alas, I have one major reservation about this trip to Texas – will I be able to bring a pot of Marmite through US Customs?

Last weekend I had the pleasure of sharing my love of Marmite with 15 lovely people in my humble abode.  Unbeknownst to them, this was their Initiation into the Realm of The Marmarati.  That’s  right, the secret society who have sworn to uphold the majesty of Marmite for the rest of eternity.

Being a secret society, it would be unfair to disclose who attended the event.  Let’s just say there were loads of lovely, fabulous, awesome, gifted, fantastic, beautiful, deadly folks there, and a few more without websites.

Have a look after the jump for the recipes and pics of our Marmite feast…

Pics didn’t come out great but let me tell you….this shit was BANANAS.

Our first course for the evening was a slice of toast with the Original Marmite.  We then wrapped our palates around a second slice of toast with Marmite XO smothered on top.  Everyone gave it a thumbs up.  In fact, one Marmite virgin went so far as to say “It’s like a Black Comedy – you know you shouldn’t like it but you really, really do.”

We went on to our main course – Venison Meatballs with Marmite Gravy, served with Marmite Roasties.

I adapted the recipe from the wonderful Signe Skaimsgard Johansen’s Three Course Marmite Extravaganza Menu found in The (amazing) Bumper Book Of Marmite, which I received as a gift from The Marmarati way back in November.

Signe’s menu for a Marmite Three Course Feast is as follows:

Starter: Beetroot, Pancetta & Poached Egg Salad with Marmite Walnut Vinaigrette and Marmite Cheddar & Fennel Seed  Spelt Buns

Main Course: Venison Meatballs with a Marmite, Cacao & Creme Fraiche Gravy, with Lingonberry Red Cabbage and Marmite Roasties.

Dessert: Marmite-Salted Butter Profiteroles with Cardamon, Vanilla and Popping Candy Cream Filling for Dessert.

Yeah, I know.  Totally amazing right??

As I was cooking for a large gang, I grabbed a few bits from her Main Course and cheated a little bit with the meatballs, so I wasn’t a total stress-head cooking, which would have rendered me unable to concentrate on the job at hand – ingratiating Marmite to the non-believers at our Marminight.

For Signe’s Marmite Roast Spuds for 4

800-1kg King Edward Spuds (I used the auld Roosters and they were grand)

4 tablespoons of oil

1-2 teaspoons of Marmite (I used Marmite XO because it’s amazing)

Peel and quarter the potatoes, or indeed chop them up into chunky chip sizes.  Put into a large saucepan, cover with salted cold water and bring to the boil.  Parboil potatoes for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.  Put your oil into a baking tray and pop into the oven, so the oil gets nice and hot.

Once potatoes are almost cooked through, drain them and put them back in the pan and on the heat, to dry them out a bit.  Don’t forget to shake the potatoes in the pot as they’ll burn otherwise.

Now add your delicious Marmite to your hot oil – mind yourself as it could sizzle a bit here.  Mix it around the oil so you get nice swirls and it’s all evenly mixed around.  Now pop your spuds into the oil – again, mind yourself because that oil is HOT.  Mix about with a spoon so they’re evenly coated, and put into the oven for 45 minutes.

Venison Meatballs for 4

About 10 Venison Sausages from M&S or elsewhere

As I was cooking for 15, I kept it simple by cheating.  Obviously.  Instead of making the venison meatballs from scratch – which you will have to buy The Bumper Book of Marmite to find out – I bought some delicious Venison sausages from M&S and just squeezed the meat out of the sausage skin and rolled them into little balls.

I popped these into a lightly oiled frying pan and at a mid-low heat fried them for about 10-15 minutes, until quite cooked through.

And now for that amaaaaaaazing Marmite sauce….

For Signe’s Creme Fraiche Gravy/Marmite Gravy

FYI: This gravy was INSANE.  In a good way, clearly.  It would work well with all red meats and game, I’d say.  Verrrry rich and thoroughly flavoursome.  Especially with a whack of Marmite XO in there, wowza!

