29 Jan 2016

HONEY SOY GLAZED CHAR SUI PORK STEAMED DUMPLINGS

WoW WoW WoW

Love how simple these outstandingly gorgeous sumptuous sweet honey sticky pork dumplings are to make and eat!  Each mouthful delivers a gorgeous face lifting amount of flavour and happiness.  Not too much work as it is done in stages, in fact you can prep and make most of this the day before and then assemble and cook in a few minutes for the meal.


Ingredients
(makes 20)

Dumpling Dough
300g 00 flour
Pinch of salt
200ml just boiled water

Sweet Soy Glazed Pork
500g pork fillet tenderloin or loin 
2 tbsp honey
4 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 clove garlic grated
1" ginger grated
1 star anise
1 tsp five spice powder
(recipe below if you want to make your own)

Dipping Sauce
50ml light soy sauce
20ml rice wine vinegar
10ml mirin
1 pea size of wasabi
1 red chilli sliced
1 spring onion finely sliced
1 drop sesame oil

Five Spice Powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 - 1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp ground star anise 
1 tsp szechuan peppercorns toasted and ground

To make the dumpling dough, mix all the ingredients together and knead for a couple of minutes until the dough is smooth, place back in your bowl and cover with a tea towel, leave to rest for half an hour.

Mix all the ingredients for the glazed pork together, reserve on third for later, rub the remainder all over the tenderloin, place the loin in a roasting tin add a little water just to barely cover the base of the tin, roast in the oven for approx 30 minutes, half way through baste with more of the glaze, if you like your pork well done then roast for 35-40 minutes, remove from the oven and pour over the rest of the glaze, cover and leave to rest for half an hour, this is important as all the juices will relax back evenly through the pork keeping it moist.  When ready to use finely dice the pork and add back to the roasting tin so that all the little chunks can baste in all the resting and cooking juices using up every last bit of that sweet sticky gorgeous flavour.

Roll out your dough and using a standard scone cutter cut as many disks out as you can, traditionally you would roll the dough in to a long thin pencil like snake and then chop off a small chunk and individual roll each disk out, this is so that there is no wastage, I do this, it just takes a little more time.  To stuff your little dumplings, place a tbsp of your pork in the centre of the dumpling, dip your finger in a bowl of water and run it around the edge of the dough circle, then place the dumpling in your hand and cup together pinching the edges together to form a old fashioned purse shaped parcel.

To cook bring your steamer up to temperature and place disks of baking paper just about the same size as the base of the dumplings in the steamer and place each dumpling on these disks, you can also use lettuce leaves instead, steam for approx 5 minutes until firm but jelly like to the touch.

Dipping Sauce
Mix all the ingredients together and dip dip dip away...


AROMATIC ASIAN INSPIRED PORK KEBAB'S

Now we are flush with our home reared pork and have an abundance of pork mince, the excitement now begins in finding and creating new meals for our self sufficient ingredients.  We grow and raise most of our own food, but their are a few ingredients that we just don't really want to go without, with this in mind we source local or British, it is ingredients such as fresh turmeric that was causing a bit of a conscience issue however with great passionate small family farm producers down in Devon and Cornwall growing theses ingredients such as limes, chilli and other ethnic ingredients, this is now a comfortable compromise.

This gorgeous aromatic kebab is loaded with fresh corinader, ginger, turmeric, lime zest and juice, fresh garlic, chillies and spring onions, served on a speedy to make un leaven flat bread with home canned garden pickles and beetroot relish, topped off with a lovely sharp zesty lime and cucumber creme fraiche.

Prep Time 10 minutes / Cooking Time 7 minutes


Ingredients
(serves 4)

600g organic pork mince
1 bunch fresh corinader chopped
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp fresh grated turmeric
4 cloves garlic grated
4 red chillies chopped
1 lime zested and juiced
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 stick lemon grass finely sliced
Sea salt and white pepper
1 tsp chilli powder

Accompaniments
Flat breads or if you want to make your own, recipe and method below, creme fraiche mixed with some lime juice and zest and grated cucumber, pickles, chillies, shredded cabbage, beetroot relish among some suggestions.

Flat Bread Dough
500g 00 flour
50ml olive oil
320g water
10g sea salt

Flat Breads
First get the dough under way, mix all the ingredients together and knead for five minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic, place back in your bowl and cover with a tea towel, leave to rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

Too cook take the flat bread dough and cut into eight equal portions, roll out to the size of your frying pan approx 8 inch's in diameter, have you frying pan dry and hot, add the flat bread to the pan and leave to cook for 1 minutes, turn and repeat, and thats the bread cooked.  Wrap in a warm tea towel while you cook the rest.

