Pork and tomato hotpot

This was one of my mother’s standard recipes, very delicious, slightly sweet and sour, and best served with rice.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 lb lean pork, diced
  • 1 oz fat
  • 1 oz flour
  • 1 lb onions
  • 1/2 pint stock
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 4 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 dessert spoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb chopped carrots
  • 1 can of tomatoes.

METHOD:

  • Set the oven to 170C, gas 3
  • Fry off the pork in the oil, and set aside
  • In the same pan, gently fry the sliced onions until they are soft, and beginning to brown
  • Add the browned meat with the flour, and stir for a minute or so.
  • Add the stock and vinegar, and stir well, then add the sugar, tarragon, seasoning and Worcestershire sauce, and bring to the boil
  • Add the carrots and tomatoes and bring to the boil again.
  • Transfer to a casserole dish and cook for 3 hours in the oven

Turkey Risotto

Here is the traditional turkey risotto recipe ready for boxing day. It is adapted from Risotto! Risotto!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery stick
  • 75g butter
  • 400g left-over turkey, diced
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 200ml dry white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 1.2 litres of stock or gravy from the turkey
  • 400g risotto rices
  • 5 tbsp single cream
  • 50g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley

The above quantities will feed 4 to 6 people. If you are cooking larger quantities, use multiple pans, with around 400g rice cooking in each pan.

METHOD:

  • Gently the onion and celery together in 30g of the butter, until the vegetables are soft.
  • Add the meat, cook through and then add the lemon juice and lemon rind, the wine and seasoning, and simmer together to create a tasty stew
  • Add the rice, mix together, and then start adding the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and keeping the risotto at a simmer. When the liquid has been fully incorporated into the risotto, add another ladleful.
  • After around 20 minutes, the rice will be firm but cooked, and the sauce will be creamy and coating the rice. Take the risotto off the heat, and add the rest of the butter, the cream and the parmesan. Give this all a good stir, and leave it to rest for a few minutes.
  • Serve on a warmed platter, garnished with parsley.

 

Fried liver with cumin

This is another favourite recipe from the Moro cookbook. We are often shocked by how few people will eat offal, but the waste of not eating the whole animal is anathema. This recipe is very quick and easy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Sliced liver (we had lambs liver) around 400g
  • 5 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

METHOD:

  • Cut the liver into strips around 5cm long and 2cm wide.
  • Season the flour with cumin, salt and pepper,
  • Just before frying, dust the liver strips with the flour
  • Heat the butter and oil in a pan until the butter starts to foam.
  • Quickly, place strips of liver into the hot fat, and cook on each side until it is sealed: the outer layer should be browned, but the centre should still be pink and juicy.

Serve with mayonaise, or with chopped salad, or with a yoghurt and cumin dressing.

Harira

This is a delicious lamb soup with chickpeas, one of those ‘meal in a bowl’ soups. I’ve made a few versions over the years, with mint as the main herb on one occasion. This version is the best, and it is from the Moro cookbook. I highly recommend this book, the recipes are delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 350g Lamb (lamb neck, chops, shank, on the bone)
  • 2 litres cold water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 sticks of celery, chopped,
  • a pinch of saffron strands
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 5 grates of nutmeg
  • a bunch of fresh coriander leaves
  • 100g green lentils (optional)
  • 1 can of chickpeas in water
  • 1 dessertspoon of tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp of plain flour, blended into 2 tbsp of butter
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper

METHOD:

  • Put the lamb in a large pan with the water, and bring to the boil, skimming off any foam that forms. Simmer for five minutes or so while you chop the other ingredients
  • Add the chopped onion, celery, garlic, and the saffron, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, salt and pepper and half of the bunch of fresh coriander leaves, chopped.
  • Simmer for half an hour, then add the lentils and tinned chickpeas, including the chickpea water. Simmer for another half an hour.
  • Remove the meat from the pan, and let it cool, while you add the tomato puree, lemon juice and the flour mixture. Season with plenty of salt and pepper.
  • Shred or chop the meat well, and add back to the pan. Continue to cook until the chickpeas are properly tender.
  • Serve garnished with the rest of the chopped coriander.

Pheasant with cloves, cinnamon and chestnuts

I came up with this recipe when we were given several frozen items from a friend who was moving.  We borrowed the recipe from Moro, and adapted it to what we had.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g panceta or other cured pork belly, finely sliced
  • 10 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 bayleaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick (although 1/2 tsp cinnamon would have been easier)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 4 cloves, roughly ground
  • 1 can of chopped organic tomatoes
  • 1 large pheasant, jointed
  • 200ml white wine
  • 1 jar of cooked chestnuts (Ronnie’s shop)
  • salt and pepper to season

METHOD:

  • In a large suacepan, heat half the olive oil and cook the panceta over a medium heat for five minutes
  • Add the chopped shallots, carrot, garlic and bay leaves and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown nicely
  • Add the cinnamon, thyme, paprika, cloves, stir for a little bit longer then add the tomatoes, turn the heat down low.
  • While the tomatoes are simmering, in a large flat pan, heat the rest of the olive oil, season the pheasant joints and fry until brown on all sides.
  • Add the legs/thighs and then the wine to the saucepan with the tomatoes, and simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes.
  • Add the roughly chopped chestnuts along with the pheasant breast meat, and cook slowly for another 10 minutes, with the lid off.
  • Check the seasoning, and allow to rest for around 10 minutes before serving

We had this with roast parsnips and mashed potatoes. And wine.

