paella ...Or it might be jambalaya. I'm not sure what the criteria is. It's rice 'n' stuff in one pan, anyway. My old chum chorizo makes a special guest appearance, but it's the vegetables that do the work in this one. I fried the chorizo a bit to char the edges and encourage their spicy-sweet juices to leak out, then put them to one side. Then in go the veg: red onion, celery, carrot. After they've tenderised a bit, in go a courgette, some garlic and a … Continue Reading ››

shepherd’s pie

shepherd's pie Thanks to yesterday's roast, I had a heap of leftovers. A few additions later and dinner's ready. I started by baking some potatoes until they were, well, jacket potatoes. I'm a big fan of mash done in this way. Meanwhile I took the cold, yummy, gummy lamb and chopped it into bits. I also had some leftover carrots and chopped those up too. I fried these bits in a pan until warmed up, then added some lamb stock and frozen peas. When the juice … Continue Reading ››


I was asked how to do 'real' gravy recently, and this seemed the right place to put it. It's somewhat chicken-and-egg - for the perfect gravy you need to have had a previous roast from which to get your stock. And so the cycle continues. If you don't have a decent home-made stock, and it's not always possible, I'm a big fan of these two Knorr products: Stock Pots and Touch of Taste. Stock Pots for just pure stock, Touch of Taste for just a splash of intense flavour here and there. They're … Continue Reading ››

roast lamb

roast lamb Spring is surely here when lamb is on the menu. Wonderful, succulent, English lamb. I used a shoulder; just as interesting and tasty as a leg, but half the price. A trickier carve I'll grant you but I can suffer that for luscious tender meat. With the benefit of ample time on a Sunday, I fancied a slow roast on this occasion. I turned to two inspirations, food pornographer Nigel Slater and laid-back New Zealander Peter Gordon. If Kiwis know how to cook something, it's … Continue Reading ››

chicken wrapped in bacon with red cabbage and champ

chicken wrapped in bacon Last week I watched a great series from the wonderful Hardeep¬†Singh¬†Kohli, Chefs and the City, where norms bring their signature dish to battle against a pro chef. One guy lost in a brazen fashion, daring to take on a French chef at something right up their street. He was destroyed, but there was something promising in his quail wrapped in bacon. I decided to adapt it to my own means. Continue Reading ››