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.

Tuesday 9 August 2016

Dorset Lamb Crumble

After yesterdays bacon cakes today sees us attempt the Dorset lamb crumble. Yes lamb crumble! It's another new one to me but boy does it work. It is basically a shepherds pie with a savoury cheesy and crumbly topping rather than mashed potato. You can use any shepherd pie recipe or try mine below, whatever you do I recommend you give it a go.


500g Lamb mince
1x Large onion, diced
1x Celery stick, diced
2x Carrots, peeled and diced
1x Garlic clove, diced or crushed
1x Rosemary sprig, leaves chopped fine
350ml Lamb stock
5x Anchovy fillets
1x Glass of red wine
Handful of frozen peas
2tbsp Plain flour
1tbsp Tomato puree

For the crumble:
150g Plain flour
75g Butter, cubed
100g Cheddar cheese, grated


1. Sweat off the onion in a bit of oil in a large frying pan or wok.
2. In the same pan add the mince lamb and brown.
3. Add the carrot, celery and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
4. Stir in the flour then the tomato puree and continue stirring until it is stodgy.
5. Pour in the glass of red wine and then the stock.
6. Now add the anchovy fillets and rosemary.
7. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for a few minutes.
8. Add the peas then pour the lot into an oven dish and allow to cool a little while you make the crumble.
9. In a large bowl mix the flour and butter with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
10. Mix in the grated cheese then pour the lot on top of the lamb mince.
11. Bake on gas mark 4 for about 30 minutes until golden brown.
12. Serve with some green veg, in our case it was cabbage stir fried with mint.

Monday 8 August 2016

Dorset Puddle Bacon Cakes

"Bacon cakes?!" I hear you exclaim. Yes bacon cakes! As soon as I heard of this bacon and cake combo I just had to give it go. They were originally called Piddle Bacon Cakes, after the river Piddle that runs through Dorset, but the Victorians thought it too vulgar so renamed them Puddle Bacon Cakes. I haven't a clue what the original recipe is so I made one up, it's basically a cheese scone with bacon and what's not to like about that!

(makes 4)

150g Self raising flour
40g Butter, cubed
1tsp Baking powder
40g Cheddar cheese, grated
4x Back bacon rashers, fat removed and chopped up
50-60ml Milk
Pinch salt
Pinch white pepper


1. Chop up your bacon and fry until just cooked then allow to cool.
2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and work it through the flour with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs.
3. Add the salt and pepper then pour in most of the milk and mix together until it forms a dough. If it's too dry add a bit more milk.
4. Mix in the bacon and cheese, being careful the cheese doesn't melt with the heat of your hands.
5. Form 4 scones out of the dough with your hands and brush the tops with milk. Dust a baking tray with flour, pop on the cakes then bake on the centre shelf in the oven on gas mark 8 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Tip: You can add more grated cheese to the tops to make them super cheesey but in this case I didn't as we served them up cut in half, buttered and topped with poached eggs.

Saturday 6 August 2016

Dorset Lettuce Soup

Apparently a traditional Dorset recipe is lettuce soup (although the locals we spoke to had never heard of it). It has something to do with Dorset being a good county to grow lettuce and if there is a glut of it they make soup. All I know is I had a couple of little gems in the fridge so thought we could give it a try. Served warm with crusty buttered bread it was actually delicately tasty but served gazpacho cold style the next day was so refreshing I think I prefer it that way.


2x Little gem lettuces, chopped up
6x Spring onions, sliced
3x Celery sticks, sliced
Mint leaves, a handful
50g Lambs lettuce
1 Litre of vegetable stock
150ml Cream
Rapeseed oil


1. Sweat of the onion and celery in a bit of oil in a saucepan.
2. Add stock and all lettuce and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add mint then blend with a hand blender.
4. Pour in the cream.
5. Serve up in bowls topped with a bit of lambs lettuce and a drizzle of oil and eat with buttered crusty bread, or chill to eat gazpacho style later, I promise it is refreshing and delicious.

Tip: You can pass the soup through a sieve to remove the bits and make it smoother, however we like it bitty with a bit of texture and crunch.

Friday 5 August 2016

Butterflied Mackerel on Beetroot and Mango Salad

Mackerel freshly caught and cooked as soon as possible is amazingly delicious so we took the opportunity whilst staying in Dorset to pop over the border to Beer in Devon and go out on a fishing boat to catch some. After dragging our plentiful haul on to shore we stopped for a quick beer (you have to have a beer in Beer) then zoomed home to get the Cadac lit and that delicious mackerel filleted and cooked. I opted to butterfly the mackerel as we are a picky bunch and not keen on bones. Butterflying is surprisingly easy and there is an M&J Seafood video below demonstrating how to do it. Served up on a fresh beetroot and mango salad was the perfect accompaniment, and healthy too.


Fresh mackerel
Beetroot, cubed
Mango, cubed
Feta cheese, cubed
Avocado, cubed
Cucumber, cubed
Baby tomatoes, quartered
Jalapeno peppers, sliced
Sunflower seeds
Cold pressed rapeseed oil
Balsamic vinegar


1. Butterfly the mackerel as per the video below.
2. Prepare the salad by mixing it all together, plate up and drizzle with a mix of balsamic vinegar and rapeseed oil.
3. Fry the mackerel in a little oil skin side down for about 2 minutes until most of the flesh has turned white and there is a just a pink strip in the middle. Season the flesh then flip it and fry for about 30 seconds.
4. Pop the mackerel on top of the salad and tuck in.