Kebabs
Meanwhile place all the ingredients for the pork kebabs in a bowl and mix throughly, make a small patty and pan fry to check for seasoning, adjust if needed.  Form the mince in to batons approx 2 inches thick and 6 inches long, I formed these on small skewers, but this is not necessary it just made them easier to turn while cooking.  

Pre heat your non stick frying pan to a medium high heat and add the coconut oil, sear the kebabs on all sides for one to two minutes each side, then add half a cup of water and pop a lid or plate on top of the pan and steam for a further couple of minutes until cooked.  Remove from the heat.

To serve I like to go home style and place the kebabs, breads, dips and side accompaniments  all together on the table for everyone to dive in and assemble their own kebabs to their likin...


28 Jan 2016

GOOEY CHEESE AND JAMMON STUFFED BUTTER CHICKEN

Fabulous little twist on the classic chicken cordon bleu, over stuffed with a thick block of nutty Gruyere cheese wrapped in Parma ham, pan seared and basted in butter, no egg wash and breadcrumbs which I will admit do add that extra gorgeous nutty butter crispy coating, but by removing this not only is this gluten free but it is also a lot lower in calories and fat and still delivering that oozy gooey gorgeous cheese and ham chicken, I have pepped mine up with fresh hot red chillies, this is totally optional.

Prep Time 10 minutes / Cooking Time 15 minutes


Ingredients
(serves 2)

2 organic chicken breasts
6 slices Parma Ham
200g Gruyere cheese
100g unsalted butter
Mixed salad to serve

Take each chicken breast and butterfly, slide the knife in the long side and slowly cut the chicken breast 3/4 of the way through to the other side so that you have a in effect two breasts joined in the centre,  Lay out one sheet of clingfilm, place the chicken breast on top and cover with another sheet of clingfilm, now using a rolling pin gently bash the chicken until at least 50% bigger and the same thinness all over.

Cut the cheese in half long ways so that the block is tall, wrap with 3 slices of the Parma ham and place in the centre of one chicken breast, wrap over the other side of the chicken breast tucking in all edges in effect making a parcel.

To cook, pre heat a non stick pan to medium heat, melt the butter and then add the chicken seam side down first, leave well alone to sear and seal the chicken seam, this will take approx 3 minutes, turn and repeat on each side, using a spoon keep basting the breasts with butter from the pan, when you start to see some of the cheese wanting to ooze out, around 12 minutes, turn the heat down really low, pop a lid or plate on the pan and leave to tick over for another 3 minutes while you plate up your salad, then you are ready to serve.


24 Jan 2016

SWEET AND SOUR CRISPY BELLY PORK

BEST EVER CRISPY SWEET AND SOUR PORK EVER !!!

As healthy as sweet and sour can be, this is one of those dishes that you can indulge in once in a blue moon and allowing yourself sumptuous treats like this from time to time helps keeps balance in a healthy lifestyle, after all life is for living, loving, eating and sharing.

Beautifully aromatic crispy five spice belly pork and crackling, naturally sweetened with fresh pineapple and a hint of sugar, served with peppers and rice

Prep Time 5 minutes / Cooking Time 1hr


Ingredients
(serves 4)

Crispy Belly Pork
700g belly pork skin on
2 tsp five spice
(recipe below)
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 tsp coconut oil
Cooked rice to serve

Sweet and Sour Sauce
100g golden granulated organic sugar
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp white wine or rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 pineapple chopped
1 red or green pepper rough chopped

Five Spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/1 - 1 tsp ground cloves, personal taste
1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp ground star anise
1 tsp szechuan peppercorns, toasted and ground

Pre-heat your oven to 220 degrees, take your belly pork and score the skin, turn the belly pork over so that it is skin side down and score lines 1/2 way through the meat, add the wine vinegar and five spice powder and rub all over, turn the joint back over and pat the skin dry, sprinkle with sea salt and leave to marinate for a couple of hours if you can, I like to leave the pork at room temperature for a better infuse of flavours, however if you are marinating for longer pop in the fridge.

Place a roasting tray in the oven to warm up, remove from the oven, grease with the coconut oil and place the belly pork on the roasting tray and place in the oven to cook for the hour, after 40 minutes, if the crackling is done, reduce the heat to 150 degrees for the rest of the cooking time.

Meanwhile make the sweet and sour glaze, place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat through to melt the sugar, once melted stir in the wine vinegar, then the tomato ketchup and soy sauce, stir in well and bring to a simmer then immediately remove from the heat.  Add the chopped peppers and pineapple and stir through.  Leave to one side until the pork is ready.

