17 Oct 2016


Gorgeous little flaky buttery short crust parcels of joy...
Stuffed full of slow braised leg of lamb in beaujoulis villages red wine with red currents, rosemary and a stock vegetable reduction giving your tastebuds that WoW Nom Nom I want another mouthful with each bite.  These are one of my party/picnic nibbles that I am infamous for and I know my friends always look forward to these and a gift bag of extras to go home with too, one of the reasons that I love cooking.

Pastry Prep Time 5 minutes / Pastry Chilling Time 30 minutes / Pasty Cooking Time 25-30 minutes
Slow Braised Lamb Cooking Time 3 hours

(makes 15)

The Best Ever Flakey Short Crust Pastry
900g plain flour
220g butter grated
200g lard diced 
10g Himalayan sea salt 
(home rendered down lard with crackling is the most flavoursome, recipe below)
360ml ice cold water
1 beaten egg for wash

Place all the ingredients except the water in a large mixing bowl and roughly combine, add the water and bring the mixture to a ball, wrap in parchment paper and pop in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

Home Made Lard
1 kg pork back fat
1 side pig skin

Heat your oven to 220 C / 385 F, place the fat and skin in the pan, cook for 1 hour, remove from the oven and drain off all the crispy crackling infused lard that has rendered down, that's it you just made lard!  I drain my lard into a 1lb loaf tin, pop in fridge to set then cut into a couple of bars, wrap in parchment paper and store in the fridge, you can also store your lard in a glass ball mason jar.

For The Slow Braised Lamb
1 leg or shoulder of high welfare lamb
1 bottle beaujoulis villages/burgundy red wine
500ml  water
1 tbsp red current jelly
1 onion quartered
2 carrots peeled
1 bulb garlic halved
1 stick celery halved
1 leek halved
2 sprigs rosemary
1 pinch Himalayan sea salt 
1 pinch black pepper

To Slow Cook The Lamb 
Pre heat your oven to 200 C, place all of the ingredients in the pan, place in the oven and let the lamb brown off for approximately 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature down to 160 C, cover the roasting tin and leave to slowly cook for around 2.5 hours, the lamb is perfectly cooked when you can pull on the bone and it just easily slides away from the meat.  Leave the lamb to rest for a while, remove the whole vegetables from the roasting tin, using two forks or your hands pull the lamb apart, mix well in the cooking stock.  The lamb is now ready to be used.

To Make The Pasty's
Pre heat your oven to 200 C / 385 F, roll out your chilled pastry nice and thin, not to thin, I use a 4" pastry circle cutter, but you can make these any size, but I find the smaller pastys more yummy, brush a little egg wash around the rim of the pastry place a large tbsp of lamb in the centre, pull up the pastry from each side and pinch in the centre on top of the lamb, then repeat bring the sides up together down the left side, then right.  Place on a baking tray, I like stone, egg wash and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden.

14 Oct 2016


There really is something very primataive and very satisfying when cooking over a open fire, there is so much more flavour and texture to the meat, it is something that has maybe been dulled down and replaced by the bbq and of course the home cooker!  I like to live back in time, when roasting meant over or in front of an open fire, whereas nowadays what we call a roast dinner is actually a oven baked dinner that we call a roast.

Cooking Time Medium Rare 55 Minutes


1 leg of lamb

The Chimichurri Sauce

200ml good olive oil
1 bunch/cup parsley
1/4 bunch/cup oregano
3 cloves garlic grated
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp red chilli flakes
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Blitz or finely chop the parsley, oregano and garlic to a fine blend, stir in the vinegar, chilli and olive oil, season to taste with the salt and pepper.  Keep in the fridge for up to a week, bring up to room temperature before serving

12 Oct 2016



I first discovered this style of twice baked potato in Spain many (20 yrs ago) years ago and I still have fond memories of that little Canteen where at 3am (and it was packed) we would stop off to pick up our dinner plus an extra one for breakfast on our way home, I reminisces that one potato never made out the Canteen, the anticipation of waiting for the made to order stuffed twice baked potato would have us salivating so we always just sat down on a wall and enjoyed it there and then!

The secret to all good food, apart from the most honest ingredients is in the method...here it is the scooping out of all the potato from it's skin into a bowl, adding all your choice of ingredients to the potato, mixing mashing them roughly all together so that they all have their own pockets of flavour while also just starting to blend into the other flavours in the potato not becoming one mass of mixed flavour, seasoned well and popped back into their skins and baked again giving you a light and fluffy twice baked delicious dinner and finished off with a glorious creamy slaw.

