I blame Hollywood. The popular image of medieval and Tudor food is all fat, gouty nobles with meat grease dripping off their chins, waving haunches of venison which of course would be stiff with spices because they didn’t have fridges and the meat was off. In between gargantuan flesh fests they would oppress peasants and maybe ravish a maiden or two before getting their comeuppance from a hero of gentle birth who lived in a treehouse. Continue reading
This is a stew made rich and dark as sin with stout, but it’s the blue cheese dumplings that take it to the next level. Continue reading
This is the best sort of comfort food, the flavours bursting out of that glorious suet crust with beefy, fruity bravado. I think I’m in danger of over-egging this particular pudding but honestly, give it a go before the quince season slips through our fingers, it’s really good. Continue reading
Beef, or ox, cheeks are perfect for slow cooking, cheap and full of flavour. They’re well worth seeking out. A good butcher should be able to help and you can also ask him/her to trim them up for you, although that’s easy enough to do at home.
I’ve cooked them here with quince and pomegranate in a Persian/Iranian-inspired stew. Meltingly soft meat and a gently spiced, sour/sweet fruity sauce – delicious.This is one of the best things I’ve made this year. Continue reading
Saltimbocca means ‘leap in the mouth’, presumably because it’s so good your tastebuds jump for joy. Like so much Italian food, it’s the simplest of dishes, its impact relying on good ingredients and precise cooking. Continue reading
If you are what you eat, then on one memorable occasion recently, I was an old cow. Stop heckling at the back of the room, I’ve heard it all before, often from my own family. Continue reading
Yes, yet another quince recipe, but it’s a good one. Faced with a glut, I’ve been searching my historical British cookery books for a meat-and-quince recipe but can’t find one, which is odd when you think we’ve been cooking these gloriously perfumed fruits since medieval times. Our ancestors seemed to use them exclusively for sweet dishes but if you know different, I’d love to hear from you.
So today’s dish is based on the fragrant Persian/Iranian stew Khoresht-e Beh. Continue reading
Not so much a recipe, this, more a series of suggestions. At its simplest a steak salad is just that, strips of juicy rare steak, hot from the pan, piled on top of a green salad. How you marinade the steak (if you do) and what you put in the salad is up to you. It makes a fast and healthy supper, if you politely ignore the fries Him Outdoors had on the side. Continue reading
This makes a generous meal for a big family dinner, the flavours given a warm glow with seasonal spices and smoky chipotle chilli. It’s a good make-ahead dish for the Christmas and New Year period, an easy way to feed the masses (no pun intended). Continue reading
I was once whizzing down from the top of a mountain in Argentina in a rather antiquated cable car when its operator fixed with me an evil grin and said: “Remember the Malvinas!” Fortunately for me he was only joking and in spite of any lingering feelings (on either side) about the Falklands War I met with nothing but warmth and friendship as I travelled around the country.
For a month I lived almost entirely on steak. Continue reading