PORK GOULASH by Kat Mead

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Feeds 4


3 tbsp olive oil
800g pork shoulder, cut into 3cm chunks
2 red onions, sliced
2 red peppers, sliced
2 green peppers, sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1.5 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
0.5 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 x 400g plum tomatoes
Sea salt and black pepper

Preheat your oven to 160°C/140°C fan.

Toss the meat in some seasoning and place a large casserole over a medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. When hot start to brown the meat, you’ll need to do it in batches, adding a little more oil for each batch. Transfer the browned meat to a bowl and repeat until all the meat is done. Keep handy.

Reduce the heat to medium and add a final tablespoon of oil to the casserole. When hot add the onion and peppers. Cook for around 8 minutes, stirring often so nothing burns, until it all starts looking softer and the onion starts to go light golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for another few minutes.

Add the vinegar and when it has reduced a little, add the tomato purée, paprika and oregano. Stir well and cook the purée for a minute, before adding the plum tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes so the tomatoes start to soften and break them up with a spoon.

Return the meat to the casserole and stir to coat. Add enough water to just cover the meat.

Pop the lid on the casserole and straight into the oven for around 1.5 hours. Remove from the oven and stir and find a piece of meat. Test to see how tender it is, by pressing with the back of a fork. It should by now have some give and press apart with a little pressure, needing only another 45 minutes to an hour to finish. Check the seasoning and add a little more salt and pepper if you like.

If you like a thicker sauce, remove the lid for the last part of the cooking.

Serve with mash or veg or celeriac mash — whatever you like.

PLANK background by Black Velvet Styling

SPICED VEGGIE FRITTERS & POACHED EGGS by Kat Mead

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to eat more consciously for a number of reasons. I want to try and use more things from the storecupboard and freezer – only shopping for essentials and fresh things. I want to reduce our weekly food bills. I want to try and get more veg and nutrients into everyday after a few naughty over-indulgent weeks – and being a bit cuddly after those weeks, if I lost a couple of kilos, well, that would be amazing. So this is a happy, healthy, tasty, super cheap fridge raid brunch for you all this week.

Fritters are the perfect vessel for using up bits of veg, ends of things, slightly sad things. The recipe is written up based on what I had lurking in the back of the fridge, but anything goes (so long as it’s not too wet a mix or all courgettes etc. variety is key!). The batter is spiced for some extra zing and the eggs bring it all together into something that is so delicious, filling and nutritious. I call it brunch, but it could be breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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Feeds 4 (2 fritters each)

For the batter

150g chickpea or gram flour

1.5 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or mild chilli powder)

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp sea salt flakes

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

125-150ml water

For the fritters

180g red cabbage, shredded

180g pointed cabbage, shredded

2 medium carrots, washed and grated

1 parsnip, washed and grated

1 courgette, washed and grated

250g ready cooked quinoa (white, black, mixed whatever you like)

1 medium egg

2 tbsp olive oil

For the eggs

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

8 medium eggs

To serve (optional)

Coriander leaves/hot sauce/avocado/chilli yogurt

 

Start by making the batter. Weigh out all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and blend together with a balloon whisk. Start whisking in as much water as you need to make a thick batter – the consistency of custard. Add the shredded and grated veg to the batter and use a big spoon to mix everything together well – it all needs to be evenly coated. Sprinkle in the cooked quinoa and add the egg. Give it another really good mix to coat it all.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the white wine vinegar.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add half the oil. Gently whoosh the oil around the frying pan to cover it. Use half the veggie batter mix to make 4 even fritters. Cook for around 4-5 minutes before flipping and repeating on the other side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm while you cook the remaining 4.

You can start making the poached eggs while you fry the second batch of fritters. Reduce the boiling water to a healthy simmer and crack 4 eggs into 4 small dishes. Hold the dish over the water, tip the bowl so the egg is on one side, then slowly lower the dish into the water and allow the water to flood the bit of the dish that is holding the egg. Then quickly but gently tip the egg out into the pan. Repeat with the remaining eggs and poach for 3 – 3.5 minutes for a runny yolk.

Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining 4 eggs.

