All the best for thew new year folks and here we are back again after a looong break and hoping to add to and keep this blog rolling along now .
Lots of food eaten and places visited to see and great artisan foods to try !

Heres a magret of duck to enjoy , Duck ham as it is sometimes called , a week in maldon salt to remove some liquid and stabilise the meat and then spice and air dry for a few weeks .
Slice it wafer thin with figs or apricot slices .


The mighty pumpkin is still growing

Always good to have a pumpkin growing!


Beer duty reduction

Well , I would have been quick to comment if the ill conceived beer duty escalator had been deployed So-Well done George Osborn on reducing  , even if only by a penny the suicidal tax levies that are threatening our national drink ,( the fine traditionally brewed beers ales and ciders that is for those who think I mean tea or fizzy lager)
 Keep it up George and give the breweries and drinkers a break, here's to you!!!


Big pork pie

Big pork pie by rustumlongpig
Big pork pie, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

This was a Christmas present for my cousin.
When they returned from the pub that night this lasted five minutes!

Leg of Duck confit

Leg of Duck confit by rustumlongpig
Leg of Duck confit, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

Magic mushrooms.

Magic mushrooms. by rustumlongpig
Magic mushrooms., a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

White crab , mussel and brown shrimp on blinis

Sticky toffee pudding

Sticky toffee pudding by rustumlongpig
Sticky toffee pudding, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

I paired this with a pony of draught Guiness which worked a real treat--try it .

Cold Goose ballotine

Cold Goose ballotine by rustumlongpig
Cold Goose ballotine, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

The goose process got a bit disjointed but here is the cold version with the foi gras visible. I wanted a little truffle in there but alas at the time no truffle available.


chicken parfait

chicken parfait by rustumlongpig
chicken parfait, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

Heres the Monro chicken parfait. As I said---nearly as good as mine!

Chinese New Year - Duck

Here's one from a favourit waterhole The Monro in Duke St Liverpool.
I had their chicken liver parfait yesterday and its almost as good as mine.


Potted brisket & cornichon

Rillettes of salt beef and onion with sea salt and coarse peppers served with a slice of toasted baton and English mustard.
Horseradish créme fraich for spreading on your toasty.

Goose rolled and filled with the macerated legmeat

The braised red cabbage bed contained red onion and cranberry jelly, the jus was a concentrate of roast bone juices and port. the cinnamon apple was a bramley.
If I would alter anything perhaps I would be a little less cavalier with the sage. Sage can overpower the subtle flavors present here.

I have no beef with this!!

The big supermarkets are , at long last , declaring an interest in British Meats instead of combing the planet for the cheapest and as it turns out , dubious products.
Now while this is to be applauded , they needed the Horsey scandal to push them into it or we would be still getting "Various animals" minced into our foodstuffs.
The second caveat is the example of the strangulation of our dairy industry which has decimated our milking stock and threatened cheese production throughout the land  , Beef producers beware!
We already see security tags on the humblest cuts of beef and recently I saw a ticket on a lamb chop reading "This joint , £1.89." Strange days indeed!!
I feel that the inclusion of gelatin in products is one way that horse  (and other) DNA could be identified in goods from jelly's to pork pies as gelatin has , traditionally be made by rendering hoof bone and cartilaginous matter , a bit like a highly concentrated stock , to produce the sheets or powders we have been happily using without difficulty for years.
 I  render pigs trotters to make the jelly for my pork pies in the time honoured tradition.


In foil

In foil by rustumlongpig
In foil, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.
Rolled in foil needing two hours at 160C and 30 min unwrapped to crisp up the skin! The bones were browned and a stock was produced and rendered with a slug of port to add a little sweetness.

Back in the skin

Back in the skin by rustumlongpig
Back in the skin, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

Rolled ballotine

Ballotine filling

Ballotine filling by rustumlongpig
Ballotine filling, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

Back into the skin to be rolled tightly.

This is the meat

This is the meat by rustumlongpig
This is the meat, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

Here,s the meats for the ballotine 20 gm bacon 250gm duck liver 60 gm breadcrumbs , pepper , a caramelised large onion , 50 gm butter and the goose leg meat and trim coarsely processed. and a little garlic with a tsp chopped sage. A slug of brandy wont hurt either. Add diced breast meat and 100gm foi gras.

