All posts filed under: Winter Recipes

Traditional Red Cabbage

One whole cabbage may seem like a lot but I freeze any extra portions. Alternatively if you’re just making this for a small number of people see if you can buy half or a quarter from the green-grocer. Ingredients 1 red cabbage. 1 red onion. (Or any onion if you don’t have a red one). 4 apples. Beef drippings, lard, goose-fat or clarified butter. Apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar. Brown sugar. Cloves. Star Anise. Salt & pepper. Directions Cut the cabbage into quarters. With a mandolin grate the cabbage into thin stripes – it goes surprisingly quickly. If you have a food processor use that – it will go even quicker but you may have more washing-up. In a large pot heat up either the drippings, lard, goose far or clarified butter and fry the red onions. You can use butter – but it will burn quicker so keep the temperature lower if using butter. Start adding the shredded red cabbage. Peel the apples and cut them into small pieces. Stir into the mixture. Add …

Creamed Spinach

For years I thought blanching was a total waste of time and unnecessary. In fact it is essential and not much of an extra effort. Blanching vegetables in salt water for 1-2 minutes improves the flavours and texture of the spinach considerably. Children are much more likely to eat this vegetable if it has been prepared the traditional way by blanching and coating in pat of natural fat. Blanching removes any anti-nutrients present in the dark leaves that are responsible for leaving a bitter, unpleasant flavour. Butter is rich in fat soluble vitamins meaning your body will absorb, not waste, the bountiful supply of excellent nutrients in this dark green vegetable. I bought my spinach from Rashid who advised me not to discard the tips of the stems. He swore they were rich in nutrients and flavour. Following his advice I kept mine and I have to agree – they tasted good. Give it a go. Ingredients 1 kg of spinach. A generous glug of cream. A generous glug of buttermilk. Salt & pepper. Directions Bring …

Roasted Winter-Root Vegetables with Pancetta and Poached Egg

Roasting winter vegetables really is a great way to get a whole load of sweetness and nutritional benefit on one plate. Pancetta is the rolled-up, salted belly pork typical to Italian cuisine. If you can’t find pancetta use any ordinary salted bacon cut into small cubed sized pieces. The poached egg on top of this dish makes it a warming, nutritious everyday meal that your family and or friends are going to love. Ingredients Any winter-root vegetable that takes your fancy: turnips, swedes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, potatoes, carrots …. 2-3 red onions – or any onion if you don’t have red ones to hand. Lots of garlic cloves (these beauties are going to be baked so the over-powering taste of garlic is reduced. You can afford to be generous.) Cumin Seeds and or Caraway Seeds. Rosemary. Thyme Directions Peel the root vegetables with a vegetable-peeler and cut the root-vegetables into chunks of a similar size. Pour the vegetables you have chosen into a big pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Leave to …

Veal’s liver in an onion sauce with mustard mashed potatoes and creamed spinach

Echo’s of our past’s love-affair with offal resonates in an older generation who well remember consuming, with great pleasure, delight and no hesitation what so ever: tongue, kidneys, sweet-bread, intestines, liver, brains, heart, testicles, bone-marrow …. nothing was wasted. Food was too scarce to discard the organs and turn them into dog food. In any case our ancestors knew, what we seem to have forgotten or have chosen to ignore, the most nutritious part of an animal are their organs – liver in particular. Try telling that to the kids. This generation is way too squeamish to honour the animal by eating the best, most nutritious, parts. Offal repulses them. It’s too flavoured. It’s just too yucky … too “offalish”. Whilst many traditional eating habits are easy to rehabilitate offal, seemingly, is not one of them. I confess it was one of the aspects of traditional cuisine I resisted for as long as possible. Then, without realising it, I devoured veal kidneys in a mustard and cream sauce served with tagliatelle. I had ordered it in …

Stoofvlees/Carbonade Flamon/Beef and Beer Stew served with either mashed potatoes, french fries or tagliattelle

Beer and beef! Yum – can anyone think of a more perfect combination? I can’t. I just go mad for Stoofvlees as it is called in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium from where this traditional recipe originates – especially if it is served with a tangy green salad and chips fried in beef fat. The dark, sweet, malty flavours of Abbey Beers work so well with the tough cuts of meat that tenderise, as if by magic, these sinewy chunks of meat. In fact the magic lies in the combination of a low, slow cook and acid from the marinade and fermented beer. There is very little preparation time for this complete meal and well worth a bash. For this recipe it is definitely worth adding a stock to give the stew added depth. The tangy sweetness from the dried prunes is also a definite plus if you have any. Ingredients For the marinade 1 tsp. ground cumin. 1 tsp. ground cardamon. 1 tbs. dark molasses. Some thyme. Olive Oil. Apple-cider vinegar (or any vinegar you …

Traditional Chicken Soup

  “Science validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain. Stock or broth begins with bones, some pieces of meat and fat, vegetables and good water.” Sally Fallon, Weston Price Foundation Directions  Ingredients: Left over chicken from a roast chicken OR 1 chicken cut into pieces by the butcher. Carrots. Leeks. Two TBS of vinegar. Salt & Pepper. Bay leaf. Thyme. Rosemary. Chives or parsley to garnish. Directions Generously sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and place into a large pan. Chop the carrots and the leeks into small pieces and add to the pan. (Reserve about ¼ of the chopped carrots and leeks for later.) Cover the chicken in water, to about five cm of the brim. Add the bay leaf (or two), thyme …

Warm Food for Cold Days

One of the best ways to beat the winter blues is to eat warm, nourishing, comforting food that boosts not only our spirits but our immune system as well. It is a well known fact that the darker the days the more our immune system is compromised and prone to picking up passing nasties. It is truly at times like this that traditional marinades and slow cooking come into their own. The long soak and the low heat will really transform your dishes into a culinary delight that heartens the soul, boost tastes & flavours as well as releasing more of the foods nutrients. It is a time when nourishing soups are at their best, when a steamy, warm stew is at its most desirable and when creamy rice puddings served straight from the pan taste sublime. Remember to serve fresh salads or pickled condiments alongside the cooked food. The enzymes will help your body work its way through all the cooked food. The water soluble vitamin C present in raw or pickled food will …

Alpine Cheese Fondue

One of the great things about rediscovering traditional food and cooking is learning to embrace all the natural fats we were once warned are the root cause of all our current ills. Of course there are those who always knew, instinctively, that abandoning butter, cheeses and drippings was nonsense. Then again there were many, myself included, who for years spurned melted cheeses, butter or other delicious animal fats convinced they would clog the arteries and make us fat. Now I know that low-fat alternatives are just phoneys with artificial flavourings thrown in to mimic the delicious taste of natural animal fats whilst failing to deliver the necessary nutrients. If you’re going to indulge – indulge in the real McCoy! Best of all kids love the conviviality of sitting around the table poking sticks into a communal pot. Probably not something to be eaten every day of the week given that few of us toil in Alpine fields during the day or hack at timber with a heavy axe in sub-zero temperatures – but then again …