Wednesday 27 May 2015

Pork and Mushroom Stroganoff with Fries and Baby Kale

We have got quite a bit of pork leftover from the roast on Sunday and as it is our last night away this trip we are eating up. Traditionally stroganoff is made with beef but there are so many variations why not try it with pork. It is usually made with paprika but as we have some paprika packed chorizo to eat up I'm using that instead. You can serve it with rice or pasta but in Russia the side is always matchstick thin potato chips. Now there is no chance I'm going to risk a Clarkson-esque disaster deep frying in the van so frozen oven ready french fries it is!


Cooked pork cut into strips
Mushrooms, quartered
Red onion, peeled halved and sliced
Garlic clove, peeled and diced
Soured cream
Chorizo, about half a ring, peeled and chopped
Baby kale leaves
Oven ready french fries
Bread and butter


1. Put the chips in the oven as per packet instructions. A tip is to make sure the tin is red hot before pouring the chips in, by doing this they shouldn't stick.
2. Get a saucepan full of water boiling in order to blanch the kale later.
3. In a frying pan cook the chorizo until it starts to release its fat then add the onion slices and cook until translucent.
4. Bung in the mushrooms and stir until cooked.
5. In goes the cooked pork and garlic, stir for a minute then pour in the soured cream.
6. Blanch the kale for 3 minutes.
7. Season the strog and plate up! Top with chopped parsley and serve with some nice crusty buttered bread.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Whiskey Porridge with Brown Sugar, Salted Popcorn and Caramel Sauce

This has certainly been a porridge packed trip thanks to the lovely people at Flahavans who sent me a parcel full of porridgey goodies. We've had savoury porridge in the form of bacon and egg, fruity pear and pomegranate porridge, wild garlic porridge for dinner and now its time for a boozy porridge, The rule in cooking with booze is that heat and time remove the alcohol so the hotter it gets or the longer it cooks removes more alcohol, leaving you with the flavour without getting drunk. I made just one bowl of this and the 2-3 minutes in the microwave didn't remove all the alcohol, but it's a great start to a chilly weekend day, or as a hangover cure!


Whiskey (note the e in whiskey, denoting its Irish, as we are using Irish oats)
Popcorn kernels (or just buy salted popcorn)
Rape seed oil if popping your own popcorn
Brown sugar


1. In a saucepan with a lid (I used a clear lid so I could see whats going on) put in a tablespoon of oil and turn the heat medium/high. When you think the oil is hot enough drop in one popcorn kernel and put the lid back on. When it pops sprinkle in your salt, pour in the rest of the kernels and put the lid on. Give the pan a shake every now and then and when they have all popped turn off the heat and set aside.
2. Heat a small fry pan and add a tablespoon of brown sugar and half a tablespoon of water. Don't mix it with a spoon, just rock the pan from side to side to swirl the mixture. When you have a brown sticky consistency turn off the heat and set aside.
3. Make the porridge as per packet but add your whiskey to the mix. I used about a pub single measure but feel free to use more or less to your taste.
4. When the porridge is done sprinkle over it some brown sugar, top with the popcorn and drizzle over your caramel sauce.

Sunday 24 May 2015

Slow Roast Pork Shoulder with Wild Garlic Porridge

As we are in Gloucestershire we just had to treat ourselves to some Gloucester Old Spot pork and a slow roast shoulder joint was just perfect for a lazy day hanging around the caravan site. I love roasting pork in the caravan, the hot temperatures at the top of the oven make perfect crackling whilst the meat stays juicy and moist.

As part of the #PerfectPorridge campaign Flahavans sent me a lovely porridge parcel to use during this trip and savoury wild garlic porridge with those big meaty oats worked a treat with the pork. We foraged the wild garlic from the local lanes too, which made it all the more appealing.


Pork shoulder, 2kg
Porridge oats
Chia seeds
Wild garlic, half a carrier bag full
1x Garlic clove, peeled and diced
1x Banana shallot
3x Chestnut mushrooms, diced
Chicken stock cube
Parmesan cheese
White Wine
White wine vinegar
1x Sage leaf


