Posted in Beef, Comfort Food, Sunday roasts

Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket

Having cooked this for the first time recently, I was completely and utterly won over. It is one of the best things I’ve cooked for a long time and love the fact that it can then be used for so many mid-week meals throughout the week!

I paid £10.50 for a 1.5kg joint in Sainsburys, which fed 2 for a Sunday roast, burgers, tacos and Mac & cheese; with leftovers from all of them. The best bit – the hard work was all done on Sunday, making the weekday dinners super easy. There is so much more you could do with it too, next on my list is beef ragu and chilli con carne.


1.5kg brisket joint

3 onions, sliced

5 celery sticks / carrots

3 sprigs rosemary

Large glass of red wine

300ml beef stock

4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped

Large knob of butter


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and heat a little butter and a dash of oil in a pan before seasoning and searing the brisket. Once seared all over remove from the pan and place in an oven-proof dish (with a lid) on top of roughly chopped carrots & celery & rosemary. Ensure the beef is placed fat side up – this way, the fat will render and keep the beef moist.
  2. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and allow to soften for a few minutes before adding in the red wine and seasoning generously. Leave to reduce down slightly and then add to the beef along with the stock. Add just enough to come 3/4 of the way up the brisket joint.
  3. Cover & roast in the oven for 40 minutes before then reducing the heat to 140°C and continue to cook for 5 hours. Throughout the cooking time remove the brisket from the oven to baste regularly.
  4. When cooked, you should be able to pierce the beef with a knife with very little pressure. If you’d like slices of brisket for your roast you may want to take it out slightly earlier – it can become too tender to slice without it falling apart (but personally, I think that’s the best way!)
  5. Now for the gravy! Remove the brisket from the pan and reduce down your gravy on a high heat. I usually transfer it into a saucepan at this stage for ease. When ready to eat, drain your gravy and add a knob of butter to make a silky rich gravy!

Easy mid-week tacos!

  • Slice a few slices of brisket and place in an oven-proof dish. In a bowl combine one bottle of beer with a taco seasoning sachet and place in the oven at 180°C for 30 minutes, covered with foil. Whilst cooking, whip up some guac and cabbage slaw and lightly toast flour tortillas. When the beef is cooked through, shred with a fork and serve!

Easy brisket burgers!

  • Again, slice a few slices of brisket and place in an oven-proof dish – add a large glug of beer and leftover gravy from your roast. Cook at 180°C for 30 minutes, covered with foil and then shred. Serve in a soft bap with your favourite sauce!
Posted in Chicken, Comfort Food, Sunday roasts

Chicken, Leek & Bacon Pie

I LOVE summer, but I’m also always very excited when Autumn comes around the corner and we can get back to cooking big warming plates of food! Nothing beats a plate of food including mash and gravy / sauce, for me that’s a bowl of comfort right there.

Chicken pie was one of the first things I ever learnt to cook at university and was actually the first thing I ever cooked for Mike – this is still my go-to recipe and I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve cooked it. Honestly, nothing beats it. Well, maybe chicken, leek, bacon AND mushroom pie, but Mike hates mushrooms so they don’t get to make an appearance very often!

This is a great dish to use up any left-over roast chicken on a Monday, or equally – it makes a great Sunday lunch when you just can’t be bothered for a full roast!

Serves 4


3 chicken breasts

1 pack of bacon lardons

300ml double cream

Half a glass of white wine

1 cup of chicken stock

Knob of butter

1 tbsp flour

2 tbsp of milk

few springs of thyme and rosemary

2 tsp mixed herbs

3 leeks

1 onion

4 cloves of garlic

1/2 tsp whole grain mustard

1 sheet of puff pastry


1. Start by roasting your chicken breasts in some oil, s&p and a little sprinkle of mixed herbs – roast until cooked through and then shred (you might want to cook it covered in tin foil to keep in juicy!)
2. Whilst the chicken is roasting finely dice your onion and garlic and sweat for a few minutes. Add in the rosemary, thyme and mixed herbs and then the bacon.
3. In a separate pan, make a rue by melting the butter and the flour, take off the heat and add the milk, cream and chicken stock and set aside
4. Add the leeks to the onion and bacon mix and fry for a few minutes before adding in the white wine
5. Once the wine has reduced, add in the shredded chicken along with the sauce and leave to reduce. Season well and add the mustard
6. Transfer into a pie dish and cover with pastry (you can give it a quick egg wash too to help the colour the pastry!) and bake until pastry is golden brown! (25-30mins) Serve with creamy mash & veg!

Posted in Comfort Food, Sunday roasts

The Perfect Yorkshire Pudding

For anyone that believes Yorkshire puddings are only for roast beef. You’re wrong. No argument about it. Personally, I believe they belong on any plate where gravy is; the two are a match made in heaven. Bangers & mash and roast dinners – should ALWAYS be topped with a Yorkshire pud. Hawksmoor even have a whole dish dedicated to Yorkshire puddings and gravy – and I’d happily skip the steak for it.

