Monday 29 December 2014

Pot Roast Silverside of Beef with Root Veg

When I was a kid Mum would regularly pot roast silverside of beef on a Sunday but I haven't done it in ages. This one was on offer and gave me the incentive to give it a try. Silverside is a tough cut of meat so you must cook it as low and as slow as possible, about 4 hours.


Silverside of beef roasting joint
New potatoes
Carrots - peeled and thickly sliced
Parsnips - peeled and cut into thick chips
Onion - sliced
Dry cider - 1 bottle
Butter beans - 1 tin
Garlic - 1 clove, peeled
Beef stock cube
Rosemary - finely chopped, about a tablespoon
Mustard - 1 teaspoon, more if you like it spicy
Cornflour mixed with water


1. Season the beef on all sides with salt and pepper then sear on a high heat in a frying pan. Remove from the pan and place in casserole dish.
2. Sweat off the onions in the frying pan then add to the casserole dish.
3. Add the parsnips and carrots to the dish.
4. In the frying pan pour in the bottle of dry cider and bring to a boil.
5. Add the stock cube, rosemary and mustard to the cider then pour into the dish.
6. Place the dish on the middle shelf of the oven if possible on gas mark 2 for about 4 hours. Turn the beef every hour.
7. Towards the end of the cooking add the tin of butter beans to the dish.
8. Boil the new potatoes and clove of garlic until soft. Drain, season, add a knob of butter and lightly crush.
9. Remove the casserole dish from the oven. With a slotted spoon remove the veg and set aside, drain the gravy into a pan and bring back to a boil. Taste and season then thicken with cornflour
10. Bring the broccoli to a boil and simmer for about 3-4 minutes.
11. Slice the beef and plate it all up!

Wiltshire Bacon Fraise

You know I like to attempt a local dish while away in the van but all I could find for Wiltshire was Lardy Cake or these Bacon Fraises. As it was Christmas and we were feeling a bit 'larded out' the lardy cake was off the menu. These Bacon Fraises make a nice alternative for breakfast and my tribe soon scoffed them all up.


Flour (I used self raising because it is all I had in the van. It worked well but the traditional recipe is plain flour)


1. Make a batter mix predominantly of eggs. You only need a teaspoon or so of flour and a little cream.
2. Fry the rashers of bacon in a frying pan until just about done.
3. Pour over the bacon a little of the batter, flip them over to do the other side.
4. Serve!

Alternative Bacon Fraise:

I used 4 eggs and it was way to much but it did mean i had loads of batter left over to try a modified version of the Bacon Fraise in the oven. Its a bit like a breakfast Yorkshire pudding!


The same as above
Diced onion
Grated cheese


1. Dice the bacon and fry with the diced onion.
2. Add the grated cheese to the batter then pour over the bacon and onion.
3. Fry for a minute then put the frying pan in a hot oven on the top shelf. I did mine on full whack for about 10 minutes.

Saturday 27 December 2014

Oven Baked Bubble and Squeak Cakes

Christmas wouldn't be the same without making bubble and squeak out of the leftovers. There isn't really a specific recipe as it depends what leftover veg you might have but rather than just fry it all in a pan give my oven baked cakes a go instead.


Leftover cooked veg from Christmas dinner
Leftover potatoes or new ones to make mash
Leftover cheese sauce or some grated cheddar


1. Chop up all your leftover veg and slightly mash the potatoes If you haven't got many leftover spuds then boil some new ones to make the mash, allow to cool before continuing.
2. Combine all the veg and mashed spuds in a bowl and mix through the cheese sauce or grated cheese.
3. Simply form the cakes in your hands and place on a greased baking tray. Brush them with a little oil and bake on gas6 until golden.

Saturday 6 December 2014

Sweet and Sour Sausage Bean Feast

I've been sent this wonderfully interesting sausage bean feast suggestion by James Austen, aged 4, from Congleton in Cheshire. James says:

"My favourite campsite recipe in our 2014 Elddis Crusader Tempest is ‘Sausage Bean Feast’ consisting of sausages all cut into little chunks and fried with two tins of beans, one tin of new potatoes (cut up) and a tin of pineapple, all in the same deep sided pan so perfect on the hob in our caravan, especially for some winter caravanning."

I did Larry up the dish just a little with a drop of vinegar and a few fresh veggies, turning it into sweet and sour sausage bean feast. I also roasted the potatoes separately in polenta, making them crunchy crispy but with really fluffy insides. My veggie followers could easily omit the sausages and it would be just as tasty, and spice lovers should bung in a chilli or two!


1x Tin of beans
1x Tin of potatoes, drained
1x Tin of pineapple chunks
1x Red onion, sliced
1x Red pepper, chopped
1x Yellow pepper, chopped
Baby sweetcorn, sliced
French beans, cut in half
Red wine vinegar
Chinese five spice


1. Heat some oil in a roasting tin on gas mark 6.
2. In a bowl mix a pinch of five spice with salt and pepper and a good handful or two of polenta.
3. Coat the drained tinned potatoes evenly with the polenta mix and put them in the hot oil on the top shelf of the oven for about 40 minutes.
4. Put the sausages in a baking tin on the next shelf down.
5. After about 30 minutes sweat off the onion in a wok.
6. Add the pepper, baby corn and French beans and cook for a few minutes.
7. Add a good splash of red wine vinegar, the tin of beans and tin of pineapple, including all the juice.
8. Remove the sausages from the oven, slice them up and bung them in the wok too.
9. Season to taste but it shouldn't really need a lot.
10. Take the crispy crunchy spuddies out of the oven and plate up!