Kidneys and rice… offally good!

You might have noticed, if you have read anything here before, that I am very fond of cooking the cheaper and often forgotten cuts of meat because they can, if treated well, turn into the most delicious meals. The same with offal.

When I was a schoolgirl I was forced to eat dry, rubbery liver and bouncingly hard kidneys and I swore that when I grew up I would NEVER be made to eat them again… until I cooked them myself and realised that offal wasn’t awful at all.

Now, one of my favourite quick suppers (only when the Bear is away….. he’s still rather stubborn when it comes to kidneys, but I have no doubt with training he’ll get there) is kidneys in a cream sauce on basmati rice.

Kidneys are so cheap – I think that pile of beauties cost me less than a £1 – and all you need otherwise is some basmati rice (a cup full) a few spring onions, some butter, cream and a dash of something alcoholic and either some flour to thicken the cream sauce, or, like I did tonight, some thickening granules. Now, I would normally avoid produced goods and shortcuts like this, but they really are rather good. They USED to say they were gluten free, which made them a great option if I was doing something for my brother…now I think they have to say that the product is made in a factory that also produces products containing gluten. Anyway… that’s why I started using them and I still use them today. The granules are just stirred in to whatever you are cooking and they thicken… It’s an option, isn’t it?

So, let’s start.

You need to remove the centre core and the tubules from the middle of the kidney. It’s easy enough to do – just slice them in half and then snip out the white core and tubes with scissors.

Chop the spring onions into pieces and add them to a pan with a spoonful of butter and a dash of oil (this stops the butter burning too quickly)

I used my favourite chilli infused oil just to give the dish a hint of a bite.

Cooking takes just a few minutes – you’ll be able to tell because the kidneys go from fresh. bright red to a rich brown.

In the meantime, I put a cup of basmati rice in a pan, add a cup and just under a half cup  of water, a pinch of salt and set it away to boil. Basmati only takes a few minutes to cook and doing it this way means there’s no need to drain it. If you cover it with a teatowel and put the lid on after the water has been absorbed, then the excess moisture is absorbed and you are left with fluffy, dry rice.

When the kidneys have just cooked, I like to add a dash of something alcoholic to perk up the final dish. If you are cooking this for children then you don’t have to add it… though I have to say, any alcohol will be cooked off, so it shouldn’t affect them.  Tonight, I am using port.

Why port? Well, there’s a bottle open and also I think the sweetness will combine well with the musky tang of the kidneys. Sometimes I use brandy, or whisky. I’m tired tonight and i think I might fancy a touch of sweetness in there, so port it is.

Then, a sprinkle of thickening granules, stirred in

And, because I have some in the fridge and it needs finishing off, I add a spoonful or so of cream

And that’s it.

Just stir the cream round, taste for seasoning – maybe a pinch of salt or a grating of pepper and then pour it over your lovely, fluffy rice.

Supper in less than 20 minutes.

Comforting, rich and smooth. Gently cooked kidneys (no rubbery, bitter bounce here!) in a delicious, creamy sauce on fluffy rice.  Just what you need to brighten a lonely evening.

The Beautiful North – Part One

As some of you know, I was born and brought up in the far north of England. I’m only living in the Midlands now because I married the Bear…… I try and get back there at every opportunity. That’s where my family and and also where some of the most stunning places in the UK are. The Bear, being a Cockney, from the south of the country, doesn’t  know much about the North and hasn’t really travelled around there. I kept saying I had to show him how beautiful and wild the countryside is and how stunning the coastline.

As you might also know, it was my birthday recently and we decided to make the most of it, so both of us had time off to celebrate and to head north… which kind of explains my absence from the kitchen and the blog. This then, isn’t about cooking… just eating and travelling. Travelling to somewhere that most people know nothing about and have never visited.

Maybe it will inspire you to visit Northumberland.

Before we started out on our trip north we had a meal at Iberico World Tapas – one of my favourite ways of eating…. what greedy person wouldn’t love tapas? Instead of having just one delicious thing to eat we chose lots of delicious things – cheeses and hams; salted squid and stuffed courgette flowers; patatas bravas and beef…… and belly pork…so many wonderful tastes, textures and flavours. The menu is on the website if you want to look…..

The next day we started driving north.

