Saturday 28 October 2017

Tamagoyaki (Japanese) Omelettes

I am really into these Japanese tamagoyaki omelettes at the moment, so much so that I have bought a tamagoyaki pan but you can use a normal frying pan if you want to give them a go. Instead of pouring all the egg mixture into a pan, as you do when making a normal omelette, with these just enough egg mix is poured in to coat the bottom of the pan then as it cooks you roll it up and push it to the side of the pan. More egg mix is added to the pan and you roll the first bit of egg over it, increasing its size. It's a bit like rolling snow to make a snowman, you keep adding more egg and rolling it over until you get an omelette log.

Here I layered nori Japanese seaweed in one and ham and cheese in the other. They make tasty alternatives to a plain omelette and look pretty good too.


Eggs (2 per person, 3 if you're hungry)
Mirin rice wine
Dashi stock powder
Soy sauce
White pepper
Spray cooking oil

Togarashi Japanese spice


1. Mix the eggs in jug.
2. Add a splash of rice wine and soy sauce with a sprinkling of dashi stock powder and white pepper. Add the spice and sugar here too if you are using them. I like mine spicy but omit the sugar. Mix well.
3. Heat the pan on a medium heat and spray with oil. Pour in just enough egg mix to coat the bottom of the pan.
4. Roll the cooked egg up into a log and push to the side of the pan. Spray in some more oil and pour in a bit of egg and repeat the process.
5. Remove the egg log from the pan, slice and serve.


Have a look at this video on youtube Cooking with Dog 😀. I don't use chopsticks, that looks far too tricky, I have a very thin spatula that does the job just fine. I don't have a dog for company either.

Thursday 26 October 2017

Shredded Lamb Shoulder Slow Cooker Style

My current fad is the slow cooker as I think it works very well in the caravan. Simply prepared in the morning and left bubbling away all day it is a welcome sight and smell when you return to the van from a days activities. The Little Larry's love any pulled meat and this was no exception, although I suspect they would have preferred it in a bun and not with red cabbage, green beans and mashed potatoes like we did. 


1x Lamb shoulder joint
1x Onion, roughly chopped
1x Carrot, peeled and roughly chopped.
2x garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1x Bottle of red wine
1x Lamb stock cube
2tbsp Tomato puree
2tbsp Redcurrant jelly
1tbsp Cornfour, mixed to a slurry
1tsp Dried mixed herbs
1tsp Caraway seeds
1/2tsp Black pepper


1. Season the lamb and brown all over in a large frying pan or wok. Put the lamb in the slow cooker.
2. Put everything else apart from the cornflour into the slow cooker, switch to low and leave it all day.
3. Remove the lamb and set aside. Strain the gravy into a pan and put on a high heat to reduce. Thicken with the cornflour slurry.
4. Shred the lamb using two forks and plate up!

Wednesday 25 October 2017

Oxtail and Guinness Puddings

I have to admit I did make these puds at home and just steamed them in the van, but there is absolutely no reason why they can't be made from scratch in the caravan. We had these on arrival day so I wanted something tasty but not too time consuming to cook. I have taken inspiration from Heston's steak and kidney puds but instead of cooking in wine and brandy I'm using Guinness instead, plus Mrs Larry absolutely hates kidneys so they've been omitted too. Three ingredients that do massively compliment beef are rosemary, mushroom and star anise, so I've included them all! The puds themselves are crammed full of meat and probably full of many unctuous calories so they really are a treat.

(serves 4)

For the Oxtail:
1.6kg Oxtail
2x Large onions, sliced
2x Carrots, peeled and sliced
200g Chestnut mushrooms
1x Can of Guinness
1x Can of water (just fill up the empty Guinness can)
4x Garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1x Bay leaf
1x Thyme sprig
1x Rosemary sprig
1x Star anise
1x Beef stock cube
2tbsp Tomato puree
1tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or Hendersons if you're Yorkshire)
1tbsp Balsamic vinegar

For the Suet Pastry:
140g Atora suet
280g Self raising flour
5g Salt
160ml Cold water


1. Lets make the pastry by mixing all the ingredients together and work into a dough. The water isn't a precise measurement so add it slowly until you have a nice ball of dough. Stick it in a freezer bag in the fridge.
2. Liberally grease your pudding moulds with butter and put them in the freezer.
3. Season the oxtail well then in a frying pan place them fat sides down. When the fat has been released turn them and brown on all sides then transfer to a casserole dish.
4. Into the casserole dish goes the stock cube, mushrooms, bay, thyme, rosemary, star anise, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar.
5. Now fry the onions and carrots in the beef fat for 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree and garlic and continue cooking and stirring for a few more minutes. Pour in the Guinness, bring to a simmer, then transfer all to the casserole dish.
5. Deglaze the pan with the can of water, bring to a simmer and pour into the casserole dish.
6. Put the casserole in the oven on gas mark 2 (150C) for about 3 hours.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Pick all the meat out and discard the veg and bones by sieving the cooking gravy into a jug. Let the gravy cool so all the fat rises to the top and skim it off.
8. For each pudding roll out about 120g of the suet dough into a circle and line the pudding mould. Fill the mould with meat and gravy, pack it in there so it is almost bursting, then trim the pastry edges and roll that out into a circle. Brush the rim of the pud pastry with water and put the circle on as a lid, trim and press down the edges then top with parchment paper secured with an elastic band.
9. Pop the puddings in a pan of water where the water comes half way up the moulds. Put the pan lid on and steam for 30 minutes.
10. Heat your remaining gravy gently in a saucepan.
11. When the puddings are done gently ease them out of the moulds on to plates. You can use a flavour injector to inject more gravy into them or just pour more over them and tuck in!