Winging it

Need a nibble to spice up your barbecue, or more realistically in this weather to scoff on the sofa while watching a good gory movie? We’ve go a perfect, fool-proof recipe for Salt & Chilli Chicken Wings for you. This little lot will make 12 wings, enough for two people but easily multiplies.

12 Chicken wings
2 tbsp Tomato ketchup
1 tsp Rice vinegar
2 tsp Fivespice powder
2 tsp Salt
3 Spring onions
1 Red chilli

Mix together the seasonings & sauces and use as a marinade for the chicken. Leave the meat to soak up the tasty goodness for at least half an hour. When ready, roughly chop the chilli and spring onions and mix with the chicken wings before cooking in a hot (gas mark 6-7) oven for around 30 minutes – enjoy!


Mini Meat Munchies

It’s nearly been a year since our 9 month baking project arrived and it seems that she, like us, loves her food. So far Mini Stovies has a preference for strong tastes, Vegemite, curry, pesto, paella, she’s even sampled frog’s legs! (whilst Mrs Stovies shuddered in disgust)

Now that we’re well and truly moving away from the days of purees we thought we’d start sharing our child friendly recipes with our readers too. Some of them are definite kid eats, but most of them are happy grown up eats too, like these meatballs. They’re great as finger foods for little ones (cut into semi spheres) or for grown ups serve as tapas with spicy salsa or douse in fresh tomato sauce and serve with pasta.

500g good steak mince
1 large handful grated mozzarella (the hard type)
2 handfuls dried breadcrumbs
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp thyme
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt (omit for children)

Mix everything together with your hands. Roll into little balls, about 1 inch wide works well, although smaller for mixing through pasta opt for a much smaller ball and knock 5-10 minutes off the baking time. Lay the meatballs out on an oiled baking tray and bake for 20 minutes at gas mark 5, covering with foil for the first half of the cooking time.


The Owl and the Pussycat went to Sea….

… a beautiful pea green boat.
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.

Well, they’d have had a rare old time if they happened upon a floating gin palace with a cash bar but they probably wouldn’t have eaten very well once the honey was gone. Thankfully the clever pussycat also had with him a Sea Pie. Despite the name Sea Pie has very little to do with fish. It’s a great, warming and filling dish designed to keep fishermen going when they’re out at sea. Mr Stovies’ granny was a fine North Eastern fishwife and our version is an ode to her epic meaty dish.

This recipe will serve 6-8 people and is great for a relaxed late Sunday lunch. We would say on a winter’s day but really with a traditional Scottish summer any day will do!

For the meat stew:
750g Oxtail
500g Boiling beef (just ask the butcher, it’s a funny cut)
2 Onions, cut into large slices
3 Large carrots, in 1 inch chunks
1/4 Medium turnip, in 1 inch chunks
1tbsp Flour, heaped
750ml Water
1 or 2 Bay leaves
A good pinch of white pepper

Put all of the ingredients except the flour into a large, oven proof, lidded pan. Bring up to simmering point on the stove then turn the heat down low, cover with the lid and cook for a long time. A 4 hours plus long time, all day if you can. Stir occasionally. When the meat is falling away from the bones, fish the chunks out, pull the meat away from the bone with a fork and return to the pan. Discard the bones and the bay leaves. Mix a little cooking juice with the flour to make a lazy roux, thin it down with some more cooking liquor and stir through to thicken the stew.

For the dumplings:
200g Self raising flour
75g Suet
1tsp Dried thyme
Salt & pepper
Water to mix

Mix the dry ingredients together, add enough water to make a sticky dough then form into dumplings either by getting your hands dirty and rolling golf ball sized balls between your palms or get a little cheffy and use two spoons to make quenelles. Make sure you have one dumpling per person, although a couple of extras are a good idea too!

Asses the stew, the dumplings will suck up lots of water so you may need to add some more to compensate. Ideally there will be about 1/2 a cm of stew juice above the body of the meat. Place the dumplings evenly on top of the stew, cover with the lid and cook on a medium to low heat for half an hour.

Serve with crusty bread, a good red wine* and good chat.

*or a craft brewed ale, Harviestoun make some beautiful beers…..

Use your loaf!

Meatloaf hasn’t enjoyed a particularly good rep in Stovies’ house, purely because in movies the prospect of meatloaf us usually met with a groan and eaten under duress. Perhaps it’s just the name that makes it seem unappealing, Mr Stovies solution to this would be to rename it meatcake. Mrs Stovies just wants to cook it more often! This recipe will feed eight fairly ravenous folk for a celebration feast.

Stovies’ Mighty Meatloaf:

500g Minced beef
500g Minced pork
200g Breadcrumbs
12 Slices Parma ham
1 large Red onion
1 tsp Garlic powder
2 Eggs
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Brown sauce
2 tbsp Tomato ketchup
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Small handful fresh mint
2 Sprigs fresh rosemary
A handful fresh parsley

Very finely chop the onion, it needs to be really small so even better, grate it (and suffer onion flavour hands for ever!) or pop it in a magimix type contraption. Transfer to a large mixing bowl with the minced pork and beef.

Make the breadcrumbs and sling them in too. Top tip here: use breadsticks instead of stale bread and simply chop up in a blender. They come out a lot like panko crumbs.

Next put the garlic powder, eggs and condiments into the blender with the herbs. You will need to remove the leaves from the stalks although not each and every one, just enough to get rid of the woody or stringy stalks. Whizz until finely chopped then add to the meat. Thoroughly mix the while lot together with your hands. Yes, it’s messy and feels squelchy but it’s worth it. Alternatively use a food mixer with a dough hook or a bread machine with the heat turned off. Please don’t use a mixer with knife blades, you’ll end up with sludge!

