OHHHH….SHOOT!!!

Apparently it is my fault that we’ve all been poorly since May. All because one dinnertime I pointed out the fact that we are very lucky to have 4 very healthy Kids who at most just get a sniffle every now & then……

Then 3 days later Lil’MrM walked out of school with bright red cheeks.

Hmmmm, Slapped Cheek Syndrome. Not too bad for the kids but HORRENDOUS for adults!

 

After a few weeks of being ill & still suffering, I thought i’d better get my backside in gear & write a blog. But what to write about?

Well, ‘Ome & me were cooking dinner one day & I emptied a pan full of water down the sink & washed the pan.

‘Ome: ‘NO! NO! NO! I NEEDED THAT!!!’

Me: ‘But you left it by the sink so I thought it was for washing!’ (& thinking ‘IDIOT!’)

He was making Kimchi (pickled cabbage) & i’d chucked away the pickling brine. Well, to me it just looked like water…..

Welcome

So that got my mind thinking back to all the disasters/accidents we’ve had in the kitchen. The scary thing is that there have been a few.

 

I remember the time ‘Ome had an all-in-one ‘thing’ in the oven, slow cooking all day. He went to get it out & dropped it. Chicken, veg & LOTS of stock all over the hob, oven & floor.

Bakers Lamb

Then, when MissT was a baby ‘Ome made a lovely spicy chinese soup. He put a bowl full in front of MissT, turned round to ladle ours out & MissT started crying. She’d gone & stuck her hand in the hot soup. We definitely learned a lesson from that incident.

 

Having an opened bag full of lentils fall out of your kitchen wall cupboard makes for a great activity. ‘Spot The Lentil’ was a favourite pastime in our house for many weeks after.

 

If you’re saving any meat stock please don’t let me go near it whilst it’s cooling because you can be guaranteed it will end up decorating your worktops & floor in no time. How I managed to do that when I was just doing the washing-up I have no idea. (Are you all noticing who seems to do the washing-up?…)

Flour!

Blenders are fantastic, useful kitchen gadgets…..if you remember to put the lid on when blending onion, garlic & ginger. ‘Ome walked into the kitchen, gave me a ‘how stoooooopid are you?!’ look & walked out.

I still to this day blame the manufacturers for putting ‘DO NOT RUN THE MIXER UNLESS THIS LID IS FIXED IN POSITION’ on the lid & not the actual blender. See it wasn’t totally my fault….

 

The ultimate disaster HAS to be ‘Ome’s jelly making skills. Lil’MrM wanted a jelly for his birthday. So, ‘Ome being ‘Ome had to ponce about doing fancy stuff instead of just making a basic jelly.

This involved the blender, pink jelly mixture & ‘Ome rushing as he had to pick our Kids up from school. He remembered to put the lid on but even he himself admits that there may have been a wee bit too much hot pink liquid in the blender.

Apparently the lid was only blown off a bit….but then landed back onto the jelly mixture that had started to fly vertically & therefore making it spray horizontally…360° around the kitchen at a trajectory of 6feet…..

This happened near the beginning of the year & i’m STILL finding pink splodges in places I didn’t even know we had in the kitchen. At least the floor has ceased to be sticky!

Caught In The Act

I don’t bother buying nice tea-towels anymore. They only catch fire when moving pans & heat diffusers around on the hob. We’ve had to resort to buying the proper heavy duty, full bifta catering types….they burn a bit slower.

holy oven cloth

At times you may walk into our kitchen & think there’d been a disaster but no… it’s just ‘Ome cooking & our kids are always pointing out ‘Daddy! You’re a messy cooker!’

 

So there you go, the fun times in our kitchen…..& i’m not even going to mention the day long argument & sulk over a chopping board….

 

 

Kit x

toast CRUMBS!

‘Ome Made Mild Curry Masala

The first ‘Ome Made products have finally gone on sale. Mike at Bradway Quality meats is the very first stockist, and after all his help and support it seems quite fitting!Curry Masala 1

Hopefully the first products to buy on www.omemade.com will be available very soon.

One of the first products available will be the ‘Ome Made Mild Curry Masala.

I started making my own curry masalas when I was a teenager. Over the years I have made modifications and finally ended up with something that is a perfect base for almost any curry.

