Make a soup using whatever lovely seasonal vegetables you have in stock (sweat off the chopped up veggies in a little butter for a few minutes, add vegetable or chicken stock and any root vegetables you are using - sweet potato or celeriac for example and simmer until all cooked through). Choose whether you prefer a strained clear broth or if you prefer to keep the veggies in. Next you add chopped or shredded cooked chicken to the soup and a handful of noodles per person (optional). Taste and season as required. Finish with a handful of watercress or fresh spinach as a garnish and serve - a healthy, complete meal.
LEBANESE LAMB FLATBREAD
You can use ready made flatbreads or make your own If you're feeling adventurous. For the lamb mix, heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large pan, add 1 finely chopped shallot and 1 chopped garlic clove together with 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground cumin and 1 tbsp of baharat (a Middle Eastern spice blend) and fry together for a couple of minutes. Add 500g lamb mince and mix it in to the mixture until browned. Add 75g sultanas and 300ml chicken stock, bring to the boil and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. Spoon this mixture over piping hot flatbreads and drizzle with a little plain yoghurt and herbs - and, if you like, a few chopped chillies. [Photo: Delicious magazine]
GARLIC BUTTER SMASHED POTATOES
Boil some scrubbed salad potatoes, skin on, until they are soft. Make a garlic butter mix by gently melting 250g butter in a pan and adding garlic (3-4 cloves, crushed), some chopped parsley (a good handful) and plenty of seasoning. Add the potatoes and cover them in the mixture. Pour the entire bowl contents onto a baking tray (or two) and crush each potato until the skin splits with a heavy object such as a glass measuring jug. Roast for around 20-30 minutes until they are crispy and crunchy!
SAUSAGE AND THYME RAGU
Mix a tin of chopped tomatoes, 3-4 garlic cloves, a handful of chopped thyme, a tsp of dried chilli flakes and sausage meat in a baking dish. For the sausages, remove the casing and crumble into the dish. Add a cup of stock and a drizzle of oil. After 20 mins, stir in a tbsp of tomato puree and add a pack of cherry tomatoes to the top of the mince. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes are soft. Serve with pasta.
[Photo courtesy of Delicious]
Slice and fry off 4 aubergines. Remove from the pan and then fry a chopped onion and a couple of cloves of garlic. Add lamb mince and brown it. Then add in a tin of chopped tomatoes, a pinch of cumin and cinnamon and 200ml of white wine. Stir in a handful of fresh chopped mint with 200ml of stock (gradually). Layer the mince in a dish with a layer of aubergines in a few layers, finishing with aubergine. Pour over 200ml of white sauce (home-made or bought) and finish with a scattering of mature cheese. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown. You've saved yourself hours!
HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN
Slice the chicken breasts along the narrowest part but leave them joined on one side so you have made a butterfly shape. Dust in flour, both sides, lightly season with salt and pepper. Pan fry and add a large knob of butter, a couple of crushed garlic pieces, 1 tbsp of vinegar, 1 tbsp of soy sauce and a generous glug of honey (about 2 tbsp). Simmer and turn the chicken over until cooked through - adding more butter for a silky shiny sauce - it'll take just a few minutes. Serve with rice and some fresh, green vegetables such as courgette or green beans. Drizzle any remaining sauce over everything. Finish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds if you like.
SMOKY MEATBALL PASTA BAKE
Cook the meatballs in the oven for about 15 minutes until browned. Meanwhile, cook and drain enough pasta for 2-4 people. In a mixing bowl combine 400g tinned tomatoes, 75ml beef stock or red wine, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp paprika. Take the meatballs out of the oven and, in the same baking dish, mix together with the pasta and smoky sauce. Cover in grated cheese and a cup of breadcrumbs for extra crunch and return to the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and browning. A family favourite!
Pork steaks with GARLIC lemon butter
Sauté some chopped mushrooms and onions in a pan for about 5 minutes, add 2 cloves of crushed garlic and cook for another minute. Set aside. Add seasoned pork steaks to the same pan and cook for 2 minutes on both sides. Add the zest of a lemon across both steaks and a large spoonful of butter to each one. Cover and cook on a low heat for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to rest and squeeze lemon juice over the steaks and serve with the onions and mushrooms. Amazing with mashed potato as well!
Caramelised onion relish
Perfect with our burgers, this onion relish is easy to make. Just fry off 1.5kg of onions in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Cook them until softened but not brown. Stir in 3 tbsp of 300g of dark muscovado sugar and cook for 7-10 mins until it starts to colour. Add the rest of the sugar, 1/2 tsp salt together with 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 3 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp crushed chillis or chilli flakes. Simmer for 30-40 mins and stir occasionally to prevent it sticking to the bottom. Spoon into jars and it will keep, sealed, for up to a year.
