28 Jan 2018


Succulent moist tender piri piri spiced and sauced roasted chicken, this is a winning dinner with my family, so versatile, you can serve it as a roast, shred it and stuff tacos or build a salad bowl and any left overs for sandwiches and wraps (but there is never any left overs)!

Prep time 5 minutes / Cooking time 50 minutes / Resting time 20 minutes

(serves family 4)

1 organic or free range chicken 1.5kg 
(I find this bird goes further than the cheaper alternative and higher welfare)
1 bottle nandos hot Piri Piri sauce (homemade recipe below)
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp Piri Piri dry spice (recipe below)

Piri Piri Dry Spice Mix
Blitz everything in a processor 
6 fresh chillies 
2tbsp dried chillies
4 cloves of garlic grated
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika

So simple, take your whole chicken, un-teather and squash flat ish, sprinkle with salt and pepper and the piri piri dry rub spice mix then pour all over with your hot sauce sprinkle over the pop in the oven 200 degrees C / 385 F for 20 minutes then reduce the oven temperature 180 C / 350 F, cook for a further 30 minutes, remove from the oven, cover and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes but more like 20 minutes, it really does make a huge difference to the juicy, moist succulent tenderness of the chicken.  That's is...below my family's favourite tacos.

Homemade Piri Piri Sauce
2 red peppers roasted 
1 red onion charred
4 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 lemon zested
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 
1 habanero or scotch bonnet chilli (more for hotter)
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
11/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt 
1 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
Finishing ingredients 
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 lemon zested 
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 
1/2 cup olive oil

Roast the peppers and onions on a plancher flat top or skillet, charring all over, deseed the peppers, in a blender purée the charred peppers and onion, add the garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, apple cider vinegar, habanero, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper, purée to a smooth sauce.  Pour the puréed sauce in to a saucepan add the bay leaf and gently simmer for half an hour, remove from the heat and leave to cool, transfer the sauce back to the blender, add the remaining finishing ingredients the lemon juice, lemon zest, apple cider vinegar, purée and finally drizzle in the olive oil while the blender is still running.  That's it, adjust the seasoning if needed and keep any left over in the fridge.



(makes 16)
2 cup of Maseca white corn flour
(available in store or on line)
1 1/2 cup of water
pinch of salt
juice of one lime optional
1 chorizo sausage chopped
400g new or pink fir potatos diced
Sour cream

Very simple mix all the ingredients together and bring to a ball, pull off a golf ball size of dough and roll into a ball, place in your cling film lined tortilla press if using or cover with cling film and roll out a disk approx 4" wide.  On a hot comel, skillet or dry pan cook the tacos for approx 30-60 seconds each side.  Keep warm wrapped in a tea-towel, these need to eaten straight away.

Heat a skillet medium hot add the chorizo and cook for a couple of minutes, remove the chorizo from the skillet, but leaving all the gorgeous paprika oil, toss in the potatoes and cook for ten minutes until fork tender, add back the chorizo and and shredded left over roasted piri piri chicken, that's it another winner dinner on the table.


I stumbled across this brilliant Korean spin off from Mac n Cheese, one spoonful in and it was a winner dinner with my gang!  Gorgeous creamy cheese sauce, peppered with crispy sweetcure bacon, fresh red Serrano jalapeños and grilled corn off the cob with the ultimate cheese pull!

Prep time 20 minutes / Cooking time 15 minutes

(serves 4)

4 corns on the cob
4 rashers sweetcure bacon unsmoked
1 red Serrano chilli fine diced
50g butter
50g flour
400ml - 600ml full fat creamy milk
100ml double cream
1 pinch Himalayan sea salt 
1 pinch white pepper
200g cheddar grated
100g Parmesan Reggiano finely grated
100g mozzarella grated
50g fontina optional

Bring a pan of water to a rolling simmer, season the water with sea salt, add the corn on the cobs and simmer for around 15 minutes until the corn is tender, drain and remove the cobs, leave to once side to slightly cool, then carve off the corn from the kernel and reserve to one side while you make the bechamel sauce.

In a cast iron skillet or hob to oven casserole dish melt the butter then add the flour and stir to combine, add 400ml of the milk and whisk until smooth, add the cream and leave to gently bubble away meanwhile heat a skillet medium hot add a glug of olive oil then the chopped bacon and sear until crispy, add the chopped Serrano chilli and the corn stir to combine.