There are some eighteen spices and herbs that go into ‘Ome Made Mild Curry Masala. The whole spices such as cumin and coriander (and a little Basmati rice to help thicken the sauce) are gently roasted before being ground to release the natural oils within the spices and give a greater depth of flavour.

Once the whole spices and rice are roasted and ground, they are combined with the other ingredients.

A little Gram flour goes into the mix to help thicken your sauce and a little salt to help blend the spices.

Compared with other curry powders on the market ‘Ome Made Mild Curry Masala contains very little salt and no flour to bulk it out, which also makes it suitable for a Gluten Free diet.

Only a little chilli is added so it’s suitable for those that don’t like to much heat. If I want a hot curry I just add fresh chillies or more chilli powder.

One heaped teaspoon per portion or a tablespoon for four portions is generally the right amount. Just fry in a little oil or ghee along with some onion, garlic and ginger before adding the rest of your ingredients.

You can find recipes using ‘Ome Made Mild Curry Masala here: www.omemade.com/ome-made-curry-secret-ii

'Ome made Curry

‘Ome Made Business…

After 21 years of working in the catering industry as a Chef/Manager I found myself… ‘in between’ jobs, shall we say.Ome Made chilli sauce

After pondering about working for myself for a few years I decided to take the plunge.

And there it was… ‘Ome Made is officially a Business!

‘Ome Made available for your home!

The Blog is still going to be here with recipes, ramblings and all that but you may have noticed the addition of the Buy ‘Ome Made button on the menu.

So all those things like ‘Ome Made Curry Masala & ‘Ome Made Chilli Sauce and a whole host of other tasty treats are going to be available to buy through the website and through some (initially) local shops. It’s not fully up and running yet but over the coming weeks products will be made available on the website and we will feed you the information of who else is stocking ‘Ome Made produce as it happens. If you are local however we can probably sort you out with various products (Chilli Sauce, Curry Masala, Beetroot Ginger & Chilli Jam, Red Onion Thyme & Chilli Jam in stock) now.

I will leave it at that for now and update you all as the business progresses.

I hope you join us in this exciting journey!

If anybody has ideas for products they would like to see or buy, or anyone is interested in stocking ‘Ome Made products then by all means drop me an email…

Oh… and wish me luck!

'Ome Made Logo

‘Ome Made – Food Family Lifestyle

‘Ome Made Kebab

Ome Made Kebab

‘Ome Made Kebab

 

I have been fond of kebabs since my beer swilling teenage years… You could not beat that garlicky, salty meat stuffed into a pita with slice cabbage, grated carrot, raw onion, sliced tomato and cucumber then drizzled with lemon juice, yoghurt & mint and hot chilli sauce after a night out on the beer!

Of course once I had kids, nights out were a thing of the past and a greasy donner kebab became something I’d have once in a blue moon.

And then I noticed that when I was having them I was enjoying them less and less. The meat seemed to have less flavour, you got less salad,yoghurt and mint seemed to not be an option and ask for lemon juice and you got funny looks. And why can’t you get a kebab in a pita anymore?kebab 3

It seems that a lot of takeaways standards have dropped these days. And to be fair there is a lot of dubious establishments out there selling things they shouldn’t be to make a bigger profit. Not that I want to tar all takeaways with the same brush… there are of course some excellent takeaways out there.

The thing is, sometimes you just fancy a kebab. So it’s handy to be able to make your own.

If I had my way I would have a big rotisserie spit in one corner of the kitchen but I don’t think Kit would approve!

kebab 4

 

So how do you get something that tastes and has the texture of a Donner meat?

I’ve found the best method is what I refer to as ‘The Big Sausage’ method!

kebab 2

So here’s how you make it;

You will need

1 kilo lamb mince (or beef, or a mixture)

3-4 cloves of crushed garlic

1 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Plenty of black pepper

1/2 tablespoon oil

Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. The best way to mix is with your hands, so get in there and give it a good squish. The more like a paste you can get it the better.

Once all the ingredients are well combined get a large sheet of greaseproof paper and a large sheet of tinfoil.

