Zeal Monachorum Online


All recipes are tested.

  • 6oz brown shrimps
  • 4oz Pure organic spread
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs finely chopped onion or shallot
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste (I used ½tsp of Maldon salt)

Gently melt the Pure, add shrimps and lemon juice. Whizz in food processor. Stir in onions and seasoning and leave for a few hours to chill.

Serves 4-6, on any good bread or toast. Good as a starter or a snack. I like it for breakfast sometimes.

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped, with a little sea salt
  • 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • 3oz dairy free spread (I used Pure, organic from Waitrose)
  • 4oz brown mushrooms, chopped (I used Crimini)
  • 2 tbs pine kernels
  • 1 dsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 dbs fresh thyme leaves
  • saltspoon each celery salt, cinnamon
  • 1 tbs each of lemon juice, port, dry sherry
  • black pepper to taste

Heat the oil, melt a little of the Pure, add the onions and garlic and simmer very gently for about 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms and pine kernels and allow to soften. Then add the rest of the ingredients, last of all the Pure. It's done when the pine kernels can easily be crushed with a wooden spoon and the Pure has melted. Whizz, then chill for a few hours.

Serves 4-6, on any good bread or toast.

  • 8oz chicken livers
  • 6oz dairy free (I used Pure, organic from Waitrose)
  • 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbs fresh herbs, finely chopped
  • Seasoning: scant tsp sea salt, black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs spirit (I used sloe gin)

Melt some of the Pure, add the livers and garlic and simmer very gently until it's easily crushed. Add the spirit, seasoning, herbs and the rest of the Pure. When the Pure has melted, whizz briefly a few times. Chill overnight.

Serves 6-8, on any good bread or toast.

  • 6oz smoked salmon trimmings (I used Waitrose brand)
  • 4 oz dairy free spread gently melted (I used Pure, organic from Waitrose)
  • 1tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs finely chopped shallots or onions
  • 1 dsp fresh herbs, finely chopped
  • Seasoning: black pepper

Chop salmon a bit, depending on how large the pieces are. Whizz salmon, lemon juice and melted Pure. Tip into container. Add chopped shallot or onion and fresh herbs and stir in until mixed. Chill for a few hours.

Serves 4-6, spread on crisp toast, crackers or even bread.

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 oz raw aubergine, unpeeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tbs oil/butter for frying
  • 2 oz pine kernels
  • 1 desertspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon dry vermouth
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped parsley

Heat oil/butter and simmer onion, garlic, aubergines and mushrooms, covered, until soft. Add pine kernels and liquids and simmer uncovered until liquids cook off. Check seasoning. Whizz, then stir in the parsley and chill.

Serves 6 as a light starter on bread or as a filling for raw vegetables.

  • 1 crocodile tail per person (a scant 3oz. each)
  • a handful of mixed leaves per person
  • French dressing (I use lime juice, honey and olive oil)
  • 2 tbs oil/butter for frying crocodile tails

Put frying oil/butter (I used goose fat) in heavy pan and pre-heat. Make dressing and toss leaves in it. Sear the crocodile tails, frying for 1½ minutes on each side, turning half-way through and sprinkling with salt and pepper. Serve tails on a bed of leaves, on individual plates.

  • 2 asparagus spears per person
  • 2 smallish slices smoked salmon per person
  • French dressing (I use lime juice, honey and olive oil)
  • Watercress or parsley to decorate

Make dressing. Steam asparagus; immerse in dressing until cold. Wrap salmon around asparagus. Decorate, serve, eat with fingers (provide napkins).

  • 1lb celery, chopped (reserve handful of the leaves)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 tbs oil/butter
  • 1½ pints of stock (mine was goose stock)
  • Handful of spinach (intensifies the green colour)
  • Glass of white wine
  • Celery salt, sea salt and black pepper to taste

Soften onion and celery in oil, add stock and simmer until soft. Add spinach and wine and simmer for a few minutes. Liquidise, season and reheat, sprinkling the reserved celery leaves on top to serve. Serves 4-6.

  • 2lb white fish (monkfish, hake, haddock, cod)
  • 8oz prawns with shells
  • 3 leeks
  • 1 large or 2 small fennel
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1tsp curry powder
  • 3-4 tbsp cream (single,double)
  • parsley to taste

Make stock from any fish bones (more the better, from fishmonger), prawn shells, 2 slices lemon, tops of celery and fennel, about 4-6 oz white wine and enough water to cover. Bring to boil and simmer gently with lid off for 20 mins only. Chop up leeks, fennel, celery and onion and fry gently in butter and olive oil with lid on until soft. Add curry powder and stir for minute or so, add peeled and chopped tomatoes and then stock and simmer for 20 mins. Make roux from 1½ oz butter and flour; add liquid from some of the soup to roux to make sauce; simmer for a few minutes until flour is cooked; return roux-mixture to the soup and simmer for a few minutes, again stirring until smooth. Just before eating, add chopped fish and simmer for 5 minutes, adding prawns for last minute. Season to taste. The soup can then be left at this stage if wished. To finish: heat, stir in cream, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately in bowls, with fresh bread. Serves 6.

