Tag Archives: vegetables

Pheasant and Rabbit Pie for New Years Day

Every new year I make a meat/game pie and a veggie/fish pie for the veggies. i’ve been doing this now for the past 6 years, they are always different! I’ve made this game pie before at new years and it has been requested again for the 1st Jan 2013! Its from a handwritten cookery book that my mum has at home. I’m making this ahead of New Year’s Day, but I will leave the pastry for New Year’s Day, just before it hits the oven, the preparation makes the final stages so much simpler! (Especially if you over did it the night before)

Pie Ingredients
1kg 20g Pheasant
680g Rabbit
(The meat should equate to 1kg without the bones)
226g carrot
170g celery
170g onion
56g butter
4tbsp vegetable oil
‘Jus’Rol’ Puff pastry, (Enough to cover the top of your dish!)
4level tbsp plain flour
3/4 pint Chicken stock
4tbsp brandy
1 Bay leaf
1 egg beaten
Salt and pepper

This pie is straight forward and certainly seems to help with any hangovers on New Year’s Day!
I bought the Pheasant and Rabbit this year from the covered market at M Feller the veg was from the grocers.

Put all of your meat into a large bowl, and set aside.
Dice the carrots and celery into quarter pieces
Chop the onion roughly
Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based pan and add the vegetables, cook until lightly brown. Then lift this out of the pan and set aside in a bowl.

Stir the flour and seasoning through the game pie mix, then add a little at a time in the residual oil. Once all the meat is in the pan, replace the vegetables back into the pan. Add the stock, brandy, bay leaf and gravy browning to the pan. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
Leave this to cool overnight. On New Year’s Day roll out your pastry and cover the top of the pie, I have a blackbird for my pie, to raise the pastry and create the hole in the middle.
Cook the pie at 200C for 30mins. Then lower to 180C for a further 20mins, if necessary then cover with foil. This way you won’t burn the pastry.

This year I’ll be serving the meat pie with hassle-back potatoes and some greens, hopefully the diners will enjoy!



The beetroot bake

I love beetroot, so whenever I can have it I will. This dish is a firm favourite of mine, I’m surprised I’ve not put this up sooner. I learnt this dish from my week at Orchards Cookery school in Worcestershire. It’s simple to make and takes about 1hr 10mins so ideal for a weekend dish or prepare this the night before.

450g fresh beetroots (medium in size)
425ml double cream or creme fraiche
3tbsp of Wholegrain mustard
3-4 garlic cloves
85g Grated cheddar cheese
Ovenproof dish

Boil water in a large pan and add your beetroot to the water, boil for 20 mins. Then remove and place into a bowl to cool for handling.

Pour your double cream into a jug, add your mustard and crush your garlic into the mix, whisk this together until you consider this mixed.

Grate your cheese onto a large plate, this is simply to make the layering process quick and simple

The Beetroot skin should come away easily, you will not even need a peeler. When you peel the beetroots with your hands you will undoubtedly stain your hands, so you might wish to wear gloves, or make sure you have some good hand wash in your kitchen.

Once peeled you need to chop the beetroot into slices approx 1/2cm thick. The main point here would be not to make slices too thin.

Now cover the base of your oven proof dish with beetroot slices, then pour over some of your cream mix, this should cover your beetroot, then sprinkle with cheese. Continue this layering process and then season with salt and pepper.

At this point if you are making it for another night, cover the dish and leave this is the fridge.

When you are ready, add the beetroot bake to your preheated oven (180C) and allow this to cook for 50mins. The cheese should be bubbling away and look rich in pink!

This is a great side to your Sunday roast, the colour in the beetroot makes for a bright side. The cream doesn’t make this dish the healthiest of dishes but it’s certainly a treat worth trying, for those of you that have children and want them to try new things this might do the trick!?

Riverford at Oxfork


Last month I wrote about the Oxford Bake Off and how I wanted to challenge myself more in the food world. While there were no bake offs for me this April I set myself up to go to a food event in Oxford at Oxfork. Oxfork had been on my list for a while, so an event evening seemed like a perfect reason!


Riverford supply ‘organic veg and lots more to your door, they began in Devon supplying to 30 friends and now supply 40,000 boxes a week to homes around the UK from their regional farms. The event was a showcase of Riverford ‘Jake the Veg’, this sounded like a good night.


On arrival I was welcomed with a glass of Prosecco or Organic Apple juice, there was a variety of Riverford cheeses on the counter, which were available for nibbling for the whole evening. A very pleasing start to my night already, I do love cheese!


I was shown to a 6 seater table and waited for a few minutes to see who would be joining me at this Riverford event. It was long before I was joined by 5 other women, 3 work colleagues and 2 friends. Once introductions were made and a cheese runner was selected for the evening, we started to take a look at what was on our table. The Riverford brochure, our evenings menu and our crudities board.


