Beef Brisket

Ok, here’s a lovely dish to celebrate Great British Beef Week. There’s nothing better than a roast of beef for your Sunday dinner and it’s so nice to find a tasty slow roasted recipe that is hassle free. This is a great dish to serve to family or friends. Brisket is an inexpensive cut of meat with an open-grained texture and depth of flavour make it perfect for slow cooking. If you want a quick fix then eat an expensive cut of meat, but if you crave homely warmth and the feeling that all is well with our world (especially when it isn’t) then it’s the cheap, fat-rich cut to head for.

I made this with a smaller cut of brisket weighing about one and half kilo, I used 4 onions and 2 garlic cloves but I kept all the other ingredients the same to ensure we had a plenty of the nice rich sauce.

Anyway here is the recipe, go on give it a go!

Serves 8-10

3kg flat cut beef brisket (most of the fat trimmed)
15g flour
salt & pepper
50ml veg oil
8 sliced onions
50g tomato puree
4 cloves garlic
1 chopped carrot
100ml of water of beef stock
serve with creamy mash and kale.
1. Season the meat, dust with flour, then seal in hot pan and oil for 6 minutes each side (nice and caramelised)
2. Take out the meat, then cook the onions for 15 minutes to caramelise. Turn off heat
3. Sit the beef on top of the onions, spread the puree on top. Chuck the garlic and carrots into the pot.
4. Roast at 180C for an hour and a half.
5. Transfer to a chopping board, slice across the grain about 3mm thick
6. Return to the pot and reassemble, with just a little of the top of each slice showing (sort of push it over slightly).
7. Add about 100ml warm water/beef stock to the pot.
8. Return to the oven and cook for 2 hours more, lowering to 150C.
9. Every 25 minutes, spoon some of the juices over the top.
10. Serve with creamy mash and kale or cabbage.



Really quick ‘Danish Pastries’

Theres nothing more I like than thumbing through my recipe books, and finding recipes that are quick and easy to produce at home.

A few weeks ago I made myself a promise that I would make more use of the books I have on display in my kitchen. So recently I have been like a woman possessed finding recipes to cook and enjoy with the family.

Today I thought I would bake a recipe from a very talented pastry chef. Lorraine Pascale, always produces stress free, easy to follow recipes which always turn out a successful end result.

The recipe today is taken from her book,’ Home Cooking Made Easy’.

These Danish pastries are so quick to make and are made from store cupboard ingredients. Go on make yourself a batch for a weekend breakfast or coffee with friends. You really will be amazed at the simplicity of this recipe.


1 x 375g packet of puff pastry ( I used the ready rolled sheet)

Plain flour for dusting

1 x 220g tin of apricot halves

300g thick custard ( shop bought)

I never used all of the custard but it stores for three days, so can serve the left overs with something else for a dessert.

1 egg, lightly beaten, for the egg wash

Sugar for sprinkling

Non stick baking parchment


Pre-heat oven 220C, Gas 7

Roll out pastry on a slightly floured surface to a square 30cm x 30cm.

if you have used the ready rolled sheet, unroll but keep it on the paper.

To make the Imperial star shapes,cut the pastry into 7.5cm squares ( I got 12 out of the sheet of pastry)

Place the squares onto a baking sheet lined with non stick baking parchment. Space them out slightly. From here on I found it easier to work on the baking tray to assemble.

Make diagonal cuts from each corner to within 1 can of the centre of the square.

Spoon  1 heaped teaspoon of the readymade custard into the centre of the square,place one of the apricot halves on top of the custard.

Fold alternate corners of each cut section down to the centre,brushing the tips with beaten egg.

Place them into the fridge for 15 mins,until they are firm.

Remove from fridge,brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar, place into the oven and bake until they are firm,risen and golden brown. Mine took about 15-20 mins.

Remove from the oven and cool. They are delicious eaten warm or cold

Pork meatballs in brown ale gravy

Love this quote, it speaks volumes about the pleasures of cooking and the enjoyment of food.

No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.” 

― Laurie Colwin

Ok, so I must have at the moment about fifty recipe books decorating my kitchen shelf unit. They look great,but since our move I have bearly  looked at them…so, thinking about the quote above, I have decided to have a purge and cook something from each of them over the coming months.