To those that don’t know, the industrial towns of the north can look dark and grim and people assume that is all there is, but once you get past Newcastle and take the coast roads heading further north you get to some of the wildest and most spectacular coastline anywhere. All I ask is that you look at the pictures and follow the links for more information. I am so proud of the north and its wild beauty and I hope that some of you will make your way there at some point.

On our way North we stopped, first of all at Alnwick (pronounced Annick, for those of you not brought up in the North) because there is the most wonderful secondhand bookshop there called Barter Books and one of the things I wanted to do was to see if they had any old cookbooks to add to my collection. What you can do is bring your old books (if they are good quality) and barter them for credit or other books…. It is the most fascinating place – in the old railway station at Alnwick – with a model railway running round the top of the bookshelves in one part of it. It is the perfect secondhand bookshop, with tables and comfy chairs amongst the stacks. Imagine the bliss….. look at their website and you will get a far better idea than I can give you.

And look what I found  in the cookery book section…

… an old cookbook, printed just after 1963, “The First Ladies Cookbook – Favourite Recipes of all the Presidents of the United States”

It starts with George Washington and goes right through to Lyndon B Johnson who was President of the USA at that time.

All those Presidents…. all those recipes!

I had to buy it. Well, when I say buy… I had arrived with two bags of books I didn’t want and handed them in – Barter Books assesses whether they want them and if they do, how much they want to pay for them and that amount is put into your account… so you can spend it on books in the bookshop. So, not exactly bought, but bartered.

At first, I thought I would play Cookery Lotto , thinking that would really broaden our cooking experience, but as I started leafing through it I realised that this may mean I was being forced into making something like this

Calvin Coolidge’s favourite… Pineapple Salad, which involved covering a fresh pineapple with cream cheese, glace cherries and strawberries…..

I have to say, that just isn’t going to work for me.

(But you see that tea pot? My mother has one like that… it has a little burner underneath to keep the water hot!  Isn’t it gorgeous?)

Anyway, the more I looked, the more danger I was in of having to cook something that really wouldn’t be to our taste at all, so Cookery Lotto was out.

There were recipes I was interested in… how about this…

Tomato Pudding.  Adored by Dwight D. Eisenhower.

If you can’t quite see the recipe, here it is

1  10-ounce can of tomato puree, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 cup of white bread, cut into 1 inch cubes, 1/4 cup boiling water, 1/4 cup of melted butter and 6 tablespoons of light brown sugar.

Add sugar and salt to the tomato puree and water and boil for 5 minutes. Place bread cubes in a casserole. Pour melted butter over them Add the tomato mixture. bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F (that’s about 190 decrees C for us in the UK) Serve with quail or roasted meats.

Not written to be the world’s most tempting recipe, but, you know, I can see that Dwight may have been onto something.

I bet that bread goes deliciously soft and develops a lovely crustiness to the top… the tomato would make it savoury…..and to serve it with meat?

Well, I am going to give it a whirl.

I may have to tweak it a bit, perhaps using chopped plum tomatoes to lighten the texture and decreasing the amount of sugar… but there’s something about it that appeals. What do you think?

And then I looked at Herbert Hoover…

Well that’s not Herbert Hoover, obviously. That is a picture of his Maryland Caramel Tomatoes.

8 ripe tomatoes of equal size, white pepper, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar 1/4 cup of butter


Skin the tomatoes. Carefully cut off the tops. Place them in a buttered baking dish, suitable to serve them in. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and brown sugar. Dab each of them with butter.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C in the UK) and bake for half an hour. Then, remove to the top of the stove and over a low flame, reduce the juice until it is a thick syrup. The, once again, balke them in a hot oven (400 degrees F/200 degrees C) for half an hour. Serve hot.

Again, it might need a tweak or two… AND a baking dish that can go in an oven and on top of it…. but perhaps to serve alongside pork?

So. Pretty much of a result. A fascinating book and potentially a few great ideas in there. I was feeling very happy with myself and really, we hadn’t even started our little holiday.

We left Alnwick and carried on heading north… driving out to the coast, first of all to  Craster, a tiny village famous for its kippers, with a tiny harbour

and walked from there, along the coastline to the ruined castle of Dunstanburgh

before driving further north to Bamburgh where we were staying for the next two nights. Bamburgh is a beautiful village, once the capital of Northumbria, with yet another huge castle, high above the village.

Click on the links and see just how lovely the Northumbrian coast is.

That night, sitting in a tiny restaurant, we toasted each other and congratulated ourselves on choosing the far north as my birthday trip.

