Venison Cottage Pie With Spring Onion Mash

Crispy Spring Onion Mash Topped Venison Shepherds Pie

Crispy Spring Onion Mash Topped Venison Cottage Pie

The steel grey light of a damp November day gives way  to cold  fat drops  splatting against the windows as the wind drives the rain forward.  The fire’s lit, the intermittent crackles forming a percussion with the rain.  It’s time for comfort food.  Game is perfect when the weather gets cold, but you don’t always want the bones and bits that go with a pheasant or a quail.  Venison mince is the perfect ingredient for a meal eaten curled up on the sofa.  Rich in flavour and a creaminess from the oats, it can be eaten with just a fork or a spoon and if you make a cottage pie it has all your veg too!  Well nearly.  What’s your favourite dish to warm you on a cold autumn day?

RECIPE

Venison Cottage Pie With Crispy topped Spring Onion Mash

Crispy Topped Venison Cottage Pie

Crispy Topped Venison Cottage Pie

Venison Cottage Pie With Spring Onion Mash

Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Allergy Milk, Wheat
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Region British
By author Glamorous Glutton

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 3 Shallots (finely chopped)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (finely chopped)
  • 3 Carrots (1 finely chopped the other 2 cut into small chunks)
  • 440g Venison mince
  • 200ml Red wine
  • 1/2 Gem Squash (Cut into small cubes)
  • 250ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 sprigs Fresh thyme, stalks removed
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Porridge oats
  • 120g Frozen peas
  • 1kg King Edwards Potatoes (Peeled and chopped)
  • 120g Butter
  • 125ml Double cream
  • 5 Spring onions (sliced thinly)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Step 1
Place the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the shallots for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the shallots are transparent, a further 5 minutes.
Step 2
Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil. reduce the heat slightly and cook for about 12 - 15 minutes until soft.
Step 3
Add the finely diced carrots to the shallots and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add the mince and break up in the pan to ensure the mince doesn't cook in clumps. Cook until the mince is just browning then turn up the heat and add the wine. Cook for 5 minutes on a high heat stirring and then reduce the heat to medium and add the remainder of the carrots and the squash.
Step 4
Add the stock, thyme leaves and bay leaf and stir thoroughly, then add the oats and stir until the mixture starts to thicken, the mince should have a thickened sauce but still be loose. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Step 5
Once the potatoes are cooked mash with a fork, a potato masher or put through a ricer. Beat in the butter and then add the cream, continue to beat until the mash is creamy and smooth. Stir in the spring onions, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 6
Add the peas to the mince mixture and pour into an oven proof dish. Then either 'blob' the mash over the top or put in a piping bag and pipe over the mince. Ensure you have rough edges on the mash as this is what will catch in the cooking, giving you a crunchier top. Use a fork to rough up the mash if necessary. At this point you can place in the fridge, covered for 2-3 days before baking in the oven.
Step 7
To finish off baked in the oven. Preheat the oven 190c, 170c fan, gas mark 5, 375f for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on the top.

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Spiced Broccoli Patties With Curried Dip

Spiced Brocoli Patties & Curried Dip

Spiced Brocoli Patties & Curried Dip

There are times when all I want is vegetables.  I’ve done with meat and fish I just want to be renewed by healthy flavours, herbs and spices.  These little Patties pack a punch of flavour from the cumin and coriander and a sweetness from the caramelising of the outside as they’re cooked.  With a hint of chilli and the barely cooked herbs these are a perfect light lunch or snack slathered in a lightly curried dip.

RECIPE

Spicy Brocoli Patties

Spicy Brocoli Patties

Spiced Broccoli Patties

Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Allergy Egg
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Pre-preparable
A subtly spiced broccoli pattie, gently browned to enhance the flavours and produce a perfect lunch or hand held snack.