One of my favourite chefs is Tom Kerridge, I love the way he uses simple ingredients and turns his recipes into something quite easy and lovely to eat.

Anyway, having already posted his Peppered Lemon Chicken recipe here is his equally delicious ” Pork meatballs in brown ale gravy”, taken from his book Best Ever Dishes.

I chose this dish because I now have a lovely little herb garden and this recipe can make the most of the herbs I have available ( all herbs can also be bought readily from the larger supermarkets). Also, hubby likes Brown Ale and lets face it meatballs are always a winner. So I figured it’s a win, win recipe.


Vegetable oil for cooking

1 onion, finely diced

600g minced pork

100g breadcrumbs

2 tbsp ready made English mustard

1.5tbsp chopped rosemary leaves

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp dried sage

2 tsp salt

2 tsp cracked black pepper

1 egg,  lightly beaten

2 tbsp finely chopped sage

For the gravy

2 shallots,skin on

2 garlic cloves, skin on

4 Rosemary sprigs

300 mls brown ale

500 mls rich chicken stock


Warm oil in the pan and over a medium heat, fry the onion, until soft – about ten minutes.

Cool the onion slightly, then place the onion in a large mixing bowl with the pork,breadcrumbs, mustard,Rosemary, dried herbs, salt,pepper and egg. Mix thoroughly with your hands. The more you mix the better the meatballs will be ( stretching the proteins gives a firmer ball). Place the mixture into a clean bowl, cover the mix with cling film and put in fridge for at least an hour, or overnight. ( handy for those of you who work, do the prep the night before and the mix is ready to use when you come home)

Divide the mix into four equal portions, them roll six meatballs from each portion, so you have 24 meatballs. Put them on a plate, cover with cling film and put in fridge for 30 mins. ( this will prevent the meatballs breaking up when you cook them, so is worth doing ).

While they are resting make the gravy.

Slice the shallots and garlic, keeping the skins on and place them in a saucepan. Add Rosemary sprigs and pour on 250mls of the brown ale. Bring to the boil over a high heat then reduce to a simmer. Cook it down slowly to a glaze, so almost all of the ale is gone and the shallots are soft and brown.madd the chicken stock, turn the heat back up and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by a third.

Preheat your oven to 190C/Gas 5.

Warm a large frying pan over a medium heat add a little oil and. Gently fry the meatballs in batches, making sure they get a lovely brown colour all over. When browned remove them and put them into an oven proof dish.

Pass the gravy through a fine sieve over the top of the meatballs and bake them for a further 10-12 minutes until the gravy has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.

To finish the meatballs pour in the rest of the Brown Ale and sage. Give it a good stir.

This was served with peas,mushrooms and onions, ( cooked in a stock,reduced then sprinkled with fresh mint,) and mashed potatoes and Yorkshire puddings. But you choose the accompaniments…vegetable rice or pasta would be just as nice.

A very enjoyable meal👍


Lemon pepper chicken

Lemon chicken always makes me think of summer, that lovely citrus flavour with the delicious white meat of the chicken. There are hundreds of recipes out there for this delicious main course,but I have to say, this recipe from Tom Kerridge’s “Best Ever Dishes” takes a lot of beating. Not only does it make a delicious, easy, tasty midweek meal it is also easy to prepare and not too expensive on the purse strings. It would be a great dish to serve al fresco on a summer evening.


Finely grated zest and juice of two lemons

4 tbsp runny honey

3 garlic cloves, grated

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

4 tbsp cracked black pepper

4 skinless chicken breasts

4-5 Rosemary sprigs

1 lemon cut into thin slices

700g baby new potatoes


In a bowl, mix together the lemon zest,lemon juice,honey,garlic,mustard and black pepper. With a sharp knife, score the chicken 3 or 4 times and rub the marinade into the flesh. Make sure you get it into the cracks. Put the chicken into a bowl with the rest of the marinade, stir to coat, cover and refrigerate  for two hours.

Preheat the oven to 200 C/ Gas 6. Mix together the Rosemary and lemon slices in the bottom of a roasting tin. Put the potatoes on top and settle the chicken with it marinade over the top. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until the potatoes and chicken are cooked through. Remove from the oven and rest for 10-15 minutes.

I served this with a green salad, delicious.