ASIAN BEEF BOWLS
Brown the mince beef and then add some pressed garlic (4 cloves), ginger (chopped, fresh - around 1 tbsp) and spring onions (chopped) - cook for a few minutes. Add a tasty mix of hoisin sauce (6 tbsp), soy sauce (3 tbsp), tomato paste (1 tbsp), sesame oil (1 tsp), sugar (1 tsp) and chilli flakes (to taste - advise 1/2 tsp). Stir well and cook for a further few minutes. Spoon over bowls of rice and top with sesame seeds, cashews or spring onion - whatever you fancy!
THE PERFECT STEAK SANDWICH
The most delicious, super speedy lunch or supper... take the minute steak, season with salt and pepper and fry quickly - just 30 seconds on each side. Serve in a crusty baguette or ciabatta with a handful of salad and you're done!
PITTA BREAD BURGER IDEAS
As an alternative to the traditional burger bun, why not try eating your burger in a warmed pitta bread? You can load it up with salad and toppings as you would a normal bun but the pitta creates a useful pocket where the flavours run together and taste delicious. Options for your pitta include: salads, cheese slices, dressings, mustard, onions, avocado, gherkins and bacon. This works really well with a butterflied chicken breast also. Perfect for barbecues. Make sure you have a napkin to hand!
CAJUN MINCE TRAYBAKE
Break up mince into small chunks and spread across a high side baking tray. Mix 2 tsp of oregano and 2 tsp of cumin with plenty of salt and pepper. Pour over, drizzle with olive oil and bake (220 degrees) for 5 mins. Then remove from oven and break up the mince completely. Reduce heat to 180 and top the mixture with a sliced red onion and green pepper. Add more oil, drizzle with tomato purée and mix well again. You may add a can of red kidney beans at this stage too if you'd like to. Bake for a further 5-10 minutes. Top with lime wedges, avocado slices, baby tomatoes and coriander. Serve in tortillas with sour cream.
[Photo courtesy of Taste]
The very best home-made chips
Peel some Maris Pipers and cut them into the shape and size you prefer. The key is to aim for a similar size so they cook evenly and at the same time. Fill a heavy based saucepan or deep frying pan with around 8cm of good oil - sunflower oil is ideal. Don't overcrowd your pan and cook in batches if necessary - gently introduce the potato pieces to the hot oil and allow to gently simmer until they turn a golden brown colour (it happens all of a sudden after a few minutes). Drain in kitchen roll and season well. Actual heaven!
light citrus coleslaw
Make up a bowl of finely shredded red and white cabbage, carrots and optional spring onions/shallots - according to your tastes. If you like parsley, add a generous handful of it, chopped.
For the dressing, mix up and pour over the zest and juice of one orange, the juice of two limes, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of maple syrup and plenty of salt and pepper seasoning. Adjust any of the ingredient quantities as you prefer.
This will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 3 days.
MEXICAN BEEF CASSEROLE
Chop and add 2 onions and 2 cloves of garlic to a heavy based pan/dish. After a few minutes add the diced beef, season and fry until evenly brown. Add 2 tbsp of pepper or chilli sauce, 2 tsp of chilli powder, some chopped red chilli (we recommend just one, deseeded) with a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes, 500ml of beef stock and 2 tbsp of tomato paste. Stir well over a medium high heat. Add some chopped red pepper, 2 tsp paprika, a pinch of dried oregano and a 400g tin of kidney beans. Stir and pop in the oven at gas mark 3 for 3 hours, check on it and top up with a little extra stock if necessary. Serve with rice or even add in some new potatoes and throw some grated cheese over it to serve.
TOAD IN THE HOLE
Put the sausages in a well-greased baking dish and put in the oven at gas mark 7. Whilst they are cooking, make a big jug of batter - either using a shop bought mix or make your own. A fool-proof method is to mix 200g plain flour with 1 tsp English mustard powder and season well. Make a well in the centre, crack in 4 eggs, then pour in some of the 400ml milk. Whisk well, adding the rest of the milk gradually and bringing in the flour until you have a smooth mixture. Bring the sausages out of the oven and pour over the batter mixture and return to cook until the batter is set and starting to turn golden brown - around 40 minutes. Cover with foil if it is browning too quickly. Serve with some delicious onion gravy and mashed potato and green beans. Alternatively just baked beans make a great accompaniment. Another option is to sink some 'on the vine tomatoes' in with the sausages in the batter mix at the time of cooking.