And there were even more lovely things to do the next day!

Superfood salad

Right then. Celebrations  are over and spring is on the way. 

I have a new job and a new bounce to my step. Everything is looking bright and cheerful and I am filled with optimism. Not only about having a real job but I am optimistic about starting a diet. Well, when I say starting… I seem to remember saying I was starting one some months ago but the horribly cold weather and gloom got in the way.

The brighter days and increasing warmth make me feel lively and less in need of solid, warming foods. Lovely though that Toffee Apple Crumble was, it seems my tastebuds are shouting out for brighter, fresher things too.

One of the things the Bear and I like to eat when we start to feel like this is Superfood Salad.  Lovely chopped salad with fresh, raw vegetables and quinoa with a lovely savoury, light dressing.

It makes a delicious meal by itself, or perhaps served  as a side salad alongside salmon or chicken. 

The basis for the salad is quinoa (and if the spelling confuses you, it is pronounced “keenwa” ) It was important to the Incans of South America (who called it the Mother of all Grains”) but nowadays, according to Wikipedia,

” In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%), making it a healthy choice for vegetarians and vegans. Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source.[4] It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights.[4]

I don’t suppose you can say fairer than that, can you? And if you add a good selection of fresh, crisp and crunchy vegetables, well, you have Superfood salad.

So, first of all, get your quinoa.  About a half a cup full would make enough, when cooked, to make a decent sized salad for maybe four people. Or, if you are us, it makes enough for supper with two portions left to take to work for lunch the next day.

Give it a rinse and then put it in a pan to boil. It will take maybe ten minutes.

You will know when it is ready, because it goes from looking like little grains into grains with little sprouts appearing

See what I mean?

I often put a sprinkle of stock powder into the water to give the quinoa a bit of a hint of taste… you could try that.

Next, start on the vegetables.

The Bear won’t eat anything “stringy” (he thinks celery will strangle him) so I peel the outside with the potato peeler to get the worst of the strings off.

Once the celery has been transformed from a Bear-strangling-vegetable into a crisp and juicy stick of fresh greenness, I chop it into cubes.

And do the same with baby courgettes

And after scooping out the wet, seedy middle of a cucumber, I chop that into bits, too.

Get carrots, baby corn, spring onions, red pepper and baby plum tomatoes and do exactly the same to them.

A ripe avocado makes a good addition as well.

Now it really is a case of just putting it together – I put a handful or so of sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a bowl, then having rinsed in cold water and drained the cooked quinoa

I add that to the bowl and stir it round

Then add the chopped vegetables, stirring them into the quinoa and seeds

A good handful of chopped nuts  gives the salad an extra crunchy dimension

I make a light dressing with some walnut oil, some balsamic vinegar and some lemon juice and pour that over the salad.

And that’s it!

Look at it, isn’t it pretty? Fresh and crispy and delicious?

By itself it is gorgeous but I want to add a little extra to make it the perfect spring meal….

I have a lovely crisp pear and some organic feta cheese that, if I cut up, will go perfectly.

All that needs is the juice of half a lemon pouring over it to stop the pear turning brown and you have a sharp, sweet and salty extra to add to the salad.

So…. all you have to do is get some quinoa, a selection of vegetables that you like and with the aid of a sharp knife you can make yourself a really tasty salad that will not only brighten up your day by the sheer colourful crunchiness of it but it will also do you the world of good.

Spring is here – let’s eat something light and bright and good for us!

Toffee Apple Crumble

Because I have just got a new job (my contract arrived today) and my birthday is next week, we are having a couple of our dearest friends round for supper, to help celebrate.

I don’t normally make puddings or desserts for everday meals but when I am cooking for friends, I always do something. This wasn’t going to be a fancy, high-end cuisine extravaganza, this was going to be laughter and celebrating with friends – we wanted good food but easy food. I wasn’t looking to show off, just feed us all well and keep us happy and relaxed.

You know the kind of meal I mean.

I made broccoli and almond soup to start with and then for the main course I made slow roasted plate of beef, as I did at Christmas for other friends. The pudding had to be something that would fit well with that and as it was bitingly cold outside I felt I was justified in making what could, perhaps, be called a substantial pudding.

The weather has been improving recently and, at long last, there’s sunshine and brightness in the day time.  Soon, I’ll be moving towards lighter and fresher meals, something with more zing about them, but there’s time enough, I reckon, for one more rib-sticking pud.

