Venison Casserole and Celeriac Mash

Venison Stew EdinburghCook Style

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
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A lonesome Aubergine in the fridge, and the ask to use it up as part of tea….oh and what we going to do with the Celeriac that came in the veg box set the brain going for this one. A chill in the air dictates comfort food, a hearty stew something to warm the soul and sits alongside a mash. A recipe to make your own depending on your butchers counter, the mood you're in and your preference for red meat. I had planned to make this a Lamb stew until I saw the Venison on the counter, lean and gamey calling out to be cooked for a change.

Credit: The Edinburgh Cook Recipe File

Prep:  This easily covers 4  portions, and can be upsized.   I used a small le creuset, a heavy based casserole dish that transfers from the hob to the oven.

For note this cooks easily alongside a rice pudding for afters…. A real comfort eating night.

Ingredients

Venison Stew

  • 3 tbsp Olive or Rapeseed oil
  • 500g Stewing Venison
  • 1 Onions, finely chopped
  • A glass of red wine or port
  • 1 stock cube
  • 100g Brown Lentils
  • 1 aubergine, diced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 courgette, diced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 150g mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

Celeriac Mash

  • 1 Celeriac (600g or so after peeling)
  • Potatoes (400g or so)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 50g butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Grain Mustard
  • A handful of parsley leaves chopped finely

Directions

  • Heat a tablespoon of the oil
  • Brown the venison in batches without over crowding in the pan, 2 or three batches should suffice.  Add more oil if needed
  • Deglaze the bottom of the pan using the wine and a wooden spoon to get any crispy bits off.  Then pour these juices into a jug or over the venison if you have the venison  in a bowl
  • Another glug of oil, and soften the diced onion
  • Stir in the spices
  • Stir in the Aubergine and Courgette cooking through for a minute or so
  • Add the tin of the tomatoes and then the stock cube made up with water using the tin of the tomatoes
  • Add the mushrooms and stir through
  • Add the Venison and juices, bring to a simmer then place in the oven for an hour and a half or so
  • At this point I stir in the lentils, use your judgement, how runny is it?  The lentils are there to thicken up the casserole so your choice on how runny you like your stew.  Place back in the oven, after a stir through

30-40 minutes before your going to eat the stew, prep your Celeriac and Potatoes

  • Trim all the muddy roots and peel, dice into chunks, place in a pan of water to cover
  • Add the lemon juice to stop any discolour
  • Peel and dice the potatoes to a similar size, adding to the pan
  • Add the salt, bay leaves and bring to a simmer fo 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft
  • Drain the water
  • Add the butter, mustard and parsley and using a masher put some muscle into working it all through

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Roast Fillet of Fish


Roast White Fish

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy - faith and stick to the timings
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Avoided the Saturday queue by popping into the fish shop on my way home from work on the Friday. The downside being the remains of the day. As a result I discovered and cooked Silver Hake for the first time.

I share this recipe more an aid memoir to myself, part of the recipes for life file. I tend to forget whether the skin goes down first or last and as I write this it feels obvious…..but I swear I forget time and time again.   Pan fry the flesh first before turning onto the skin and placing into the oven.   This gives the fish a lovely colour on top for serving and the Skin protects the rest of the fish whilst in the oven as it cooks through.

Credit: A nod to Nigel Slater and his Kitchen Diaries

Advice: Heat and timing key for this, if your serving with a salad get that done up front. Both a hob and ovenproof pan is needed.

Ingredients

  • 200g chunky fillet of fish with skin on
  • Knob of butter, or a tblsp or so of olive oil

Directions

  1. Crank up the oven, 220°C
  2. In the oven proof pan, bring the oil to a high heat on the hob
  3. Whilst your bringing the heat up, season the fish with salt and pepper
  4. Skin Side up if the key. Place the fish into the pan and fry for a few minutes until starting to turn golden
  5. Turn over onto the skin and then place the pan into the hot oven
  6. Depending on the fish it will take 7-10 mins.       I set the timer for 7 mins…easier to cook for a few minutes more than it is to roll back the clock if it’s over cooked.

