Saturday 30 November 2013

Baked Garlic Camembert

A simple snack that many people do in varying different ways. I'm going to continually update this recipe with all the variations as I try them. Please do send me your recipes too.


1x Camembert in a woodon box
1x Garlic clove
Crusty bread


1. Peel the garlic and slice into slithers.
2. Pierce the top of the camembert with a small knife and insert the slithers of garlic.
3. Drizzle the camembert with nice oil, put the wooden lid back on. Wrap in foil (I dont think this is necesary but when in the van I'd rather be safe than sorry).
4. Place in a gas mark 6 oven for about 20-25 minutes.
5. Serve with a nice local chutney and get dipping in that crusty bread.

Monday 27 May 2013

Lamb and Veg Hotpot

A hotpot is quite tricky to cook in the van due to the massive temperature difference between the top and bottom of the oven. I use a pot with a lid to protect the potatoes from the higher heat, then whip the lid off for the last half hour. Please note I haven't dared call this Lancashire hotpot as it is nothing like the traditional recipe, it's just what I made up on the day.


Lamb neck cut into 1" chunks
1x Onion
2x Large carrots, diced quite large
Potatoes, sliced about 2mm thick
1x Lamb stock cube
Half a swede, peeled and diced quite large
French beans, trimmed and cut in half
1x Garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1x Leek, chopped
2x Celery sticks, cut into 1cm chunks
1x Rosemary sprig, leaves finely chopped.
Worcestershire sauce
2x Glasses of white wine


1. In a frying pan brown the lamb in a couple of batches. Put the lamb in the casserole dish.
2. Sweat off the onion and leek in the frying pan, add the garlic for the last minute then add to the casserole.
3. Fill the pan with about half a litre of water and bring to a simmer, add the stock cube, rosemary leaves and a good glug of Worcestershire sauce.
4. Thicken the gravy a little with cornflour (the cornflour must be mixed to a paste with cold water before pouring into the gravy).
5. Taste, season then pour into the casserole dish.
6. Add the carrots, swede, beans and celery to the casserole.
7. Pour in a glass of wine and give it all a good mix.
8. Layer the potato slices on the top, brush with a little melted butter or oil, season, put the lid on.
9. Put in the oven on gas mark 7 for about half an hour then turn down to gas mark 4 for about 2 hours.
10. Take the lid off and turn back up to gas 7. Its done when the spuds are nicely browned.
11. Put the pan on a trivet in the centre of the table and get stuck in.

Friday 3 May 2013

Pork Chop in Cider Sauce with Garlic Mash and Pancetta Cabbage

This is a family favourite from an original recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall called Pan to Oven Pork Chops and featured in his Meat book. First cooked in May 2013 at High Onn then revisited in August 2014 at Stamford Top Lodge.


2x Pork chops, nice and thick ones from the butcher
1x Garlic bulb
1x Cabbage
1x Leek
5x Rashers of pancetta or streaky bacon
1x teaspoon of caraway seeds
1x Bottle of dry cider
Potatoes, enough to make as much mash as you want.


1. Peel and chop spuds and put in a pan of water. Add 2 peeled cloves of garlic to pan. Set aside for now.
2. Pour the cider into a pan and get boiling to reduce by at least half.
3. Turn oven on to gas 7 (220C) and put roasting pan in.
4. In a big frying pan or wok heat a drop of oil and toss in all the remain cloves of garlic with their skins on. Turn cloves over for 1-2 minutes then remove and set aside.
5. Season the pork chops well on each side and put them in the hot frying pan. Brown both sides. I also like to hold them upright with tongs, skin side down so it gets nice and crispy.
6. In the hot roasting pan arrange the chops so the skin is sticking up. I used the ends of the leeks to prop them up. Pour the cider reduction over the meat but take care not to get any on the skin. Cover the chops with the cloves of garlic then pop the lot into the oven for 20 minutes.
7. Get the spuds boiling to make mash.
8. Chop the leeks and cabbage and take a few minutes for a slurp.
9. Chop the pancetta or bacon into slivers and fry in the frying pan for a couple of minutes. Remove and set aside.
10. Add the leek to the frying pan, sweat off for a few minutes.
11. Add the caraway seeds and chopped cabbage to the pan and keep turning.
12. Add the cooked pancetta to the pan.
13. Take the chops out of the oven and set aside to rest.
14. In the microwave or a small pan heat some milk and butter for the mash.
15. Drain and mash the spuds then fork through the hot milky butter, season to taste.
16. Taste the cider sauce and season if needed. Sometimes I put a pinch of stock in and you can thicken if you like.
17. Plate up!

