Country Traditions

January 19, 2011

Black Pudding From Scratch (English) Recipe

Filed under: animals, farming, recipes — Tags: , , , , — dmacc502 @ 12:24 pm
Braised Pork Rillons, Black Pudding - Auction ...

Image by avlxyz via Flickr

� 1�1/4 �qt Fresh pig’s blood �

� 8�7/8 �oz Bread cut into cubes �

� 1�1/4 �qt Skim milk

� 1 �lb Cooked barley �

� 1 �lb Fresh beef suet

� 8 �oz Fine oatmeal �

� 1 �ts Salt �

� 2 �ts Ground black pepper

� 2 �ts Dried and crumbled mint �


� 1. Put the bread cubes to soak in the milk in a warm oven. Do not heat the milk beyond blood temperature! Have the blood ready in a large bowl, and pour the warm milk and bread into it. Stir in the cooked barley. Grate the beef suet into the mixture and stir it up with the oatmeal. Season with the salt, pepper and mint.

� 2. Have ready 2 or three large roasting pans. Divide the mixture between them – they should not be more than 3/4 full. Bake in a moderate oven — 350 F – for about an hour or until the pudding is well cooked through. This makes a beautifully light pudding which will keep well in a cold larder.

� 3. Cut into squared and fry till heated through and the outside is crisp, in bacon fat or butter. Delicious for breakfast, or for supper with fried apples and mashed potato.

via Black Pudding From Scratch (English) Recipe.


December 11, 2010

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's game recipes The Guardian

Filed under: animals, family, herbs, recipes — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 10:06 am

Bouquet garni: thyme, bay leaves, sage

Image via Wikipedia Bouquet garni

Game soup

After you’ve enjoyed your roast pheasant or partridge, don’t just throw out the carcasses; instead, use them as the base for this tasty soup. It makes a great starter and is just the thing to pour into a Thermos to sustain you through a winter walk. Serves six, though it doubles or triples up very well.

Carcasses of 2-4 game birds
1 bouquet garni (made up of 3 parsley stalks, 2 small thyme sprigs, 1 rosemary sprig, 1 bay leaf)
6 juniper berries, crushed
8 black peppercorns
200g celeriac, cut into 1cm dice (save the peelings for use in the stock base)
2 large carrots, cut into 1cm dice
3 parsnips, cut into 1cm dice
Leftover scraps of meat pulled from the carcasses (optional)
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the carcasses in a large pan, pour in enough water to cover by about 4cm, bring to a bare simmer and skim off any scum that rises to the surface. After 15 minutes, add the bouquet garni, juniper berries, peppercorns and a small handful of well-scrubbed celeriac peelings. Cook at a very gentle simmer for three hours, topping up with water if it gets a little low. Strain the stock through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean pan. Bring the stock to a vigorous boil and reduce until it has a good depth of flavour. Add the vegetables, any leftover meat, if using, and the thyme, and simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with good bread.

The River Cottage Everyday iPhone App, featuring seasonal recipes, tips and videos, is now available to download from iTunes. Go for details.

November 2, 2010

How to make your own haggis | Life and style |

Filed under: family, farming, herbs, recipes, wisdom — Tags: , , , , , , , — dmacc502 @ 8:07 am

Image via Wikipedia

How to make your own haggis | Life and style |

via How to make your own haggis | Life and style | step by step slideshow.

Wash the pluck and simmer it gently in unsalted water until it’s tender – usually about and hour and a half. Let it cool overnight in its own cooking liquid. Chop the heart and lungs finely – I used a mezzaluna but a food processor will do the job if pulsed gently. Remember that you’re looking for a gravelly texture, not pate. Grate the liver – a weird and strangely satisfying sensation.

Toast the oatmeal for a few minutes in a medium oven while chopping the onions. Season the meat with salt, coarse ground white pepper, sage, thyme, rosemary and savory. There’s no need to go overboard here – particularly with the pepper. This isn’t, after all, an English sausage. Add the onions, the oatmeal, the suet and a pint or so of the liquid in which the pluck was poached. The mix should be moist but not enough to hold together as a single mass.