Lay the greaseproof paper on top of the tinfoil and then get your meat mixture and lay it out in a line, round about 12” long. Now mold the meat into a ‘Big Sausage’ shape. Once you have a rough sausage shape you can roll it in the greaseproof paper to get it nice and round and compact. Wrap your ‘Big Sausage’ in the greaseproof and then the tinfoil. Lay the package on a baking sheet or dish (some juices may escape) and put in an oven at about 165°C (145°C for fan assisted)for around 80 – 90 minutes.

The meat will now be cooked. To serve slice the meat thinly and place on a baking sheet before giving it a flash under a hot grill.Ome Made Kebab

Gigantic Naan Bread

The meat can then be served in a pita bread with Turkish Salad, yoghurt and mint and of course a good dollop of chilli sauce (preferably ‘Ome Made!) or as I’ve done here in a gigantic Naan bread which is then rolled up and sliced (and by the way if you wrap it tightly in cling film and put in the refrigerator overnight, it slices really nice and is ideal served cold on a picnic or as pack-up).

kebab pack-up

 

Easter Thai Time!

 

Easter Thai Time!

So for Easter Sunday this year we decided to have Thai.thai fish cakes

 We were having friends and Family around for Dinner so we decided to keep it simple.

 So of course it had to be Thai Fishcakes and the ubiquitous Thai Green Chicken Curry. These were complimented by some nice crunchy pickled vegetables, cucumber sauce and Thai sweet chilli sauce.

The fishcakes were made a couple of days beforehand and re-heated in the oven for 35 minutes beforehand, they reheated really well and saved time on the day. The Thai green curry paste was also made in advance to save time.

thai fish cakes

Unfortunately there are no pictures of the Thai Green Chicken Curry (I’ve put one in of a previous creation) but I’ve included the recipe anyway for anyone that wants a go.

First up the pastes. These will make more than you need but if you fry them in some oil and put them in sterilised jars they will keep in the fridge for six weeks or so. By the way if you’re one of those Veggie or Vegan types you can omit the shrimp paste.

 

Thai Green Curry Paste

 

Makes 180g/6oz

 

2 teaspoons coriander seeds (or two level teaspoons ground coriander)

18 small, hot green chilli peppers

2 stems of lemongrass

3 tablespoon galangal sliced (or ginger)

1 tablespoon kaffir (if you can get them, normal if not) lime zest

30g/1oz coriander (if you can get it with the root on add that too)

6 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped

60g/2oz shallots or onion chopped

1 tablespoon shrimp paste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon ground white pepper (yes you can substitute black but white gives a truer and better flavour)

 

Add all the ingredients (starting with the hardest first) into a food processor or wet grinder and blitz to a smooth paste adding a little oil if necessary.

 

Thai Red Curry Paste

 

10 – 15 dried red chillies (soaked in hot water for twenty minutes or so)

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 stems lemongrass sliced

6 cloves garlic peeled and sliced

60g/2oz shallots or onion sliced

3 tablespoon galangal or ginger sliced

1 1/2 tablespoon shrimp paste

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons ground white pepper

 

add all the ingredients into a food processor or wet grinder and blitz to a smooth paste as above.

 

Thai Fish Cakes (Tod Man Pla)

 

this makes approximately 22

375g/13oz white fish (haddock, cod, Pollock!)

1 large squid tubeCurlyE Mixing

1/4 portion of red curry paste (roughly a tablespoon)

1/2 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon softened palm sugar or dark brown sugar

2 kaffir lime leaves soaked in hot water

55g/2oz  yard-long beans (or any round green bean) cut into thin slices

1 small egg beaten

 

Prepare the fish and squid taking the bones and skin off the fish and removing the backbone, beak and intestines from the squid then rinsing. Roughly chop and process the fish in batches into a smooth paste. CurlyE was helping me with this – “Urgghhh! that looks like snot!” to be fair he was right! Mix in the other ingredients with just enough egg to bind without being sloppy.

thai fish cakes

 

Form the mixture into balls using about a dessert spoon of mixture for each one (having a bowl of cold water and keeping your hands wet will stop the mixture sticking to your hands). Flatten your balls into disks about 5mm thick.

