Thursday, 27 January 2011

Recipe : Sausage and Borlotti Bean Casserole




This is a great winter midweek dish; the cider gives it a slight fruity tang to counterbalance the beans which always go well with some quality sausages
I adapted this from Rosie’s original recipe by reducing the quantity of onions and increasing the liquid and cooking it more slowly


Ingredients
8 pork sausages
olive oil
1 onions , peeled and diced
8 juniper berries
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp cornflour
500ml cider
200g rindless pork belly or streaky bacon, diced
2 x 400g tins borlotti beans , drained and rinsed

 Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Divide up the sausages but do not prick. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in an ovenproof casserole on a medium heat. Add the sausages and brown, turning from time to time. When they are burnished and crisp, remove to a plate.
 In the same pan, add the onion and cook until turning transparent. Now add the pork belly or bacon and cook for a couple of mins.Now add the juniper berries, bay leaves, cumin seeds and cornflour, mixing thoroughly to coat the onions. After a few moments, add the cider and turn the heat up to high. It should begin to take on a silky, slightly thickened texture.
Bring to a simmer, cover then put in the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Fold in the borlotti beans, season and return to the oven for 20 minutes to heat the beans through.

Server with Mash or just with crusty bread


Monday, 10 January 2011

Recipe: Farfalle With Prawns



Unbelievably simple, in fact the most time consuming thing is waiting for the water to boil for the pasta, so if you use the kettle it’s even quicker

I thought the taste would be limited but the small amount of ingredients produce a dish full of flavour, however despite it's simplicity be careful not to overcook the prawns or you'll end up with pasta a fish flavoured rubber.

Serves 2
120g Frozen Peas or a couple of handfuls
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Shallot finely chopped
1 Packet of Cooked prawns
100ml dry white wine
Enough Farfalle for two, measure it out in the bowls before hand, remember it expands slightly
Good handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
Good slug of extra virgin olive oil

Put the pasta water on to boil
In a wide frying pan heat the oil then gently sweat the shallots for a couple of mins
Add the prawns and peas then cook for a couple of mins
Stir in the white wine and bring to the boil and simmer whilst the pasta is cooking, remember to season to your taste
To the pasta water add a good deal of salt and then cook the pasta to packet instructions
When the pasta is done, drain and add to the pan with the prawns, stir well so that all the pasta is coated. Now stir in the chopped parsley
Finally dish into the bowls add a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and that’s it , no really that’s all there is to it


Thursday, 6 January 2011

Recipe : Pan Fried Venison with Juniper Sauce

A sumptuous post Christmas treat brought about by the usual special offer at Sainsbury's £5 for two steaks, can't go wrong really can you?

Sorry about the photo I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture of the food , so this is what it looks like before I cooked it. Ok not much help but at least you know what to look for if you want a go

Venison gives a deep and somewhat gamey flavour and it's much leaner than beef, the sauce adds wonderfully rich and fruity note that complements the venison perfectly.
I adapted the recipe from Mark Hix in which he suggest serving with Parsnip Drop scones, this sounded all to sweet to me so I opted for a simple potato dauphinoise instead

I love the simplicity of this dish, it sounds extravagant but really its not, there's very little prep to do, of course that depends on what you serve this with

Steaks
2 Holme Farmed Venison Steaks
Olive oil for frying
Salt and Pepper

Sauce
A good knob of butter
2 Medium Shallots peeled and finely chopped
6 Juniper Berries crushed (These can be tricky to find so you may have to order on line)
1 Teaspoon of plain flour
2 Teaspoons of Redcurrant Jelly
About 300 ml of Beef stock

To make the sauce heat the butter and a little olive oil in a wide pan and gently fry the shallots and juniper berries for a couple of mins.
Stir in the flour and add the redcurrant jelly. Gradaully stir in the stock, if you chuck it all in in one go you will get a lumpy sauce.
Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 10 mins, not forgetting to taste for seasoning of course

The steaks couldn't be simpler, heat a heavy based frying pan and add your oil and butter, when sizzling add the steaks and cook over a medium high heat for around 6 -7 mins, keep turning them for an even cook and keep spooning the juices over the steaks. This way you get a nice even colour.

Take the steaks out when done and let the rest for a few mins.

Slice the steaks and place them on a plate then drizzle over your wonderful sauce.

Bambi never tasted so good