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Ox Heart Ragu

The tale behind this dish goes something like…. We’ve been eating Pork with everything for the last few days thanks to a ½ price deal. So on Thursday for a bit of fun and a change of culinary scenery I bumbled off to intentionally got something a bit ‘Ropey’. For £1.65 we didn’t have great expectations for this chopped up atrocity. How wrong can you be?!

Clearly it a slow cook gig and you’d really not want to try this on a camp-stove at this time of year. But in the summer over a fire……


450g of Diced Ox Heart, steeped in Milk
1 Tin of chopped Tomatoes, plus ½ a tin of water
2 Tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
2 Carrot, finely chopped
2 Stick of Celery, finely chopped
1 Large Red Onion, diced
1 Tbsp of Tomato Puree
2 Tbsp of plain Flour (Gluten free foe us)
1 Pint of mixed Beef and Red Wine Stock (We’re using Morrison’s own brand Stock Pots – Which are cheap and really good)
6 Mushrooms, finely sliced
1 Tsp of dried Oregano
½ Tsp of Cumin powder
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
A dish of Oyster Sauce
1 Tsp of Worcester Sauce
1 Tsp of Gluten free Yeast Extract (Own brand Marmite)
1 Tsp of dried Thyme
½ Tsp of Onion Salt
½ Tsp of Garlic Salt
A sprinkle of Mono-Sodium Glutamate
Oil to Fry
Salt & Pepper to season
Italian style hard Cheese and fresh Parsley to garnish


(1) Drain the Ox Heart of the Milk.
(2) Season the Flour with Cumin, Garlic Salt, Onion Salt and Salt & Pepper.
(3) Coat the chopped Ox Heart in the seasoned Flour.
(4) In a large frying pan fry to Heart in a little Oil to seal on all sides.
(5) Remove the Heart and set aside.
(6) Add a little more Oil to the pan.
(7) Add the Onions, Carrot, Garlic & Celery and fry over a medium heat to soften.
(8) Return the Heart to the pan and stir in the Tomato Puree.
(9) Add the Stock and simmer for a few minutes.
(10) Add the Oregano, Thyme and Mushrooms and simmer for a couple of minutes.
(11) Add the remaining ingredients and stir.
(12) Transfer to a casserole dish and place in the oven.
(13) Cook at 160c and 3 ½ to 4 hours.
(14) Serve over Rice Stock Stick Noodles and garish with Italian style hard Cheese and fresh Parsley.

This was really good and far exceeded our rather bleak expectations! There’s also over half of the Ragu left which we’ll be heating and serving up in Jacket Potatoes this evening. Not bad going for £1.65…….


Pork Parmo #2

There was a one day special on Pork at the local supermarket yesterday. Suffice it to say Pork will be our meat of choice for the next few days! These leg steaks cost us the extortionate price of £0.94 so Sue reinvented our take on Pork Parmo.

Served with hand cut chips, Peas and homemade Coleslaw, this was a really tasty and quick meal. We used some remaining braising stock from the Lamb Neck we had in the fridge. Which was very rich and tasty.

Our previous version is here

Lamb Neck Fillet

Although Lamb is traditional at this time of year we can’t realistically justify spending £20+ on a leg of Larry. So we went for a neck Fillet. It was very tender and tasty after long slow cooking.


1 Lamb Neck Fillet, seasoned with Salt & Pepper
1 Onion, Sliced
1 Leek, sliced lengthways
1 Carrot, finely batoned
1 head of Garlic, halved
a few Black Peppercorns
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tsp of dried Rosemary
4ml of Stock
125Ml of White Wine
1 Tbsp of Tomato Puree
1 Tbsp of cornflour with water
Oil to fry


(1) Sear the seasoned Lamb on all sides in a little Oil and place in a casserole dish.
(2) In the same pan fry the Onion, Leek, Carrot and Garlic, until they have softened.
(3) Stir in the Tomato Puree then add the Wine and Stock.
(4) Add the Peppercorns, Rosemary and Bay Leaves.
(5) Stir in the Cornflour mix and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
(6) Pour the sauce over the Lamb and place in the oven covered.
(7) Cook for 3 hours at 160c.

We served ours with Leeks, Carrots, Peas and roast Potatoes.


DIY Brown Sauce - Gluten Free

There is logic in this madness. Almost all Brown Sauces have Wheat Gluten in them. That’s a serious no-no for Sue. There is actually no need and as far as we can tell so far this version tastes much better anyway. We’re supposed to give it 10 days to mature. Well, we’ll see how that goes!!!!


4 Apples, cores and chopped
300g of Prunes, chopped
1 Large Onion, diced
375g of Brown Sugar
72G of Salt
900ml of Malt Vinegar
1 Tsp of dried Ginger
½ Tsp of Allspice
½ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
¼ Tsp Grated Nutmeg


(1) Open all the windows!
(2) Bung it all in a really big pan and bring to the boil.
(3) Stand outside as the Vinegar fumes will be making you gasp by now!
(4) Reduce the heat and simmer until everything has reduced by 1/3, stirring regularly.
(5) Remove from the heat.
(6) Use a hand blender (Food processor will be fine) and wuzz everything up.
(7) Once cool pour into a clip top jar.
(8) Set aside for 10 days!!!!!

We recycled an existing plastic squeezey which we’ll top up as required.

Seafood Linguine Pasta

We had a remaining pack of King Prawns in the freezer, so we decided on another Seafood dish.


Linguine Pasta (Gluten free for us)
3 Tbsp of Olive Oil
4 Gloves of Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp of Capers, chopped
½ Tsp of Chilli flakes
200g of King Prawns
500g Octopus
125 Ml of White Wine
1 ½ Tbsp of Tomato Puree
6 Anchovies
6 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
A squeeze of Lemon juice
Salt & Pepper

Batter Ingredients:-

2 Eggs
Plain Flour (Gluten free for us)
Soda Water
Garlic Salt
Onion Salt

Method for the Pasta & Sauce:-

(1) Roll up your sleeves. It’s Octopus dressing time. Basically cut the tentacles from the head. Cut the attaching membranes so you can turn the body inside out and remove it. You don’t want the innards or the hard beak, but everything else is good.
(2) Reserve four of the legs to batter later. See below.
(3) Boil the Pasta until it is almost cooked. Drain and set aside. If you are using Gluten free be very careful to remove it quite early as the hot sauce tends to effect Gluten free pasta adversely.
(4) Infuse the Garlic in the Oil for a few minutes over a medium heat.
(5) Add the Anchovies, Capers and Chilli Flakes and simmer for a few more minutes making sure that the Anchovies have broken down.
(6) Add the Prawns and Octopus and fry on a high heat for 30 seconds.
(7) Add the Wine, Tomato Puree and season with Salt & Pepper.
(8) Stir until the sauce has thickened and turn the heat down to simmer.
(9) Ad the Pasta and gently combine.
(10) Add the halved Tomatoes.
(11) Serve dressed with a squeeze of lemon and garnish with the battered Octopus, Lemon wedges and fresh Parsley.

Method for the battered Octopus Legs:-

(1) Heat a fryer to 170c.
(2) Mix the batter ingredients to form a smooth reasonably thick batter.
(3) Separate the individual legs and dip in the batter.
(3) Fry until they pop up and the batter is crispy.
(4) Remove and drain over kitchen paper.

The Octopus was a bit on the chewy side to be fair and the Gluten free Linguine didn’t hold too well with the sauce stirred through it. But everything tasted great.


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