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 8oz of celery, chopped
  • 1lb of frozen peas
  • 2 pints of light (chicken) stock
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 1 tbs olive oil and/or butter

Sweat onion and celery in fat, add wine, then add stock and simmer until tender. Rinse peas to get rid of ice crystals; add to soup and simmer for a few minutes. Liquidise, season and serve. Title sounds nicer than pea and celery soup, and it's a lovely fresh green colour. Serves 4-6.

  • 1lb local tomatoes
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • handfull of fresh basil, torn
  • 1 tbs each of wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar
  • 4tbs ev olive oil
  • salt spoon sugar or honey
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Slice tomatoes; make dressing; add garlic and basil; marinate overnight. Check for seasoning. Serve with slices of smoked salmon; lemon slices to garnish. Serves 4. The tomato salad doesn't kill the smoked salmon, it goes together really well.

  • 2 pints of good stock
  • 1 whole cauliflower chopped, including the stalks, just the bottom stem removed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1lb spinach
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1tbs oil, dripping or butter
  • seasoning to taste, fresh herbs and croutons

Sweat onion and cauliflower in fat, add wine and stock and simmer until soft. Add spinach for 5 minutes. Liquidise, check seasoning and re-heat. Serve sprinkled with herbs plus a bowl of croutons. Serves 4-6.

  • 4 quail
  • 2-3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 desert apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 10 soft (dried) apricots, chopped
  • 1 tbs fresh orange juice
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Tarragon, salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¼ pint of good game stock
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon

Preheat oven to 200°C, with a baking tin containing a little oil. Fry onion in the oil, next add the apricots, then the apples, orange juice and lime juice. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Check the seasoning. Stuff the quail and tie into shape with string. Lay the bacon rashers over the quail. Put quail in the hot tin and baste. Cook for 30 minutes, basting occasionally. Remove string and rest in a warm place for 5-10 minutes while you make the sauce.

Heat the stock, white wine and juices from the tin the quail were cooked in, reduce steadily until it is thickish, pour over the quail and serve.

We find these very filling. After them I'd serve a very light main course. Serves 4.

  • 1kg ox cheek marinated overnight in half-a-pint of red wine
  • 4oz aduki beans soaked overnight in cold water
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 10 soft prunes (4oz)
  • 30g tub of dried mushrooms
  • Herbs: I used sage, parsley, rosemary, bay leaves
  • Kallo organic beef stock cube in three-quarters-pint of boiling water
  • 1tsp molasses sugar
  • 1tbs plain flour, heaped
  • Celery salt, sea salt, black pepper, at the end of cooking
  • Fat as required (I used goose fat) for browning the ox cheeks

Pre-heat oven to lowest setting. Drain aduki beans, boil hard for 15 minutes, turn off heat, add dried mushrooms and leave for 20 minutes; drain and reserve the resulting liquid (quarter pint). Cut up ox cheeks into chunks, sprinkle flour over to coat lightly., batch fry in (goose) fat and transfer to oven dish when done. Add all the rest of the ingredients, bar the salts and pepper, to the frying pan, bring to simmer and pour into the oven dish containing the meat. I cooked it for 12 hours and it was delicious and the ox cheeks could be cut with a spoon. The prunes disintegrate and melt into the gravy so don't worry if you don't like them; they add dark richness, not taste.

Serves 4-6

  • 8oz haricot beans soaked overnight
  • 6-8oz pancetta, pork belly, smoked bacon, or home-made bacon
  • 2 medium onions, I use a red and a white (don't know why), roughly chopped
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, chopped
  • ½teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of sundried tomato paste
  • 1tablespoon each of molasses syrup, molasses sugar and dijon mustard
  • ½teaspoon allspice berries, crushed
  • 1pint of stock, using a Kallo organic beef stock cube
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt if necessary

Boil the haricot beans hard in fresh, unsalted water for 15 minues, removing scum. Lower the heat and simmer until soft but not disintegrating. Drain, reserving the cooking water. Use 1pt of the liquid to make stock using (at least I do) an organic beef stock cube by Kallo.

Cut meat into chunks and dry fry in pan so the outside is crisp. Add to an oven dish.

In the same pan simmer the onions and garlic sprinkled with the celery salt, covered until beginning to soften.

Add the tomato paste and fry for a minute or so. Add both molasses, the mustard, allspice and stock.

Tip the contents of the pan into the oven dish with the meat. Add the beans and enough of the bean water to keep them covered. Stir well and cover with a lid. Keep the unused bean water in case topping up is needed.

Cook at 150°C for about 3 hours, leaving the lid off for the last hour. Ckeck the seasoning near the end.

This serves 4-6, depending on what, if anything, you're serving with it. If you jump to the top, then to Snacks and Extras/Home-made Bacon you'll see the recipe for the bacon I used.

