The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Delicious pork au feu recipe. Slow cooker/crock pot recipe.

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 6 comments

Delicious pork au feu recipe. Slow cooker/crock pot recipe.

  Whenever I go abroad to a country with a warmer climate than the UK, I buy herbs to bring home. Somehow these are better than the ones available in the UK – perhaps the drying methods are better? I have an oregano herb mix that I bought in Crete over 11 years ago. It is stored in an airtight container in a dark place and is so powerful that we can only use a large pinch at a time. Sometimes I splash out on bouquet garni on these trips and last winter discovered a stash at the back of the larder. These were from France and were...

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Belly of pork roasted on a nest of tomatillos recipe. Halogen oven/conventional oven recipe

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 5 comments

Belly of pork roasted on a nest of tomatillos recipe. Halogen oven/conventional oven recipe

  Tomatillos are extremely easy to grow. They are great for making salsas and sauces and they freeze well. They also do not get blight so it’s always worth growing a couple of plants if you have a greenhouse or conservatory to get some tomatoey tangy flavour if your tomato crops fail. You do need to grow at least two plants to guarantee that the fruit will set but apart from that I’ve always found them very obliging, tolerant to haphazard watering and they always give a good harvest. I tend to freeze tomatillos, but they can be dehydrated...

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Belly of pork roasted with mandarin slices recipe. Halogen and conventional oven recipe.

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 6 comments

Belly of pork roasted with mandarin slices recipe. Halogen and conventional oven recipe.

  I think that this could be called my Mandarin period. I’ve fallen in love with this fruit. The round glass bowl on the kitchen table is filled with mandarins and lemons and I’m addicted. Bizarrely the Min Pins have discovered this tart and delicious gem too. A segment is prized and even the skin is a trophy to be fought over and dragged into baskets to sweeten their sleep. I happened to get a whole belly of pork for a giveaway price. The deeply scored skin meant that bacon would be not such a good idea so four small belly joints were...

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Tasty Baked sausages, bacon and flageolet beans recipe

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 7 comments

Tasty Baked sausages, bacon and flageolet beans recipe

  I’ve never been keen on beans, definitely was not one of the Beans means Heinz fans as a child. Even the recent change to Beanz hasn’t tempted me. In fact I was so out of the whole world of beans as a teenager that I didn’t even understand the flatulence jokes in Blazing Saddles. Now beans are almost considered the new ‘meat’. Economical, packed with goodness and promise. Some varieties can even be grown in UK gardens – come the revolution these could be a valuable source of protein. So I decided to experiment a bit with...

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Celia’s baked pork chops with crackling squares

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 6 comments

Celia’s baked pork chops with crackling squares

I’ve come rapidly to the conclusion that Celia – of Purple Podded Peas fame  – is an excellent and intuitive cook. And Danny wholeheartedly agreed when he tasted her recipe. “Wow, this dish is exceptional,,” he said, as he guzzled his chunky Old Spot pork chop. “The idea of cooking the crackling separately in small squares is just pure genius.” Celia had told me her method of cooking pork chops on our recent girly day out. “Cut of the skin and about a centimetre of the fat and cut it into squares. Brown the chops in a...

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Slow baked belly of pork with green tomatoes, coriander and lime recipe

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages, Vegetables and Sides | 6 comments

Slow baked belly of pork with green tomatoes, coriander and lime recipe

  We have never had so many green tomatoes knocking about the house. Some will turn red eventually but I decided to try cooking with some green ones. Their flavour improves with long slow cooking so combining them with a small joint of belly of pork would make a sumptuous meal for two. The result was unbelievably good, stunning fruity tangy flavours offsetting the melt in the mouth pork. Tears over not having many toms to bottle were wiped away with the first mouthful. I’m going to freeze and dry some batches of green tomatoes as this...

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Delicious pork steaks recipe: baked with wild plum jelly and blackcurrants

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages, Sauces Gravy Dressings | 6 comments

Delicious pork steaks recipe: baked with wild plum jelly and blackcurrants

However careful I am about constructing my fruit cages a hungry bird or twenty always seems to crack the code and get in. One year one of our fruit cages was constructed with high security in mind – nothing apart from me could get in or out and it was such a struggle to access that I cursed the plan all Summer.  It seemed to work initially and then deteriorated fast. A  family of wrens had built a teeny nest in the climbing roses at the back of the cage. I didn’t notice them during the construction process and only realised that they...

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Belly of Pork with Morello cherries recipe

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 5 comments

Belly of Pork with Morello cherries recipe

Over the past few years I’ve bought a number of fruit bushes and trees from the budget supermarket Netto. This can be a bit of a hit and miss affair. The green gooseberry bush turned out to be a succulent red dessert variety and tiny hands clapped with glee. About three years ago I bought a couple of cherry trees – one Morello and one dessert cherry. The later has been grown in a frame in one of the fruit cages. Last year they fruited and we discovered that both specimens were Morello trees. After the initial disappointment – cherries...

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