21 Nov 2019



Best Ever Thanksgiving or Christmas Turkey 
This is a easy no stress guaranteed perfect Christmas turkey, juicy moist full of flavour and truly no stress needed!  After all the stress we put on ourselves to please the people we love (or not!) the most.  In all of my cooking career private and professional, hint private more stressful!, method and knowledge giving me more experience is the key to success time and time again.  This method once nailed is your forever key to successfully repeating that show stopping Christmas Dinner, however Christmas is about family and no matter how your Christmas dinner turns out, someone with great love for you, or you yourself cooked their heart out for the family Christmas dinner remember it is a beautiful dinner made with love. 


To Brine or Not to Brine?

I personally love a brined bird.  Place your bird in a deep container that will fit in your fridge, fill and cover with your cold brine and leave for 24 hours.  Drain and rinse before cooking, that’s it.

8 ltrs (2 gallons) boiling water
 1/2 - 1 cup Himalayan sea salt 
10 black peppercorns 
1 bay leaf
2 kg ice

Add the salt and all the other ingredients to the boiling water, stir to combine, once the salt has dissolved take off the heat, add the ice and leaf to cook completely.  Chill, once cold submerge the turkey in the brine, use a weight if needed to keep the turkey submerged.  Maximum of 24 hours.

Feeding a Crowd
Easy carving tip, take the whole breast off the bone in one piece, then carve, this is a much quicker and less stressful way to serve up to lots of people or for serving buffet family style.

To Start...
To start you need a beautiful slow raised old fashioned breed turkey, this year I ordered a Organic COPAS Hen turkey, a bronze free range out door living, rain forest diet feed, loved turkey that was raised to full maturity and game hung (with innards) for two weeks.  This turkey was magnificent, the size and shape of the bird echoed it's rooting lifestyle.

I follow the simple minutes per pound cooking rule, which for a turkey is 15 minutes per lb as a guide line but I do use a thermometer to test the temperature of the bird and I remove the turkey from the oven as soon as the centre reaches 64 / 65 degrees C, 148 / 149 F.  Then the most important part is to rest the turkey for at least 1 hour covered in foil and a towel for insulation keeping the bird warm.  This cooking method has always given me the most juicy moist succulent roasted turkey ever.  As soon as my turkey reaches 64 degrees out she comes and this ensures the turkey stops cooking at 65 degrees.

Preparing The Turkey 
Herby butter stuffing.  This is to go under the skin of the turkey, with the back of a dessert spoon facing up, slide the spoon between the skin and the breast meat gently all over creating a pocket between the breast and skin, stuff lots of seasoned butter in to the pockets you’ve made this gives extra moisture to the meat while cooking.  Rub a generous amount of the herb butter all over the turkey skin too.  Place the turkey on top of a mirapaw, french for mixed vegetables that will add a abundance of flavour to your gravy along with the giblets, I always order 15 sets extra of giblets from my butcher as a few people don’t want them so I will use them to make great stock for the rest of the year too.

Turkey Mirapaw Roasting Base To Go Under The Turkey 
3 carrots diced
2 sticks celery diced
2 leeks diced 
2 onions diced
6 cloves garlic bashed

This method results in a perfect cooked turkey every time.
15 minutes per lb 

Probe temp max 64 degrees C / 149 F in the thickest part of the breast
(however environmental health would advise cooking until 70 C / 161.6 F)

Pre-heat to 220 degrees
Place your Turkey un-covered on top of the mirapaw and one set of giblets into the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 170 degrees / 338 F.  Cook for 30 minutes, by then your turkey skin will be browned all over, baste the turkey all over several time with the juices from the bottom of the roasting pan, then cover well with tin foil and leave to cook.  Half way through the cooking time baste again.  

Some recipes reverse the cooking temperature method by cooking at 170 degrees C then for the last 30 minutes cranking the heat up to 220 degrees to brown off the bird.  I don’t do this as I feel it toughens the meat, the turkey has cooked and relaxed nice and slow in the oven, then by increasing the heat it’s like if you sat your bottom on a hot grill, tense!

