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Showing posts from November, 2010

Venison Pasta Sauce

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I've just about got time to enter the November In The Bag Challenge hosted this month by Scott at The Real Epicurean. This month's ingredient is game and I felt like making something with venison. I also felt like eating pasta and so this is the result. A simple enough recipe, but I've got to admit it takes a while to make, especially since you need to put the venison into the marinade the day before.


Marinade:
    150 ml red wine
    50 ml gin
    30 ml blackberry vinegar

300 g venison – the sort sold for casseroles – cut into cubes of roughly 2.5 cm
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
70 g small pancetta or bacon chunks
3 tbsp tomato purée
A generous pinch of sugar
2 sprigs of rosemary, tied up in muslin
A squeeze of lemon

Mix together the marinade ingredients and pour over the venison. Cover and leave in the fridge for 24 hours.

When the time's up, drain the venison, reserving the marinade. Pat the venison dry with paper towel. Gently fry the o…

Lime Pickle

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As I understand it, the classic lime pickle involves salting limes for some time, preferably leaving them in the sun during the process. Alternative, quicker versions cook the limes. For some reason the version I've developed both salts and cooks the limes. I'm probably just being awkward again.


The first stage of salting the limes is broadly the same process that I use for preserved lemons and it may be worth adding a few more limes and some extra salt to the jar to give you some preserved limes for use in other dishes. Preserved limes can be used in a very similar way to preserved lemons but they add a distinctive edge which is all their own.

This recipe only makes 1 jar on the principle that a little really does go a long way, but it can easily be scaled up.

5 limes, with maybe one more on standby for extra juice
Sea salt – at least 10 tbsp and very possibly more
1 tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp dried chilli flakes – or more if you fancy it
3…

Caramelised Pear and Chocolate Friands

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Another month and another chocolate challenge. This is my entry in the November “We Should Cocoa” chocolate challenge hosted this month by Chele of Chocolate Teapot. This month the challenge is to combine caramel with chocolate. I had to think about that one for a bit, until I saw some nice looking pears in the supermarket. You need a ripe but quite firm pear for this recipe – if the pear’s too soft it will fall apart completely in the caramel.

Friands always feel like a bit of a faff as you melt butter and separate countless eggs but actually they’re really easy and quick once you’ve done the preparation.

This recipe will make around 10 – 12 friands, depending on the exact size of the holes in your tin. Of course, you don't have to have a friand tin - a muffin tin will do perfectly well. Friands are a nice shape, though.

The caramel in this recipe should end up quite thin, coating the pear without setting too hard. With that in mind, if in any doubt, err on the side of lighter ca…

Lemon and Fruit Polenta Cake

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I enjoy the crumbly and buttery style of most polenta or cornmeal cakes but, just for a change, this one is more of a rich fruit loaf. It's a distant cousin of a Northern Italian cake but made the lazy way with a breadmaker. Like a lot of moist fruit cakes, I think this works best as a dessert with cream or something along those lines, but that doesn't stop me eating it with a cup of something warm in the afternoon.

The order of the dough ingredients given here is correct for Panasonic breadmakers which add liquids last; other breadmakers reverse this order so it's probably best to follow the manufacturer's advice.

For the dough:
   ¾ tsp easy bake dried yeast
   150 g white bread flour
   150 g  fine cornmeal (polenta)
   ¼ tsp salt
   80 g caster sugar
   25 g butter, softened
   1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
   zest of 1 small lemon, very finely chopped
   1 small eating apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
   120 ml water
   50 ml lemon juice
For the fruit:
   10…

Sloe Sloe Quince Quince Sloe Chutney

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There seemed to be a lot of sloes left in the hedgerows this year and since I just couldn't drink any more sloe gin without becoming a nuisance I thought I'd take the opportunity to make a chutney. Sloes add a rich colour and a very sharp fruitiness to chutneys. Since quinces are also in season it seemed a good idea to combine the two things especially since I'd just got hold of some Berzycki quinces. (I had some spare quince which I added to pork braised in perry and that was rather tasty too).


I used 300 g of sloe pulp in this chutney but you need at least twice the weight of sloes to
produce that amount of pulp – in fact I picked about 640 g of sloes. All you do is wash the sloes, put them in a pan and heat them very gently until they break down. If you do this gently enough, you shouldn't need to add any water, although a little will do no harm. You will need to stir frequently, though. Strain the sloes through a fine sieve and you will have a brightly-coloured, ver…