Category Archives: Meat

Day 18 – Meatloaf

Cue soundtrack and semi-awful-but-you-can’t-help-but-love-it ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ wailing. Yes, meatloaf is the dish of the day. We finally went food shopping. We haven’t been food shopping since around the second week of December – it’s now almost February. The year is going so fast, nearly 20 days of nom already.

So out of habit we picked up mince as I tend to make bolognese a lot. But I’ve already made that this year so in the spirit of new foods and the fact I can’t not stick with it now people know, I had to find a recipe that called for mince. Hence the meatloaf.


900g mince

1 Onion – Grated

1 Tsp Sage

2 Eggs – Beaten

50g Bread Crumbs

240ml milk

Salt and Pepper


In a dish soak the breadcrumbs in the milk. Add the Sage, Salt, Pepper, Onion and Mince. Mix it all up and put in to a loaf-ish shaped dish. It can be topped with Ketchup or Worcestershire Sauce before cooking.

Cook for 40-50 minutes at 180.


How’s that for simple. It also smells amazing. I did make an error with the mince as I only had 500g not 900g. I had every intention of halving all the other ingredients too but it wasn’t until I was putting the mix in to the dish that I remembered. Oops. I think the extra breadcrumbs counteracted the extra fluid so it wasn’t a huge issue.


Day 16 – Pizza Dough

Japanese week is over. It was fun having a theme as it meant I could buy a lot of the same ingredients for several days and also gave me a chance to think up now things for after the week ended. So far I’ve come up with Pizza. That’s it.

I tried making the pizza dough yesterday and it was a disaster so I’m trying again today. It seems so basic I can’t work out what went wrong so here goes – I used Jamie Oliver’s Pizza Dough recipe so what’s the worst that could happen.



1kg Strong White Flour

1 tsp Fine Sea Salt

2 x 7g Dried Yeast Sachets

1 Golden Caster Sugar

4 Tbsp Oil

650ml Lukewarm Water

I stopped at the store for flour as I didn’t have any Strong Flour in the house. Turns out I did. I now also have a second bag of strong flour, several magazines, a sandwich, popcorn, a phone cover and an empty purse.



Sieve the flour and salt onto a clean work surface. Make a well in the centre. In a jug mix together the yeast, oil, sugar and water.


Leave for a few minutes to dissolve and mix together. Pour the liquid mixture in to the well and gradually bring the flour in with a fork.


It should start coming together to form a dough. When this starts, work it in to a ball using your hands. Make sure they are dusted with flour to prevent the dough sticking.


Place the dough in a flour dusted bowl, dust with flour then cover with a damp cloth. Leave to proove for an hour in a warm room, until the dough has doubled in size. Take the dough out onto a floured surface and knead a bit to remove the air – this is called Knocking Back.

The dough is good to go.


Top with a selection of goodies – We went for Milano Salami, Streaky Bacon, Chipolatas, Basil and Mozzarella.

I baked for 20-30 minutes, checking regularly.

I am never, ever making Pizza Dough again. Second time and it was just as bad. I’ve Googled it since and the problem is potentially yeast related. There was no froth. Neither attempts rose, and when I cooked the second attempt it was shiny and none of the toppings would stick. Tasted lovely though.

Day 6 – Bolognese

Tonight we needed an easy meal, something we had in the house and that didn’t need a hundred and one new ingredients. Bolognese was the answer. This bolognese is my bolognese. I don’t have a recipe and it’s unlikely to be accurately ‘Italian’. But it tastes good, cooks quick and fills you up better than bread.




Sea Salt






Mixed Herbs

I’d love to make a true Italian Bolognese just to see how they compare but to be honest, this tastes like bolognese to us and it tastes good so who cares if it’s not true Italian.



Gently fry the onion and mushrooms in a frying panuntil soft.


Drizzle with oil and add a crushed garlic clove or two. Put to one side.


Cook off the mince until brown. Add salt and pepper. Add the oregano and mixed herbs to taste.


