Friday, 2 September 2016

Wild Mushroom Risotto

This weekend sees our annual rally of locals where the kids play all day and the adults indulge in a spot of eating and drinking around a campfire. There are 20 of us in total so each family is responsible for cooking one dish, but lots of it! I'm doing a vegetarian option of wild mushroom risotto in the paella pan on the cadac and it couldn't be easier cooking for so many people. Simply chuck it all in the big pan, stir a bit then serve.

(serves 20)

1kg Risotto rice
1kg Mushrooms, roughly chopped. I used wild mushrooms from the supermarket and chestnut
3x Onions, finely chopped
1x Garlic head, crushed or diced (don't be shy, this dish loves garlic)
1x Bottle of white wine
200g Parmesan cheese
Vegetable stock, I used about 2 litres of swiss marigold made up hot in a jug
Extra virgin rapeseed oil
Fresh flat leaf parsley
Salt and black pepper


1, Pour a massive glug of rapeseed oil in to the pan on medium heat and stir in the diced onions. Continue stirring and cook until transparent.
2. Add the chopped mushrooms, stir and cook for a couple of minutes.
3. In goes the garlic, stir for about 30 seconds then pour in the rice and continually stir until each grain is coated in oil.
4. Slowly pour in the wine until it appears all absorbed.
5. Bit by bit pour in the vegetable stock and gentle turn the rice so it doesn't stick to the bottom. Keep going until the rice is cooked and is a creamy texture.
6. Season with salt and black pepper and grate in a load of parmesan. Serve drizzled in that lovely British rapeseed oil and topped with torn parsley leaves.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Dorset Jugged Steak

When you think of a jugged dish you immediately think of jugged hare that is cooked in its own blood. Don't worry, jugged steak is not as adventurous as that, jugged can also mean slowly cooked to retain flavour and this dish does exactly that. Traditionally it would be cooked with port but as I had some cider I gave it a whirl with that and it worked well. I like the fact that the steak casserole is topped with balls of sausagemeat, it adds a really tasty extra dimension and is perfect for carnivores like me.


900g Stewing steak, cut into bite-size pieces
2tbsp Plain flour
1x Medium onion, diced
2x Cloves
250ml Cider
350ml Beef stock
250g Sausagemeat
1x Star anise petal
1x Rosemary sprig, leaves removed and finely chopped
2tbsp Parsley, chopped to add as topping
Salt and pepper


1, Turn on the oven to gas mark 3.
2. Toss the steak in the flour then put it in an oven proof casserole dish.
3. Add the onion, cloves, star anise and rosemary with a pinch of salt and pepper then top with the cider and stock.
4. Bring to a simmer on the hob then put the lid on the dish and pop it in the oven for 2.5 hours.
5. Roll your sausagemeat into balls and drop them into the casserole dish and cook uncovered for a further 30 minutes.
6. We served ours with some simple sauteed runner beans and garlic mash all topped with those fresh parsley leaves.

Cadac Pancakes

We all know the Cadac is a great outdoors cooking machine, it's great for grilling meat and famous for its Paella but it also makes a mean pancake. The flat plate gets so hot you can knock a pancake out in seconds, with the added bonus of them being huge! The kids love these massive Cadac pancakes, eaten with your favourite topping outside on a summer morning is a special experience and a memory to treasure.

There are many pancake recipes out there but ultimately you are looking to end up with a batter similar to the consistency of single cream. I'm using the 2-3-4 recipe here, 200g flour - 3 eggs - 400ml milk. The milk is an approximation as it depends on the size of your eggs so just add it slowly until you get that single cream imitation.


200g Plain flour
3 Eggs
400ml Milk
Oil for greasing the pan


1. You can sift the flour into a bowl but I tend to just bung it in.
2. Make a well in the middle of the flour and crack your eggs into it.
3. Either whisk by hand or electric and incorporate as much of the flour as possible into the egg.
4. Pour in a dribble of milk and continue whisking and adding small amounts of milk until you have a thick batter.
5. Now slowly add the rest of your milk, still whisking, until the mixtures resembles single cream.
6. Crank up the Cadac with the flat plate side of the griddle on, smear it with oil using a bit of kitchen paper then ladle on your mixture and spread it about quickly.
7. Use a slotted turner to flip the pancake, cook the other side then serve.

Tip: It helps to get your Cadac level, use a tilt meter app on your phone if you have one or the caravan spirit level will do.