Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Redcurrant and Onion Relish

1 small red onion, chopped
1 small green apple, cored and chopped
1 fat garlic clove, chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh root ginger
1 large fresh red chilli, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
100ml red wine vinegar
2-3 tbsp light muscovado sugar
140g fresh or frozen redcurrant 
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Gently fry the onion, apple, garlic, ginger and chilli, if using, in a pan with the oil for about 10 mins until softened.

Pour in the vinegar and bubble down until reduced by half.

Add 100ml water and sugar to taste. Cook until reduced by two thirds and thickened.

Stir in the redcurrants and balsamic vinegar, and cook for another 5 mins.

The relish can be made up to a week ahead and stored in the fridge.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Leek, mushroom & Gruyère quiche

25g butter
4 leeks, sliced
50g chestnut mushroom, sliced
2 eggs
200ml double cream
250g Gruyère, coarsely grated
50g Shaved Parmesan

For the pastry
280g plain flour
140g cold butter, cut into pieces
Cold Water

To make the pastry, tip the flour and butter into a bowl, then rub together with your fingertips until completely mixed and crumbly. Add 8 tbsp cold water, then bring everything together with your hands until just combined. Roll into a ball and use straight away or chill for up to 2 days. The pastry can also be frozen for up to a month.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a round about 5cm larger than a 25cm tin. Using a small ball of pastry scraps, push the pastry into the corners of the tin. Chill in the fridge or freezer for 20 mins. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

While the pastry is chilling, heat the butter in a pan and cook the leeks for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until they soften. Then turn up the heat and add the mushrooms. Cook for 5 mins more, then turn off the heat and let the filling cool.

Lightly prick the base of the tart with a fork, line the tart case with a large circle of greaseproof paper or foil, then fill with baking beans. Blind-bake the tart for 20 mins, remove the paper and beans, then continue to cook for 5-10 mins until biscuit brown

While the tart case cooks, beat the eggs in a bowl, then gradually add the cream. Stir in the leeks, mushrooms and half the cheese. Season, then tip the filling into the tart case. Top with the Parmesan shavings, then bake for 20-25 mins until set and golden brown. Leave to cool in the case, trim the edges of the pastry, then remove and serve in slices.

Adapted from BBC Good Food

Monday, June 18, 2018

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken


    •    1 tablespoon fresh oregano
    •    ½ teaspoon salt
    •    ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
    •    ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
    •    1½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    •    1 tablespoon butter
    •    3 - 4 cups chicken broth (enough to cover chicken in slow cooker)
    •    4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    •    ½ cup white wine
    •    3 green onions, diced / whites & greens
    •    4 cloves garlic, minced
    •    3 tablespoons corn starch
    •    ¼ cup room temperature water
    •    1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

    1.    In a Ziploc bag, mix the oregano, salt, and pepper. Shake the mixture onto the chicken.
    2.    Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in butter for 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
    3.    Place chicken in a slow cooker.
    4.    In the same skillet, mix the chicken stock, lemon juice, green onions, and garlic. Bring the mixture to boil, scraping off the little brown bits on the bottom, let boil for 2 minutes.
    5.    Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.
    6.    Cover, and cook on High for 3 hours, or Low for 5 hours. Whisk corn starch and water together until smooth. Add cornstarch and parsley to crock-pot, stir in. Continue cooking on low for 45 minutes.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Beef with Blueberry Citrus Sauce

1 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen
6 Tbs. orange juice
6 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. vermouth
2 tsp. grated orange peel
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbs. butter
1 lb. beef medallions
salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine blueberries, orange juice, lemon juice,
vermouth, orange peel, lemon peel, and ginger; stir to
blend and set aside.

