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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Rabbit and chorizo casserole recipe. Cooked slowly in the slow cooker/crock pot.

Posted in Pheasant and Game | 7 comments

Rabbit and chorizo casserole recipe. Cooked slowly in the slow cooker/crock pot.

  I discovered recently that one of our local butchers sells rabbits that are shot on the local studs. They are cheap too – at £5.00 a pair. Apart from pigeon this probably the cheapest, happy meat that you can buy in the UK. We used to eat a lot of rabbit when I was growing up. A traditional rabbit stew with vegetables. Then I didn’t eat rabbit for years and I know the reason why. Skinned rabbit looks to me a bit like a small, skinned dog or cat. Over the past year or so, I’ve put aside this silly nonsense and discovered the delights...

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New flavoursome spaghetti bolognaise sauce recipe cooked in the slow cooker/crock pot

Posted in Rice and Pasta, Sauces Gravy Dressings, Save Money | 8 comments

New flavoursome spaghetti bolognaise sauce recipe cooked in the slow cooker/crock pot

  Danny is picky about pasta. Won’t eat macaroni and the thought of penne has him panicking that I might actually have finally got up the nerve to cook it for him. “I like linguine, spaghetti, angel hair.” “Tagliatelle?” “Maybe.” I don’t ever mention ravioli since this terrible disaster. We eat a lot of spaghetti bolognaise. Frozen in flat ziplock bags it takes just half an hour max from freezer to plate. We’ve been eating versions of our patent recipe for years and I decided to see if I could make it tastier. I have to let...

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Tasty beef pot au feu recipe

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal | 3 comments

Tasty beef pot au feu recipe

  I remember our best pot-au-feu recipe meal. Years ago Danny and I were in Paris. We had wandered deep into a residential area. Feeling peckish we were on the lookout for a good restaurant but could find nothing. The time was about 7 pm. It was Sunday and the streets were empty. Then we noticed that people were passing us with a spring to their step – all going in the same direction. Where were they going? Was it Church or could it be a restaurant?  We decided to follow them. We turned a corner and saw the welcoming lights of a small...

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Spare ribs recipe slow cooked in a rich sauce

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 4 comments

Spare ribs recipe slow cooked in a rich sauce

  Before Danny met me he lived in America for three months. Often he refers to the spectacular spare ribs that he ate there. “One guy spent three days cooking just one pot of ribs. They were superb.” Unfortunately Danny didn’t get the recipe. When D’s brother came to visit he made some stunning ribs. His secret ingredient was black bean sauce. Unfortunately we didn’t note down the recipe. I had a longing for slow cooked spare ribs this week and I had two packs in the freezer that I’d picked up from the Waitrose *CFC which would be...

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Slow cooker chef: warming winter mixed game casserole recipe

Posted in Pheasant and Game | 7 comments

Slow cooker chef: warming winter mixed game casserole recipe

Unless you have a shotgun and access to rough shooting, game can be a very expensive treat in the UK. A small pack of mixed game from Waitrose will set you back around a fiver. So when Danny spotted two bags of mixed game marked down to £1.25 each he grabbed them with a chortle. “Oh dear,” I secretly thought, “This meat needs to be cooked immediately and I haven’t got the right vegetables for a game casserole.” But of course I had dehydrated ones – it’s difficult to switch on to this new source of bounty having just cooked with...

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