Comfortfood

Slow Roast Duck Legs in a Red Wine Sauce

Slow Roast Duck Legs with a Red Wine Sauce

I made this as an alternative to a traditional Sunday roast. It is ridiculously simple and super tasty! I served it with roast potatoes, however you could have puy lentils as a very delicious healthy alternative.

Serves 4

4 Duck Legs

Chinese Five Spice

Bunch of Rosemary Sprigs

6 Fat Garlic Cloves

Half Bottle Red Wine

1-2 tbsp Redcurrant Jelly

Malden Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 170C

Place the garlic cloves and the rosemary in a layer at the bottom of a roasting tin.

Set the Duck Legs on top and sprinkle with s fine layer of Chinese five spice and salt.

Roast in the oven for one hour and fifteen minutes.

Whilst the Duck is in the oven, bring the wine and jelly to a gentle simmer, stirring to dissolve the jelly. Continue to simmer for another five minutes.

Once the Duck has been in for an hour and fifteen minutes, spoon off most of the fat and keep it for another time for roast potatoes.

Now add the red wine mixture and cook for a further 10-15 minutes to reduce.

Serve with veg of choice and some crispy roasties!

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Spicy Italian Sausages with Mixed Wild Mushrooms

Spicy Italian Sausages with Mixed Wild Mushrooms 🍄

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I first made this when I was living in London and wonderful spicy Italian sausages were readily available at super little Italian deli’s. I came back to Belfast and never found those bad boys ever again! I have built up great wee relationship with my local butcher and after a chat Neil agreed to make the sausages for me if I could write the recipe. A bit of research later, one recipe was produced and Neil came up with the goods….and it was perfect! I have lots of lush uses for my new found Belfast Italian Sausage, but first up the pasta!

Serves 4

1 Onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 Garlic Clove, peeled and crushed
260g Top Quality Spicy Italian Sausages, meat removed from the skin
2 Handfuls of Thyme Leaves (picked)
1 Small Dried Chilli, crumbled
400g Mixed Wild Mushrooms, torn. If you can’t get wild mushrooms just use Chestnut Mushrooms
3 Knobs of Butter
2 Handfuls Parmesan Cheese
Pappardelle pasta for four

Fry the onion and sausage meat in a little oil until nicely golden.

Throw in the Thyme, Chilli and Mushrooms.

Cook until all of the moisture has disappeared.

Cook the pasta and reserve a little of the cooking liquid.

Remove mushrooms and sausage mixture from the heat, season and loosen with the butter and some of the pasta cooking liquid .

Toss in the drained pasta and combine really well.

Serve sprinkled with parsley and Parmesan and a huge glass of Shiraz!!

Hearty Beef Stew with Horseradish Dumplings

It has started to get a bit chilly and with Autumn in full swing, nothing beats a hearty stew. I did this in my slow cooker, it can be done in the oven too. Pour a large glass of red wine and get tucked in….food heaven!!

1kg Braising Beef
1 Large Onion, finely chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp Plain Flour
400ml Good Red Wine
300ml Beef Stock
1 tbsp Tomato Purée
1 Sprig Thyme
3 Carrots, cut into chunks
2 Leeks, trimmed and finely sliced
3 Sticks Celery, trimmed and sliced
Maldon Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Horseradish Dumplings

150g Self Raising Flour
75g Shredded Suet
2 tsp Creamed Horseradish
3 Tbsp Chives, finely snipped
5-7 tbsp Water
Salt and Pepper

Prepare the slow cooker or a large casserole dish.

Heat oil in a casserole dish or frying pan and fry the beef, browning well a few pieces at a time.

Remove from the casserole, add the onion. Fry gently for 5 mins, then add the garlic for another few mins.

Put the beef back in and stir well, stir through the flour and cook gently for a minute or so.

Mix in the wine gradually then the stock and stir well.

Add the tomato Purée and stir again.

Add the thyme, bring to the boil and transfer to the slow cooker at this point if you are using and stir through the vegetables.

Cover and cook for 7-9 hours on low.

Meanwhile make the dumplings. Mix the flour, suet, horseradish, chives, salt and pepper. Stir in enough water to make a soft but not sticky dough. Using floured hands, shape into eight balls.

Add to the slow cooker and cook on high for another hour or until the dumplings are fluffy and light.

If you are not using a slow cooker, transfer to an oven heated to 170c for 3-4 hours. Add the dumplings after one hour.

Enjoy!!

Tuscan White Beans

TUSCAN WHITE BEANS


I totally adore beans (except for baked beans!!😂) they are so versatile and can be made super tasty in minutes! Full of protein too (roughly 11g per serving!!)they make the perfect accompaniment to many meals.