2. Melt butter in large, heavy skillet; saute' beef until
brown and just cooked through.

3. Transfer beef to platter and keep warm.

4. Add blueberry mixture to skillet, and cook until mixture
thickens, about 2 minutes.

5. Spoon blueberry mixture over beef and serve.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mexican bean soup with shredded chicken & lime

• 2 tsp rapeseed oil

• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 1 red pepper, cut into chunks
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 tsp mild chilli powder
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 400g can chopped tomatoes
• 400g can black beans
• Chicken stock
• 1 cooked skinless chicken breast shredded
• 1 lime, juiced or 1 lemon jucied and zested
• ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
• Sumac powder

Heat the oil in a medium pan, add the onion and pepper, and fry, stirring frequently, for 10 mins. Stir in the garlic and spices, then tip in the tomatoes and beans with their liquid, half a can of water and the stock. Simmer, covered, for 15 mins.

Tip the chicken into a bowl, add the citris juice with a little chilli and toss well. Ladle the soup into two bowls, top with the chicken, chilli and sumac and serve.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Liver and bacon with onion gravy - Hairy Bikers

450g lambs’ or calves’ liver, sliced (thawed, if frozen)
4 tsp plain flour
20g butter
1 tsp sunflower oil
1 medium onion, fairly thinly sliced
2 rindless lean back bacon rashers (about 55g), each cut into 2cm wide strips
500ml beef stock, made with 1 stock cube
2 tsp tomato ketchup
flaked sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Serves 4

Rinse the liver in a colander under cold water and drain it well on kitchen paper. Put 2 teaspoons of the flour in a large bowl and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Add the liver to the bowl and turn it in the flour until lightly coated.

Melt half the butter with the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Tap the excess flour off each slice of liver and add them to the pan using tongs. Cook for 1½–2 minutes on each side until lightly browned but not completely cooked through, then pop them on to a plate.

Turn down the heat and melt the remaining butter in the same pan. Add the sliced onion and cook for a minute or so, stirring to separate the layers. Next, add the bacon and cook together for another 5 minutes or until the onion is softened and pale golden brown, stirring often.

Sprinkle the remaining flour over the onion and bacon and cook for a few seconds, stirring. Pour the hot stock slowly into the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer, stir in the ketchup and cook over a medium heat until the gravy is thickened and glossy.

Put the liver back in the pan and heat it through in the onion gravy for 2–3 minutes until hot, stirring. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the liver and bacon with a small portion of mashed potatoes and lots of freshly cooked greens.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cheesy broccoli pasta bake

Serves 4
280g penne
280g broccoli, cut into florets
25g butter
25g plain flour
300ml milk
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
140g mature cheddar, grated

Cook the pasta, steam the broccoli on top for 4-5 mins until tender. Drain well, then heat the grill.

Heat the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for 1 min, then gradually add the milk, stirring well between each addition. Bring to the boil, stirring, then simmer for 2 mins, before stirring in the mustard, half the cheese and seasoning.

Mix the pasta and broccoli into the sauce and spoon into an ovenproof dish. Scatter over the remaining cheese and place under a hot grill for 3-4 mins until golden and bubbling.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Simple Roast Guinea Fowl

1 onion, cut into wedges, through the root
2 carrots, quartered lengthways
1 large potato, cut into bite-size chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
1 guinea fowl
1 tbsp butter at room temperature, plus 2 tsp for the gravy
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
few thyme sprigs
300ml chicken stock
100ml white or red wine
2 tsp plain flour
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly or creme fresh

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Toss the vegetables with the oil and some seasoning in a large flameproof roasting tin. Place the bird on top of the veg, lift the breast skin and insert some butter Season generously, then roast for 40 mins.

Remove from the oven and give the veg a stir while adding the garlic and thyme. Pour 200ml stock and the wine over the veg and return to oven to roast for another 20 mins or so until the bird is cooked through and the juices run clear.

Remove the bird, place on a serving plate, cover with foil to keep warm and leave to rest. Turn the oven up to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and roast the veg for a further 15 mins until tender.