Sweet Potatoe and Lentil Soup

Red Lentils

Saturday Morning and the main shop was done yesterday and we are walking around Bruntsfield and Morningside after dropping our bikes off for a service. Waitrose, the foodies supermarket usually calls out to us, to grab those last minute items and a free paper when you spend over £10. I love the Guardian on Saturday Food Supplement! They sell an ideal sized bag of sweet potatoes in their essentials range and apart from the addition of the weight in my rucksack I see no reason to add them to our extra swag for soup making purposes.

This is a lovely creamy style soup, great for those autumn nights.

Credit: EdinburghCook

Ingredients

  • 1.25kg bag of sweet potatoes
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • Olive or Rapeseed Oil
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 400g tin of coconut milk
  • 200g split red lentils
  • 1 tbsp bouillon powder

Directions

  1. Rinse and then soak the lentils in 500g/500ml or so in cold water for 30 mins
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into chunks, roast for 45 mins to an hour until soft
  3. Dice the onion
  4. Bring a tbsp of the oil to a soft heat in a heavy based pan that will hold a good 2litres of liquid.
  5. Add the onion and crushed garlic and soften until translucent
  6. Add the bouillon powder and stir in
  7. Add the coconut milk
  8. Then a litre of water, which I add boiled from the kettle, bring to a simmer and stir through
  9. You can add the lentils at this stage and cook in the broth
    1. Or cook separately in their own water to then add later
    2. I choose to do this as I didn’t want to blitz the lentils…preferring to keep them whole
  10. When the potatoes are ready, add into the broth mix and blitz using a hand blender
  11. Add the lentils if you cooked them separately.

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Doesn’t that just make you happy rice

Plain Basmati Rice

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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A cup of rice, with magic just waiting to happen

Rice is one of the worlds treasures, the magic that exists in a palm full of rice is amazing, simple and versatile and easy to unlock with a simple method.  Water and heat, but in which combination.   I grew up with the boil to death technique, sieve and pour over a kettle of water and hope that the rice has survived the process.  Then when I left for university I discovered and upgraded to brown rice, and this to my mind enjoys the boil to death technique, 30 mins should do it.  It was good, it was healthy but it didn’t quite have the magic that white basmati has when cooked to perfection.  The recipe below comes close to it!   When the time comes to take the lid off…….it will just make you happy!   

  • The key to this recipe is steam and warmth, a heavy pan with a tight fitting lid is essential to this process, it keeps the heat and steam to cook the rice through.
  • Do not lift the lid or you will miss all that heavenly glory!  (Sorry Bruce Lee quote coming through there)

Ingredients

  • 200g basmati Rice, or a teacup
  • 15 butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 400ml boiling water, or 1½ teacup full

Directions

  1. In a heavy pan melt the butter
  2. Add the rice to the butter and stir through, the rice will become slightly translucent and gasping for water
  3. Add a pinch of salt and then the water
  4. Bring to a simmer and then place the lid onto the pan.  Turn the heat down as low as possible.
  5. Leave to cook for 12 minutes…..without peaking!
  6. Take the pan off the heat and leave for another 10 minutes…..without peaking….have faith!
  7. Now you can lift the lid and carefully using a fork, fluff the rice up and serve
  8. Doesn’t that just make you happy?

Wholemeal Buttermilk Fruit Scone

A little over baked, buttermilk scones


We had a guests this weekend, a long time university friend of my wife’s (pre dating me) and her 13 year old son. One thing I’m sure of is that breakfast will be long and easy. The conversation flows like they’ve never been apart and the opportunity to add something different into the mix is not to be missed. Sunday morning and the two ladies had set themselves a goal of running before breakfast. It was raining and they went for it. Chance for me to cause some chaos in the kitchen and there was half a tub of buttermilk languishing in the fridge that needed using.


Credit: EdinburghCook

Ingredients


• 150g wholemeal plain flour
• 100g 00 grade Flour or plain white flour
• 50g unsalted butter
• 2½ teaspoons baking powder
• 3 tablespoons caster sugar
• 100g raisins
• 1 large egg
• 90g buttermilk or low fat plain yoghurt