Roll out a piece of clingfilm about 80cm long onto the work surface then place another next to it, overlapping enough to make a square. Repeat, this time at 90 degrees to the first layer. Make one last layer then lay the Parma ham on top, in the middle, towards the front. To make the ham wrapping paper the right size lay out eight slices vertically, overlapping slightly. Use the remaining four slices horizontally above the other strips to make a large rectangle. Dollop the meaty mix in a line across the ham, leaving an inch or so of space at either side. It’ll be 2-3 inches tall when its all on. Using the clingfilm as an aide, wrap the ham around the meat then tightly roll the whole lot up, twisting the ends to make a neat sausage shape.

Cocoon the meatloaf in another couple of layers of clingfilm the place in a roasting tin half filled with water. Bake in a medium oven, gas 4, for 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours. To test if it is ready, pierce the centre of the loaf with a knife. It the juices run clear, Bob’s your uncle. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes before unwrapping and carving.

Dish up with mash or roasties, plenty of seasonal veg and a simple red wine gravy.

A New York state of mind

Ok, so this isn’t a cook from scratch recipe, it’s more of a Delia’s How to Cheat style recipe. You could make the dough, wait for it to rise whilst you make the sauce and have a lovely jubbly homemade pizza to top in a New York stylee. Or you can do what we did in new baby mode and add toppings to a fancy cheese and tomato pizza from the supermarket.

For one New York Deli Pizza you will need:

1 posh cheese and tomato pizza
pastrami slices
sliced gerkins
1 ball of mozarella
caraway seeds
American mustard

Firstly sprinke some caraway on top of the pizza. Tear up the mozzarella and scatter. Double cheese is always good. Lay on plenty of  pastrami strips, top with gerkin slices, drizzle with mustard and finally sprinkle on a touch more caraway. Bake in the oven according to the instructions on the box.

Ta da! Lazy but oh so good.

This is for Lovers

If you are in the mood for romance this Valentine’s Day, why not rustle up a tasty little supper for your loved one, have a love in instead of braving the mania that is every restaurant on earth on the 14th of February. With a ruby red beetroot puree to remind you of red roses, these pork valentine steaks are quick and easy and will make the kitchen smell heavenly. 


Pork Valentines with Leek and Potato Cakes and Beetroot Puree
Serves two

For the puree (make the day before):

2 Medium beetroot
2 Cloves of garlic
2 Sprigs of thyme
1 tbsp Creme fraiche
Apple juice

Individually wrap the beetroot in tin foil placing a sprig of thyme and a whole, unpeeled garlic clove into each parcel too. Put the beetroot bombs into an ovenproof dish and roast in a medium oven (gas 4, 180’c) for two hours. The beetroot should be soft in the centre when tested with a knife. Allow the beetroot and garlic to cool then peel and blitz to a smooth puree adding a little apple juice to help it along. Keep in the fridge overnight, reheat before stirring in the creme fraiche and serving. 

For the pork:

2 Pork valentine steaks or 4 thin loin steaks
25g Butter
1 Good pinch each of fresh Thyme, Rosemary, Tarragon, & Parsley
1 Fresh sage leaf  
Freshly ground black pepper 

Finely chop the herbs and mash into the butter with the pepper. If you have the chance, leave the herb butter in the fridge overnight to absorb all of the flavours. Lay out the pork on a baking tray and split the butter between the pieces, just pop it on top of the steaks/loins. Grill the pork in a low grill turning once and basting with the melted herb butter. They’ll take around 10 minutes to cook through. 

For the leek and potato cakes:

4 Good sized potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
1 Small leek, sliced. Include the green bits for a little colour
1 Heaped desert spoon self raising flour
White pepper

Lightly cook the leek in a pot of boiling water, once it has softened drain off the water and cover with cold water to keep the colour. Mix the leek, flour, salt and pepper into the potato. In a large frying pan heat a little butter and olive oil. Spoon two large dollops of the leek and potato mixture into the pan and shape into round patties – simply pat around the sides and top with a spatula to make a neat edge. Cook for about 5 minutes each side on a medium heat. 

Now to put it all together……Make a little bed of beetroot puree, add on the potato cake and top with the pork. Drizzle on some of the lovely melted herb butter from the pan to finish. Add some candle light, a bottle of velvety red wine and a kiss for a lovely evening in.  

Happy Love Day Stovies’ fans! 


Beans, beans, good for the heart…

You have probably realised by now that here at Stovies’ Towers we like to eat meat. However, many of our recipes can be adapted to suit a veggie, or even a vegan. If you’re that way inclined.

This risotto is one of those dishes, leave the pancetta out and you have a filling vegetarian version. Alternatively use the meat-free version as a side dish for grilled fish or chicken. The quantities below will feed 4 as a main course on it’s own or 6 as a side.

Butter Bean and Pancetta Risotto

250g Risotto rice
1 Can of butter beans, drained and rinsed
130g Pancetta cubes (for some reason pancetta always comes in wee packs of two, use both and it’ll be dandy)
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
A handful of chopped flat parsley
1 tsp dried Tarragon
2tbsp Cold pressed rapeseed oil or butter.
200ml White wine
500ml Hot vegetable stock + 500ml hot water (or 1l hot water + 1 stock cube)

In a large, flat bottomed saucepan fry the pancetta in the oil, when it is slightly coloured add the onion and cook until soft. Add the rice and stir well so that each grain is coated in oil and turn the heat to medium-low. Pour in the wine and stir continuously until almost absorbed.

Add the stock a ladle at a time stirring and allowing each to be absorbed before adding another. When you have added half of the stock pop the dried tarragon into the pan, when you have about two ladles to go, throw in the butter beans. Keep adding and keep stirring until the liquid has all been absorbed and the rice is glossy.

To finish grate in lots of parmesan and stir through the parsley. Eat straight away.