Once cooked I then give my turkey a extra baste and sometimes using my Cajun injector, inject the cooking juices into the breasts.  Now wrap up the turkey in generous amounts of foil and cover with a couple of tea towels and leave to rest for at least 60 minutes.  This now gives you at least one hour to make your gravy, cook your roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, pigs in blankets, sprouts and stuffing then your ready to serve enjoying the day too.

Drain off the cooking juices from the rested turkey pan into a jug and now we can finish off the gravy.  

1 knob of butter
1 dash of olive oil 
1 onion chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 sticks celery chopped
Turkey giblets
2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
200ml dry white wine
1 ltrs water

In a large pan melt the butter and olive oil together, soften the onion, carrot and celery then add the giblets, bay and peppercorns and cook for 10 minutes then add the wine and reduce by half.  Add 1 litre of water and simmer until the stock has reduced by half.  You should be left with approx 600ml. Strain, add a knob of butter taste for seasoning and season with sea salt and white pepper.  If you want a thicker gravy add a table spoon of flour after you have softened the vegetables and cook in for five minutes before adding the wine and other ingredients.

This is something you can do the day before and keep in the fridge ready to go on the day.

12 chicken wings
2 carrots rough chopped
1 onion quartered 
3 sprigs thyme
1 bulb garlic halved
Glug olive oil
2 ltrs water

STAGE TWO giblets
25g butter
50ml olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 leek chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 ribs celery 
4 cloves garlic
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
500ml dry white wine
2 ltrs water

Stage One:  Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees C 392 F, place all the ingredients in a deep roasting tin and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the skin on the wings is crispy.  Add 2 ltrs of water to the roasting tin and cook for a further 10 minutes so that the water can de-glaze all the lovely caramelised bits on the bottom of the roasting tin and infuse from the roasted chicken skin.  Remove the tin from the oven and then using a potato masher crush all the wings, garlic, onions and carrots in to the stock creating the most wonderful flavours.

Drain in to a large bowl through a sieve and push all that wonderful liquid through the sieve.  That is your fabulous base gravy made for the big day, just add this to your roasted turkey pan cooking juices on the day and following the gravy making tips above.

Stage Two:  In a deep casserole dish heat the olive oil and butter, soften the onion, leeks, carrots celery and garlic for 20 minutes, add the giblets, bay, thyme and peppercorns, cook for a a further 30 minutes, add the wine and bubble away reducing by half, then add the water, bring to a only just simmer and cook for a couple of hours.  Strain and add to stage one stock and your ready for the big day.

On the day pour off all the resting juices from the turkey, leave to settle for five minutes or if using a fat separator gravy jug take out some of the turkey fat, add to a pan with a generous spoon of flour, this is a roux to thicken your gravy, cook on a medium heat for five minutes then start to add the get ahead gravy stock a ladle at a time whisking smooth each time then when you have a smooth liquid add the rest of the gravy stock, bring to a simmer and season to taste with sea salt and white pepper.


These are my top top favourite buffet party food, I just love them, crisp fresh hot jalapeños stuffed with a cool sharp cream cheese and coated in light crispy fresh fried panko breadcrumbs these go down too well.  A huge hit in my family home these are always asked for at any of our family gatherings.

Prep time 15 minutes / Cooking time 5 minutes per batch / 4 batches

(makes 20)

10 green or red whole fresh jalapeños
2 tubs Philadelphia cream cheese
1 box panko breadcrumbs
3 eggs beaten
300g plain flour
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt 
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 ltr vegetable oil for frying

First set up your dipping station, three bowls one for the eggs, one for the panko and one for the flour, salt and pepper.  Halve the jalapenos, scoop out the seeds and place in a large bowl, add the cream cheese to the seeds and mix well.  Using a teaspoon fill each half jalapeño with the cream cheese mix. 

