All posts filed under: Winter Recipes

Traditional gammon in a creamy mustard sauce.

I had to wait one week for my gammon but it was well worth the wait. It is not for the first time that I reflect on how lucky we are to have a traditional butcher in town who has his own smoke room out the back. I have absolute confidence that Rondou’s will only use traditional, therefore, natural ingredients, for his cured meats. This gammon was lightly smoked and salted – and boy did it taste magnificent. Salty – but not over-poweringly so. Tender and moist. A gammon is typically coated in honey but the dark, caramel flavours of the maple syrup definitely has something going for it. Ingredients 1 gammon. Some maple syrup. Cloves. Mustard. Cream. Salt & pepper. Directions   With a sharp knife cut into the skin to make a criss-cross pattern. This can be tough going and to be honest I didn’t have a knife sharp enough to accomplish this feat! – but if you can do this. Glaze the entire outside with some maple syrup and insert the cloves into the fat where …

Knick-knack paddy-whack give the cook a bone – Stock

Basic ingredients – A bone (any bone from any animal will do: chicken, game, veal, beef).   An onion, Carrots. Celery (or leeks). Salt & Pepper. Parsley. Bay leaf . Vinegar. Water– For those who truly want to become a master in their own kitchen begin with a simple bone stock. Bones, like animals fats, impart flavour. Also known as broth or bouillon – stock is pathetically simple to make. So amazingly straight-forward you can not go wrong. You’d have thought that for something that adds so much taste, flavour and pleasure to a dish one would first have to be initiated into some kind of cult, spend years in the desert and perform an amazing acrobatic feat before being deemed worthy enough to learn the secret of how to make an outstanding bone broth. Happily for the everyday cook all you need is a big pot, a bone, water, salt, pepper and some veggies. The reward in terms of taste and nutrition is second to none. Add a stock to any of your savoury dishes and …

Buttered 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 the leaves 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. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein, and choline. Additionally, spinach is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, pantothenic acid, and selenium. While …

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 …