Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas Goose

Goose for four, would have served six.

3.8kg goose free range Goodmans Goose from Feller's, ordered and picked up on Christmas eve.

Stuffing for Devils

6 cinnamon and apple sausages from the apple day at Waterperry.

12 smoked streaky rashers from Feller's.

One vacuum pack of cooked French chestnuts.

4 tablespoons of re-cooked brown rice.

One pack of white shitake mushrooms.

Flat leaved parsley, sage, thyme.

Salt and pepper.

Prepare gravy stock

Boil giblets with thyme, two carrots and a leek.

Make Cranberry Sauce

Shave zest from an orange, add to cranberries, orange juice, clove and cinnamon stick, red currant jelly, sugar. Boil to reduce.

Prepare Goose

Stuff the goose lightly with rind of a lemon and of an orange. Also sage, thyme, bay and rosemary. The goose is not full. Stab all over, lightly oil, stab especially under wings and near tail.

Cook Goose

Place goose in a hot oven, on a wire frame over a pan.

After an hour pour off loads of the fat, into a bowl.

The goose comes with a load of fat in a sealed bag. Remove packaging and place in a pan in oven and cook so as to render fat.

Boil potatoes, drain and leave to steam dry.

There will now be lots of fat in the potato pan. Add bay and potatoes, drain surplus fat. Cook for half an our.

Put parsnips on to boil.

Peel carrots.

Prepare brussel sprouts.

Prepare Stuffed Devils

Roll stuffing into balls, wrap in smoked bacon, place in baking dish. Roll remainder into balls, put in baking dish with six Merguez sausages. Place both dishes in bottom of oven.

Drain parsnips and allow to steam dry, add to potatoes with two onions, quite a lot of thyme, a little salt and pepper (and lemon grass but you would never know).

Remove goose, place on carving board and cover with foil and a tea towel.

Remove stuffed devils, turn oven up to 200°.

Pour off fat from goose tray, add flour and stock to make gravy.

Cook brussel sprouts and carrots.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Shellfish Pie

Three large potatoes
Five small parsnips
230g Tesco Seafood Selection
175g Tesco Cooked and Peeled King Prawns
2 small onions
1 small red onion
3 shallots
3 teaspoons of horseradish
1 teaspoon of mustard
1 tablespoon of walnut oil
2 tablespoons rolled oats
200ml (large splash) of Fairleigh Estate white wine
Coarse ground pepper
4 scallops on the shell
Large bunch of flat leaved parsley
150ml single cream

Gently fry onions, add walnut oil, oatmeal, mustard, horseradish.

Add shellfish.

Add white wine.

Add cream.

Add parsley.

Roughly mash potatoes and parsnips with a little of the cream. Try to keep parsnips as intact as possible next time, in inch cubes.

Transfer shellfish to pyrex. Add mash on top. Grate a little cheese, cook in hot oven for 15 minutes.

Serve with frozen peas.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Cider bottling

The cider from September has now been sitting around for a couple of months.

Over the last few weeks I have forced the raw apple and redcurrant through a steel sieve, forced one of the stewed apples (without honey) through a nylon fruit bag.

Today I hung a cotton shopping bag on hooks and passed the redcurrant cider through that.

Then the raw apple (clear stoppered bottles) and the stewed apple and honey (green bottles). Finally the remains of the redcurrant and the first stewed apple went through the bag and into a demi john, with a little more honey.

What we can say about this process is that it it a lot of work and the resultant liquid has a lot of starch in it. The taste is still very sour, which I like.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Spelt Flour Bread

I bought some Spelt Wheat Flour from the new Veg Van at work.

On Saturday we mixed it with yeast and needed it; but by Sunday it had sunk. Added more yeast and honey.

Allowed to rise.


The double dose of yeast leaves a slight sour taste, but I can eat it.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Green Figs in Honey

575g of green figs
Three table spoons of honey
Six cloves
A lemon (without pips)
A dozen cloves
Two teaspoons of finely chopped fresh ginger

Chop stalks off figs. Stab both ends.

Fill pan with cold water, boil for ten minutes.

Remove fruit from water, aiming to lose sticky latex.

Repeat with fresh water twice more.

Add chopped half lemon to final boil.

Now you have drained, soft figs and boiled lemon peel.

To make the syrop add juice of other half of lemon, finely chopped ginger, 13 cloves, a teacup of water to four table spoons of honey, bring to the boil.

Add fruit to syrop, boil for 15 minutes.

Allow to cool, press individual figs into jars.

Add chopped lemon rind to residual syrop and a little bit of water, bring to the boil, boil for a minute.

Spoon lemon rind and two table spoons of syrop into each jar, seal.

Eat after a week - I tried after 12 hours and they were not very good: pretty tough, not much flavour, in overly lemon flavoured syrop: currently marked family only. Maybe if I boil them again....

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Pot Roast Duck Legs in Marmalade Sauce

The intention is to re-do the first post on this blog. http://weekend-chef.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/pot-roast-duck-legs-in-marmalade-sauce.html was a success, I spotted the duck legs in Sainsbury's last weekend, so they may be a little more gamey than usual.