Now your ready to coat the poppers, keeping one hand for wet and one hand for dry, dip the poppers in the egg mix first then in to the seasoned flour, back in to the egg mix and finally into the panko breadcrumbs, place on a plate while you finish the rest.  If you are having trouble with the second coating of egg and panko breadcrumbs coating staying on the popper, place the poppers in the fridge after the first coating of egg and flour, once chilled they accept the second coating easier.  The first time I made these thats what happened, but not anymore.

Heat your oil to 180 degrees C, fry the jalapeños in batches of five so as not to over load the fryer, this will zap the heat from the oil and the poppers will absorb more of the oil giving them a greasy not crunch crisp flavour.

Drain on paper roll for a couple of minutes then serve warm, these are just perfect all on their own.


Boxing Day Buffet Pies

The most wonderful time for celebrating life and family with glorious food.  Food is my language of love and pie is what I’m famous for, you know how much you mean to me when I make you pies.

French Hot Water Crust Hand Raised Pie

This is a all at once cook, I start with the jelly first as it needs a couple of hours to render down while I make and cook the pork pie.  I think of pork pies as a two day tease, this is because the pork pie needs to rest over night before pouring in the jelly and setting again overnight in the fridge ready for the excitement of sharing, giving and eating with everyone on day two or three.

(serves 6-8)

Hot Water Crust Pastry
600g strong plain flour
2 beaten eggs
7g Himalayan sea salt 
5g white pepper
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
110g lard
110g butter
240ml water

The Pork Pie
800g pork shoulder diced
200g belly pork minced
200g bacon minced
10 sage leaves finely chopped
4 sprigs thyme chopped
1/2 tsp mace
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt 
1 tsp black pepper

The Jelly
1 pork hock or 2 trotters
1 ltr water
1 onion skin on halved
1 carrot rough chopped
1/2 stick celery 
1 garlic clove bashed
8 peppercorns 
1 bay leaf
1 tsp mustard powder
1 pinch celery salt
2 leaves gelatine (optional) 

First get the jelly underway in a pressure cooker for 1 1/2 hrs or casserole dish for 3-4 hrs place all the ingredients in your pan, bring to a simmer and place on the lid.  Once cooked remove the trotters or pork hock, the latter makes a wonderful dinner with some buttery vinegar mashed potatoes and pease pudding or stuffed in a suet bacon and onion pudding roll, a memory straight from junior school dinners!

Now to check if your pork jelly will set without the need for gelatine, which it should once cooled, place a saucer in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, take a tablespoon on the jelly stock and place on the cold saucer on your work top, leave for two minutes and assess the thickness of the set cooled jelly.  If too running then add the gelatine leaves by soaking in water to soften for 5 minutes and then stirring in off the heat.  Leave your jelly to one side while you bake the pork pie.

Next make the pork pie filling mix all the ingredients together and reserve to one side to infuse their flavours while you make the hot water crust pastry.

To make the hot water crust is really simple place the lard, butter and water in a saucepan and melt without allowing a simmer, in a large mixing bowl place the flour, salt and ribbon through the beaten eggs, make a well in the centre and pour in the hot lard and butter mix, using a spoon gently bring together until just combined, using your hand knead the mix for a minute until a smooth ish ball is formed.  Take 2/3 of the dough and place in your tin pressing the sides up and forming the base, place in your pork pie meat, lay your pastry lid on the top and crimp the edges, I like to take my left hand ready to pinch the pastry from the underneath of the tin lip and pastry, while my right hand will push the top pie crust pastry in to the two pinch fingers, this gives a great crust finish.  Make a hole in the centre of the pie and decorate with leaves.

Place the pork pie in a pre heated oven 200 C for half an hour, then lower the heat to 160 C for one hour, remove the pork pie from the oven and remove the french tin, glaze the sides with egg wash and place back in the oven to cook for a further 10-15 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool, stuff with your homemade jelly then allow the jelly to set in the fridge overnight, then your good to go, enjoy this glorious pork pie it is a outstanding pie.

These gorgeous little pies are perfect for buffets gorgeous melt in the mouth hot water crackling flakey crust pastry filled with my Nan’s slow braised steak and ale a perfect sumptuous bite.  These pies are just perfect.

