The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Recipe for rare fillet steaks with a green peppercorn and cream sauce

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal, Sauces Gravy Dressings | 14 comments

Recipe for rare fillet steaks with a green peppercorn and cream sauce

I spotted a fillet of beef joint on the Tesco butcher’s counter. It had a good dark colour and I reckoned that it would taste great. As a payday treat I asked for two small fillet steaks about 2cm/0.8 inches deep. I rushed home with the bounty – Danny would cook the steaks and I’d make the green peppercorn and cream sauce. Green peppercorns are sold ‘wet’ in small jars of brine. They are crunchy and reasonably hot but don’t have the kick of dried black peppercorns. I love them. One of the easiest sauces to make is a...

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Succulent meatloaf recipe

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal, Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 8 comments

Succulent meatloaf recipe

“Have you ever cooked meatloaf, Conchita?” Meatloaf sounds so vile. It has never jumped out of the cookbook pleading “Cook me, eat me.” “What I mean is that we haven’t got a meatloaf recipe on the website. I had it once in America and it was good. It’s supposed to be economical…” “OK I’ll give it a go.” I have a vague memory of being served cold meatloaf as a child. The hostess whipped off its cover with a flourish. It lay on a giant oblong serving plate, looking very large and brown and dead. I can remember the pattern...

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The ultimate spaghetti and meatballs recipe in a rich tomato sauce. Slow cooker/crock pot method

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal, Rice and Pasta | 7 comments

The ultimate spaghetti and meatballs recipe in a rich tomato sauce. Slow cooker/crock pot method

“Wow! This is the best spaghetti and meatballs that I’ve ever tasted.” Danny was reaching for seconds before he’d even finished his first portion. Now before you reach for your shopping list I just want to make one thing clear. I have never sampled American spaghetti and meatballs. My recipe tasted pretty good to me too but this recipe is just how I imagined perfect American spaghetti and meatballs should taste. As a child I’m certain that we didn’t eat spaghetti with meatballs. I’ve always thought of it as an American dish....

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Recipe for meatballs and spaghetti with red wine, tomatoes and bell peppers. Foolproof slow cooker/crock pot recipes

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal | 11 comments

Recipe for meatballs and spaghetti with red wine, tomatoes and bell peppers. Foolproof slow cooker/crock pot recipes

“Please don’t buy mince again. I just don’t like it.” Danny grumbled out of the kitchen. “But you like spaghetti sauce made with mince! That’s what I bought it for.” The last comment wasn’t exactly true. I wanted to make another cottage pie and Danny had somehow sensed this in the ether. “I know that you liked the cottage pie but I didn’t care for it.” “Oh.” My mum always says that I thrive on a challenge. I was determined to make something utterly delicious with the offending pack of mince. Meatballs sprang to mind...

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Recipe for traditional slow cooked cottage pie: slow cooker/crock pot

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal | 7 comments

Recipe for traditional slow cooked cottage pie: slow cooker/crock pot

Ever since my mum was sent a box of meals from Abel and Cole I haven’t forgotten her comment when she reviewed the cottage pie. “It was a really good traditional cottage pie with no fancy or far flung additions. Delicious!” This was several years ago and I’ve been meaning to make a traditional cottage pie since then. Of course I wanted to see if my recipe came up to scratch the in A&C stakes as far as mu mum is concerned. Yesterday I had minced beef in the fridge and as it was a chilly day I reckoned that cottage pie would be...

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Recipe for Danny’s easy, tasty, rare roast rib of beef

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal | 2 comments

Recipe for Danny’s easy, tasty, rare roast rib of beef

Years ago during the great BSE scare in the late 1990s I gave up eating beef for a year. I’d never been a big fan of burgers but rare roast beef was an all time treat for me. Bone in beef was believed to be an even bigger no-no back then. People and cows were dying from this disease. I also gave up butter for a few years before the beef boycott. Until one happy day I saw an advertising hoarding on my way out of London. “Welcome back to butter!” It announced. I drove home with a pit stop at the dairy section of the local supermarket. I...

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Recipe for beef cheeks braised in stout: slow cooker/crock pot

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal | 7 comments

Recipe for beef cheeks braised in stout: slow cooker/crock pot

I only started watching Masterchef towards the end of last year and I’m totally hooked. Recently a team of contestants were working in Jason Atherton’s restayrant kitchen. The main course was beef cheeks braised in stout served with horseradish mashed potatoes – it looked delicious and I thought that I’d try making it in the slow cooker/crock pot. Beef cheeks are double the price of pig cheeks in the UK but they are still a budget cut of beef at around £5.99 a kilo. Don’t be alarmed when you cut them as they are very tough indeed!...

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Recipe for slow cooked ox cheeks braised in herbs and beer: slow cooker/crock pot casserole

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal | 12 comments

Recipe for slow cooked ox cheeks braised in herbs and beer: slow cooker/crock pot casserole

Beef in beer used to be a big hit in Bistros in London in the 1970’s. Although I ate out a lot in those days, I can’t remember actually sampling beef in beer. All that I can recall now are hummus and taramasalata starters with slim cut warm pitta bread – still a favourite with me. And the noise of those places – high ceilings and wooden floors. People perched either side of converted sewing machine tables and the Moulin Rouge posters on the walls. Sweaty waiters in long aprons that deftly snaked between the tables. And above all...

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