The ox bung will have been thoroughly cleaned and salted so rinse it inside and out with clear water and pat it dry with a kitchen towel. Spooning the stuffing into the bung until it’s half full; I wanted to make two so I stopped early and cut off the bung short. Expel any air left in the casing, tie the opening tightly with several turns of butcher’s string and work the filling back out into the full length of the casing. The stuffing will expand in cooking as the oatmeal absorbs the fat and meat juices. The most important trick is to allow space for this expansion whilst preventing any air bubbles which might turn the entire thing into a meat-based Hindenberg disaster.

Lower the haggis into gently simmering water. The casing will contract and the stuffing will swell. Use a skewer to pierce and release any trapped air. Remember that cooking time is based on thickness not mass; the long sausage shape of the bung means that this one took just over an hour and a half to cook. Lift out onto a plate and pat dry.

What’s the best British sausage?

After an upsetting childhood experience, Jeremy Lee of theBlueprint Café could never find unalloyed joy in British bangers. Is there a sausage which might restore his faith?

• Jeremy Lee’s favourite sausages

5 types of sausageFive types of British sausage. Photograph: Alamy

Ah, the British banger. Growing up with sausages that gave my brother and me severe headaches means I still struggle to enjoy the things today. On occasion my parents cooked that shame of convenience, mini skinless sausages. My brother and I, in a rare moment of bonding, wept at the prospect of eating these abominations, both craving a proper sausage. We were ignored until a radio programme exposed the hideous reality that some cheap sausages were pumped so full of unsavoury preservatives and additives they were likely to upset your stomach and give you a headache. Our parents saw the light; we never saw the dreadful wee things again.

My father restored our faith in the banger now and again by making a fine sausage stew accompanied by a great heap of mashed potato and a healthy dollop of Dijon mustard. It was delicious and there was no suspicion of a little white polystyrene tray stuffed in the bin. But the earlier memories, made at a formative time, have never really left me.

I know it is unfair to damn an entire business on one little episode in a generally very happily nurtured childhood but my feelings on the subject are strong enough to have got me into trouble once or twice. I was once asked to sit on a judging panel for sausages. Within minutes I was teetering on the verge of banishment for being disruptive and, well, downright rude. Eminent fellow panellists shuffled their feet as I poured vitriol on the defenceless sausages, but so many of the offerings masquerading as the very best of this mythical food, the British Banger, are just terrible. It upsets me. It is a sadness that when craving a sausage or two nowadays, I rarely set off in search because I have found most of what is on offer fairly duff, annoyingly cheap, and tasting so.

The singular addition of glamour such as exotic or surprising ingredients to jazz up a sausage is only makes for more unpleasant eating. Why is there such a dazzling array of new flavours of sausage? Bad enough the chicken tikka masala pizza, but in a sausage? Likewise, ham and pineapple, beef and sweet chilli, Jamaican jerk and chicken and sun-dried tomato – abominations all. Who among us eats these?

The recipe for a great sausage could not be more simple. Coarsely ground pork, salt and pepper and scrupulously cleaned intestine. Perhaps a few little pieces of chopped back fat for the trencherman. A sausage as God intended will cook beautifully, eating well unaccompanied; will braise beautifully in a pan of lentils; will happily tackle a great pot of borlotti or haricot beans enlivened with a pinch of chilli; it will revel in a good roll with a smear of mustard. Should the use of herbs be required, a small and judicious pinch of thyme could well be a benefit to a dish lacking that last little something. But the holus bolus piling in of cheap dried herbs into the sausage itself which repeat on you for days afterwards leaves me bewildered. Keep it simple. The dread introduction of inventive jolly and cheer is most unwelcome. Dour is the order of the day.

So I still remain bothered and unconvinced by the banger to this day. I can think of no more appealing sight than a butcher behind a great tray of sausages in proper casings made from pigs raised by a farmer he knows well, but these need seeking out. Richard Vaughan of Pedigree Meats makes a pleasant chipolata. I am fortunate indeed to have The Ginger Pig, who sell a Toulouse sausage, just round the corner in Victoria Park, and there are other sausages worth tracking down. But where to find the British banger to equal? You need Sherlock Holmes for that game.


