Branston pickle

Here’s another recipe from a commenter at Pharyngula.

If I had a garden for vegetables *** … at this point theophontes bursts into tears. ***, I would be making endless jars of Branston Pickle. The ultimate condiment for ham/bacon (and cheese!) sandwiches:

Branston Pickle


  • 250 Gram Carrots, cut into 3 mm (1/8 inch) cubes (9 oz)
  • 1 Medium Swede, cut into 3 mm (1/8 inch) cubes
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 125 Gram Dates, finely chopped (4 1/2 oz)
  • 1 Cauliflower, finely chopped
  • 2 Onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Medium Apples, finely chopped
  • 2 Medium Courgettes, finely chopped (unpeeled)
  • 15 Sweet gherkins, finely chopped
  • 225 Gram Dark brown sugar (8 oz)
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tablespoon Lemon juice
  • 350 ml Malt vinegar or cider vinegar in a pinch (12 fl oz)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 2 Teaspoon Ground allspice
  • few dashes Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Caramel colouring (e.g. liquid browning) as required


Makes 4 x 500 ml (16 fl oz) jars

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the caramel colouring in a large saucepan.
  2. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  3. Cook until the swede is cooked through but still firm, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  4. Add the caramel colouring until the colour is dark brown.
  5. Bottle and seal. The flavour will improve if the pickle is allowed to age for a few weeks before using.

The recipe above from “The Great British Kitchen“.


Tandoori chicken

This sounds good:

Tandoori Chicken

  • Skinless chicken pieces on the bone. Normally cheapest if you buy a whole chicken and joint and skin it yourself. Otherwise thighs work well.
  • Yoghurt – not too sharp. Greek or Bio works well. Around 400 ml will be enough for the marinade and the mint sauce.
  • 4-6 large garlic cloves, crushed.
  • 1″ piece ginger, peeled and very finely chopped.
  • Ground cumin and coriander. Use about 1 tablespoon of each.
  • Chilli flakes or powder. Adjust depending how hot
  • Lemon juice.
  • Salt.
  • 1 tablespoon oil.

1. Place yoghurt in large bowl, add spices, garlic, ginger, salt, oil, and lemon juice. Mix well.

2. Make several deep slashes in each chicken pieces, down to the bone. Add the yoghurt mix, and work yoghurt into chicken thoroughly.

3. Cover bowl, and leave for at least 2 hours. Overnight is better.

4. For the best results cook on a BBQ, otherwise heat oven to around 200C. Place chicken on non-stick baking tray, keeping the marinade in bowl. Cook for about 30 mins turning and brushing chicken with the marinade every 5 mins or so.

The chicken should start to char at the edges and the yoghurt form a crust.. If it is cooking too quickly reduce oven temp.

5. Serve hot or cold with mango chutney and a yoghurt and mint sauce. To make the yoghurt and mint sauce, take some of the yoghurt (not the marinade!) and add mint sauce (the type served with lamb) and a little mango chutney. Mix well, taste and adjust as required.

You can make this recipe using chicken breasts as well. This can be handy if making wraps.

You can also use the chicken in a butter chicken curry.

  • 1 large onion, finely sliced.
  • 3-6 large cloves of garlic, crushed.
  • 1″ piece ginger, peeled and very finely chopped.
  • 1 tsp each of ground coriander, cumin, chilli and turmeric.
  • 1 can plum tomatoes, blitzed or passata.
  • 100g (or more!) unsalted butter.
  • Fresh coriander, chopped.

1. Fry onion very slowly in oil or ghee until very soft and caramelised.

2. Add garlic and ginger, fry for 2-3 mins

3. Add spices, fry for another 2-3 mins.

4. Add tomatoes, and cook for around 10 mins.

5. Add chicken. Top up with water if required, so chicken is almost covered. Cook for about 20 mins.

6. Add butter, and stir well until it is incorporated into sauce. Add fresh coriander.

7. Serve with rice or naan breads.

If your tomatoes are very acidic you might need to add a little sugar. You can make the chicken a day ahead.

Beet recipe roundup

Beet Salad I

Rev. BigDumbChimp says: Nothing better than a salad made of pickled beets, orange segments, feta cheese, thinly sliced fennel and mescaline greens with a light lemon vinaigrette.

Beet Salad II

Corbie, Wicked Auntie of Death, says: One of the best beet dishes I’ve had was a salad: boil or roast the beets, slice thin, serve cold as a salad with feta cheese, cilantro (or basil, if you don’t like cilantro), walnuts, and sliced beef (optional), with a cider vinegar and olive oil dressing.

Beet Salad III

Weed Monkey says: Beets love strong cheese. Blue, white, feta, goat milk… mmm, it’s all good. Combine sliced beets with the cheese of your choice, some honey, oil and herbs and toss it in the oven until tender. Very easy, very tasty.