Back to the bechamel sauce, add all the cheeses but only half of the Parmesan, stir in until melted, if the sauce is too thick add a little of the reserved milk to loosen, next add the sweet corn mixture and mix, top the dish with the remaining Parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for 15 minutes until bubbling and browned off, serve immediately. 


Simplicity itself loaded with outstandingly old fashioned flavours, a really simple Sunday roast almost one pan cooking.  I love cooking a giant forerib of roast beef in my cast iron skillet it makes for easier cooking from hob to oven to resting.

Cooking and Resting time 1 hour 

(serves 4)

3kg (6.6lb) forerib beef bone on
(rare 9-12 mins per lb / medium 15 mins per lb)
1 butternut squash halved and sliced
1 glug olive oil
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt 
1 tsp ground black pepper

The gravy
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp flour
300ml reduced beef stock
200ml red wine
Resting juices from the beef

Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees C / 355 F, heat your skillet hot, season the forerib with half the salt and pepper, sear all sides of the forerib in the skillet for a couple of minutes then place in the oven to cook for 50 minutes for rare.  Meanwhile toss the butternut squash in the oil, salt and pepper and place in a baking tray and pop in the oven with the forerib to roast.  The butternut squash will need to roast for a further 15 minutes which is most of the foreribs resting time.

Once the forerib is cooked remove from the oven, cover the rib with foil and leave to rest for 20 minutes, once rested drain off all the cooking juices and rendered down fat, skim off the fat (dripping) save this fat for your next roasting cook.  

To make the gravy
Place the red wine in a saucepan, reduce by half, add the beef stock and reduce by one third, add the rested cooking juices, now mash the butter with the flour and add to the gravy, whisk in until smooth, taste and should it need seasoning add to your taste.

Carve your forerib on the bias and serve with the roasted butternut squash and gravy, serve with any greens you fancy.

20 Jan 2018


These are the best every flaky melt in the mouth seasoned sausage rolls, a real treat in this house so when there ready come and get em cos when there gone there gone!  

Prep time 10 - 30 minutes / Cooking time 25 minutes

(Makes 12)

6 of your favourite sausages
1 pack all butter puff pastry
(or 1 qty homemade rough puff pastry see below)
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch white pepper
1 beaten egg for glaze

If making your own rough puff pastry place all the ingredients except the butter in a bowl and bring together to a rough ball, roll out to a 1/2 " thick rectangle, slice the butter into 12 slices, place 3 butter slices on the top first half of the rolled out pastry and fold up the bottom half covering the butter, turn the folded pastry 90 degrees and roll out to rectangle again, repeat 3 more times, wrap in parchment paper or cloth and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

This is roughly how your rough puff pastry will look inside, all the layers of butter are what will melt and make your rough puff, puff up and become light, melt in the mouth pastry.

Pre heat your oven to 220 C / 385 F.  Thinly roll out your pastry, store brought or homemade, cut two long rectangles around 4-5" wide and 14" long.  In a large bowl remove the sausage meat from the skins, add the herbs, sea salt and pepper, mix to combine.  Divide the sausage meat in to two, place along one side a third of the way in on the strips of puff pastry, brush the long side with the egg wash, roll over the pastry from the long side away from you, creating a long sausage roll.

Cut the roll into 3 large sausage rolls, 6 medium or 9 small bites, glaze with the egg wash, place on your backing tray and cook for 20-25 minutes until crisp and golden, enjoy fresh straight from the oven.

19 Jan 2018


This recipe is sooooo darn good I am going to have to limit how often I can eat it!  It's what I call comforting spoon food, with a new twist on what my family call Chicken al la King this is a gorgeous flavour layered chicken casserole with white wine and cream, topped with buttery flakey melt in the mouth biscuits, what's better than that!  

Prep time 20 minutes / Cooking time 1 hour

(Serves 6)

6 chicken breasts skin on
2 whole carrots
1 onion halved
3 cloves garlic bashed
1 bay leaf
Olive oil
50g butter
2 tbsp plain flour
1 onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 leek finely chopped
100ml white wine
3 carrots roughly chopped
2 cups peas
150ml double cream
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch black pepper

The Biscuits 
2 cups plain flour
114g butter grated
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3/4 cup full fat milk
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

Pre heat your oven to 200 C / 385 F, toss the chicken breasts in olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper, in a roasting tray place the whole carrots, halved onions, bashed garlic and bay leaf, load the chicken skin side up on top, pour in around a 2 litres of water to cover the vegetables and the base of the chicken breasts but not the chicken skin, this you want to bake crackling crispy, bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Next while the chicken is cooking and making the stock make the biscuits, place the flour, grated butter, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl and using your finger tips rub to a chunky gravel add the parsley and milk, bring together to form a rough dough ball, turn out on a floured work top roll out to around an inch thick cut in to 2" circles, brush the tops with the beaten egg wash, leave to one side, meanwhile...

