Category Archives: Comfort Food

Pesto Meatballs

I love that you don’t need to make a sauce for these meatballs, the pan juices, passata and balsamic make a lovely sauce.

The quantity of pesto is a bit vague, I made a big batch of fresh pesto today and just used up the last little bit in these meatballs.

Serves 8.


1kg minced pork

80-100g pesto

Salt and pepper

36-40 bocconcini, drained

750mls passata

30mls balsamic vinegar

20g finely grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Centigrade.

In a large bowl, combine the pork, pesto, salt and pepper.

Divide the meat into 36-40 balls, flatten the meat, pop a mozzarella ball on top and gently bring the meat together to enclose completely. Repeat with all of the meat and cheese.

Place the meatballs in a roasting tin, a little spread out if you can.

Bake for 20 minutes until beginning to colour.

Turn the oven down to 190 degrees Centigrade.

Remove the roasting tin from the oven, pour the passata over the meatballs and then dribble over the balsamic vinegar.

Sprinkle over the parmesan and then return to the oven, bake for 25-30minutes.


Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket

This photo really doesn’t do this recipe justice but to be honest the beef was eaten so quickly I only got the one shot!

I’ve taken the principles of using a rub with herbs and spices to coat the meat and then allowing it to sit for 12-24 hours in the fridge. Then, instead of using the BBQ, the slow cooker has stepped in and worked its magic! Finally, I take the meat out and pop it in a hot oven just to crisp up the fatty bits for a fab tortilla filling or serve with lots of salads to cut through the richness of the meat.

Serves 8-10. Leftovers keep well in the fridge, freeze well and are very popular in wraps for school with my boys.


2.2kg beef brisket, cut into 8-10 large pieces

5 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika

3 tablespoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder

1 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 teaspoon ground all spice

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons salt


375mls passata

100mls gluten free Worcestershire sauce

100g brown sugar

2 teaspoons liquid smoke


I leave the fat on the top of the brisket, cut it into large chunks, around 5-8cm square. Take a sharp knife and score the fat to create a crisscross pattern.

Combine the spice rub in a bowl.

Tip the meat into the rub and cover completely.

Place the meat and any excess rub into a zip lock bag and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. 24 hours is better if you can!

Tip the meat into your slow cooker, I use a 6.5l Cooker.

Add the wet ingredients and sugar and using your hands massage the sauce all over the meat.

Turn the cooker on and set to nine hours on low.

After nine hours the meat should be falling apart a little if you push it with the back of a spoon.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Gently spoon the meat into a roasting tray, scored fat side up, and slide it into the oven, roast for 30-45 minutes to let the fat crisp up.

Pull the meat apart with forks to serve so everyone gets a little of the crispy fat as well as the delicious, sticky sauce covered meat.

Roast Chicken With Creamy Lingonberry Sauce

Six ingredients make this a seriously tasty dish that’s as simple as combine, bake and baste.

If you don’t have lingonberry sauce, cranberry sauce works just as well!

You can mix the ingredients the day before you bake them if you want and this freezes well, just add a little more cream when you reheat it gently in the oven.

If you aren’t keen on chopping up a chicken, drumsticks, wings and thighs will work just as well.

Serves 6.


1.8kg whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces

4 tablespoons lingonberry sauce

2 tablespoons gluten free Worcestershire sauce

4 garlic cloves, crushed

250mls cream

Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

In a roasting tin, combine all of the ingredients.

Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes covered.

Remove the foil, baste with the sauce in the pan and return to the oven.

Bake for a further 30 minutes, basting regularly.

Once cooked and golden, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Smoked Haddock with Spinach

I recently got my hands on some beautiful smoked Haddock from Scotland. Any firm fish, smoked or not, works really well here.

Serves 6.


800g baby potatoes, cooked and halved

400g baby spinach leaves

A little freshly grated nutmeg.

50g shallots, peeled and finely sliced

500g fresh of smoked fish

150ml cream

150mls mascarpone

40g fresh chives


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Place the spinach in a large colander, pour over a kettle full of just boiled water, set aside.

Butter the inside of an oven proof dish.

Once the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze out the water and chop roughly.

Place the potatoes in the bottom of the prepared dish.

Sprinkle over the chopped spinach and grate over a little nutmeg.

Top the spinach with the shallots and then place the fish on top, I break it up a little.

In a jug, combine the cream, mascarpone and chives, pour this over the fish.

Sprinkle over a few more chives and then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the sauce has thickened a little

Sausage and Apple Casserole

Yet more comfort food here!

Apples and good pork sausages are a match made in heaven! I tend to use nice fat pork sausages, I get 10 to a kilo and sweet red eating apples as that’s what tends to be in the fruit bowl.

Serves 4-6.


20mls oil

2 red onions, finely sliced

1 kg pork sausages

4 sweet apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges

500mls chicken stock

3 teaspoons Dijon mustard


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

In a large oven proof pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and cook the sausages for 5 minutes until the skins have some colour.

Remove the sausages, set aside, add the onion to the pan and cook until soft, around 10 minutes.

Set the onions aside with the sausages and add the apple to the pan, fry over a high heat until they have coloured a little.

Return the onion to the pan, stir through the apples, top with the sausages.

Spread the mustard over each sausage.

Pour the stock into the pan, cover and bake for 30 minutes.

Uncover the pan and return to the oven, bake for a further 25-30 minutes until the sausages are golden.

Moroccan Spiced Potatoes

I love potatoes, the ultimate comfort food!

They are a great way to fill the boys up and they pair so well with onions and spices.

If you have leftovers, reheat gently and serve for breakfast with a poached egg on top.

Serves 4-6.


750g baby potatoes, skin on, cooked

30mls oil

2 onions, halved and cut into 1cm wedges

2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

1/2-1 teaspoon salt flakes

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Pepper to taste

Fresh dill


In a large frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat, cook the onion until softened, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

With the pan over a medium to high heat, add the potatoes, crushing them a little with your hands as you go.

While the potatoes are beginning to brown, use a mortar and pestle to lightly crush the coriander, cumin, thyme, chilli and salt.

Once the potatoes are beginning to get some colour, add the coriander mix, sesame seeds, cooked onion and garlic slices.

Stir constantly over a medium heat until the potatoes are golden and the onions are browning.

Sprinkle over the fresh dill and serve.

Slow Cooker Spice Rack Pork

At the beginning of winter I bought a slow cooker and a few months later I am a complete convert on nights when we are all coming and going.

The seasoning for the pork is very simple but don’t be tempted to add more liquid, it really doesn’t need any.

I love chimichurri and it goes so well here, cutting through the rich meat and adding a gorgeous splash of colour.

Serves 8. Any leftover meat freezes well with the pan juices and the boys have wraps with salad, pork and chimichurri for school in the days after we have this.


2kg boned pork shoulder/pork butt cut into 5-7cm dice

1 large orange, juiced

3 teaspoons dried thyme

4 teaspoons dried oregano

3 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Chimichurri Ingredients

20g parsley leaves

80g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks

1 green chilli, deseeded

1 lime juiced

2 garlic cloves

75mls olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine all of the pork ingredients in the slow cooker.

Cook on high for six hours.

To make the chimichurri…….

Process all of the ingredients, add a little more oil if you need to.