Recipes To Inspire

Boeuf en Daube a la Delia

This is my most favourite recipe – so easy and it can sit around for hours, in fact days, for people to arrive and it will still taste delicious –

Take a joint of Silverside, Top Rump, LMC…any slow cook joint, whatever size. The following quantities are for a joint of around 1.5kg,
Marinade the joint overnight in 10fl oz of red wine, 2 tablespn olive oil, 2 tablspn red wine vinegar, 2 onions, carrots sliced, bay leaf, 2inch strim of orange peel, 1/2 tspn black peppercorns, 6 allspice berries, 2 cloves garlic, fresh thyme, salt.
Next day, dry meat, fry it in oil and add to casserole dish. I now chop in extra carrots, onions, celery, a tin of tomatos, a few dark gilled mushrooms, the rest of the marinade. Add some stock so everything is nearly covered. Bring to the boil and put into the oven at about 140C and cook for about 3 hours. Leave to sit in its own heat for at least 30 mins and if longer no harm will come to it. The beef should be so tender that you just put in a fork and it falls apart – “pulled beef” if you ask me. If you want to thicken the sauce you can do this with cornflour etc but for a very hearty dish I tip in a few red lentils about 40 mins before the end of cooking to absorb all the flavours and make a really thick “gravy” to go with the beef. Serve with horseradish, basmati rice and a cabbage salad with carrot, sultanas, apples, celery – whatever you feel like, to give a crispy contrast to the casserole. It can be served for any occasion and is our family`s tip top favourite for any winter`s day.

…here is a Spiced Beef Casserole for Christmas

100g each of prunes and apricots,
50g crangerries
150ml orange juice
150ml dry sherry
Zest of one orange
1kg cubed beef (you can use venison)
1tsp peppercorns, 1tspn coriander seed, 1tsp salt,1/2tsp cinnamon, nutmeg
1tblspn flour
450ml beef stock
3 medium onions sliced
2tblspn balsamic vinegar

Place fruit in bowl with juice and sherry and leave for 1 hour or overnight. Crush peppercorns and coriander and add to other spices and salt. Brown meat, soften onions, return to pan, add spices and flour, stir and cook for 2 mins. Add stock and liquid from fruit, bring to boil, add vinegar. Cook in oven at 150C for an hour and a half or until tender. Add fruit just before eating it so it is heated through. Thanks to Amanda and Stuart for this recipe.

Beef cooked in black pepper and yogurt

This is another favourite and so easy, Beef baked in Yogurt, Madhur Jaffrey

As with both the above serve with basmati rice and a really good crunchy cabbage based salad. Alternatively, it is excellent with classic red cabbage cooked with apples, brown sugar and vinegar. Both dishes can go in the oven and just sit and wait warm while guests/family arrive.

Mutton Loin Chops and Heart

Tracy will buy all our hearts. Using all the parts of an animal, you can make delicious meals at budget prices. Tracy sent through the following recommendiation, “I just sliced 6 hearts, added about half a pint of the stock, put mutton loin chops on the top and cooked on 110 C for about 4 hours in a covered casserole. I thought it worked quite well as obviously the fat from the chops melted into the hearts and kept it all moist and added to the taste.

I must admit, I do that quite a lot, make batches of various stocks, then just slow cook the meat, be it lamb, pork or beef with some of the stock, then near the end, I thicken the remaining juices with potato starch which I think gives a better gravy than cornflour, and add a few chopped herbs or spices and salt and pepper. The flavour of the meat is so good, I don’t like to cover it up too much with sauces.”

Peking Duck – Easy, quick and really delicious.

A Romshed duck will feed 10 people communal style with the following Peking duck recipe: You just need to buy chinese pancakes – we get them in packs of 100 from the chinese supermarkets in London – they are really cheap and you can keep them in the freezer.

Turn oven up high – 200C, dissolve 2 teaspn soft brown sugar in 4 tablespoons soya sauce, spread across duck and put in oven until well browned. Turn it down a bit and continue to cook for about an hour, maybe more – the meat wants to be pulling away from the bone and the skin really crispy. When cooked leave the duck to sit for 20 mins.

