DSC_6893Beef sirloin leftovers, cut into batons and fried in duck fat until browned. Sauce of onions, caramelised then cooked down with chopped chestnut mushrooms and chopped rosemary for 15 mins.  Added splash of sherry and a glug of white wine, reduced and then added rich beef stock and crushed white pepper. Thickened with a little leftover mashed potato.

Swede, cut into chunks, boiled then mashed, roughly mixed with leftover crushed carrots, sea salt and black pepper.

Aubergine chunks and chopped tomatoes, mixed with garlic, chopped thyme and sea salt.  Roasted for 40 minutes at 210C.

Parboiled potatoes, cubed and bashed about, drizzled with olive oil and sea salt and roasted for 35 minutes at 210C until browned at the edges.

Garden squash cubed, tossed in a little walnut oil then sprinkled with caraway and cumin seed and roasted foir 45 minutes at 210C.

White cabbage heart, chopped and steamed with tarragon and white pepper.

Jerk chicken

Jerk chicken wings with Caroline’s secret home-made jerk seasoning, with tomato salad made with the first of the tomato crop and fresh basil, served with courgettes from the garden fried with garlic.

Now all I need is her to make peas’n’rice and ackee and saltfish.

Hog roast

To raise funds for the Asselby Jubilee Fund, the village had a Hog Roast at our neighbours’ house, with live music and a bar and piles of home-cooked food.

For the hogroast, we used a 54kg local pig, scored, massaged with oil and lemon juice, seasoned with salt, then roasted slowly on an industrial-scale motorised spit over an open timber fire for 8 hours.  Using an infra-red thermometer, I kept the skin at about 100-110C after an initial scorching. After 4 hours, checked internal temp of the flanks, hams and shoulder and adjusted the fires to even out the cooking and get the internal temp to about 73C.

After 6 hours, squeezed a few lemons over the carcase and strewed with a bit more salt and a lot of chopped rosemary and thyme.  Every 15 mins after that, added two large handfuls of oak shavings to the fire along with a few sprigs of rosemary.

Finished off for the last half hour by raising the fire and burning dry oak, chopped into sticks and given plenty of air to get a long flame to crisp the crackling.  20 minutes before serving, removed the fire and wrapped the pig in foil to rest.

Getting the skin at a constant temp seemed to work really well, the meat was juicy and the texture excellent.

Herb and pepper chicken salad

Steaks of chicken breast, seasoned with sea salt and coarsely-ground black pepper, sprinkled with chopped fresh thyme, then fried gently in butter until golden on both sides.  I had some leftover duck breast, so tossed that in as well once the chicken was almost cooked.  Served with grated carrot and beetroot, shredded Little Gem, diced cucumber and sliced spring onions.

Served with a side dish of triple-cooked new potato chips and some herb-crusted roasted tomatoes

Pea and ham soup

Finely-chopped onion, fried in butter with a few bits of ham fat, chopped marjoram and ground black pepper. Added Bird’s Eye’s finest – look we are not doing seasonal OK….. Topped up with a light meat stock and simmered.  Blended thoroughly, added diced ham offcuts, simmered for a few minutes, then finished with a slosh of cream and a small knob of butter.  Served with finely-shredded garden mint.

Pork fillet with ginger and red pepper

Slices of pork fillet, seasoned and sprinkled with chopped fresh thyme, then fried hot in light oil until nicely browned on both sides.  Served on a bed of sliced red onions, red peppers, root ginger matchsticks, crushed garlic and chopped sage, sauteed with a little olive oil.

Seasonal touch, nice pile of local asparagus, simply steamed.

Pigeon breasts with mustard sauce

Pigeon breasts, seasoned, then pan-fried in butter until browned outside but very rare in the middle.  Rested for two minutes, then sliced and served on a bed of chopped spring cabbage cooked with tarragon and lime juice.  Brown rice and wild rice cooked in salted water and glazed with a splash of olive oil.  Sauce of shallots fried in olive oil until browned, then mixed with chopped oregano, ground mustard and paprika, a drip of wine and a good glug of soya cream and cooked until thickened.