Archives for category: Meat

Pork tenderloin is a brilliant cut for a quick but special supper. So versatile – it spices up wonderfully in a hot asian curry, is a great friend of the stir fry but is equally good with European flavours. Use it as you would a chicken breast. Cook all the way through but only just. It will toughen up if overcooked and should be just very slightly pink in the centre but never rare.

Trim your fillet of any sinew – this will shrink on cooking and is tough so you want to get rid of that with a sharp knife. I love this easy recipe that calls on the very British combination of parsley, sage and lemon, all mashed into some butter that melts in the centre of the pork. I’ve used marsala here (a little Italian coming into the mix) but cider would work beautifully as well.

Serves Four

2 x 350 – 400g pieces of free-range pork tenderloin, trimmed of any sinew
60g unsalted butter, slightly softened
2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Rind of two lemons
Sea salt and black pepper
A little rapeseed oil
200ml fresh chicken stock
100ml marsala (dry)
100ml soured cream or creme fraiche
2 teaspoons clear honey
Some more finely chopped sage and parsley

Pre-heat the oven to 180c

Mash the butter and herbs together and add the lemon rind. Season well.

Take your pork and make a slit down the centre. Go about three quarters of the way through. Bat out slightly to even it out. Divide the butter down the centre of each pork tenderloin and then roll the pork around it, securing with a couple of cocktail sticks.

Have a baking tray heating in the oven. Heat a shallow pan with a little rapeseed oil and seal the pork on all sides. Remove and season well. Put into the oven for fifteen to twenty minutes or until slightly pink in the centre. It will carry on cooking whilst it rests in a warm place out of the oven.

While the pork is cooking, clean out the shallow pan if need be with some kitchen roll (only if there are any bits that look burnt) and add the marsala.

Bubble for a few minutes until well reduced and then add the chicken stock. Simmer hard again until reduced and looking syrupy. Make sure you stir in any bits that stick to the side of the pan. Add in the cream/creme fraiche and add the herbs and seasoning. Add the honey and taste to check the seasoning. If the sauce is a little thick you can let it down with a dash of boiling water.

Once the pork has rested for about ten minutes serve with crushed new potatoes or a nice mash. Swiss chard or green beans goes well with this.

Serves Six

30g watercress leaves (removed from the thicker stalks)
10g flat leaf parsley
10g fresh basil
5 – 10g fresh mint
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 heaped teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper
5 cornichons
2 teaspoons small capers
100ml rapeseed oil (or extra virgin or half and half)
Good squeeze lemon juice

You need a mini chopper for this or the smallest bowl in our food processor. Or you can do it by hand in a big pestle and mortar but you will have to finely chop everything first.

Put all the ingredients except the oil and lemon into your chopper. Add a quarter of the oil and whizz to blend. Add more oil and blitz together until you have a good consistency. Check the seasoning and add lemon juice to taste. Finally add the rest of the oil, depending on how thick you like your salsa verde.

Keeps in the fridge in a jar for just under a week as long as you cover the top with a fine layer of oil.

Serve with baked or pan fried trout or salmon. Wonderful with new potatoes, puy lentils or dunk some sourdough in it.

If serving with beef then some sharp little finely chopped shallot would make a nice addition.

As the weather warms up things change in the kitchen too. At this time of year its all about lighter, fresh flavours that refresh and revive rather than comfort and warm. Recipes need to be easy too. There is so much to do outside and no one wants to spent hours in the kitchen with the sun (hopefully) beaming down in the garden. This is a lovely salad for a weekend lunch or supper on a warm evening and will satisfy even the biggest appetites if you are generous with the beef. I often buy tail cuts of beef fillet from the butcher for this. They are much cheaper than the perfect centre cut and just as good. Sirloin is more flavoursome and a very good alternative, just slightly less tender but no less the worse for that. I have used rump steak to great effect here too – just make sure you rest it properly and you will have lovely tender pieces. You can ring the changes to fit whatever veg/salad you have to hand. I like to make it as colourful as I can – red radish is useful here, but green beans, sugar snaps, yellow peppers, cucumber etc etc or even a few bean sprouts wouldn’t go amiss at all. Mint is essential.

Serves four to six

1 red pepper
1 small red onion
A few radishes
1 small punnet of cherry tomatoes
2 handfuls each of fresh mint and coriander
110g roasted, unsalted peanuts
Bag of green leaves
4 asparagus spears (optional)
2 Spring onions
800g beef fillet/sirloin
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Dressing

2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 red chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 generous tablespoon fish sauce
30g palm sugar (or soft light brown)

Pound the garlic and chillies together in a pestle and mortar. Put into a bowl and add the rest of the dressing ingredients. Mix well. Check how it tastes and adjust with more chilli/fish sauce if necessary. Set aside.

