As Nigel Slater describes them in his Kitchen Diaries 1 – ‘a meatball to beat them all!’


This is one of my favourite supper dishes of the meat variety. Perfect served with noodles.

Please give these a go. You will be so glad you did!


70gm white breadcrumbs

500 gm pork mince

A lemon

Parsley leaves – large handful

Several sprigs of fresh thyme

2 heaped tbsp of grated parmesan

A little flour

Optional – 5 anchovy fillets

Olive oil

40 gm butter

200 ml chicken stock


Pop the mince and breadcrumbs into a large mixing bowl. Grate the zest of the lemon into the mixture then halve the lemon and squeeze in all the juice. Add chopped parsley leaves and the thyme stripped from their sprigs. Now add the parmesan – and the anchovy fillets chopped – or of not a good grind of sea salt. Now add several good grinds of black pepper.

Using a dessert spoon make about 18 small balls of the mixture. Sprinkle the flour on a board and add each meatball to it as you make them. 

Roll them lightly in the flour. Add the oil to a wok – or large frying pan. Fry the balls on a medium heat for about 4 or 5 minutes, until crispy golden. 

Lower the heat and let them cook through for about another 8 minutes. Try not to move them now.

Then spoon off most of the fat and add the hot chicken stock. Leave to bubble for 2 or 3 minutes.

I now added some finely shredded raw vegetables – bits I had left over – a few bits of broccoli, a couple of cabbage leaves, half a carrot. Whatever you fancy! Or you could leave them out too! Tis up to you. 

I also now added my lightly cooked noodles to the dish and stirred round gently to soak up the flavours.

Thank you again to Nigel Slater for this fab recipe idea. Magnifico!

And a Happy Birthday to him for April 10th!


Slow cooked barbecue pulled pork….so simple!



This is a great way to turn a cheap humble shoulder of pork into a mouth zippingly tasty dish! My piece of pork weighed a kilo and a half and only cost just under £4 but it easily fed 4 hungry adults with a little left over for a sandwich tomorrow. I am indebted to a great blog dishnthekitchen for this idea which I have tinkered with in my own English way. Please visit her site – she has some terrific ideas and recipes on there. Anyway – my version is as follows!


Pork Shoulder – 1.5 kg is fine for 4

1 large white onion diced

4 cloves of garlic chopped

2 red peppers, topped tailed, deseeded and sliced

1 red chilli deseeded and cut into strips

About 10 mushrooms of choice sliced – I used chestnut mushrooms

1 tbsp of dried oregano

1 tbsp of cumin seeds

A tsp of salt

2 tbsp of brown sugar

2 tbsps of red wine vinegar

A barbecue sauce of your choosing – I used a supermarket brand bourbon barbecue sauce – I have also used tamarind sauce in the past – just experiment!

A cup of water


I cooked mine in a slow cooker, though if you do not have one – don’t panic! You can pop it in a good casserole pot and put it in the oven on about 140c for 4 hours or so – keep checking it!

Right – those of you who have slow cookers – put the chopped onions, chilli, garlic, red pepper and mushrooms into the pot.

Next, get your piece of pork (I like to use a piece that has fat still on as it adds to the flavour of the stock)- dry it with kitchen paper, then massage into the flesh a mixture of the cumin seeds, oregano and salt. Get a frying pan – add a glug of olive oil – heat it, and then brown the pork on all sides. Add it to the pot fat side down.

Add the water and brown sugar plus the wine vinegar.  

Now take your choice of sauce and add it to the top of your meat. Use the back of a spoon to cover the meat and put on enough to cover the sides too.

Spoon over the pork some of the peppers, onions and mushrooms.

Put on the lid and cook on high for 4 hours. Turn down to medium for half an hour then low for the last half hour. (If using the oven, just keep checking that your liquid is not drying up – add more water if necessary.) 

After that, remove the pork carefully from the pot onto a dish – cover with foil whilst you pout the fabulous stock into a pan and thicken over a high heat with a little plain flout and water mixed together to form a thickish roux, whisking all the time.

Pull the pork to shreds with two forks – it will be very easy!

