Traditionally I think I’m right in saying that stovies would have been eaten as a main course, but, me being me, I like to use them as an accompaniment. this recipe is a cracking way of using up any left over tatties and gravy, and, yes! I think you really have to use some beef dripping!! Sorry!

If you do have some leftover roast beef or lamb bits, by all means add these to your stovies mix


Shopping List

50 g of good quality beef dripping

  • 2 medium onions peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 kg of cooked King Edward potatoes, cooled and cut into chunks
  • 300 ml of good quality meat juice and gravy
  • a handful of chopped parsley


  • Melt the dripping in a heavy based pan, now add the onions and coat really well with the dripping, and continue to cook on a slow heat for 10 minutes
  • Now add the potatoes and season really well with salt and pepper, and give them a good stir
  • pour in the meat juices and gravy and bring to the simmer
  • cook for 5 minutes until the potatoes are well coated in the thick gravy
  • add the chopped parsley, stir and serve immediately

    food pot kitchen cooking
    Photo by Tookapic on


Now, before I get inundated with emails, txt’s, phone calls, and people sending me jelly fish!! I know I’ve left out the peas! But I thought life is too short to be soaking peas! 

This recipe will serve 4 people really well

Shopping List


250g of carrots, peeled, diced

250g of turnips, diced (turnip not swede)

2 medium onions, peeled, diced

1 celery stalk, dice

1 leek, white part only, sliced thinly

150g of pearl barley

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2.3litres of good quality lamb or mutton stock

100g of fresh kale chopped

500g of lamb shank


  1. Place the lamb shank in a pan large enough to hold the shank and enough water to cover, season well and simmer for 2hours or until the meat is very tender
  2. lift the shank out onto a plate and allow to cool
  3. add the pearl barley and the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes
  4. now add all of the other ingredients except the kale and simmer for a further 15 minutes
  5. carefully shred the meat from the shank bone and add the meat to the broth
  6. add the kale and simmer for a further 5 minutes

check the seasoning and finish with some chopped parsley

the broth will taste even better the following day, and you can freeze it!

Happy cooking 


soup with minced herbs on round white ceramic plate
Photo by Zak Chapman on




Clootie dumpling is a traditional Scottish pudding, Usually most closely associated with Christmas and Hogmanay, or for holidays as a celebration cake. Many Scots will have fond memories of their grandmothers or their mothers making it.

If you haven’t tried this comforting pudding, why not try making a clootie dumpling this Christmas instead of your usual Christmas pudding?

For those of you who don’t know what it is, a clootie dumpling is a spiced fruit pudding that is then wrapped in a muslin cloth and simmered in water until cooked. Usually served with custard, and of course, a wee dram!, You can buy Clootie dumpling cloths online, or, you can use a piece of muslin cloth, the choice is yours.


500g plain flour (or plain cake flour)

200g beef suet

250g castor sugar

250g raisins

250g sultanas

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs

1 bramley apple, peeled and grated

3 tbsp black treacle

100ml whole milk • extra plain flour for dusting


1.Dip your dumpling cloot into the boiling pot of water to soak it for a few minutes.

2. Wring it out to remove the excess water.

3. Now spread the cloot over a large work surface and dust it fairly generously with plain flour. The layer of flour does not need to be thick but do make it even.

4. The wet cloot and flour combine to form a protective glue-like waterproof surface so make sure the flour reaches far enough to the edges of the cloot, so that the flour will cover the whole dumpling when the cloot is drawn up around it.

5. Empty the dumpling mixture on to the cloot and draw up the cloot around it.

6. Tie it with string, wrapping the string twice around, tie it twice as tight as can be pulled.

7. When you tie the cloot leave a bit of spare room at the top, for the dumpling will expand a little. Make sure to cut a generous length of string so you can tie the excess on to the pot handles to suspend the cloot when it is submerged in the water.

8. Put the lid on and keep on a low simmer for 4 hours.

9. When the dumpling is ready you can lift it out by the string that was attached to the handle. Remove the cloot and transfer the dumpling to a baking tray.

10. Dry the dumpling in a 180˚C preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes.

11. When you first remove the cloot you will have a white glutinous skin which covers the surface of the dumpling. After it has been in the oven it will become darker and form a nice crust on the outside of the dumpling.

12. When you’re ready to serve, slice your Clootie pudding into portions, serve in warm bowls with custard, or ice cream, and definitely a wee dram of whisky or Drambuie

Absolutely fantastic, a wonderful pudding to grace any table,

Happy cooking



Now before you all lose your mind! And bombard me with emails, voicemails, telegrams, text messages, and send me jellyfishes!!! I know that you would normally use beef cuts in this recipe, and,that every French Grand-mere will be after my tete!