Goose boned out

Goose boned out by rustumlongpig
Goose boned out, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

Micro surgery removes the bones


Goose by rustumlongpig
Goose, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

Organic Goose for a ballotine


Serve with a lump of buttered bread

Westmoreland hot pot

Westmoreland hot pot by rustumlongpig
Westmoreland hot pot, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

Westmoreland darts night hot pot

This is a smaller one! The bigger Darts night ones were for 50 or more.
Ilb of Diced lean beef , 6oz smokey bacon lardons, A big carrot and the same of swede and a big onion . Chopped leek--about three inches , and a teaspoonfull of dried thyme . The potatoes can be as you see them or big ones diced up but about the same ammount as the carrot and swede. Brown the beef and bacon in lard then add the rest. Cook with the lid on for 10 minutes but keep shaking the pan to stop it sticking. add 6oz of black pudding (Leave it out if you dont like it) and cover with stock.(use an oxo if you want) simmer for about an hour or until the beef is tender. finish with chopped parsley and serve in bowls with crusty bread. and HPsauce!!!

Sous vide cod on rissotto

Lovely flakey cod cooked in the bag for 12 minutes at 60 degrees. The rissotto was browned a little in basil oil and the flavour was quite delicate but interesting.



Tomato by rustumlongpig
Tomato, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

Green tomato chutney for Christmas ---Every cloud eh??


T Bone

T Bone by rustumlongpig
T Bone, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

Cooked over charcoal and applewood with a classic garnish

T Bone.

T Bone. by rustumlongpig
T Bone., a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

Highland beef after a five week maturation


Lots of dipping food

Lots of dipping food by rustumlongpig
Lots of dipping food, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

Seafood! Squid rings olives and some dipping bread with olive oil and balsamic , Chilli sweet with garlic and a tomato aioli ----GET IN!!!



gooseberry foolishness

gooseberry foolishness by rustumlongpig
gooseberry foolishness, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.
Quick and easy to make , tasty and refreshing on a warm day , You can serve it with "longue du chat" biscuits for a bit of crunch or better yet a brandy snap roll!! Click through to Flickr for the recipe.


Ham hock terrine

Ham hock terrine by rustumlongpig
Ham hock terrine, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

Get a nice ham hock , smoked if possible and bring it to the boil. Drain off the "First boil" replace the water and then bring back to the boil with some carrots and an onion then simmer for two hours or untill the smaller bone pulls easily out from the meat. place in a tray to preserve the juices that will run out ,
Carefully remove the skin and cover with clingfilm to keep it moist then , using a fork tear the meat off the big bone discarding any fat or gristle.
Season with white pepper NO SALT and if you like chop the carrots and onion that were in the boiling pan and mix with the ham. Place the still moist skin into a terrine that you have lined with clingfilm (to get it out easily) and then pile in the seasoned meat/onion mix. At this point you can use the boiling liquid to just cover the meat as this will set to a firm jelly. If you dont fancy jelly---leave it out and add a knob of butter or mix in a slug of wine or Vermouth. Chill overnight in thr fridge with a weight on top , a couple of tins of beans or such will do.
Take out of terrine dish and eat.


Quick choccy fondant

Quick choccy fondant by rustumlongpig
Quick choccy fondant, a photo by rustumlongpig on Flickr.

OK , Not hard ;-) First heat the oven to 150 to get it nice and hot!!
You need a ramekin or some dariol moulds or even teacups or mugs if you want but butter them well first and cook them in a tray of water to stop the choccy burning! just a inch or two of water up the cups or moulds will do

1 1/2 oz dark chocolate and 1 1/2 oz butter melted together over hot water.
1 egg and 1 yolk beaten together with 2 oz caster sugar until fluffy , use a whisk.
Blend the chocolate/butter mix and the egg and sugar mix together , gently fold in the flour to keep the air in the mix then add the liqueur and orange zest , Divide into the moulds or even just make one bigun! and cook in the oven at 150 or gas 3 for 10 minutes
It will be crisp on top and squidgy inside so dont think its not cooked!!
you can keep them in the fridge and re-heat when you need them. (But dont overheat)
Serve with creme fraiche or cream or even custard if thats what floats yer boat!!