I had mine with a fillet steak and my little birdies had theirs with sausages!!
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed

Pinch Chilli Flakes

1 Plum Tomato, chopped

1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary

2 Cans Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed

1 Handful Parmesan Cheese

1 tbsp Chopped Fresh Parsley

50ml Water

Olive Oil

Malden Sea Salt and Black Pepper
Begin by heating a dash of olive oil in a frying pan.
Add the garlic and chilli flakes, gently fry for a minute, taking care not to burn the garlic.
Add the chopped plum tomato and rosemary and cook gently for a couple of mins.
Add the cannellini beans and cook for around 5 mins, crush them up a little as you cook them.
Remove the rosemary, add the water and Parmesan and thoroughly combine.
It should be nice and creamy and not too dry. If too dry, add a dash of water. If too wet, keep cooking for another few mins.
Stir through the parsley and serve! Yumsters 😋

#beans #tuscan #protein

Wiener Schnitzel

Weiner Schnitzel (Veal in really tasty breadcrumbs)

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Don’t shudder at the thought of veal. I know it is up there with fois gras (which I ❤️sorry!) in terms of controversy but this is rose veal which has in fact won the ethical stamp of approval from the RSPCA.

This can’t be prepped in advance and is simple and tasty. If the idea of veal doesn’t work for you, feel free to use chicken or pork. 😘

Serves 4

4 Veal Escalopes
A Dusting of Plain Flour
3 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
2 Medium Eggs
2 tsp Finely Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley
Pinch Ground Nutmeg
2 tbsp Milk
Panko Breadcrumbs
Butter and Rapeseed Oil
4 Slices Lemon
Maldon Salt and Pepper for seasoning.

Ensure your veal is nice and flat, bang it out a bit with a rolling pin (place the veal in a large freezer bag) if needs be.

Dust with some flour and shake off.

In a bowl combine the chopped parsley, Parmesan, eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

On a plate sprinkle a generous amount of the panko breadcrumbs.

Firstly dip the veal into the egg mixture and ensure it is well coated. Follow by covering really well in the panko breadcrumbs.

Place on a plate and refrigerate for at least an hour or if it suits overnight.
Melt some butter and oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook until well browned on each side (around 3 mins per side.)

Serve garnished with the lemon slices.

Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks in Red Wine

SLOW COOKED BEEF CHEEKS IN RED WINE

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This cut of meat is total luxury when it comes to slow cooked beef! It transforms from one of the lesser attractive cuts of beef to the most amazing velvety soft beef you will ever taste.

It is unique in its richness and a top notch dinner party option for both taste and ease.

Serve with greens and champ for sheer perfection!

Serves 5

Heat oven to 140c.

2 Large Carrots, finely chopped
2 Large Sticks Celery, finely chopped
1 Onion, finely chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, crushed
3 Beef Cheeks, trimmed and cut into nice large chunks
3/4 Bottle of Red Wine, full bodied (Rioja, Barolo, Shiraz)
Plain Flour for dusting
300ml Beef Stock
Rapeseed Oil
A Couple Sprigs Fresh Thyme
Maldon Salt and Black Pepper

In a large casserole dish, add a dash of oil and really brown the beef cheeks all over. Do this a few at a time.
Remove and set aside.
Add a dash more oil if needed and throw in the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and soften for 5-7 mins.

Dust the beef cheeks with roughly a tablespoon of seasoned flour.

Return the the casserole. Cook for another couple of minutes, then add the red wine, thyme and stock.

Stir well and bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and then transfer to the oven.

Cook for 3 1/2 hours.

Serve with spinach and lashings of luscious champ!! (Spring onion mash!!)

CREAMY MUSHROOM PASTA

CREAMY MUSHROOM PASTA

Ok, I have to be honest here, this is not super low fat but it is super gorgeous!! Save it for your cheat/treat meal at the weekend!! As always everything in it is totally natural.
Another super bonus…my kids totally love it!

Serves 6

500g Pasta of your choice
Olive Oil
2 Shallots (1/2 Onion would do!)
2 Cloves Garlic Crushed
600g Chestnut Mushrooms Sliced(if you are lucky to have them, throw a few wild ones in!!)
100ml White Wine
100ml Chicken or Veg stock
100g Parmesan Cheese grated
300g Mascarpone Cheese
Handful of Chopped Parsley

Cook pasta according to instructions.

In a large frying pan, on a medium heat, add olive oil and sauté shallots and garlic for 2 – 3mins. Ensure you do not burn the garlic!

Add the mushrooms and cook until tender.

Turn up the heat and add the wine, stir until the wine has nearly all evaporated.

Add the stock and allow to reduce slightly.

Stir through the mascarpone.

Site through a large handful of Parmesan.

Add the pasta to the sauce and stir to coat it well.

Top with some parsley and Parmesan and serve!image