October 1, 2010

Roasted Pheasants

Filed under: animals, recipes — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 10:13 am
Roast tarragon pheasant

Image by dearbarbie via Flickr


  1. 1/2 pound fresh horseradish, peeled and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  2. 3 cups water
  3. 1 tablespoon sugar
  4. Salt
  5. 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  6. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  7. 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  8. 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  9. 1 teaspoon chopped sage
  10. Freshly ground pepper
  11. Two 3-pound pheasants
  12. 1 lemon, quartered


  1. In a covered medium saucepan, simmer the horseradish with 2 cups of the water, the sugar and a large pinch of salt until the horseradish is tender, 30 minutes; drain well. In a food processor, puree the horseradish with the crème fraîche. Scrape the puree into a small bowl and season with salt.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a small bowl, blend the butter with the thyme, rosemary and sage and season with salt and pepper. Rub 11/2 tablespoons of the herb butter under the skin of each pheasant. Rub the remaining 1 tablespoon of herb butter all over the outside of the birds and season with salt and pepper. Tuck 2 lemon quarters into each cavity and tie the legs with string.
  3. Set the pheasants on an oiled rack in a roasting pan on their sides, and roast for 30 minutes. Carefully turn the birds to the other side and roast for 30 minutes. Turn the pheasants breast side up and roast for 10 minutes. Pour the cavity juices into the roasting pan, pressing lightly on the lemon to release the juice. Transfer the pheasants to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Set the roasting pan over 2 burners. Add the remaining 1 cup of water and simmer, scraping up the brown bits, until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Pour the juices into a small saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  5. Carve the pheasants and arrange on plates. Using 2 soup spoons, scoop the horseradish puree into neat ovals and set them beside the pheasant. Pour the pan juices over the pheasant and serve with the Caramelized Endives with Apples.

September 28, 2010

Minestrone Soup With Chicken

Filed under: chickens, freezing food, herbs, recipes — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 11:14 am
self-made bouillon de volaille (chicken broth).

Image via Wikipedia

This hearty Italian soup is a contemporary version of a soup that required hours on the stovetop. This recipe calls for canned beans, chicken broth, and tomatoes, which allow you to prepare this entrée soup in just 15 minutes. While the soup cooks, heat a loaf of crusty bread and toss a green salad to make the healthful meal complete.


    1 tbsp. olive oil
    1 carrot, cut into 1/8-inch slices
    ¼ c. minced onion
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    Two 14 ½-ounce cans chicken broth
    One 14 ½-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
    One 14 ½-ounce cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (see Tip)
    4 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into ½-inch squares
    1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch slices
    ½ c. elbow macaroni
    2 tbsp. minced fresh basil, or ½ tsp. dried
    1 tbsp. minced fresh oregano, or ½ tsp. dried
    ¼ tsp. pepper, or to taste
    Salt to taste
    Freshly ground pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish


Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the carrot, onion, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until the carrot is crisp-tender and the onion is translucent and not browned.

Stir in the chicken broth and tomatoes with juice; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the beans, chicken, zucchini, macaroni, dried basil and oregano (if using), and pepper. When the liquid returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium; cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the pasta and vegetables are tender. Stir in the fresh basil and oregano (if using). Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Advance Preparation

This soup will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days.

September 16, 2010

Homemade Soups

Filed under: chickens, gardening, herbs, recipes — Tags: , , , , , — dmacc502 @ 6:22 pm
A roux-based sauce with chicken stock, white w...

Roux base


Easy, Homemade Soup Recipes: Courgette Soup

This is an elegant little homemade soup, easy and not as quick as some of the other soup and starter recipes you will find here, but well worth the extra effort. A truly wonderful colour and the taste is sublime!

600 g young courgettes, sliced in ringsa bowl of courgette soup
12,5 ml melted butter
12,5 ml oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 rashers of bacon left whole

Top and tail the courgettes. Melt the butter and oil in a large pot. Sweat the chopped onion and the bacon. When soft, add the sliced courgettes. Saute gently for 5 minutes.


