Month: April 2014

Easter Recipes

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Hello readers! Everyone I’ve seen today is in a great mood. Not sure if that’s due to the weather or the fact that its a long Bank Holiday weekend! For me its definitely a combination of the two, I love the sun and I love Bank Holidays! Mr T and I have plans to see family and maybe a spot of day time pub garden drinking in the sun…after the gym of course!

Over the next few days I’m going to be trying out some Easter recipes including a simnel cake and a butterflied leg of lamb with minty salsa verde – yum!

What are you cooking? I’d love to hear some of your recipes and plans for the long weekend!

Happy Easter! xx

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Totally impressive beef

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Have you ever wished you had that one recipe that will wow at a dinner party? Something so impressive, people will want to BE you?!

Well, look no further. You have found it!

Mr T and I saw this beef being cooked on a Saturday morning cookery show and we were desperate to try it. As it uses fillet of beef – notoriously the most expensive cut – we knew it wasn’t something we could just throw together one weeknight, so we saved it for a special occasion.

People are always terrified of overcooking beef, especially fillet. It is horrible when cooked well done, tough, grey – a complete waste! The following cookery method will ensure your beef is always beautifully rare in the middle, but you are able to get everything else ready in the meantime, with no chance of over cooking it. I promise!

Ingredients

1 beef fillet – size dependant on how many people you are feeding
Salt
Pepper
A sprig of rosemary – finely chopped
Oil for searing
Heatproof cling film (I have done it with normal too but would recommend heatproof!)

Method

First of all, preheat your oven to 60C/140F/Gas ¼ and stick a frying pan on a high heat and add a tablespoon of oil, heating until its shimmering.

Sear the beef all over until its well coloured on all sides. This stage shouldn’t take too long, a few minutes maximum. Set the beef aside to cool down.

Cut the cling film into a large enough piece to wrap the beef in. Sprinkle it will the salt, pepper and chopped rosemary, before wrapping the cooled fillet well.

Place in a roasting dish and bung it into the oven for 40mins.

Now, make your accompaniments, have a bath, a few cups of tea or glasses of wine – the choice is yours!

After the roasting time is up, remove the beef from the oven and take off the cling film, reserving any juices that escape. Heat up the frying pan with some oil again and sear VERY quickly all over for no more than 20-30 seconds.

There is no need to rest the meat, you will see it is very soft. Carve into at least 2cm slices and serve.

We served ours with horseradish mash, creamed leeks, tenderstem broccoli and wilted spinach. Drizzle over some of the cooking juices at the end, there’s no need for a sauce but a red wine jus would work well.

Your guests will be blown away. Enjoy!

Beef

Pulled Pork Part 2

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After waxing lyrical about the wonders of slow cookery, I thought it only fair to add another variation on the wildly popular Pulled Pork recipe I shared with you a few months ago.

This is something you can chuck together really quickly and will make you a hero at home! So far, I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like Pulled Pork (aside from non-pork/meat eaters) and I don’t think I want to!

Top tip / Cheat – you don’t need to make the sauce. Of course, I would rather you did, but if you want, just use some from a bottle – you will need around 2 cups in total!

Ingredients

1 pork shoulder, skin removed
2 large onions sliced
BBQ Sauce

Sauce (Optional recipe!)

Approx 150ml ketchup
Approx 4 – 5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Approx 2 tbsp smoked paprika
Approx 1 tbsp worcester sauce
Approx 4 – 6 tbsp dark brown sugar

Method

To make the sauce, put all the ingredients into a pan and bring it to the boil. You may need to add some water at this point. Keep tasting and adding more sugar, paprika or vinegar as needed. You want it to be a thick gloopy sauce and all the flavours to mingle together. I boiled it for about 10 mins in total – adding a little water now and then.

Put the shoulder of pork into the slow cooker top of the sliced onions, cover with half of the bbq sauce and leave on low all day.

When you get in, drain most of the liquid and shred the pork. Put back in the slow cooker with another cup of sauce and heat through.

Done. Yep. Honest. It really is that simple!

Slow cooker pulled pork

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Chilli

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I recently bought a slow cooker and it has pretty much changed my life. We all lead busy lives, and often, the excuse for not cooking is lack of time. Well, a slow cooker will change that.

I love nothing more than coming in from work and knowing that dinner has pretty much cooked itself and all I need to do is add a few bits and eat it. I’ve been experimenting with various recipes but this is one that has been requested by a Rods Kitchen fan!

We eat this as a sort-of-soup, with a variety of toppings, but it also works really well with rice, in a burrito type thing, with crusty bread or just eaten straight from the pan.

In order to make your life easier there is a little prep the night before, but nothing more strenuous than chopping, mixing and placing in the fridge. To be honest, you don’t even need to do that it just means less time needed in the rush before work!

Ingredients – feeds 4-8 depending on how you serve it

1 pork shoulder, skin and visible fat removed cut into chunks (I used a small one – around 800g)
1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 tbsp Ground Cumin
1 tbsp Ground Coriander
½ tbsp Hot Chilli Powder (or more if you are brave!)
1tsp salt
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin kidney beans
2 red onions – chopped
2 peppers – chopped
200g mushrooms – chopped
1 large bunch fresh coriander – chopped – stalks included
Olive oil

Method

The night before, place the pork and all the dry spices into a bowl/tub, toss about and place into the fridge.
In the morning, place the pork and spices into the slow cooker with the tomatoes. Mix about and cook on low all day (8-10 hours or so).

When you get home, or around 10 mins before serving, sauté the vegetables in a little oil until softened. Add to the slow cooker and mix well, breaking up the meat as you go – it will be falling apart by this point. Add the kidney beans and coriander and leave to heat through, turning the slow cooker up to high to ensure it heats through. You could always transfer it to a pan and heat on the hob if your cooker doesn’t go high enough.

It’s really simple and very rewarding. We like to eat ours topped with cheese, avocado salad, chopped coriander and spring onions and sour cream / crème fraiche / greek yoghurt – when we do this, I add half a can of warm water to the pot with the kidney beans, giving it a soupy consistency. It also works really well with rice and all the usual accompaniments.

Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Chilli

Topped with our favourites!
Topped with our favourites!