Once the pork is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes allowing all the gorgeous juices to seep back equally through the meat, slice and dice the belly, bring the sweet and sour sauce back up to a simmer, turn off and add the belly pork, toss through and serve with rice.


23 Jan 2016

FISH BALL NOODLE SOUP

Awesome bowl of fragrant goodness, meals like this bring sunshine to your soul.  Aromatic fish balls in a fragrant broth and with the addition of noodles that makes this a complete meal in your bowl.


Ingredients
(Serves 2)

Broth
1 leftover chicken
1 stick celery
1 onion quartered
3 inch piece ginger
1 stick lemon grass bruised
2 red chilli's split
1 star anise
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 lemon halved and squeezed
2 tbsp palm sugar

To Serve
2 portions of rice noodles
Handful of water or land cress leaves
Handful of mezula leaves

Fish Balls
300g white fish
sea salt
white pepper
1 tsp fish sauce
1 clove garlic grated
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 spring onion finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped coriander
squeeze of lime

First make the broth, I always have a jug of broth in my fridge, which makes meals like this super speedy.  Place all the ingredients for the broth in a deep saucepan and just cover with water, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for approx one hour.  Skim off any impurities from the both.  Once cooked strain and taste, you can strengthen the flavour of the broth by reducing the volume of the broth, season with sea salt and white pepper.

While the broth is cooking, make the fish balls.  Finely chop the fish and mix in all the other ingredients, form into golf ball size balls, giving them a firm squeeze to ensure they stay together while you cook them.

Cook the noodles according to the instructions, generally place in a boiled pan of water, off the heat and leave for a few minutes, then drain and rinse, toss through some sesame oil to stop them sticking together, place each portion in your serving bowls.  Back to the broth, bring to a gentle simmer and place the fish balls in the liquid and poach for a 2-3 minutes, turning each ball halfway through, ladle the balls and broth over the noodles and garnish.


PORK AND PRAWN GOYZA POT STICKERS

JUST GOTTA LOVE THESE DUMPLINGS

Gorgeous little parcels of joy filled with love and happiness and fantastic flavours that will have you coming back for another one and another one and another one!  I admit I have a problem with these, once I eat one I just can't stop and suddenly 10 or more have passed my lips in a glorious eating probably not pretty frenzy of pot sticker pleasure!

Prep Time 20 minutes / Cooking Time 4 minutes per batch


Ingredients
(makes 30)

The Dough
300g 00 flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
200ml just boiled water

Prawn and Pork Filling
20 raw cold water prawns
400g organic pork mince
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 clove garlic chopped
3 spring onions finely chopped
2 tbsp shaoxing wine
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
sea salt
white pepper
2 tbsp ground nut oil

Dipping Sauce
100ml light soy sauce
50ml rice wine vinegar
10ml mirin
2 red chillies finely diced
1 spring onion finely diced
3 drops of sesame oil
1 pea size of wasabi

First make the goyza dough, just mix all the ingredients together and knead for five minutes until smooth, place in a bowl and cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for half an hour while you make the filling.

De-vein the prawns and roughly chop by hand and place in a large mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredients except the ground nut oil and mix together well.  

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface and shape in to a long sausage, cut off a piece around an inch long and roll out in to a circle, you want your circle to be approx four inches in diamater and half the thickness of a pound coin.  Repeat until you have used up all the dough.

Take a circle of dough and place on your palm of you hand, place a tablespoon of your filling in the centre of the dough, dip your finger in some water and run it around the edge of the pastry, fold the edges together to make a parcel and pinch the edges together.  Repeat until you have made them all.

To cook pre heat a non stick frying pan with a lid (lid off), to a medium heat, brush with a dash of the ground nut oil, pan fry the dumplings for two minutes then add 100ml of water to the pan and place the lid on, this will steam the dumplings finishing the cooking approx 1-2  minutes.

Mean while make the dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients together, serve as soon as they are cooked and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy...


22 Jan 2016

ROASTED BREAST OF LAMB

THE QUEEN OF ROAST DINNERS
This is even more special as it is our first own reared and loved organic lamb... 
This has to one of my most favourite roast dinners of all time, I don't allow myself to eat this that often because it is so naughty, decedent and rich in glorious lip smacking crispy lamb crackling and flavoursome fat...  But when I do boy oh boy it does go down very well and with roasted potato's basted by the lamb fat dripping down over the potatoes from above while the lamb is roasting just adds that extra depth of flavour and gorgeousness, accompanied with home grown peas and garden mint sauce.

