Cured belly pork

I was initially put off this recipe as it used sugar as part of the curing mix – but really pleased I tried it as the finished dish is gorgeous, and most of the sugar and salt is discarded with the extracted liquid.

Needs to be cured overnight (or at least a few hours) but then you just bang it in a low oven (150c) and ignore for 3hrs. Ridiculously tender pork with crisp cracking, and a 500-750g joint normally feeds us two a generous dinner plus leftovers for another night – unfortunately not this time 🙂

Served with a raw cabbage and apple slaw, crumbled blue stilton and pistachios.




Well, if I say so myself the latest batch of meat and spinach muffins were a resounding success. This time I used frozen leaf spinach instead of the frozen chopped, which I found really messy when trying to squeeze out the water, and the finished texture is much less dense.

The pork version had Chinese 5 Spice added (just a teaspoon full) and it gave a tasty, but subtle, flavour – will be quite happy eating a couple of these for breakie.

The lamb version had garam masala and cayenne pepper, and chopped raisins. I went a bit heavy handed with the spice but the 50:50 lamb:spinach ratio seemed to handle it quite well. Those will do nicely for snacks with chutney 🙂


Yesterday was shopping day, but I still had quite a lot of leftovers in the fridge so dinner was a bit of a pot luck. Or should I say, a pot of gold 🙂


  • Pork sausages, browned.
  • An onion, carrot and celery mirepoix perked up with a handful of smoked pancetta lardons, 2 cloves of sliced garlic and some shredded fresh sage leaves.
  • A mug of fresh chicken stock with a tablespoon of tomato paste (for colour and to thicken the finished stew).
  • The end of a bag of frozen cauliflower and broccoli florets.
  • Half a mug of coconut milk, smidge of Dijon mustard and a nugget of mature cheddar, grated.
  • A drizzle of EVO (I need the extra fat)

Drumroll please…………….


[the wine was also leftover, so had to use that up too 🙂 ]

Americana night

Having shirked the BBQ and beer event at a nearby pub (even though it would have been amazing and their beer is good, it’s expensive and it’s waaaay too easy to spend a long time there) I made it up to my long suffering Hubby by recreating the evening at home. I stuck with the meat and salad, with matching beers, but omitted the Boston beans (legumes) and corn on the cob (corn, nuff said).


  • BBQ Pork ribs
  • Spicy Chicken wings
  • Sweet potato salad
  • Coleslaw (well, celeriac and carrot remoulade but still….)
  • Brooklyn Brewery – Brooklyn Lager
  • Sierra Nevada – Pale Ale
  • Goose Island – India Pale Ale

I normally pressure cook pork as spare ribs but they always seem to taste a bit Chinese-takeaway, so this time I used a spicy chipotle dry rub (Williams-Sonoma) and baked a whole rack in the oven, wrapped in foil. 1½hrs @ 160°c did the trick, followed by baking unwrapped for 25 mins, oven turned up to 180°c, with a glaze made of:

  • 2 tblsp fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tblsp ketchup
  • 1 tblsp Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Ribs got basted again at half-time. The wings got a chilli-lime sea salt rub (also c/o Williams-Sonoma). 180°c as the oven was already on, and I only have one oven … oh, the hardship…. and 25 mins later – taa daa!


  • Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
  • American Girl – Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
  • Little Green Bag – The George Baker Selection