All posts filed under: Autumn Recipes

Quince Cheese

“For the colour will be as diaphanous as an oriental ruby” Before beginning on quince cheese be aware that this recipe requires some individual love and attention. A good meat stew takes time but not the cook’s time. A good quince cheese, on the other hand, requires both time and the cook’s attention. Especially on the second day when the quinces have cooled and need to be turned from a purée into a paste. If you decide to have a bash at this do not plan anything other than spending at least an hour in the kitchen close to the kitchen hob making sure the cheese does not burn as the moisture evaporates over a medium to high heat. The trick is to make sure that before you spread the cheese out in your chosen container the quince purée forms a paste strong enough to knead with the hand. Finally, as with most preserves many recipes – both traditional and new – suggest an equal weight of sugar to fruit. It is, however, possible to make this …

Wild venison stew with dried prunes

“True wild game has the appeal of rich, variable flavour, thanks to its mature age, free exercise and mixed diet.” McGee on Food and Cooking Late autumn has always been associated with wild game hunting. The cooler days and evening frosts prevent the carcass from putrefying as it is left to hang, mature and tenderise. Harold McGee notes “Wild animals are especially prized in the autumn, when they fatten themselves for the coming winter.” Laura Ingall Wilder’s childhood memories confirm this. “Winter was coming. The days were shorter and frost crawled up the window panes at night. In the bitter cold weather Pa could not be sure of finding any wild game to shoot for meat…Even if he could get a deer, it would be poor and thin, not fat and plump as deer are in the fall.” Little House in the Big Woods. We are incredibly fortunate to have a family run butchers operating close-by who has good contacts in the southern, forested, French-speaking part of Belgium. From early autumn right through to Christmas they offer a good supply of quality, …

Veal Shanks stewed in apricots

I’ve already covered the basic veal shank stew here. Don’t make the same mistake I once did and buy beef shanks which are tougher than veal shanks. Beef shanks make a great beef broth and the left over meat can be turned into a spinach, ricotta, meat pie. For a stew, however, you are better working with veal. The gentle sweetness of dried apricots and cardamom teams up well with the pale, tender veal. There is no need to add a stock to this stew. The bones add enough gelatine to make the stew thick and they add bags of savouriness that gives this dish the extra edge. You can serve this meal alongside either mashed potatoes, roast potatoes or mixed roasted winter vegetables. Any left overs can be turned into a delicious pie – one of my daughter’s favourites.   Ingredients Serves six 6 veal shanks 250 gr. apricots 1 large onion 2 carrots, diced 2 celery sticks cut small 2-3 small yellow turnips (peeled and cubed). Optional The seeds from 7-8 cardamom pods …

Lamb & fig tagine with yoghurt

For a good lamb tagine ask the butcher to cut some lower rib of lamb into small pieces. This is a typical Moroccan cut for lamb tagine as it allows the lamb to cook relatively easily on a medium heat. There is plenty of meat on the lower rib to satisfy everyone. Of course we all associate tagine with the unique chimney shaped pot seen in every good Moroccan shop but if you don’t have one they can be made equally well in a good casserole pot. Serve with either couscous, bulgur wheat salad, rice or tagine bread. Drizzling yoghurt over the tagine before serving is a great way to cut through the grease and give the dish an added zing. If you like fresh coriander sprinkle some fresh, chopped coriander leaves over the tagine before serving. Ingredients Lower rib of lamb – 200 gr. per adult portion 200 gr. dried figs 1 onion 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. cumin seeds 1 tsp. coriander seeds 1 tsp. turmeric 1 tsp. ginger ½ lt. water …

Bitter Chocolate & Whiskey Cake

Do you, like me, have greedy children who can sniff out a biscuit, cake or chocolate bar from 5 miles away? Do you, like me, sometimes think they were born with an in-built radar alerting them to where all the confectionary is hidden? Competition for the sweet stuff is fierce in this household. Both G. and I have tried – and failed – to find fiendishly tricky hiding places for our stock of goodies. We’re always rumbled with the kids finding our best hiding places within days. It has, however, not gone completely unnoticed by me that they are not very keen on more adult flavours – such a marzipan, liquorice or dark, bitter chocolate. All of which I love. Whenever we have some dark chocolate, marzipan or liquorice in the house  I can normally enjoy these things at my own pace and over a period of days without them vanishing before they’ve even been unpacked and put on the shelf. It was my intention in combining dark, bitter chocolate with whiskey that the children would hate these flavours thus allowing G. and …

Chicken & Mushroom Pie

This is a firm family favourite. A simple supper. There is nothing fancy about a chicken pie yet it leaves most people I know very satisfied indeed. Of course you can make it in any season but it is wonderful comfort food as the days draw in and the evenings turn cooler. I mostly use left over chicken from a roast but you can of course by fresh chicken and fry it up before adding to the pie. Alternatively you can ditch the chicken and just turn it into a mushroom and parsley pie – but whatever your choice try and use a good home-made chicken broth. This recipe is for a  deep 25 cm pie dish. Ingredients For the pastry 350 gr. plain flour 150 gr. butter or lard (I love lard but both are good) 1 egg Some cold water Pinch of salt For the filling Left over chicken meat – what ever you have. If you don’t have any chicken meat then bulk it out with mushrooms but use a good chicken stock to …

Pumpkin Cake

This recipe is suitable for a 26 cm spring-form tin. I used pumpkin which had been roasted in the oven for an hour. The pumpkin flesh should be soft, pliable and easy to mash into the other ingredients. Ingredients For the cake 500 gr. plain flour 400 gr. dark sugar 250 gr. butter 4 eggs 300 gr. roasted pumpkin 100 gr. decimated coconut OR 100 gr. crushed walnuts 1 tsp. cinemon 2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda * 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar Pinch of salt For the topping Approx. 300 gr. home-made cream cheese  * 2 tbs. honey Walnuts for decoration Directions Blend all the ingredients together until well mixed. It helps if you have a food processor. If not try with a hand-hold mixer. If not the only alternative, I’m afraid, is elbow power. Line the bottom of the tin with greased baking paper before adding the mixture. Place the tin in a pre-heated oven on 180 degrees centigrade for half an hour. Then take out of the oven and cover the top with tin-foil to prevent the …