  • 1lb outdoor-reared free-range pork tenderloin
  • 1tbs each of olive oil, lemon juice, honey, apple balsamic vinegar, cider or wine
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 eating apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 5 + 2tbs strong stock
  • 1 + 2tbs olive oil
  • Potatoes cut into 1" chunks, carrots thinly sliced and courgettes sliced
  • Herbs to decorate
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Marinate the pork in the oil/lemon/honey/vinegar/cider or wine overnight or for a few hours; drain and dry.

Simmer the garlic in a little oil gently until softening. Add the grated apple, the marinade liquid and 5tbs of stock. Simmer for about 30minutes, then liquidise. You'll have about 6 or 7 fluid ounces of quite thick sauce.

Lightly oil tin to fit pork; put 2tbs each of stock and oil in a tin to fit the vegetables. Season meat and veg. Pre-heat oven to 170°C. Toss the vegetables in the hot oil/stock mix. Pour heated marinade over pork .

Baste pork occasionally and toss vegetables around. After 45 minutes (depending on your oven) remove pork from marinade and keep warm under foil on a heated dish. Return marinade to bottom of oven.

If necessary whack up the heat to finish the vegetables. They should be ready after an hour's cooking, by which time the pork will have rested for 15 minutes. Pour the marinade over the pork, with the veg surrounding it. sprinkle herb leaves on top.

This serves four, at least. My pork came from North Down Farm and was utterly delicious, tender and tasty.

  • 2medium-sized raw potatoes peeled and sliced wafer-thin, rinsed and dried
  • 1 small onion very finely chopped
  • 1 whole sea bass weighing 2lb 4oz (about 1 kilo), gutted
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 4oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 2tbs parsley, chopped
  • 1tbs each of white wine and lime juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil and butter

Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Layer potato and onion in oven dish, seasoning layers along with some butter/oil and finishing with a layer of potato. Cook initially for 45minutes. Oil/butter a separate dish and put in oven to heat.

While potato and onion layers are cooking, soften shallot and garlic in oil/butter, add mushrooms for a few minutes. Add wine and lime juice and reduce. Add chopped parsley and seasoning. Stuff the sea bass with this mixture.

By now the potato and onion mixture should be quite soft and beginning to color on top. Reduce oven heat to 180°C. Lower sea bass onto the hot oil/butter, turn and season. Cook for 20minutes or so.

This serves two. I lift the sea bass out and onto a heated platter containing rocket leaves, and decorate the bass with a few slices of fresh lime. Times given are for cooking in stainless steel oven dishes. Ceramic or clay dishes will take noticeably longer.

  • 2 small kangaroo steaks
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • garlic and ginger to taste, chopped
  • 2tbs olive oil plus a little for frying steaks
  • 2tbs port
  • Medium size tin of rasberries in natural (apple) juice
  • 1tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of redcurrant jelly

Marinate the kangaroo steaks in the port and 1tbs of the oil for a few hours. Drain and dry them, reserving the marinade.

Soften the onion, garlic and ginger in the remaining 1 tbs of oil. Add marinade mix, the vinegar and the tin of raspberries including the juice. Simmer until reduced. Whizz in liquidiser, add the redcurrant jelly and re-heat.

In a pre-heated oiled pan cook the steaks for 2-4 minutes per side, according to thickness. They should be rare to medium rare. Rest for a few minutes. Pour hot sauce over steaks to serve.

This serves two. I put the steaks in the centre of a large platter, surrounded by roast and steamed vegetables. Like all game, kangaroo is very filling.

  • 5lb of mixed game, cut into nice chunks
  • 1 pint of wine + 1 pint of stock
  • ½lb smoked streaky bacon, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • I onion and 1 leek, sliced; a few chopped garlic cloves
  • Bay leaves, herbs, salt and pepper.
  • 1 tbs each of golden syrup and redcurrant jelly
  • 4tbs flour + 1tbs flour for later
  • 8oz of shaggy mushrooms, chopped not too small

Marinate the game in the wine and stock for a few hours or longer. Reserve marinade, dry game pieces and toss them in 4tbs flour. Pre-heat oven to 150°C. Heat a heavy frying pan. Dry fry the bacon and put into oven casserole. Batch fry the game in oil to brown on all sides. Add in small batches to the casserole.

Fry the onion, garlic and leek lightly and add to the casserole, along with the herbs and golden syrup. Bring marinade to the boil and pour into the casserole. Cover and cook for 2 hours.

Fry the mushrooms, toss them in the remaining 1tbs of flour and stir them into the casserole.Add the redcurrant jelly, check for seasoning and cook uncovered for a further hour.

With potatoes and some steamed veg, this will serve at least 8. We had 4 to dinner the first time of making it. The rest was frozen and later made into a pie, with some extra veg in to thicken. The game I used was duck, ostrich, kangaroo and antelope.

Golden syrup! you might be wondering. This recipe I developed after reading Mike Taylor's beef casserole recipe.