Remove the veg with a slotted spoon and transfer to the serving plate with the bird. Mix 2 tsp butter and flour in a small bowl to form a smooth paste. Place the roasting tin with all the cooking juices, plus any resting juices, on the hob. Whisk the paste and redcurrant jelly into the juices until dissolved, then add the remaining stock and extra seasoning, if you like. Bubble for a few mins until the sauce thickens. Slice and serve the guinea fowl, crisp bacon and the veg with the sauce on the side.
As a variation, I reduced the cooking liquid and added some cream and sauted Chestnut Mushrooms to make the sauce.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Spicy Garlic Broccoli

Cooking time:  about 10 mins

Serves: 4

2 tablespoons sesame oil
5 spring onions - roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic - finely chopped
1 x 2" piece of ginger - finely chopped
1 - 2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
400g broccoli - roughly chopped into small pieces
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

1] Heat the oil in a wok over high heat.
2] Add in the spring onions, garlic and ginger and stir fry for about a minute.
3] Stir in the chilli flakes and then add the broccoli.
4] Fry for a couple of minutes and then add the water to help the broccoli cook through.
5] When the broccoli is al dente, stir in the soy sauce and salt and pepper.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cauliflower Cheese - Felicity Cloake

1 litre milk
½ an onion
1 clove
1 bay leaf
75g butter
50g plain flour
Salt and pepper
1 medium cauliflower
4 slices white bread, in breadcrumbs
100g tasty Lancashire cheese, grated
75ml double cream
Nutmeg, grated
25g cheddar cheese, grated

1. Put the milk in a small pan and poke the clove into the onion. Add this, a pinch of salt and the bay leaf to the milk and heat gently to a simmer. Take off the heat and leave to infuse for 15 minutes, then remove the onion and bay leaf.

2. Melt 50g butter in a medium pan over a medium-low heat, and stir in the flour. Cook for a couple of minutes until it smells biscuity, then add the milk, one ladle at a time, stirring it in until you have a smooth sauce. Turn the heat right down and leave to simmer for 15–20 minutes until thick.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil. Cut the cauliflower into florets and boil them for 4 minutes, until just tender. Drain thoroughly and keep warm.

4. Melt most of the remaining butter in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the cauliflower until slightly browned and caramelised. Season and spoon into a baking dish, then put the rest of the butter into the pan, add the breadcrumbs and fry until crunchy and golden. Season. Preheat the grill to medium-high.

5. Stir the Lancashire into the sauce until it melts, and then add the cream, a grating of nutmeg and season to taste. Pour over the cauliflower. Top with the grated cheddar, followed by the breadcrumbs, and grill until golden and bubbling.

From the Guardian

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Joe Wicks Chicken & mozzarella salad with warm tomato dressing

Prep 15 Mins
Cook 20 Mins
Serves 4

1.25 litres chicken stock
4 skinless chicken breasts
5 tbsp olive oil
3 spring onions, finely sliced
2 large sprigs of rosemary, needles only
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
16 cherry tomatoes, roughly halved
salt and pepper
6 tbsp breadcrumbs
2 avocados, stoned and cut into wedges
2 x 110g balls of mozzarella, torn into large chunks

To Serve
2 large handfuls of rocket
1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

• Pour the chicken stock into a large lidded saucepan and bring it to the boil. Slide in the chicken breasts – if the liquid doesn’t cover them, add a little more stock or water. Bring back up to the boil, clamp on the lid and then reduce to a low heat. Cook the chicken breasts on a very low simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and leave the chicken in the warm stock for a further 10 minutes with the lid still on.

• Meanwhile, make the dressing. Pour 4½ tablespoons of the oil into a saucepan and add the spring onions, rosemary, garlic, red chilli and tomatoes along with a good grinding of salt and pepper. Place the saucepan over a medium to low heat and cook for 10 minutes, being sure not to let the oil get too hot. Turn off the heat and leave the mixture to sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.

• Heat the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over a medium-to-high heat. When it is hot, tip in the breadcrumbs and fry for about 3 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a clean piece of kitchen roll to drain off the excess oil.

• Carefully remove the cooked chicken from the stock and tear it up with your hands or a couple of forks. Place the chicken on a large serving plate along with the avocado and mozzarella chunks. Spoon over the warm tomato dressing, then top with the rocket and the fried breadcrumbs. I like to serve this salad with a little balsamic vinegar on the side.

NOTE: I use left over roast chicken to put this dish together rather than taking time to do the poaching first step...

