Thursday 31 December 2015

Buxton Pudding Turnover

I couldn't say farewell to lovely Derbyshire without trying out a local dish. Everyone knows about Bakewell puddings and tarts but the little known Buxton pudding never gets a mention. A Buxton pudding is very similar to it's sibling over at Bakewell except it doesn't use almonds and the filling is mixed with breadcrumbs to make it denser. You will notice I've added 'turnover' to the title, this is due to the fact that my enamel tin was far to big for the quantity of filling I'd made so I just picked the pastry up from one end of the tin and pulled it over to make a pie. Lucky for me it worked and in the process I've accidentally invented a new dish!


1x Roll of ready made shortcrust pastry
170g Breadcrumbs
3 Eggs, beaten together
100g Soft butter
120g Caster sugar
Raspberry's, 1 punnet


1. In a pan gently warm your raspberries and 20g of sugar until you have a warm jam.
2. Mix together the remaining sugar with the butter in a bowl then gradually add the eggs followed by the breadcrumbs.
3. Roll out the pastry into an oven dish.
4. Spread your jam onto the pastry.
5. Top with the breadcrumb filling. Now here is where you should stop but as mentioned I didn't have enough filling for my tin so I grabbed one end of the pastry and pulled over the top to make a pie. If you have a small tin you can miss the optional bit out. Don't forget to seal the pie with a bit of water or egg wash. Brush the top of the pie with a bit of egg and sprinkle over with sugar.
6. Bake in the oven on gas mark 4 for about 30 mins.
7. Plate up with a tin of heated custard.

Wednesday 30 December 2015

Pot Braised Beef Brisket in Port Gravy

With Christmas done and dusted there was still plenty of wine and port left over in our caravan so I thought lets bung it all in a stew. Slowly roasting a brisket in a pot turns the meat into that lovely stringy melt in your mouth deliciousness, and coupled with a rich sticky port and cranberry gravy Christmas certainly isn't over just yet.


1kg Beef brisket
1x Large onion, roughly chopped
2x Carrots cut into 1cm slices
2x Sticks of celery
10x Mushrooms, halved
1x Leek, cut into 2cm slices
1x Star anise
1tsp Caraway seeds
1x Bay leaf
1x Sprig of thyme
1x Large glass of port, about 250ml
2x Large glasses of red wine
4x Garlic cloves
1tsp black peppercorn
2tbsp Cranberry sauce
500ml Stock


1. Cook the onions in a frying pan for 5-10 mins then pour them into a casserole pot.
2. Season the brisket all over then brown in the frying pan then place on top of the onions.
3. Pour the port, wine and stock to the frying pan and bring to the boil.
4. Add the chopped veg and all other ingredients to the casserole pot then pour over the hot porty-wine-stock mixture.
5. Place the pot in the oven on gas mark 2 for about 4 hours or until the meat is falling apart.
6. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
7. Strain the vegetables from the gravy and discard then get the gravy reducing on the hob.
8. Thicken the gravy with a little cornflour mixed with water and season to taste.
9. Plate up! We served ours with some simple roasted veg and some lovely crusty white bread and butter.

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Special Fried Rice Burger with Cheesy Leeks, a Fried Egg and Gravy

Sometimes you just fancy some deliciously dirty food and this certainly fits the bill. It sounds wrong but tastes so right and I guarantee you will like it as much as Mrs Larry and I did. After the myriad of proper dinners over Christmas a simple plate of honest grub can't be beat, and this uses up leftover leeks in cheese sauce and gravy - although from now on I'll make sure there are plenty of leftovers so we can have this time and time again.

(serves 2)

1/2lb Beef mince
2x Eggs
2x Cups of cooked rice (long grain or basmati)
4x Cabbage leaves, finely sliced
1x Onion diced (small onion)
1x Large carrot, peeled and diced
4x Rashers of streaky bacon, chopped up
6x Mushrooms, sliced
Any leftover gravy reheated

For the leeks in cheese sauce please see my Venison Shanks recipe from a couple of days ago.


1. Grab a handful (1/4lb) of mince, season well with salt and pepper then form into a burger with your hands. Don't forget to add a dimple in the middle to stop it swelling into a ball, see here for more info on making The Burger.
2. Cook the burgers in a large frying pan or wok with a splash of oil for about 4 minutes each side. When done place in a warm oven, gas mark 2 will do, and top with cold leftover leeks in cheese sauce.
3. In the same pan now sweat off the diced onion until translucent then add the carrot for a couple of minutes.
4. Now bung in the bacon, mushrooms and cabbage and cook for about 3 minutes.
5. In goes the cooked rice, keep stirring until well heated through.
6. Plate up the rice then in the same frying pan quickly fry your eggs so the bottoms are crispy but the yolks still runny.
7. Get the cheesy leek topped burgers out of the oven and place them on top of the plated rice. On goes the fried egg then drizzle all over your leftover gravy. Pure filth, but so good.

Sunday 27 December 2015

Slow Braised Venison Shanks

Our good friend Sam is a forest ranger so his job involves regularly culling deer and he has been very kind in filling our freezer with a selection of cuts. I know most people won't have a forest ranger friend but your local butcher should be able to get venison for you, and I do recommend you try it as it is a lean red meat quite different to beef, lamb or pork. I'm planning on doing a few venison dishes over the next few months when away in the van but the first on the list are these shanks. Cook them the same as lamb shanks but as the bone is pretty big remove it before plating up. The slow braised, melt in your mouth meat goes perfectly with mashed spud but you could serve it with couscous or polenta too.