  • 2-4 fresh duck breast fillets, with skin
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 oranges, zest & juice, avoid white pith
  • 3 tbs red wine or Amontillado sherry
  • 3 tbs soft brown sugar
  • 3tbs chicken stock or wine/sherry plus corner of stock-cube
  • 2tbs Angostura Bitters

About an hour before you want to cook the duck, take it out of the fridge, season the fillets with black pepper, and place on a wire tray - skin side up - over a good solid ovenproof tin and allow to come up to room temperature. (There is absolutely no need to score the duck skin.)

Pre-heat oven to its highest setting. Put the duck into the oven and cook for 12 minutes. Do not open the oven door again until you are going to take it out. Be careful when you do as there will probably be a blast of hot smoke.

While the duck is cooking put the rest of the ingredients into a pan and bring to boil, then turn to a low simmer and heat gently, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the duck fillets to serving plates and artistically drizzle some sauce over them - make sure you place a good dollop of the orange skin over the duck too. Put the rest of the sauce into a gravy boat and place on the table for people to help themselves.

This is a quick and easy version of Duck a l'Orange that will seriously impress. The sauce will serve 2-4 and freezes well. That's assuming you have any left over of course, which I very much doubt. Serve with new potatoes and lots of seasonal steamed vegetables. When you cut into the duck it is meant to be a nice pink colour inside. If overcooked, the meat will become tough and chewy.

Thanks to Christal for this recipe.

  • 1 brown hare, jointed
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbs plain flour
  • ½bottle of Burgundy
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • thyme and parsley or a bouquet garni
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 clove, sea salt and black pepper
  • 2.2lb (a kilo) desert cherries, stones and stalks removed
  • 6-8 oz (200-250 grams) sugar
  • 5 tbs (100 ml) white wine vinegar

Heat oil in a frying pan and batch fry the jointed hare pieces; remove to oven dish when browned. In the same oil lightly brown onion, carrot and shallot; add flour and fry. Next add the herbs, garlic, the clove and the Burgundy. Heat, then pour over the hare in the oven dish, seasoning lightly. Cook, covered, in oven pre-heated to 120°C for 3½-4 hours (more on the timings, below).

While the hare is doing (turn the pieces half-way through), cook the cherries and sugar gently in a little water (2tbs) until sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes). Remove the cherries and set aside. Reduce the liquid, then add the white wine vinegar and further reduce to a syrupy consistency. Add the cherries to this mixture.

Remove dish from oven and set hare aside. Strain the cooking liquid into a spare saucepan and discard the veg and herbs, which have by now done their job of flavouring the dish. Replace hare, and liquid it was cooked in, into the oven dish. (If you have the hare's blood, add it now, whisking in some of the hot cooking liquid to stop it curdling.) Add the cherry mixture, pouring the cherries on top. Heat through.

This is a truly delicious German recipe given to me by Michael. His hare took only 1 hour, so it must have been younger than mine. Michael has just told me it weighed a little over 3lb (1.5kilo). My hare weighed almost 6lb (2¾kilo) and really took that long at that temperature. Serves 4-6 generously. I served it with boiled potatoes, carrots and chard but any veg would be great.

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ pint each of pure red grape juice and red wine
  • 1tbs oil or butter
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Brown lamb shanks 1 or 2 at a time in hot oil in a frying pan; remove to oven dish. Simmer onions and garlic in same pan until soft; add the grape juice and wine and bring to boil. Pour over the lamb shanks, adding the bay leaves. Cook, covered, in oven pre-heated to 150°C for 3 hours, turning shanks from time to time, leaving the lid off for the last 40 minutes.

If resulting sauce needs further reducing, remove shanks and keep warm while boiling sauce down by a half. Season to taste and pour over the meat. Serve your choice of vegetables separately. I used new potatoes and steamed carrots and greens. Serves 4. Ideally, make the day before and reheat gently. I made this on a cold February day. It would be just as nice with white grape juice and white wine for a warmer day.

  • 4lb lamb (any kind)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ pint pure apple juice
  • ½ pint of stock
  • small glass white wine
  • 1tbs oil or butter
  • 1tbs flour
  • Herbs, salt and pepper to taste

Flour and brown lamb in hot oil/butter in a frying pan; remove to oven dish or slow cooker. Soften onions and garlic in same pan; add to lamb. Heat wine, stock and apple juice and pour over the lamb, adding herbs and seasoning lightly. Cook, covered, in oven pre-heated to 150°C for 2-4 hours; or in slow cooker for 3hours (diced lamb) or 8 hours (lamb shanks), or 10 hours (joint of lamb). If reheating (best if fatty cut is used, so you can remove excess fat), do so gently. Freezes well. Serves 4 generously. I served it with cooked butter beans spread with olive oil/butter and chopped parsley on top, plus steamed purple-sprouting broccoli.

  • 8oz tender frying steak, cubed
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled but whole
  • 2oz flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Bottle of best bitter
  • Salt and black pepper
  • ½ pint of rich gravy

Make batter with the flour, eggs and as much bitter as needed. Season and leave to rest. Heat oven with oiled dish inside to 220°C. Check whether batter needs more beer. Put onions, garlic and meat into sizzling hot tin; pour batter over and cook for 30-35 minutes. Should puff up and be crisp. While the toad is cooking you might as well drink the rest of the beer. Serves 2-3, with extra vegetables (carrots and cabbage, steamed) separately, and a big jug of gravy.