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Nigel Slaters really juicy, spicy Pork meatballs

a handful of smoked bacon or pancetta
500g minced pork
groundnut oil

For the seasoning
2 shallots or 4 small spring onions
3 or 4 small, hot, red chillies
a small bunch of coriander
4 lime leaves or 2 thick stalks of lemon grass
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

Chop the shallots or spring onions finely, then chop the chillies even finer, first removing the seeds if you don't like things too hot. Scrub the roots of the coriander and chop them and the leaves finely, discarding the stems. Roll the lime leaves up and shred them finely, then chop them; if you are using lemon grass, discard the coarse outer leaves, then chop the tender inside leaves very thinly. All this can be done in a food processor

Chop the bacon or pancetta and add it, with the seasoning above, to the minced pork. Mix in a good pinch of salt, then cover with clingfilm (otherwise it will taint everything in your fridge) and leave to rest and chill for half an hour or more

Shape the seasoned pork into small balls. The size is up to you. If you flatten them slightly you will get more of that delectable savoury crust when you fry them. I tend to start with a ball of mince the size of a walnut in its shell, then flatten it slightly. To cook them, you will need to warm a little oil in a heavy frying pan, then lay the meatballs in - without crowding them - and let them colour enticingly on both sides before turning the heat down a bit and letting them cook all the way through. You should find them done after four or five minutes. Test one by breaking it open: the centre should be juicy but not especially pink.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Lamb Kofta


400g mince lamb
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp garam masala

Masala Sauce

1 tbsp oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp ginger, grated (3-4cm)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
1 chilli, chopped
½ tsp chilli powder
200g or ½ tin of plum tomatoes
1 tsp garam masala
Handful fresh coriander, finely chopped

1] In a large mixing bowl add the mince lamb, salt, cumin, chilli powder, garam masala, and mix using your hands to ensure the spices are evenly distributed.

2] Rub a little oil on to your hands to stop the mixture sticking to your hands.

3] Take a small amount of the meat and roll in your palms to make a meatball. Ensure it is smooth all over and set to one side.

4] Heat the oil in a frying pan. Carefully fry the meatballs (kofta) in batches so they brown and crisp up all over.

5] Remove the kofta using a slotted spoon and set them on some kitchen paper to drain.

6] Heat the oil in a pan and stir in the onions and garlic and gently cook down until the onions turn a dark golden brown colour.

7] Reduce the heat and add the ginger and chopped chilli, stir and add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric, fenugreek and chilli powder.

8] Stir together and leave to cook gently so the onions and tomatoes melt together with the spices creating a wonderfully thick aromatic paste.

9] Add the kofta to the pan and coat with the sauce for a few minutes. Add enough boiling water to get the consistency of sauce you want. Bring it all to the boil and turn the heat off. Leave the kofta to absorb the juices from the sauce for 5-10 minutes.

10] Throw in the garam masala and corinander before serving.


Thursday, September 01, 2016

Lamb and Coconut Curry

2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

900g Lamb - trimmed and cubed

2 Onions, roughly chopped

3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and crushed

2 Green Chillies, finely chopped

1 tbsp grated Fresh Ginger

1 tbsp Ground Turmeric

1½ tbsp Garam Masala

1½ tbsp Ground Cumin

1 tbsp Chilli Powder

1 tbsp Plain Flour

6 large Tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 tin of Coconut Milk

600ml Chicken Stock

250g baby Spinach leaves (or a couple of lumps of frozen)

200g Plain yoghurt

Heat a large saucepan and add one tablespoon of the Vegetable Oil and then the Lamb. Cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the Lamb is golden-brown all over, then remove and set aside.

Reduce the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of Vegetable Oil. Add the Onions, Garlic, Chillies and Ginger and fry for 2-3 minutes, until golden and softened.

Add the Turmeric, Garam Masala, Cumin and Chilli Powder and fry, stirring well, for one minute.

Add the Flour and stir for a further minute.

Add the Tomatoes and Coconut Milk and heat to bring to a simmer.

