Sometimes I have a craving for a real nice burger. The kind of burger that seems too big to be able to bite into. The kind of burger that leaves you with meat juices and ketchup running down your hands. The kind of burger that makes your mouth fill with saliva just by looking at it. I don’t always have fresh minced meat at home or the typical sesame burger buns. So I cheat. I use bacon instead of ground meat. The rest really remains the same, a nice roll (in this case ciabatta), mayo, mustard, ketchup, fresh onions, tomatoes and gherkins.
I came across this recipe in an old magazine at my Doctor’s surgery and thanks to 21st century technology I didn’t have to sit there and carefully try to rip out that page without making any noise but I could simply search for it on my iPhone!
I decided to make this yesterday and luckily I looked up the recipe on Saturday morning and saw that I had to marinate the lamb for 24 hours! The recipe is really easy and takes no effort whatsoever and it turns out beautifully sticky, moist, tender and oh so delicious!
The only thing I changed was I added chilli flakes into the glaze and extra stock as we like sauce on our meat. And next time I make this again, I will add fresh chilli peppers into the marinade and add more cumin and cinnamon, it can do with a bit more flavour. Not that there wasn’t enough, it was just a bit on the quiet side I thought.
Overall a fantastic recipe. I made potato wedges with it, green beans and of course the yogurt dip as mentioned in the recipe. Go and make this recipe, I can totally recommend it.
And aren’t I lucky? I get to eat this again tonight as there was enough leftover!
I tried out this recipe from the delicious magazine website for a thai meatball coconut curry and while I will make this again I also have to say not without the addition of several things. I followed the recipe (for half the amount) and I found it bland. The taste was overwhelmingly coconut and it was very mild, there were hardly any flavours left of the spices that went in. So I spiced it up with several more chillis, more of the curry paste and I also added tamarind chutney. The red peppers were paired up with a bok choi as I felt there was a green missing. The meatballs however were amazing. The lime zest made all the difference. I used half pork half beef mince for the meatballs, simply because I had some minced beef in the fridge that needed to be used up. The meatballs tasted light and fresh, so different to the meatballs that go with pasta.
There is a lot of chopping going on, it takes a while to prepare all the ingredients but that’s by no means a criticism. Quite the opposite, I find the methodical approach calms me down and chills me out.
In 1946 George Orwell described the bar food in his ideal pub in the essay, The Moon Under Water: “You cannot get dinner at the Moon Under Water, but there is always the snack counter where you can get liver-sausage sandwiches, mussels (a speciality of the house), cheese, pickles and those large biscuits with caraway seeds in them which only seem to exist in public-houses.”
I’m not offering mussels to my local pub but I seem to be doing well with my other savoury snacks… like the pork pies or scotch eggs I made a few weeks ago and the sausage rolls that I baked last Saturday.
They are really easy to make and take hardly any time:
You will need:
ready rolled puff pastry sheet
fresh thyme leaves, salt and black pepper
beaten egg yolks
450g belly pork, including the skin (buy it as a whole piece)
for the marinade:
6 tbsp dark soy sauce
½ cup of hot water
1 tsp Chinese five spice
2 tsp brown sugar
a thumb size piece of finely chopped fresh ginger
1 red chilli finely chopped.
You will also need
a handful of dried porcini mushrooms
green vegetable selection
(1 leek, 2 salad onions, small savoy cabbage, all finely shredded)
First I cut the skin of the belly pork with a sharp knife in a crisscross pattern so it would be easier to cut the pork into cubes once it’s cooked. Rub some salt into the skin.
2 chorizo sausages cut lengthwise and then sliced
1 yellow or red onion, finely chopped
1 red chilli, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
a healthy glug of olive oil
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp dried mixed Italian herbs
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp of cayenne pepper
½ a pint of tomato juice
a few drops of Worcester sauce
salt and pepper for seasoning
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
freshly chopped basil
1 pound Puy lentils
3 chopped onions
2 chopped leeks (leave the dark bit out!)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 chopped bunch of celery (about 8 stalks)
4 chopped carrots
¾ litre of chicken stock
1/2 small tin of tomato puree
2 tbsp. malt vinegar
1 pack of Frankfurters cut into bite size pieces
freshly grated parmesan
1 bunch of chopped fresh parsley
Here is my recipe (for 4-6 people):
500 gram diced lean beef (stewing beef for example)
5 carrots (chopped coarsely into chunks)
half a parsnip (cut into small chunks, I use them only for flavour in this recipe
about 10 peeled shallots (depends on the size, I used the long ones not the round ones)
1 pack of brown mushrooms (cleaned and left whole)
1 table spoon of brown sugar
1 table spoon of concentrated tomatoes
1 bottle of ale
about 1 pint of vegetable stock
freshly ground pepper
1 dried chilli
3 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
a good handful of small new potatoes
potato flour for thickening
bunch of flat parsley