The crudities were varied, there was the usual crisps, celery, carrots, peppers and then the spring onions. Spring onions weren’t really solid enough to work with the dip, which caused amusement around the table! The dip was delicious, it was a thick dip, definitely suited to chunky vegetables. The ingredients were nuts, garlic and possibly a hint of chilli. The kick that the dip gave was pleasing and moreish to all 6 members on my table.


When the crudities were finished and the board was taken away we were given our starter. This was a stunningly green starter: lentil and chard soup. The bowls were all varied, my bowl seemed huge in comparison to some, but it certainly gave a homely feel to our meal.


What is PSB? This was the question on my tables lips. One woman next to me knew the answer! I’ll tell you later. So you’ll have to keep reading if you don’t already know…
The main course: PSB, orange and cumin carrots and potato rosti. I think the carrots had been soaked in orange the flavour was strong and worked very well with the carrot and cumin combination. The reaction on the table over our plat of veg, was I thought very interesting. One comment was that some other guests had never been so full of vegetables, luckily for the two vegetarians, we had not had this problem before!


The dessert was Rhubarb cake with rhubarb compote and crème fraiche. This wasn’t the tables favourite dish, it would seem that rhubarb wasn’t that popular on our table. I thought it was at least something very different, I’ve never tried rhubarb in a cake and I would try it again, but perhaps with warm compote next time.


Our table choice of wine was red, there was some wines in the tables brochure, a bottle for £9.However our wine was not the same as advertised and came in at a higher price, clearly we hadn’t ordered from the brochure. This caused some surprise and annoyance on my table, but I don’t feel that there was a need to complain. I paid £25 a month ago for what I considered to be a great event, and I wasn’t disappointed. So that night the ‘expensive’ wine and a tip was all I was paying for, in my eyes £7 is a good night!


Throughout the night conversation flowed easily at our table. We talked about Oxford restaurants and bars; the favourites, the disasters and the one off times. Oxfork looks small from the outside but it is certainly bigger on the inside. The vibe is relaxed, it feels like your front room, if you had a really nice front room! Our table decision was that Oxfork was certainly unique, it has something that Oxford has needed for a while. I’m glad it’s so local to me!


Thank you to Oxfork for hosting a great night, I will keep an eye out for the next one and I have already raved about the event and your place to anyone that will listen. For more information on Riverford Organic here is the link:


What is PSB? Purple Sprouting Broccoli!

The Bat and Ball

The Bat and Ball is situated in Cuddesdon a short drive out from Oxford city centre. The fields and footpaths are great for ramblers and dog walkers especially in the knowledge that there is an open fire as well as good food and drink not too far away. When you arrive into the car park, you will see that the views surrounding the restaurant are beautiful.

Inside you will find exposed beams throughout the restaurant and bar. The stone floor mixed with the leather furnishings gives The Bat and Ball an inviting touch to all visitors, even more so if the fire has been lit! Wickets and bats are mounted on the beams throughout the bar and restaurant. It’s certainly worth a good look when you are inside as there is plenty of cricket memorabilia for fans and non fans.

The venue is relaxed but smart and welcomes families of all ages into both its bar and restaurant. The same menu choice can be had in both seating areas, so you can still have a special meal even if you opt to sit in the bar instead of the restaurant.
On Sundays they have a choice of two roasts as well as the main menu; which included a variety of fish, meat, lighter bites and starters. From Monday to Saturday they have an alternative menu which can be found on their website.

When we arrived at 1pm the restaurant was full although not heaving. It was clear that others knew this was a good place to go for lunch with parents and or friends.

The service was attentive and the staff were friendly, we were given a nice amount of time to peruse the menu.
Our drinks order was taken and served in good time too.
The specials board was up when we arrived, we managed to have a quick glance before the waitress removed it.

Our Food

Bat Burger

This was a good thick meaty burger, and looked like a good quality meat, the home-made coleslaw was ‘delicious’.

Roast Pork

Both the men had the Roast Pork, both were happy with their meal but would have enjoyed some crackling with the pork. They said that it missed the home cooked feel and it would have been nice to have a slice more meat. The yorkshire pudding was very much enjoyed and was a sizeable yorkie at that!

Winter Vegetable Casserole with vegetarian dumplings

This was a hearty bowl of beans, sweet potato and other root vegetables,
with tasty dumplings. This was served with half a baguette which was great for dunking.


Chocolate cake

This caught my other halfs’ eye, he’s not normally a chocolate lover but he said that the cake was ‘gorgeous’ (I’m sure he’ll love me for quoting that!) It was moist and had a good creamy icing it wasn’t thick and claggy.

Orange and Quantro Cheesecake

The quantro gave this a good punch apparently, I thought the presentation looked great!

Creme brulee

This was served in a coffee cup, the top had a good firm top which you could crack through satisfyingly!

We all left happy and full. I think polishing off the yummy mints that came with the bill helped with this too! If you are looking for somewhere slightly out of Oxford city centre for a change, give The Bat and Ball a try. It’s less than 5 miles away and in a beautiful village, there is also car parking available in the restaurants car park and some on the roadside.