Friday, October 28, 2011


This is a stew for evenings in, wrapped up in front of a film - though it'll work just as well in bowls by the bonfire too. The pig cheeks are a real treat in this dish - they are tender, succulent and full of rich flavour, meaning you don't need much on your plate. It's dead cheap too - the four cheeks cost me well under £2, so you can afford to jazz it up with the wildest of autumn mushrooms.

Make double and put it in the freezer for another wintery day.


Serves 2-4

4 large pork cheeks, trimmed of fat, rubbed with olive oil
4 rashers smoked bacon, roughly chopped
1 tsp carraway seeds
tsp salted butter
2 large leeks, chopped into rounds
200g mixture of chestnut and wild mushrooms
500ml ale
200ml chicken stock
1/2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
handful tarragon leaves, roughly chopped

Place a large frying pan onto a medium/high heat. When hot (keep a chopped bit of bacon to test the pan. It will sizzle if ready) add the cheeks and bacon. You want to brown the cheeks, so rotate them every so often. This should take 3-4 minutes. The bacon will be cooked and beginning to crisp. Set aside.

In another pan, meanwhile, soften the leeks in the butter. Add the mushrooms and the carraway seeds. Now add the cheeks and bacon and stir.

Pour in the ale and the chicken stock and bring to the boil, then returning it to a simmer. Add the bay leaves and leave to fut away for approx. 2 hours. After this time, test the tenderness of the cheeks by pulling at them with two forks. They should be easy to shred. If so, begin to pull each cheek into smaller pieces.

Test for seasoning.

When ready to serve, stir in the tarragon. Best eaten with a fluffy garlic mash potato.

Monday, October 24, 2011


for bacon sandwiches and other midday munchies.


makes 1 small jar to serve 6

1 tsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
20 cherry tomatoes (on the vine if possible), chopped in half
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp cumin
5g fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
1/2 tsp molasses
2 tsp golden caster sugar
2 tbsp sherry vinegar

Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the onion. Fry until soft. Then add the tomatoes. Add all the remaining ingredients together and slowly fry for 45 minutes.

Blitz with a hand blender - you want it smooth but slightly chunky.

This jam can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks in a sterilised, air tight jar.

Serve with Halloween pumpkin wedges, hard cheese or Sunday roast. Or, best, smothered in a bacon sandwich.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Over the past week my flat has been turned upside down. Once resembling a relatively tidy place of calm, it has now car-crashed into a cave of creative chaos.
Sitting room has transformed into slap-dash studio - canvases half or unpainted on the floor, paintbrushes in jam jars and a faint sniff of white spirit. Kitchen surfaces are a-clutter with fruit and vegetables aside tubes of heavy autumnal oils. The sewing machine has taken up most of my dining room table as napkins sit in a pile waiting to be hemmed.

An eager start to the stitching season.

With very little room for wooden spoons and chopping boards, cooking has become a four-flavour affair. Simple salads, quick porridge and warmed up soups. And the leftovers of my patient paintees.

This recipe was made for me by Clara - our wonderfully talented cook at Books For Cooks. With just a few, perfectly formed ingredients she threw together a plateful of pure goodness - ideal for clutterists like me.


SERVES 2 as a main


3 large cavolo nero leaves, shredded

1 small radicchio, shredded

2 tbsps olive oil

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 large ball of good buffalo mozzarella

3 black figs, quartered

handful basil leaves


Bring a pan of salted water with the cavolo nero and radicchio to the boil. Blanche for 4 minutes. Drain. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and add the white wine vinegar. Follow with the veg. Season well with salt and pepper and fry for a further 3 minutes.

Arrange the cavolo nero and radicchio on a large serving dish, tear over the mozarella and throw on the figs. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, scatter with the basil leaves and a sprinkling of salt.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Mum left a bucket of home-fallen apples with me after her last London scamper. I abandoned them in bowl too long, where they met a near soft and sorry end. The only rescue was a long stew.

Stewed for porridge, stewed for my parsnip soup, and stewed for this cake. Perked up and pretty.

for the stewed apple

Peel, core and chop all the apples in your bucket (10 is a good number). Small crunchy apples are best. Place the apples in a large saucepan and set on a medium heat. Add a tsp light brown sugar, a tbsp water and stir. Leave to bubble with the lid on. When soft and sweetened, mash the apples and strain through a sieve (optional). I like to leave them slightly sharp.

for the cake


140g soft, unsalted butter
50g stewed apple
250g light brown soft sugar
10ml elderflower cordial/apple juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp quatres epices
2 large eggs
220g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
50g natural yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 170°C/ 325°F/ Gas mark 3. Grease two 8in/20cm cake tins and line with bottom with baking parchment.

Melt 10g of the butter in a saucepan and add the stewed apple. Add 50g of the sugar, the juice/cordial and the spices. Fry until the apple begins to caramelise.

Beat the rest of the sugar and butter together until soft, light and fluffy. Add the first egg and mix through. Then do the same with the second.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the creamed batter. Fold them through until evenly mixed.

Stir in the yoghurt and the spiced stewed apple.

Divide the batter equally between the tins and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.

When the time is up, the cakes should be golden brown. Check if cooked through with a skewer. If the skewer comes away clean, the cake is done. Leave to cool on a baking tray.

Use some of the leftover stewed apple to fill the middle of the cake, and some to pour over the top. Alternatively, make a butter and yoghurt icing with a touch of elderflower cordial and spread over the bottom layer of the cake: 150g unsalted butter, 30g natural yoghurt, drizzle cordial and 300g icing sugar.

The cake should turn out light and moist. Best served warm for tea.


My boyfriend James and I are starting a Sunday lunch club, and there seemed to be only one thing to call it.

Rosie and Jim’s will serve classic Sunday lunches – nothing particularly fancy, but everything particularly delicious. It will basically be whenever we feel like it but most probably once every 6-8 weeks, starting on 13th November.

On arrival you’ll be greeted with a complimentary glass of something, as well as enough nibbly bits to keep you going till lunch. Which will be a roast. No carvery (which I note wordpress doesn’t consider a real word) at Rosie and Jim’s – just a leg of lamb or rib of beef or perhaps even roast pheasant, and lots of proper vegetables.

There will be pudding, and there will be cheese (served in that order), and of course coffee and tea.

In short:

Rosie and Jim’s: Sunday 13th November 2011
Time: 12.30-5pm
Place: We’re in North London. Details on booking.
Grog: BYO
Donation: £30

We have enough space for 20 people – max bookings 8 per party.

For bookings email jteramsden(at)gmail(dot)com. Look forward to hearing from you