But trust me, this is wonderful comfort food in a bowl

This recipe will serve 4 people really well


500g of belly pork, skinned, in one piece

1 ham hock on the bone

100g smoked bacon

6 Cumberland sausage browned on a griddle pan for a few seconds on each side

100g of pearl barley

3 carrot

2 onion cut into quarters

4 cloves of garlic with skin on

4 medium potatoes, cut into big chunks

2 leeks sliced into rounds

1 red pepper cut into slices

1 small Savoy cabbage cut into quarters, core removed

1 tsp turmeric

2 tbsp vegetable bouillon

1 bouquet garni


cold water


1 Preheat the oven to 190C

2 Place the ham hock, belly pork in a large casserole dish, then add the bacon, sausages, barley, carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes, leeks, red pepper, cabbage, turmeric, bouillon and Bouquet garni. Season well and add enough cold water to cover the ingredients. Cover the casserole dish and transfer to the oven to cook for 3 hours.

3 After the 3 hours, the ham hock and belly pork should fall apart and be beautifully cooked, To serve, ladle the vegetables into a bowl, place the meat on top and serve with crusty bread

This is as simple as you can get! But tasty as you can possibly get!

Happy cooking



I’ve been using Beef cheeks in a variety of dishes ever since I was introduced to them many many years ago when I was a spotty faced “no all no nothing” young commis chef by an old boss of mine who’d made a beef chilli using cheeks, I tasted it and thought it was absolutely fantastic, so beef cheeks make frequent appearances in one form or other on my menu, they’re reasonably inexpensive, have a wonderful beefy flavour, and, can be used for a multitude of dishes

This recipe does require you to marinade the cheeks over night, not essential, but definitely benefits from doing so,

“Bhuna is a term you commonly find on restaurant menus. It refers to cooking meat with spices with little or no water added. This requires constant stirring to prevent the spices sticking to the bottom of the pan but the resulting dish is rich and intense in flavour from the caramelisation of the onions and the frying of the spices.”

Serves 4-6 people


1kg of beef cheeks cut into 4cm cubes

A good splash of rapeseed oil

½ tsp cloves

4 cardamom pods

½ tsp black peppercorns

2 bay leaves

3 green chillies, slit lengthwise in half

250ml water

2 tomatoes, finely chopped

A piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped

3 tbsp tamarind paste

Juice of ½ lemon

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

A pinch of sugar


2 onions, finely chopped

3 tbsp ginger garlic paste

2 tsp salt

2 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp cumin seeds roasted in a dry frying pan and then ground

2 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground turmeric


1. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the beef cheeks pieces and coat it well, and set aside, overnight if possible but at least an hour

2. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large heavy based pan, add the whole spices and bay leaves and let them splutter, but don’t allow to burn.

3. Add the marinated meat and stir well over a high heat, until the juices are absorbed and the meat begins to brown and caramelise.

4. Now Add the green chillies and water, reduce the heat, cover and cook gently for 2 hours, until the beef is about two-thirds done.

5. You can now Add the tomatoes and ginger and cook for 10 minutes over a high heat, stirring all the time to mash up the tomatoes. You may need to add a couple of splashes of water to prevent the sauce sticking to the bottom of the pan.

6. Now stir in the tamarind paste and lemon juice, followed by the chopped coriander. Finally add the pinch of sugar.

You’re Bhuna should by now be absolutely unctuous, serve with some basmati rice and naans


I’m not sure why but I’ve never been a huge fan of aubergine, I’ve absolutely nothing to base my opinion on, maybe it was the poorly made moussaka I had when I was younger, sure! I cook with them, a lot in fact, but I still wouldn’t thank you for any on my plate!

That is until I was introduced to the wonderful Bhegan Bhartha

” Punjabi baingan ka bharta is just one of several versions of aubergine bhartha in Indian cooking. The word bharta (pronounced BHURR-taah) refers to dishes in which the ingredients are roughly mashed either before or after the dish is prepared. Bhartas are largely North Indian in origin and made from all sorts of vegetables.”

Punjabi baingan ka bharta requires that the aubergine is roasted, giving the aubergine a wonderful smokey flavour,

This can be done in several different ways.

The first is to roast it on an open gas ring by just placing the aubergine straight on the burner and keeping the flame on low setting. Keep turning and cooking until all the skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft.

