Category Archives: Dinner

Wild Boar Stew with Pomegranate

Wild Boar Stew with Pomegranate


This meltingly tender Boar stew is simmered for hours with onions and smoky bacon in a red wine sauce, with the addition of Pomegranate molasses and Pomegranate juice to achieve a dark and rich stew that becomes seriously tender. This is one of those dishes that never fails to please.


The addition of Pomegranate enhances the flavor of the meat and pairs perfectly, making the stew extra tender and adding a hint of sweetness.
Comfort cooking is one of the pleasures of the cooler months and this wild boar stew is the perfect example. It is quick to put together and then simmers for a few hours filling the air with irresistible aroma. The thought of meat simmering for hours on the stove is infinitely comforting to me.

I have added some warm spices in just the right amount to give extra flavour without overpowering the boar.
This recipe is enough for 4 to 6 people but can easily be doubled and half can be frozen for another day.


Prep time : 20 min

Cooking time : 2 hrs.

Serves : 6



INGREDIENTS:


2 ½ pounds wild boar cut into 1 inch cubes (meat cut from the leg)
Salt and pepper
¼ teaspoon all spice
2 tablespoons flour for coating meat
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 slices of thick cut bacon, chopped
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
6 large carrots, peeled and cut thick
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons Pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup red wine
1 cup unsweetened Pomegranate juice
2-3 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh Marjoram
2 Bay leaves, whole
2 teaspoons Fennel seeds
2 inch stick of cinnamon
2 to 3 tablespoons red current or other berry jam or jelly
Beurre Manié:
Mix together with your fingers or a small spoon,
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon flour



INSTRUCTIONS:

Get out a big cast iron pot with lid if you have it, otherwise ant heavy bottomed pan with lid will do.
Put it on the stove and turn up the heat to high.
Add the olive oil and bacon to the pan, fry until golden and crispy and remove to a plate.
Toss the boar with the salt, pepper and all spice and coat in the flour.
Fry the boar in batches in the hot bacon-oil until nice a dark golden brown, remove and place on a plate as you go until all the meat is browned.
Next add the onion and carrot and cook for a few minutes until it has taken colour, then add the garlic, stirring all the time. Add the tomato paste, Pomegranate molasses and honey, stir to coat all the meat and vegetables.
Next add the red wine, the Pomegranate juice and first 2 cups of the beef stock, you can add more as it cooks.
Add the remaining spices; the fresh thyme, Marjoram, Bay leaves, Fennel seeds and cinnamon.
Bring to a low simmer and cook for about 2 and a half to 3 hours, checking in between. Adding more broth if needed.
Stir in the beurre manié in small teaspoon sized balls, to thicken the stew as needed. Any remaining beurre manié may be frozen and is great to have in the freezer.
Before serving the Boar stew, add the jelly to sweeten to taste.
Serve the boar stew with mashed potatoes, noodles or rice. Enjoy. Leftovers are great but highly unlikely.

Enjoy!

If you make this recipe please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you.  And please don’t forget to tag me on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Lighter French Cassoulet

Cassoulet, the name of the earthenware dish in which it is served, is an aromatic, hearty bean and meat stew with some aromatic herbs and spices, the flavor is subtle and delicate, and really comforting.
The key to a perfect cassoulet is the slow cooking process that tenderizes the meat and the beans and infuses the stew with its rich flavor. Your house will be filled with an incredible aroma that will get anyones stomach rumbling as soon as they walk thru the door.
There are many varieties of Cassoulet depending on your meat choices. My personal preference is smoked sausage, bacon, pork and chicken. You could go for Duck confit, but I find it too heavy so I have opted for the chicken instead.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

• 2 fresh small ham hocks
• 5 oz. diced smoked Bacon
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1 pounds dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight
• 2 small carrots, thinly sliced
• 1 medium onions, diced
• 1 celery stalk, sliced
• 2 Bay leaves
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
• 1 head of garlic, unpeeled, plus 2 small garlic cloves, peeled
• 1 glass of dry white wine
• 1 can chopped tomatoes
• 1/4 tsp. All spice
• 1 quart / 1 liter, chicken broth
• 4 parsley sprigs, 2 thyme sprigs and 2 bay leaf
• 4 chicken legs
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 4 pork sausages, your favourite kind
• 1 smoked kielbasa or other smoked sausage, or 2 small ones

METHOD:

• In a bowl, cover the beans with 3 inches of water and soak overnight.
• Add the bacon and ham hocks to a very large frying pan or pot and brown them all over.
• Remove and set aside.
• Add the carrots, onions and celery and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden, about 7 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and bay leaves.
• Add the all spice.
• Add the glass of wine.
• Add the head of garlic and the tomatoes and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the broth and the herbs and bring to a boil.
• Add the beans to the pan and simmer until the beans are just tender, about 2 hours.
• Pick out the ham hocks. Cut the meats into bite-size pieces; discard the bones, skin and gristle. Pick out the head of garlic and reserve.
• Put the meat back in with the beans.
• Transfer the beans and liquid to a casserole dish
• Preheat the oven to 180 ° C / 350° F
• Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet.
• Season the chicken legs with salt and pepper.
• Add the sausages and chicken legs to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over.
• Nestle the sausages, the chicken and the kielbasa into the cassoulet.
• Put the garlic bulb in the middle.
• Bake the cassoulet for 1 hour longer, until it is richly browned on the surface. Transfer to a rack and let rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.
• Serve with plenty of crusty french bread.

Enjoy!