Prep Time 5 minutes /  Cooking Time 45 minutes


Ingredients
(serves 2)

2 large high animal welfare breasts of lamb bone in
(this you can get from your local butcher)
4 large King Edward potatoes
2 tbsp dripping or goose fat to get your potatoes going
2 portions of peas
sea salt

Garden Mint Sauce
6 sprigs mint, leaves only chopped
60ml water
30ml white wine vinegar
pinch of sugar

This is a fast and easy cook, all the work is done in a few minutes and the oven does the rest while you get to dilly dally,  first peel the potatoes and cut in half, place in a pan of water and simmer for 10 minutes, drain and season with sea salt, meanwhile take a deep roasting tin that you can place a wire rack on top off (this will allow the glorious lamb fat to render down basting the potatoes while they roast), place the dripping or goose fat in the tin and pop in a pre heated oven 200 degrees C / 380 F, for a couple of minutes to heat up.  

Now add your par boiled seasoned potatoes, turn the potatoes so that they have got a basic coating to get them going in the oven, next place your rack on top of the tin and lay the breast of lamb on the rack, season with sea salt and pop in the oven, this will take around 45 minutes to cook, at 30 minutes take the roasting tin our the turn the potatoes, pop back for the last 15 minutes, at this point bring a pan of water to a rolling simmer and add your peas, take off the heat and leave to heat through.

While the lamb is roasting, make the mint sauce, place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, take off the heat and leave to cool, taste and adjust the sweet or sour flavour to your taste with more vinegar or sugar then pop in the fridge to cool further, 

Ta Da now serve...




20 Jan 2016

WOK ON GARLIC CHICKEN

Brilliant little dish bursting full of fabulous flavours, wok stir fried crispy chicken with garlic and spring onions, intensified with shoaxing wine and light soy sauce, this is a truly sumptuous meal, make extra as it will leave you wanting more!  Super speedy to prepare and cook, from fridge to table in under 15 minutes!

Prep Time 7 minutes / Cooking Time 7 minutes


Ingredients
(serves 4)

500g diced chicken thigh meat
4 tbsp cornflour seasoned with sea salt and pepper
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 bulb garlic roughly chopped
8 spring onions sliced
2 red chillies sliced
1 baby leek sliced
2 handfuls kale rough chopped
2 tbsp shaoxing wine
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch white pepper
4 pts cooked rice to serve

Prepare all your ingredients first as this is a speedy cook and toss the chicken in the seasoned cornflour.  If you are serving with rice put that on to cook now and when you are five minutes away from finishing the rice Wok On!

Perfect Rice
One tea mug of un-cooked rice will serve 2-3 people, wash your rice thoroughly in running water, drain and place in a saucepan with a lid, add twice the amount of water to rice, so if you used one mug of rice, then two mugs of water, do not stir the rice in the water, ever!  Pop on the lid and bring to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and under no circumstances lift the lid at all during the cooking process, you need to keep the steam and heat in, simmer for 8 minutes, then remove the saucepan off the heat and leave un-disturbed for 8-10 minutes, now you have perfect rice ready to serve.

Heat your wok hot, add the coconut oil and stir fry the chicken until almost cooked, add the garlic, spring onions, leeks and chilli and cook stir fry for a couple of minutes while they release their wonderful flavours, next add the kale and stir though then add the shaoxing wine, soy sauce and sugar, toss through well to coat everything and season with a pinch of salt and pepper and serve.

13 Jan 2016

SUPER FOOD COCONUT AND CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

LOW CALORIE HEALTHY FAT GORGEOUSNESS

The key to halving the calories in this recipe is the home made coconut milk, don't panic this is really simple and quick to make it will make you question why am I not doing this already!   Homemade reduces the calories to 137 per cup compared to 552 !, the sugar to less than a gram compared to 7 grams store brought, the fat and saturated fat are higher than in tin coconut milk, but as this coconut fat is honest good fat and used in moderation, as this is still a fat and that coconut fat is not absorbed by our bodies like other saturated bad fats, along with it being a extremely healthy MFCA, medium chain fatty acid which is easily digested and almost immediately broken down in your saliva and gastric juices, this means it is unlikely to be stored in the body as fat.  Pancreatic fat digesting enzymes are not essential because of this which puts less of a strain on your liver allowing it to work more efficiently.

Whats more it is antiviral, antibacterial, helps protect the body from infections and viruses, regulates thyroid function along with being highly nutritious, rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B5, B6, iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.

