The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Succulent meatloaf recipe

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal, Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 9 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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Recipe for sausages baked on a nest of cannellini beans, hot smoked garlic and bacon

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 7 comments

Recipe for sausages baked on a nest of cannellini beans, hot smoked garlic and bacon

There are two ways of smoking food – hot smoking and cold smoking. The difference between them is that hot smoking cooks and smokes the food whilst cold smoking just smokes the food. In the case of garlic, cold smoking preserves the garlic and adds a subtle smoked flavour. Hot smoked garlic is soft and quite delicious – it needs to be vacuum packed to last more than just a few days. Hot smoked garlic has a much milder flavour than ordinary garlic and a wonderful, deep and smoky taste. It’s excellent spread on a piece of toast as...

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Recipe for pork tenderloin in a tomato and pepper sauce

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages, Rice and Pasta | 3 comments

Recipe for pork tenderloin in a tomato and pepper sauce

Every year we bottle/can loads of tomatoes for use over the winter. These are sweet and the flavour is delicate. But however many jars I make we find that they always run out by Christmas. Luckily we love good quality tinned plum tomatoes. They have to be whole tomatoes rather than the chopped ones. These tinned toms are more expensive than the value brands but they taste so much better. Over the last few months there have been loads of half price offers in the supermarkets and I cashed in big time. A few days before I invented this recipe, I...

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Recipe for pork fillet and yacon stir fry with sweet chilli sauce

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages, Vegetables and Sides | 5 comments

Recipe for pork fillet and yacon stir fry with sweet chilli sauce

Pork fillet can sometimes be a bit disappointing – especially when it is sold as medallions. We’ve discovered that if it’s marinaded for an hour before cooking, sliced and cooked very quickly it’s delicious. In fact I think it is one of my favourite types of meat for a stir fry. I’ve been making quite a few stir fries recently. They are quick and it’s fun to play with the ingredients. For years I got the wrong end of the stick regarding stir fries – imagined that everything had to be fried in oil. Of course you can use...

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Recipe for delicious and easy chicken and ham risotto

Posted in Chicken, Pork Ham Bacon Sausages, Rice and Pasta | 5 comments

Recipe for delicious and easy chicken and ham risotto

We eat a lot of risotto in the cottage. It’s a great way of padding out small leftovers of meat and totally vegetarian risottos are great too – all that creamy rice with just a little bite is gorgeous. Generally I am the one who makes it. Danny tried it once using some duck fat that he found lurking in the bottom of the fridge. I’m not sure how old that fat was but it tasted like something from Tutankhamen’s tomb. I strongly suspect that he did this accidentally on purpose. He’s never been asked to attempt the dish again. In fact...

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Recipe for sausages baked with herby garlic infused beans, bacon and tomato

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 6 comments

Recipe for sausages baked with herby garlic infused beans, bacon and tomato

There are two words that sent Danny into a fluster. “Bake” and “penne”. There is just one phrase that makes him visibly pale and narrow his dark Irish eyes. “Pasta bake”. The reverberations that take place when I dare to mouthe these two innocent words deserve their own paragraph. I watch with envy as families in the TV commercials tuck happily into pasta bakes. I love simple, sling in the oven and repair to a comfy chair sort of recipes. Between you and me I’m planning a baked risotto for next week but I wouldn’t dream of...

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Pigs’ cheeks braised in apples and cider. Slow cooker/crock pot recipe.

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 10 comments

Pigs’ cheeks braised in apples and cider. Slow cooker/crock pot recipe.

The Chicken Lady, who writes the excellent blog Kitty’s Super Allotment, was cooking pigs’ cheeks with apples when I popped in a few weeks ago. “I think that the butcher just sliced them off the head. Look there’s a piece of ear.” Initially I felt a bit squirmy about tasting this dish. But these were quite delicious – the skin crispy yet soft and the meat similar to slow cooked belly of pork. Celia from Purple Podded Peas had mentioned pigs’ cheeks to me ages ago and I’d forgotten all about them. In...

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How to make your own bacon at home without a smoker : our new delicious sweetcure recipe

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages, Preserving | 10 comments

How to make your own bacon at home without a smoker : our new delicious sweetcure  recipe

  If you haven’t tried curing your own bacon at home, please give it a go. It’s so easy. You will be eating superb bacon for a fraction of the cost of even the cheapest, nastiest tasting unhappy pig bacon available.  You can also control the levels of salt – Danny has high blood pressure so commercially produced bacon is a bit of a no no. And unless you inject your bacon with preservatives, you will get no white residue to alarm you. With homemade bacon at the helm you can actually Make Friends and Influence People without having to...

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