1. The pork takes about 6 hours so start early with this one and make sure the butcher has scored the skin, if he hasn't use a stanley knife to cut regular incisions about 1cm apart. Massage a little oil into the skin and then rub salt into all the incisions. Place in the oven on gas mark 7 for about 20 minutes then turn down to gas 3 for the remaining time. Baste with the juices regularly.
2. Peel and chop the potatoes and get them soaking in water. Change the water every hour or so when you baste the pork. This will help remove some of the starch.
3. Bring a pan of water to the boil and bung in the washed wild garlic leaves. Blanch for 3 minutes then drain and rinse under a cold tap. Reserve the cooking water.
4. In a mini food processor or using a hand blender whiz up the leaves with a bit of the cooking water. When you have a lovely green sauce push it through a fine meshed sieve and dispose of the leaf pulp. Keep the green sauce for the oats.
5. Drain the potatoes and fill up with salted water this time. Boil for about 10-15 minutes then drain and allow to cool.
6. When the pork is done remove from the oven, loosely cover with foil and set aside to rest. Separate the fat from the meat juices.
7. Turn the oven up to gas 7 and put the meat fat in a roasting tin and on the top oven shelf. When the fat is nice and hot gently pour the potatoes in and give them a mix, making sure they are totally covered in fat. Season with salt and get back in the oven.
8. In a saucepan sweat off the shallot for a few minutes then add the mushrooms and garlic clove and continue cooking for a couple of minutes.
9. Add the oats to the shallots and stir for a minute before adding the cooking water from the wild garlic. Crumble in half the stock cube and a splash of white wine vinegar.
10. When the oats are almost done grate in a chunk of Parmesan and add the wild garlic green sauce. Mix well, season if needed. Tip: If you make too much wild garlic sauce freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays so you can simply pop in a cube of green garlic goodness into any future recipe.
11. Peel and slice the carrots and place in a frying pan with a teaspoon of sugar, knob of butter and half a cup of water. Cook over a medium heat until the liquid has gone and the carrots are all shiny. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle on some chia seeds if you have them.
12. For the gravy heat the meat juices with a glass of white wine and enough extra water if needed. Add a sage leaf and the other half of the stock cube. Reduce down a little, taste and add more stock if needed. Thicken with a bit of cornflour mixed with water.
13. All that's left to do is plate up and enjoy with a glass of the remaining white wine!

Pear and Pomegranate Porridge with Coconut, Coco Nibs and Maple Syrup

After yesterdays savoury bacon and egg porridge today we are continuing the Flahavans #PerfectPorridge campaign with a fruity one. The wonderful ingredients Flahavans sent me included coconut shavings and coco nibs but if you haven't got these just use any chocolate, or dare I say it - chop up a Bounty bar!


Porridge oats
Pomegranate seeds
Coco nibs
Coconut shavings
Maple syrup or honey


1. Peel and slice the pear.
2. Removed pomegranate seeds from the skin. Click here for a great video from BBC Good Food demonstrating how to do this. Alternatively buy your pomegranate seeds already removed.
3. Make the porridge as per the packet instructions, about 2-3 minutes in a microwave for 1 bowl.
4. Pile the porridge high, stand the pear slices vertical around the edge, sprinkle in your pomegranate, coconut and coco nibs and drizzle with maple syrup or honey.

Saturday 23 May 2015

Gloucestershire Squab Pie

Following our theme of trying to cook local fayre we are having Gloucestershire Squab Pie for dinner tonight. Bizarrely there is no pigeon in this pie, just lamb, apple and onion. Traditionally the lamb would have been a tougher cut but I have used leg because it cooks quicker, which suits me tonight. When I found this dish there was contrasting recipes with either a pastry top or swede mash so I've gone for pastry and served with swede mash and mint oil, along with some carrots, beans and sweet peppers. This one is dead easy but really very tasty, Mrs Larry loved it!


Lamb, we used 400g of leg steaks chopped up with the fat removed
1x Onion, peeled and sliced
1x Bramley apple
5x Sage leaves, chopped
1x Chicken stock cube
1x Packet of puff pastry roll
1x Swede
1x Potato
A handful of grated cheese, Double-Gloucester of course!
15x Mint leaves
Nice oil, we used extra virgin rapeseed
Balsamic vinegar
2x Carrots, peeled and sliced
1x Sweet yellow pepper, sliced
French beans, trimmed and cut in half


