Cheese and Bacon Muffins

Amazing little bites of cheesy bacony goodness that go great with a chili sauce to dunk in or as a picnic bite


Goes well with a

Chili Con Carne

Spaghetti Bolognese


  • 1 egg
  • 100ml milk
  • 250g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp fresh chives (optional), finely chopped
  • 1 tsp herbs (optional), dried
  • 4 rashers of bacon , chopped


Preheat oven 200’C/Gas mark 6

  1. Mix egg and milk in a jug or cup.
  2. Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
  3. Add the egg and milk and fold in gently (the mixture is supposed to be lumpy!)
  4. Spoon mixture into a greased muffin tin, or muffin cases in a muffin tin
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes until firm and golden brown
  6. Once cooked, allow to cool for a couple of minutes and then remove from the tin

Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Home is where the soup is, when winters icy grip grabs you, reach for a bowl of soup, and there is no better comfort food than chicken and mushroom soup.

Chicken and mushroom Soup


Goes well with:

Cold Weather

Stilton and Walnut Bread

Soda Bread



400g Button Mushrooms.

2 Sticks Celery.

1 Medium Carrot.

1 Knob of Butter.

1Large Onion.

1 Bunch Parsley.

1 Handfull Dried Mixed Mushrooms.

1 ltr Chicken stock.

1 Chicken Carcase.


  • Roughly chop the button mushrooms, celery and onion and sweat in the butter for 10 minutes.
  • Poor in the Stock, Chicken carcase and add the dried mushrooms.
  • Season and simmer for 30-40 minutes check your seasoning and remove the bones and blitz with a food processor or stick blender to the consistency you desire.
  • Season again and add  chopped parsley.
  • Serve with cream or double cream.

  • As an alternative you can poor the soup through a muslin cloth to give a clear type soup without losing flavour.

Creek Mud Chicken

Ive called this one Creek Mud Chicken because the marinade mixture is thick sticky and brown and reminded me of something i had stepped in a while back but to call it dog poo chicken just didn’t seem appealing  so I settling on the creek mud Chicken

A sweet sticky crusty chicken thigh that melts in the mouth with a nutty finish to it. Its all about the thighs. Its a messy job to marinade them but worth all the effort.( gloves help)


Goes well with:


onion rings

chili jam


  • 4 -6 Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Small jar of smooth Peanut butter
  • Use peanut butter jar as a measure
  • 1/2 peanut butter jar of Dark Soy sauce
  • 1/2 jar of dark brown sugar.
  • 1/4 jar of Honey
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tspn Sea salt flakes



  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl (except thighs) and mix well with a spoon
  • Put on some latex gloves and massage the mixture into and onto the thighs, it is a messy job and you will thank me for suggesting you to wear gloves. It doesn’t want to stick to the thighs but with perseverance they will get a thick coat of the mixture
  • Cover and put in the fridge for at least an hour
  • Cook on a BBQ set for indirect heat and cook them slowly till the internal temperature is at 75 degrees C
  • Serve to your guests

The BBQ pit boys video is here

Spice Rubbed ribs

For this ribs recipe you will need plenty of paper towels for after you have eaten.

I always like to try different spice blends. This time the rub was applied an hour before putting on the BBQ.

A BBQ sauce was applied during the last hour.


Goes well with:

Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Onion rings

Beast of a burger


1 Side of belly pork, skin off

For the Rub

1 Tbsp Black Pepper

2 Tbsp Cumin Seeds

1 Tbsp Fennel Seeds

3 Tbsp Smoked Paprika

5 Tbsp Soft Brown Sugar


For the BBQ Sauce

200g Ketchup

good splash of Cider viniger

2 tspn Mustard Powder

2 Chillis (finely sliced)


  • Mix all the rub ingredients in a bowl and then rub the mixture into the ribs
  • Leave for at least an hour wrapped in cling flim
  • Set the BBQ for indirect cooking and at about 150 degrees
  • Put the ribs onto the BBQ for around 3 hours till the internal temperature reaches 95 degrees c
  • Wrap in tinfoil with half a pint of cider and seal as best you can for an hour
  • Put all the BBQ sauce ingredients in a small pan and bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Unwrap the ribs and baste with the sauce every 15 minutes till its all used up
  • Remove from the heat and serve.

Chili Jam

Although this is chili jam, dont think that it’s the sort of thing you’d spread on your toast at breakfast (though smeared inside a bacon sandwich, it could be a real help one hungover morning) but rather a chili jelly that glows a fiery, flecked red and is fabulous with cold meats or a cheese plate. And just a small pot of it makes a gorgeous present.