Directions

  1. Set the oven up for success, 220°c.
  2. Get your baking tray ready lined with non-stick baking paper
  3. Weigh the flours sugar and baking powder together and pour into food processor
  4. Roughly cube and add to the processor and pulse until combined
  5. Steps 2 and 3 can be completed by hand (especially if you have could hands) by rubbing together with your finger tips
  6. Pour into a good sized mixing bowl and mix in the raisins
  7. Combine the egg and buttermilk together with a fork, a light beat
  8. Then stir into the flour, using your hands to bring it together into a ball of dough
  9. On a floured surface spread out the dough with a roller or your hands. 3-4cm thick
  10. Use a small cutter to stamp out the scones
  11. Gently gather the trimmings together to form another ball and repeat the cut out process
  12. Optionally brush a little buttermilk on top of the scones before popping in the oven
  13. Bake for 12 mins until risen and lightly coloured
  14. Transfer to a wire rack, covered with a tea towel

Chocolate Meringue Layer Cake

Chocolate Meringue Layer

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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The finishing touches. 3 layer. #Chocolate #meringuecake

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Granny liked a Meringue and the youngest is asking for a Meringue recipe for his contribution to tea. As it so happens he likes chocolate and got very excited about making layers.  

Credit: Granny’s Recipe File

Prep: 3 Baking trays with grease proof paper, and a 20cm circle drawn on each. This needs a long lead in. Easy to make through the day, around the jobs.

Ingredients

Cake Layers:

  • 225g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs – separated….the whites for the Meringue, keep the yolks for the filling

Filling:

  • 3 Yolks
  • 50g Plain Chocolate
  • 50g Sugar
  • 125ml Milk
  • 175g Butter, at room temperature
  • 8+ Maltesers (Optional Topping)

Directions

The Cake Layers

  1. Separate the eggs reserving yolks for the filing. I do this into a jug one at a time, after each separation I put the egg white into a large clean bowl for whisking. I’ve had accidents in the past where I’ve been over zealous with the crack and broke a yoke contaminating the lot!
  2. Whisk the egg whites until stiff at which point gradually fold in the sugar
  3. Lay grease proof paper on 3 baking sheets and spread meringue in 20cm diameter circles
  4. Bake at 150c for 1 hour, leave to cool with the oven door open.  Then peel off the paper.

The Filling:

  1. Put the milk, the sugar, the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water. Melt the chocolate and stir
  2. Stir a little of the warm liquid into yolks and then pour back into the chocolate mixture
  3. Cook over simmering water. Stirring till thickened, patience is needed then remove and allow to become quite cold.
  4. Cream the butter by beating for a 2 mins, add the cold chocolate mixture till it becomes a soft cream….dare you not to have a taste!
  5. If using the maltesers, reserve 4 tablespoons of the chocolate cream for the top.
  6. Spread the rest on 2 meringues circles, then sandwich all three together
  7. Pipe reserved cream on the top circle in 8+ rosettes and top with Maltesers

 

Porridge

Breakfast of champions #porridge and kiwi #365 20/365

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My eldest is starting to eat us out of house and home…an example of this is breakfast, he’s started getting through 4 Weetabix a day!  Not really a problem apart from cost and the feeling of being visited by a locust as he inhales the buscuits.  I find breakfast cereals really annoying in terms of cost, actual nutritional content and the promise of keeping hunger at bay.  Porridge though, passed down through the generations, a warming soul food.  Not too expensive and a genuine life saver in terms of keeping my boys happy.

Oats have got to be one of this worlds gifts, a humble ingredient and so versatile especially in this simple recipe.  We are a hundred percent milk house, you can use a blend of water and milk and adjust to taste, a pinch of salt if needed, a drop of honey to add sweetness. I love chopped banana and blueberries. Easy to make this your own.

Credit: The Edinburgh Cook Recipe File

Ingredients

  • 50g porridge oats
  • 250g milk (or 150g milk/100g water)

Directions

  1. In a microwave bowl, weigh 50g of the oats
  2. In the same bowl pour in the milk to the 300g mark  (You could measure 250ml from jug).  Just easier on the scale to pour from the 2 litre bottles we buy
  3. Mix together and put in the fridge overnight (optional)
  4. Microwave for 1.5 mins, stir
  5. Microwave for 1 minute, stir
  6. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir

Alternatively bring to a simmer on the stove, stirring all the while, you want to it to barely speak to you with a plop and a burp.

I now leave my boys to it, they have adapted their technique to their own preference.  The youngest doesn’t like to soak overnight, and the eldest likes to soak and has changed his own  variables