Ingredients

  • 1 Head of broccoli including stalk
  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely diced)
  • Zest Of one lemon
  • 20g Corriander (finely chopped)
  • 20g Parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Ground corriander
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hot chilli powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 60g Buckwheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil

Note

This recipe makes 15 Patties and can be doubled up

These can be baked or fried, if baking set the oven to 190c, 170c fan assisted, gas mark 5, 375f.

If you put the florets and stalk in the processor together the florets will turn to mush before the stalk is processed and the mixture will be too wet to use.  Pulse the stalk and florets seperately or grate on a course grater.

Directions

Step 1
Grate the broccoli on a course grater or cut off the florets and place in a food processor, pulse until fine but not wet. Tip these into a bowl and put the chopped stem in the processor, pulse until fine but not wet, add to the bowl.
Step 2
Add all the remaining ingredients except the buckwheat flour and the olive oil, mix well. Then sprinkle in the flour a bit at a time until the mixture holds together when pressed into a ball.
Step 3
At this stage you can fry off a little of the mixture to test the seasoning, if you want. Take a tablespoon of the mixture in your hand and roll into a firm ball, press down to flatten into a pattie, set aside. Repeat for the remaining mix.
Step 4
Place the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, once the oil is hot, place the patties in the pan and cook until just starting to brown about 5 minutes on each side. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. If baking place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 190c, 170c fan assisted, gas mark 5, 375f. Serve warm or cold with a dip.
Curried Avocado Dip

Curried Avocado Dip

Curried Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 Ripe avocado
  • 1 clove Garlic (grated or crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 100g Probiotic yoghurt
  • 1 Red chilli (Finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Mild curry powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Step 1
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth, check for seasoning and serve

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Exploring Talmont Sur Gironde, France

Mud Flats On The Gironde Estuary

Mud Flats On The Gironde Estuary

The sun shimmered off the mud flats as we drove along the coast road. The gulls circling and diving, finally landing on the bald stones that lay camouflaged by seaweed, it’s soft ozone smell rising to mingle with the fragrance of sun baked grasses from the fields nearby.  Then, there was Talmont, perched high on a rocky outcrop, a twelfth century fortified village sticking out into the bright blue sky.

Talmont From The Coast Road

Talmont From The Coast Road

Parking our car before we got to the ‘Island’ for that is what it seems, we set off on foot to explore.   Cars aren’t allowed on Talmont and that in itself makes this a wonderfully peaceful place to be.  Even in the height of the tourist season there is  tranquility to be found amongst the white washed houses with Charantaise blue or green shutters and doors almost dwarfed by the hollyhocks that wave in the breeze, lanky and colourful, poking from every crevice in the path.  Dotting the pale stone work with splodges of scarlet, apricot and fuchsia.

Wild Hollyhocks In Talmont

Wild Hollyhocks In Talmont

A haven of small restaurants and discreet bars with independent shops selling artisan goods, it remains unspoilt. This is a village that has retained both its character and self respect.  The narrow roads wind round the village criss crossing like a child’s meandering maze, until ultimately we arrived at the eleventh century church of St Radegonde.

The Carved Archway Over The Church Of Saint

The Carved Archway Over The Church Of Saint Radegonde

Regardless of its ornately sculpted entrance and wonderful carvings of animal heads under the roof, this is a startlingly simple place inside. beautiful in it’s restraint.   No stained glass windows, guilt or statues of saints, only the smell of the wax and warm glow of the votives gives hint to it’s catholic religion.

Fishing Shack At Talmont On The Gironde

Fishing Shack At Talmont On The Gironde

The original industry of the village was fishing, which is still a part of the local economy and a curiosity. Small fishing shacks on spindly stilts are spread along the shore. Hanging off each are huge nets spread like waiting arms which will be dropped to scoop up the fish as the tide tumbles in.