Friday 29 March 2013

Store Cupboard Corned Beef Hash

Corned beef hash is an easy, tasty store cupboard dinner. Mum used to mix the corned beef up with mashed potato and cabbage but nowadays I tend to make it saucy with veggies. In this recipe I've used lots of tins as it was a store cupboard eat up day but any veg can be used, be it fresh, frozen or tinned.


1x Tin of corned beef
1x Tin of tomatoes
1x Tin of peas
1x Tin of sweetcorn
1x Tin of baked beans
1x Onion, diced
2x Carrots, diced
1x Garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1x beef stock cube
Chilli powder
Corriander powder
Dried mixed herbs
Balsamic vinegar


1. Sweat off the onion in a large pan or wok.
2. Add carrots to the wok.
3. Add the dry spices and garlic, cook for a minute.
3. Add the tomatoes.
4. Chop the corned beef and add to pan.
5. Add the peas, sweetcorn and baked beans.
6. Add a teaspoon each of chilli powder, corriander, cumin and herbs.
7. Taste and season with salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. You might want to add the crumbled stock cube if it needs it.
8. Serve with anything. Mashed potato, chips, wedges, rice, pasta, noodles, shredded cabbage, the list is endless.

Saturday 9 March 2013

Duck Breast, Red Wine Sauce, Fennel Roast Carrot, Sautéed Cabbage, Thin Roast Spuds

We love a bit of duck and a juicy duck breast with a red wine and redcurrant sauce is hard to beat.

First cooked at Lincoln Farm Park in March 2013 then revisited in August 2014 at Top Lodge Stamford.


2x Duck breast
2x Carrots
Half a cabbage
5x Bacon rashers
1x Leek (can use onion if you prefer)
2x Spuds, we used red skinned Roosters
Fennel seeds
Five spice powder
Red wine
Redcurrant jelly


1. Get a baking tray in the oven on gas 6 for the spuds.
2. No need to peel the spuds, just slice thinly about 2mm thick. Coat in oil, season then place in a single layer on the hot baking tray and pop back in the oven on the top shelf. They take about 30 minutes to cook.
3. Peel the carrots, coat in oil and fennel seeds and season. Put on the bottom shelf of the oven in a baking tray large enough to eventually hold the duck breasts too. They take about 20 minutes to cook.
4. In a small pan get a couple of glasses of wine boiling to reduce by half.
5. Chop the cabbage, leek and bacon rashers.
6. Heat a wok or large frying pan on the stove.
7. Season the duck breast with salt, pepper and five spice powder and score the skin in 1cm intervals across the width. Place skin down in the wok. Let the skin get nice and crispy for 2-3 minutes then flip over and do the underside for 1 minute.
8. Remove the duck from the pan and place in the roasting dish with the carrots. Place on the oven top shelf for no more than 10 minutes.
9. Turn all the spud slices and put on the bottom oven shelf.
10. In the frying pan/wok there will be loads of lovely duck fat. Gently fry the leek in it for a few minutes then add the cabbage and bacon. Keep turning it over for about 5 minutes.
11. Remove duck from the oven and allow to rest. Pour any juices into the red wine reduction.
12. Mix a dessertspoon of redcurrant jelly into the wine reduction and season if necessary. You can thicken with cornflour if you like.
13. Slice the duck breast across the slits you made in the skin. Pour any juice into the sauce.
14. Plate up.