Baked Spare Ribs

We took this recipe from ‘The Organic Meat Cookbook’ by Frances Bissell. We used some spare ribs from Ken Wilson’s croft: they were HUGE and delicious. The book says to allow 450g ribs per person but that was way more than enough. We used the oriental variation of the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 spare ribs per person (or 450g)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 2 tbsps rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp angostura bitters
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp chinese five spice powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp cornflour

METHOD:

  • Mix all the ingredients except for the ribs and the cornflour, and put them in the bottom of an ice-cream tub or similar, large enough to take all the spare ribs. Mix well.
  • Put the ribs into the marinade in the tub, make sure they are all coated in the marinade, and leave in the fridge overnight
  • When ready to start cooking, turn the oven to 200C and take the ribs out of the fridge to warm up a bit.
  • Take a roasting tray with a rack, and put a enough water in to cover the bottom. Put the ribs onto the rack, and put this in the oven. Save the marinade for basting
  • Bake for 1 hour, turn and baste the ribs every 15 minutes or so.
  • Once the ribs are cooked, take them out of the oven, and set aside on their rack. Take a spoonful of the liquid in the bottom of the tray, mix with the cornflour, and stir this back into the pan. Bring this to the boil to make a thickish gravy.

We served the ribs on rice cooked with a little shredded cabbage. One suggestion is to add sesame seeds to the ribs for the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking. We sourced most of the more unusual ingredients from Lovats (Carnan)

Chicken curry with mint

 

We had some bits of chicken in the freezer, all boned, and I made this from ‘Curry Easy’ which has to be one of my favourite recipe books.

Ingredients for marinade:

  • 500g boned skinned chicken pieces, cut into 2cm slices
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Put all the ingredients in a sealed plastic box overnight (or minimum 30 mins if you forgot) in the fridge. Give the box the occasional shake to keep things all mixed together.

Ingredients for cooking:

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100g chopped onion (about 1/2 an onion)
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Method:

  • Use a wok, karhai or large frying pan. Heat the oil over medium/high heat, then add the chopped onions and stir-fry for a minute
  • Add the marinade and the chicken, and stir-fry for 3 minutes
  • Add the mint, stir through, then take off the heat and serve with rice.

Venison Curry

We made this curry with left-overs.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.25 kg left over roast venison, chopped into large cubes
  • 4 tsp whole coriander
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seed
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seed
  • 1/4 tsp whole fenugreek seed
  • 4 tsbs olive oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cm piece of grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 350ml stock (beef, chicken or marigold
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 125ml creamed coconut
  • Salt and pepper

METHOD:

  • In a small heavy pan, roast the cumin, coriander, fennel and fenugreek over high heat for 30s, set aside to cool, and then grind in a pestle and mortar.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan, and fry the onion, garlic, ginger and cinnamon over a medium heat for five minutes
  • Add the stock, meat, vinegar, cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, lots of grated black pepper, all the ground spices, and bring to a simmer.
  • Stir every so often, and heat through for around 30 minutes
  • Stir in 125ml creamed coconut (or 250ml coconut milk)

I served this with rice. You could make this with brisket of beef, and cook in a slow oven for around 2 hours.

Grilled chicken breasts with harissa, mint and yoghurt

We had some bits of boned chicken, mostly breasts in the freezer, and some home-made harissa sauce. We found this recipe in Nigel Slater’s Kitchen diaries. And that is what we had for tea, with boiled potatoes and a little salad.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Boned chicken, chicken breasts, chicken wings
  • 2 tsps harissa paste
  • 100ml greek yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp organic olive oil
  • a handful of mint leaves
  • Salt and pepper

METHOD:

  • Stir the harissa into the yoghurt and then beat in the olive oil with some salt and pepper to taste
  • Roll the chicken in the thick sauce, and then grill it until tender inside, with some slight browning on the outside
  • Done. I think this would work well on the barbeque in the summer, or with lamb chops. We are going to try it with goose breast as well.

Lamb curry with whole spices

We have made this using left-overs from roast lamb, but the original recipe came from Madhur Jaffrey’s ‘Curry Easy’. The book is very easy to use, the recipes easy and delicious and fresh. The resulting curry would easily serve 6.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 tbsp organic vegetable oil
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 1 x 10cm cinnamon stick
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • 1 tsp whole fennel
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 900g diced local lamb (or goat)
  • 300ml natural organic yoghurt (2x150ml)
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Heat the oil in a large oven-proof pan and set over a medium heat. Once it is hot, add the whole spices (cardamom, cinnamon,cloves, cumin and fennel) and give them a stir before adding the chopped onions, and fry until the onion is beginning to brown.
  • Add all of the other ingredients, stir and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan with foil and then the lid to seal, and then bake in the oven for 1 1/4 hours until the meat is tender.
  • Uncover, and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the meat is drier and slightly browned. Stir occasionally to disperse any liquid evenly.

Serve with a vegetable dish and pita breads.