Irish beef stew
Brown off chunks of beef stewing steak in oil in a heavy based pan. Whilst it is frying, chop a couple of onions, 3 celery sticks and 4 big carrots into bite-size pieces. Set aside the browned meat and use the same pan for softening the vegetables for a few minutes. Season well and add the meat back to the pan. Mix it all together and cover with a litre of beef stock. Transfer the pan contents to a large oven-proof dish and top with sliced potatoes. Dot real butter over the potatoes, cover and cook for one hour at gas mark 6, removing the foil and cooking for a further 15 minutes until golden brown. A complete meal. You can also serve with mashed potato instead of the sliced potato topping - or include chunks of potato in the stew itself.
MARINATED BACON CHOPS
Marinate the bacon chops in 2 tbsp of good olive oil, the zest of one orange and its freshly squeezed juice. Add in a handful of mixed chopped herbs and leave for at least 2 hours. Bake the chops and marinade on a baking tray together with with bite size baby potatoes (drizzle in olive oil and dot pressed garlic over them for extra zing) for 35 mins. Cover just the bacon chops and remove this 10 minted before the end of cooking time. Fry shredded cabbage with some finely chopped onion, adding in a tbsp of soy sauce until cooked through - around 5 minutes in total.
EASY, SLOW-COOKED TOMATO SAUCE FOR MEATBALLS
A good tomato sauce is the basis for lots of dishes so mastering this will be a worthwhile investment of time! Heat 3 tbsp of top quality olive oil in a large saucepan, add 2-3 thinly sliced red onions and cook over a low heat until softened. After about 30 minutes, add in 2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped and 2kg of peeled plum tomatoes. If you are not using chopped tomatoes, break them up in the pan. You can also add some fresh tomatoes if you prefer. Season with salt and pepper and cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally for around 1.5 hours. You'll know it's ready when it is thick and dark red. Finish with any herbs you like, depending on its final use. For meatballs and spaghetti we recommend oregano or an Italian herb mix.
SLOW COOKED SALT & CHILLI RIBS
These couldn't be easier, they just take a long time for the best results. Put them in a high sided baking tray, rub over with oil and seasoning and cook them really low for 2-3 hours, longer if you like. Make up a rub with oil, more seasoning, some crushed garlic and 1-2 fresh chillis (red and green looks great) with the seeds in or out depending on your heat tolerance! After the first cooking session, add this to the meat side of the ribs and return to the oven until the pork is cooked through and the meat falls off the bone easily when you try with a fork - it probably won't need more than 45mins. Some recommend deep frying the ribs at the end of this process so they're crispy - it's all down to your personal choice - personally I just want to get on with eating them!
SAVOURY SWEET POTATO FRIES
Peel and cut 2 large sweet potatoes into chip shapes. Toss in a bowl with a slug of olive oil (Just Oil's roasting oil is good), a tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary (leave out the woody stalks), a sprinkle of salt, pepper and (if you have it) some garlic salt. Bake in the oven at 220 degrees or gas mark 7 for about half an hour until they are crispy and delicious! Depending on your oven and the size of the chips you may need to cook them for slightly longer.
tangy tomato pork
Brown your pork chops in a large frying pan and transfer to a slow cooker. Layer on top sliced onion, sliced or chopped red pepper and mushrooms. Make a sauce by combining 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, 1 tbsp of brown sugar and 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce and pour over the vegetables and pork. Season well with salt and pepper and leave to cook for the day (6-8 hours) until completely tender. Serve with pasta ribbons or rice.
fresh spinach salad
Combine freshly washed spinach with any of the following ingredients to make a delicious salad that is perfect on its own or with juicy burgers as an alternative to more carb-heavy sides:
Spinach plus chopped walnuts, slices of apple, cubes of feta cheese, a sprinkling of pomegranate and a simple balsamic dressing.
This is almost easy! Toast a muffin so it's pretty well done and leave to cool so it doesn't go soggy! Poach an egg (don't forget we have farm fresh, free-range eggs), fry off the delicious bacon chops (or our sliced bacon) so the edges are nice and crispy, layer them on top of the buttered muffin and drizzle on Hollandaise sauce - THAT is the only thing you have to think about. You can, of course, buy a perfectly good fresh Hollandaise from a supermarket or you can make your own from scratch. Top with some fresh chives and serve!
Spanish style rice
Soften half a red pepper and whole onion (both chopped) in a tbsp oil in a medium hot pan. After 3-4 minutes, add 2 cups of rice and coat it in the oil, onions and peppers. Add some crushed garlic at this stage. Stir in 2 cups of delicious chicken broth, 1 cup of passata, the juice of half a lemon, 1 tsp of chilli powder, 1 tsp oregano and a tiny pinch of cumin. Season well. Bring to the boil, reduce to simmer, cover and leave until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork. Taste and season further if required. This is perfect with our spatchcock chicken.
