Sunday, 16 December 2012

Jamie's (or Daisy May's!) BBQ Ribs with Cowboy Beans

Oh. My. God! These were amazing! Good old Jamie Oliver (although I was at Gatwick at a ridiculous hour this morning and he has a cake stand in Departures, I think he is slowly taking over the world....). Get beef short ribs from your butcher, you won't regret it.

What you need

5 tbsp American yellow mustard
1 x 4-bone rack of beef


4 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp chilli powder
few grinds of pepper
1/2 tsp salt
olive oil


4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp runny honey
a large knob of butter
1 beef stock cube
2 tbsp water

What you need to do

Preheat your oven to 130c. Rub the mustard all over the meat. Then mix the rub ingredients together and massage these into the ribs as well. Make sure you get into all those nooks and crannies! Wack them onto a backing tray, bone side down, and cook for 5 hours.

Just before the time is up put all the marinade ingredients into a pan and cook until combined. Make a tinfoil parcel and pour in most of your marinade. Put the ribs on top, meat side down, then pour the rest of the marinade in. and cook for another hour. Remove from the oven and pour off any marinade.juices. Cook for another 45 minutes to crisp up. When the time is up remove the meat to a board and rest for 10 minutes. Pour over the juices and serve!

Cowboy Beans

What you need

2 red onions
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp chipotle chilli BBQ sauce (or just the chilli)
15 g butter
3 x tins of beans ( I used haricot)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
white wine vinegar
1 tbsp black treacle
4 rashers of smoked bacon
1 sprig of rosemary
 handful of Parmesan 
stale bread

What you need to do

Sweat the onions in a little oil with the paprika. Add the butter, chillies, tomatoes bay leaves and beans (along with the can juice). Give it a stir and then simmer for roughly an hour. Season with the vinegar and salt and pepper then stir through the treacle.

In a food processor whizz up the bread, rosemary, cheese and bacon. Sprinkle this over the beans then cook at 180 until crunchy!

I served this with the ribs, homemade slaw and a jacket potato, bloody lovely.

A Little Bit of Nigella

I LOVE Nigella! The Boy loves her too but for very different reasons. I really enjoyed her last series, Nigellissima, and her orzo recipe got my mouth watering. I chucked in some celery and mushrooms and replaced the water with chicken stock. This would feed four hungry people.

What you need

400g Orzo
8 rashers of good quality smoked bacon, diced
splash of vermouth/white wine (optional)
1 celery stick, chopped
1 onion chopped
1 liter of chicken stock (you might not need it all)
1 handful of peas
1 handful of mushrooms, sliced
Parmesan to taste
a knob of butter

What you need to do

Sweat the onions and celery until soft. Add the bacon then after a couple of minutes chuck in the mushrooms and cook till the bacon is crispy. If using add the alcohol and let it bubble then tip in the orzo and cover it with stock. Simmer for the time it says on the orzo packet (if it starts to look a bit dry add a little more stock but the finished result should be risotto consistency). In the last couple of minutes add the peas so they cook through.

Finish with a naughty knob of butter, seasoning and Parmesan to taste (I like loads, but i'm a pig with a future heart problem!)

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Spiced Carrot and Butter Bean Soup

I've decided that my blog is going to be like a good old bus; you wait for one post then several come at once. I can't believe that some people blog everyday, maybe I should teach the kids in ICT and get a production line going!
So, winter has really hit. Gone are the mornings that I would spring out of bed as it was light and slightly warm. Common place now is grumbling furiously, sticking my toe out in the cold and then, when finally untangled from the duvet, fumbling around in the dark trying to get dressed whilst not waking The Boy, only then to get into school and have numerous kids tell me I have my clothes back to front and inside out. Winter is all about stodge. And soup. Here is a recipe for the latter.

What you need

5-6 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, squashed
1 tsp ground coriander
thumb piece of ginger, grated
1 tsp red chilli (fresh or dried)
Juice from 1 orange
1 tsp of sugar
1 litre (roughly) of stock
Juice from one orange
50 g creamed coconut
1 can of butterbeans
Small bunch of coriander, stems chopped, leaves reserved

What you need to do

Sweat the onions, garlic and coriander stalks until soft then add the ground coriander and fry for 1 minute. Next add the carrots, garlic, ginger and chilli, fry for a couple of minutes then add the orange juice, stock, sugar and creamed coconut.

Bring to the boil and then simmer until the veg are done. Add half a tin of butter beans and blend. Then add the rest of the tin alongside the coriander. Season to taste!