The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Pork risotto recipe with mushrooms, sweet peppers and tomatoes. Tasty budget meals.

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

Pork risotto recipe with mushrooms, sweet peppers and tomatoes. Tasty budget meals.

  Ever since I saw the Compassion in World farming videos we have only been buying free range pork. These videos expose the terrible conditions that many factory farmed pigs live in and whenever I reach for a cheap pack of pork I remember the images and quickly pass by. Buying free range pork can be a bit alarming as it is expensive. Happy pork does taste much, much better and is savoured at the cottage as a real treat. Even though we have been avoiding cheap pork for months, I was dismayed when I saw the size of joint that Danny...

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Lamb mince burger recipe with chips in our halogen oven by Danny

Posted in Lamb | 9 comments

Lamb mince burger recipe with chips in our halogen oven by Danny

Lamb can be greasy but these were delicious and not at all fatty. If our friend KC is reading this, then you can skip the rest, K! She hates lamb. We did not know this when we invited K and JP for Sunday lunch of roast lamb and dauphinoise potatoes. Poor K was too polite to say anything when she arrived and heard the menu but she really cheered up when the big dish of potatoes was placed on the table. One bite later she realised that, as a special treat, the lamb was roasted on a rack directly over the potatoes so that all the juices would add...

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Best recipes for leftovers: Spectacular goose, red pepper and tarragon risotto recipe

Posted in Duck Goose and Turkey, Rice and Pasta | 8 comments

Best recipes for leftovers: Spectacular goose, red pepper and tarragon risotto recipe

  “Would you like goose risotto tonight?” “Oh yes please!” We eat a lot of risotto at the cottage. The perfect easy comfort food. What I didn’t mention was the age of the goose. I’d found some last week in our freezer left over from Christmas 2008. It looked a bit stringy and unappetising so I hid it from Danny as it defrosted. Leftover goose – even if it’s been lingering in the freezer for months makes a risotto to die for. It smelt and tasted fine and once it was chopped up and stirred into the risotto it transformed the...

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Mushrooms braised in butter and red wine recipe

Posted in Vegetables and Sides | 2 comments

Mushrooms braised in butter and red wine recipe

  At the moment we are flat out making jars of chutney and Christmas relishes for our garden gate stand which hopefully will be up and running this weekend. So supper has to be quick and easy. The slow cooker is busy bubbling away with meals which are frozen in portions so we can eat well with the minimum palaver. I’ve discovered that freezing in portions of about 2 centimetres deep means that these meals can be heated from frozen very gently in a sauté pan with a lid. We quite often eat steak and kidney pie filling without the pastry...

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Stir fry with skirt of beef, green pepper and spring onion recipe

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal | 5 comments

Stir fry with skirt of beef, green pepper and spring onion recipe

  Sometimes we need a hefty meat fix. For years it was steak every Friday night, then it was an occasional steak when we found them on sale. Now it will be skirt of beef. Not only is it economical at about £3.50 for 500g it’s tastier than steak and has a wonderful texture. In the UK skirt is generally a largely undiscovered cut of beef.  So thank you Jo and more recently Paula for pointing me in the direction of the broad range of ways to cook this superb cut. Having already made a skirt of beef casserole in the slow cooker I thought that...

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Fried fillets of plaice with a nasturtium and mustard seed cream sauce recipe

Posted in Fish and Seafood | 5 comments

Fried fillets of plaice with a nasturtium and mustard seed cream sauce recipe

  “Do you mind if I experiment with Duncan’s pickled nasturtium seeds to make a sauce for the fish tonight.” I had found some cut priced fillets of plaice on the Tesco CFC. “That’s fine as long as we’ve got some mayo.” What Danny didn’t know was that we’d finally run out of the mayo that Miles and Jocelyn bring back from France. And as I didn’t have time to rustle up some homemade mayonnaise, this had to be a good sauce. What I wanted was both taste and texture that would not overpower the delicate fillets of plaice. The...

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Pamela’s perfect pumpkin soup recipe

Posted in Starters and Soups | 23 comments

Pamela’s perfect pumpkin soup recipe

  “Don’t you just love the look of abject fear that appears on the faces of shop girls or fellow shoppers, when they ask if you are making a lantern for Hallow’een and you reply that you are, in fact, going to eat it!”  Wrote my friend Pamela. “I made soup with half of mine and will be making more with the other half this evening.  Using what I had in – i.e. what was reduced for a quick sale or from the Somerfield basics range – I used spring onions, chilli, garlic, a green pepper, celery salt (which I love in a cheese butty)...

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Best quick and easy chicken breast recipe – cheat method

Posted in Chicken | 7 comments

Best quick and easy chicken breast recipe – cheat method

  Chicken breasts are so fast and simple to convert into a meal. I once had them just sliced and grilled (broiled) for a few minutes, then popped into a toasted sandwich with mustard and mayo to make a deliciously fast supper. The downside is that they are basically flavourless outside of their natural home in a Sunday Lunch whole roast chicken. The trick is to either marinade them beforehand or add ingredients to add some zest. Danny here on Thu evening, giving Fiona a break after her trip to London yesterday. I touched on this in the...

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