Quarter the peppers. Slice thinly. Slice the red onions thinly and the spring onions. Halve or quarter the cherry tomatoes. Toss in a bowl with the peanuts and herbs.

Heat a grill pan. Cut the beef into thick slices. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and sear until just medium rare.

Rest for a few minutes before thinly slicing. Add to the other ingredients. Spoon the dressing over the salad and serve immediately, on a bed of green leaves if liked. Sprinkle the spring onions over the top with extra herbs.
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There is absolutely nothing elegant about a sausage roll. However, it is pure comfort picnic food, has stood the test of time and needs make no apologies for the fact that it is exactly what it says in the title – sausage, rolled. But it is a beloved and essential part of our family picnics, particularly those spent on a blowy beach or windy hillside. And there have been many of those over the years. We have changed and grown up, this recipe hasn’t and I hope you will agree that it is perfection the way it is. Make them small, medium or large and enjoy either on their own or with a good dollop of a fruity chutney. They freeze brilliantly either before or after cooking and I guarantee that you will be making these again. Just make sure you use an excellent quality free range sausagemeat and a pure butter puff pastry. These sausage rolls will be only as good as your ingredients. The gold jus-rol packet is the best,

Makes six – ten depending on how large you cut them

450g free range pork sausagemeat
1 egg (free range)
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
Good handful of fresh white breadcrumbs (quantity can be quite approximate)
Salt & pepper
Sesame seeds (optional
1 pack of jus roll all butter puff pastry

Pre-heat oven to 180c

Take the sausagemeat and put into a bowl. Beat the egg and pour in most of it, leaving a tablespoon to brush over the finished rolls later. Add the breadcrumbs, tomato puree and worcestershire sauce and a good grinding of seasalt and black pepper. Squish it all together until well mixed. Your hands are the best tool for this.

Cut your pastry in half. You will only need half for this quantity. Keep the rest as you will be making more very soon. Roll out (do not turn the pastry over and use minimum of flour) into a long strip about 4 inches wide and 18 inches long. The pastry should be thin. Put the sausagemeat mix down the centre. You will think there is too much sausagemeat to pastry but this is important. Put as high a roll of sausage as you dare. Roll the pastry over using the side of your hand to help it all the way over to meet and seal with a little water. Use a fork to squish the edges together.

Brush the whole roll with beaten egg and then cut into however many sausage rolls you want. Put two diagonal slits in the top of each one and if you like sprinkle each with some sesame seeds.

Put onto a baking sheet and into the oven for fifteen minutes for small rolls up to thirty minutes if they are very long. Check after fifteen minutes and see how golden they are going. Once they are dark golden and piping hot in the centre remove from the oven and use a palette knife to put them onto a wire rack to cool.

Store in an airtight tin, not a plastic container.

Eat on a windy British beach in the driving rain huddled under a rock.

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For years we have been cooking beef fillet to precise timings and nervously standing by the oven waiting for precisely the right moment to take it out of the oven.

This recipe provides a wonderfully relaxed approach to cooking what for many is a special occasion piece of beef and produces a beautifully even, perfectly pink piece of beef that cannot overcook and is almost trouble free.

One fillet of beef, about 800g to 1kg (centre cut if possible)
Two cloves garlic
Fresh thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and Pepper

For the jus

One onion
One stick celery
One carrot
One clove garlic
A little oil (olive or sunflower)
One bay leaf
Fresh thyme
500ml red wine
400ml fresh beef stock/consomme
50g unsalted butter
Salt & pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 75C or similar.

Crush the garlic up with the thyme and salt and rub into the beef with the oil. Cover with a good grinding of black pepper and dust over a little more sea salt. Sear in a hot pan to colour all over. Put into a roasting tin (best have it ready warming) and put in the oven for about 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hours. Take out of the oven and cover with foil. Leave for about half an hour or so in a warm place. It should be soft and very pink all the way through.

Chop the vegetables and sauté gently in a little oil until beginning to soften and caramelise. Add the red wine and reduce by half. Add the stock, the herbs and seasoning. Simmer for about half an hour or until very well reduced.

When you are ready to serve, strain the liquid into a clean pan. Bring up to a simmer and make sure the jus is well seasoned. Add any juices that have come out of the beef whilst resting. Whisk in cubes of chilled butter and serve with the beef.

Or

Serve with a delicious salsa verde and roast or boiled new potatoes.
beef & salsa verde