Tag Archives: roast

Shredded roasted kale, full of Popeye’s iron

This lovely way with kale is so childishly simple that I am reluctantly sharing it – it is hardly a recipe and I feel like a bit of a cheat but I have to include it in this blog for the simple reason that it is one of the vegetable dishes I cook most often and eat with most pleasure!

Ingredients and method : One shredded cabbage or kale or any dark green leafy cabbagey thing! Spread into a roasting dish, add a sprinkle of sea salt, a line of olive oil and roast under the grill for 10 min or until the tips turn brown. Shake it and then grill some more, making sure not to burn it! It’s quick!                                                          Enjoy as a side dish with any roasted meat.

Roast monkfish in pancetta corset

Monkfish is a bit of a luxury but it is the most delicious fish and has NO bones, making it one of the best choices for families. This recipe is super simple and looks brilliant!

Monkfish tail in its bright corset

Ingredients list:

  • Monkfish tail
  • Enough pancetta slices to cover it up
  • Ground pepper
  • cherry tomatoes, a baker’s dozen!
  • ground pepper
  • a little olive oil
Get the fishmonger to remove the skin.
Lay the tail in an oven proof dish and warm the oven.
Wrap it in several strips of bacon or pancetta.
Scatter clean cherry tomatoes around.
Drizzle a little olive oil, season with pepper.
Put in a hot oven (180°) for 15 minutes max – depending on size.
Best way is to carve it like a roast, in thick slices.
Nutrition note: Fish is a very healthy source of protein. This is lean and full of vitamin Bs, omegas, phosphorus and selenium. So great against ageing!

Wild boar roast in chocolate and cranberry sauce with poached pears


Perhaps you read Asterix like me when you were younger and perhaps you too did dream of the famous feasts under the oak tree after beating up a few Romans… Anyhow… You don’t have to own up but you might enjoy this most civilised version of the old boar roast!
I served it for Christmas lunch and it was such a success, Cacophonix might have belted out one of his songs afterwards- if only he’d been there!
Remember to get your butcher to prepare a nice rolled up roast-beef style joint, two days before.
Ingredients list:
Wild boar 2 kg
Sugar 200g
Pears 3
Fresh cranberries 150g
Beef stock or cube with water 500ml
Cinnamon sticks
Olive oil
Butter 30g
Dark chocolate 50g
For the marinade, the day before:
Red wine 750 ml/ 1 bottle
Shallots 3 
Garlic clove 1
Black pepper 1 tsp
Bouquet garni
24h before roasting, prepare the marinade and cover the meat in a shallow dish. Cover and reserve in the fridge. Turn it once or twice after this.
On the day, pour 200ml of water in a large pan and stir in 150g of sugar. When it reaches bubbling, poach the quartered pears into it for a few minutes.
In a small pan, add 50g of sugar to some water and cook the cranberries until soft.
Drain the marinade into a third (!) saucepan, add the stock and the cinnamon stick and let it boil then simmer for about 40 min until reduced by at least half! Check the seasoning.
Put aside and you will add the chocolate and cooking juice right at the point of serving.
Preheat the oven to 180°. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and brown the rolled joint in it for a few minutes. Transfer to a roasting tin, put the butter on top and roast for 40min or until the juices run clear but the meat is still pink and tender! Once I overcooked it, waiting for my guests, and it is such a shame because boar becomes very tough very quickly… 
As with all meat, let it rest a few minutes, covered in foil before carving. Add the sliced pears around the meat, ready to serve.
Pour the cooking juices into the reserved sauce with the chocolate: check for flavour! This dish has to have big and strong flavours- add chocolate or seasoning if necessary- Think Obelix! Heat up and whisk before pouring onto the sliced roast. Decorate with the cranberries.
The bold and great mix of flavours is irresistible but not for the faint hearted or anyone afflicted with a modest appetite… Choose your audience!
Recipe inspired by Trish Deseine in her book Nobody does it better.

Roasted duck legs with quince, ginger, honey and cinnamon

Quinces are the star fruit of winter and make it up in taste subtlety and exotic look for the lack of variety available at this time of year. So enjoy them while you can!

A very precious and ancient fruit

Duck legs 4 (or one for each guest)
Olive oil
Lemons 2
Water 1 pint
Quinces 2 (peeled and quartered)
Ginger root (1 bitesize)
Ground cinnamon
Clear honey 2 Tbsp
Salt and black pepper
Fresh bunch of coriander

Preheat the oven to 230˚. Rub the duck legs with some of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper then place on a rack. Roast in the oven for about 30 min until the skin is crisp and raised in places.

Pour a pint of water and the juice of one lemon into a pan. Bring to a boil, add the quince quarters and simmer until tender. I left the skin on mine because their skin was thin and lovely but some variety have a thick skin that needs peeling.

Slice the quinces quarters and fry them in olive oil and butter until golden. Reserve.

Take the duck out of the oven and dip some of the fat out into the quinces pan – a couple of spoonfuls. Stir in the grated ginger, honey and cinnamon and fry gently on low heat. Add some more lemon juice. Pour some water to make this into a sauce and let it bubble a few seconds.

Arrange the legs and quinces into a dish and pour the sauce over it. Sprinkle a bit of coriander to serve.

This dish would make a tasty alternative to the traditional Christmas turkey, I reckon. I particularly love the way the quince slices melt in the mouth – one of the nicest ways to serve quinces, at any rate.

Original recipe by Ghillie Basan, a brilliant travel and cookery writer – and friend- who lives in the wilderness of Scotland but whose cooking is infused with middle eastern spices. Her books are a true inspiration for anyone who enjoys Mediterranean flavours and heritage.

Pressé d’agneau


Now forgive me: I do not usually want to do restaurant food at home; there are places for that!
But this incredible lamb tureen was produced for us by Mr Borgès, chef at La Lozerette in the beautiful Tarn valleys above Florac in the Cevennes mountains and I think it is a great way of serving a sunday roast with a difference! Yes, it takes two days and I normally draw the line at half hour, but it is well worth it…

Pressé d’agneau de La Lozerette

Ingredients list:
Lamb shoulder, off the bone
White wine 1 bottle
Tomato concentrate ½ small tin
Onions 2
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh Herbs: mix of rosemary, thyme and laurel

The day before: put your lamb in large chunks into a large cooking pan. Pour the wine and soak the herbs in it. Cover tightly and put in a warm oven (140℃)for 7 hours. You don’t necessarily need to hang around but be there in the last hour at least to check!

Take your meat out of the oven and with a spoon and fork, carefully push all the flesh off the bones. Try and remove any large bits of fat that remain, if any. This dish should be moist but lean. Strain the sauce into a saucepan and press the flesh inside a tureen or a cake pan for the night. Cover with foil, put some kind of weight on it if you can and reserve in the fridge.

On the day, skim the fat off the saucepan then warm the tureen in the oven while you let the sauce reduce a little further in its pan. The smell of both should be heavy with herbs and wine…
Serve out of the pan and cut in thick slices like a loaf, with the warm sauce on the side.
I served it with warm lentils but any winter vegetable will do.

I was travelling in the Cévennes last August, in the south of France and we stayed at a charming hotel called « La Lozette », about half hour from Florac. I had selected it because it enjoyed a great location for walking the hills and swimming in the river but also because it is graced with one of the best tables in the area: This recipe was kindly given to me by the chef, Mr Borgès. It is one of the best lamb recipes I’ve ever tasted !

Recipe from Mr Borgès at La Lozerette, Cocurès. With much thanks.