In a skillet make the roux base for the chicken stock sauce, melt the butter, add a good glug of olive oil along with the finely chopped onion, garlic and leek, gently soften for 10 minutes, then add the white wine and de glaze the pan until almost all of the wine has evaporated, add the flour and stir in, turn the heat down really low and gently cook out the flour for 5 minutes.  This is now ready to take the chicken stock...

Remove the roasting tray with the chicken from the oven, take out the chicken, remove the skin and place the skin back in to the chicken cooking stock, reserving the breast meat on one side roughly chopped.  Pop the roasting tray back in the oven for 5 minutes to infuse all the roasted crispy crackling skin flavour in to your cooking stock, this is adding a whole other level of flavour to your stew.  Once infused drain the chicken stock off from the roasting tray and discard the stock vegetables,  add a ladle at a time to your roux stirring to incorporate each time until all the stock is used add the cream and parsley stir in, check for seasoning and season with sea salt and white black pepper to taste.

In your roasting tray place the roughly chopped carrots, chicken, peas and roux stock base, assemble the biscuits on top of the stew and place in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes until light golden and brown.  That's it serve and enjoy.

16 Jan 2018


Beautiful blow your head off hot fruity habanero salsa, this has a gorgeous burn that graduates to a almost to hot to handle lips, tongue and gum pulsating burn, in all a marvellous hot sauce to have over your chicken, fish or steak and great as a dip with corn chips, for the more sadistic pallet.  Simple to make and can be stored on the side for months and once opened in the fridge for weeks.

Don't miss out if you want all this gorgeous flavour without the heat, just halve the chillies for a medium hot or halve again for a mild sauce you won't loose any of the great flavour.  

(Makes approx 500ml)

1 tbsp coconut or nut oil
1 onion finely chopped
3 large carrots peeled finely chopped
2 cloves garlic rough chopped
500 ml water
1 tsp fresh chopped oregano (1/2 if dried)
1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
200ml White wine vinegar
4-6 habanero chillies, stalks removed
2 large tbsp of honey

Gently cook the onions until translucent, around ten minutes, add the garlic after five minutes, then add the carrots and cook for a further five minutes, add the water and habaneros, bring to a simmer and cook until the carrots have melted into a sauce, approx twenty minutes.  

Add the white wine vinegar, oregano, coriander and honey, bring back to a bubbling simmer until you have a consistency that coats the back of a spoon when you draw your finger down the middle of the spoon and you can see a clean line in the sauce.  Take off the heat.

Have your clean sterile jars ready to pop in the oven, to sterile your jars and lids just run through the dish washer or wash in hot soapy water and rinse well, dry thoroughly then pop in your pre-heated oven 180 degrees for seven minutes, take out and fill the hot jars with the hot sauce, pop on the lids immediately, leave to cool and enjoy hearing the ping popping sounds of the jars re-setting their safety pop up buttons as the jars cool, this is one of my favourite sounds in the world self sufficient living!  These when canned successfully will last a year on the shelf, once opened keep in the fridge and use within a week.

14 Jan 2018


Fool Proof Yorkshire Puddings

I remember the first time and possibly several hundred more times I my Yorkshire's turned out as a rubbery floppy door mat instead of a tall light puffed up Yorkshire pudding, that's cool, I just called it a batter pudding and got on with it, then one day I decided to learn the proper method, it turns out its really simple a simple method that guarantees the perfect light tall Yorkshire puddings every time, well almost, user error is the only factor in this recipe that can render your puddings flat.

