Red Lentil, Quinoa and Mixed Nut Roast (v)

I love a good nut roast. No, really I do. And I’d much rather see this on a pub/cafe menu for Sunday lunch than some god awful filo pastry thing filled with a suspicious cat sick looking filling going soggy in the gravy. Bleck. So, in an attempt to use up all those itty bitty packs of nuts lurking at the back of my cupboard I concocted this and it was a triumph (well we all enjoyed it and it was delicious cold the next day in sandwiches!).

For 8-10 slices you need
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup quinoa
2 tsp vegan stock powder
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup mixed nuts (I used walnuts, peanuts and cashews)
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tsp marmite
2 tsp vecon stock paste
1 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp hendersons relish/veggie worcester sauce
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp pine nuts

Begin by placing the lentils, quinoa and stock powder in a pan and covering with exactly 1.5 cups water (you’re going to cook them by absorption). Bring to the boil, stir, and then reduce the heat as low as it will go and cover with a lid. Cook for 10-15 mins until the lentils are just done. Turn off the heat and leave to steam for a further 10 mins or so.

Meanwhile, fry the onion and garlic until soft. Chop the nuts until half are quite finely chopped and the other half are a little more chunky.

Combine everything in a mixing bowl, apart from the pine nuts, and mix thoroughly. Add a few more breadcrumbs (or even a crumbled weetabix or two!) if the mixture looks too sloppy. You want it to the reasonably firm but not too stiff.

Scrape out into a pyrex dish and smooth down. Sprinkle over the pine nuts and bake in a moderate (180 degree) oven for about 45 mins until it’s crispy on top. Serve with the usual roast dinner accompaniments. I also like mine with lashings of cranberry or mint sauce. And don’t forget the gravy! Any leftover roast will keep for a few days in the fridge and makes a fab sarnie filling or it will also freeze well. I find it’s worth making a large batch and freezing one half for another day.

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Roast Shoulder of Pork with Cider Sauce and Baked Apples

I’ve been a bit nervous about blogging this recipe as it’s clearly a meat recipe, and I know a lot of the people who follow my posts do so because they’re mainly veggie/vegan. So apologies in advance if this offends/annoys you but my eating habits have changed, and so, therefore, must my blog posts…

I’ve been experimenting with different cuts of meat recently as I’ve never learned to cook it as I was veggie for so many years. This is a very economical cut, but can be a bit fatty. Abel and Cole didn’t disappoint however and delivered me a reasonably lean joint with a nice bit of skin on the top for crackling. I’d done quite a lot of research into how I was going to cook it and had toyed with the idea of doing pulled pork, but frankly waiting 16-24 hours for my tea wasn’t what I wanted so I simply roasted it, following Hugh’s advice for the 20 min high heat sizzle to begin with before a more gentle roast and then a last 15 min blast of heat for the crackling.

For 2-3 people you need
Roast
1kg shoulder of pork joint
2-3 potatoes, peeled and cut into thirds for roasting
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 onions, cut into quarters
2 apples, cored and cut into quarters, skin left on
salt and pepper
1 head broccoli, cut into florets and steamed

Sauce
300ml dry cider
2 tsp plain flour
salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees. Season the meat with salt and pepper and place on a rack in a roasting pan and pop in the oven for 20-30 mins to seal the meat and give it some initial colour. After the sizzle time is up, reduce the oven to 160 degrees. Scatter the potatoes and carrots in the tin under the rack and add 250ml boiling water. Place back in the oven for 45 mins.

After this time, turn the meat to ensure even cooking. Add the onion and apple quarters to the pan and top up with a little more water if it’s all evaporated. The water helps to create steam which keeps the meat moist, and also ensures the veggies cook with minimum additional fat.

Cook at 160 degrees for a further 30-45 mins, checking to ensure the meat doesn’t over cook. Remove from the oven after 2 hours total cooking time, or when the meat is done. Cut off the crackling if you want it extra crispy and place on a baking tray. Cover the joint in foil on a carving dish to rest. Turn the oven up to 220 degrees again. Season the crackling with a little more salt and roast in the hot oven for 15 mins till totally crunchy deliciousness.

To make the sauce put the flour into the roasting tin and heat gently. Cook the flour for a few mins and then add the cider. Stir thoroughly to avoid lumps and heat until reduced and slightly thickened. Carve the meat and serve the veggies and sauce and enjoy enjoy enjoy!

Quorn Roast

I love a roast dinner and so does Lex. Plus cooking one gives me leftovers for a quick lunch or dinner after work.

The quorn roast is pretty straight forward – take it from the freezer and put it in the oven for 45 mins! It’s being served with steamed veggies (also easy, wash, prep and steam for 10 mins or so) and roast potatoes (peel, cut into chunks, par boil for 10 mins then roast in butter/oil for an hour till crispy). Serve with gravy and feel the warm glow of a Sunday roast.