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  • Hard Br-egg-sit Scotch Egg Recipe

    It’s more than a pun, the luxurious Scotch egg is hard, crunchy and golden on the outside, soft and pliant on the inside, with a whole range of flavoursome goodness on the way.

    When I make lots of Scotch eggs I am happy to use the Weschenfelder Pork Pie seasoning mix, it makes an excellent filling. Indeed, when making pork pies, any meat left over (I am always making too much filling) is made into Scotch eggs.

    But it is possible to make any number of flavoured varieties, curry is good, chilli is better, try a tablespoon of paprika or a few cloves of garlic, finely chopped. And of course, adding a little black pudding to the meat takes you to a whole new level!

    Scotch Egg

    Ingredients You Will Need - Serves 6

    • 6 eggs, hard-boiled and shelled
    • 350g minced pork shoulder
    • 4 g salt (I used curing salt but ordinary non iodised will do)
    • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
    • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1 dessert spoon of parsley
    • 1 tsp dried sage
    • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
    • 1 - 2 eggs, beaten
    • 120g breadcrumbs - but rusk gives a more golden, crunchy outer shell
    • Sunflower oil for deep frying

    Step-By-Step Guide

    Before you start the rest of the process, boil your eggs. If using six eggs, a hard boiled egg will take them ten minutes on a strong simmer. Then place them into a bowl of iced water, or run them under the tap until completely cold. This stops the eggs from developing a grey ring near the yolk.

    In a number of restaurants there are some dishes for Scotch eggs that are runny. To achieve this, boil the eggs for seven minutes.

    It goes without saying the eggs need to be shelled before layering up!

    1, Put the meat in a bowl with the salt, pepper, parsley, sage, thyme and nutmeg.  Mix well with your hands. Pop into the fridge when well mixed to cool.

    2, Divide the sausage meat into 6 equal sections. Form each section into a round and mould it around the eggs.

    3, Roll the covered eggs in the beaten egg and coat in the breadcrumbs. For an extra crispy shell, repeat the egg dip and roll once again in the breadcrumbs / rusk. Have all the Scotch eggs ready to cook before heating the oil.

    4, Heat the oil until very hot. If using a deep fat fryer ensure it has reached 190°C. Carefully put the eggs in the oil and fry for 4 minutes, turning them as they cook so they brown evenly. Cook no more than 3 eggs at a time.

    5, Drain the cooked eggs on kitchen paper.

  • Probe Thermometers Guide

    There is something about a little blue sky that makes the thought of a glass of wine, a proper glass that makes a significant drain on the bottle, seem a million times more desirable when balanced perfectly on the shelf of the BBQ!

    BBQ Hamburger Flame

    There is a lot of pressure these days on the BBQ chef! There are so many customers, each with their own requirements. There is the worrier, not happy about the idea of eating under cooked food they prefer to make do with something nuked so hard to resemble shoe leather. Then the gung-ho, give-it-me-raw, a-bit-of-blood-never-hurt-anyone customer who prefers steak still mooing and chicken still clucking.

    Then there are all the preparations needed for a really successful summer sizzle, the marinades, the homemade burgers, the enormous piles of sausages (mine’s a merguez!), the steaks, the dressings! Having gone to all that trouble one tool is completely indispensable.

    What you need is a good probe thermometer. They are a joy, taking all the worry out of the job. There are lots of reasons why having this baby in the cupboard is an absolute must.

    Pen Shaped Pocket Thermometer

    Is it under cooked?

    The last thing you need is to cause your guests to spend the next 48 hours counting the tiles on the bathroom wall. Interestingly, BBQ’s are not the worst offenders when it comes to food poisoning, but the probe thermometer lets you get it just right, every time. This is especially true for boney chicken portions, where the main culprit hides between the meat and the bone. You can get the temperature just right, deep inside. The accepted safe temperature is 75C, and once reached, you can rest assured.

    Is it overcooked?

    The temptation to overcook BBQ food is enormous, but you needn’t. Getting the temperature of a piece of steak, I mean a proper piece of steak good and thick, or even the increasingly popular assado, poised over a fire, can be judged to perfection.  And there is nothing more soul destroying than preparing your best burger recipes to see them disappear to nothing because auntie says she want’s it ‘really well done’.

    Give it a rest!

    We often overlook the resting period for cooking meat in the UK. Yes, off the heat food cools and the cooking slows, but the BBQ is ideal for maintaining temperatures, and your probe thermometer is a final check for resting foods when you need it for a well done steak.