Once you have all the fritters and all the eggs, it’s time to plate up. Put two fritters on each plate and top each fritter with a poached egg. Scatter over a handful of fresh coriander leaves, some extra seasoning if you like and if you like it hotter try a few splashes of hot sauce. Or try adding half an avocado and some chilli yogurt to it. Deliciousness.

CINNAMON BUNS by Kat Mead

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Makes 12 buns

250ml whole milk, warmed to room temperature

14g fast-action dried yeast

40g caster sugar

80g butter, melted and cooled

450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp Maldon sea salt

1 medium egg, lightly beaten

For the filling

120g butter, softened

1 tsp plain flour

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

80g chopped pecans

100g soft light brown sugar

1 medium egg, lightly beaten (for brushing)

For the syrup

4 tbsp golden syrup

6 tbsp water

For the topping

Flaked almonds or more chopped pecans

200g icing sugar, sieved

2-3 tbsp water

Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a food mixer fitted with a dough hook, sprinkle in the yeast and caster sugar and gently whisk together for a couple of seconds. Cover and leave for 10-15 minutes until it starts to become frothy. Work the machine up to a mid-speed and add the cooled, melted butter. Allow to combine with the yeast for a minute or two.

In a large mixing bowl, weigh out the flour and add the cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Use a balloon whisk to blend it altogether. Start adding the flour mix to the food mixer, a couple of scoops at a time until it is all in and then add the beaten egg. Keep kneading the dough for 5 minutes. You may need to pause and scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated. You want a slightly tacky dough, but not so sticky it won’t come off your hands. The best way to tell is to give it a little poke and see; if it’s a bit tacky add another sprinkle of flour. I quite like to do the last little bit of kneading by hand so I can feel it and see how the dough is behaving, adding a little more flour if needed.

Once the consistency is right, shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film and allow the yeast to do its thing. When the dough has doubled in size (approx. 45 minutes but do keep an eye on it) sprinkle a little flour onto your work surface and gently tip the dough out. Knock back the dough with your hands. Shape the dough into a rough rectangle and then use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a 45 x 55 cm rectangle. The dough should be around 5mm thick. At first it will probably try and fight you, but keep going and eventually it will stay put!

In a mixing bowl add the butter, flour, cinnamon, pecans and sugar. Mix everything together well. Using a spatula or palette knife, carefully spread the mixture evenly over the rolled-out dough. Make sure everything is covered right up to the edges, except for a centimetre on the top edge. Then start to roll the dough up lengthways, until you have a tight, long sausage shape. When you get to the end, and the dough with no filling, brush it with a little of the egg wash and finish rolling so it makes a seal.

Use a sharp knife to carefully trim the ends (these can be the cooks testing perk) and then slice the dough into 12 even slices. Line two baking sheets with non-stick baking paper and lay 6 rounds onto each, with plenty of space as they will expand in the second proving.

Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.

Leave them to one side under a clean tea towel or cling film for another 30-40 minutes or so until they have risen and doubled in size again. If you press the tip of your little finger into the dough it should leave a little dent when they are ready.

Gently brush each bun on the top and sides with beaten egg and pop the trays into the preheated oven to bake for around 15-18 minutes. Watch the buns carefully as they will want to take on a lot of colour very quickly. After 12 minutes, it is safe to pull out the trays and swop them around to make sure they cook evenly.

For the syrup, heat together the golden syrup and the water in a saucepan until combined.

When the buns are a lovely deep golden, remove from the oven and brush with the warmed syrup. Sprinkle over the almonds if using. If you want to add a little more decoration with some water icing mix the icing sugar and enough water to get a consistency that will drizzle nicely. Add a final decorative flourish with some nuts and devour with a coffee.

Photograph by Catherine Frawley

BLUEBERRY RICOTTA PANCAKES, BLUEBERRY COMPOTE, CRISPY BACON & MAPLE SYRUP by Kat Mead

I love brunch. It’s perfect for lazy mornings and slow starts. It’s also an easy way of getting friends and family together to enjoy eating and talking and hanging out – or feeding them after the night before. This is the first recipe in a series to give you all some brunch inspiration. I’ll be posting on a Thursday so you have time to shop ahead for the weekend. If you try the recipe, please like the post, share it, love it, tag me in pictures… but most of all enjoy it! Happy brunching everyone!