Prep Time 10 minutes / Cooking Time 5 minutes


Ingredients
(Serves 2)

Homemade Chicken Stock
There is always a couple of liters of stock in my fridge ready to go which makes these dinners go from fridge to table in five minutes.

2 left over chicken carcases
(you can buy these on line from Riverford)
1.5 ltr water
1 onion quartered
1 carrot rough chopped
1 leek rough chopped
2 stick celery rough chopped
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
Pinch of sea salt 
Pinch black pepper

Homemade Coconut Milk
1 coconut split, milk kept and grated
300ml boiling water

Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup
1/2 pack vermicelli rice noodles
2 cups of left over chicken  (optional)
200ml home made coconut milk
3 cm piece ginger grated
1 hot chilli finely sliced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 juice lime
1/2 tsp palm sugar
2 Handful of greens like kale, spinach and watercress
2 spring onions finely sliced
1/2 red pepper finely diced
Small bunch coriander rough chopped

First get the chicken stock under way, place all the ingredients in a deep saucepan and bring to a boil and immediately turn the heat down so that the stock pot is almost just simmering, this will give you a clearer broth.  Skim off any impurities that float to the top.  Simmer for 2-3 hours, strain and taste, reduce to strengthen the flavour then season with salt and pepper.

Bring a pan of water to a boil, turn off the heat and drop in the noodles, leave for two minutes then drain, run under a cold tap to stop the cooking and toss in some sesame to stop them sticking, divide in two and place in your serving bowls.

Bring the chicken stock and coconut milk to a gentle simmer, add the chicken, ginger, chilli, turmeric, fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar, infuse for a a couple of minutes then add the greens, simmer for another minute, add the coriander, red pepper and spring onions, taste and adjust if needed using the lime juice and palm sugar, then pour over your noodles in the serving bowls and enjoy.

12 Jan 2016

ALBONDIGAS SPANISH MEATBALLS IN A TIO PEPE SAUCE

Gorgeous little balls of heaven, pork and beef meatballs seasoned with onion, garlic, paprika, sea salt and black pepper, seared and slowly cooked in a deep rich tomato and tio pepe smoked paprika sauce, gorgeous just gorgeous.

Prep Time 20 minutes / Cooking Time 15 minutes


Ingredients
(serves 4-6)

Meatballs
500g beef mince
400g pork mince
1 onion finely diced
4 cloves garlic grated
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
125g jammon serrano finely diced
Fresh ground black pepper
Sea salt
White pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil

Tio Pepe Tomato Sauce
3 shallots finely diced
2 cloves garlic grated
1 red chilli finely diced
1 tsp dried chillies
1 tbsp coconut oil
200ml Tio Pepe sherry
300ml Chicken stock
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tsp hot cayenne pepper
1 tbsp butter

First make the meat balls, melt the coconut oil in a frying pan and gently soften the onion, garlic and jammon for around five minutes, add the paprika and coriander, leave to one side to cool.  In a large bowl place the beef and pork and a generous pinch of salt and pepper, add the cooled onion and garlic mix and mix thoroughly in to the meat.  Form in to small one bit balls.  

Place the frying pan back on the heat and sear the meatballs on all sides, transfer to a casserole dish, once you have browned off all the meatballs, now on to making the sauce, using the same frying pan to keep all the lovely caramelised flavours add more coconut oil and gently soften the shallots and garlic for approx five minutes, add the rest of the ingredients except the butter and bring to a simmer, reduce until a medium thick consistency, add the meatballs and finish cooking them for around 5 minutes, add the butter and take off the heat, these are now ready to serve, this is one of those dishes that taste better the next day, so I often make this a day ahead and gently re-heat on the hob.  Serve with hunks of fresh sour dough bread and butter.


11 Jan 2016

HEALTHY FAST LAMB KOFTE KEBAB

JUST 590 CALORIES OF GLORIOUS MOUTH WATERING GORGEOUSNESS

You will never be able to go back to a take away kebab again after trying this, loaded full of fabulous flavours you will find it hard to believe that this whole kebab is only around 590 kcal, a massively wonderful face stuffing mouth watering oh my gosh I love this kebab, making you make lots of eating noises you might want to keep behind closed doors!,  This is down to the great honest ingredients, this is how kebabs should be, fresh, fast and fantastic, a winner winner dinner for all.

