Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks

Based on a recipe by Nagi.


  • 1kg beef cheeks
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 shallots (roughly chopped)
  • 6 cloved garlic (sliced)
  • 2 sticks of celery (roughly chopped)
  • 2 carrots (roughly chopped)
  • sprig of thyme
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 500ml red wine
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jam
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Cut off any large pieces of fat or sinew, if your butcher hasn’t already done so
  • Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and brown the cheeks
  • Transfer the cheeks to the slow-cook
  • Saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until starting to soften
  • Add the celery and carrot and cook for a few minutes more
  • Transfer the sofrito to the slow cooker
  • Deglaze the pan with wine
  • Pour the wine into the slow cooker
  • Add stock, redcurrent jelly, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste
  • Slow cook on high for 4 hours
  • Turn down to low and cook for another 2 hours
  • Turn to keep warm mode and leave to simmer for another 2 hours
  • Use a large ladle to spoon the liquid out to a saucepan, leaving the meat and veg in the slow cooker
  • Boil the sauce to reduce by between a third and a half
  • Return to slow cooker
  • Serve with creamy mash, kale, and horseradish

Awesome Chicken Curry


  • large piece of ginger
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium white onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 medium red onion (sliced)
  • 2 sticks celery (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 carrot (half chopped finely, half roll-chopped)
  • 2 fresh chili peppers (one deseeded & chopped, one whole)
  • 2 or 3 tbsp curry powder (see Curry Powder)
  • 2 chicken legs in 4 pieces
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 knorr chicken stock pot
  • handful of broad beans


  1. blend the garlic, ginger, celery tops and a little water to make a paste
  2. fry the onion and celery on a high heat
  3. add the whole spices
  4. add carrot
  5. add peppers
  6. cook until the onions start to brown
  7. turn it down and add a splash of water to cool the pan
  8. when the water burns off, add the curry powder and fry for a second
  9. add the paste and fry for a few seconds
  10. add the chicken legs
  11. stir to get the chicken well coated in the spices and paste
  12. add enough water to cover the chicken, tomato paste and stock pot
  13. turn right down and simmer as low as possible for an hour or so or until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has reduced
  14. for the last few minutes chuck in the handful of broad beans
  15. serve with rice, mango chutney, and plain yoghurt

Curry Powder

Ingredientscurry powder

  • 2 tbsp coriander
  • 1 ½ tbsp cumin
  • 3 ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp chili powder/cayenne
  • ½ tbsp black mustard
  • ½ tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tbsp black pepper
  • 1 ¼ tsp fenugreek
  • 1 ¼ tsp cardamom
  • 4 cloves
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp fennel
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp star anise

Basic Bread


  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 1 ½ tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 15g butter (softened)
  • 1 sachet yeast
  • 300ml warm water (1 part boiling : 2 parts cold)


Lightly oil loaf tin(s) and set aside.

Make the dough

Mix together the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the yeast.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the warm water. Mix together with a cutlery knife until a soft dough starts to form. This will take a couple of minutes.

Knead the dough

On a lightly floured surface, knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.


Form into a ball. Lightly oil a clean bowl, put the dough into it, then cover with oiled cling film and leave in the proving oven for 1 or 2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.

Knead again

Knock back the dough by gently kneading just 5 times for 2-3 minutes to get the air out. Shape into a loaf and drop into the loaf tin.

Second proving

Cover again with the lightly oiled cling film and allow to prove for 45 minutes to 1 hour until doubled in size again.


Sprinkle the top with a little flour and use a sharp knife to make a shallow slash in the top, around 1cm deep, from one end to the other.

Turn oven up to 220C.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, then turn down the heat to 200C, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until sounds hollow when tapped underneath.

George Benson pepper mash


  • 12 chili peppers
  • 1 tbsp pure salt
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar


  1. Wash chilis, destem and slice in half lengthwise
  2. Place in a bowl
  3. Sprinkle the salt over the chilis
  4. Crush the chilis with a potato masher
  5. Leave overnight
  6. Transfer to a jar and cover with water
  7. Store in a cupboard for 2 weeks
  8. Transfer to a blender, leaving most seeds behind
  9. Add a few tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
  10. Blend

See also

Kashmiri Yogurt Lamb Recipe

Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Whole spices
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 4 green cardamom
    • 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 148g Kashmiri Masala spice paste (see recipe)
  • 500g diced lamb
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 200g set full fat yogurt


  1. Heat oil in a pan
  2. Fry onion until soft.
  3. Crackle the whole spices in hot oil to release their sweet aromatic flavours (for that Indian home cooking experience)
  4. Add ginger and Kashmiri Masala spice paste, cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add 50ml water; cook until the water has evaporated.
  6. Add lamb, cook until sealed.
  7. Add 150ml water, cover and simmer until the lamb is tender (approx. 30 minutes), and stir occasionally.
  8. Whisk together flour, sugar, and yogurt until smooth.
  9. Remove the pan from heat; allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  10. Stir in the yogurt mix and return to the heat, simmer for 1-2 minutes to thicken.
  11. Season to preference.
  12. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander.
  13. Serve with boiled rice or naan.