But, there’s so many recipes out there – which is the best? How do you guarantee it’ll rise and have a perfect hole in the middle to catch the gravy? How can you compete with Aunt Bessie?

Easily. In my opinion, even if the shape doesn’t end up quite right, it’ll always be tastier than an Aunt Bessie’s. But here’s a recipe that’s fail proof for me, for getting that dreamy rise!

I actually fell upon this by mistake one Sunday – I cracked 2 eggs into a bowl and went to grab the milk, forgetting that I’d finished it the night before having a cuppa… but being too lazy to pop to the shops, I thought I’d compromise.

I hear you – Yorkshire puddings with no milk?! You’ll have to trust me.

With any Yorkshire pudding recipe – the trick is to always leave the mixture to rest for a few hours in the fridge before cooking it & to preheat your oil. A lot of the shape of the pudding comes from the cold mixture hitting the sizzling hot oil! (If the you don’t hear the sizzle – it’s not hot enough!)

Makes 6 large Yorkshire puddings


2 large eggs

50ml double cream

100ml water

4 tbsp plain flour

2 tbsp of vegetable oil


  1. Start off by cracking and whisking the eggs in a jug (I use a large jug so it’s easier to pour the mixture, but a bowl is fine too!)
  2. Then, add the cream & water and whisk together – you might want to add a pinch of salt here as it’ll help break the eggs down
  3. Add the flour a tbsp at a time and whisk through (until you have a batter slightly thicker than pancake mixture)* – try and get as many of the lumps out as possible, but don’t worry too much as they’ll be broken down as it rests. Whisk for a couple of minutes to get plenty of air into the batter & season
  4. Pop in the fridge for a minimum of 1hr – I usually leave mine for 4-5hrs
  5. When ready to cook – preheat the oven to 220C and heat some oil in a Yorkshire pudding tin / muffin tin – when ready pour in the mix equally (REMEMBER: the oil needs to sizzle when you pour in the batter!)
  6. Cook for 15-20 minutes – if they need longer, reduce the temp to 200C to stop the tops burning! You want them to be golden brown with a slight crunch on the top so you know they’re strong enough to hold their structure. Take them out too early and they’ll lose some of their height!

Enjoy with lashings and lashings of gravy!!

Top Tip: You need to work quickly when you take the preheated tin out of the oven to make sure the oil doesn’t cool – have the mixture ready and then pop them straight back in the oven. Don’t open the oven, ideally until they’re cooked completely, but for at least the first 15 minutes!

*I’ve never used a recipe / measured ingredients out for Yorkshire puddings before – for me I always go on what the batter looks like so add the flour slowly until you have your desired consistency! You want it thick enough so they hold they’re shape, but not too thick that they’re too heavy and dense to rise!

Posted in Comfort Food, Pork, Sunday roasts

Roast Pork Belly

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Pork Belly is underrated. If you go out for a Sunday roast, it’s usually the cheapest option on the menu but I personally think it makes THE BEST Sunday roast. I mean, look at that crackling.

You’ll need a few hours of patience, but the end result; pork that falls apart, crispy crackling and gravy that is out of this world.

Serves 2


500gish Pork Belly Joint

400ml chicken stock

1 onion halved

3 celery sticks chopped into large chunks

Bunch of fresh herbs – I use sage, thyme & rosemary

Generous serving of salt & pepper

Drizzle of olive oil


1) Start with the pork – ideally you want to leave it uncovered in the fridge overnight to help dry out the skin. Too much moisture & you won’t get the crispy crackling you’re dreaming of!

2) About an hour before you’re ready to cook it, remove from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Give the skin a generous coating of salt & if your butcher hasn’t already score the pork skin (be careful not to slice down into the meat). At this stage, the salt should help draw out any remaining moisture.

3) Pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees C & then get the pork ready. Using a piece of kitchen towel pat the pork skin to try and remove any moisture and excess salt & add some pepper.

4) Lay the pork in a baking tray (it’ll need to be able to withstand a HIGH heat in the oven – I’ve done this before with a very cheap tray and non-stick completely peeled off!), on top of the onions, celery and herbs. Give the skin a small (I mean small!) drizzle of oil and pop in the oven for 45 minutes.

5) Then, lower the oven to 160 degrees & pour in the stock around the pork (be careful to not get any on the pork skin – it needs to sit just below) and leave to tenderise for 2 1/2 hours!

6) When the times up – remove the meat from the pan and leave to rest. Depending on your hob, place the tray on the hob and add water (if not, you can try and scrap as much out into a separate pan) – the flavour is in all those sticky bits of the pan so make sure you try and get all of it! Leave to reduce for 10 mins – if still watery you can add a tsp of flour / gravy granules. Drain and you’re ready!

7) To serve the pork, I simply cut it half (maybe we’re greedy having half the pork joint each but it’s too good not to be greedy…), serve with crispy roasties, Yorkshire puddings and veg!