Hurrah, it’s getting colder and it’s pie time, yes yes yes!!! As an alternative to Sunday roast I love a good old Cottage Pie, rich, meaty and covered in bubbling cheese. Served with my Yorkshire puddings this goes down a treat and makes enough for leftover snap to take to work. This recipe is for 2 so just add more ingredients if you have more mouths to feed.
You will need:
- 250g lean Minced Beef
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Onion
- 2 Rich Beef Stock cubes
- 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
- good glug of Hendersons Relish
- 300ml water
- 1 tablespoon Bisto Beef Gravy Granuals
- 5 Potatoes
- Butter and Milk for Mash Potato
- Salt and Pepper to season
- 150g Mature Cheddar, grated
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
- Finely dice the onion and carrots and fry over a medium heat for 5 mins until the onions start to turn translucent, turn up the heat and add the mince to the pan.
- While the meat is cooking, peel and chop the potatoes and start to boil to make the mash.
- Once the mince is cooked, add the stock cubes, herdersons, salt, pepper and water to the pan, turn down the heat and simmer. Add the gravy granuals to the pan and turn off he heat, mix until the liquid starts to thicken and transfer to an oven proof dish. (I know it’s a bit of a cheat move but it’s just an easy way to thicken the gravy and add more meaty flavour, forgive me?)
- After 10- 15 minutes of boiling the potatoes should be soft enough to drain and mash, then cream in the milk and butter and season.
- Top the meat mix with the mash flatten down, then sprinkle over cheese (of which I like to use a lot) and bake for 30 mins until the cheese is golden and the pie is bubbling. Mmmmmm.
- Serve with veg and Yorkshire puddings. Enjoy!!
This is a simple yet flavoursome recipe which is what I made us for tea last night. I will admit I had a little mishap when making these, I would normally use onions or peppers to go alongside meat for the skewers but this time I decided to use leeks and, erm, well the kind of just fall off the skewers. But they chargrilled nicely anyway and became a tasty little side dish. This recipe uses pork but also works well on chicken too, or if you’re not a meat fan just mixed veg, just forget the leeks.
You will need:
- 500g Pork Loin, diced
- juice of 1 Lemon
- 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried Marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of Paprika
- 3 cloves of Garlic
- 1 Chicken stock cube, crumbled
- salt and pepper to season
- 6 Fresh Mint Leaves, chopped
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well to ensure the pork is well covered with all the flavours. Cover and leave to marinade for at least 30 mins.
- Thread the pork onto skewers, this should make approx 12 skewers which will be enough for about 4 people if served with a side dish/dishes.
- Over a high heat, heat a griddle pan until very hot and one by one add the skewers.
- Turn every few minutes to colour on each side. The kebabs will take approx 10 mins to cook but if you are unsure you can always cut open a pice of pork to check that the meat is no longer pink in colour.
- Once cooked sprinkle over fresh mint, take out the pan and serve.
I enjoyed my kebabs with roasted potatoes and homemade garlic and Parmesan bread but would go fantastic with Pitta bread, salad and Tzatziki (see older post for My Tzatziki recipe). This would also be great as part of a meat platter and great finger food when having friends over.
These pickled onions have a slightly more fresh and foodie feel to them than those dreary silverskins you see on the supermarket shelves. These are easy to make, versatile and look great. You can tailor the flavours to a little bit of what you fancy, I made 3 different types all in cider vinegar; plain, garlic & pink peppercorn and Mexican style. This recipe made 2 350g jars and 1 200g jar full.
You will need:
- 3 Red Onions sliced
- approx 250ml Cider Vinegar
- approx 250ml water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt per jar
- 1 teaspoon sugar per jar
- Clean glass jars
- plus for extra flavours:
Garlic & Pepper flavour;
- 1/2 teaspoon pink peppercorns
- 2 cloves of Garlic, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon pink peppercorns
- Good pinch of dried chipotle chilli flakes
- Once you have sliced the onions in which ever way you fancy, I sliced mine into moons, put in a large bowl and cover with boiling water.
- After 20 seconds drain the water from the onions.
- Fill the onions into jars, making sure you press down well so the onions are compact.
- Once the jars are full then add your salt, sugar and your extra flavours.
- Pour over the cider vinegar until the jar is filed half way up, fill up the jars with cold water to the top.
- Tightly screw on the caps and give the jars a good shake to disperse the flavourings.
- Leave the jars for a few days for the colour and flavours to develop and enjoy.
This was the colour just after 1 day.
Great with many things, I’ll be enjoying mine with salads and as a side dish to many things. The Mexican will be great with pork pibil and tacos, mmmmm.
Another idea, these would make a great gift for any pickle lover.
Another one of my Greek favourites the Beef Stifado made using a spice mix that I picked up on my holiday in Cyprus, fear not though see mix breakdown below which you can add the spices separately yourself. This recipe uses one of my favourite meat cuts of the moment beef shin, which you should be able to pick up at your butchers, it’s one of those forgotten cuts but slow cooked is succulent and just melts in the mouth. Easy to prepare and as it uses a slow cooker you can do the preparation the night before and allow to cook throughout the day while you work meaning it’s ready for you when you get home.
You will need:
- Beef Shin (as much or as little as you like)
- 1 Jar of tomato based pasta sauce (eg. Bolognese, this is me cheating so you could substitute for chopped tomatoes and herbs)
- 1 large glass of Red Wine
- 2 tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Beef Stock Cube/ Stock Melt
- 3 tablespoons Stifado Spice mix (which contains basil, onion, cinnamon, bay leaf, juniper and chilli)
- 2 Onions- Sliced
- 4 Whole cloves of Garlic
- 2 Tomatoes- Chopped
- 200ml water
- Salt & Pepper
- In a preheated oven at 180 degrees, season and roast you beef shin for 45- 50 mins until it has browned.
- Let the beef cool and add it with the rest of the ingredients with your slow cooker and slow cook for 8-10 hours.
- and… Enjoy! It’s literally as easy as that.
I enjoyed my Stifado with roast potatoes and sprinkled on some freshly chopped mint how I would in Greece but would be good with roasted vegetables or rice. I even cooked up the leftovers with some pasta which was delicious.
So after a beaut meal at the Wig and Pen we’ve come home to a night in of Cocktails and Captain America. Yum (cue: stop drooling, or try).
This week’s Saturday night treat is a gin special with fresh raspberries; fresh, zingy and so so tasty.
- You will need (per glass):
- 1 shot of gin (my choice is tanqueray or portobello road)
- 1 dash of lemon vodka (I used grey goose)
- 6 raspberries, plus more to garnish
- elderflower sparkling water
- Add the ice a raspberries to a glass, for a quirky feel why not try using jam jar style. Muddle together until the raspberries are broken up.
- Add your spirits to the glass and mix.
- To finish fill the rest of the glass half up with tonic and the rest with sparkling elderflower water. Add more raspberries to garnish and enjoy!!