My Nan's gorgeous slow braised steak in Guinness and a rich beef roasted bone stock, with mustard powder, onions, garlic, carrot, celery and Nan's move with the times ingredient curry powder is divine served as a dinner with gorgeous buttery vinegar mashed potatoes, (I have to eat this with a spoon so I can scoop as much as possible in every mouthful along with my nan's brown 1960's mug full of extra braised steak gravy on the side!) but this goes to a whole other level when stuffed in to a light crisp melt in your mouth suet crust crackling flakey pastry with bursts of intense flavour from the chewy spilt out gravy, just a perfick mouthful.

(makes 36)

(This also makes 2 pie top crusts)
330g supreme self raising flour
100g cold butter grated
130g atora suet
Water as needed (150ml+)
1 tsp salt and white pepper 
2 eggs beaten for egg wash

Nan's Braised Steak
2 kg chuck or rump steak 2" square chunks
 1 onion finely chopped
1 stick celery fine chopped
1 carrots finely chopped
2 clove garlic chopped
1 glug of ooil
knob of butter
1 ltr rich beef stock
(homemade recipe below)
3 cans of Guinness 
2 tbsp mustard powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 bay leaf 
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt 
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp butter

Pre heat your oven to 160 C, in a large casserole dish add the olive oil and butter, on a medium heat add the onions and soften for ten minutes, then add the garlic, carrot and celery and soften for a further five minutes, crank up the heat and add the diced rump steak and let the steak catch a little browning off ever so slightly and catching the bottom of the pan creating more flavour, add the Guinness, stock, mustard, cayenne, curry powder and bay leaf, top up with water if needed to cover the meat by a inch, pop on a lid and place in the oven to slowly cook for 3-4 hrs, when your rump steak will fall apart when gently squeezed it's done.  Remove from the oven add the salt, pepper and butter.  Leave to cool before filling your pies.

The pastry will need to rest in the fridge for at half an hour before rolling.  Place all the ingredients except the water in a large bowl and very gently mix so that the ingredients are incorporated evenly, you do not want to over work the mix as this will make it tough in texture and this pastry is the best ever because it is light and crispy with a flakey texture finished off with a hint of almost dumpling flathat soaks up the gorgeous braise stake gravy.  Add the water probably 150ml ish and gently bring the pastry mix together to form a ball, wrap in baking paper and rest in the fridge for half an hour.

Cut 1/3 off your pastry ball, this is for the pie lids, roll out the larger piece of pastry on a lightly floured work top to as thin as you dare, using a standard scone cutter cut 36 circles, roll out the remaining pastry using a half size smaller cutter again cut 36 lids.  Taking your trays line each mini pie hole, brush all the pastry edges with egg wash, fill with a couple of teaspoons of your cold braised steak and press on the pastry lid.  Egg wash the tops of the pies and bake in the oven for 40 minutes, once cooked leave to cool in the tins for a couple of minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool or enjoy hot and fresh.

These pies are great at parties, friends and family gatherings served cold made the day before from the fridge or fresh and warm on the day these are a crowd pleaser.

Homemade Roasted Beef Bone Stock
3 kg beef bones and marrow bones from butchers
2 carrots roughly chopped
2 onions quarterd skin on
6 cloves garlic bashed
1 stick celery bashed
10 whole peppercorns
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt 
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Water to cover the bones approx 4-6 ltrs

Either left over Sunday roasted beef bones or roast all the bones from the butchers for a hour or so then place in a large casserole dish, add the rest of the ingredients and cover with water, simmer very gently not a excitable bubble for around 4 hours, leave to cool slightly then strain and make sure to spoon out all the bone marrow jelly from the bones in to the strained stock, return to the pan and reduce down to about 1ltr this is a glorious abundance of flavour to add to your braised steak.

