Goose Bhuna

This recipe was inspired by seeing a bhuna recipe on ‘grubworm’ but when I went to download it, we had an IT failure, so I used a similar bhuna recipe from a book. The flavour is fantastic. The main feature of a bhuna is that the sauce is cooked right down to a sticky paste that adheres to the meat.

Seasoned Pioneers can supply just about any spice or herb that you can’t source locally.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 dried chillies
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4cm ginger root, grated
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 15 curry leaves
  • 4 goose breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250ml water
  • a pinch of garam masala
  • freshly chopped coriander leaf to garnish.

METHOD:

  • Toast the spices in a small pan for a minute or two, until the mustard seeds start to pop. Take off the heat, cool, and grind in a pestle and mortar with the salt.
  • Put the onion, ginger and garlic in a food processer and blend until the onion is in small chips.
  • Fry the chopped onion mixture in a little vegetable oil, until the onion is starting to brown.
  • Add the tomatoes and curry leaves, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken.
  • Add the ground spices, keep stirring, and after five minutes, add the water, and bring back to a simmer.
  • Put a lid on the pan and simmer on a very low heat until the sauce is really thick. This can take quite a while, an hour or so.
  • Meanwhile, around 10 minutes before serving, fry the goose in a very hot pan for around 5 minutes, and then add to the thickened sauce, stir and reduce the sauce further.
  • Sprinkle with garam masala and garnish with the chopped coriander.

Serve with plain rice, and a glass of cold beer. The flavour from the freshly roasted spices is amazing.

Goose Stroganoff

First of the wild goose recipes. I adapted this trom a recipe in Francis Bissell’s book, The Organic Meat Cookbook. The technique of slicing the goose meat into tiny strips and flash-frying them is a good one, and transferrable to other experiments, I think.

I used the breast meat of a fairly young tender goose. You can estimate the tenderness of the goose by trying to tear the webs – younger geese have softer webbed feet.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 goose breast, around 400g
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 x 25g butter
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 150ml double cream
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grate of nutmeg
  • 60g linguine, fettuccine or pappardelle per person

METHOD:

  • Slice the goose breast into thin strips, about 5cm long and max 1cm across. Season with salt and pepper, and a grate of nutmeg.
  • Heat 25g of butter in a heavy skillet or similar, and fry the strips of goose meat for a few minutes only, until well-browned. Only fry a handful of strips at a time. Put them in a colander on a plate when done. The goose meat should be underdone on the inside.
  • In the same pan, add the next lot of butter and gently fry the chopped onion until soft.
  • Add the wine, and simmer until reduced to a third.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil, ready to cook the pasta.
  • When the wine has reduced, put the pasta on to cook for 8 minutes.
  • Add the cream to the wine and onion in the pan, and season with salt and pepper, and gently cook, to reduce the sauce further. Very gently.
  • When the sauce is thick and the pasta is nearly done, add 2 tsp lemon juice to the pan, and stir in the meat. Check the seasoning.

Serve the Stroganoff and noodles garnished with chopped parsley.

Simple baked shoulder of lamb

We rarely buy meat, and when we do, we buy locally slaughtered meat. We focus on food producers whose animals have minimal supplementation wherever possible. These are often Hebridean sheep, sheep that have grazed on the hill, or on off-shore islands. When I say ‘lamb’ we are really talking about hoggets, or mutton. This is darker meat with a stronger, more delicious flavour than New Zealand lamb. It is firmer, and requires different cooking techniques.

I have friends in Shetland, and they face a similar choice. Local meat requires a specific approach if it is to be enjoyed at its best. Home-kill cuts are not boned, and many of my recipe books start with ‘ask the butcher to bone…’ so I stop right there.

This weekend past, I dived again into James and Tom Morton’s book, Shetland. Shetland has similar issues – small weather-proof animals producing well-flavoured meat. They came up with the simplest recipe yet for cooking a shoulder of local lamb. It has features of all recipes that have worked well for me, but pared right back to the basics, ready for experimentation down the line. I recommend you buy the book for more classics.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 shoulder of local lamb
  • Vegetable oil, for example olive oil
  • Salt
  • Herbs, such as thyme, rosemary

METHOD:

  • Set the oven to high – around 240C, and let it heat up fully.
  • Coat the meat with a sparing amount of oil, and season well with salt, and scatter with herbs. Place it in a well-fitting roasting dish.
  • Roast the meat for 30 minutes, to produce a crust, and then turn the heat down to 150C and add a glass of water.
  • Continue to cook at the lower temperature for a further 3 hours, cover with foil if it is looking a little too crispy.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes or more before serving.

Of course, you could add garlic and white wine, or a shot of brandy. You could add rose-water, and rub the meat with ras-el-hanout. However, this was splendid as it came.

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 160C, 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 – check to make sure that it remains moist, and add stock if required.

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 rice
  • 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 fry 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.