 

place the fishcakes on greaseproof paper on a tray (if all the ingredients were fresh and not previously frozen they can be flash frozen at this stage).

thai fish cakes

To cook from fresh deep fry for approximately 3 minutes, from frozen give them about 4 – 5 minutes.

 

 

Pickled Vegetablespickled veg

 

We love pickled vegetables in our house. They make a lovely side dish to all South East Asian food. Even a bit of poached chicken on some plain boiled rice is livened up and made into a tasty refreshing dish with the addition of them.

 

The choice of vegetable is up to you. In this instance we used baby sweet corn, onion, carrot strips, white cabbage and some green beans. We also did one jar with some sliced chilli in, some like it hot! The pickling liquor is quite light, so these will not keep for months but they should keep for a couple weeks in the fridge.

 

To make your pickling liquor you want roughly 50/50 vinegar to water, some sugar to taste and some bits n bobs in it to flavour (Lemongrass trimmings, coriander seeds, garlic, ginger or whatever takes your fancy).

Simmer the mixture for 20 – 30 minutes until the sugar has melted and the flavours have infused the liquor.

pickled veg 2pickled veg

pickled veg

 

 

 

 

Prepare your veg and place in a colander over a bowl. sprinkle with salt, give it a toss and leave for 20 minutes to draw some of the water out. after twenty minutes give the veg a rinse, drain and then put in clean jars (sterilised if not using within a week). Strain your vinegar liquor while still hot and pour over the vegetables to cover. It will be ready after 24 hours.

 

Sorry it’s not much of a recipe but it’s just one of those things I do on the fly!

 

 

Sweet Chilli/Cucumber sauce

 

In a pan put 175ml/6 fl oz water, 250g/9 oz sugar, 2 teaspoons salt and 175ml/6 fl oz white vinegar. Bring to a simmer and simmer until the sugar has dissolved.

 

Put 1/2 of the above mixture in a serving bowl, add a dash of fish sauce and light soy sauce. Finely dice some cucumber and add to the sauce. And that’s the cucumber sauce done.

 

To the remaining vinegar mix in the pan add 2 teaspoons of dried chilli flakes or a couple of finely diced fresh red chillies and two teaspoons of strawberry or raspberry jam. Bring to the simmer again and cook until the jam has dissolved, that’s your sweet chilli done.

 

 

Thai Green Chicken Curry

 

Enough for 6 – 8 people

 

30g/1oz fresh coriander

1 generous tablespoon green curry paste

4 kaffir lime leaves (soaked in water if dried) shreddedthai greenchicken & prawn curry blog

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 400ml can coconut milk

6 – 8 chicken breasts sliced (roughly 1 kilo/2.2lb)

1 heaped teaspoon dark brown sugar or a couple lumps of palm sugar

a dash of soy sauce

a dash of fish sauce

some Thai basil leaves shredded

2 Thai red chillies thinly sliced

juice of two limes

 

Blitz the fresh coriander in a food processor. Heat some oil in a large pan and add the curry paste, fresh coriander, lime leaves and the spices. Fry for a couple of minutes, stirring so the mixture doesn’t burn. Add the coconut milk, bring to a simmer and cook on a low heat for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken and if necessary enough water to just cover the chicken. Bring to the simmer and cook gently, covered for approximately 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Serve with some plain rice or noodles and a little pickled veg and mango salad on the side.

 

Mango Salad

Dice a whole mango and place in a serving bowl. Add a dash of vinegar, black pepper, a sliced red chilli and a sprinkling of soft dark brown sugar. Top with some toasted and crushed cashew nuts before serving.

 

So that was our Easter Sunday Dinner. It might not have been traditional but it was damn good!

Oh… yes there was dessert but it was just a boring old trifle… and erm…. the custard didn’t set… whoops!

The trifle was a bit sloppy but that wasn't going to stop me!

The trifle was a bit sloppy but that wasn’t going to stop me!

 

Happy Happy Holidays!

Happy Happy Holidays!

We love school holidays in our house.Happy Holidays

It’s even better when the weather is good, because after a wet winter with 4 bundles of energy bombing around in the house & climbing the walls, we were getting a wee bit fractious temperament wise.

For the first winter in a long time we couldn’t go sledging with our Kids or have snowball fights due to zero snowflakes falling. I have to say board games have been our saviour (although the 3hours of trying to teach our Kids how to play Monopoly was maybe not too good on the old blood pressure!).

