Stuck in a recipe rut? Here are rib-sticking, heart-warming dishes for the coming winter.
In our time-starved lives it’s easy to default to the same range of dinners, cooked the same way, week after week.
Trying a new recipe is often something left for a special occasion.
Which is why leading local butcher John Henderson, of Charles Wilson Butchers has teamed up with the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders to encourage families to take a more adventurous approach when preparing their dinners.
Here are 3 easy to cook recipes to pep up your dinner time:
Smoky Paprika Sausages
Buy some sausages from your local butcher – two a head for standard appetites, three for the hearty – chop, and scatter in a foil tray. Chop a mixture of mushrooms, peppers, red onion, courgettes, and vine tomatoes, and layer with the sausages, before liberally scattering with smoky paprika.
“Set the oven for 190C and 30 minutes later you’ll have a lip-smacking meal guaranteed to warm the entire family on chilly evenings,” said John.
Chinese Pork Balls
Cooking at home can also save you money. As John argued, “Why pay takeaway prices for Chinese Pork Balls when they can be so easy to make?”
Get some good quality pork belly or shoulder and ask your butcher to mince if for you. Peel and finely chop a shallot and two cloves of garlic, and mix this into the mince along with a little ground ginger, two tablespoons of corn flour, a teaspoon of sherry, a teaspoon of salt, and a sprinkle of white pepper.
Roll the mince into small balls, about the size of a walnut. Bring about an inch of oil to a high heat in a wok (be careful of splashes!) and fry the balls until brown.
Drain off the excess fat on a paper towel, before serving with hot fluffy rice and sweet and sour sauce.
Slow cooked roast: here are John’s top tips for making this family favourite
1. Choose the Cut
The best joints for roast beef are rib, sirloin, or fillet. Rib is usually cooked on the bone, which is a more flavorsome piece of meat. Beef darker in colour usually indicates that it is mature and has been hung well. A thick layer of fat adds flavour, and keeps the joint moist while cooking.
2. How to Cook
Always allow the meat to get up to room temperature before cooking. Drizzle it with a little olive oil and season with ground black pepper, rubbing it over the meat with your hands. Stand the beef joint in a roasting tin, and cook for the following times depending on how rare you like beef.
3. Don’t forget to rest
An important part of cooking any meat to let it rest, once removed from the oven. Wrap the meat loosely in aluminium foil and put to one side. The fibres in meat tighten up during cooking, and resting allows the fibres to relax, release some of the meat juices, and results in a soft tender piece of meat. Resting for 20 minutes should be long enough but up to an hour is even better.
Call in to see John and the team at Charles Wilson Butchers at St Johns Road or visit www.edinburghbutchers.co.uk for some fab recipe ideas.