The best Garlicky Herbs and Cheese Fries

We had these garlicky herbs and cheese fries for the first in New York last year and loved them so much that I knew I had to make them at home. 
It’s no rocket science really, just oven fries, with good seasoning and good melting cheese on top, but so good!

For the best crispy home made fries you need to parboil the potato chips first, I know it seems like a lot of trouble but it is totally worth it.

Serves: 4 as a side

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. oregano, dried
1/2 tsp. rosemary, dried
1/4 cup Parmesan grated
1/4 cup strong cheese like cheddar or mature gouda
1/3 cup mozzarella grated.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Peel and cut your potatoes into fries, and rinse.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil,  add a good amount of salt.
Once its boiling, add the potato chips,  bring to a boil and cook for two minutes.
Drain well, and place potato chips on a tea towel to dry completely.
Meanwhile pre heat oven to 210 C,
Get a large baking tray out and place the potato chips on it, drizzle with the olive oil and toss to cover each fry. Season with salt.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, turn the fries over so the brown evenly and bake for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile mix the grated cheeses with the herbs. Quickly remove the tray from the oven, push the fries a bit to the middle of the tray with a wooden spoon and sprinkle with the herbs and cheese mix. Bake for 20 more minutes until melted and golden.
Eat straight away,  these are great with some Aïoli. Enjoy!

If you make this recipe please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you.  And please don’t forget to tag me on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Super simple Pastry Dough

Super simple Pastry Dough!


And when I say simple, I mean really simple and pretty much fool proof and no fail. This flaky pastry dough keeps amazing in the fridge for a few days and also in the freezer for about a month. We always have some in the freezer.
Sometimes I prepare various tins filled with dough, pop them in the freezer so I can make a pie or mini tarts at a moments notice.
What I love about this recipe is that you can use it for both sweet or savoury pies.
The most important thing with pastry is that it has to be, and stay as cold as possible at all times until it goes into the oven. When using ice water use as little as possible, a high fat content is essential in the butter you use, 80% preferably. Cut the butter in small cubes and place it in the freezer for 5 minutes while you set up your food processor and get everything ready.
After that it’s five minutes work and your done.

Prep time : 10 min

Cooling time : 2 x 30 min

Cooking time : 20 min

Serves : 8

1 x 20cm/8in spring form tin or 8 small tins



INGREDIENTS:

– 200 gr / 7 oz. cold butter
– 300 gr / 10 1/2 oz all purpose flour
– a pinch of salt
– about two tablespoon of ice cold water (maybe three)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Fill a glas with ice cubes and add water.
2. Cut your butter into small cubes, place them in a bowl a place this in the freezer while you get out your flour and food processor.
Measure the flour and place in the bowl of the food processor. Add all the butter, divided evenly over the flour. You want to process as little as possible and as quickly as possible.
Add the pinch of salt.
Pulse the food processor a few times until the mixture resembles sand, add the ice water one tablespoon at a time. Pulse again. To test, grab some pastry between your fingers and press together, as soon as it holds , it’s ready. Tip out on to a work surface and shape into a ball. Wrap in cling film and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before shaping.
When ready to use, roll out the pastry to desired shape, place in tin that has been oiled slightly, pierce the pastry with a fork and place a piece of parchment paper on top. Add some baking beans. Return to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes to cool completely before baking.
Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment paper and baking beans and bake for for 5 more minutes.
Now they are ready to be filled with your favourite filling, sweet or savoury.
Enjoy!

Freezer Pizza Bases

These Freezer pizza bases are so handy to have on hand, home made  pizza ready in just a few minutes, isn’t that what we all want? Just take a crust out of the freezer, heat your oven, top, and bake.

Supermarkets sell ready made crusts, but they always have the cardboard feel and taste to them so I figured if they can make them,  so can I.  Healthier,  better and cheaper. I’ve only used a small amount of yeast since this makes the Pizza’s taste better and improves the texture, also the longer rise makes a much better crust. I like to make the dough in the morning, then I let it rise until double in bulk, then I punch it down and put the dough in the fridge until ready to bake in the evening. You could make the dough in the evening and leave it to rise slowly overnight in the refrigerator, whichever suits your schedule better.

Makes 4 large/6 medium pizzas

INGREDIENTS:

1000 gr./ 6 2/3 C.  (type 00) flour
600 ml./ 2.5 C. luke warm water
15 ml./1 tbsp. honey
30 ml./2 tbsp olive oil
7 gr./2 tsp. instant yeast
20 gr./3 tsp.  salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add your warm water and stir in the honey, then sprinkle the yeast in and stir. Let sit for about five minutes until bubbly and active.
Add flour, olive oil and salt and knead for about 5 min. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rise for about an hour or  until double in bulk.
Punch the dough down and shape into a ball and cover again, place in the refrigerator for at least five hours or until ready to use. 

Remove from the refrigerator an hour before using so the dough can come to room temperature. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Divide into 4 or 6 balls.

Pre heat oven to 220 C/430 F.

Cut 4 or 6 peaces of parchment paper large enough for each pizza.
Roll out each ball of dough on a piece of parchment paper that you have covered with some flour or semolina.
Spread with tomato sauce and bake each base for about 5 minutes or until just firm.
Remove from oven and let cool on a rack before freezing (I freeze them with the parchment paper as extra protection). 

Once they are completely frozen,  place them in a zip lock bag or wrap them in cling film. Keep in the freezer until ready to use. They will keep for at least a month.
When ready to use, remove from freezer and top with your favorite ingredients,  bake at 220 C/430 F for 12 to 15 minutes.

Enjoy!