So the Easter holidays. A time to kick back, relax & catch up on the little jobs around the house.

The toilet seat that broke in January has finally been fixed by ‘Ome….& then broke again on Easter Sunday due to the amount of traffic using it.

Windows have been cleaned so they’re like, erm, glass.

Courgette & borage plants have been planted out….& then promptly scoffed by slugs! Grrrrr…

The lawn has FINALLY had its first cut of the year. The grass was that long it had lost the will to be in a vertical position.

Cycle rides & walks have been enjoyed by all.

A new (well, second-hand) garden set has been purchased & painted after the last set ended up more leg-less than Oliver Reed (Bless him).

School books have been read.

A project on India is underway.MissT sliding

CurlyE On a Bike... Upright!

The schools’ pet snails seemed to have settled into our mad house & are being fed & watered everyday (thanks Dj for asking your Lil'MrM slidingteacher if we could have them over the hols!).

The ‘How Much Chocolate Can Small Children Eat In One Day’ experiment was carried out on Easter Sunday. I think CurlyE won that one. Dj was the first to fall & announce ‘I feel a bit sick….do I have to eat all this egg?’. MissT & Lil’MrM drew a very well battled second place.

It won’t be long until we’re back into the same old routine of school & homework & packed lunches & work & stress.CurlyE Eating... again!

But then if we didn’t have that I don’t think we’d ever fully appreciate the times when our Kids are wired, bringing home P.E kits to be washed & emptying their school bags of all the crap they’ve accumulated over the school terms because

‘IT’S THE HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!’

Kit x

Not All Pirates Eat Meat!

I was winding an old friend up a couple weeks ago who happens to be a Vegan, he also bears an uncanny resemblance to Jack Sparrow, especially when he gets the full costume on…come on, stop swooning ladies!

Jack Sparrow aka Steve

Anyway to make it up to him I promised I would put a post on the Blog that featured a Vegan recipe. So Steve… ahem, sorry, Captain Jack ‘A-Hoy mi seafarin’ shipmate. Shiver mi timbres an get ya cooking pot at the ready!”

Ok it might not be Salmagundi (every pirates favourite) but it is Vegan and it’s packed full of protein which sometimes can be lacking in a Vegan diet

‘Ome Made Houmous (Hummus to our friends over the pond…) with Pitta Bread & Turkish Salad

Houmous is dead easy to make and so much better than shop bought. My recipe makes a lot! It’s easy to halve or quarter the recipe though. Or you could freeze the extra. It will keep in the fridge for up to ten days providing its in a sealed container.

For the Houmous you will need:

500g dried chick peas soaked overnight (you can use canned)

1 jar Tahini (300g)

About 10 cloves of garlic (or more or less depending on your taste) chopped    houmous 3

Zest & juice of of two lemons

About 200ml olive oil or sunflower will work fine too

Plenty of slat and freshly ground black pepper

Ground paprika

To Make:

Drain and rinse your chickpeas. Place in a deep saucepan and cover well with water. bring to the boil and boil for ten minutes. Remove any scum that floats on the surface.

After your chickpeas have boiled for ten minutes, turn down to a simmer and cook for another 45 minutes or until tender.

Once cooked, drain and let the water evaporate from them while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Houmous 1

Once your chickpeas have cooled a little mix all the ingredients, except the paprika, in a large bowl and put through a blender or food processor or if your a true pirate you can use a masher or the back of a fork, it will just end up a little more course. If the mixture is a little dry and thick you can add a little more oil or some cooled down boiled water.

houmous 4

Once your Houmous is ready put into a serving bowl and sprinkle with a little paprika.

 

For the Pitta Breads you will need:

(makes 8)

350g strong white bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons dried yeast

2 tablespoons oil (olive or sunflower)

250 ml warm water

1 teaspoon sugar

 

To make;

 

Mix the sugar yeast and water together in a jug. After 10 – 15 minutes it should have a nice foamy head.

 

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, make a well in the centre of the flour and pour your water/yeast in. mix together to form a soft dough. take out the bowl and give a knead for a good 5 minutes using a little more flour if the dough is still sticky.

