Posts Tagged ‘dry’

I think it’s only fair that I take a break once in a while, even though this month long (almost) break wasn’t planned, I feel like I’ve earned it. It’s not as if I’ve been resting on my laurels during this break, my dad went into hospital (nothing serious, don’t worry!) so I’ve spent the past fortnight looking after him, as he had tonsils out, I was cooking, but I was cooking mush,  nothing exciting enough to blog about that. So yeah, even though I’ve enjoyed not worrying about cooking something to blog about, it’s nice to be back with a blog!

I didn’t actually expect to be back today, no. Until earlier I had no money, and no food in the house. But my dad decided to bugger off for a bit, and gave me some money to get some food, I hopped into Kirkham, and found there was a farmers and craft market in the square, and had a look around. It was pretty good, a bunch of hippy crap such as dream catchers, and joss sticks, and other crap to make people more spiritual (Ok, I’m a ruddy sceptic, get over it. But joss sticks won’t make you more spiritual, they’ll make your front room smell a bit pleasant after cooking something smelly, but that’s it)

One of the stalls was a greengrocers, a bit of a Del Boy, he bought gold for cash, heh. But on his stall he had 2 things which inspired my recipe tonight, wild garlic, and fresh beetroot! Now then, wild garlic, GET IT WHILST YOU CAN! It only has a season of about 6 weeks, and we’re currently in the 3rd week of the season! So get it whilst you can! It’s not cheap, but if you can forage it, it’s free.

So now I’ve walked the 3 mile hike up and down hills, come home, cooked my tea, and before I settle down to watch Doctor Who, I’ll share my risotto with you!

Beetroot and Wild Garlic Risotto


  • 4 raw beetroots
  • Handful (6 leaves) of wild garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 250g Risotto rice
  • Splash of white wine, or dry vermouth
  • Chicken or Vegetable stock, kept warm
  • 50g Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 5 Sprigs of Thyme
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil


  1. Finely slice the onions, and gently sweat in a mixture of butter and olive oil.
  2. Add the thyme and continue to sweat down.
  3. Peel the beetroots, and dice into small cubes. Add the diced beetroot to the pan, and continue to sweat for a further 10 minutes, stirring to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the rice, and stir and gently fry for a few minutes with the onion and beetroot.
  5. Add a splash of white wine into the pan, at this point the kitchen will smell beautiful. I guarantee it.
  6. Turn the heat down to a low simmer, and slowly add the stock, ladle by ladle, stirring constantly, adding a ladle when the stock has been absorbed.
  7. When all the stock has been added to the risotto, the rice is tender, and the beetroot slightly al denté, shred the wild garlic and stir through the risotto.
  8. Grate about 30g of the Parmesan cheese and stir into the risotto.
  9. Serve with an extra grating of Parmesan on the top.

One thing I forgot to get was Lancashire Crumbly Cheese, which is brilliant, crumbled on the top of a beetroot risotto, if slightly unconventional!

Hooray for pink food!

Hooray for pink food!




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Now, those of you who have been tolerating my irregular postings for a while will remember about 2 weeks ago, I posted a recipe for braised pork cheeks. Well. I’ve only gone and done it again, except this time, I’ve done a different variant on it… after writing up that recipe, I thought… “I bet that’d be good with a nice cider, too”. So I actually did it!

And you know what, it was nice! And this one, well… it’s a little more posh (interesting, the oxymoronic qualities of the word “posh”… nothing that claims to be “posh” is what you would consider “posh”… if you get where I’m coming from?. Like in Preston, there is a laundrette called “Posh Wosh” [sic]. I doubt there’s much “posh” about a laundrette… anyway, I digress…) So here is the recipe, for pork cheeks braised in cider…

Pork Cheeks Braised in Cider

Serves 2

Ingredients :

  • 6 pork cheeks
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 10 Chanetnay carrots, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 bottle of dry cider
  • Plain Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Saffron

(yeah, saffron, the second most expensive product in the world, beaten only by racing horse semen,.. which I must stress, isn’t a cooking ingredient!)

Method :

  1. Slice the onion into large pieces, and sweat in a large heavy bottomed pan with some vegetable oil.
  2. Add the minced garlic, Chanetnay carrots, and red pepper, and continue to sweat for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the veg to a bowl.
  4. Mix the flour and salt and pepper, and use to give the pork cheeks a light dusting.
  5. Using the same pan, fry the pork cheeks in some fresh oil, until browned and sealed.
  6. Return the veg to the pan, and then add the cider. I used a huge bottle, so I had enough to drink afterwards, so I only had to use half of it. At this stage, I suggest you eye ball it (no, not the process of taking alcohol through the eye, I’m talking about guessing measurements, you piss head!)
  7. Take a few strands of saffron, and a pinch of salt, and grind in a mortar and pestle, and add to the pan. Also add a few pure strands if you’re feeling extravagant (I was!).
  8. Simmer for about 20 minutes, and then as before, put into an oven proof pot, and transfer to the oven at around 150 degrees Celsius/Gas Mark 4 for around 2 hours.
  9. If the cider hasn’t reduced by much, you can use a buerre manié to thicken it to a more gravy like consistency. Just remember to cook the flour out, before beginning to whisk, otherwise the gravy will have a slightly cloying texture.

It was tasty, if a huuuuge portion

I served mine in a large Yorkshire pudding, and yes. I cheated, and used an Aunt Delia’s Bessie’s Yorkshire Pudding… why? Because I’m lazy. I’ll be honest. Plus, I’m on my own, if I was cooking for company, I’d probably pull my finger out of my arse and make Yorkies myself. But fuck it. Masterchef was on!Yeah, it was good

Anyway, now I finish this blog post, kick back with a cup of coffee and a Bendick’s “Bittermint”, it’s well good. 95% cocoa solids, so lovely rich, mouth filling bitter flavour, with a hugely strong peppermint flavour filling. Good for an indulgent treat… now then, where’s my free chocolates for singing your praises, Bendick’s?


P.S. Thanks to Nairn for accepting my offer of a number for his Random Eats blog, he ended up with Sicillian-style Pesto Pasta, not a bad choice really, if I do say so myself!

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