Prep time 5 minutes / Cooking time 20 minutes

(Makes 12)

200g plain flour
200g eggs
200g milk
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch white pepper

Firstly you want to make the yorkshire batter ahead of time so that it can rest on the side for three quarters of an hour or so, I don't like to rest my batter in the fridge, when I do I don't have as much success with height and lightness.  I also like my eggs at room temperature too, place the eggs and flour in a large jug and with a balloon whisk, whisk until you have a creamy smooth mixture, add the milk, salt and pepper and whisk again until all incorporated and lump free, you can pass this mixture through a sieve if you want, leave on this side at room temperature until needed.

Crank the oven up to 220 C / 430 F degrees in a yorkshire batter tin place a tsp of beef dripping in each tin section, pop the tin in the oven for 5 minutes to get super hot, now this bit is important for successfully high yorkshires, have your batter jug ready to pour give the batter a gentle stir, take the tin from the oven, close the door and as fast as is safe pour the batter into the tins, get this back in the oven as fast a possible and close the door! Total time should be under 20 seconds! Phew!  Under no circumstances can you open the oven door for the next 18-20 minutes, if you do the puddings will flop, while this is not the end of the world it means your yorkshires will be more of a softer floppy light Yorkshire pudding rather than a light airy crispy puff of a yorkshire pudding.

5 Jan 2018


There is something very special about this old retro classic and very overlooked prawn cocktail, maybe it's because I am a child of the 1970's and this was so avant-garde it was at every party and boy did I grow up in a major partying family and a really fancy restaurant starter, often served in a tall glass dish to elevate its presence, this is still worthy of its stature but sadly seen as old hat, but not in my home!  

Prep time 10 minutes / Cooking prawns time 5 minutes

(serves 4-6)

18 raw shell on cold water prawns
1 iceberg lettuce 
1 clove garlic finely grated
1 shallot finely finely diced
1 tsp butter
2 avocados peeled and fork mashed
100ml olive oil mayonnaise (homemade!) recipe below
2 tbsp tomato ketchup 
1/2 lemon juiced 
Pinch sea salt
Pinch black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper

Peel and devein the prawns, in a medium hot pan place the butter, melt then add the  onion, garlic and prawns, cook slowly until fully pink, remove from the heat and leave to cool on one side while you make the iceberg serving cups.

Mash the avocado with your fork and season with a pinch of salt and pepper and maybe a hint of cayenne pepper, leave to one side, place the tomato ketchup, lemon juice, olive oil mayonnaise, a pinch of salt, pepper and cayenne pepper in a bowl and mix well, add the cooled prawns, onion and garlic infused cooking butter and coat completely.  

Take the biggest 4-6 whole leaves off of the ice berg and place them on your serving platter or plates, load with a generous dollop of seasoned fork mashed avocado followed by a generous helping of your mayo coated beautifully seasoned and flavoured prawns, finish off with a little extra dusting of cayenne pepper and that's it one of the most gorgeous prawn avocado cocktails done! 

3 Jan 2018


Top Tips 
There is nothing more sumptuous and totally satisfying than cooking the most moist and juiciest turkey on Christmas Day, not only to please your family and guest but for one of those Oh Yes get in the back of the net! private personal moments of triumphant with the added bonus of a brilliant meal.  A little secret tip of removing the whole breast before carving makes this a really easy carve and serve process on the big day too.

8kg Turkey / Cooking time 3hours / Resting time 1.5 hrs

(serves 16)

1 8kg high welfare turkey 
2 packs butter

Cooking The Perfect Turkey 
The night before Christmas take your turkey and carefully using the back of a spoon or your hand lift the skin away from the meat, be extra careful not to tear the skin, slice the butter in to half inch thick slices and place the slices of butter under the skin all over the turkey breasts.  Keep in the fridge until ready to cook.

Christmas morning bring the turkey out of the fridge for a couple of hours before ready to start cooking to come up to room temperature, this lowers the cooking time and encourages a juicy turkey.  Pre heat your oven to 200 C, place the turkey in a deep roasting tin and place in the oven in covered for 30 minutes to brown off the skin, once browned cover the turkey well in foil, turn the oven down to 150 C and leave the turkey to cook for the remainder of the cooking time, around 3 hours in total.  Once your turkey has reached 65 C remove from the oven and leave covered to rest. 

A really good serving tip is to remove the whole breast from the turkey in one go, place on your carving board and slice, this is what I have done here, it makes for a quicker serving and less stress on the carver as it's really easy to carve and serve this way.

That's it turkey done!

1 Jan 2018


How to cook the best ever rib roast of beef...it's not rocket science it's just method, once you know the simple science behind the method you can never go wrong! Just strictly stick to the cooking and resting times for the beef cooked to your choice.