  • ¾lb dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 8 slices belly of pork (about 2½lb.)
  • 6 anchovies
  • 6 carrots, in chunks
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2tbs tomato puree
  • ½lb button mushrooms, whole
  • ½ a vanilla pod, split down the middle
  • 6 cloves
  • 1tsp celery salt
  • 1dsp molasses
  • 1½pints stock
  • Glass of white wine
  • Herbs, black pepper, salt to taste

Drain chickpeas, put into fresh cold unsalted water and boil hard for 20 minutes. Leave them in the water while preparing the rest. Sear the meat quickly in a heavy, un-oiled pan, removing pieces to an oven dish; they'll release some fat. In this fat soften the onions and garlic, then add the tomato puree and fry for a few minutes. Heat the stock, drain the chickpeas and add them, plus all the other ingredients, to the oven dish. Cover dish and cook at 150°C for 3 hours, leaving the lid off for the last hour to thicken the yummy sauce. An occasional stir does no harm and is a good excuse to taste. Check seasoning at the end.

I remove the pork rind after cooking (good chopped up for garden birds), then let the dish cool so I can remove surplus fat. Reheat gently. Freezes well. Serves eight, with steamed cabbage and new potatoes in separate dishes. Works just as well with breast of lamb. Comforting Winter food to eat in the sitting room around an open fire!

  • A large joint: I used a 7lb. Haunch of Venison (our local breed is the milder-tasting Roe Deer)
  • ½pint each of Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, Red Wine, Game Stock
  • ¼pint of Sloe Gin
  • 1tablespoon each of Soy Sauce and Honey
  • 1teaspoon each of Dijon Mustard, crushed Coriander Seeds, Sea Salt
  • ½teaspoon of crushed Black Pepper
  • 2Bay Leaves, 6 Juniper Berries, bunch of Thyme
  • Juice from 1 Seville Orange, few shakes of Angostura Bitters
  • Marinade all the above for 1 week or so in cold place, turning joint daily (or for less if short of time)
  • 4oz of dried red kidney beans or other pulses (or leave them out if you don't like them)
  • 4 oz of ready-to-eat dried fruit (I used apricots; use whatever is to hand)
  • Vegetables: 3lb of whatever you like, softer ones go in later or all in together if you're unfussy; I used onions, garlic, carrots, courgettes, sweet potatoes and mushrooms.

Day before cooking: soak beans overnight. To cook: start cooking beans in unsalted water; when they're done you can leave them in the water. Drain and dry meat, dust with flour, brown in hot oil. Add all other ingredient including marinade. (You can add softer items in stages). Bring to simmer, transfer to oven at 150°C. Cover, cook for about 4 hours, adding drained beans for last hour. Serve with boiled new potatoes. Serves at least 6 gluttons lavishly.

  • 4 potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • ½lb frozen peas
  • Bunch spring onions
  • 1lb fresh cod or haddock
  • 1 pint cheese sauce
  • Packet cheese and onion crisps
  • 4oz grated cheese

Dice potatoes and carrots, boil until just cooked. Place in 4 small, greased oven-proof dishes. Add spring onions, frozen peas and cubed raw fish. Top each dish with cheese sauce. Sprinkle crushed crisps and grated cheese on top. Bake at 180°C for 35 minutes. Serve with side salad and crusty rolls. Serves 4. Looks nice in small bowls, but could use 1 large and cook extra 10 minutes.

  • 5lb joint mutton shoulder
  • 2 tbs coriander seed
  • 1 tbs each of cumin, black mustard, sichuan pepper seed
  • 1 dsp seeds from cardamon pods
  • 1 tbs fresh tamarind in oil
  • 1 dsp each turmeric, fenugreek powder
  • 1 tsp each shrimp paste, lemon grass in oil
  • 1dsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 salt spoon each of allspice, thyme powder, crushed chillies
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3" ginger, finely chopped
  • ½ pt each of wine, water (or stock), coconut milk
  • Juice of 2 lemons or limes

Briefly brown joint in oven. Dry fry seeds in heavy pan, then grind. Fry onions to soften, add garlic, ginger & all spice ingredients; fry 5-10 minutes. Add all liquids. Pour over the whole joint, cover with well-fitting lid and cook in a slow oven. I prefer to baste frequently (excuse to taste it); turn joint halfway through. I cooked it for 6 hours; it was meltingly tender.

