Wednesday 29 August 2018

Stilton Burger with Caramelised Onions

The combination of tangy Stilton cheese with sweet carmelised onions is a topping made in heaven for a big juicy burger. I don't think it really needs  a sauce but we did mix a bit of Dijon mustard with mayonnaise and it went well but you could try a nice chutney instead.


Onions (1 per person)
Stilton cheese


1. Halve and slice the onions then put them in a frying pan on a medium-low heat with some nice oil, butter or lard of your choice. Stir and cook for 20 minutes then add a pinch of sugar and salt per person and continue to cook until caramalised.
2. Slice the buns in half and lightly toast the insides.
3. Grill your burger until done then top with slices of Stilton and continue to cook until the cheese just begins to soften.
4. Make up your burger with whatever sauce and salad you like and top with the lovely sweet onions.

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Easy Beef Stew in the Slow Cooker

What can be more inviting than returning to the van to smell the aroma of a hearty beef stew bubbling away nicely in the slow cooker? It is so simple to make in the morning then leave it all day so its really just a case of dishing up when you're ready for it. No cooking tonight and very little washing up gets a big thumbs up from our family.


Phase 1:
750g Stewing steak
1x Bottle (330ml) Cider
300g Carrots, chopped and peeled
200g Baby button mushrooms
500g Pancetta
1x Can of chickpeas (300g)
2x Garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
500g New potatoes
2x Onions
1tbsp Dijon mustard
1tbsp Soy sauce
1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1tsp Ground black pepper
1tsp Smoked paprika
1tsp Dried mixed herbs
1x Bay leaf
1x Star anise petal
500ml Water
2x Beef stock cubes

Phase 2:
1x Can of butter beans
1x Cup of peas
1x Cup of broad beans
1tbsp Butter
1tbsp Plain flour


1. If the stewing steak isn't cut into chunks do that then season and brown in a frying pan before putting in the slow cooker.
2. Add everything else in phase 1 to the slow cooker then leave it on low all day.
3. When you get back to the van  commence phase 2 by mixing the butter and flour into a paste to make a beurre manié and add it to the slow cooker along with beans and peas. Allow to cook for half an hour then serve with some nice bread and butter.

Thursday 16 August 2018

Leek and Potato Frittata

It was tea time in the van and we had some leeks, potatoes, eggs and cheese so what else to make but a frittata. We used new potatoes halved then cut into 1cm slices but you can use any spud you like, in fact you can use any vegetable you might have left over in the fridge to make this simple satisfying dish.


10x New potatoes, halved and sliced.
1x Leeks, also halved and sliced
1x Garlic clove, crushed
6x Eggs
Grated cheese, a couple of handfuls
Fresh herbs of choice to top, I used dill because it is all I had.
Butter for frying


1. Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain and allow to dry off.
2. In a frying pan cook the potatoes in butter until just about turning golden. Add the leeks and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
3. Beat the eggs together with some salt and pepper then add to the pan and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes.
4. Top with grated cheese then pop under a medium grill until the cheese is bubbling.
5. Dust with some fresh herbs, allow to cool for 5 minutes then serve.

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Crock Pot Pork Cheeks with Celeriac Purée

Pork cheeks has to be one of our favourite cuts of meat and they lend themselves perfectly to a slow cooker. You will have to ask a butcher for them and probably order in advance but I totally recommend you do, you wont regret it. I usually serve one cheek as a starter but today we had 2 each as a main with a bigger portion of purée and a side of vegetable sauteed in garlic butter.


10x Pig cheeks
2x Onions, diced
2x Carrots, peeled and diced
2x Leeks, sliced
1x Parsnip, peeled and sliced
3tbsp Caraway seeds
1tbsp Black peppercorns
1tsp Dried thyme
2x Garlic cloves, crushed
280g Tomato purée
1x Bottle of red wine
2x Bay leaves
1x Pint of beef stock

For the Purée:
1x Celeriac
2x Large potatoes
Double cream


1. Dust the cheeks in flour, season then brown in a frying pan before placing in the slow cooker.
2. Cook all the veg, herbs and seeds in the frying pan for about 20 minutes until beginning to caramelise.
3. Add the tomato purée, stir through and cook for a further 5 minutes then pour in the bottle of wine and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, followed by the beef stock for another 5 minutes.
4.  Pour the whole lot into the slow cooker and leave on low all day.
5. Peel and chop into chunks the celeriac and potatoes. Bring to a boil in a pan then simmer until soft. Drain the water, return to the heat and pour in a substantial amount of cream then mash with a fork until smooth. Add a big blob of butter and season to taste.
6. Remove the cheeks and set aside. Sieve the cooking liquor to make a rich sauce then plate up! Serve with some nice veg, I sauteed some runner beans, broad beans and courgettes in garlic and butter.

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Simple Pan Fried Sea Bass with French Beans and New Potatoes

No sauce, no spice, no flavours. Good, fresh food cooked simply can be just as delicious as the most complex dishes. Simply pan fried in rapeseed oil the fresh sea bass fillets are perfectly joined with fresh, boiled new potatoes topped with a bit of dill, and french beans blanched then finished off in a pan with a bit of butter. The whole thing takes about 10 minutes and is a delightful summertime dinner.


Sea bass fillets
New Potatoes
French Beans
Fresh Dill
Rapeseed oil


1. Bring a pan of salted water to boil then add the new potatoes and simmer for about ten minutes or until soft. Stab them with a fork and if they slide off they are ready. Drain then add a blob of butter, salt and pepper and spin around the pan to evenly coat.
2. Blanch the beans in boiling water for about three minutes then drain. Allow to dry then finish off in a frying pan with a blob of butter and somne salt and pepper.
3. Season the sea bass fillets then fry skin side down in a drop of rapeseed oil in a  frying pan on mid-high heat for 2-3 minutes, flip over for a minute then serve with the beans and the spuds topped with dill and a wedge of lemon. Simple and delicious.