I served it tonight with steamed savoy cabbage and roast potatoes topped with the stock. But you could just as easily serve it with rice, cos cos or in bread rolls of choice,.

Slow cookers are perfect for the on coming autumn and this is a firecracker of a dish – perfect for such a cooking vessel.

Easy, cheap and so tasty you will not believe it!

Spiced Pork and Rice


IMG_5393This super simple supper dish is a perfect way to eat pork tenderloin. You can choose to spice it up as much or as little as you want depending on your tastes and it is a great dish to add your own touches too.

Ingredients for 4

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced into thin wedges
500g pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1cm slices
50g chorizo sausage, skinned and cut into 5mm slices (optional)
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 red and 1 orange or green  pepper, deseeded and sliced
100g green beans, trimmed and cut into short lengths
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp hot chilli powder (or more if you fancy!)
150g easy-cook long-grain rice
750ml chicken stock, made with 1 stock cube
Black pepper


1. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick deep frying pan or sauté pan. Fry the onion wedges over a medium-high heat for 3 minutes until they’re softened and lightly browned, stirring regularly.
2. Season the pork with salt and black pepper, then add it to the pan and stir-fry with the onion for 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add the chorizo, garlic, peppers and beans and stir-fry together for 2 minutes more. Sprinkle with the spices and stir in the rice, then pour over the stock and bring to the boil.
3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice and pork are both lovely and tender.

This is a great dish for your kids to try out – get them in the kitchen and get them cooking!


Creamy Kale and Bacon Pasta



Kale is such a favourite green of mine….makes me feel good every time I eat it. It has a wonderfully deep green earthy flavour and a real crunch to it. And it just looks so beautiful too!

Anyway, the other night I had several leaves left over and loitering in the fridge with little to do from a previous meal so I fancied a pasta dish and i fancied kale – a marriage made in heaven!

I pan fried a clove of garlic chopped finely in olive oil with three strips of good smoked streaky bacon chopped into small pieces. You could use lardon also or pancetta.

When it was cooked, I turned the heat down, sliced the kale leaves into small strips and added them to the pan, stirring them round over a medium heat to let them wilt a little – just a minute or so. I had already cooked my pasta. I drained it and left to one side whilst I stirred 150 ml of single cream into the bacon and kale mixture, added a grind or two of black pepper and turned the heat down low whilst I stirred all the ingredients together.

I then tipped the drained pasta into the pan and stirred it all round to coat each piece – I used rigatoni.

You could add a little dried chilli to it with the kale if you fancied a little zing.

It really is a fab way to eat your greens, I have to say!

Pork, mushrooms and coriander on a gentle bed of rösti…



Wow! This is such a fabulous supper dish, perfect for a snowy night in January. It has it all. Texture, aroma, flavours diverse and pretty to boot.

Rösti is great fun to make. You could make an easy one pan version and cut into slices, or as here, make individual portions.

You can also play about with it, adding bacon or onions etc. But true rösti is all Swiss and all potato!

For 4

1 pork tenderloin cut into half cm slices

100 gm mushrooms of choice – sliced – I used chestnut this time round

Bunch of fresh coriander chopped

150 gm sour cream

Tbsp cumin

Tsp of chopped chilli flakes

Olive oil

Slice of butter

Sea salt and black pepper

6 potatoes peeled


Grate the potatoes – either with a box grater or, as I did, being lazy, in a mixer using the grater attachment. Pour the grated potatoes onto a clean cloth, wrap and squeeze water out over the sink. Then add to a bowl with a good sprinkle of sea salt and a grind or two go black pepper. I used a pastry cutter to fill the potato with – slide it carefully onto a board and repeat until you have 2 rösti per person, or, depending on the size of your pastry cutter, one decent sized rösti per person. Leave to one side.

Add oil to a frying pan and when hot, add the pork slices with the cumin seeds and chilli flakes and some sea salt and black pepper. Pan fry for about 5 minutes stirring. Add the mushrooms and continue to stir and fry on a highish heat for 2 minutes, then turn  the heat down to a medium flame. 

Add a splash of oil and the slice of butter to antihero frying pan and when hot, add carefully the rösti. Flatten each slightly and fry without turning for 5 minutes, check that the underside is golden then using two spatulas turn each one over. Fry for another 5 minutes.