Apple Crumble. That would be just the thing… the slightly crunchy yet soft, crisp top, over sweet and molten apples, with a river of thick cream poured over the top…. except…. except I wanted to make it even nicer. But how? I thought and looked through my cupboards…..

And the answer? Toffee Apple Crumble.

The secret ingredient? A bag of fudge – good, crumbly, buttery fudge.

First of all though, I needed apples. I wanted good, crisp and sweetly-sharp apples so these juicy Braeburns were perfect.

So, peel and cube those four lovely apples and then, because I am getting this ready mid-afternoon so all I have to do is tonight is pop it in the oven as we sit down to dinner and as I don’t want those apple pieces to look horribly brown

 the juice of a squeezed lemon sprinkled over the apple will keep all the pieces bright and also add a touch of sharpness, which will be a lovely counterpoint to the lovely sweet softness of the rest of the crumble.

After rubbing round a lovely deep oven proof bowl with butter, just drop the apple in and scatter with a sprinkle of sugar

And then… remember that fudge?

That needs cutting into smaller pieces and do try not to eat too many bits. Both the Bear and I might have stolen a piece or two…..

and scatter them amongst the apple.

Now you need to make the crumble, which is probably the easiest thing in the world to do.

In a big bowl put 300g of plain flour, 200g of softened butter and 175g of golden granulated sugar and start to rub it between your fingers so it blends together and starts to look a bit like breadcrumbs

         which can then be sprinkled over the apple and fudge pieces.

If you give the dish a gentle shake from side to side the crumble mix settles down around the apple.

And that’s it.

Now, though, for a confession.

Our friends arrived, just after 8 pm and we started toasting each other with pink champagne… then we started eating. I put the crumble into the oven at 180 degrees and we swapped to red wine to go with the long roasted plate of beef.  We were getting slightly giddy. We carried on laughing and pouring wine.

Then, forty minutes later, or thereabouts,  it was time to have pudding…. and oh, it was gorgeous.

Beautiful, bubbling fudgey-toffee-appley sauce coming up round the edges of the crumble… the smell…. oh it was beyond divine. The thick Jersey cream was perfect poured all over it…

So perfectly divine that I completely forgot to take a picture of it. 

All I can say was well, you know what crumble looks like – it looked like that.

What you need to know was that the fudge pieces were an inspired addition and it was so utterly gorgeous our friends took the rest of the bowl back home so their children could finish it off today.

The only other thing? I wish I had made another one so we could have some more today!

Creamed Horseradish Sauce

I always believe that something you can make yourself is probably going to be better than something you buy – well, apart from fancy sugarcraft things. I am far too ham fisted and clumsy to turn out beautifully sculpted flowers, say.  Actually, anything dainty is probably beyond me, now I think about it.

But I can do all sorts of other things…and horseradish sauce is one of those things. You can buy it of course, but then you are at the mercy of the makers… the heat will be determined by them, as will the level of sharpness. Making it yourself means you can tweak it until you get the perfect sauce for you. I like mine creamy and not too hot, so that’s how I make it.

That’s a horseradish root.

My mother has it growing outside the kitchen door, in a brick edged raised bed. You need to keep the plant confined, otherwise it will be romping happily through your garden (and probably your neighbour’s) without so much as a by-your-leave.  Delicious though horseradish sauce is, I don’t think anyone will be eating pints of it everyday, so keep the plant in a decent pot or a raised bed.

Anyway… how about this for simple?

Now, one thing you should be aware of, that grating horseradish can make you eyes water.. it is so strong the fumes can waft up and before you know it, you have tears streaming down your face.

Bute here’s a trick to help avoid it… freeze it!

I clean the root and pop it in the freezer and grate it frozen. That stops the volatile fumes getting in your eyes.

When I am ready to use it, I get it out and peel the outer skin from maybe an inch or so of the end.

Just grate away.

(You might need to wrap the root in a tea towel because it IS frozen solid and I don’t know about you but my fingers get so very cold) Once you have grated an inch or so, wrap the remainder of the root in cling film and put it back in the freezer ready for the next time.

You’ll need to add at least a teaspoon or so of sugar to the grated root – I use golden caster sugar, as it dissolves quickly.

For sharpness, the juice of half a lemon is just perfect.