    Some BBQ’ers like to stop the cooking when it is 5C from the required temperature and then leave the meat to rest for 10 minutes. This gives a perfect ‘medium rare’.

    One of the great things about the probe thermometer is you can experiment with different temperatures to get food cooked exactly as you like it, by combining different max temperatures and rest periods.

    What about the juice?

    When you pierce a piece of cooking meat you do get a little juice leaking from it, which ends up in the BBQ, and this has been cited as the main reason for not using them. However, if you hold your spatula over the entry spot, the loss is stemmed straight away, and what little does escape serves to flavour the surface. This can be important for certain sausages.

    What type?

    For years I used an analogue metallic thermometer, but as eyesight fails (yes - its an age thing!), I needed a digital readout, which is excellent, and there is little to go wrong with them. They are easy to disinfect and keep clean. You should be able to calibrate it if needed by measuring the temperature of boiling water. It is difficult to calibrate the analogue ones.

    Final tip!

    Don’t repeat my mistake when first I used a problem thermometer. You will find they work much better by removing the plastic cover for the probe, which is metallic! I had difficulty pushing the probe with the sheath into the meat, and when I managed it, the temperature was far too low! Well, you live and learn, pull the sheath off before use!

  • Safe Cooking Temperatures Guide

    Accepted Safe Cooking Temperatures Guide

    Multiple Burgers In Buns

    This list has been compiled from various sources, including a number of governments around the world. Obviously, they are not compulsory and are only meant as a guide. After all, dishes such as steak tartare and many fish dishes are served uncooked!

     

    Beef, veal and lamb steaks and joints

    Medium-rare 68°C, 155°F

    Medium 71°C, 160°F

    Well done 75°C, 167°F

    Pork steaks, pieces and joints

    Pork 75°C, 167°F

    Burgers and minced meat mixtures

    Beef, veal, lamb and pork 73°C, 164°F

    Poultry

    Pieces 75°C, 167°F

    Whole 82°C, 180°F

    Egg

    Egg dishes 75°C, 167°F

    Seafood

    Fish 72°C, 160°F

    Shellfish  Use your eyes as a guide - unopened shells should not be served but the whole dish should be 75°C, 167°F

    Game

    All game mammals should be cooked to 75°C, 167°F

    Game birds and waterfowl cooked whole should be cooked to 82°C, 180°F

    Breasts legs and wings should be cooked to 75°C, 167°F

    If you use stuffing it should be cooked alone or in bird to 75°C, 167°F

  • Traditional Moroccan Mergeuz Sausage Recipe

    WILL TRUMP BAN OUR MERGUEZ SAUSAGES ?

    President Trump is nothing if not entertaining and his recent ban on visas of people from seven Middle East countries has been equally applauded and derided around the world.

    If Mr President is on a banning spree two products already made the list of illegal items include Kinder eggs, the ones with a toy in the centre, and traditionally made Scots Haggis.

    We are no strangers in the UK to banning things and people. Here it is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament, because that entitles you to a State Funeral! The ban on Haggis is interesting, in place for hygiene reasons relating to sheep’s pluck. But there is a lot of culture in a sausage, try dishonouring a haggis on Burn’s Night in Glasgow, you’ll find out! So I wonder if  there are plans to keep America safe by banning Middle Eastern sausages?

    The sausage of choice throughout the region is a number of variations of the Merguez. It is a culturally sensitive sausage, sheep skins, lamb meat, sometimes lamb and beef. No pork.You can get them on almost any city street corner from Tunis in the West to Tehran in the East. From Damascus in the North to Mogadishu in the South. One version, Mirqaz dawwara is basically a thin haggis! So it might already be banned!

    But if you fancy making a quiet, silent protest to all this banning of things, why not try making this old Traditional Moroccan Merguez sausage recipe below:

     

    Ingredients you will need:

    • 2 teaspoons whole cumin seed
    • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seed
    • 2 teaspoons whole fennel seed
    • 2 tablespoons paprika
    • 30 g Kosher salt
    • 1/2  teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1.5 Kg lamb shoulder, minced
    • 250 g  beef fat, cut into 3 - 4 mm pieces
    • 6 - 8 cloves of garlic, crushed
    • 80 ml harissa
    • 80 ml ice water
    • Lamb casings, soaked in 2 - changes of tepid water for 60 minutes in total

    Step-By-Step-Guide:

    Tip: Always chill your meat, sterilise your utensils.