Add the the mushrooms and onions back in a stir while continuing to heat.


Add the carton on passata. Stir through.


Leave to simmer and reduce down until the sauce becomes thicker.

And that really is it. Cook up some pasta, stir it in and serve caked in parmesan. Garlic bread optional.


Day 1 – Ethiopian Doro-Wat

Having hastily dashed to every local supermarket for ingredients the night before, I find out that all the shops actually are open New Years Day. Ho hum.

My first meal of the year needed to be something relatively simple, and low on ingredients, but as with every meal on this blog, it had to taste awesome. After perusing various recipe apps, a cuisine I don’t think I’ve really tried before popped up. I’ve eaten many things, usually of the takeaway variety, but I’ve never tried African food. So starting 2013 off with a bang I shall be attempting Ethiopian Doro-Wat with Injera – essentially a spicy stew with flatbread. [Wat = Stew/Curry]

Now the recipe I’m following seemed simple enough – Chicken, Onions, Garlic… Berbere?

Definition of Berbere : a spice mix whose elements usually include chili pepper, garlic, ginger, dried basil, korarima, rue, white and black peper and fenugreek. It serves as a key ingredient in the Ethiopian cuisine.

So much for an easy ride in to the New Year. Now it wouldn’t really be right for me to cheat and use a ready made spice mix. The whole point of this blog is to make everything from scratch. Berbere Spice is also £9.50 per 500g.

The recipe for Berbere that accompanied the Doro-Wat recipe I’m using uses many of the ingredients previously mentioned along with a vast array of other spices on top.


Makes 1 servings.

1 tsp · Ground ginger
¼ tsp · Cinnamon
½ tsp · Ground cardamom
¼ tsp · Allspice
½ tsp · Ground coriander
2 tbsp · Salt
½ tsp · Ground fenugreek seeds
1 ¼ cup · Cayenne pepper
½ tsp · Grated nutmeg
½ cup · Paprika
¼ tsp · Ground cloves
1 tsp · Fresh ground black pepper


As usual I didn’t have any of these in the house, hence the mad dash to the shops on New Years Eve. Now I have plenty. At least it gives me somewhere to start for future 2013 recipes.

  1. 1. In a saucepan, toast the following ground spices together over a low heat for 4 to 5 minutes: ginger, cardamom, coriander, fenugreek, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and allspice. Shake or stir to prevent burning.


            2. Add the saltcayenne pepperpaprika and fresh ground black pepper and continue toasting and stirring for another 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Cool and store in tightly covered glass jar.


This recipe makes 1 1/2 cups of Berbere, which will keep in the fridge for 5-6 months.

Now for the Doro-Wat.


Makes 8 servings.

2 To 3 lbs chicken
9 oz · Tomato paste
3 stick · butter
10 Hard boiled eggs slightly — scored
3 lb · Onion finely chopped
2 large · Cloves garlic minced (or 2 — tsp. powder)
1 tsp · Ground black pepper
Heaping tb berbere


I don’t really want to make enough for 8, there are only four of us and my freezer would not love me if I tried to cram any more in. So I am halving the quantities and hoping for the best.

         1. Remove any skin from the chicken and score each piece slightly with a knife so the sauce can penetrate. ~ I cut my chicken up into chunks. This will affect cooking time.

         2. In a large stew pot melt the butter. Sauté the onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the berbere, followed by the tomato paste, stirring occasionally while the mixture simmers about 15 minutes. A piece at a time, stir in the chicken, coating well with the sauce.


         3. Continue to simmer, adding enough water to maintain the consistency of a thick soup. When chicken is half done, after about 20 minutes, put in the hard-boiled eggs. Cover and continue cooking until the chicken is tender.


         4. The dish is ready when the oil has risen to the top. Add black pepper and let sit until slightly cooled.



TASTE – Spicy & Earthy & Rich

COST – Relatively cheap after the Berbere, outlay for all the spices is quite a lot though if you don’t have much in store.


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