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Intrepid Gourmet

First of all I must advise readers that we are not chefs. We are just one of the many of that reckless breed; kitchen dabblers or hobby cooks. We know what we like to eat, we enjoy cooking and experimenting and occasionally – and not always successfully – we like to show off with our creations or concoctions. If you would like to share your favourite recipes with us please send them to:

Pan-roast lamb with port and cranberry gravy

Pan-roast lamb with port and cranberry gravy

Serves 4
4x I75g/6oz lamb leg steaks or chump steaks
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 tsp golden caster sugar 3 sprigs thyme, leaves only, plus some extra sprigs for garnish
1tbsp olive oil

For the gravy

5 shallots, chopped
50g/2oz butter
10 juniper berries, lightly crushed
2 bay leaves
250ml/9fl oz port
400ml/l4fl oz well-flavoured
chicken stock 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
3tbsp cranberry jelly or cranberry sauce


Stuffed Aubergine

Serves Four

1/2 teaspoon garlic chutney (see page 51)
3/4 cup besan (chick-pea flour)*
4 tablespoons oil
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
6 or 7 small "Japanese-style" eggplants
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1-1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Chelsea Buns

'Prelates and princes, and lieges and Kings, Hail for the bellman, who tinkles and sings, Bouche of the highest and lowliest ones There's a charm in the sound which nobody shuns, Of "smoking hot, piping hot, Chelsea Buns"!' The Old Chelsea Bun House, which sold as many as a quarter of a million buns in one day, was in fact in the Pimlico Road, and the old building was destroyed in 1839. It was run by a Mr Richard Hand and his family, and he was always known as 'Captain Bun'. He wore a long dressing-gown and a Turkish fez.

A Taste of Heaven: A Guide to Food and Drink Made by Monks and Nuns by Madeline Scherb

Part travel guide, part cookbook, A Taste of Heaven is a delightful survey of the fine food and drink made by Catholic religious orders in America, Belgium, France, and Germany. From positively scrumptious beer and cheese to some of the richest chocolate on earth, the treats presented in this book are heavenly indeed, and author Madeline Scherb beautifully captures the heart and spirit of the holy work that goes into producing them.

Sauerbraten - marinated horsemeat roast

I really don't know if horse meat is available in Britain - legally - but it is many other European countries, including Germany. When the present horse meat scandal dies down and you can find a supplier, you might be tempted to try this; a favourite of mine and a traditional dish from the Rhineland.

Bakewell Pudding

Bakewell claims to be the home of the authentic Bakewell Pudding and many believe it to originally come from the Rushbottom Lane district.

It is claimed that the recipe was originally something of an accidental invention of the 1860s, the result of a misunderstanding between Mrs Graves, Mistress of the Inn, and her kitchen assistant. A noblemen visiting the White Horse Inn (now called The Rutland Arms)ordered a strawberry tart. Mrs Graves, asked an inexperienced kitchen assistant to make a strawberry tart. But the assistant, however, made a non sweet pastry.

Scottish Haggis

It is a shame that the "Great chieftain o' the puddin' race" should be regarded (by some) with such a mixture of horror and humour. The vision of sheep's stomachs and other intestines seems to put some people off, but it has long been a traditional way of using up parts of the animal which otherwise might go to waste. Made properly, it is a tasty, wholesome dish, with every chef creating his or her own recipe to get the flavour and texture (dry or moist) that suits them.

Poularde Saint-Cyr

Cut a small roasting chicken or a meaty fryer into serving piece brown the pieces slowly in butter on all sides in a saucepan. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook for about 25 minutes, or until tenderder. Remove the pieces and keep them hot. Pour off the excess 1 from the pan and dissolve the remaining brown juices with 2 tables brandy. Stir, heat, and bring the brandy to a boil. Add 1 cup heavy 1 and cook for a few minutes. Stir in i tablespoon sweet butter. If the is not thick enough, the butter may be blended with 1 tablespoon Strain the sauce through a fine sieve. - Fly at a Smile-Price