Add the Lamb and enough Chicken Stock to just cover the Lamb. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze and release any residue at the bottom of the pan.

Heat the mixture until simmering, then cover and cook on a low heat for about one hour, or until the Lamb is tender and cooked through.

Skim off any excess fat from the surface of the sauce, then add the Spinach. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the spinach has wilted.

Add the Yoghurt, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pork Mince and Curly Kale

For 2 servings

• Finely chopped Onion, about half a large one
• Finely chopped fresh Garlic Cloves, 2 or 3
• Finely chopped fresh Ginger Root, to taste
• A few chopped fresh Tomatoes (spinkle with Salt and Pepper while they wait to be added to the wok)
• Oil of your choice to fry off the above (Olive Oil for this test)
• Vegetable Stock - 400mls or so
• Minced Pork
• Curly Kale (remove the woody stalk bits)

1] Gently fry the Onions, 10 mins or so. Turn up the heat and add the Garlic and Ginger, stir for a couple of minutes.
2] Add the Pork and keep stirring and breaking the mince up. Don't cook it too much or the Pork will tighten up.
3] Add the Tomatoes, stir for a bit, then add the Veg Stock. Let it come to the boil then reduce to a simmer.
4] Stir in the Kale, make sure there is still enough liquid, then cover for 3 minutes.

I finished this test off with some grated fresh Red Chilli and Soya Sauce and served on rice. Noodles would work better maybe with the lovely sauce from the pan.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Slow Cooker Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin

• Brown Sugar
• 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
• Dijon or Whole Grain Mustard
• Fresh Rosemary finally chopped
• Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
• 1 boneless Pork Loin, excess fat trimmed
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 6 slices bacon

For the cooking liquid
• 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
• White Wine
• Chicken Stock
• Sprig of Fresh Rosemary
• Dijon or Whole Grain Mustard
• Zest and Juice of 1 orange (I used two Clementines)

1] In a small bowl, combine the Sugar, Garlic, Rosemary, Salt and Pepper. Season Pork Loin with  the Sugar mixture, rubbing in thoroughly on all sides.

2] Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add Pork Loin, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Keep gently moving the Pork around so it doesn't stick and start breaking up.

3] Wrap the Bacon around the Pork and place in the Slow Cooker.

4] In the pan gently fry the crushed Garlic and deglaze with the White Wine. Stir in the Zest, Juice and Mustard. Pour into the slow cooker and add the stock.

5] Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours, or until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.

6] Take the pork out to rest and strain the cooking juices into a pan. Reduce some of these juices for a lovely gravy while you get on and do the veg.

Note to self - Slow cooker was set to Medium for 3 hours - This resulted in the Pork being flaky and unslicable, lovely and moist though - Next time set to Low for 4 hours.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Perfect Beef Stew

Fom Felicity Cloakes article on The Guardian website.

800g shin of beef

2 tbsp flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

Beef dripping, butter or oil

2 onions, sliced

300ml beef stock

300ml stout 

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs of thyme

2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunky slices

2 small turnips, peeled and cut into chunks

For the dumplings:

100g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

50g suet

Small bunch of chives and parsley, finely chopped

1. Trim the beef of its outer sinew and cut into large chunks. Toss with the seasoned flour to coat. Heat a heavy-bottomed casserole or pan on a medium flame and add a knob of dripping or butter, or a couple of tablespoons of oil. Brown the meat in batches, adding more fat if necessary – be careful not to overcrowd the pan, or it will boil in its own juices – then transfer to a bowl. Scrape the bottom of the pan regularly to prevent any residue from burning.

2. Once all the meat is browned, add some more fat to the pan and cook the onions until soft and slightly browned. Add them to the beef and then pour in a little stock and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Add the beef and onions, the rest of the stock and the stout, season, and add the herbs. Bring to the boil, then partially cover, turn down the heat, and simmer gently for two hours.

3. Add the carrots and turnips, and simmer for about another hour, until the meat is tender enough to cut with a spoon. Leave to cool, overnight if possible, and then lift the solidified fat off the top and bring to a simmer.