A traditional Scottish pie that 100’s are eaten every day in Scotland.  Always served hot these braised lamb and stock gravy pies are a great crowd pleaser.  These Gorgeous flaky hot water crust pastry pies stuffed with juicy lamb are just perfect for friends and family over the Christmas Holidays, make plenty as they go fast!  This is an old fashioned recipe with one modern ingredient that elevates the sumptuous lamb filling.  I am lucky enough to raise our own pork which means my home rendered crackling lard adds a whole other level of flavour to my pastry.  You can do this too by asking your butcher for some pork back fat and skin, then to make your own lard, roast the fat and skin for a hour or so until all the fat has rendered down, drain off and leave to cool then refrigerate until needed.

(makes 10 small pies)
(2-3 per person)

Pie Filling
500g organic lean minced lamb
1 onion fine fine diced
Good pinch of  Himalayan sea salt
3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
15ml worcestershire sauce or 1/2 tsp of umami paste
100ml lamb stock
1 beaten egg for pastry egg wash

Hot Water Crust Pastry
450g plain flour
110g lard
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
180ml water

 Place the flour and salt in a large bowl, bring the water to a gentle simmer, add the lard, don’t boil just a gentle simmer, once melted pour the hot lard over the flour and mix evenly with a spoon to start with and as soon as you can handle the heat finish mixing with your hands.

You don't need a special bit of kit (pie dolly) to do this, a small tin or upside down jam jar will do the job just fine.  When making your pastry have your jam jar or pie dolly ready as you will need to work quickly with the hot pastry.  If the pastry cools to much it can crack while working with it and even though I love a rustic pie you want to keep all the meat cooking juices in. 

To hand raise the pastry take a small tennis ball size of the pastry and place the mould on top of the centre of the pastry ball, push down which will squeeze the pastry out, using both hands in a cupping method squeeze the pastry up the sides of your mould using a twisting action.  You can also push this pastry on the base and up the insides of a standard pie tin, if fact you can even roll out the pastry with a rolling pin, it will affect the light crispy melt in your mouth texture the more you work the pastry.

For the lid take a gold ball size of pastry and press out with the heal of your hand until thin, cut to size, repeat as many times as pies you want to make, this recipe makes 10 small just more than one mouthful pies, now your ready to make the filling.

Place the minced lamb, onion, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and lamb stock in a large bowl and combine evenly, divide the lamb mixture equally between the pie cases, egg wash the rim's of the pie cases, place the pastry lid on top and crimp or press the edges together, then in the centre of each pie form a hole to allow the steam to escape, finish off with a egg wash over the top, sides and bake at 190 degrees for approx 35 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp.  I like my pies to ooze their gorgeous self made gravy out of the top of the pies and caramelise on top of the pastry while baking I feel it makes the pies more comforting and gives you a expectation of the flavour that awaits your first bite.

Leave to cool slightly if you can wait that long, these pies are best eaten straight from the oven or within four hours at room temperature, after four hours these must be refrigerated, they will keep in the fridge but you loose a bit of the flavour and pastry texture once chilled.

18 Nov 2019


Rich deep and hearty filled mushroom and Guinness stock pudding, a real winter warming dish served with left over stout gravy.  

Prep time 20 minutes / Steaming time 60 minutes


(Serves 4)
Stout Pudding Filling and Gravy
6 cep mushrooms sliced whole
8 chestnut mushrooms quartered
4 portobello mushrooms finely chopped
50ml olive oil
1 onion finely diced
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 courgette diced
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh parsley 
Himalayan sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 can Guinness 
500ml thick mushroom or vegetable stock
Recipe below...
1 dash Worcestershire or mushroom ketchup
Vegetable Pudding
100g vegetable suet
200g self raising flour
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch white pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
150ml + water

Mushroom Vegetable Stock
1 glug olive oil
1 onion diced
1 carrot diced
2 cloves garlic diced
1 leek chopped
1 rib celery diced
4 dried mushrooms soaked in 500ml boiling water
6 whole black peppercorns 
1 sprig fresh thyme
Himalayan sea salt 

To make the awesome mushroom stock place all the diced vegetables and peppercorns in the olive oil and gently soften for ten minutes, add the mushrooms and their liquid, the thyme and approx 500ml water, bring to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes, take off the heat and leave to rest for 30 minutes.  Strain, add back the garlic, onion, half the mushrooms and a little of the diced vegetables, blitz to a smooth sauce.  Season to taste with salt and pepper as needed, for a thicker more robust stock add back and blitz more of the vegetables.