And to make it perfectly creamy, a tablespoon of double cream is just the thing

And now?  Just stir it round, mixing it all together.

It’s a good idea to do it an hour or so before hand so all the flavours can blend in and settle down to make….

… a beautifully textured sauce.

Just the thing to serve with beautifully roasted rib of beef…..

Parsley mayonnaise

When I made Ham Hock Terrine I thought there was something missing.

In the end, I decided that I needed just a little something to go with it… something both sharp and savoury, something to moisten the bread… that was what I wanted.

And what better than some delicious mayonnaise, made specifically to go with the lovely terrine?

It’s easy enough to do and I often make a bowlful and flavour it to a specific dish. This time I thought I would make it with parsley and add a few chopped gherkins to liven it up a bit and tie in with the ham hock terrine.

All you need are a couple of eggs, some dijon mustard, some salt, some oil (olive oil is very strong so plain vegetable oil should make up the majority of the oil used) You’ll need vinegar – either white wine or cider vinegar would be good in this – some parsley and some gherkins.

First of all, then separate two eggs and put the yolks into a reasonably sized bowl. Add a pinch of salt and a quarter of a teaspoon of mustard… stir them together and then start whisking

Whisk it good and hard (an electric whisk is a godsend if you have one… otherwise, think of it as replacing a work out in the gym).. this is the hardest  bit of the job and to be frank, it isn’t that hard!  After this it is all plain sailing.

When everything is smooth and whisked well, add a drop or two of oil and start again, whisking

And it suddenly starts to come together – look, you can see it thickening.

Now you can add the oil in greater quantities

And it’s off and away… just keep adding more oil until you get the amount you need. Those two egg yolks are all you need to make pints of mayonnaise – if that is what you want. Just add more oil… it all thickens up as you whisk.

It’s not enough just to use oil though – the flavour needs a touch of sharpness to bring the flavours together. Sometimes I use lemon juice but this time I wanted cider vinegar.

Add a teaspoon or so of vinegar – taste it and see if has sharpened everything up. Whisk it round to a smooth and glorious sauciness.

Once you have enough, all you have to do is flavour it the way you want it.

Start chopping the parsley and some gherkins and add them to the mayo

Taste again… the parsley adds a sort of rich, slightly bitter flavour and those little bits of gherkin run through it adding a lovely sweet and sharp bite.

Really, for maybe ten minutes work (and not hard work, either) you can have a delicious, fresh and tasty mayonnaise that goes exactly with whatever you are cooking. 

You’ve got a couple of eggs, haven’t you?  There’s some oil in the cupboard….. go on….

You know you’ll love it.


Yes, I’m celebrating!

After what seems like many years in the wilderness of temporary work, I have finally got a job!

I am coming up to a BIG birthday and what better present than this?

It seems like the last decade was marked by redundancies, deaths of loved ones and the search for work in a depressed economy… finally, it seems like I am turning the corner. Things have been pretty miserable at times and it seemed as if there were few things to celebrate.

But yesterday I had an interview for a really great job (REALLY great) and yesterday afternoon, I was phoned by the Human Resources department to tell me that I had got the job.

I start work in just over a week’s time, when The Bear and I get back from a weekend away. We were going to celebrate my birthday and now we have an extra thing to be happy about.

They say things come in threes, so who knows what the next good thing is going to be? I shall start the celebrations now ….. I am back in the north and I am just about the pour a drink for myself and one of my most long standing friends… so cheers, everyone!

No cooking tonight, just champagne and cheers!

Ham Hock Terrine

Well then. What’s a girl to do when she claps eyes on one of these?

A little porky trotter.

Well, if she is a cunning and cost concious cook and she also claps eyes on walloping great ham shanks

costing a mere £1.49, well then, the odds are that she starts to think of a delicious ham hock terrine, flecked with parsley and glistening with a soft and tasty jelly, just waiting to be eaten on some lovely No-Knead Bread…. perfect for a lovely light lunch or supper.

All you need are some ham shanks, a trotter (though if you can’t get one, you can use leaf gelatine – easy as anything – and I’ll tell you about that later)

A lovely big bunch of parsley and maybe some gherkins to chop through it later

 and a couple of carrots and an onion for the stock and a scattering of peppercorns

How simple a list of ingredients is that?

