Weekly menu 19

I became a little obsessed with veal a few weeks ago after buying the Good Food Magazine and reading all about English rose veal, how it is reared and also how tasty it is. You can get English veal fillets in the supermarkets but for one of the recipes this week you need a nice roasting joint, which you will easily find at one of the farmers markets dotted around the place, or you can also buy it on-line direct from the farms. It’s worth going to the effort of seeking it out, as I can honestly say it was the tastiest joint we have had in a very long time. So be brave and give it a try – I promise you will love it.

Enjoy 🙂

Saturday: Fish bake w/ new potatoes
Sunday: Pot-roast joint of English rose veal w/ carrots and pan-fried potatoes and garlic
Monday: Lentil, walnut and apple salad w/ blue cheese
Tuesday: Spaghetti w/ cockles and mussels
Wednesday: Super easy veggie korma
Thursday: Honey mustard sausages w/ carrot mash
Friday: Duck pastilla

Fish bake w/ new potatoes
4 x 150g salmon fillets, skin on but scaled and pin boned
10 large raw tiger prawns, unpeeled
1 bunch asparagus
1 lemon
2 fresh red chillies
handful of fresh basil
1 x 30g tin of anchovies in oil
4 cloves garlic
4 tomatoes
4 slices pancetta or streaky bacon

Lay the salmon fillets in a large roasting tin, after removing any woody ends off the asparagus add them to the tray and season everything well with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon into quarters and add to the tray along with the chillies finely chopped and the basil leaves.

Drizzle over the oil from the tin of anchovies and roughly chop 4 of the anchovy fillets and add to the tray. Lightly squash the garlic cloves and add to the tray along with the roughly chopped tomatoes.

Give the tray a good shake so that everything gets coated in the oil and then all sits nicely in roughly one layer. Make sure the lemons are facing upwards and the salmon is skin side down. Finally lay your pancetta or streaky bacon over the top of everything else then put the whole lot under a medium grill for about 15 mins until the pancetta is lovely and crisp and the fish and prawns are cooked through. It might need a little longer or less time depending on who hot your grill is.

Meanwhile, boil your potatoes until they are tender then drain and dress with olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon juice, season well and finish with some chopped parsley. Serve alongside your fish bake.

Pot-roast joint of English rose veal w/ carrots and pan-fried potatoes and garlic

1.5kg rolled and tied veal shoulder (farmers markets would be the best place to get this)
3 garlic cloves, 1 finely sliced, 2 lightly squashed
large bunch of thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
800g young carrots, stalks trimmed but left attached
1 large shallot, roughly chopped
Icing sugar, sprinkling
Zest of an orange, pair medium to thick strips of the peel and finely slice some of them
150ml white wine, dry
350ml chicken stock
New potatoes, as many as you like halved and par boiled for 6-7 mins they should not be too soft
half a bulb of garlic, cloves separated but leave the skins on

Heat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Stud your joint of veal with the slices of garlic and some sprigs of the thyme. Season the joint well.

In a deep casserole dish heat the oil and butter and sear the joint, this should take about 15 minutes as you want a really good colour on it, nice a brown all over. Then remove the joint from the dish onto a plate and add the carrots, shallot and icing sugar and cook for about 5 minutes until they just start to caramelise.

Remove the carrots from the pan and set aside. Then add the squashed garlic cloves, the rest of the thyme and the orange zest, then put the veal back into the pot and pour in your wine and stock. Cover the dish and put into the oven for 1 hour.

After an hour, add the carrots to the dish, uncover and return to the oven for another 1 hour. Cook until the meat is very tender, so you may need to keep in it a little longer or less time depending on how quickly your joint cooks. Check your meat after about 30 mins so you know how much longer it will have to cook.

In a sauté pan heat a little olive oil and a good knob of butter until it starts to just foam, then add your cooked potatoes and the whole garlic cloves in the skin. cook over a medium heat until you have a lovely colour on the potatoes and the garlic has gone all soft and squashy.

Remember to rest your veal for about 10 mins once you are sure it’s cooked by removing it from the casserole dish and setting aside under some foil. If you have a lot of liquid in the casserole, you can reduce it on the stove top a little. Then serve spooned over the sliced meat, with your carrots from the pot and the potatoes and garlic.

Lentil, walnut and apple salad w/ blue cheese

250g Puy lentils
1 ltr chicken or veg stock
1 celery heart, finely chopped
1 Granny Smith, peeled, cored and finely sliced
2 shallots, finely sliced
25g walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
a few handfuls mixed leaf salad
1 tbsp strong blue cheese – Roquefort, crumbled

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, crushed

Put the lentils and stock or water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 mins, or until al dente. Drain and pour into a bowl. Add the celery, apple, shallots, walnuts, parsley and salad leaves, then mix together well.

To make the vinaigrette, put all the ingredients in a small glass jar with a lid. Season and shake well. Keep the lid on until ready to serve. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss well, then scatter over the blue cheese.