Put back in the bowl and cover with a damp cloth or cling film. Leave for an hour to rise.

Put your oven on the hottest setting it will go on

Once ready knock back the dough and knead again until smooth. Divide the dough into eight balls and then roll each out into an oval about 1/4” thick. Place on a greased baking sheet and leave to prove for 10 minutes.

Cook the pittas in the pre-heated oven for about 1 – 1 1/2 minutes each side. When ready wrap the Pittas in a clean tea towel to keep warm.

 

To make the Turkish Salad

Finely shred 1/2 a white cabbage. Grate one or two carrots. Slice one medium sized onion.

Mix the cabbage, carrot and onion in a bowl. Sprinkle approximately two teaspoons of salt and the same of sugar over the salad and mix again.

Squeeze the juice of one lemon or a tablespoon of bottled over the salad and a couple dashes of white wine vinegar. Give the salad a good grind of black pepper and a pinch of ground cumin., mix again and the salad is ready to serve. It will keep for a good five days in the fridge.

 

To serve split your warmed Pitta breads and spread liberally with the houmous. Pack in as much salad as you can. You know have a Vegetarian/Vegan equivalent of a Kebab! You can of course sprinkle some Chilli Sauce (in our case, ‘Ome Made) over and it does benefit from some yoghurt and mint (but then that wouldn’t be vegan).

So there you have it. ‘Ome Mades first ever Vegan recipe.

“Aaaaar enjoy mi scurvey kerr!”houmous 2

 

 

Cheeky Cow!

Mike, our butcher, had got a couple of Ox Cheeks in. I’ve never had them before but I thought I’d give them a go.

I’d read about them and understood that they needed a nice slow cook. Apparently they make an absolutely wicked chilli, or should that be cheeky chilli!Ox Cheek 1

 I think the bit of Irish in me had attuned to the fact that St Patricks day was approaching so I decided to cook these cheeky chappies in Guinness (other stouts are available…)with a few flat mushrooms, carrots and onions and serve them with a good dollop of Champ, that comforting dish of mashed potato with spring onions and lots of butter!Champ 1

I have to say that I was not disappointed with the results. After quite a few hours of cooking I had a gorgeous dark gravy and the cheeks were moist and succulent and had a lovely beefy flavour that reminded me of a cross between beef shin and Ox tail.

Ox Cheek 8

 

 The Cheeks went a long way too. They are quite rich due to the gelatinous nature of them so a little seems to go a long way. You shouldn’t pay a lot for them either which makes them a real bargain.

With the leftover meat, champ and gravy I made some potato cakes with the meat in the middle, baked them in the oven and served them with some peas and the leftover gravy… I’ll tell you something, leftovers don’t get much better!

I would recommend anyone to give Ox cheeks a go. They are a very forgiving meat to cook as long as they are cooked for plenty of time, they are cheap and extremely tasty. Don’t be put off by the look of them or the part of the animal they are from. They really are delicious which is probably why all the celebrity chefs are coming out with recipes for them… lets hope they don’t succeed in pushing up the price of these cheeky little morsels!

Ox Cheek 2

Recipe (to serve 8 adults)

 2 Ox Cheeks (about 900g – 1 KiloOx Cheek 3

1 large or two medium onions chopped

2 garlic cloves chopped

4 large carrots cubed/sliced

8 – 12 flat mushrooms sliced

Plain flour (some)

About 400ml beef stock

2 x 500ml bottles of Guinness

1 or two star anise

1 Tablespoon muscavado sugar or other dark sugar

Pinch of thyme

Good pinch of salt to taste and a really good grind of black pepper

For the Champ

 2 kilo peeled potatoes

2 bunch spring onions (12-16)Champ 2

50 gram butter

200ml milk

 Method

 When we had this we prepared it the day before we were going to have it so that it could be put straight in the oven to be ready for teatime. It’s a good idea to do if you have a busy day.

 First off dice your onions and finely chop your garlic and fry gently in a large oven proof pan. Add the carrot, thickly sliced and continue to gently fry.

 Prepare your Ox Cheek by taking off the outer thick bits of fat and any thick bits of membrane. Don’t worry too much about the state of your cheeks being perfect, after a long slow cook they’ll be fine.