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SERVES 6

Makes 18 pancakes (3 per person)

500g blueberries

40g caster sugar, plus an additional 1 tbsp

Maldon sea salt

2 lemons, zested and juice of one

150g plain flour

1½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

4 large eggs

300g ricotta

250g buttermilk

2 tsp vanilla extract

Olive oil, for frying

To serve

12 rashers of streaky bacon

Maple syrup

Cook 200g of the blueberries with 40g of caster sugar and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook the berries for around 5 minutes until they have all burst, and the juice starts to become a little thicker and jammier. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and another 50g of blueberries. Bring quickly to a boil, then remove from the heat. Transfer to a serving bowl and leave to cool.

Place the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and remaining tablespoon of sugar along with a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine and make a well in the centre.

Put the eggs, ricotta, buttermilk and vanilla extract into a large bowl or jug and whisk to combine thoroughly. You can do this by hand but an electric whisk will be quicker and easier.

Add the egg mix to the dry ingredients a little at a time, whisking well with each addition. Allow to stand while you heat a large frying pan over a medium-low heat and add a splash of oil. Working in batches, scoop tablespoons of batter into the pan. Press a little handful of blueberries into the wet batter of each pancake. Cook the pancakes until the bottoms are golden brown and little bubbles form on the surface. This should take 2-3 minutes. Flip the pancakes over and cook for another 2 minutes before removing from the pan amd piling them on plates in stacks of 3. Repeat until you have made all 18 pancakes, in 6 stacks.

While the pancakes are cooking, heat another frying pan over a high heat. Lay out the streaky bacon (you shouldn’t need to add any extra oil) and cook until crisp and golden, turning occasionally.

Serve the sweet fluffy pancakes in their stacks, with a spoonful of the tangy blueberry compote, some salty bacon and a glug of maple syrup drizzled all over.

Photo by Catherine Frawley

SLOW-COOK LAMB AND CHICKPEA CURRY by Kat Mead


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Feeds 4 with rice and veggies and naan etc.

1 tbsp olive oil (or ghee)

1 tsp yellow mustard seeds

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 large onion, diced

1.5 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

15 curry leaves

1.5 tbsp tomato puree

5 garlic cloves, finely grated

2cm piece of ginger, finely grated

600g lamb neck, cut into 1 inch thick slices

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

250ml coconut cream

1 x 400g black chickpeas, drained and rinsed

250ml vegetable stock (or water)

1 cinnamon stick

30g coriander, chopped

I always cook curries in a cast iron casserole dish that you can pop into the oven, but you can always cook it in a saucepan with a lid on the hob, you just need to check on it more so it doesn’t boil or catch on the bottom.

Preheat your oven to 150°C fan.

Put a casserole dish on a medium heat and add olive oil. Once hot, add the mustard seeds and pop the lid on. You’ll soon hear them start popping. Once it starts to subside, take the lid off and add the onion, coriander, cumin and curry leaves. Allow to cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until the onion has started to go a rich brown colour.

Add the tomato puree and stir well to coat everything in the pan. Cook for another minute or two. Add the garlic and ginger and give a quick stir. Once you can smell the garlic, add the lamb neck, and stir everything until coated in the onion and tomato mix. Cook for a couple of minutes until the meat is sealed. Add the chopped tomatoes, coconut cream, black chickpeas and vegetable stock.

Drop in the cinnamon stick, mix everything well and then turn off the heat. Pop the lid on and place the casserole dish into the oven for an hour.

Remove from the oven and give it a good stir before returning to the oven for another hour. Remove it from the oven, give it another stir and check the consistency of the sauce. Reduce the heat to 120°C fan and cook for a further half hour. If you like a thicker sauce take the lid off, otherwise if it looks how you like it, leave it on.

By now the lamb will be so tender you can push it apart with a wooden spoon. When you are ready to serve remove the pot from the oven and stir in the chopped coriander. Take out the cinnamon stick and serve with rice, a naan, some fresh veggies, whatever you fancy.

I’d love to hear if you try it and please share! And if there are any pics tag me @kat_inthekitchen on Instagram!