The pork should be cooked by now, so add the cream and warm though. Add a rösti to each plate, top with the pork and mushroom mixture, then sprinkle over some fresh coriander.

A marvellous meal perfect in every respect. The rösti is so delicious and all will want more!


Risotto with Swiss Chard and Italian Sausages…



When judgment day comes and someone high up in the angelic ranks is weighing everything in the balance, risotto will be marked down as one of the dishes that mankind got right. It is almost fool-proof….as long as you are patient soul. It rewards you with one of the most flavoursome, fulfilling dished that has ever hit a plate-anywhere!

This was lunch today. It was a joy to make and a pleasure to consume. It hit every spot that Eros has thought about.

You may have worked out by now that I am navigating my way through a marvellous book by the wonderful Gino D’acampo and this is my take on his risotto al radicchio rosso e salsiccia. I was fresh out of radicchio but I substituted some sumptuous red swiss chard that was passing the time of day in my fridge. It was a great substitute.

For 4

2 tbsps olive oil

6 Italian sausages or ant really good bangers, skins removed

1 onion finely chopped

2 celery sticks finely chopped

400 gm arborio rice

100 ml white wine

1 litre of chicken stock

150 gm frozen peas

4 leaves of swiss chard finely sliced – or half a head of radicchio – in fact if you were struggling, a bag of spinach would do

125 gm butter

80 grams of grated Parmesan

Black pepper

1. Heat the olive oil and 25 gm of butter in a large sauté pan on a high heat and add the sausage. Fry until golden brown, breaking it up along the way with a wooden spoon. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with kitchen paper and keep warm.

2. In the same pan, add the onion and celery and fry gently for 2 minutes. Add the rice and allow to toast in the pan for 3 minutes. Stir continuously and then pour in the wine. Continue to cook for a further minute.

3. Add 2 ladles of the hot stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Continue doing this for about 15 minutes – adding a ladle of stock, stirring continuously each time until it has been absorbed. It will be ready when all the stock apart from a ladleful has been absorbed and the rice is al dente.

4. Add the peas and chard, or whatever you are using, and add a final ladle of stock – remove from the heat and stir in the remaining butter and the Parmesan. Once the butter has melted, add three quarters of the cooked sausage and stir in. 

5. Serve straight away on plates and add a little drizzle of olive oil to each and a smattering of black pepper.

 A winner of a dish for a Sunday…indeed any day.


Sautéed mushrooms on garlic toast with a parmesan cream…


Sautéed mushrooms on garlic toast with a parmesan cream...

Some things go just naturally together. You hear so often about colours that do or do not go together. Fashion revolves around colours and shapes, shades and cuts. Music is all about harmony and rhythm. So too with food. Food revolves around pairings and teamwork – flavour matchings, some forced, some natural, some accidental. Art is all about shades, textures, lines and colour matching. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and beauty is all around us. It is here in Bonnie Lalley’s painting, capturing the delicate association of three wonders of nature – highlighting the vibrancy of three ingredients that magically meld together on the plate. Pork, mushrooms, garlic. And for me, of all the great cuts that the fabulous creature that is the pig supplies to our world, bacon is undoubtedly one item I could not live without.

Bonnie’s painting reminded me of one of my favourite special brunch dishes. Please try it and wallow in the way nature brings trios of tastes to our palates.

Sautéed mushrooms on garlic toast with a parmesan cream

For the mushrooms

A knob of butter
A drizzle olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
2 handfuls of mushrooms of your choice, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
A handful flatleaf parsley, chopped
A sprig fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the parmesan cream

200ml7fl oz double cream
40g/1½oz parmesan, finely grated

For the toast

4 thick slices of rustic bread
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 garlic clove, halved

For the bacon and eggs

4 slices smoked streaky bacon
1 tbsp vinegar
2 free-range eggs
2 sprigs parsley, to garnish

For the mushrooms, heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add the butter, olive oil and shallots. Fry for 2-3 minutes until softened then add the mushrooms. Increase the heat and fry the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes, or until the mushrooms are golden-brown around the edges. De-glaze the pan with the sherry vinegar, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits, the stir in the herbs. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep warm.

