Posts Tagged: roast

Jan 11

Cooking for comfort


When the weatherman says it’s raining, you won’t hear me complaining goes the song. Not strictly true as motorbikes and rain aren’t the best of friends!

It does, though, give me an excuse to stay in and cook something slow on the hob or in the oven – something that requires plenty of preparation – chopping onions, celery, carrots or ginger, garlic and chillies.

Most days I’ll chop, flip and fry at the pace I’m used to from professional kitchens. But when the rain pitter-patters outside everything slows right down and I become a little more absorbed in what I’m doing. Lost in the steady grinding of spices or juicing oranges, the picking and chopping of herbs or the peeling of potatoes.

Filling the house with the warm aromas of a slow-cooked meal, waiting patiently listening to the radio – perhaps a drop of red as the meal nears readiness…it might be raining outside but that won’t dampen the mood.

This recipe comes from Becky whose blog is packed with delicious recipes and great pictures. She recommends serving it with a beetroot and yogurt salad, the recipe for which you can find here

Click here for Becky’s pomegranate molasses braised shoulder of lamb

Jan 11

Spicing it up


After all the Christmas excesses, the cooked breakfasts and the roast dinners, the leftover sarnies and the cheese boards, I end up wanting something completely different.

Curry flicks all my switches at this time of year – sorry for those of you who have a gallon of turkey curry still in the freezer but I didn’t see a single one over the Christmas period!

That is, of course, until I returned to London and was taken to the rather nice Ravi Shankar for a spot of chaat (the delicious cold Indian dishes often featuring yogurt, tamarind sauce, chickpeas or potatoes and all based around fried dough).

Fresh, tangy, zingy flavours with a good dose of fiery chilli and a crunch from raw onion add up to make these an incredibly more-ish snack – hence their popularity all over India.

Taken a tentative bit of inspiration from these dishes, I whipped up a quick dip that is the perfect counterpoint to roast sweet potato wedges – a lovely marriage of spicy chillies, cooling yogurt, crunchy spring onions and a hint of sharp lime. A brilliant snack to tuck into in front of a good movie with an ice cold beer.

Click here for my recipe for sweet potato wedges with garam masala, yogurt and chillies

May 09

Taking it slow – ten hour roast pork


Patience is a virtue and no more so is this evident than in a ten-hour roast. This recipe is both tantalising and torturous. It’s a gem. I’m a huge fan of slow-cooking, braising or roasting on a very low temperature. It requires patience, the ability to wait and not pick, not turn the oven up and just leave things, as your house fills with the most incredible of aromas.

This kind of cooking is normally associated with winter months; casseroles and stews, perked up with root vegetables and served with great mounds of buttery mash. Slow-roasting, though, is perfectly suited to the warmer times too. Swap the potatoes for flat breads or pitta, pulling meat from bone and loading the breads up with pickled chillies, yogurt and salads. This ten-hour pork is’definitely one for the weekend as you’ll need to get it in the oven first thing. You’ll wish you could bottle up the scent too – rich and delicious and more-ish.

The sauce that accompanies this is one they serve at the Gaucho restaurants in London. It was taught to me by my great friend Ryan. It’s a slightly fiery sauce usually served with prawns but it’s also perfect for a barbecue or with a joint like this. Use a larger joint to leave lots of leftovers – perfect for topping pizzas, folding through pasta sauces or salads, or for a fantastic sandwich filling.

Because of the low cooking temperature and the fat in the meat, it won’t dry out during the cooking process

Ten-hour roast pork with a red pepper sauce

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

•    2kg piece of rolled boned pork shoulder or leg, skin on
•    Glass of white wine or water

For the sauce

•    2 red pepper
•    6 tomatoes
•    2 red onion
•    Juice of 2 oranges
•    Tabasco, to taste


Make the sauce the day before to save time. Cut the peppers into strips and deseed. Add these to a roasting tray along with the halved tomatoes and quartered red onions. Drizzle with a little olive oil and roast at 180 °C for around 30-40 minutes until tinged with black at the edges. Add them to a blender once cooled slightly with the juice of the oranges, salt and pepper and blitz. The amount of Tabasco you add is up to you. A few drops for a very mild heat, to plenty if you are a fire-eater. Set aside and cover until you are ready to use. It will keep in the fridge for a few days.

For the pork, pre-heat the oven to 230 °C. Place the pork on a roasting tray and cook for half an hour before turning the heat down to 130 °C. After 8 hours add a glass of wine or water to the tray.

After 10 hours, remove the pork from the oven. Pre-heat your grill and place the pork under this for a few minutes to crisp up the crackling. Remove the pork from the grill when the skin starts to puff and crisp.

Serve the pork with the sauce and flatbreads or pitta and salad on the side.

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