  • 3 large red peppers (could add yellow too)
  • 6 plum or large ripe tomatoes
  • Garlic, basil leaves, olive oil, salt and pepper

Core and quarter peppers and place in lightly oiled flat oven dish. Peel and halve tomatoes and add to dish. Cut garlic into slivers and place in vegetables with basil leaves and salt and pepper. Drizzle with good olive oil. Bake in hot oven (200°C) for about 50 mins until charred. Decorate with fresh basil leaves. Serve with crusty bread to mop up juices. Serves 6

  • 1lb basmati long-grained brown rice
  • 1lb any green veg you like
  • 1lb of any yellow or orange veg
  • 1lb of any contrasting veg
  • 1½ pints tomato sauce
  • 8oz strong cheddar
  • 2oz freshly-grated parmesan
  • tall-sided oven-proof glass dish

Boil the rice, drain. Cook the vegetables separately. Arrange in glass dish in layers: a third of the rice on the bottom, then a third of the tomato sauce, then all the veg of one colour, then a third of the grated cheddar; repeat the layers with the next 2veg, finishing with the parmesan sprinkled on top of the last cheese layer. Put in a hot oven until bubbling, about 40minutes.

Until you break into it this looks really pretty through the glass, so make sure diners admire it first. Veg I most often use are spinach and/or courgettes, carrots and/or squash and mushrooms and/or aubergines. Serves 6. With bread and salad alongside it makes a nice meal. If you need a tomato sauce recipe, mine is under snacks and extras.

  • 3lb of oxtails
  • 6oz dried haricot beans
  • 6 carrots, sliced or diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 sticks of celery, sliced
  • garlic and herbs to taste
  • ½ pint of wine
  • ¼ pint stout (I used Treacle Stout)
  • Good pint of stock
  • Heaped tablespoon of plain flour, seasoned
  • 2 tablespoons of (goose) fat

Soak haricot beans overnight in cold water. Drain, bring to boil in fresh, unsalted water. Boil hard for 15 minutes, then leave to cool in the liquid. I leave it overnight. Dip cut-up oxtails in seasoned flour, heat oil and batch fry oxtails. Put meat in oven dish, with drained haricot beans. Briefly fry vegetables, add wine, stout, stock and herbs until boiling, pour over meat and beans. Cook in lowish oven for 3-4 hours. Cool, remove fat, reheat gently. Serves 6, with potatoes and a green veg in separate dish. It's cheap and delicious English food, hearty rather than elegant. I don't do elegant anyway.

  • 2½lb shin of beef
  • 1lb carrots, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • ½lb mushrooms (wild and shaggy), quartered
  • ½lb smoked streaky bacon, cut-up, rinds removed
  • thyme, parsley and a bay leaf
  • glass of port
  • 1 pint of stock
  • ½pt of beer
  • heaped tablespoon plain flour, seasoned
  • 2 tablespoons of fat or oil

Cut up meat, dip in flour, fry to brown. Transfer to oven dish along with the veg and herbs. Dry fry bacon, add to dish. Heat stock and beer, pour over meat and veg. Cook in moderate oven for about 3 hours, until meat is tender ( depends on how big you like the chunks). Serve with celeriac and potatoes mashed together, plus steamed broccoli or any green veg. Serves 6. Another dish using those undervalued cheaper cuts, which are so tasty given time and gentle cooking. Enjoy with some sturdy red wine.

  • 4lb shoulder of venison boned and rolled
  • 1 dsp whole cardamon
  • 1 tbs sichuan pepper
  • 1 tbs coriander seed
  • 2 tbs fenugreek seed
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 dsp cummin seed
  • 1 dsp black onion seed
  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • 1 tbs tumeric powder
  • Bunch of thyme (1 tsp of dried)
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp Bart's fish sauce
  • 1 dsp Bart's hot chilli in sunflower oil
  • Can of Bart's (organic) coconut milk
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • Equal quantity fresh ginger
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 anchovies
  • ¾ pt stock or water
  • Little fat or oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Remove seeds from the cardamon, discarding husks; you'll be left with about ½ teaspoon of seeds. In a dry pan fry the 9 ingredients from cardamon to allspice for a few minutes. The cinnamon sticks can be broken by hand first. Then grind, not too finely.

Remove string from venison so it opens up and flops about, better to absorb the curry spices while cooking. Heat a bit of fat/oil in the pan and sear meat on all sides. Remove and put in oven dish.

In the same pan fry onion, garlic and ginger until softened; add anchovies, the ground spices, then all the rest of the ingredients. The tamarind paste can be dissolved in the boiling stock (or water) before adding. Stir well and pour contents over the meat you've placed in the oven dish. Cover and cook slowly until done. Turn meat occasionally unless you've gone out, in which case you can't. At the end add the lemon juice. You could break the meat up before serving, if you like. I used goose stock, and goose fat and sunflower oil for frying.

Serves 6-8 but freezes well. I cooked it at 100°C for 9 hours to keep the kitchen - and myself - warm on a cold day. You could do it at 150°C for a few hours instead. Try to turn it once half-way through. Rice, chapattis and chutney are good with it. Also, don't forget the cold beer!

  • 12oz mixed fruit
  • 6oz raisins
  • 2oz peel
  • 12oz dark brown sugar
  • 2oz chopped almonds
  • 6oz fresh/stale breadcrumbs (not dried)
  • 6oz suet
  • 6oz plain flour
  • ½ level teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ level teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ level teaspoon salt
  • 1 grated carrot (medium)
  • 1 grated cooking apple
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 large egg

In a large mixing bowl put all dry ingredients. Add carrot, apple, lemon, brandy and egg. Leave overnight. Boil or steam for 6-8 hours. Make pudding a few months before Christmas; keeps well. Eve's children loved this pudding. When each of them left home she gave them the recipe and £10 for buying the bowl and ingredients. Her daughter Jane Hogg has given me her mother's recipe.

