The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Easy chic recipes: Duck breasts roasted on a bed of apricots

Posted in Duck Goose and Turkey | 14 comments

Easy chic recipes: Duck breasts roasted on a bed of apricots

We are lucky to know a few people who regularly travel outside our county. Jocelyn and Miles to France and Tessa and Colin to Cornwall and Belgium. J and M bring back fresh garlic, Lesieur mayonnaise (thank you Amelee!), garlic granules (these are much stronger and better than the ones available in the UK. They also will buy wine and tobacco. Real contraband. T and C visit Cornwall every month and bring back superb spicy beef sausages and fat duck breasts from Trago Mills. Cornish delights that they yearn for from their small East Anglian...

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Best roast goose and recipe

Posted in Christmas, Duck Goose and Turkey | 12 comments

Best roast goose and recipe

What do Heston Blumenthal and I have in common? Apart from the fact that we both wear glasses. We buy our geese from Clerkesgeese. Decorating other peoples’ houses has wonderful benefits. Generally the conversation turns to food and information is shared. A young client (‘mother‘ of the mischievous Freddie) mentioned that she had tasted one of the Clerkes Farm Geese last Christmas and had ordered one this year. When she added that Heston Blumenthal had voted their geese the best in his goose taste test, the die was cast. The prices were...

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Sunday roast: Roast duck with piquant plum and apple sauce recipe

Posted in Duck Goose and Turkey | 9 comments

Sunday roast: Roast duck with piquant plum and apple sauce recipe

We were both working at the weekend so a trip to the new butcher in Fordham wasn’t an option. But we did wake on Sunday to home cured bacon slowly cold smoked for 36 hours over apple wood in our inglenook chimney. Our sitting room is unheated at the moment so long, cold smoking is viable, Sometimes cutting back on the heating reaps real dividends! But we had no joint for the Sunday roast. “I’m happy to eat Spaghetti Bolognaise. We don’t need to roast a joint every Sunday.” Danny cut a forkful of bacon and topped it with a grilled...

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Broad bean and smoked duck breast salad with a garlic and spring onion dressing recipe

Posted in Duck Goose and Turkey | 8 comments

Broad bean and smoked duck breast salad with a garlic and spring onion dressing recipe

If anyone had suggested ten years ago that I might like to try growing broad beans, I would have thought that they were deranged. I hated broad beans. The flouriness of the beans and their crinkly skins. When John arrived with a large smile and a box of seeds it would have been rude to say no. So I smiled and enthused as he planted an entire bed of the kitchen garden with the plump seeds of these loathsome plants. I cared for these plants. Nipping of the tops to avoid the invasion of blackfly. Watering them when it was dry. They were planted...

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Best recipes for leftovers: Goose risotto to die for

Posted in Duck Goose and Turkey, Leftovers, Rice and Pasta | 11 comments

Best recipes for leftovers: Goose risotto to die for

“Come on over. We are having goose risotto.” “What sort of goose?” Gilbert’s tone was wary. “A free range Gressingham goose. Cost a fortune but it was a present from my Mum as our Christmas Day treat.” There was no response so I added: “A goose that’s had a happy life in a goosey sort of way. It even came with a small cookbook and an oven thermometer.” Gilbert thought for a moment. “So it arrived for Christmas with full instructions on how to cook it? Thank goodness geese...

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Duck breasts with a fresh plum sauce recipe

Posted in Duck Goose and Turkey | 20 comments

Duck breasts with a fresh plum sauce recipe

I spotted some large French duck breasts at Fred Fitzpatrick’s butcher’s shop on Saturday. As all his meat is excellent I bought a pack as a treat, feeling a bit guilty about the air miles. I was going to make our lazy duck in apricot sauce recipe but when I saw some large plump fresh plums in Tesco I changed my mind. I had to ignore the air miles yet again and resolved to bottle some of the local wild plums and bullaces in the autumn to use as sauces for duck and pork. They are tart and perfect for this recipe. I decided to make a...

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Duck and Truffle Pâté from Borough Market

Posted in Duck Goose and Turkey, Reviews | 0 comments

Duck and Truffle Pâté from Borough Market

If you want to treat yourself to something very special indeed, take a bus to Borough Market and find the stall that sells truffles and truffle infused pâté. The stall is situated in a small enclave of ten or so stands and is located at the opposite end to the Boston Sausage stall (also excellent). As the truffle pâté stall was the first of many that we spotted in our food day out, I stupidly didn’t take the name of the stand. Perhaps someone out there can help? We sampled their chicken and truffle pâté and Danny gasped with joy....

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Lazy duck in apricot sauce recipe

Posted in Duck Goose and Turkey | 3 comments

Lazy duck in apricot sauce recipe

I often turn my collar up and haunt the condemned food section of Tesco. Sometimes I bag a real bargain. Often I find duck legs. The first time I swanked home with this gem Danny was forthright. “it’s all very well bringing home cut price stuff but do you know how to cook duck legs?” I had no idea. “Of course I do.” My mind whirled madly. “I’m going to cook them slowly with apricots.” His head remained cocked to one side. “And wine.” We were both stunned that I could so easily pluck...

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