2x Venison shanks
1x Celery stick, sliced
2x Carrots, sliced
1x Onion, sliced
1x Leek, sliced
2x Garlic cloves, crushed
Half tube tomato purée
1x Bay leaf
1x Tsp whole black peppercorns
1x Tbsp caraway seeds
1x Tbsp chopped parsley stalk
1x Thyme sprig
1x Tbsp cranberry sauce
500ml Chicken stock
Red wine - half a bottle

For Creamy Brie Leeks: 
2x Leeks, sliced
200ml Double cream
Half a Brie, rind removed
Grated cheddar, about a handful
Breadcrumbs, about a handful


For the Venison: 
1. In big frying pan brown the venison shanks all over then set aside.
2. In the same pan sweat off the onion until translucent then add the celery, carrots, leek and garlic and stir for about 2 minutes.
3. Squirt in half a tube of tomato puree and mix into the veg well.
4. Add the wine a glass at a time, allowing it to reduce to a sticky sauce before adding the next glass.
5. Pour in the stock and add the bay leaf, peppercorns, caraway seeds, parsley stalks, thyme and cranberry sauce.
6. Bring the sauce to a simmer, taste and season then pour the whole lot into an oven dish.
7. Put the shanks in the sauce then cover tightly with foil or a lid and put in the oven on gas mark 1 (140C/280F) for 2-3 hours. You know when the shanks are done when the meat just falls off the bone.
8. When they are done remove the shanks and set aside, strain the veg out of the sauce then reduce the sauce in a pan on the stove until you reach a nice consistency.

For the Leeks:
1. Cook the leeks in a frying pan for about 5 minutes.
2. Pour in the cream.
3. When the cream warms up add the brie and stir until melted.
4. Pour into a dish, top with cheddar then breadcrumbs and pop under the grill until the breadcrumbs are golden and the cheddar has melted.

Saturday 5 December 2015

Coronation Sprouts

Coronation chicken was famously invented for the coronation of our Queen, Elizabeth II, in 1953. That sweet spicy sauce is a perfect accompaniment to relieve the bitterness of sprouts and it so easy to make I think future monarchs should celebrate their coronation with this fantastical British combination.


Sprouts, halved
Mango Chutney
Curry powder


1. Bring a pan of water to the boil on the hob then add the halved sprouts. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes before draining and cooling under cold running water.
2. In a bowl mix mayonnaise and mango chutney to a ratio of about 3 mayo to 1 chutney. Add curry powder to taste.
3. Combine the sprouts and coronation sauce and top with as many sultana's as you like.

Sprouts Marinière

If garlicky creamy marinière white wine sauce works a treat with mussels then why not with brussels too. Serve this up as a starter or snack with some nice buttered bread to mop up the sauce.


Sprouts, halved
Shallots, finely diced
Garlic clove, finely diced or crushed
Double cream
White wine, about a glass
Bay leaf


1. Bring a pan of water to the boil on the hob then add the halved sprouts. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes before draining and setting aside.
2. In a frying pan soften shallots in a drop of oil for a few minutes then add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
3. Add the glass of white wine, thyme and bay followed by the sprouts and cook for about 2 minutes.
4. Pour in the double cream, heat through and serve.

Soy Roast Sprouts

This recipe was given to me by Gregor from Gregors Umami Dressing and it is simply delicious. It is so easy yet the addition of soy sauce does something special to those green lovelies while roasting n the oven. While you're here please check out Gregors website, his umami dressing really is exceptionally tasty.


Sprouts, halved
Soy sauce


1. Preheat the oven to gas 7.
2. Oil a roasting tray and put in the sprouts cut side down. Roast for 10 minutes.
3. Turn the sprouts over and cover the cut sides in soy sauce. Continue roasting for another 10 minutes.
4. Plate up!

Sprouts with Bacon, Shallots, Pecans and Redcurrants

Sprouts with bacon and onion is a festive staple in our house but this time I thought I'd jazz it up a bit with the addition of pecan nuts and redcurrant berries. It's certainly festive and the sweet / savoury blend work perfectly with bitterness of sprouts.


Sprouts, halved
Shallots, diced
Bacon lardons
Pecan nuts, chopped
Red currents


1. Lightly grease a frying pan and add to it the halved sprouts, diced shallots and bacon lardons.
2. Stir fry until the bacon is cooked then add the pecans for another minute.
3. Serve with a topping of red currant berries.

Cheezy Creamy Garlic Sprouts

Cheese, cream and garlic when mixed together are a match made in heaven and they do not fail to succeed with shredded sprouts either. I think these could be my favourite sprouts of all time, but be warned, you might be a bit stinky for a day or so!


Sprouts, thinly sliced, about a dozen should do.
1x Banana shallot, thinly sliced.
Garlic, 1 whole head plus another clove
Double cream, half a pot, about
Mature cheddar cheese, a big handful grated
Olive oil


1. Put the head of garlic in a foil parcel, drizzle with oil and season with salt then wrap up the parcel and pop in the oven on gas mark 7 for about 30 minutes.
2. In a frying pan melt a big nob of butter and add to it the shredded sprouts and shallots. Stir fry for about three minutes.
3. Crush or grate the 1 clove of garlic into the pan and stir fry for another minute.
4. Pour in the cream and grated cheese and stir well until totally combined and heated through.
5. Remove the garlic bulb from the oven, allow to cool slightly then peel the cloves.
6. Season the sprouts and serve topped with the roast garlic cloves and a drizzle of olive oil.