    1, Put water in the freezer to chill and then transfer to the fridge.

    2, Put your sheep skins in tepid water to soak, change the water a couple of times. A drop of oil in the last water change will make them easier to load.

    3, Toast the seeds in a dry pan for 2 minuted over a medium heat and then grind in a mortar and pestle.

    4, Add the salt, paprika and cayenne pepper.

    5, Having ground your lamb and cut your fat place them in the refrigerator to keep cool.

    6, Place the meat, fat and spices into a bowl and mix well.

    7, Grind using a fine plate and transfer to the fridge to chill for 15 minutes while you load your skins onto the stuffing attachment.

    8, Add the water to the meat mixture and mix well to form a sticky stuffing.

    9, You can test for seasoning by cooking a small piece of the meat and adjust accordingly.

    10, Stuff your sausages and link at about 4 inches.

    11, Rest for 24 hours and cook, preferably on a smoky BBQ, though some variations are smoked.

  • Pork Pie Recipe

    So it starts, my Christmas preparations. Everything has to happen in December, no time for air drying. Up to my eyeballs in sausage skins, pie crust and hams in brine. I wouldn’t call it chaos, but fine and controlled, cool as Christmas, with the odd tempting mince pie peeping at me cooling on the rack. It always starts the same way, a Ceremony of Carols on the old CD player and we’re in the mood like Friar Tuck preparing for the Big Feast! Yes, turkey, pigs in blankets and ham are all important, but what I long for is the best pork pie. Hot water crust Pork Pie I used to make pork pie with allspice, thyme and parsley. The process has been made so much easier with the excellent Weschenfelder pork pie spice mix which is simple to use and very wholesome and tasty. Available to purchase, just click here

    Ingredients you will need

    For the filling:

    • 1 kilo pork shoulder
    • 200 g belly pork
    • 12.12 g Weschenfelder curing salt that comes with the kit
    • 12.12 g Weschenfelder pork pie spice mix
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper (optional)

    Step-By-Step-Guide:

    1, Cool your pork and the mixing bowl in the fridge for a good 30 minutes.

    2, Cut the pork into 1 cm (1/2 inches) pieces. (You should remove the skin from the belly pork and also the rib at the end if there is one.)

    3, Add all the seasonings to the meat and mix well, then store for a good hour in the fridge while you make the crust.

    For the crust:

    • 800 g plain flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 350 g lard (12 oz)
    • 350 ml water (12 fl oz)

    Step-By-Step-Guide:

    1, Cut the lard into small cubes and place in the water and bring to the boil

    2, Add the salt to the flour and make a well

    3, Add the fat mixture (Be really careful with this, try not to let it spit)

    4, Stir with a wooden spoon and when cool enough use the hands to incorporate

    5, Leave to cool for at least an hour – or longer, the cooler the better (The pastry becomes firmer and more manageable as it cools)

    How to assemble the pie

    1, Roll out the pastry to about 5 mm and line the base of the tin, push into the corners, making sure you patch any broken pieces - you don’t want any of those juices to escape.

    2, Fill the pie with the meat, pushing down hard to close all the gaps

    3, Roll out the lid and seal with a fork. Make sure the lid is also pushed well into position, you can wash the edge of the base of the pie with milk or egg and force together to make a better seal if you like, but I have never bothered.

    4, Cut a hole in the top of the lid to allow steam to escape

    5, Wash the top with egg and bake at 180 C Gas 4 350 F for an hour before checking the temperature. It won’t be cooked at this time but check the temperature. In total a cooking time of 90 minutes is not unusual. You need a minimum of 75 C of 170 F for 15 minutes in the centre of the pie.

    And last but not least - making the jelly!

    Tip - You can use stock with some gelatin leaves in it to make a setting jelly or you can boil up pigs trotters with an onion and a piece of celery and a little salt

    1, Pour into the pie only when the pie is completely cold

    2, Wrap in foil to protect it from aromas and going soggy.

    Otherwise, eat cold and I bet it will be gone in a couple of days!

    Note: This pie will last for 7 days in the fridge, unopened.

  • Recipe Of The Month - Basque Pork In Cider

    Inspired by Tim's holiday walking in the high Pyrenees here is a great Basque style recipe for Pork Cassoulet with windfall apples, cider and cream.