Prep Time 15 minutes / Proving Time 1 hr / Cooking Time 7-10 minutes


Ingredients
(serves 4)

For the Lamb Kebab
500g grass feed lamb minced
4 cloves garlic grated
1 onion finely chopped
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp oregano fresh or dried
1 good pinch sea salt
1 good pinch ground white pepper

Kebab Stuffing Extras
Finely sliced white cabbage
Finely sliced red cabbage
6 carrots finely sliced or julienned
2 Spanish onions finely sliced
12 kebab chilli pickles

For the Flat Bread
500g 00 flour
15g dried yeast
10g sea salt
50ml olive oil
320g cooled boiled water

For the Mayonnaise
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch white pepper
1 tsp Dijon mustard
approx 300ml olive oil

Dough
First make the dough, place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and bring together to form a ball, knead for 7 minutes until smooth and elastic to the touch, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for at least one hour.

Mayonnaise
Next make the mayonnaise, place the egg yolk in a large bowl along with the white wine vinegar, gently start whisking together while slowly drizzling the oil in, for the first part keep the drizzle really slow, once your mayo starts to emulsify you can incorporate the oil a lot faster, once you have a thick mayo add the sea salt, pepper and mustard.

Kebab
Take a frying pan with a lid, reserving the lid for later, heat the coconut oil and gently saute the onion and garlic until soft, around 5 minutes, leave to one side to cool.  Place the lamb mince in a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients and the cooled onions and garlic, don't wash the frying pan as you will need this to sear the kebabs, mix well and divide in to four equal portions, shape each portion into a cigar shape.  Place you frying pan back on a high heat and sear each kebab on all sides, then turn the heat down to a low medium, add 50ml of water and pop the lid on, leave to finish cooking approx 6 minutes, while they are cooking turn out the dough onto a floured worktop, divide in to 8 portions and shape in to balls, roll out each ball to approx 8 inches in diameter.

Flat bread
Remove the cooked kebabs and place on a serving plate, wipe out the frying pan with paper roll and place back on a high heat, dry pan fry each flat bread for approx one minute on each side, allowing them to catch and char a little, wrap in a tea towel to keep warm while you cook the rest.

Serve family style, place bowls of the kebab stuffing on the table along with a bowl of the mayonnaise, a stack of flat breads and the lamb kebabs where everyone can help themselves and build their kebabs to their likin.


5 Jan 2016

POPPA WAN'S TWICE SLOW COOKED SOY HONEY GLAZED PORK

GORGEOUS GLORIOUS MAGNIFICENT

Make extra that's almost all I can say, you must cook this, succulent melt in your mouth infused pork with flavours that burst like a firework that will have you pulling those Oh My faces and making all sorts of noises that maybe should be kept private behind closed doors !!!

Prep Time 5 minutes / Slow Oven Cooking Time 2 hours / 2nd Roasting Time 20 minutes


Ingredients
(serves 4-6)

1 -1.5kg whole belly pork or loin
500ml Shaoxing wine
3 star anise
3 inch piece ginger rough sliced
3 gloves garlic crushed
5 spring onions chopped
3 tbsp light soy sauce

For the glaze
4 tbsp honey
2 tbsp light soy sauce

To garnish
2 spring onions and 1 red chilli diagonally sliced

In a deep roasting tin that you will be able to cover the pork with liquid, place the pork in the roasting tin, add all the other ingredients and top up with water to just cover the pork, cover with parchment paper and then tin foil, pop in a pre-heated oven of 150 degrees for approx 2 hours or until the pork is so tender you could just pull it apart with the touch of a fork, but don't!

Remove the roasting tray from the oven and leave on the side for the pork to cool in the poaching liquid.  Once cooled you can at this point put the pork in the fridge for later or another day. 

Once cool enough to handle, take the pork out and gently slice off the skin and discard. then slice the loin or belly keeping the slices together as almost still one piece.  Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees, line a baking sheet with baking paper and using a spatula lift the pork slices as one piece on to the centre of the baking tray, mix the honey and soy sauce together and drizzle over the pork, pop in the oven for 20 minutes to set the gorgeous sweet sticky soy and honey caramelising glaze.  Remove from the oven and leave to rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

I like to serve this with rice or noodles tossed through some grated ginger, garlic, sliced chilli, spring onions and a dash of light soy sauce and sesame oil.  Also works great with a flat bread as a kebab !!!


4 Jan 2016

PERFECT ROAST CRACKLING AND RENDERED DOWN LARD

When one of our whole pigs comes back from the farm butcher, my first job is to render down the spare back fat and skin to make roast crackling lard, the side product of this is outstanding fresh salty crispy crackling that my whole family turns up to devour!