For the parmesan cream, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over a medium heat then whisk in the parmesan and some freshly ground black pepper. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until reduced to a thick sauce consistency. Keep warm.

For the toast, preheat a griddle pan over a medium-high heat. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and toast on the griddle pan until crisp and golden-brown on both sides. Rub one side of each piece of toast with the garlic. Set aside and keep warm. Keep the griddle pan hot.

For the bacon and eggs, griddle the bacon rashers in the same pan you used for the toast until crisp and then set aside and keep warm.

Bring a saucepan of water to a simmer and pour in the vinegar. Crack the eggs into ramekins or cups and tip them gently into the water. Cook for 2 minutes or until the white is opaque and the yolk cooked to your liking- for me the eggs have to be soft and ready to run! Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

To serve, place the toast on serving plates, top with the mushrooms then the egg and lay over the bacon, spoon over the cream sauce and finish with a sprig of parsley.

These are ingredients that go together that were made for each other.

Just like Bonnie’s painting and my recipe!

All purpose red pepper cream sauce…


All purpose red pepper cream sauce...

This is a classic standby of mine…you can have it over chicken, pork, fish, or just simply over a good bowl of fresh pasta. This is a red pepper chopped and pan fried with a chopped clove of garlic in olive oil until the red pepper starts to brown a little. Then add a sprinkle or two of rosemary and a grind of black pepper and sea salt. Add a slice or two of prosciutto cut torn into pieces. Fry for about 30 seconds more. The peppers should be soft. Add a small pot of fresh single cream. Heat through for another minute or two, then pour over the dish of your choice…
marvellous, cheap and simple.

Smoked bacon and Jersey Royal salad…


Smoked bacon and Jersey Royal salad...

Some suppers require little more than good ingredients and a firm splash of simplicity. Tonight it was just my daughter and I so we decided to go for a dish that reflected the weather. Not quite summer, and still a lot of spring rain in the air. A dish that blended the freshness of early summer with the warmth of late spring. So I turned to my trusted friends – new potatoes and smoked bacon. Made for each other.

I popped 10 halved Jersey Royals on to boil for 15 minutes until a knife could slip through them with delicate ease. I fried 4 rashers of good bacon once the spuds had cooked. I then drained the Jerseys, added a grind or two of black pepper and sea salt and added them to the frying pan to soak up the juices and take on a little colour.

The next important thing is to turn off the heat and let the potatoes cool for a few minutes.

Into two bowls I added a variety of salad leaves that were lingering with intent in the fridge plus some finely grated fresh beetroot. I then sliced 10 San Marzano tomatoes and shared them between the bowls. Then, with a steady hand, I dealt out the potatoes and the bacon slices which I had each snipped into three pieces or so.

I gently tossed all the ingredients and added a swirl or two of a balsamic glaze.

This is the simplest of suppers and yet one which, like a butterfly net, catches the very essence of the finely poised seasons of Spring and Summer.

And you leave the table thinking, yes, all is well with the world; Summer is not far off, and Spring is still watching over us.

The marriage of tastes is sublime – and it looks good too.

Right, time for another glass of tempranillo.

Belly pork on a bed of horseradish mash with onions and cavallo nero…


Belly pork on a bed of horseradish mash with onions and cavallo nero...

Simplest of Saturday suppers. I will not bore you with technique – so little to it. A super 700 gm piece of belly pork from those wonderful folk at Parsonage Farm – roasted after being slashed lightly across the skin, rubbed with a little olive oil, salt, and thyme – at 210c for 20 minutes, then 45 minutes at 160c. Result? Pork Perfection.

5 maris pipers boiled and mashed with butter, black pepper and salt. An onion sliced and pan fried, added to the mash, along with 5 leaves of steamed cavallo nero – the prince of greens and a table spoon of creamy horseradish. This was all then added with care to a large frying pan, lightly oiled where it was mixed further together and lightly browned.

Pile it high on a plate – slice the beauteous belly pork and arrange on each plate. Saturdays are made for such culinary delights. Simple ingredients of the highest quality – matched and married for a super supper.