Black Treacle and Beer Bacon

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Curing bacon is not difficult. This recipe is a winner – cold smoked afterwards and then left to mature for a week or two I find it better diced into chunky lumps and used in salads, pastas or with scrambled egg. You can try to slice it and have it in a butty, but it’s not really right for that …

Salt Beef / Pastrami

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Making your own authentic Salt Beef is fairly easy – particularly if you use the equilibrium brining technique described below. I recommend using Weschenfelder’s superb cure mix. It’s essentially just right blend of salt and nitrates to do the job and produce that lovely pink colour. If you don’t wan to buy a bag of that, you can use a …

Tarta de Queso la Viña

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If you’ve never been to San Sebastian then put it on your list – nowhere else covers my 2 favourite hobbies of eating and drinking quite so perfectly. One of the highlights is the ‘burnt cheesecake’ sold by a small bar in a backroad of the Old Town. La Viña is so famous for these that cooling cakes adorn every available …

Home Cured Pancetta

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Curing bacon is not difficult. Buy a nice lump of pork belly, coat with cure, refrigerate, turn every day, done. Turning bacon into pancetta essentially just involves finding somewhere to hang it until it’s lost 20% or more of it’s body weight. This post on the daily brine says it all really – read it. All I can add is …

Magnificent Mac ‘n’ Cheese

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Mac ‘n’ Cheese is a great blank canvas, hence why a Mac n Cheese bar is so popular at festivals and other pop up events these days. Master the basics, then you can start sprinkling on interesting toppings. The only advice I’d give is that ‘crunchy’ should probably be the focus. Dried onion crisps, crumbled slow grilled streaky bacon, or …

Scotch Eggs 2 Ways

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Who doesn’t love a scotch egg? Even a crappy one from Sainsbury’s is a glorious feast, but if you’ve never had a freshly made restaurant quality scotch egg with a runny middle and a crunchy outer, served up with a little piccalilli you haven’t lived! They are surprisingly easy to make so long as you have the right equipment (a …

Steak Night

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Want an awesome dinner on a Saturday night but can’t be arsed to cook for hours? Got to be steak night! Anyone can fry a steak and bung a few chips in the oven, but steak is actually very versatile. This post is going to start by talking about cuts, move on to how to cook it, then finish with …

Apple Ketchup

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If you’ve only ever had premade, shop bought apple sauce then believe me, the difference is well worth the effort. If you’re going to the trouble of roasting a big, tasty pork joint, it seems almost criminal to not make your own, you’ll not find anything like this in a jar… Method Chuck it all in a pan and simmer …

Wild Mushroom Soup

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Method Soak the porcini in 150ml of warm water for 10 minutes. Fry up the wild and chestnut mushrooms in a large knob of butter, remove a few for a garnish later and then add he onion, garlic and thyme Add the porcini, water and all, along with the stock, bring to the boil and simmer, half covered, for 10 …

Roasted Garlic & Almond Soup

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Really tasty, but perhaps not one to eat before a big night out… Method Break up the garlic and roast in the oven for 30 minutes at 180, then leave it to cool Gently fry the onion for 10 minutes, then add the stock and the cream, bring to the boil and simmer for another 10 minutes Squeeze the cooled …