Or, you can grill the aubergine on your barbecue grill. This is my preferred method Again, keep turning periodically till all the skin on the aubergine is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft. The barbecue method will give you the distinctive smokey flavour that authentic bhartha has.

The third method is to roast the aubergine in your oven till all the skin is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft.


3 medium-sized aubergine

A good splash of rapeseed oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 medium onions (finely chopped)

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1-inch piece ginger finely chopped

2 large tomatoes finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala

A good handful of fresh green coriander finely chopped

2 green chilli finely chopped

1 400g tin of drained chick peas


1. Once the aubergine is roasted, allow to cool fully and then peel off and discard the charred skin. Once cool, coarsely mash it and keep aside for later use.

2. Now put a pan on medium heat and add a splash of rapeseed oil, When hot, add the cumin seeds and cook for 1 minute

3. Now Add the onions and fry until soft and translucent.

4. Now Add the garlic and the ginger and fry for 1 minute.

5. Now Add the tomato, green chilies, and all the powdered spices, including the garam masala. Stir well and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent the spice mix from sticking to the pan. Add a little water if needed.

6. Now add the aubergine and mix well. Add the chopped fresh coriander and the chick peas, Cook another minute and turn off the heat.

Serve hot with chapatis


This recipe has come about because I’m really chuffed to be cooking along side the wonderful Mr Hardeep Singh Kohli again, he has an infectious enthusiasm for everything foodie, his knowledge and passion for his spices makes visits to the kitchen an amazing place to be, and, of course, his quick witted banter invariably has me in hysterics, so little gets done! I love having him around, food, chat and laughs, what more could you ask for?

This recipe will serve 4 people and can be easily made in 30 minutes


6 shallots peeled and finely sliced

4 cloves of garlic peeled and finely sliced

A good piece of fresh ginger peeled and finely sliced

1 fresh green chilli finely sliced

8 fresh trout fillets, trimmed and boned

a splash of rapeseed oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

20 curry leaves

1 tablespoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 pinch of saffron (optional)

1 x 400 g tin of light coconut milk

1 x 400 g tin of quality chopped tomatoes

a few sprigs of fresh coriander


1. Heat a good splash of rapeseed oil in a large pan, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and cook until the seeds start to pop.

2. Add the shallot, garlic, ginger and chilli, and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes.

3. Mix the chilli powder and turmeric together with a splash of water, and the saffron if using, and stir into the pan.

4. Fry for 1 minute, now add the coconut milk and tomatoes.

5 Season, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce has reduced, now add the trout fillet and cook for no longer than 4 minutes.

6 chop the coriander leaves and scatter over the trout. I’d serve with some lovely basmati rice and warm naan bread.


As you know, I’m not usually associated with such sophisticated dishes as desserts! I’m far too clumsy and far too impatient, but, this is one dessert recipe I do enjoy doing

Once over, raspberries tended to be a late summer fruit, but now thankfully, British growers are able to produce fantastic raspberries from June to October, I’ve also used Prosecco in this recipe, who doesn’t love the combination of Prosecco and raspberries?!!!

So I urge you to give this recipe a whirl, it does take a little time and effort, but it’ll be worth it, trust me

Shopping list

5 sheets gelatine

450 g raspberries

100ml of Prosecco

125 g icing sugar, sifted

300 g Greek yogurt

5 large egg whites

500 ml double cream


1 Cover the gelatine with cold water and leave for 10min.

2 Cut 10 strips of baking parchment, each roughly 3 x 15in,Wrap each strip around a ramekin, leaving 1½in above the dish. Secure with an elastic band

3. In a food processor, whiz raspberries with Prosecco and half the icing sugar until pulpy

4 Sieve to remove seeds and Stir purée into the yogurt and beat until smooth.

5 Squeeze out excess water from the gelatine, put into a bowl and pour over 100ml boiling water. Whisk to dissolve, then whisk into the yogurt mix.

6 In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and remaining icing sugar until just stiff.

7 In another bowl, whip the cream until it just holds its shape. Stir the cream into the yogurt mix, then use a metal spoon to fold in the egg whites in two batches.

8 Divide the mixture between the ramekins. Don’t panic if it sits above the top of the dishes, that’s what you want, the paper will keep it in. Chill in the fridge to help it set for 2-3hr.

9 To serve, dust soufflés with cocoa, then remove elastic band and parchment. Decorate with more raspberries and grate some white chocolate over the top, and enjoy with a chilled glass of Prosecco