300ml beef or veal stock

4 tablespoons brandy

1 tablespoon Marmite (Marmite XO or regular or your favourite Marmite, whatever you’re into)

150ml pot of full-fat creme fraiche

1 tablespoon grated cacao – I found grated Cacao in The Temple Bar Food Market at Natasha’s Living Food stall, it was 4 euro for a bag of the grated stuff and it can be used as a healthier hot chocolate mix!  Check out Natasha’s website to find all the outlets around Ireland which stock her beautiful Raw Food goods.

Bring the beef or veal stock to a boil, reduce by half and add the brandy.  Cook this until you can’t smell the booze any more, about a minute.  Then add the Marmite, creme fraiche and grated cacao.  Stir it all around so it dissolves properly for you – the creme fraiche might clump slightly but don’t worry, it’s got a good bit of cooking to go so it will eventually dissolve.

Now you can pour your Marmite Gravy sauce into the same pan that the Venison Meatballs are frying away in.  The juice from the meat will absorb into the sauce, yummmmm.  Simmer for 20 minutes while the potatoes are finishing off.  You can keep reducing the gravy until it’s as thick as you like.

I made a veggie version of this by using Quorn Swedish Meatballs (I didn’t actually taste them but my veggie guests said they were good, but they could have just been being polite) and substituting the Beef stock for Veg Stock.  The sauce, which I tasted, was just as good, and as Marmite is totally Vegetarian Friendly, we were all winners.

Thanks again to everyone who made it down to the night, and a HUGE thanks to The Marmarati for giving me the inspiration to host such a fun evening.

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  1. Your egg didn’t frighten me…………. the marmite did. LOL. Fabulous pic of the egg. Enjoy your holiday in Texas.

  2. Ha ha not a fan of the marmite then, granny? It’s lovely once you get to know it, promise!

  3. ooh that egg looks divine! I have an odd love for vegemite, which is similar, no? It is easier found here in my area and I just wish someone would invite me over for an extravaganza featuring marmite XO. Never heard of the XO stuff either… Can’t wait to read about texmex in Austin, maybe you’ll find some awesome vietnamese food too!

    • Hey Foodhoe – Vegemite is pretty much exactly the same, only it’s an Australian company, but yeah, basically it’s the same. Except the Marmite XO is a new blend and it is a good bit different, beautifully flavoursome! Already had three good feeds in Austin today – American deli breakfast, sports bar salad lunch, and realllly good Mexican for dinner. Phew! I’m full! Will look out for Vietnamese places to check them out!

  4. thanks again was such a fun night! I have to admit I’ve re-stocked on marmite since then, I’d love a jar of secret stuff maybe I’ll get some friends in London to pick me up some.. hmmm

    have a great time in SXSW, hope the filming goes well and doesn’t stop you from seeing too many of awesome bands


    • You’re so welcom, such a pleasure to have you over – glad it rekindled your love for the black stuff! SXSW is AMAZING. I interviewed Lemmy today from Motorhead and he said he liked my Marmite earrings, apparantly he LOVES Marmite!

  5. Hi Aoife,just saw your blog through good mood food, can’t wait to browse! I absolutely LOVE Marmite, friends & work colleagues think me crazy however family hav same cravings! I have to say I haven’t expiremented with it much – but hav seen a book in House of Fraser dedicated to Marmite! emmmm yum! Vick x

  6. It was a fab night Aoife – thanks so much for having us over! Gonna try the potatoes & marmite trick very soon….and the veg meatballs were yum, so don’t you worry! :D

  7. Hi Vicky – so glad you commented as now I have found YOUR blog! Your cakes look AMAZING. And any fan of Marmite is a friend of mine :)

    Hi Aoife – so glad y’all could come, was so much fun, and delighted that the veggie option was acceptable!

  8. Now that you’re back I’m going to cook you jerk chicken — with a special kind of roasted potato including Marmite… Brap!

    • Yo Ben – your Jerk Chicken last night was amaaaaazing! Seriously the best thing I’ve eaten in 10 days. YUM!

  9. Hi Aoife, I think I made those Marmite earrings for you! How funny to think you wore them with Lemmy and he approved. heehee X

    • Hi Dolly! How lovely of you to say – I wear them everywhere and spread the name of your website wherever I can :) SO funny that Lemmy liked them – thanks for helping me to have my very own special Lemmy moment!