750 ml seasoned chicken stock
250 ml milk
2 ml onion salt (ordinary will do)
5 ml sugar
2 ml mild mustard

Simmer, half-covered, about 15 min or till soft. Remove from stove, and remove the bacon.


125 ml skimmed milk powder. Liquidise till smooth. Either reheat gently and serve, or chill thoroughly. Add chopped chives and a teaspoon of thick cream if you are not watching the waistline!

Easy, Homemade Soup Recipes: Farmers’ Cheese Soup(6)

1/4 cup butter

1 1/2 pounds of potatoes (one and a half pounds)

1 1/2 pounds cauliflower flowerets (one and a half pounds)

1 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced

1 onion, chopped

4 – 5 cups vegetable stock

6 slices French Baguette

1 1/2 cups grated cheese

salt and pepper to taste


Melt the butter in a large soup pot over a medium heat. Add onion and cook gently until transparent. Add the rest of the vegetables. Saute for a few minutes taking care not to burn the onions. Add the stock. Bring to boil and then reduce to low and cook for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add more stock if soup is too thick. Adjust final seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour into individual bowls that are ovenproof. Place a slice or two of French baguette onto the soup and cover slices with cheese. Grill for several minutes until cheese melts. Serve.

Easy, Homemade Soup Recipes: Cauliflower and Blue Cheese Soup(6)

4 kg cauliflower, cut into small florets

a bowl of cauliflower and blue cheese soup

1 medium celery with leaves, roughly chopped

8 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

4.8 litres chicken stock

600 g Blue vein cheese

salt and freshly ground black pepper

cream and parsley for garnish


Place cauliflower, celery, garlic and stock in a pot. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Purée soup until quite smooth. Return to pot.

Place crumbled cheese in blender with 4 cups hot liquid from soup. Purée until smooth and creamy. Stir back into soup.

Season to taste and serve with crusty rolls.

Easy, Homemade Soup Recipes: Quick Vegetable Soup(4)

1 onion, peeled and finely diced

1 cup finely chopped parsley

1 cup cauliflower or broccoli florets

1 cup finely chopped carrot

1 potato, finely diced

4 cups chicken stock

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup shredded cabbage

salt and pepper to taste


Place the onion, celery, cauliflower or broccoli, carrot, potato, stock and tomato paste in a large pot and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in the cabbage. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve.


Easy, Homemade Soup Recipes: Easy Chicken Soup(6)

Cut up any vegetables of your choice such as leeks, onions, celery, carrots, courgettes and any left over cooked vegetables you may have in your fridge. I usually use the vegetables from the previous night’s roast chicken dinner.

Lightly fry all the vegetables in a little butter for a minute or two. Place in a large pot. Add the chicken carcass from the previous night’s roast. Fill up the pot to the top of the carcass. Add a little more water if you wish. Add 3 chicken stock cubes, chunks of pumpkin and a grated potato.

In my opinion, which was also stated by my great-grandmother, you cannot make a good pot of chicken soup without the pumpkin. And she’s right!

Boil gently for an hour and a half. Serve with crusty bread.

Easy, Homemade Soup Recipes: Cream of Chicken Soup(4)

Simmer 4 cups of chicken stock, 1/2 cups chopped celery and 1 cup cooked shredded chicken.

When the celery is tender, add and cook for 5 minutes 1/2 cup of cooked long-grain rice.

Take off the heat. Liquidize.

Add 1/2 cup hot cream, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley.

Season to taste. Thin out with more hot cream if necessary and serve.


Easy, Homemade Soup Recipes: Potato Soup(4)

Peel and slice 2 medium potatoes

Skin and chop 2 medium onions, and 4 ribs of celery

Add boiling water to cover and add 1/2 teaspoon salt

Boil the vegetables until the potatoes are tender and liquidize

Thin soup out with hot milk or hot chicken stock, or a mixture of both.

Season to taste

Serve with chopped parsley

Variation: Instead of celery use 1 large leek and 2 rashers of bacon.

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