So first of all, rinse off your assorted bits of meat and pop them into the biggest pot you have (and really, don’t let that pig’s trotter worry you or put you off. It’s the traditional way to get a lovely jelly but if you can’t find one, or if you can’t face it, just relax. You can add leaf gelatine later)

You need to bring the pot up to a boil for a few minutes – this loosens all the impurities and brings them to the surface as a dirty foam.

See? Get that scooped off and then empty the water out.

Refill the pan with fresh water and start it boiling again, but now add the halved onion (no need to peel it) and a couple of carrots and a handful of peppercorns

Bring everything to the boil and then turn  the heat right down and let everything simmer away for couple of hours.

Check, occasionally, how soft and tender the meat is.

You are going to tear the meat into shreds for the terrine so you need it all to be cooked to sheer perfect tenderness.

See how soft and tender the meat looks? Just hook the shanks out and put them on a plate to cool.

Take out the trotter too – look at how that is all falling apart… it has almost dissolved, giving up all of the lovely gelatine you will need to set the terrine later. There’s not much meat to pick through there, so don’t worry if you haven’t added a trotter. It really has done its job so you can throw that away now.

Sieve the pan of stock of its vegetables and you are left with a pan of rich and flavoursome stock. This is going to form the jelly that enrobes the ham so you want it to be as tasty as possible.

The next thing to do is to boil it down, removing more of the water and concentrating the stock.

Because the jelly is also going to have parsley running through it, I thought I might as well add the parsley stalks to the final boil down, just giving it an extra depth of flavour.  Let the stock reduce some more then turn off the heat, sieve the parsley stalks out and let the stock cool.

If you haven’t used a pig’s trotter, after you have sieved the stock, get a sheet of leaf gelatine and soften it, first of all, in some cold water. When it is all soft and slippery, add it to the stock and stir it round. It will dissolve almost instantly. Now leave the stock to cool down.

While that is going on and the meat is also cooling down (well, you don’t want to burn your fingers when you are stripping the hocks, do you?) you need to prepare the terrine.

I bought that lovely Le Creuset terrine at Christmas and used it, first of all,  to bake a baguette  in and I swore then that I would get cracking on a terrine. It’s taken me all this time to get around to it.

Anyway, the thing to do is to make a liner and the easiest way to do it, is with good old cling film. Lay out sheets of cling film on the bench so you have three layers and then, after rinsing out the terrine dish with water (so everything  comes out easily later and it is easy to adjust the cling film), lay the film inside the pot

Right then… back to the meat.

By now it will be cool enough to handle and you can start to shred the meat into pieces.

Because it has cooled, the fat will have set  so you can make sure that you can leave that behind as well as the skin and the tendony-gristley bits. (Don’t squirm!)

Two ham shanks will give you a really big plateful of tender, delicious, juicy meat

Now, meat alone is very good but you really need something to sharpen it all up and this is where some lovely little gherkins transform this into the perfect dish

Chop them into little cubes so that when they mix with the meat and the parsley and the jelly they give you little bites of sharpness.

And the parsley? You used the stalks to add to the stock, now chop the leaves (and just the leaves, so strip them carefully)

Put the meat, the gherkins and the parsley into a big bowl and mix everything so you have an even distribution of all the ingredients

Now, it’s just a matter of putting everything together.

Pack in the meat and parsley/gherkin mix and then slowly pour in the cooled stock.

I say do it slowly because you need it to seep in and around the meat so everything holds together when it is set. Just pour it in till the stock just covers the meat.

Then fold over the edges of the cling film

See? A lovely neat parcel. And that’s it. It just needs to set now.

Now, you can make a lid to fit, by cutting cardboard and covering it with clingfilm and lying it on top of the meat. This makes it easy to press down on the terrine and helps it set tight… thing is, this was so packed with meat that once I covered the top with cling film  and pressed down lightly, I realised that it was already packed tight.

So all I did was put it in the fridge to set over night…

The next day, planning a lovely light lunch for The Bear and myself, I took out the chilled and now solid terrine.

The cling film made it easy to lift out the terrine

You just get hold of the extra film and lift….. and then pop it onto a plate

How beautiful is that?

The gorgeous pink, juicy meat with leaves of lovely parsley and little nuggets of gherkin all in a lovely, savoury, light jelly….

Just the thing with some lightly toasted bread, some salad leaves and a dab of  parsley mayonnaise.

So, the next time you spot some ham shanks and maybe a pig’s trotter and only about £3.20 in your purse, do you think you might just think of making a delicious terrine?