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Pork Hock Roast

When I worked at the Butcher Geoff (The real butcher! With 45+ years of knowledge) used to grumblingly cut the Hocks off, pop them in boiling bags and shove them in the ham boiler over night. They were a sort of twice weekly special the morning after our delivery and never lasted until lunchtime. We’ve tried Chilli Pork Hock casserole which was really very good. But are they any good roasted (asked nobody apart from us I’m guessing!)

There’s a reason the Geoff popped it the ham boiler. It’s tough as old boots and very greasy roasted! Even slow roasted it didn’t take on the flavour of the liberal bunch of foraged herbs. Yes hands up, this was not a great idea. But Sue’s Gluten free Yorkshire Pudding and stuffing balls saved the day…

The remained is going in a Chilli Pork Hock casserole tonight – at least we know that works!

Hot Sardine open sandwich recipe

Discount isle kid strikes again! This time a pack of 6 Sardines for 50p. I remember the conversation with Sue went something like “There are Sardines at 50p shall I or is that a fish too far?” We went for it and this was the result. It’s worth noting that we don’t often have fish as it’s usually over our self imposed £2 per meal per person budget and also Sue isn’t that keen. But we both really enjoyed this little creation.

Sue used half of one of her Gluten free buns ( Recipe here  ) But any good sized bun cut in half and toasted will do the job.

Ingredients for the topping:-

Fresh herbs
Salt and Pepper
Grated cheese / Italian style cheese

Garlic butter - Additional extra


(1) If the Sardines have not been cleaned the easiest option is probably just to cut the fillets off with a sharp boning knife.
(2) Chop the Tomatoes and Onions.
(3) Fry the Onions in a little Oil until translucent.
(4) Add the Tomatoes, Herbs, Salt and Pepper and simmer to thicken. So that you end up with something similar to a Pizza sauce.
(5) Roast the additional vegetables in the oven with a little oil.
(6) Spread the Garlic Butter over the bun if you are using it and then spread the Tomato sauce oven this.
(7) Add a layer of roasted vegetables keeping half for another layer.
(8) Add your raw Sardine fillets.
(9) Spread another layer of roasted vegetables.
(10) Sprinkle with plenty of grated Cheese and Italian style Cheese if you wish.
(11) Place in the oven for about 10 minutes of 180C until the Cheese has melted and everything is heated well through.

We enjoyed ours with roast seasonal vegetables and fried cubed Potatoes sprinkles with a few bits of micro salad from our planter boxes.

Garden Pond recipe

The tale behind this oddity is nearly a silly as the end result.......

I went on my morning forage to the discounts isle yesterday and spotted some interesting looking sausages. Your standard low cost sausages are off the menu for us as they use Wheat Flour as a packer. On Wednesday evening we’d made a tray bake and the ludicrous question appeared in my mind “What would you call a combination of a giant Yorkshire pudding Toad In The Hole and a Tray Bake?” I came up with Garden Pond! We had all sorts of bits and bobs of vegetables which really needed using up so after joking with Sue I quickly scuttled back to the Supermarket and bought said sausages.

We didn’t have a great deal on yesterday afternoon so a silly idea soon developed into a full scale project. I foraged a few extra fresh herbs to dress the dish and Garden Pond was born! The planting around the pond is Sage, a Ruby Chard flower and Rosemary. The water lillies are Tomatoes, Sage leaves and Chive flowers. In the middle of the pond you can just see Sue Carrot Coy Carp!

Clearly we don’t expect anybody else to try this at home. But if you can’t get the kids to eat their veg a slightly more sane version would make a great talking point and possible incentive…. Nothing was wasted and we finished it this evening.

Rosemary and Sage roast Pork shoulder

Rosemary and Sage roast Pork shoulder, tray baked Vegetables, roast Potatoes and Gluten free Yorkshires.

It’s possible not really worth adding a full recipe here. We foraged quite a bit of fresh Rosemary and Sage the other day which really working with the bit of Pork shoulder we had in the freezer. Again we had quite a few bits and bobs of vegetables floating about so we tray baked them. Add some roast spuds and Yorkshire puddings and – you guessed it – Sunday roast on a Wednesday!

The experiment here was the crackling.

As you’ve probably noticed if you freeze pork the slow freezing process allows ice crystals to form in the rind. This damages the structure and makes getting good crackling very difficult. More often than not you end up with something which resembles boot leather! So we cut the bendy rind off the roast when we’d taken it out to rest and popped it in the deep fat fryer. It’s not quite like crackling, probably more like Pork Scratchings. But it was very tasty and still had the Sage and Rosemary taste to it.


Pork Liver Curry & Courgette Bhajis

A 19p pack of Pork Liver was hidden at the back of the discount fridge this time. So an 80p jar of Jalfrazi sauce and a pack of Poppadoms and Curry night was well under way. I’m pretty sure nobody needs instructions on frying a bit of Liver with flour and Onions then adding to the sauce!

But for a bit of fun we made Courgette Bhajis as we had a Courgette which was a bit bashed about. They were actually quite tasty!


Gram Flour
Garlic Salt
Chilli flakes
Juice of ½ a Lemon
1 Courgette
Baking Powder
Salt & Pepper


(1) Slice the Courgette into 1cm sections and marinate in the Lemon juice, Salt and Pepper
(2) Mix the other ingredients with enough water to make a stiff batter and allow to stand until the Baking Power makes in increase in volume by about a third.
(3) Stir again and heat some oil to 180C.
(4) Coat each slice of Courgette and fry in batches until golden brown on both sides.
(5) Drain on kitchen paper and serve with your curry.

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