See also

Kashmiri Masala paste


9th September

  • Whole spices
    • 2 ½ tsp coriander seeds
    • 1 ½ tsp fennel seeds
    • 2 ½ tsp cumin seeds
    • ½ tsp black peppercorns
    • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
    • 2 bay leaves
  • Ground spices
    • 1 tbsp paprika
    • 3 tbsp Kashmiri chili powder
    • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
    • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
    • pinch ground ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil (plus more if required)
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar


  1. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat.
  2. Roast the whole spices until they become fragrant (stop if they start to smoke).
  3. Remove the spices from the heat, allow to cool then grind to a fine powder and combine with the ground spices.
  4. In a frying pan, add the spice mixture, garlic, and about 4 tbsp water and stir into a paste.
  5. Add the oil and cook over a medium heat.
  6. Stir continuously until the oil separates and the mixture starts to darken a little. One or two minutes should be enough. Add more water if it gets too hot.
  7. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar.
  8. Spoon the masala into a jar.
  9. This will keep in the fridge for a few months.

Pickled peppers



  • 16 chili peppers
  • For the brine:
    • 5 cups of vinegar (5% acidity)
    • 1 cup of water
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 2 tbsp canning/kosher/sea salt (pure salt)
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • 2 bay leaves


  1. put all the brine ingredients in a pan and bring to boil dissolving the sugar
  2. stuff peppers in jar
  3. add brine – allow 1/2″ headspace
  4. use butter knife to remove air
  5. (allow to cool)
  6. add treated lid
  7. Either boil in water an 1″ over the top (canning) or store in fridge

Kettle Tom Yum soup (for the office)

Soup mix (prepared in advance)

Ingredients3rd September

  • Nam Prik Pao (see recipe) or Jaipur paste (see recipe)
  • Chicken stock gel (Knorr stock pots works well)
  • Fresh chili (for garnish)


  1. Make a batch of Nam Prik Pao chili paste (or Jaipur paste) and divide into to individual portions in 40ml/1.4oz plastic food containers.
  2. Top each one with half a teaspoon of chicken stock gel, and a slice of chili pepper.
  3. Freeze.

On the day

IngredientsInstant noodle soup test run

  • One portion of soup mix (defrosted)
  • Instant noodles (e.g. MAMA Instant Rice Noodles)
  • Protien (cooked prawns, chicken, fish)


  1. Place the soup mix in one bowl and the instant noodles in another.
  2. Add boiling water to both and stir for 3 minutes
  3. Transfer the noodles to the soup (discarding the water the noodles were cooked in)
  4. Add protien of your choice

See also

Jaipur paste


  • 1 red onion
  • ½ tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tbsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp whole fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp chili Powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp black peppercorns
  • ¼ tsp whole black mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 fresh red chili pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp water


  1. Remove the outer layer of skin from the onion and cut in half.
  2. Place the onion halves cut side down in a roasting tin smeared with a little oil.
  3. Roast the onions for 20 mins at 180C fan.
  4. Dry roast the whole spices and grind to a fine powder.
  5. Combine the ground spices in a bowl with the vinegar, salt and agave syrup.
  6. Cover and set aside.
  7. When the onions are finished roasting and are nicely caramelised, remove from the oven and allow to cool
  8. Squeeze the onion flesh from the skin and blend to a paste with a fresh chili pepper and a little water
  9. Add this to the spice and vinegar mixture
  10. Heat the oil a large heavy bottom pan over medium heat.
  11. Cook the paste, stirring frequently, until it becomes fragrant and turns dark, 8 to 10 minutes. Add a splash of water if it starts to burn or a little more oil if it starts to stick.

See also

Nam prik pao (Thai chili paste)


  • 2-3 dried chilis
  • 1 fresh chili
  • 3 shallots
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp Lemongrass paste
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger
  • Handful of coriander leaves
  • Juice of a lime
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil


  1. Roast shallots 180C for 10 mins – add garlic and continue roasting for 10 mins.
  2. Lightly toast the dried chilis (I used Ancho or Guauilla & Mulato).
  3. Rinse the dried shitake mushrooms.
  4. Rehydrate the dried chilis and shitake mushrooms by soaking in boiled water for 15 minutes.
  5. Blend the rehydrated chilis to a fine paste.
  6. Blend (everything except the oil) to a paste.
  7. Taste and add sugar or fish sauce.
  8. Heat the oil a large heavy bottom pan over medium heat.
  9. Cook the paste, stirring frequently, until it becomes fragrant and turns dark. This takes about 15 minutes.
  10. Taste one last time and adjust, to taste.

See also