Lay the table with small dishes of sliced cucumber, spring onions/red onions thinly sliced, hoisin sauce and plum sauce, both easily available from any supermarket. Warm through the pancakes – I do it in a steamer and keep them wrapped in napkins. Add them to the table so everyone can reach everything. Tear up the duck – it should just pull away from the bone, slice the skin into thin slices and put it in a warmed dish so it stays warm. Everyone can now tuck in, spreading a small bit of everything into a pancake and wrapping it up and continuing until it is all finished! If you have vegetarians you can do an alternative option to duck – we often do savoy cabbage very thinly sliced. This could be a starter but it is also pretty filling and with fewer people is really a meal in itself.

Some Lamb Recipes

Breast of Lamb

Breast of lamb is considered the poorest cut of a lamb and in consequence hugely under-rated. We have enjoyed roast breast as follows – unroll your boned and rolled joint, make a herb stuffing using parsley, onions, garlic, thyme etc mixed with some bread crumbs, spread across the meat, roll it back up again and tie tightly. Roast fast for 20 mins and then turn down and roast slowly for another hour or so. Any fat is absorbed by the stuffing and it is delicious.

Alternatively, keep the bones in and you get a flat slab of meat. A brilliant way of cooking this is to cut large chunks of root veg – carrots, onions, celery, parsnip, garlic and rosemary, anything you like, put them on a roasting tin and lay the slab on top. Cook it high for 30 mins until it is browned then turn it down to 140 or less and cook long and slow – several hours and the lamb slowly sizzles away with any fat keeping it moist and being absorbed by the veg. When it is cooked the bones can be just pulled out as the meat will fall away from the bone. It is so simple and so delicious!

Roast Chicken

Giblets and Roasting Your Chicken

I am quite often asked how to deal with the giblets which come with your chicken and so I thought I would do a little note on them and describe how we think our chickens are best prepared.

The Giblets

Giblets provide the base for the most delicious gravy. Put your giblets (minus the liver which you can quickly fry for a snack on toast or use in a stuffing) into a smallish saucepan. Add a clove or two of garlic, a whole onion, thyme and bayleaf (both very easily grown in the garden and available fresh throughout the year), peppercorns and carrot and celery. Cover with water, bring to the boil and leave to simmer while the chicken cooks.

Roasting The Chicken

Roast chicken makes such an easy meal. When we roast our chickens we chop an onion and several cloves of garlic into large chunks which we place in a roasting tray under the chicken. If you have a few slices of lemon and some fresh tarragon (also very easily grown in your garden) add these too. Liberally cover the chicken with large grinds of pepper, salt and olive oil and place in a hot oven (180 –200 C). Cook at this heat for about 30 mins until golden brown and then turn down to 160C. Cooking time will vary according to the weight of the chicken but in our experience it is quite difficult to overcook them. We allow another hour for a smaller chicken and 1.5 hours for a larger one. When it is cooked (test by putting a knife into the centre of the chicken to ensure no pink juices come out), leave it to sit for 20 mins or so – no harm will come to it, if you leave it for longer.

If you have a large chicken the onions will start to get overcooked before the chicken is ready. At this stage or towards the end of your cooking time, take the chicken out of the baking tray. Pour any juices from the inside of the chicken into the tray. Put the chicken into another tray and either leave it to continue to cook or leave it to sit in a warm oven until you need it.

The Gravy

Put the tray with the juices onto a hot hob, add a teaspoon or two of cornflour and some stock from your giblets, bring to the boil, continue to add the giblet stock and stir until you have the right consistency for the gravy. You may find there are more juices from the cooking chicken which you can also add at this stage. We leave the onion, tarragon and lemon in the gravy as they add to the meal. The giblets and juices make all the flavour you need for the gravy although you may choose to add a little salt and pepper.


When you have finished enjoying your roast chicken, the carcass, the remains from the giblet pan and all leftovers can be put in a saucepan, just covered with water and simmered in exactly the same way as for the giblets (with all the same herbs etc). This will make the most delicious stock as a basis for a soup and another meal! Risottos are particularly good.

We hope you enjoy your chicken and if there are any recipes you think are particularly good we would love to hear about them.

As a variation on a roast chicken try Roast Chicken with lemons, olives and Sumac. It is easy and deliciously fresh.

Marinaded chicken with Dates, Olives and Capers

The following recipe is from Ottolengi. Joint your chicken (if you would like us to do that for you let us know when you place your order) and use all the joints. My sister, Amanda, is a great cook and says it is very easy and very delicious.

Roasted chicken with dates, olives and capers.

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