Tag Archives: recipes

feel the pulse

Lentils are low in fat and full of protein, so if you want to give meat a miss, they are a good option.

The other night me and V cooked a lentil and goats cheese recipe that i’d like to share with you.

The cooks holy trinity, naturally has a french name, ‘mirepoix’, it is the basis for most soups, stocks and stews; carrots, onions and celery.

So this is where you begin chopping the ‘mirepoix’ and sweating it in a pan with a little oil, 2 cloves of garlic, thyme, bay leaves and the zest of a lemon. We also added four rashers of streaky bacon, cut into little strips.

Now add 350g of puy lentils, stir briefly and cover with 500ml of chicken stock.

Simmer gently until the lentils are tender, adding more hot water if the lentils look a bit dry.

When done serve onto plates and add a few slices of creamy goats cheese and drizzle with olive oil.

The combinations of flavours and textures make for a very satisfying meal!




Filed under Food

four root soup

With so many root vegetables around at the moment this recipe is a great way to get the best out of the season!

You need to dice carrots, swede, parsnip and potato all roughly the same size about 1cm cube, as well as 1 onion finely chopped and 100g of unsmoked streaky bacon.

Heat oil in a saucepan and cook the bacon until golden then add the onion and sweat for 10-15 minutes. Now add all your vegetables cover the pan and it all sweat for 10 minutes or so.

Pour in 1 litre of veg stock and bring to a simmer, cook for 15 minutes until the veg is tender.

Taste the soup for seasoning and serve with a grating of cheddar cheese and some thickly cut bread.


Leave a comment

Filed under Food

meat and potatoes

Sometimes the simple recipes are the ones that give you the most pleasure, and the humble cottage pie is no exception.

The potatoes have all been dug and stored for the winter, and this week we recieved a bag of ‘cara’, a lovely big baking potato, that also mashes very well, and for the other key ingredient of this recipe, I had to go to fellers butchers in the covered market to get some minced beef.

First thing to do is peel and quarter the potatoes and put them in a pan to boil, the secret to good mash, as you probably know, is not to over cook the potatoes, make sure they are well drained, and add a good knob of butter, a pinch of salt and a splash of milk to get a smooth consistency, however in this recipe it doesn’t need to be too smooth as the lumpy bits go nice and crispy in the oven.

Pre heat the oven to 180 and heat oil in a large pan.  

Dice 1 onion, 1 leek and 2 carrots and add them to the pan, then add 3 cloves of garlic, reduce heat and soften.

Add 500g of mince and stir until brown, then add 1tbsp of tomato concentrate, a few shakes of worcester sauce, 200ml of stock and a bay leaf. Season, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Put the contents of the pan into a baking dish and cover evenly and thickly with the mashed potato.

Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 45 minutes until golden and bubbling, then eat it.

Simply delicious!!


Leave a comment

Filed under Food

sunday afternoon

Last Sunday me and my girlfriend Vicki went for a brisk walk in the snow around University Parks, it was a lovely scene, the only figures in sight were the snowmen in residence looking like an irregular set of cricket fielders.

It wasn’t too long before we were thinking of heading back to the warm, and some comforting food and a hot drink. A recipe for a double ginger cake came up in the recipe book and we thought as we hadn’t done much baking we’d give it a go.

Firstly we sieved 250g self raising flour into a bowl with 2tsp of ground ginger, 1tsp of bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt.

Put 200g golden syrup, 2tbsp ginger syrup and 125g butter into a small saucepan and warm over a low heat.

Finely dice some stem ginger and add it to the pan with 2tbsp sultanas and 125g of dark muscovado.

Break 2 eggs into a bowl, pour in 240ml milk and beat gently.

Pour your heated butter mixture into the flour stirring smoothly, mix in the milk and eggs until you have a sloppy mixture.

Scoop the mixture into a lined cake tin and bake at 180 for 35 minutes.


Apparently it tastes even better if you leave it to mature for a day or two, but we didn’t get that far, it was delicious and just what we needed with a cup of Emma Beechams smooth No1 cup coffee!



Filed under Food

a warming soup

We have some lovely carrots in the shop, big in size and flavour, so we thought what with all this snow about it would be nice to make a soup, enough for the evening and lunch at the shop the next day.

These fat sticks of beta-carotene are seriously good for you and are Britains third most popular vegetable.

First you have to heat a glug of olive oil in a large saucepan, add 1 large onion and cook for a few minutes until soft. Add 3 large diced carrots, garlic, a teaspoon of ground coriander and an inch of finely chopped fresh ginger, stir well and cook for about 10 minutes until the carrots start to soften.

Add 1litre of veg stock, season and bring to the boil, then let it simmer until the carrots are tender.

Decant into a liquidiser and give it a whirl then check for seasoning and serve with large amounts of fresh bread from ‘the town garden’!

The ginger adds a lovely warm undertone and is also great for keeping colds at bay, all round it’s a very healthy, tasty soup!


Leave a comment

Filed under Food

winter salad

Here’s a recipe for beetroot, lentil and feta salad, we tried from a sunday supplement.

Beetroot contains natural sugars which are good for keeping up your energy levels and help you plough through the snow.

Firstly you have to wrap your beets in foil and cook them in the oven at 180 for 1-2 hours until you can easily stick a knife in them.

In the meantime put some puy lentils in a pan with chopped celery, thyme and 2 cloves of garlic alongwith 750ml of water and simmer until the lentils are just soft. Then make a vinagrette with red wine vinegar, olive oil, sea salt and pepper, mix with lentils and leave to cool.

Peel the beetroot, slice chunkily and add to the lentils, then crumble and toss together with feta and parsley.


Leave a comment

Filed under Food

not a turkey in sight!

Happy new year!

Well I hope it’s not too soon for another recipe, but this one is a seasonal essential!

In Oxford we are very fortunate to have so many quality local producers on our doorstep. At the farmers market in Wolvercote  a few weeks ago I was delighted to see a lady from Duns Tew who farms the most fantastic beef. I was looking for something to cook slowly in a stew pot with some chunky root veg, I normally go for braising steak, but this time, and for the first time, I chose shin of beef.

I strongly believe that vegetables should not be considered as just a side dish with meat as the star attraction. Good veg and good meat are equals in good cooking, so with that in mind I went to the shop and picked up a swede, some carrots, parsnips, shallots and garlic.

I was attempting a recipe that required guiness, but as I come from a village famous for it’s beer I immediately thought of Hook Norton’s Double Stout, good old hooky!

First I browned the meat and then removed it from the pot, then I throw in the shallots and garlic followed by the thickly cut veg, then I add a few sprigs of rosemary some seasoning and return the meat to the pot with the bottle of double stout and cover with a sheet of grease proof paper to stop the sauce reducing too much.

I then cook on the top of the oven at a low simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until you can cut the meat with a spoon.

Here’s the result and it was very tasty!


1 Comment

Filed under Food