Reading the previous recipe it suggests we avoid parsnip mash and sweat potato, as the marmalade sause itself is sweet. Also no greens. So lets try baby turnips, white cabbage and potatoes.

Also increase the number of shallots from 8 to 12.


4 Duck legs
1 Orange
rind of one squeezed lemon
12 Shallots
4 Tablespoon marmalade
50cl grapefruit juice
2 Cloves garlic
Serve with baby turnips, savoy cabbage and potatoes.

Roast Duck legs and shallots in a pan with lid off at 200 for 40 minutes, having rubbed in olive oil and salt and pepper

Remove from heat and allow to cool, remove duck and whole shallots from juices.

Add marmalade, grapefruit juice and crushed garlic.
Cut orange into 8, add to pot and bring to boil.
Replace duck.
Cook for further 40 minutes

What actually happened

The shallots browned and the duck cooked for too long, at 150 °, probably three hours.

I added far too much grapefruit juice, orange juice would have worked I think. Do not think that the lemon helped.

Flora enjoyed, but I think it was over cooked and also should have had at least some of the duck fat drained, though the citrus cut the greasiness it probably would have been an improvement.

Shows that repeats are more difficult than you think!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Boiled Beef and Carrots

Boiled Beef and Carrots, Boiled Beef and Carrots,
That's the stuff for yer Derby Kell
Keeps you fit and keeps you well.
Don't live like vegetarians on food they give to parrots.
From noon to night blow out your kite
On boiled beef and carrots.

My previous Beef Casserole is a little terse.

This meal is cooked to be shared with a friend, who has just come out of hospital, so cannot be too exotic, as I do not know the tastes of her children.

1.5 kg (3 packs) Irish slow cooking beef

One red chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped.

Add 10 carrots chopped, paprika, dried thyme.

Add 5 sticks of celery.

To keep the meat juices cook in a saucepan, with lid on, pouring off juices into casserole. Continue to sweat the beef, carrots and 5 sticks of celery in the saucepan whilst you peel two bags of shallots (a long time).

Fry the shallots with the meat, carrots and celery in a wok, in olive oil and black pepper, spooning the browned into the casserole. Add one teaspoon of french mustard and two tablespoons of cornflour whilst frying. Add olive oil as necessary.

The carrots had stuck to the bottom of the saucepan: no matter, free up with saved meat juices, pour rich browning into casserole.

Chop 400g of value, open cup mushrooms, add to wok, as you remove browned pieces.

Add two thirds of a bottle of Chilean Merlot to casserole and a half pint of water.

Bring all to boil. Boil for thirty minutes. Leave overnight.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Orange Pot Roast Chicken

Stuffed chicken with 2 lemons, chopped, 1 chilli pepper, 3 cloves of garlic, dry bay, fresh thyme, sage, a fe slices of ginger.

Surrounded chicken with 3 red onions, 6 shallots, 3 ripe plum tomatoes, 8 carrots. Third of a bottle of white wine. Olive oil and pepper on breast.

Cooked at 150°C for three hours.

Served with our own new potatoes and kale.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Sardines on toast

1 tin John West sardines in tomato sauce
1 tin Pen Duick, Belles de l'Atlantique, Sardine ´ l'Huile d'Olive, Connétable
1 onion
1 large tomato
1 large table spoon of damson chutney
1 clove garlic

Fry the finely chopped onion in the olive oil. Add the tomato, finely chopped. Mix in garlic, pepper. Finally add chutney.

Make toast (10 slices), butter, spread with mixture. Grill until brown.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Stewed Apple with Blackberry Juice

10 desert apples (Blenheim Orange)
200g blackberries

Peel apples. Boil in a little added water. In a separate pan boil blackberries. Put blackberries into a muslim and squeeze juice into apples.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Apple Juice and Cider of a Sort

We had the second Campbell Road Apple Day and Barbeque on Saturday. The weather was good and we had loads of kids: Evanses, Ruddocks, Greens, Chandlers and Acklands.

I had borrowed a fabulous Apple Press from a kind colleague.

I had a few windfalls, cookers from John and windfalls from Warnford Orchard. Mark and Stuart brought loads more, and Mark still had some left at the end.

The technique was to wash, quarter and remove any rot or insects, then pulp with a heavy ash pole. We did use a drill scratter, which was better, but less fun.

We pressed quite a bit of juice.

I estimate about 15 75cl bottles, say 11 litres.

I filled (overfilled actually) two demi-johns with apple pulp and topped up with water. To one of them I added 0.5 kg of redcurrant pulp, seeds and crucially sugar, left over (for months) from making redcurrant jelly and putting the sugar in before straining.

I boiled some of the pressed pulp (some apples were rather hard and under pulped, anyway I was just not happy about throwing so much away), adding a couple of litres of water.

Once good and sloppy I let the slurry cool. This I ladled into two demi-johns, using the top half of a fizzy drink bottle as a funnel. The second was a little caramelised where it had caught on the bottom, I added a tablespoon of honey for variety. Both of them needed to be inoculated with raw juice to ensure the wild yeast was re-introduced.

