Sunday, 24 April 2011

Sausage and Porcini Pappardelle

This dish was born out multi buy offer at Sainsbury’s. Sausages were on offer and one pack had been demolished at the previous nights BBQ.

I seem to recall a Jamie recipe similar to this, which gave me the inspiration to make it.

The Sausages and porcini mushrooms deliver little nuggets of meaty goodness. You could easily use Tagliatelle with this but I preferred the larger Pappardelle as it seems to make the dish more filling, the wine gives just the right amount of acidity

Serves 5

Six Pork Sausages
Handful of Dried Porcini Mushrooms

Two sprigs of Thyme, stalks removed and finely chopped
500g Bag of Pappardelle
1 Shallot finely chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic Finely Chopped
Glug of dry white wine
Tablespoon of Olive Oil
50ml Double Cream

Put the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water and leave for 20 mins.
Remove the Skin from the sausages and pinch off bite size pieces
Add the oil to large frying pan and gently fry the onion and garlic for a couple of mins
Add the sausages pieces to the pan and gently fry until brown
Meanwhile squeeze the water from the mushrooms but reserve the soaking water .
In a separate pan heat a knob of butter and gently fry the mushrooms, then add them to the pan with the sausages.
Next add the glug of wine, the Thyme and cook on a high heat for a min or two.
Add a couple of ladles of the mushroom water, be careful not to use the grit at the bottom of the bowl.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 mins, top up with any remaining mushroom water if required.
Meanwhile heat a large pan of water to boiling point, add a good amount of salt. Then cook the Pappardelle to packet instructions.
Spoon a little water from the Pappardelle into the sausage pan to loosen the sauce slightly and give it a glossy look.
Stir in the cream
Season the sauce to taste.
Drain the Pappardelle and tip into the pan with the sauce
Toss the pasta until all of it is coated in the sauce
Serve in pasta bowls and top with shaved Parmesan 

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Beef Rendang

I love this dish. Its spicy, fragrant, sticky, gooey and it uses a nice cheap cut of meat.

There is a fair old amount of prep involved with all the chopping and stuff. This can be made easier if you get your butcher to cube the meat for you (buy it cubed from the supermarket) and trim off some of the fat if you want it leaner.

Lisa is not so hot (ha, see what I did there) on this, as although Malaysian cooking has elements of the Thai food she likes, it also has fair amounts of Indian spicing which she’s not so keen on. 

Some patience is required in getting the things to cook properly whilst resisting the temptation to whack up the heat.

The Recipe comes straight from John Torode and I only tweaked a little for my own tastes.


1 lemongrass stalk, roughly chopped
20g/¾oz coriander seeds
½tsp cumin seeds
½tsp turmeric powder
50g/2oz block coconut cream
1½ large onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 red chillies, seeds removed, chopped (This wasn’t hot enough for me so add more or leave the seeds in if you like)
1 thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 Teaspoon Chopped Galangal
1 bay leaf
750g/1lb 10oz boneless beef shin, cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes
400g/14oz canned coconut milk
250ml/8¾fl oz strong veal or beef stock, heated

Pound the lemongrass to a pulp using a pestle and mortar. Tip the lemongrass into a small bowl.

Heat the frying pan over a medium heat. Add the coriander, cumin seeds and turmeric and dry fry until fragrant. Tip the spices into a spice grinder or the pestle and mortar. Grind the spices to a powder if using a grinder, or pound in a pestle and mortar until the spices are as smooth as possible. Set aside.

In a wide pan or cast-iron wok, heat the block of coconut cream until it melts, keeping the heat low so that it does not burn. If, like me, you leave it in one block, this takes an absolute age. So if you can, break it up first. It's a bit like trying to break rock but it will save you time in the long run

Melt You Bugger Melt

Add the onions, garlic, chillies, ginger and pounded lemongrass to the pan and cook gently until the onions have softened and the mixture is fragrant.

Add the reserved ground spices and the bay leaf and fry for a few minutes more.

Add the meat and increase the heat so that it browns on all sides. Stir until the meat is completely coated with the spices - this will take a few minutes.

A few Minutes! This takes ages and trying to increase the heat to cook it quicker makes things stick to the bottom. So just be patient and it will happen.

By now wonderfully fragrant smells should start to emit from the kitchen, attracting all sorts to see what's a cooking
Ohhh........ but I like Beef Rendang

Add the coconut milk, bring to the boil, then add the hot stock.
Turn the heat up until its bubbling nicely then continue cooking for at least 1- 1½ hours, stirring occasionally until the sauce becomes thick and coats the meat well.

Serve with Rice, or follow John’s original recipe and add a salad as well
What ever you choose to serve it with, remember to add the chillies, spices etc to your taste. As for the leftovers I haven't worked out what to do with them yet.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Rode Hall Farmers Market

It's been a long old while since I last visited a Farmers Market. The previous one I went to had about 6 vendors, one of which was a greasy burger van, the rest consisted of one butcher selling mostly sausages plus smattering of cake stalls and Jam makers. As it was I wanted none of these things so I came away, only with some average pork, tomato and herb sausages.

Now I've seen, heard and read a lot recently about Farmers Markets of late and have been um-ing and ahh-ing about going. As it happens Lisa came home on Friday night and said there was one taking place on the Saturday.

Not Knowing what to expect I headed off to the wild borders of Staffordshire/Cheshire.
Was I pleasantly surprised or what?

OK, the Jam makers were still there, but no sign at all of the greasy burger van.
There were butchers of all kinds, cheese makers, biscuit makers, bread artisans , brewers, veg stalls and well, everything you could want food wise.
They even had a live band and Hog roast. Incidentally why is it whenever people gather in numbers of greater than 20 does someone decide to roast a whole pig.

Rode hall itself is a lovely place and well worth a wander around once you've stocked up on essentials.

I got there about 10:30 and it was packed so I'd advise getting there early

One stall of particular interest was a lady selling all kinds of mushrooms, some of which I'd never even seen before.
Her advise was simply fry  with butter and Garlic.

Being me I added a shallot and some pasta water from the tagliatelle I was cooking, plus a good handful of chopped parley.

Lisa had her's on country bread toast and I had mine with the aforementioned tagliatelle plus dash of truffle oil, olive oil and Parmesan cheese. The taste was amazing, each mushroom lending its own unique taste to overall dish.

I also managed to get some very good Cray Fish tails with which I made the previously blogged Cray Fish Salad and  my favourite cheese of the moment "Snowdonia Black Bomber Cheddar" and some blue cheese for Lisa.

Plus for the first time got some Rose Veal, which I cooked on the hob for a couple of hours in milk. If I'm honest it was good but I will cook it differently next time

Oh, oh, oh and I found some absolutely Stunning Chorizo for my Chicken and Chorizo Stew.

So all in all well worth a visit and I'll definitely be back next month