Roasted Beets, Apple and Fennel

Rev. BigDumbChimp says: This is another fantastic beet dish. Great winter food side item (fennel and beets go well together).


* 5 medium beets, peeled and quartered
* 5 apples, cored and chopped
* 2 heads fennel, trimmed and thickly sliced
* 1/2 cup honey Dijon salad dressing
* 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 teaspoon sea salt
* ground black pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Place the beets, apples, and fennel in a large roasting pan. In a small bowl, mix together the honey Dijon salad dressing, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing mixture over the beets, apples, and fennel and mix well.
3. Roast in the oven for 1 hour or until the beets are tender.

Spicy Pickled Beets

Rev. BigDumbChimp suggests Spicy Pickled Beets.

Beet Curry

A_ray_in_dilbert_space says: I did have beet curry in Sri Lanka that was quite good. All I really remember about it was that the cook let them saute for rather a long time to caramelize the sugars. Then there were onions and garlic, some Sri Lankan curry powder (made by roasting the spices first), some chili powder to taste and then add coconut milk and simmer.

PTI’s Brussels sprouts

Thanks to Part-Time Insomniac for this recipe:

… the way my SIL’s aunt makes them: cut in half, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar and (I think) garlic, and roasted in the oven.

More roasted sprouts.

Beer sourdough bread

From Broboxley:

On bread: take a cup of white flour and mix with beer until pastry thick, set it on the counter, after a day or so you will see bacteria in action, usually on day 3 I make bread and substitute one cup of glop for one of the cups of flour in the recipe. I use a bread maker to knead it but I think that kneading for at least 15 minutes is best. Here is a link to some recipes (disclaimer: the blogger is a friend of mine).

Cook Like Your Grandmother: bread recipes

Recipes: Fry bread

This is from Broboxley over at Pharyngula.

Found a use for Iron City beer since it’s undrinkable…

  1. Take one bottle and pour it carefully into a stainless mixing bowl.
  2. Add self rising flour and mix until it is the consistency of bread dough.
  3. Knead well.
  4. Cover in a warm place overnight, punching it down a few times.
  5. Take a small skillet and melt about 1 inch of lard into it.
  6. Take a 1/4 handful of dough and roll it thin.
  7. Fry it in the lard until lightly browned on both sides.

Makes about 12 pieces of frybread that tastes like pretzels.

Roast meats

Roast lamb shoulder

  1. Slow roast a shoulder of lamb (Welsh of course!).
  2. Put around it potatoes, leeks, carrots, and other vegetables to taste.

Trinioler’s  Three Day Roast

  1. Start with a cheap and fatty cut of meat. The fattier the better. If its got a bone, even better!
  2. First, marinate in water, salt, pepper, herbs as you like for 24 hours in the fridge. Flip halfway through.
  3. Wash off the marinade, and start the slow-cooker. Sear each side of the roast in a hot pan, as hot as you can get it.
  4. Add beef broth, a whole onion quartered(keep the peel, it adds flavor), carrots, garlic, and anything else you want. I suggest a spoonful of brown sugar for caramelization, as well as some ketchup or tomatoes. Braise the roast in this mixture for 4-8 hours until tender. Remove roast from braising liquid, and chill overnight. Strain liquid out, and chill as well, preferably in a narrow container. In the morning, there will be a fat-plug for gravy-making.
  5. Then, an hour before dinner, turn the oven to 400f, and put the roast in. Its done when the outside is nice and blackened. If you don’t like a blackened crust, roast for an hour at 300f to heat it back up.
  6. The roast will fall apart with a fork, and the fat plug and chilled braising liquid makes a brilliant gravy.

And thats my Three Day Roast™.

One of my gourmet friends uses this for stews. Takes a few days, but gives him the best stews or pot pies he’s ever had.

The science:

Fatty meat is also filled with connective tissues. These are composed of cartilage and similar materials. Under heat and moisture(the braising process), the cartilage is transformed to gelatin, and it stays in the meat. Some will wash out in the braising liquid and thicken it overnight. This is okay! However, the gelatin is loose initially, so when you chill it, it stiffens. This keeps the meat in its shape, but leaves the meat extremely tender. This is what makes it good meat for stews, for example.

In addition, under heat and moisture, fat melts off the meat. So the resulting roast is actually fairly low fat for red meat, and most of that fat is in the braising liquid, hence the resulting fat plug.

This is also an effective way of making pulled beef sandwiches.

The marinade process may not be needed.

Broboxley’s standing rib roast

Bought a whole standing rib roast and cut it into 3 pieces: 4 bone small end 3 bone large end.

  1. early morn I prepare a paste of
    • garlic
    • onion powder
    • horseradish
    • Worcestershire Sauce
    • 2 cups of coarse kosher salt
  2. Make enough to completely cover the top and sides.
  3. Pat down the paste firmly.
  4. Roast in oven on a rack at 325F until done to your taste
  5. Remove from the oven then take off the hardened shell of the salt paste and discard.