There is talk of buying our own press for next year!

Monday, 6 August 2012

French squid with garlic

Bought two fresh squid in the market in Quimper. Fried whole in olive oil with a finely chopped clove of garlic and a squeeze of lemon using the PrimaGaz barbecue provided by Camping Indigo, Douarnenez.

Tasted great, though a lemon pip got in, or was that a squid eye?

Sunday, 22 July 2012


Chilli and redcurrant marinade

Our home grown chillies are too hot. Cut them in half and removed seeds and pith, but the flesh is still too hot! Decided to only marinade three lamb chops. Marinade for 2 hours.

  • Two de-seeded chillies
  • Spoonful of homemade redcurrant jelly waste (the pips and everything)
  • Crushed clove of garlic
  • Olive oil

Mint and Rosemary Marinade

Apple mint, finely chopped, Two spoonfuls Jif lemon, Thyme, Finely chopped sage, Rosemary, Lemon skin

Portabella mushrooms

Remove centres of mushrooms, chop finely and add to mince.

Two tablespoons Jif lemon, One lemon, including finely chopped skin, remove pips, Three garlic cloves, Thyme, Olive oil, Ginger, Coarse pepper


Still had some brown bread crumbs in fridge from three weeks ago. If they smell good they are good, however I still heated them in a preheated oven for ten minutes at 200°

Fresh white bread crumbs,
Finely chopped mushroom stalks,
Two sage leaves,
Four small onions,
1 kg minced meat,
Pinch of cumin,
Tablespoon of freshly ground coriander,
Teaspoon of english mustard powder,
Juices from chipolata sausages (waste not want not) ,

Ellie decorated the cake with fruit.

Grandpa christened the barbecue he had assembled three weeks ago.

Neighbours came and cooked potatoes and ate with us.

Tiger prawns in honey and garlic

Cooking for me and daughter number two, who does like Tiger Prawns.

Preheated oven, put six frozen tiger prawns into a pyrex lid, with a crushed clove of garlic, a spoonful of honey and some olive oil.

When defrosted stirred and arranged for even cooking.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Slow cooked beef at Tom's


Joint of Tom's Dexter Chuck Beef
Two bags of shallots
Two packs of brown mushrooms
Half a celery
Half jar of Provencale olives
10 carrots
Mug of red wine
Garlic, pepper

Browned shallots and beef in large casserole.
Chopped carrots, mushrooms and celery.
Added wine and olives.
Moved from hob to stove, cooked below simmered for four hours.

Result fed five adults and five children, served with broccoli, with lots of vegetables and gravy left over.

Very tender and good!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Mediterranean Spring Chicken Chasseur

This version of Chicken Chasseur is intended to be lighter and more seasonal: we ate it outside!


Free range chicken
Fresh herbs: sage, thyme, rosemary, bay flat leaved parsley
4 cloves garlic
2 onions
3 sticks of celery, chopped
6 open cup mushroom, quartered
2 carrots
4 rashers smoked bacon
6 Sainsbury's provencal style olives, tablespoon of olive brine
Splash of prosecco
Olive oil and pepper

Put it all in a casserole for 3 hours at 180°, serve in sunshine with boiled potatoes and broccoli.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Bolognese disaster


0.75kg beef mince
Three sticks of celery
One sweet pepper
One onion
Four shallots
Four cloves of garlic
Good squeeze of tomato puree
Good squeeze of garlic puree
Lee and Perins sauce
Three grated carrots
Three tins of tomatoes
Tomato sauce
Damsons in distress

The disaster was it was too sweet. This I put down to the Damsons in distress and the Tomato sauce.

Recovered on second serving by adding another tin of tomatoes to a small portion.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Roast Chicken, with smoked pork and mushrooms

The intention is a chasseur flavour, heavy on mushrooms with a smoked pork note. It was cooked for a long while, leaving out my typical lemon!


Large free range chicken from from Willowbrook Farm at East Oxford Market.
Chestnut mushrooms.
Smoked belly pork lardons.
Two onions.
Heart of celery, chopped.
Two carrots
Thyme, sage, bay, three chopped cloves of garlic and a slice of ginger.

Very successful, served with cabbage and roast potatoes, parsnips, carrot and butternut squash. Note the hand cubed lardons and the heart shaped roast potatoes.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Two day pot roast lamb



Day 1

A leg of lamb (1.040kg) from Willowbrook Farm at East Oxford Market.
Two large onions.
Two cloves of garlic.

Day 2

Bag of co-op chantenay carrots
Bag of co-op prepared leaks
One lemon.


Day 1

Add olive oil to casserole, seal joint over a high gas.

Stuff thyme and garlic into space inside leg.

Add two coarsely chopped onions, place in a high oven for half an hour.

Day 2

Peel carrots

Add four more onions

Add leaks

Place lamb on the bed of vegetables.

Put in oven at 100° for two hours.

Add redcurrant jelly and red wine.

Serve with potato and parsnip mash and cabbage.