Rare 9 mins per lb
Med rare 12 mins per lb
Medium well 15 mins per lb
Well done just keep going !!!
Resting time (1kg) 20 minutes - (4kg) 1 hour covered
The bigger the joint the longer the rest

This is one of my families favourite traditional roasts, gorgeous roasted fore rib of grass feed beef with rendered down beef dripping roast potatoes and vegetables.  The old fashioned well hung flavour from the crispy beef fat on this roasting joint is unbelievable!  My guys all love their beef cooked rare heading towards medium, and a well rested joint makes all the difference in juiciness and flavour.

Medium rare cooking time 12 minutes per lb / ALLOW ONE HOUR RESTING TIME
4kg = 8.8lb X 12 mins lb = 102 minutes / 1 hour 42 minutes cooking time 

(serves 10 with lots of leftovers)
(beef sandwiches, cottage pie, cold cuts and pickles, bubble and squeak, left over roast dinner, dripping on toast)
I am a great believer that if your turning to oven on or firing up the wood fired oven cook extra...

4 kg fore rib beef on the bone
Stock Vegetables for Roasting Pan Gravy
3 carrots rough cut
2 onions halved
1 bulb garlic halved
1 leek rough cut
2 sticks celery halved
1 tbsp red current jelly
1 bottle full body red wine
1-2 tbsp flour
1-2 tbsp butter
The Trimmings
1 kg Maris piper potatoes peeled and halved roasted in beef dripping from the beef
Yorkshire puddings recipe below
10 carrots scrubbed and cut in to batons steamed 
2 heads of broccoli florets steamed
1 head cauliflower florets steamed 
Roasting pan gravy recipe below

Take your fore rib of beef out of the fridge at least one hour before cooking to come up to room temperature, this allows for a more even cook.

Cooking the Beef 
Pre heat your oven 220 C / 430 F place all the gravy stock vegetables in the roasting tin, then place the fore rib of beef on top and give the beef joint a generous rub with sea salt, this is all you need to do to enhance your gorgeous fore rib.

Place your fore rib in the pre-heated oven and give it the half hour sizzle at the 220 C / 430 F high heat, then turn the oven down to 180 C / 350 F degrees and leave to cook for the time that you have calculated.  Take out and wrap well in foil leave to rest for one hour.  That is it your gorgeous wow factor roast is done.  Now in the relaxed hour of resting the beef you can roast the potatoes and cook the vegetables.  If having Yorkshire puddings make the batter now and leave the batter on the side to rest, cook 20 minutes before serving.  Instructions below.

Cooking the Dripping Roast Potatoes and Roasting Pan Gravy
Drain the roasting cooking juices and rendered down beef fat in to a jug, remove the gravy vegetables from the pan and discard, leave the roasting juices to settle, spoon off the fat and use some to roast your potatoes in.  Ten minutes before your roast potatoes are ready to serve make the roasting pan juices gravy, remove the fore rib of beef from the roasting tin and place on your cutting board ready to slice, place the roasting tin on the stove, add the reserved cooking juices poured off earlier, add the flour and whisk smooth, whisk in the red wine until you have the thinness or thickness you want your gravy, add the red current jelly, season with salt and pepper to taste, finish off with the butter to add a glossy sheen to your gorgeous gravy.

Yorkshire Puddings
200g plain flour
200g eggs
200g full cream milk
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch white pepper 

To Make the batter place the eggs and flour in a large jug and with a balloon whisk, whisk until you have a creamy smooth mixture, add the milk, salt and pepper and whisk again until all incorporated and lump free, you can pass this mixture through a sieve if you want, leave on this side at room temperature until needed, 20 minutes before serving.

Crank the oven up to 220 C / 430 F degrees and in a yorkshire batter tin place a tsp of beef dripping in each tin section, pop in the oven for 5 minutes to get super hot, now this bit is important for successfully high yorkshires, have your batter jug ready to pour, take the tin from the oven, close the door and as fast as is safe pour the batter into the tins, get this back in the oven as fast a possible and close the door! Phew!  Under no circumstances can you open the oven door for the next 18-20 minutes, if you do the puddings will flop, while this is not the end of the world it means your yorkshires will be more of a heavy batter pudding rather than a light airy crispy puff of a yorkshire pudding.  That's it method equals success every time.