Proof that eating seasonally will improve the variety of food you eat! I had never eaten a Jerusalem artichoke before, so I chose this meal for my first taste as there is minimal effort that goes into its preparation meaning you get to taste it in a fairly raw form. We were pleasantly surprised with the results. We've definitely been missing out, I think the main reason being that we had never been exposed to this veggie as children, so it always seemed a bit weird to see one in a shop - being creatures of habit it's easy to just leave it alone, not knowing how it tastes or what to do with it, and stick to the veggies we know. Ultimately, we now have another fantastic tasting ingredient added to our winter pantry!
So, for this very simple and healthy, seasonal recipe, you'll need...
A little oil of choice
8 pork sausages
500ml chicken stock
500g Jerusalem artichokes (no need to peel for this recipe; just scrub clean and cut into halves)
1 Savoy cabbage
Fry the sausages for about 10-minutes to brown them.
Add them to a deep baking tray along with the chicken stock and the Jerusalem artichokes, cover and cook in the oven at 180C for 15-minutes.
Lift the cover, add the seasoning, thyme, paprika, chilli flakes and cook again for 15-minutes.
Finally, add the cabbage leaves and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.
All you need is...
You may think that eating seasonally through the winter months require a bit more experience or experiments! But there's so many great options out there that are unique to this cold season. Pheasant is aplenty for this time of year, but it does have a tendency to dry out, as it is quite easily overcooked. I seal them in a very hot pan first to stop them drying out in the process. And of course root vegetables too, like parsnips and carrots. Follow the steps below and the result will be a happy, unique and tasty winter warmer...
Please note this method is an easy way to cook indoors at home, but I use my smoker outside all year round for EVEN better results. Smoking meat on a smoker outdoors is an entirely different method... Recipe in a future book ;-)
Homemade BBQ Rub:
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons paprika
A generous amount of black pepper all over
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
(for approx 1kg brisket, increase measurements for larger size)
Brisket is a tough and hard-working slab of meat, so it needs some time and love to bring out its flavour - but when you do the flavour is incredible. This recipe is very straightforward and easy, so don't feel daunted that the time means too much effort, it's super simple! I prefer to use a smoker but this guide is for an indoor cook!
This is perfect all year round; for summer (best cooked on the BBQ though) or using the above procedure for winter or if you don't have a smoker!
500g Game Meat (venison, pheasant, pigeon, rabbit, partridge etc. locally sourced)
2 tbsp oil (of your choice)
2 slices of bacon (medallions are leaner)
Handful of seasonal mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp plain flour
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
150ml chicken stock
150ml red wine
Salt & Pepper
Seasonal vegetables to serve (depends on the month that you make this!)
[Before beginning this recipe be mindful of which seasonal vegetables you are using and begin cooking these at the appropriate time for best results with your chosen veg]
- Add 1tbsp of your chosen oil to a pan and brown the meat. Remove and put on a plate to one side
- Add the other 1tbsp of oil to the pan and add the chopped shallots, it will take about 5-minutes for them to soften, then add the chopped bacon, sliced mushrooms and finely diced garlic - cook for 3-minutes
- Mix the flour into the onion, bacon, mushroom, garlic combo for 2-minutes, season with salt and pepper and stir in the bay leaf, redcurrant jelly, chicken stock, redcurrant jelly and the wine.
- It will being to boil, add the meat, then let it simmer for 15-minutes.
- Heat your oven to 200C, add everything from the pan into pie dishes and make a small pastry lid for to cover. Of course this isn't the healthiest part of the recipe but the meat isn't entirely cased in pastry, so it's not as bad as a normal pie.
[One big tip I can give you here to make this recipe even healthier and still "pie-like" is to use a small shaped cutter on the puff pastry (perhaps a rabbit or a bird like we did!) and bake them in the oven on a sheet and then place it on top of the meat to serve. I normally call this my "Lie Pie" which I use mostly with my Chicken, Chorizo & Leek Lie Pie.]
- Decorate the top of the pastry and glaze with beaten egg.
- Put completed pie dishes in oven for around 25-minutes and cook vegetables.
- Serve and enjoy a healthier, happier and greener meal!