Corned beef bubble & squeak

Corned beef bubble & squeak

I’m going to admit here that I have a very soft spot for corned beef from a can, in fact the other day I made one of my favourite sandwiches – corned beef, onion and a certain very famous brand of sandwich pickle. I used half a can of the corned beef in the sandwich, but what to do with the other half? For dinner that night I had some left over boiled cabbage and mashed potato, this was of course earmarked for bubble and squeak for the next day. But then I remembered that humble half can of corned beef in the fridge… I love corned beef hash! When two dishes collide they can create something wonderful. Maybe what I am about to tell you is already a thing, but I have never heard of it, even though it sounds the most obvious thing to do! What better I thought than combine these two versions of fried leftover mashed potato and I must say my mouth started to water. As all the ingredients are seasoned already all that was need was a little oil in a frying pan and then throw in the three delicious components. I don’t bother mixing beforehand as I do it all in the pan as it cooks. I find doing it this way mixes in those crispy bits that make both bubble and squeak and hash taste so good. When a good crust appears at the bottom of the mix just mash it all together with a spatula or fish slice and keep doing the same and tasting until it has the perfect...
Spanish Pork Stew Recipe

Spanish Pork Stew Recipe

This Spanish pork stew is served as tapas in a lot of the bars I frequent in Southern Spain, each place has their own variation, so I thought I would share my version with you. It really reminds me of those cooler evenings in Spain watching the sun go down with a beer and being handed a plate of this…wonderful! This is easy to make and great value too as we will use pork shoulder steaks, a good marbling of fat means this is a really tasty yet cheap cut of meat. This stew has bags of flavour thanks to sweet smoked paprika power which has a rich, deep and warming taste. It is a real exotic spice which is really useful to have in the kitchen cupboard. Serves 2 Ingredients 5-600G x Pork shoulder steaks 1 x Large onion 1x Large green pepper 2 x Cloves of garlic, crushed 2 x Teaspoons of sweet smoked paprika 1 x Teaspoon red or white wine vinegar or cider vinegar 1 x Level teaspoon of sea salt ½ x Teaspoon of white pepper 3 x Tablespoons olive oil 2 x Tablespoons plain white flour Method Preheat your oven to 160C (320F or Gas Mark 3) First quarter your onion and pepper then slice medium to thin. Add the olive oil to a frying pan and place on the hob on a low heat. Add the sliced onion and peppers and slowly sauté until soft. When done add them to a lidded casserole dish. Chunk up your pork steaks into pieces about 1 inch (2.5cm) square. Toss the pieces of meat in the flour,...
Chorizo and Potato Recipe

Chorizo and Potato Recipe

This Spanish chorizo and potato recipe is just so easy you have no excuse not to invite it into your kitchen. It has both the flavour and colour of summer, the bright, rich taste will have you dreaming of your summer holidays. The Spanish are a bit like the British in their cooking, it’s all about keeping it simple and letting the great flavours of the ingredients shine through. In the UK some cafes serve potatoes fried in bacon fat with their fry ups. What they are doing here is using that bacon as a seasoning. This is what we will be doing here, but taking it to a whole new level! Chorizo is wonderfully salty, spicy, smoky and porky…that’s right sounds like the best seasoning in the world doesn’t it, and it might just be. Not just a great standalone lunch or supper, it’s also a great side dish. When you next get to do a BBQ make this and serve it with some plain BBQ chicken or pork, you will impress your guests and give them a proper meal to remember. Usually I would give you an idea of how many the recipe will serve. Not this time though. Chorizo comes in various sizes and weights, with this recipe that simply doesn’t matter. Make as much or as little as you want. Ingredients Approximate equal quantities of: Chorizo Potato (Any will do, although a firmer type of potato is better) Onion That’s it. No oil, salt, pepper or anything else is required. Imagine knocking this up when camping or at a festival, you will be a hero!...
What wine should I cook with?

What wine should I cook with?

Someone asked me this the other day. We cook with both red and white wine and although they are very different beasts, we can use the same rule of thumb. Firstly there is a saying ‘don’t cook with wine you wouldn’t drink’, and although true as you don’t want to cook with that bottle of 1811 Château d’Yquem or 1787 Château Lafite you have hidden away under the stairs, when it comes to cooking with wine you want a bottle that is straight down the middle ordinary. That oaky Chardonnay you love is a great wine to quaff I’m sure, but those oaky overtones with come through in your dinner…not so delicious. Similarly that steely Sauvignon Blanc that is fantastic ice cold on a hot day will give a disturbing angle to your food. And definitely don’t use hock! Try a white dry table wine. That’s right those bottles you don’t really pay attention to at the bottom of the wine rack. They are probably better than you think and are usually cheap and cheerful. Try one and if you really don’t think it will work you can always unblock the sink with it and buy another brand. The same goes for red. Oak is out, as is something warming and smooth, better to drink and too good to waste. Get a good reasonably priced, unoaked medium bodied not too dry red and look for berry flavours. This should give you a great balanced flavour in your casserole or jus. There is simply no substitute for red wine, but going back to white wine there is another way. In any...
Lamb with Couscous Recipe

Lamb with Couscous Recipe

Spring is here people! What better way to usher in the new season with lamb, synonymous with spring, succulent and delicious. This recipe lets lamb take the centre stage with style. I have to thank my brother or this recipe as he was shown it when a student down in the South of France back in the 80s. In France couscous restaurants are like our Indian restaurants, this is due to the strong links between Southern France and North Africa. Marseilles is a major trading port for the region with many North African immigrants living there. My brother was shown this super simple dish by a French friend. He brought it back to the UK and I was impressed. Back then to be able to make a couscous dish had a serious wow factor, as people just weren’t that exposed to North African cuisine here. I want to share this super easy recipe with you to celebrate spring and keep it in your back pocket, I know this will be something you will be making for years to come. Serves 1 (Increase quantities accordingly to serve more people) Ingredients 250-300g x Lean, French trimmed rack of lamb 1 x Yellow or red pepper 2 x Cloves of garlic Salt, pepper & olive oil Method First preheat your oven to 200C (180C Fan, Gas Mark 6). Dice your pepper into bite sized chunks and finely chop your garlic. Place them in a casserole dish with a lid and toss them together well with a good pinch of salt. Season your lamb well with salt and pepper. Now put a small...
A Pinch of Salt

A Pinch of Salt

I was thinking to myself the other day just how amazing salt is. We take it for granted and even use it to grit icy roads, but it has to be the only true essential ingredient found in every kitchen on the planet. A flavour enhancer par excellence it literally makes everything taste better, except maybe fruit and cream cakes I’ll take that, but you get my drift. It must be the most ancient seasoning in human history, even our cave dwelling ancestors would have known to sprinkle a little salt on their catch of the day. Imagine even earlier when the first humans emerged they lived by the coast, giving them access to as much salt as they could ever want. Nowadays we seem to fear salt, and with good reason. It known to increase blood pressure and that’s not too good for the old ticker. We do however need it to live, but its other trick is nothing less than miraculous. Quite simply it’s a flavour enhancer with no flavour of its own, therefore everything it touches becomes deeper in flavour and more delicious. You get so many varieties these days compared to back in the day when it was table salt only. Like most I use sea salt, as it has a more gentle approach than table salt. I would recommend good quality sea salt to anyone as a must have. So what about the pinch of salt (or sometimes just salt) us cooks tell you to add to a dish. Well it’s down to personal taste but the general rule seems to be a ‘pinch’...