 Once the onion has softened and the carrot is stating too take on a bit of colour add your cheeks to brown.

 Heat your stock ready to go in the pan.

 Once your cheeks are nice and brown sprinkle over some flour to roughly coat everything in the pan. Continue to cook gently for a couple more minutes.Ox Cheek 3

Add your stock a little at a time while giving everything a bit of a stir. You should end up with a thick paste. If it’s a little lumpy don’t worry as after a long cook it should cook out.

Now pour in your two bottles of Guinness. Remember to do a quality control taste on each bottle before adding!

 Ox Cheek 4

Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer.

Ox Cheek 5

 

Ox Cheek 6

 

Once the liquid has come to the simmer you can either take off the heat, cool and refrigerate to cook the next day or it can be put in the oven to finish off.

The Stew can be cooked,covered, on 165°C for three hours or 150°C for about six hours. We put our stew straight in the oven from the fridge. We put it in a cold oven set to 150°c where it stayed for three hours and then we turned it up to 160°c for another three hours, after which it was cooked perfectly. The cheeks were lifted out of the gravy to rest while the gravy was put in the oven uncovered to reduce slightly.

As for the champ, well thats dead easy. Peel and cut your potatoes into approximately 1 1/2’’ chunks. Plonk into a pan and just cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender. Drain the potatoes and put on a very low heat until the steam almost stops (meaning all the excess water has evaporated and you’ll have nice fluffy potatoes).

While your potatoes are finishing, put the onions, milk, butter and seasoning in a pan and warm gently allowing all the flavours to infuse.

When your potatoes are ready give them a good mashing and then fold the milk, butter and onion mixture into the potatoes.

Once your ready to plate up the Ox cheeks can be sliced or pulled apart with a fork. Simply put a dollop of Champ into a dish, place some Ox cheek on top then ladle some gravy over the top. We finished our dish off with a little purple sprouting broccoli.

 Ox Cheek 9

A nice cheap meal that really tasted like something you should be paying a lot of money for in a trendy ‘Gastro’ pub.

Happy St Patricks Day everybody… enjoy your Guinness, in moderation… of course!

 

Dj’s SҠool DiИɳɘr Experience

 

So, for 1 week only, Dj requested to have school dinners. He was mainly tempted by the change from  the ‘normal’ menu to ‘International Food Week’.

A week of dishes from 5 different places in the world.Dj Blog 7

We asked him if he’d like to write a blog on his experience & he jumped at the chance.

Everything that follows (apart from the actual Menu bit) is word for word that Dj wrote….we just corrected the spellings & some punctuation  to make it easier on the brain for you good people.

 

Dj Blog 1

Monday: French

Croque Monster, avec Pomme Frites et Harico

Tart Tatin with Ice Cream

I liked the cheese & ham baguette but the bread wasn’t as good as Daddys’.

I didn’t like the chips or the beans because the chips were soggy & the beans are out of a tin, unlike daddys, he makes his own.

The pudding was nice & my friend went mental on it.

*******

Tuesday: Caribbean

Chicken Stew with Rice & PeasDj blog 2

Sticky Ginger Bread

I liked the sticky bread but if my Daddy made it, it would be better, & I didn’t like the chicken stew & rice & peas because the peas weren’t in the rice & the chicken was soggy.

The pudding which was sticky bread was nice.

I don’t thinks that’s a Caribbean.

*******

Wednesday: Portugese

Portuguese Cheese Flan with Half Jacket, Coleslaw & Sweetcorn

Vanilla Biscoitos with Ice Cream

Dj blog 3Today I had a cheese flan with half a jacket potato.

I liked none of it because the cheese was cold & yucky!

The jacket potato was yummy but it didn’t have any butter on. The sweetcorn was nice like any other persons.

The pudding was fab & my friend liked it & I loved it too!

& there wasn’t any coleslaw.

*******

Dj blog 4

Thursday: Indian

Chicken Curry with Boiled Rice

Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce

Today I had curry & I liked the curry & I don’t mean the rice & today the chicken was better than Tuesdays because the chicken that was in the stew was soggy but todays one was better.

The pudding was really nice & it was ice cream with chocolate sauce.