1. Finely chop the mint leaves and mix with a spoon of oil and balsamic vinegar. Allow them to infuse for as long as possible.
2. Cook the onions in a frying pan in a little oil until translucent then pour them into a separate pie dish.
3. Season the meat and dust with flour then brown in the frying pan and add to your pie dish.
4. Peel, core and chop the apple into about 1-2cm chunks and add to the pie dish with the chopped sage leaves.
5. Deglaze the frying pan with about 500ml of water and add to it the stock cube. Pour enough into the pie dish to just about cover everything.
6. Cover the pie dish with the puff pastry, trim and place a couple of cuts in the top. Brush with a little milk.
7. Place pie in the oven on gas 6 for about half an hour or until the pastry is nicely browned and done.
8. Peel and chop the potato and swede and bring the boil in a pan. Simmer until soft, drain, add a big knob of butter and the grated cheese and mash until smooth with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.
9. Pour in a frying pan half a cup of water and add the carrots with a knob of butter, a teaspoon of sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes then add the peppers and beans. Cook for a further 3 minutes, the liquid should have evaporated leaving the veg coated in a sweet shiny glaze.
11. Plate up! Not forgetting to drizzle the minty oil over the mash.

Bacon and Black Pudding Porridge with Egg and Chia Seeds and Maple Syrup

As part of the #PerfectPorridge campaign it was great to receive a porridge parcel from the nice people at Flahavans containing some interesting ingredients, one of them being chia seeds. I'd never heard of them before but they went nicely with the egg and are full of nutrients. Now the egg is raw in this but as soon as you mix it through the hot porridge it cooks and adds to the delicious consistency of those lovely big oats. I used Mabel Pearmans eggs because the yolks are lovely and orange but if you can get local fresh eggs more the better.


Black pudding
Chia seeds
Maple syrup


1. In a frying pan cook your bacon and black pudding.
2. Remove from the heat and pour the fat into your uncooked porridge.
3. Cook the porridge as per the pack instructions. I microwave for 2-3 minutes if only cooking for one but use a saucepan for more people. I used milk as Mrs Larry prefers it but you can use water.
4. Chop up the bacon and black pudding and sprinkle over the cooked porridge.
5. Make a small well in the top of the porridge. Separate an egg yolk from the white and pour the yolk into the well.
6. Sprinkle on the chia seeds and drizzle with maple syrup.


Since finding Chia seeds I have been trying to introduce them more and more into our daily diet as they are so very healthy and good for you. This interesting article from Cooking Detective explains it all: 17 Benefits Of Chia Seeds: Plus 13 Ways To Add Chia To Your Diet-With Recipes

Sunday 3 May 2015

Broccoli and Stilton Spaghetti With Red Onion Marmalade

For the May Bank Holiday weekend we have come with friends to the excellent Ferry Meadows country park in Peterborough. The village of Stilton is just down the road and as we are in Cambridgeshire my local dish has to include the controversial Stilton cheese. "Why controversial?" I hear you ask! Well Stilton cheese apparently does originate from the village of Stilton in Cambridgeshire but an EU trademark rules that it can only be produced in the three Counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. You can read all about here on

The beauty of this vegetarian dish is that it only takes as long as the pasta cooking time to complete. It is quick, easy, yet the taste is a million times more rewarding than the effort put into it.

(serves 2)

1x Broccoli
2x Celery sticks, finely sliced
2x Red Onions, finely sliced
Spaghetti, about 200g
Stilton cheese, about 250g crumbled
Double cream, 1 pot
Cheddar cheese, about a handful grated
White wine vinegar
Walnuts, crushed
Nice oil, I used extra virgin rapeseed
Red wine, a glass
Red wine vinegar
Brown sugar, 2 tbsp
Bay leaf
Chili, optional


1. Fill up a saucepan with cold salted water and bring to the boil for the spaghetti.
2. In a small frying pan on medium-low heat add a splash of oil and the onions. Stir frequently.
3. Now is a good time to slice your celery, grate and crumble cheese, floret the broccoli.
4. When the water is boiling add the spaghetti and cook per packet instructions.
5. To the onions add the sugar and stir through then add the red wine, a splash of red wine vinegar, the bay and the chili if using. Keep stirring and top up with wine if it gets dry.
6. In a small saucepan pour in the cream and gently warm through.
7. Add the handful of grated Cheddar and half the crumbled Stilton. Stir until completely melted.
8. Add a splash of white wine vinegar to the cheese sauce, taste and season, cover and switch off the gas.
9. With 3 minutes left of cooking time for the spaghetti add the broccoli florets to the pan.
10. Drain the spaghetti and add it to the cheese sauce.
11. Plate up with a big dollop of spaghetti in the centre of the plate, surrounded by the broccoli florets. Top with the remaining crumbled Stilton, crushed walnuts, sliced celery and your red onion marmalade. Finish off with a handful of rocket, a good drizzle of nice oil and some black pepper.