    Basque Pork in cider with chorizo, mild chillies and windfall apples

    Ingredients you will need:

    • 800 g pork steaks diced
    • 500 ml cider
    • 2 Tbs olive oil
    • 1 onion chopped finely
    • 2 apples  cored, peeled and chopped
    • 100 g chopped chorizo
    • 2 mild chillies, seeded and sliced
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 4 - 5 fresh sage leaves, or half a teaspoon of dried
    • 80 g sultanas
    • 100 ml double cream
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Step-By-Step-Guide:

    1, Put the pork in a dish and pour over the cider and leave for 90 minutes in a cool place

    2, In a large lidded pan heat your oil, add onion, chorizo, garlic and chillies and cook gently for a couple of minutes

    3, Add the pork steaks and cider it was marinaded in and bring to the boil

    4, Add the sage and apple simmer for 30 minutes on a low heat

    5, Add the sultanas, cover and simmer for 15 minutes

    6, Stir in the double cream and cook for  2 - 3 minutes, add seasoning to taste

    Serve with salted potatoes.

    To find out more, check out Paul Peacocks video

    [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGfVxchFlqM[/embed]

     

     

  • Paul Peacock's Biltong & Jerky Recipe

    Biltong is made from good quality steak such as sirloin, which is what i tend to use and make a kilo at a time. It 's pricey, but you get a great product.

    In America they have a process where they use minced, or ground as they call it, meat, and add to it various seasonings, bought in packets from the supermarket. Usually these are BBQ type seasonings they call ‘rub’, and sometimes they add salt to them, often they don’t. The meat is seasoned and then stuffed into a jerky gun, which resembles a large ratchet action mastic gun, the kind of thing you seal windows and bathrooms with. The resulting material is usually smoked and cooked – or hot smoked. The only real advantage, as far as I can see with this process is it allows you to use up off cuts and various pieces of meat, and cheaper cuts, but in terms of curing for keeping I have a single problem. Once minced, the meat has an amazingly large surface area, making it more likely that the meat can become more infected. Consequently it needs more salt, and in my opinion, too much more salt, to make it safe over time.

     

    Biltong & Jerky Recipe

    Ingredients you will need:

    • good quality steak
    • sea salt
    • coriander seeds
    • cracked peppercorns
    • worcester sauce

    Step-By-Step-Guide

    Note I haven’t given any quantities, you are simply adding and layering at this stage.

    1, Start by trimming most of the fat from the meat. Don’t try to get the marbling out! Actually, many people prefer venison for biltong because it is a lot leaner. You need a lidded plastic box for this recipe. Having trimmed the meat it needs to be cut. Long pieces, around 20 cm by no more than 1 cm - 2 cm wide is what you are looking for.

    2, Put a layer of salt, a thin layer, enough to touch the meat but nothing so much as to cover the base – a light sprinkling.

    3, Add your first layer of meat and splash Worcester sauce on it, again, not gallons of the stuff, enough to coat is enough.

    4, Then sprinkle sea salt over the meat, sparingly – it isn’t a coating, just a heavy seasoning.

    5, Then a sprinkling of coriander seeds, then peppercorns – sparingly with the pepper.

    6, Once this layer is done repeat with the layers of meat.

    7, Close the lid and leave in the fridge for seven days.

    8, At the end of this period, remove, wash and pat dry the meat and you start the dehydration process.

    9, I use a dehumidifier on its lowest setting, and it takes about three days to dry the meat completely. It changes colour from dark brown to a really dark brown. Your nose is the best arbiter of the meat’s fitness to eat. It should smell sweet, almost neutral. Certainly off smells are a sign the meat needs to be thrown away. Also the meat should not be spongy, but fairly hard to the touch.

    P.S. If you don’t have a dehumidifier you can use a box with gauze in the sides so it can be hung, the biltong completely protected on all sides from insects. Drying cabinets are available having temperature and humidity controls. It is humidity that is the enemy of biltong, so the drier you can make it the better. It can take ten or even 20 days in a box to completely dry biltong.

    Biltong should last a couple of weeks, kept in a dry container, but in our house it rarely does!

  • All About Beef Casings

    Natural Beef Casings are the largest in diameter of all the Natural Casings and have a range from 36mm wide, up to 130mm. The three types of Beef Casing most commonly used are Beef Runners (or Rounds), Beef Middles and Beef Bungs (or Caps).