Next make the suet pastry, mix all the ingredients together add the water, add a little more if needed to bring the mix to a soft dough ball.  Cut off one third, this is for the pudding lid, roll out to the diameter of the pudding bowl.  Leave to pastry rest while you make the filling.

Heat the oil, gently soften the onion, garlic, finely chopped portobello mushrooms and courgettes add the stout and simmer to reduce a little, then add the mushroom vegetable stock, Worcestershire, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper, leave to cool.  

In a separate pan add some olive oil and quickly sear the cep and chestnut mushrooms for seconds only, remove from the heat.

To assemble the pudding press the pastry ball into your large pudding bowl rising the pastry all the way up the sides to line the pudding bowl, alternatively you can roll the pastry out and line the pudding basin.

Layer in some of the filling then fill the center with the whole cep slices and chestnut mushrooms, spoon the rest of the filling around the sides with extra gravy until full.  There will be left over gravy for pouring over the steamed pudding when serving.  Wet the rim of the pastry and pop on the lid pressing down to seal.

Pop on a wax baking paper disc on the top of the pudding, then cover with tin foil.  Place on a trivet in a deep saucepan, fill the pan with water three quarters of the way up the pudding bowl, bring the pan to a gentle simmer and pop on the lid.  Steam for 60 minutes, leave to rest for 10 minutes in the pan before serving.  Enjoy with gorgeous roast potatoes and Savoy cabbage.

16 Nov 2019


This is always a winner with my family and friends, gorgeous crunchy fluffy roast potatoes cooked in goose fat served with garlic buttered pan seared spring greens, topped with a soft poached egg and finished off with a sumptuous mustard cream and gooseberry vinegar sauce.  Make plenty as it’s hard to stop at one serving!

(Serves 2)

4 Albert rooster roasting potatoes
2 tbsp goose fat
4 eggs cracked into individual bowls
1 head of spring greens rough chopped
2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
25g butter
1 dash olive oil

Mustard Sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard or to taste
200ml double cream
1 tsp vinegar, apple, white wine or gooseberry
1 pinch white pepper

Peel and cut your potatoes in to four, bring a pan of water to a rolling boil and part boil the potatoes until just fork tender, drain, season with salt and leave to steam dry for 10 minutes.  Pre heat your oven to 200 C / 392 F.  Place your roasting tray in the oven with the goose fat for 3 minutes, then add the potatoes, toss to coat in the hot fat.  Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes turning once until golden and crispy all over.  

Ten minutes before the potatoes are ready:

 Bring a large deep pan of water to a gentle simmer ready for the poached eggs then at the same time heat a pan medium hot for cooking the spring greens, add the olive oil and butter, add the garlic and spring greens and sauté for five minutes.  

Next warm the mustard sauce by placing all the ingredients in a pan and heating gently.

To poach the eggs add the vinegar to the simmering water and gently whisk to create a vortex in the centre and then pour in the eggs one at a time from the bowls, the eggs will swirl around gently with the vortex allowing the egg white to surround the yolk to create a perfect poached egg.  Cook gently for around 3-5 minutes depending on how runny you like your yolk,  

You can check the egg by removing with a slotted spoon and gently prodding to see how wobbly the egg is, the firmer the bounce back the more cooked the egg is.  Remember the poached egg will continue to cook for a minute once it is taken from the water and served.  

Get Ahead Eggs
You can poach your eggs ahead of time, once cooked, plunge the poached eggs in to a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process, when your ready to serve gently place the eggs back into a pan of just simmering water for one minute to warm back through.

To serve place the spring greens in the bottom of a dish, pour over a splash of the mustard sauce, pile high with the crispy roasted potatoes, top with the poached eggs and finish with a drizzle of the creamy mustard sauce, enjoy.