*******

Friday: Italian

Dj Blog 5Margarita Pizza with Potato Wedges & Sweetcorn

Iced Lemon Sponge

Today I had margarita pizza with soggy chips.

I liked the margarita pizza but Daddy’s ‘Ome Made pizza is 10 billion, trillion times better.

Todays pudding was sponge with grated lemon in & I liked it but Daddy’s ‘Ome Made lemon drizzle cake is better

*******

 

Dj Blog 6

That’s the end of my Blog.

Thank you for reading it.

Love Dj  XXXXXX

************

After reading Dj’s blog we know that some of you lovely people will be thinking ‘Yeah, well your Kids are lucky (& probably spoilt) to get nice food at home all the time’, & yes, you’re right!

We do tell our Kids that they are VERY lucky to have a Daddy who can cook them fabulous dishes at home (sometimes Mummy does too!).

We also make our Kids realise that for other children this maybe the ONLY good plate of food that they get in a day. For some busy/working full time parents it’s easier & they know their child is getting a meal at school. For some parents it’s the affordable option & a lifeline for their children.

Could it be better though?

This is just Dj’s 7yr old  view of what he thought was going to be a fabulous week of school lunches. He did a fab job of sitting down everyday  after school & writing (most) of his thoughts on paper.

We can’t help feeling he was a tad disappointed with the meals….apart from the puddings!!!

 

Great  work Dj!!! XXXXX

 

 

 

Curried Bakers Oven Lamb

Here’s a traditional English dish given an ‘Ome Made twist, to be fair it was Kits idea. I was just going to do the plain English dish of Bakers Lamb Layerslamb shoulder baked on top of layers of potato and onion, which in it’s own right is delicious. Add some spice, herbs and a curry sauce though and it takes the dish to a completely different level… This really was scrumptious!Bakers Lamb studded with garlic This is a fantastic dish to prepare the day before so that you can bang it in the oven the next day, forget about it and get on with all those things you need to catch up on, take the kids out or… go to the pub!

Bakers Lamb Layers

  It really is simple. You will need a full or 1/2 shoulder of lamb. Some White potatoes, onions and garlic. I also used some dried mint, fresh coriander and some red chillies. Curried Bakers Lamb u.c. closeup

First of all slice some potatoes (skin on) thinly and some onions. These need to be layered in a deep buttered baking dish. I did about four layers adding seasoning as I went along. On the middle layer I put a heap of chopped fresh coriander, a couple of chopped red chillies and some dried mint. On the top layer I sprinkled some more mint and some black cumin seeds.Bakers Lamb Final Layer

I then fried some mild curry masala in a little oil and added some chicken stock and let this cook for twenty minutes or so. Next prepare the lamb. With a sharp knife make a few slits in the meat and push in some pieces of garlic. Now rub the lamb all over with some Kashmiri Chilli powder and some ground cumin. Sit the lamb on top of the layered potatoes and onions and give it a good grind of black pepper and a good sprinkling of salt. Pour your curry sauce into the corners of the baking dish. You want enough so that it comes about 1/2 way up your potato and onion layer.Curried Bakers Lamb Now cover the whole baking dish with a double layer of foil, creating a tight seal. Curried Bakers Lamb to go in oven When your ready to cook pre heat your oven to 200°c. Put the lamb in the oven and then turn the temperature down to 165°c Which means the lamb will be ready after about four hours (but should be fine up to six). If you want to cook it for longer (or your having a really long session in the pub!) then you can cook the lamb on 145°c. The lamb will then be ready after six hours but be even better after around eight hours. To finish the dish off, remove the baking dish from the oven. Carefully remove the lamb to a warmed plate or dish. The meat should be falling off the bone. The layered potatoes then need to go back in a hot oven to brown and start to crisp up. If the liquid is above the potatoes just spoon some off ’till you can see the top layer. Put the baking dish back in the oven for about twenty minutes.

Curried Bakers Lamb 01

To serve, pull apart the lamb, spoon out some potato into a dish and place the lamb on top, spoon a bit more of the curry sauce over. A nice dollop of natural yoghurt goes nicely with the dish but that’s all it really needs.curried bakers lamb 03 A tasty, warming and comforting dish for a lovely lazy Sunday. Give it a go!