    As you can see from the illustration (click the image to enlarge) the Runner is coiled inside the cow and this gives the casing its natural curve. The Beef Runner is used in the U.K. for Black Pudding and the curve is used to make those beautiful Bury Rings (or Rounds). They can range from 36mm wide up to 46mm. In contrast the Beef Middle is a straight casing that starts at 45mm and goes up to 65mm wide. This is the casing used for Salami as it hangs straight and expands and contracts with the meat and allows the Salami to ‘breath’. It is also used in the far north of Scotland for Mealy White Puddings and also in deepest Cornwall for Cornish Hogs Pudding. Finally Beef Bungs or Caps are made from what is actually the Cows Appendix which is about 80cm - 1 mtr. long. It is used on the Continent for Capocolla and Bologna, but is mostly used in the U.K, in Scotland for Haggis. A typical Beef Bung will make 4-5 cannon ball sized Haggis and gives this Scottish delicacy its traditional veined appearance. We also have Beef Bladders which are really large and oval shaped - used in Italy for Mortadella.
    We have a huge stock of all these speciality casings; don’t hesitate to ask if you want advice on the best casings for any speciality or charcuterie type product.
  • All About Hog Casings

    Natural Hog Casings are produced from the small intestine of the Pig and are always referred to as ‘Hog’ rather than ‘Pig’ casings and are sometimes called Hog Runners.   They are cleaned , graded, and cured in salt . They have a range from 28mm upto large 46mm wide. The most commonly used casing is  the Runner , but  the Chitterling, the Bung and the Fatend are also used for speciality products.

    As you can see from the illustration (click once to enlarge) the runner is coiled inside the pig and this gives the casing it’s natural curve, and there are approx. 20 yards of casing before processing. Once the runners have been cleaned they are flushed with water and graded and cut according to their width and then measured up into bundles before being cured in salt. The casings are normally graded 28/30mm, 30/32, 34/36 and 38/40 and 40/+.

    Natural  Hog Casings are used in the UK for most ‘thick’ Butchers fresh sausage including  Cumberland Rings, Lincolnshire, BBQ  and Boerewors , and are used in vast quantities and in all sizes on the continent and in Germany in particular for Bratwursts and Frankfurters , in Spain for Chorizo , and in Eastern Europe for Kielbasa and smoked sausages. The list is huge!  They are more ‘robust’ than Sheep Casings and are often used by beginners as they are easy to handle and link. Filled nicely they will give the fresh sausage a good ‘bloom’ and being a natural product they expand and contract with the meat.  Being a strong casing they are ideal for hanging,  boiling , steaming , grilling , smoking and the BBQ .  A typical 34/36 casing will fill approx. 1lb of sausage per yard.  Hog Casings are sold in bundles either dry salted , or in brine , and are now available ready spooled.  All our Hog Casings are of British origin and are available either in small packs of 40mtrs or butcher packs of 80mtrs.

    The Chitterling , Bung and Fatends are all more specialized casings widely used in Europe but not commonly used in the UK , though this is changing with the increased interest in Charcuterie type products.  The Chitterling ,or Hog Middle,  is sold in pieces of approx. 1mtr and is used for types of dried French Saucisson, Liver Sausage and Italian Salami Frisses.  The Hog Bung or Fatend  are sold individually and are used in huge quantities in Germany and Eastern Europe for Liver Sausage and Branschweiger.

  • Tre Spade Italian Machinery

    All About Tre Spade Products

    The Trespade range of butchery and kitchen machinery have established themselves as one of the leading brands in the UK for quality, small-scale Meat Processing equipment for the production of charcuterie products.  We are proud to be their main UK distributor and can sell their full range of equipment with complete confidence having over 10 years of experience in the quality of their engineering and the years of craftsmanship that has evolved to the product range we now stock.

    The company has been in Torino for over 100 years in an area known as Canavese which has a long and proud history of smelting and the production of forged steel products. The interlocking three swords is their brand symbol and first appeared on their coffee grinders in 1894! All of the Trespade Sausage Stuffers, Manual and Electric  Mincers, Vacuum Packing machines and other equipment are all made in their factory in Torino in Northern Italy.  Click on the video link below to see the Trespade Video or find their products on our website.

    http://youtu.be/EGz2iBpLwHo

    If you are interested in the Trespade range of Pepper and Salt grinders please visit our new websitewww.trespade.co.uk.

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