Roast 2 tbsp of cumin seeds and 1 tbsp of coriander seeds in a dry frying pan, then grind in a pestle and mortar. Melt 50g butter with 2 chopped onions, 6 cloves and 4 whole peppercorns. Cook until the onion is well browned. Add in a tbsp of the first mixture and 1 tbsp of garam masala with 1 tsp of turmeric and mix together over the heat. Add a large tin of chopped tomatoes, crush 5 cloves of garlic and finely diced/minced ginger (about 1 inch) and add to the pan with 2 chopped chillis. Cook together for about 10 minutes. Add minced lamb and break up into the mixture. Add a cup or two of frozen peas. Cover and leave to simmer for 45 minutes until ready. Adjust seasoning and spices as preferred. Just serve with some simple white rice.
Make a traditional lasagne but replace the meat sauce with a mix of our beautiful meatballs in a tomato sauce. Start with a layer of tomato sauce, cover with a lasagne sheet, then another layer of tomato sauce, with meatballs and a generous layer of grated cheese. Repeat for another layer and finish with a final layer of pasta, cheese and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs for a crunchy topping,
HEARTY WINTER CASSEROLE
HONEY & MUSTARD PORK STEAKS
EASY STICKY HONEY SOY TURKEY
The trick with turkey is not to overcook it so we suggest you fry off strips of the meat until golden and then remove from the heat. Make the sticky glaze by mixing 2 cloves of crushed garlic and 2 tsp of grated ginger with a little oil in the same pan. Cook until softened and then add 3 tbsp of honey and 3 tbsp of soy sauce and stir together. Simmer gently so it reduces and thickens slightly. Return the turkey strips to the mixture, coat well and serve over noodles or rice with fresh greens.
This is a weekday shortcut. Simple place all the ingredients listed below into a casserole dish, toss with 1 tbsp of plain flour, add 425ml of red wine, stir well and cook for 3 hours in the middle of your oven on a low setting. Serve with fluffy mash potato (or celeriac mash) and enjoy with more red wine! Ingredients: diced beef, a handful of bacon lardons, 2 cloves of crushed or chopped garlic, mushrooms, peeled, whole shallots, 2 bay leaves and a few sprigs of rosemary. Carrots optional.
SPICY CHICKEN SKEWERS
Cut one chicken breast per person into bite-size chunks. Then place in a bowl of marinade made up of oil or plain yoghurt and a mix of spices (we have spice mixes in the shop). Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for anywhere between 20 minutes and overnight. Next thread onto skewers, adding chicken with pieces of onion, cherry tomato and peppers. Drizzle with the marinade and grill, bake or barbecue for 10 mins or until the meat is cooked all the way through.
Delicious with a salad and rice or baked potato. Ideal for lunch or dinner. Enjoy!
CREAMY KALE & CHICKEN TRAYBAKE
Simmer 100g kale until tender, rinse, squeeze dry and stir in half a lemon's zest, 4 tbsp marscapone, 2 crushed garlic cloves and seasoning. Slit the chicken pieces longways and fill with the kale mixture. Then stretch 2-3 strips of streaky bacon around the chicken. Take a deep baking tray and scatter across it 2 red onions (cut into wedges), sliced courgettes, red and green peppers (sliced into large chunks), drizzle in oil and seasoning. Place the chicken pieces on top, cover in foil and bake for 25 mins. Remove the chicken, stir the veggies and cook for a further 10 minutes.
& MINCE BEEF HASH
Boil some cubed potatoes for 10 minutes, then remove from the water and drain. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Add 2 garlic cloves and 1 large chopped onion and fry gently until soft. Add the beef mince until it begins to brown. Remove from pan. Add the cubed potatoes to the pan with 2 tbsp of chopped rosemary and cook until the potatoes start to colour. Return the beef, season to taste and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with roasted cherry tomatoes and a fried egg on top!
EASY BEEF STEW
Toss the diced beef in flour and fry off for 5 minutes until browned, set aside. To the pan, add 2 cloves of crushed garlic, a handful of peeled and chopped shallots, a couple of sticks of chopped celery and a bunch of fresh thyme (just use the leaves). Cook on a low heat until softened. Add the beef back in with 4 chopped ripe tomatoes and a large glass of red wine. Add 500ml of beef stock, 2 bay leaves and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Season well and cook in the oven on a low-medium heat for 3-4 hours until tender. Serve with some buttery mash potato!