Charantais Blue Shutters On Talmont

Charantais Blue Shutters On Talmont

Talmont is not a perfectly preserved museum of a village, but a vibrant commercially successful place, that honours it’s heritage and welcomes visitors whilst going about its own business.  Safe in the knowledge that it has lasted nine hundred years and will be there unspoilt, for many more.
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Wednesday Words – Review Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes

Tom Kerridge Best Ever Dishes

Tom Kerridge Best Ever Dishes

Tom Kerridge’s second book to accompany his BBC TV series Best Ever Dishes,  is a delight of wonderful photography and twists on classic dishes from home and abroad.  Whilst this is not a book for a quick midweek supper the recipes are very achievable for everyone except the real beginner. Continue reading

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Emmer Wheat Tagliatelli With Fennel Seed Pork Meatballs And Tomato Sauce

Fennel Seed Sausage And Tomato Pasta Sauce

Fennel Seed Sausage And Tomato Pasta Sauce

The tiny kitchen in our London flat was the height of mod cons for the 60s.  We had a fridge, A FRIDGE!  It required constant maintenance and once you put in a pint of milk and a lettuce, it was full.  But at least we didn’t have to hang the milk out of the window in a bag to keep it cool.  Wall shelves, a tiny built in work surface and a larder cupboard completed the storage. The white stone butlers sink was squeezed in next to these wonders of the modern age, but required you to slide in sideways past the cooker to get to it.  This kitchen was small, even to a child of three or four it was small. Continue reading

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Chai Spiced Chocolate Brownies

Stack Of Chai Spice Chocolate Brownies

Stack Of Chai Spice Chocolate Brownies

My rug samples were spread around me, saved from the dusty factory floor by a sheet, not quite white but not yet grey.  The flourish of colour making a vibrant splash against the cheerless concrete.  Beautifully patterned, each careful tuft had been meticulously costed by my Indian supplier and the negotiations were about to begin.  Electricity was intermittent in this small rural community and the usual whir of the air conditioners was missing from the general factory noise.  In the hot sticky atmosphere I wondered how fast we could get the job done, longing for the hotel bar and bath.  With a nod from the owner a young Indian boy entered with a tray of dark milky tea.  The spicy aroma hit me long before the drink was in my hands, cinnamon, fragrant cardamom, peppery cloves and sweet nutmeg.  A milky drink with a perk from the tea and a miracle of spices to enliven even the most lethargic.  This was my first taste of Chai. Continue reading

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Buenos Aries – Bar Doreggo And Tango

Interior Of Bar Dorrego

Interior Of Bar Dorrego

The San Telmo bar Dorrego was dark, an early morning scattering of customers sipping coffee and quietly chatting, waiting for the weak Autumn sunshine to warm the day.  Bent wood chairs, all matching but worn with a pale patina, were tucked under scrubbed wood tables scratched with time and the initials of previous drinkers. Continue reading

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Review – Chicken The New Classics By Marcus Bean

Marcus Bean's Chicken The New Classics

Marcus Bean’s Chicken The New Classics

Is your favourite cookbook the one your Mother used?  Or the one you learnt to cook from?  Perhaps it’s a spotted and spattered tome that could never be replaced?  I have a shelf of recipe book treasures, well thumbed and well used, but just occasionally there’s a book that can sit beside them. Continue reading

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Honey Baked Figs With Thyme, Honey And Pistachio Ice Cream

Honey Baked Figs And Thyme With Honey And Pistachio Ice Cream

Honey Baked Figs And Thyme With Honey And Pistachio Ice Cream

Figs plucked straight from the tree, plump, sweet and juicy, warmed by the sun.  But if you have to settle, like me, for the ones from the supermarket this is a delicious way to put the sun back into them.  A little honey and a sprig of thyme brings a real Mediterranean flavour to even the unripe fruit.  Team that with a creamy honey and pistachio ice cream and give a last salut! to a wonderful Indian Summer.

RECIPE Continue reading

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Smoked Haddock Natas

Smoked Haddock Natas

Smoked Haddock Natas

It was six o’clock and Mr Glam came barreling through the door arms laden with bottles of white and red announcing that he’d invited some friends for drinks in two hours.  We had a few cashews in the cupboard and a bag of crisps, I was going to have to pull something together from whatever was in the fridge. Continue reading

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