Ive listed this under BBQ as its incredible as a sticky glaze on BBQ chicken or pork.


Goes well with:

Sticky BBQ Chicken

Cheesy Chicken Wings 

Beast of a Burger


  • 150 grams long fresh red chilli peppers
  • 150 grams red peppers
  • 1 kilogram jam sugar
  • 600 millilitres cider vinegar


You will need 6 x 250ml / 1 cup sealable jars, with vinegar-proof lids, such as Kilner jars or re-usable pickle jars.

  1. Sterilize your jars and leave to cool
  2. Put the cut-up chillies into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the chunks of red pepper and pulse again until you have a vibrantly red-flecked processor bowl.
  3. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a wide, medium-sized pan over a low heat without stirring.
  4. Scrape the chilli-pepper mixture out of the bowl and add to the pan. Bring the pan to the boil, then leave it at a rollicking boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and allow it cool. The liquid will become more syrupy, then from syrup to viscous and from viscous to jelly-like as it cools.
  6. After about 40 minutes, or once the red flecks are more or less evenly dispersed in the jelly (as the liquid firms up, the hints of chilli and pepper start being suspended in it rather than floating on it), ladle into your jars. If you want to stir gently at this stage, it will do no harm. Then seal tightly.

Braized Hogget Pie

Now this isn’t a pie but is quite possibly the best thing you will learn to cook, Its easy and has the most flavorsome taste you could wish for and the leftovers will give you the very best ragu for a Lasagna, or shepherds pie. I originally got this recipe from James Martins “Home Comforts” but have tweaked it a little to my tastes but most of the credit must go to him for this one.

I sometimes use Lamb necks when I can get them as they give a very good flavor but you may want to add a little extra time on the cooking.

You may have to ask your butcher to order the Hogget in for you because not many butchers will stock it. As its an older meat, it will have done more work through its lifetime. Because of that it is tougher, but carries more flavor as well so needs cooking slowly to tenderize it


Similar to:

Lamb and mint mini pies

BBQ Leg of Lamb



  • Half shoulder of Hogget (Lamb necks will also do)
  • 2 medium Carrots
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 2 Sticks Celery
  • 5 or 6 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato puree
  • 1 bottle Shiraz or Merlot red wine
  • 1/2 pint Chicken Stock


  • Season the Hogget with salt and pepper.
  • In a heavy casserole pot Brown the Hogget shoulder on all sides, be sure to get a good color on it.
  • Lift out the Hogget and set aside for now.
  • Add the carrots, onion, Garlic, Celery and tomato puree and cook out the till the onions are translucent
  • Return the Hoggit to the pan and add a small bunch of Thyme and a bottle of wine and chicken stock.
  • Put the lid on and put into the oven preheated to 170 degrees for 2 hours.
  • Remove from the oven and remove the Hogget from the pot and shred as best you can with two forks and return to the pot juices and mix well.
  • Peel and slice some potatoes and layer and cover the meat in the pot.
  • Brush with melted butter and season with more salt and black pepper.
  • leave uncovered and return to the oven for 30-40 minutes till the spuds are nice and brown and cooked through.

Thats it, simple

Any leftovers will make an excellent ragu to make a lasagna with

Click the link below to watch James Martin cook his version

James Martin Home comforts


Strawberry Fresh Cream Cake

Flavor doesnt have to be complicated, this cake is simplicity itself just a basic 2 layer sponge cake with fresh strawberry’s and fresh cream. Decorated with a few mint leaves and edible flowers.

We went and picked our own Strawberry’s from the farm down the road, but I must admit to tasting more than a couple before putting any in the basket.


Similar to :

orange cake

chocolate orange cake


5 eggs minus the shells, weighed

= Weight of Self raising flour.

= Weight of Caster Sugar

= Weight of salted Butter

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1 Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

600ml Double or whipping Cream


Put a bowl on the scales and zero the scales.

Crack the eggs into the bowl and weigh them.

then add equal weights of flour, caster sugar and butter, along with the salt, baking powder and vanilla extract.

Whisk till all is combined and smooth.

Poor into 2 lined 200mm tins and cook at 170° in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Reliece from the tin and place on a cooling rack.

When cooled, level the cakes with a cake saw.

whip your cream and spread a thin layer of cream on the bottom layer and cover with thinly sliced fresh strawberry’s add more cream on top of the strawberrys and spread out evenly.

Add the second layer of cake and cover with the rest of the cream, taking your time to get an even coating.

Place strawberry’s every where you think needs them.

If you have some edible flowers, and a few tender mint shoots they will make your cake stand out.