Cooking Time 1 hrs


This is really easy to achieve without all the fuss of various methods, I just pat dry the skin with paper roll, then sprinkle generously with sea salt, place in a wide shallow roasting tin then pre-heat your oven to 200-220 degrees C, pop the tray in to the oven and leave to roast and crackle up for approx one hour, once crispy all over remove from the oven and make sure you get chef's perks on the first serving before you let everyone else dive in.

Gorgeous Roast Crackling Lard
This you can do seperatly in its own tin, but I actually place my back fat under the soon to be crackling skin so that all the roast crackling flavours infuse the lard as it renders down in the roasting tin, every half hour or so I drain the rendered down fat from the roasting tin in to a loaf tin, keep repeating this until the fat is not releasing anymore fat, at this stage I often find that the crackling is also perfectly crispy, in all around an hour.


Once cooled place the loaf tin in the fridge to get cold and set the lard, then I turn out the loaf of lard and cut into four or five blocks, wrap in greaseproof paper and store in the fridge for a few weeks or freeze to use as and when you need some.


OLD SPOT SAUSAGES INSPIRED BY RIVER COTTAGE

BEST SAUSAGES EVER...
Home reared organic outdoor living rootling and tootling, loved and hugged, Gloucestershire Old Spots, Sandy Oxford Blacks, Duroc and Large Blacks sausages.

Finally we are living our dream inspired by River Cottage 10yrs ago and still are, we have moved from our home garden to a few acres where we can now be almost self sufficient, so far pork. lamb and eggs, next chickens, geese and one day a cow!

See Our Blog Post... 18th Oct 2015...  Self Sufficiency The Start Of The Good Life Raising And Producing All Our Own Food


To celebrate our pigs I wanted to make good old fashioned honest sausages, no preservatives, use fresh herbs and seasoning, maybe some organic rusk or not, and use British casings.  Our first tester batch was terrible, I really was not sure why you needed rusk in your sausage and as I wanted a high meat content sausage I decided to make the first batch without, big mistake!  The sausages were like eating sawdust, dry and grainy.

Tester batch two and three were much better but low on seasoning, finally batch four hit the spot and our three flavours were created.


Traditional Old Spot Sausage 
A classic sausage great all rounder and for breakfast, thanks to all the original River Cottage Lifestyle books, 1kg minced pork shoulder and belly seasoned with 10g sea salt, 5g fresh ground white pepper, 2.5g soft brown, 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, 50-100g organic breadcrumbs and 50ml iced water.

Henley's Down Herb
The classic sausage seasoned as above with 20 fresh sage leaves, 20 chives stems, 6 sprigs of thyme and 6 marjoram stems.

Pork Apple and Cider
Again the classic sausage seasoning with 100g diced soaked apples in cider, and 50ml of apple cider instead of the iced water


There is a debate on the best way to cook a sausage, I prefer to slowly bake them in the oven, turning only once 3/4 of the way through, if I was not so impatience I would cook my sausages in a frying pan long and slow, allowing them to gently caramelise keeping all their gorgeous flavours inside.  But I find I get the same result from the roasting pan in the oven, once cooked I deglaze the pan with some water, wine or cider and add the caramelised stock to my onion gravy for further depth of flavour, I love to serve my sausages with 30% buttery mashed potatoes.


Making sausages is a lot easier than you think, you can start with your sausage casings, a funnel, handle of wooden spoon to use as a prodder, fill the funnel with your sausage meat and thread the casings on the spout of the funnel, using the end of the wooden spoon prod the sausage meat down the funnel into the casings, this is how I started and now I have a hand turning sausage stuffer that allows me to make 20 meters of sausages at a time.

 

I love old fashioned butchers and think all our food should come wrapped in paper and not plastic, just like my childhood memories, so we have 100% lambs wool recyclable paper wrapping along with our own stamps and some jute string for presentation in tying up the sausages.

Hug your pig...



3 Jan 2016

RAISING OUR GLORIOUS PIGS

NEW PASTURE FOR WINTER
As we are still finding our feet and way on the farm with our live stock, we are kinda making it up as we go, we do have a plan, quite a few, in fact hundreds of ideas, but our land, animals and the weather are teaching us what we can do and what won't work, fabulous learning curves that are helping us work out how to set up the paddocks for long term rotations.  I believe you don't honestly make mistakes you just learn how not to do something, if however you have learn't how not to do something and then repeat that lesson technically unless you have a good reason for making that choice then it could be a mistake !!!


