timscience: (fondue)
Recipe ganked off here, but we tweaked the times etc because the first time I tried it (with pork belly) it didn't quite come out right.

This time round we used Bath chaps which are basically pig's cheeks. HA, PIG, WE EAT YOUR FACE!!!

Get a Bath chap, we got ours from Feller Son and Daughter in the covered market, but apparently Waitrose do them. They are a very fatty cut. Pork shoulder, which is slightly leaner, is traditional for slow roasting but we reckon all that fat kept it moist.
To be honest I reckon you can use pretty much any cut as long as it has TASTY CRACKLING. You may wish to tie it up with string if the butcher has not already done so. Score for crackling.

Get a big bit of silver foil. Smear it with a little olive oil. Put 4 cloves garlic, a small coarse cut shallot, a de-seeded chilli sliced into sizeable pieces, 2 sprigs rosemary in the foil. Put the Bath chap on top.

Form the foil into a nest round the tasty pig bit, but make sure - and this is important - that the skin is exposed in order to make TASTY CRACKLING. Rub in some salt and herbs to taste.

Put in the the bottom of the oven at gas mark 7, then immediately turn down to gas mark 1. The initial blast of heat is to help crisp the skin.

Leave in the oven all afternoon. Go and visit friends. Really, don't worry about it. We put ours in at 1.30 and it was delicious by 8.

About 3/4 of an hour before you want to eat it, put in parboiled potatoes in a tray at the top of the oven. Drain some pork fat out of the foil nest and baste the potatoes with it. The potatoes will taste of garlic, rosemary and a little chilli. This is a good thing. Go and have a bath or something.

5 minutes before you want to eat it, take the pork out to rest and whack the oven up to gas 7 again to crisp the potatoes.

Serve, don't forget the delicious roast garlicy bits at the bottom.

Eat nom nom nom. Now you will not starve this winter.
timscience: (croppedsausage)
This one worked well enough that I feel the need to share it.

Spicy winter stew. Serves 2. Prep time 15 minutes, cooking time 1/2 hr.

4 sausages of your choice (although the Tescos mad apricot sausage works especially well).
1 large shallot or 2 small ones (by large, I mean the onion sized torpedo shallots)
1 red pepper
1 medium sized medium strength green chilli
4 medium tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
2 cloves garlic
1 heaped tsp ground sumac (from Maroc in Cowley Rd if you live in Oxford)
Black pepper
Aaaand.....a small aubergine.

Rouille (optional)
1 tsp flour
1 knob butter

2 heaped tablespoons beef suet
4 heaped tablespoons self raising flour
A bunch of lemon thyme.

Put some olive oil in a big pot. Put on a low heat.
Cut the sausages into chunks and put in the pot. While they are browning, smash and roughly chop the garlic and finely chop the chilli, then add, with the fennel seeds, to the pan. Let it all brown while you chop the aubergine, shallot and red pepper into big chunks.
Continue until the sausages are brown, then take off the heat, add the vegetables (except the tomatoes) and sumac, stir and cover while you.....

Make the rouille in another pan by melting the butter and adding the flour, then stirring till done. Add a little of the stock and stir to a smooth consistency.

Finely chop up about a fistful of lemon thyme.
Make the dumpling mix by stirring the suet, flour, and thyme together and slowly adding water until it forms a sticky mess. It should be gooey rather than firm or the dumplings will be too stodgy.

Blitz the tomatoes until blitzed.

Put the heat back on, add the blitzed tomatoes, then the rest of the stock, and stir until thoroughly mixed.
Stir in the rouille if you feel the stew needs thickening.
The stock will look a bit bleh at this stage, but don't worry.
Season with salt if you feel the need. You can put some lemon thyme in the stew if you like as well.
Scoop up tablespoon sized blobs of dumpling mix (you should get 4 dumplings out of this amount) and drop into the stew.
Grind black pepper over it.
Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
Put on plates and eat.

What does it taste like? Like North African stews combined with English winter warmer food. In a very good way. Could probably be improved by bacon, but then what couldn't?

May 2017

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