In two weeks it’ll be Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve guys, can you believe it? I can’t, but boy I cannot wait for the Christmas foodies. The time to be with loved ones, having a good time, laughing, good food, literally ticking all my boxes. I love the lead up to Christmas, everyone out buying gifts and preparing the delicious treats for the big day. A tasty treat we have this week with this pork belly recipe, full of flavour and so very simple to make. If you’re feeling a richer flavour use a meatier stock, otherwise vegetable stock will work just as well.
- 600g pork belly slices
- 400ml stock
- 200ml cranberry juice
- 7-8 shallots, peeled and quartered
- 1 bulb of garlic, peeled leaving the cloves whole
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- Ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180 fan.
- Place your baking tray on the stove, add the garlic, shallot and oil and fry for a couple of minutes.
- Put the pork belly slices on top of the garlic and shallots, distributing them evenly on the tray.
- Pour in the stock and the cranberry juice, try to avoid touching the meat so that the fattier parts of the meat can render and become crispy in the cooking process. Season the pork with salt and pepper
- Put the baking tray in the oven and leave to cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Best served hot and with some mashed potatoes.
Back with another recipe this week, a butternut squash and butter bean soup. Great for these colder and windy days we are having. Deliciously healthy, earthy and even creamy with the flavour of the butter beans.
- 1/2 a medium sized butternut squash
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 can (400g) butter beans, drained
- 700ml vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp onion granules
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Black pepper
- Start by preheating your oven to 200 (fan) and bake the butternut squash for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Once you’ve removed the squash from the oven, scoop out its contents, disposing of the skin and place in a bowl. Using the back of a fork, thoroughly mush the squash until it’s mashed but not fully puréed, then leave to one side.
- Get yourself a saucepan and on medium heat, start by frying the garlic in the oil for a minute.
- Then add the squash, add all the seasonings and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the butter beans and fry for another 2 minutes.
- Pour in the stock, mix and leave to cook for 10 minutes.
- Add a generous sprig of rosemary, cover and leave for an additional 5 minutes and then serve.
We are nearly half way through the month and let’s be honest, we are all preparing for the Christmas holidays. Preparation is well underway in our household and it’s kicking off with a banger. Starting with this glass of deliciousness; a blood orange sour. Blood oranges are just so so tasty, a beautiful dark red flesh with a sweet but ‘soury’ citrus flavour that is just too good! I’ve doubled the alcohol quantity on this one and believe me, you won’t be disappointed and nor will your guests be over the celebratory period.
- 100ml Blood Orange Gin ( I used Beefeater Gin)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (golden syrup will also work well)
- 350 ml smooth blood orange juice
- Ice … lots of it
- Using a jug mix the gin, syrup and blood orange juice together thoroughly.
- Take 2 tumbler glasses and a couple of rosemary leaves and rub around the rim of both glasses
- Place 3-4 rosemary leaves at the bottom of each glass and fill generously with ice cubes.
- Evenly distribute the gin mixture into both glasses. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and serve.
The perfect combination of meaty, spicy and nutty all in one. A classic if you’re feeling a mix up of flavours in this hearty dish; perfect for Autumn.
- 350g diced beef
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 450ml beef stock
- 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled and chopped into bite size chunks
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 large shallot, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 chilli, finely chopped
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- On medium heat, start by browning the meat for a couple of minutes, then remove and keep to one side.
- Pour in the oil and add the shallot, garlic, fresh chilli and ginger and fry together for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the sweet potato, cayenne pepper and season with salt and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, mix and bring to the boil.
- Pour in the stock and add the peanut butter and mix thoroughly. Drop the heat to medium low, cover and leave to cook and thicken for two hours or until the beef has become soft and tender, stir every 15-20 minutes or so ensuring that nothing has stuck to the bottom of the pan.
That’s right guys, we are back with a cheeky little autumnal recipe. Keeping it nice and simple with this first week back, plus, let’s be honest it’s not so cold out there for this time of the year so I think we can get away with a salad, albeit a ‘warmish’ salad.
As a kid I had known persimmon as ‘Kaki’ fruit as that’s the word my parents had taught it to me as. In Italian it’s referred to as Kaki and it wasn’t until much later in life that I discovered that here in the UK it is called a persimmon and I’ve also heard it referred to as Sharon fruit? I don’t know where the Sharon comes from but hey?! Now I’m just going off on fruit names, let’s get back to the good stuff. Go on have a lil’ read of this recipe, you know you want to give this a go…
- 2 Persimmon/ Kaki fruit, cut into rings
- 1 Burrata, drained
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180 fan. Evenly distribute the persimmon rings on the baking tray and place in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flip them over half way through.
- In the meantime, take a small bowl and add the mustard, golden syrup, olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
- Dress your dish of choice by starting with the persimmon, then using your hands tear the burrata and delicately place on and around the fruit. Drizzle over the dressing and serve.