Prep Time 10 minutes / Potato Baking 1 hour / Second Baking 20 minutes

(serves 2)

2 large baking potatoes
1 tsp sea salt
30ml olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp butter diced
20g Parmesan grated
Chunk of stilton crumbled
4 tbsp  cooked black beans
2 tbsp mixed chia flax sunflower pumpkin seeds
(or any filling of your choice)

Garden Coleslaw
(any green leaves are great)
2 nero kale leaves finely sliced
6 rhubarb chard leaves
12 large spinach leaves torn
1 handful land cress
1 onion finely sliced
2 carrots julienned
tossed in 4 tbsp mayonnaise
Home Made Mayo
(only takes 2 minutes to make)
1 egg yolk
300ml olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
Pinch white pepper
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp mustard

To Make The Mayo place the egg yolks and white wine vinegar in a bowl and start to whisk, drizzle in a few drops of the olive oil at a time until half the oil is incorporated, then you can whisk in the oil at a much faster rate once all the oil is used add the mustard, salt and pepper and stir in, that's it.

To bake the potatoes I like to roll the potato in olive oil and sea salt, place in a hot oven 200 degrees for around one hour turning the potatoes over half way through the cooking time.

Cut the baked potato in half and scoop out all the soft potato in to a large bowl and add the rest of your choice of ingredients mash and mix in but do not make the mix as one flavour, you want all the ingredients to mix and marry but also to almost stand alone in company.  Place the potato back in to the potato skins finish with a extra grating of Parmesan and pop back in the oven to bake for a further 20 minutes then serve your fabulous twice baked potatoes either topped or on a side of  your garden mayo slaw.

5 Oct 2016



A truly lip smacking face stuffing gorgeous spicy bean burger loaded with flavour and just divine, one of my most favourite eats ever!  Packed with flavour from the cumin, oregano, kashmiri chilli powder and flakes with a hint of heat from cayenne pepper and a pinch of turmeric mixed with home soaked and cooked red, navy and kidney beans a really simple and easy to make and cook family dinner, these should be a house hold family must.

Prep Time 20 minutes / Bean Soaking Overnight Cooking 3hrs/ Oven Cooking 30-40 minutes
You can used canned beans but the flavour is better with home cooked beans

(makes 4-6 burgers)

2 cups of navy beans
2 cups of pink beans
1 cup kidney beans
1 tbsp butter or olive oil
2 carrots finely diced
1 large onion finely diced
4 cloves garlic finely diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
100ml water
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white ground pepper
1 beaten egg
100g breadcrumbs

First these will need a around 3 hours cooking until they are soft to the touch, fill a deep pan with lots of water and add the beans simmer covered until soft, I do a batch of these once a week and keep in the fridge then they are ready to be used for multiple dishes.

Heat the butter or oil in a heavy pan, add the onion and garlic and cook for five minutes until soft then add the carrots and cook for a further five minutes, now add the beans and all the spices, herbs and the water, pop on a lid and leave to simmer until all the liquid has evaporated, approx 5 minutes, mash half the mixture and then pour out in to a large bowl add the beaten egg and breadcrumbs and mix well with your hands, form in to four or six equal balls and firmly squish down to form the shape of your burger, I use a simple burger mould.

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C or 350 F, grease a baking sheet, I like to use a baking stone sheet as I fine you get a better crispier bake, pop in the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden and crispy.  Serve wedged in a bun or between flat breads and loaded with what ever you fancy.

I loaded ours with cheddar cheese slices, homemade hawthorn ketchup, fresh basil and coriander, my most favourite toppings though are a runny fried egg and cheese and sometimes raw onion...

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

Mix all the ingredients together and knead for seven minutes until springy, leave if you can for an hour covered at room temperature to rest, you can use the dough immediately but it will give you slightly tougher flat breads, the resting allows the dough to relax and will give you a softer more airy flat bread.  If you want a really light and melt in the mouth flat bread add 15g of yeast to the mix.

Divide the dough in to large golf ball size balls and roll out fairly thin, heat a non stick frying pan hot and dry cook the the flat breads for approx one minute on each side, keep warm wrapped in a tea towel until serving.