THE FULL ENGLISH CASSOULET I have pinched the title of this article from a book by Richard Mabey. Unlike journalist Clare Hargreaves, who has pledged to eat solely British produce for a year, we at The Campaign for Real Farming are quite prepared to include some imports to supplement our mainly British diet.  We do, however, applaud Clare’s experiment and her findings, only a couple of weeks into the year, have already revealed that you have to cook from scratch if you hope to avoid undesirable foreign additives like palm oil and soya.  We’re absolutely on the same page here. Richard Mabey, best known as the author of Food for Free advocates adapting recipes to use the ingredients you have to hand.  Its about… read more
Seville Orange Recipes Seville Oranges should be used for more than just marmalade. Their bitterness lends sophistication and depth of flavour to a wide variety of sweet and savoury dishes. Remember also when looking at old recipes (pre 19th century) that unless otherwise specified oranges usually meant bitter oranges. read more
Cloutie Dumpling To follow Haggis with Cloutie Dumpling would, I suspect, be too much even for a Scotsman with the heartiest of appetites. However, I give this recipe ahead of Burn's Night in celebration of having finally acquired some fresh suet! read more
Wassail Cup Wassail Cup and the variant Lamb's Wool for wishing good health to friends, neighbours, and apple orchards on old Twelfth Night. read more
Herb of the Month – Winter Savory Savory is also known as "the bean herb". Read on to find out why and for some classic bean recipes including Cassoulet and Tuscan Bean Soup. read more
Curried Parsnip Soup 4 large parsnips 1 small onion 2 cloves garlic 2 oz butter ½ tsp mild curry powder ½ tbsp plain flour 1½ pints homemade chicken stock ¼ pint single cream salt and pepper Peel the parsnips and chop them into chunks of about 1". Slice the onion and melt the butter in a large heavy based pan. Cook the onions, parsnip and crushed garlic over a low heat with the lid on for 5 minutes or so until the parsnip is soft but not coloured. Add the flour and curry powder, stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 40 minutes then liquidise until smooth. (If you do not have a liquidiser or if you… read more
Mutton and Caper Pudding MUTTON AND CAPER PUDDING For a 1.2 litre/2 pint pudding basin (Serves 4) 1½ lb mutton 1 onion, chopped 1clove of garlic, crushed 1 carrot, chopped 1leek, chopped 1 stick of celery, chopped 1 tbsp flour 1 tbsp capers ¾ pint of lamb stock ¼ pint Madeira 1 tbsp chopped parsley salt and pepper For the Suet pastry: 300g/10 oz self-raising flour salt 150g/ 5 oz freshly grated suet 200ml/7fl oz water Trim the mutton of excess fat, which can be rendered in a large casserole ready for frying the meat. Cut the meat into cubes of about an inch, season with salt and pepper and then fry until well browned. Remove the meat from the pan, turn the heat… read more
Making Stock People seem to think that making stock takes hours, well the cooking does, but not your involvement in it. It really only needs 5 minutes of your time but will provide you with the basis for another meal. If the cooking time is a problem for you on the day you have a carcass to use, just freeze it and then make stock on a day when you will be around. I often do freeze the carcass anyway and then make a larger batch of stock when I have two or three. This is especially useful if your bird did not come with giblets as you have less flavour available from one carcass. However even a single carcass will make… read more

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