  • Guinness, stout, cider or wine
  • ½lb beef (or other meat), minced
  • 2lb dried fruit
  • ½lb apples, chopped
  • ½lb cranberries, whole
  • ½lb suet, grated
  • ¼lb pine nuts
  • ¼lb (brown vanilla) sugar
  • 1tbs molasses
  • 1 lemon, juice and grated zest
  • Very good pinch each of ground nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and allspice
  • pinch of salt
  • Glass of brandy

Simmer meat slowly in a little of the Guinness (or whatever) for about 30minutes, adding more liquid as it's absorbed. Then remove from heat and add all the other ingredients. Stir well to mix thoroughly. This can be frozen for many months. For shorter times it keeps well in the fridge, though can also be stored in sterilized jars. I needed to use it straightaway which is why I pre-cooked the meat. Another reason is in case Tony Blair's Food Police read this page! Traditionally, Christmas mince pies always contained some meat along with the fruit. So be traditional and buy British meat. If you're reading this from elsewhere, please support your local butcher.

  • 4 500gram packs mixed frozen soft fruits (c 4½lb)
  • 2lb4oz caster sugar
  • bottle of rum (or any spirit)
  • 3litre glass preserving jar

Tip fruit into large bowl. Add sugar. Leave overnight. Put into glass jar and fill up with spirit. Try to leave for a few days before eating! Maybe it wouldn't keep as well as the traditional rumtopf, but it didn't last long enough to find out. This is the best rumtopf I've ever tasted, having made it the traditional way many times. I used organic fruit frozen without sugar. Details about sugar added will be on the packet. This recipe is also on the Booze page.

  • 1lb 2oz (500g) belly of pork without bone or rind (I get mine from Waitrose)
  • 100ml maple syrup
  • 4oz molasses sugar
  • ½tsp each of black pepper and allspice berries, lightly crushed
  • 2oz rock salt

Put all the ingredients bar the rock salt in a glass or plastic container and rub well in. Turn pork over after about 12 hours and rub again. 24 hours from start add the rock salt and rub in. Turn meat morning and evening. After 5 days (more or less, it's up to you), remove the now bacon and rinse the bits off, dry it and wrap in greaseproof paper.

It's nice sliced and grilled for breakfast on in bacon sandwiches. It's what I used, chopped in pancetta-like pieces for my Boston Baked Beans.

  • 2 onions chopped and softened in (goose) fat
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored & chopped
  • A few celery sticks, de-stringed and diced
  • 1lb pork, minced
  • 2oz pine nuts
  • Juice of 1 lemon (c2tbs)
  • 2oz fresh breadcrumbs
  • Salt, pepper and herbs

Mix all together and bake in a loaf tin for 1 hour at 200°C.

I used to stuff the bird and invariably forgot the stuffing was there, so it didn't get eaten. This time it was visible and got great praise from diners.

  • 1 jar creamed horseradish
  • 1 whole garlic finely chopped
  • 2 large finely diced onions
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes, 3 lemons and 1 orange
  • 2 handfuls of sultanas
  • 12 skinned fresh tomatoes (drop in boiling water to skin)
  • 1 large pack dried apricots
  • 1 tin pineapple chunks plus juice contents
  • Half bottle of red vermouth
  • ½litre orange juice
  • 3 large red chillies with seeds, sliced and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 large Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped roughly
  • 3 bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small bottle mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tin sweetcorn, drained
  • 1 75cl bottle of Cider vinegar
  • 1 large mug of sugar
  • 1 large piece of peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Throw the whole lot into a large stock pan, simmer for an hour until the consistency gets thick enough for chutney then put into 'hot from the oven' jars, from all the Xmas pickles etc, put the sterilised lids on and then place in the garden to cool. Label accordingly. This recipe is authentic and requires many ingredients but if you want quality then you have to put quality into it, this is why this is a serious excellent chutney. Then give to your friends and family accordingly until you have only 1 jar left as usual and complain.

Another foodie gem in Notty's inimicable style, but perhaps you'd prefer to cool the chutney in a cool room rather than in the garden if illegal chutney-rustling is a serious problem in your area.

  • 2oz frozen goose-fat
  • 7oz plain flour
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 1-2tbs lemon juice (optional)
  • Ice-cold water

Remove visible chunks of fat from inside neck area of raw goose. Put in saucepan with cold water; heat slowly until melted. Cool, then chill. Lift off fat and freeze. For shortcrust pastry grate frozen goose-fat into flour, add salt, then rub in as usual, adding lemon juice/water to bind.

I wrote this recipe after reading a number of instructions to discard goose-fat from raw bird. The fat which drains out from the skin while cooking is great for roast potatoes.