4. Meanwhile, make the dumplings by sifting the flour into a bowl and adding the rest of the ingredients and just enough cold water to bring it together into a dough. Roll it into 6 dumplings and add these to the stew. Partially cover and simmer for 25 minutes, then check the seasoning of the gravy, and serve with steamed greens.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Chicken & Pea Risotto

Another left-over Chicken dish…

• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 onion chopped
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 190g Risotto rice

• 1 small glass white wine
• 500ml Chicken Stock (warm before adding)
• Cooked Chicken breasts, chopped
• 1 tbsp thyme leaf
• 100g frozen peas
• Crispy Bacon to scatter on top
• 2 tbsp grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve

1] Heat oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic for 5 mins. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 min more, until it starts to look transparent. Pour in the wine and keep stirring until all the liquid is absorbed.

2] Add the stock and simmer until the rice is just tender. Stir through the chicken, thyme and peas, then cook for 2 mins or until the chicken is warmed through. Add the crème fraîche and Parmesan with some seasoning, then remove from the heat. Cover with a lid and leave to stand for 2 mins before serving with extra Parmesan.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pasta with Yellow Pepper Sauce

Extra virgin olive oil
3 cups diced sweet onion
2 leeks, white part only, diced
4 Yellow bell peppers, cleaned of all seeds and pulp sliced very thin
Black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to sprinkle over the finished dish

1] In a large sauté pan heat oil over medium to medium high heat and add onions and leeks. Cook stirring occasionally for eight minutes adjusting heat so that leeks don’t brown. Add peppers, salt, pepper and thyme and stir. Lower heat and cook covered for five minutes. Add a cup of water and cook covered for five more minutes. Add another cup of water and cook covered for another five minutes.

2] Using a blender puree the mixture until very smooth. If too thick, add a little water. Pour back into pan.

3] Cook pasta according to package directions until slightly less than done. (Reserve pasta water, do not drain).

4] Place pasta in with sauce and cook over medium heat adding small ladles of pasta water until pasta is fully cooked and sauce is the proper constancy. Remove from heat and mix in as much Parmesan cheese to your tastes - Careful not to overpower the sweet yellow pepper flavour.

Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese over each portion.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Slow cooked Ox Cheeks in Wine

 3 Ox Cheeks
 2 Carrots, chopped
 2 Celery, chopped
 1 Onion, chopped
 2 Garlic Cloves 
 500ml of Red Wine
 1 Clove
 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
 750ml of Beef Stock
 2 Bay Leaves
 1 Star Anise
 1 tsp Thyme
 2 tbsp of Tomato Purée
 2 Anchovies
 100g of Plain Flour, seasoned with a generous grinding of salt
 Black Pepper
 Flat-leaf Parsley, to serve

1] Trim any excess fat off the ox cheeks and place this fat into a large pan. Place over a moderate heat and allow the fat to melt and render down.
2] While this is happening, cut each cheek into six even pieces and dust lightly and evenly with the seasoned flour.
3] Once the fat has completely rendered down, increase the heat and add the ox cheeks to the hot fat, browning all over until dark and golden. You may need to add a little extra oil if the pan is too dry. Remove the cheeks from the pan and set aside to cool.
4] Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2.
5] Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery and garlic to the same pan over a moderate-low heat and sweat down in the residual fat until soft and lightly caramelised.
6] Increase the heat and add the meat back to the pan along with the tomato purée. Mix together so that the ox cheeks and vegetables are coated in the purée and cook out for 2–3 minutes.
7] Deglaze the pan with the brandy, scraping the base of the pan to mix in all the caramelised meat and vegetables. Add the wine, clove, cinnamon, stock, thyme, star anise, bay and anchovies then bring everything to the boil.
8] Cover the pan with a lid and transfer to the oven to cook for 2 hours and 30 minutes.
9] After this time check the meat to ensure the cheeks are very tender, but not falling apart. Return to the oven, turn off the heat and leave to sit for 30 minutes for the flavours to improve.
10] To serve, reheat either in the oven or on the stove and season to taste, serve hot with mashed potato or soft polenta.