10 Nov 2019


Gorgeous yet simple sumptuous vegetable stock gravy.  Brilliant with roasted vegetables and great as a base for any soup.

(serves 4)

1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 leek chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 leaf fennel chopped
1 rib celery chopped
10 black peppercorns
2 sprigs thyme
150ml dry white wine
1 ltr water
15ml soy sauce

Heat the olive oil medium hot add all of the ingredients except the soy sauce and soften gently for 15 minutes, turn up the heat, add the white wine and reduce until almost evaporated, add the water, soy sauce and simmer for 20 minutes, take off the heat, strain and leave to cool, that’s the base stock gravy done, keep the vegetables for soup ingredients.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  This stock is now ready for soups and gravy to elevate the depth of flavour and for a thicker gravy add back some of the garlic, onion, carrots, leeks and blitz smooth, pass through a sieve and your gravy is ready to serve. 

9 Nov 2019


This is a slight twist on my best ever vindaloo recipe and it is even more lip smackingly gorgeous, the sweet potatoes soaks up all the vibrant curry spices giving a deep rich fragrant curry that you will find your spoon going back for more.  Great as a main meal or side dish.

Prep Time 10 minutes / Cooking Time 20 minutes combined

(serves 2 as main or 6 as side dish)

The Vegetables
1 onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
3 large tomatoes chopped
3 fresh green chillies sliced length ways
4 sweet potato peeled and diced
1 cup of frozen peas

The Vindaloo Marinade
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
seeds from 12 cardamoms
2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
5 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp tamarind pulp
2 tbsp grated ginger
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 onion roughly chopped

The Vindaloo Marinade 
First make the marinade, heat a dry skillet warm and gently warm the whole spices the peppercorns, cloves, cumin and cardamom remove from the heat and in a coffee grinder or pestle and mortar grind to a powder and place in a bowl along with the salt, pepper, sugar, chilli, turmeric, tamarind and vinegar.  In a food processor blitz the onion, ginger and garlic and add to the bowl, mix to form a paste, throw in the sweet potatoes, fresh chillies and tomatoes, leave to marinate for half an hour to 24 hours, the longer the better.

To Cook The Vindaloo
Heat a large pan over a medium heat and add the ghee then the diced onion, garlic and ginger, cook for around ten minutes without colouring the onions, add the marinated vegetable mix along with all the paste and 300ml of water or coconut milk, turn the heat down low and pop on a lid.  You may have to add a little more water as the vegetables cook to stop them sticking until you have fork tender vegetables and a thick sauce made from the marinade paste and tomatoes, stir in the peas these will warm through in a few minutes, check the seasoning and adjust if needed.  That’s it.

 Enjoy with some flat breads, cool sour yogurt mint dip and a onion and carrot mint salad.

Quick Chapatis Breads
500g 00 flour
pinch of sea salt

Place the flour in a bowl, add the water and salt, combine together until you form a dough ball, wrap in paper and leave to rest on the side for half an hour.  Cut the dough in to large golf ball sizes and roll out into 6 inch flat breads.  

To Cook
Heat a cast iron skillet or non stick frying pan to a high high heat, once up to temperature add a flat bread and cook for around 45 secs to 1 minute on each side, wrap in a tea towel to keep warm until needed, these will store well for a day or too in a air tight container.  To freshen up run the day old flat bread under running water and pop in the oven for 5 minutes this brings them back to new.

Carrot and Onion Mint Salad
1 carrot grated
1 onion finely sliced
10 leaves fresh mint sliced
1/4 lemon juiced

Combine all the ingredients.

Yogurt and Mint Dip
1 cup fresh sharp yogurt
1/2 tsp lemon juice
10 mint leaves finely sliced

Combine all the ingredients.

Enjoy this delicious carnival of food and as a bonus any leftover sweet potato curry could be crushed, pan fried crispy and served for breakfast with a soft poached egg and watercress and avocado salad.