  • 1 smallish butternut squash
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 good tablespoons of tahini
  • Fresh lemon juice to taste (I used 1½lemons)
  • Lots of chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Cut squash in half down the middle, leaving skin on. Remove seeds either now or after cooking. Cook skin-side up in oven dish at 180°C for about 35minutes until soft. Chop garlic and parsley. Squeeze lemon. Remove skin from squash. Whizz all ingredients in food-processor. Check seasoning. Leave to chill in fridge.

I just pushed the cooked squash through a sieve, then added rest of ingredients. Lovely on bread, toast, crisbread or to fill celery canoes; improvise! Thanks, Vanessa from Leeds.

  • 1 red cabbage
  • 1 large apple
  • 1 red onion
  • Good pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 whole lemon
  • Handful of sugar
  • A large slug of Harveys Bristol Cream sherry
  • A glug or two of malt brown vinegar
  • Half a tin of peaches in thick sugary syrup

Cut the cabbage into large chunks and place in a bakeproof dish already coated with butter. Add the chopped apple, peaches and diced red onion. Grate the zest of the lemon onto the cabbage and add the cinnamon and sugar. Pour over the liquids ie the sherry and the vinegar and stir. Bung it in the middle of the oven at 190°C for 1 hr 20 mins or a little longer depending on if you've gone to sleep or not. The smell around the house is gorgeous and the flavours that burst from within the dish when it comes to eating are fabulous. Cool and store in the fridge and warm up when necessary and use as a side dish for meats such as pork etc. It will keep for 7 days in the fridge, providing you keep it covered and airtight. Mouthwatering yet?

I've kept Notty's great prose style. It might help to think of a slug and a glug as a good tablespoon, and a handful as 2 good tablespoons. Notty says to stir frequently to stop it burning (mine didn't); if it does, turn oven down and/or cover (I cooked it uncovered). Anyway, his dish is seriously delicious.

  • 6 oz wholemeal flour
  • 2 oz plain white flour
  • 4 oz medium or fine oatmeal (I usually use medium)
  • ½ tbsp bicarb. of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 oz butter
  • 2 oz light muscovado sugar
  • 2-3 fluid oz of milk

Sift flours with bicarb and salt and stir in oatmeal - I do this in food processor. Mix in butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs and stir in sugar. Add enough milk to make soft dough. Roll out to required thickness, stamp out circles, place on greased baking sheets and prick with fork. Bake at 190°C for 10-15 mins. Cool on rack. Makes about 20 biscuits.

  • 2 slices of fresh bread per sandwich
  • Butter if you like (I don't use it)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Onion slices
  • Sliced ham
  • Sharp jelly: redcurrant, crab-apple or the like

Fry onions. Butter bread (if using butter). Spread bread with Dijon mustard. Put fried onions on top of mustard. Ham slices go on top of onions. Spread jelly on 2nd slice of bread. Put jelly-side down onto ham. Variations: try different meats or cheeses, and jellies or jam.

  • 1½ quarts hard cider
  • 1½ quarts apple juice
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup of rum
  • 2 cups molasses sugar (according to taste)

Place ingredients in heavy cooking dish. Heat and simmer very gently for at least 20 minutes until flavour is released. NB Use 3 pints each of "hard cider" (any good quality cider) and apple juice. Molasses suger is soft and dark brown. Dark rum is suggested.

This recipe was given to me by Dinky, who got it from Appletree Farm. It dates from 1790. Once its Apple Punch is tasted, Appletree farm is frequently asked for details.

  • 1 large onion
  • some cloves of garlic to taste (3-6)
  • 1 large red pepper
  • some anchovies (3-6)
  • 2tbs sun-dried tomato paste
  • 2 large tins of tomatoes
  • thyme, parsley or herbs to taste
  • wine glass of red wine
  • few shakes of angostura bitters
  • salt and black pepper

Chop finely then fry onions, garlic and red pepper in olive oil until soft. Fry the tomato paste for a few minutes. Remove hard bits from tomatoes, chop small, then add all the ingredients and simmer gently until thick. Anchovies add salt rather than taste to the sauce, so you'll need to add less salt if using them. In season I usually add a fresh ripe tomato, chopped, along with the tinned tomatoes. This makes quite lot of sauce and it freezes well.

  • some cloves of garlic to taste, chopped (3-6)
  • some chopped ginger equal to amount of garlic
  • 1 small red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint pineapple juice, best if fresh
  • 2tbs sugar
  • 3tbs malt vinegar
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 tbs sherry
  • 1 tbs oil
  • Good pinch of salt

Simmer the garlic, ginger and pepper in the pineapple juice until soft. Meanwhile mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add the juice mixture to the bowl, stirring well. Tip it all back into the saucepan to thicken as it reheats on a very low heat. Stir as you would for making gravy. You can thin it down if needed with extra pineapple juice. If it needs thickening it will gradually reduce on a low heat.

Serves 6, with your pork/prawns or whatever, deep-fried separately. For some reason, this sauce tastes best made with malt vinegar rather than the up-market vinegars

orange pepper
yellow pepper
site navigation
walks for wimps
various stuff