Earning a pigs trust is a big thing, rush them, or try to control them and they will never forget, so moving the ladies from their run of six months across the top field to their new pasture was going to be a great lesson, there was the two naughty adventuros teenager pigs that had escaped through the electric fencing a few weeks ago, and as expected they just saw the movement as excitable freedom, then there was Pinky our mature Gloucestershire Old Spot pig who looks after all the weaners and runts, she refused to move !!!  If Pinky will not move so will not the three new large black weaners who rely on Pinky for mummy support!  So learning from our ladies, we decided to wait until the next morning when they would all be excited about their breakfast, this should/would entice Pinky and the weaners... 


And success thank goodness for breakfast and hungry pigs, Pinky was a hint dubious but following our calling and her own personal feed trough she was easy to walk to the new paddock, scary for me, as technical in my mind there is a LOOSE PIG being followed by THREE LOOSE WEANERS!!!  I love the adrenilaine of being such a rookie!  In time I know our pigs will teach me not us as my husband is so relaxed, that they can be loose and won't actually want to run away and leave !!!


Fabulous new rootle pasture with some woodland and lots and lots of great new fresh grassy space to investigate and keep these lovely pigs entertained, happy pigs equals happy farming! 


Really pleased to see our girls in their new grassy paddock, won't last that long, but what they are after is all the fabulous hidden roots under the ground.


Our rare Large Black Weaners

1 Jan 2016

ROSEMARY AND THYME INFUSED PAN SEARED LAMB CHOPS

Simple, quick and speedy yet gorgeously sumptuous dinner, I just love lamb, and even more so that this is our own home farm lovingly raised lamb, we raise Dorset Downs, wonderfully lovely sheep.

A quick or long marinade, depending on how much time you have infuses the fresh flavours of rosemary and thyme that go great with lamb and then a hot and fast sear in the pan caramelises all those gorgeous flavours and natural basting fat, just divine.

Marinade Time 15 minutes To Overnight / Cooking Time 4 minutes / Resting Time 3 minutes


Ingredients
(serves 2)

4 high animal welfare lamb chops
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
1 lrg pinch sea salt
1 lrg pinch fresh ground black pepper

Serve with roasted vegetables or creamy buttery 30% butter ratio to potato, mashed potatoes and all the glorious seared pan juices.

Place the coconut oil, herbs, salt and pepper in a food bag with the raw lamb chops, give them a massage and leave to infuse on the side if using within the next 30 minutes or in the fridge if marinating longer or over night.  

Heat a non stick pan, with a lid for later to a hot heat, place your lamb chops in the pan and sear, do not be tempted to touch or turn them for at least one minute, you want them to catch and caramelise in the marinade and the fat that they are rendering down, basting themselves and adding so much glorious flavour, once caramelised approx 2 minutes turn and repeat on the other side for a further 2 minutes, take off the heat and add a tbsp of water and pop on a lid leaving the lamb chops to rest in a mini steam bath for around five minutes while you serve up the accompaniments for your dinner.  

That's it, serve with your accompaniments and drizzle over the pan juices for a most fabulous dinner.


HEALTH RESTORING CHRISTMAS LEFT OVERS

TURKEY BROTH

After all the wonderful Christmas indulgence I look forward to a new year of glorious health restoring broths and ramens, I find these bowls of sunshine fill my mind and body full of goodness that heals and detoxes while still delivering gorgeous flavours.

Turkey Stock Cooking Time 1 hr / Prep Time 5 minutes / Cook Time 5 minutes


Ingredients
(serves 8 )

For The Turkey Stock
1 left over roast turkey or chicken
2 carrots halved
1 onion quartered
1 leek quartered
2 sticks celerly halved
4 gloves garlic crushed
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
10 whole black peppercorns

The Broth Per Person
500ml of turkey stock
1 handful left over shredded turkey
1 handful of watercress torn
1 handful chopped kale
3 nero kale leaves chopped
1 spring onion chopped
1 chilli chopped
1 tbsp grated raw beetroot
1 tbsp raw grated carrot

First job is to make the turkey stock, take your left over roast turkey bird and pick off all the meat, place in a tub in the fridge, place all the bones and skin in to a large deep pan, add all of the other ingredeints and fill with water to just cover the bird, bring to a gently simmer and leave to tick over for and hour or so, skim off any froth that forms in the beginning.

Strain the stock and check for taste, if it is a little weak on flavour bring the stock to a rolling boil and reduce by a third, then season with sea salt and white pepper.  This stock can be freezed and used when needed.

To serve the broth, bring 500ml per person to a gently simmer and add all the broth ingredients simmer for two minutes, in your serving bowls add some of the left over roast turkey meat then add the broth and finish off with a sprinkling of raw grated beetroot and carrot.