Spaghetti w/ cockles and mussels

1 large red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1kg cockles
1kg mussels
250ml dry white wine
3 tbsp onion, finely chopped
2 fresh parsley stalks
450g spaghetti
2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh parsley

Place the chilli (reserving a little to garnish), garlic and oil in a small bowl, and cook in the microwave on full power for 1 minute. Alternatively, warm over a gentle heat in a small saucepan for about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Wash and scrub the cockles and mussels carefully, scraping off the beards from the mussels. Rinse in plenty of clean water, and discard any mussels that are open or do not close when tapped with a knife.

Bring the wine, onion and parsley stalks to the boil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Add the cockles and mussels, cover and boil vigorously for 3-4 minutes, or until all the cockles and mussels have opened. Discard any mussels that remain closed. Drain into a colander with a bowl underneath to catch all the cooking liquid. Reserve the broth and, as soon as they are cool enough, remove about two-thirds of the cockles and mussels from their shells.

Place both the shelled cockles and mussels and the ones in their shells in a saucepan and pour the reserved broth over them, leaving behind the last few spoonfuls of liquid, as it will be quite gritty.

Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling, salted water according to the packet instructions.

Meanwhile, heat the cockles and mussels in the broth, adding the chilli and garlic oil to the pan. Add the herbs, reserving some of the chopped parsley to garnish. Do not allow to boil or continue to cook as the cockles and mussels will toughen.

Drain the spaghetti, toss the pasta with the cockles and mussels mixture, sprinkle over the reserved chilli and parsley, and serve at once in warm bowls.

Super easy veggie korma

3 medium onions
3 cloves of garlic
Large knob of butter
Thumb-sized piece of ginger
10 green cardamom pods
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Large pinch ground cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 tsp chilli powder (more if you want more of a kick)
3 bay leaves
650g assorted mushrooms
250g spinach
Handful of cashew nuts without shells and ready to eat
large handful of sultanas
200g plain yoghurt
150g crème fraîche
rice or bread, to serve

Peel and slice the onions and garlic. Melt most of the thick slice of butter in a deep-sided pan, reserving a little. Peel and grate the ginger and add to the pan with the onions and garlic. Break open the cardamom pods, discard the green shells and lightly crush the black seeds within using a pestle and mortar. Add the crushed seeds to the pan with the cumin, turmeric, ground cinnamon, cinnamon stick, chilli and the bay leaves.

Cut the mushrooms into large pieces and add to the pan together with the remaining butter. Let the mushrooms cook for a couple of minutes, then stir and cover with a lid. When the mushrooms have softened and darkened a little, add 200ml water. Stir, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash the spinach. Cook briefly in a separate pan until the leaves have wilted but are still bright, about a minute or two. Remove the spinach and cool under running water to keep the colour bright then squeeze dry and add to the pan with the mushrooms. Finally stir in the cashew nuts and the sultanas. Gently stir in the yoghurt and crème fraîche. Warm through gently and serve, with rice or bread.

Honey mustard sausages w/ carrot mash

8 good quality pork sausages
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 heaped tbsp runny honey
2 tbsp lemon juice

For the mash
750g carrots
A large knob of butter
Handful of parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 200C/ Gas 6. Put the sausages in a roasting tin large enough to take them in a single layer then drizzle over a little olive oil and put into the oven until they just start to get some colour.

In a bowl mix the mustards, honey and lemon juice. When your sausages are a little colour, pour over this mixture and return to the oven for 25 -30 mins, rolling the sausages over in the honey and mustard mixture once or twice, so that they eventually take on a sticky, glossy coat. they are ready when the marinade is nice and sticky and reduced.

To make the mash: trim and scrub the carrots, slice into chunks and pile into a steamer basket or metal colander balanced over a pan of simmering water. Steam, covered, for 15 -20 minutes or until just tender. Remove the carrots from the steamer and mash with a generous knob of butter. Add your chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with the sticky sausages.

Duck pastilla

A little fat from the confit duck (see below)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
handful parsley, coriander and thyme all tied together
handful parsley, chopped
handful coriander, chopped
4 legs confit duck, wiped of excess fat (buy ready confited from supermarket or deli)
3 eggs , plus 2 yolks
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
50g ground almonds
50g butter, melted
200g filo pastry

Heat a large cast-iron pan and add the fat. Cook the onion gently for 5 mins until soft. Add the cinnamon stick, the tied herbs and the duck, and give the pan a good shake.

Add enough water to the pan to just cover the duck. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 20 mins. Remove the duck to a plate and discard the herbs and cinnamon stick. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce by half. Beat the eggs and the yolks along with half the icing sugar and half the ground cinnamon. Remove the pan from the heat, pour in the egg mixture and stir like mad to stop it catching. Simmer on the lowest possible heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens to a custard-like sauce. Be careful not to overcook or the mix may curdle. Stir through the almonds and leave to cool.

Shred the duck meat, discarding the skin and bones. Mix with the sauce, add the chopped parsley and coriander, and season well.

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Brush a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin with melted butter and layer in the pastry, lightly brushing with melted butter between each layer – leaving enough overhanging so it can be folded to seal the filling. Add the duck filling, then fold over and brush the top with more butter. Bake for 30 mins until golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little before turning out. Sprinkle with the remaining icing sugar and cinnamon before serving.

(Credits: Paul Rankin, Barney Desmazery, Nigel Slater, Jennifer Joyce, John Torode, JJMoola’s Kitchen)


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