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Recipes for February

there's little to harvest in February,
so here are some tasty alternatives:

Sausage Patties

1lb ground pork or sausages
3-4 skinned tomatoes
1 garlic clove minced
1 tablespoon dried sage, crumbled
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried fennel, crushed
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 egg white
2 tsp vegetable oil

Mix together the pork, tomatoes, garlic, sage, thyme, fennel, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the egg white and combine thoroughly. Cover and chill for at least 15 minutes.
To easily form the sausage patties, rinse your hands in cold water. Divide the mixture into eighths and shape each portion into a 2 1/2-inch disk. Patties can be made to this point and refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.

Heat a skillet over high heat and then swirl in the oil. Fry the sausages on both sides until completely cooked through and golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Drain and serve immediately with pancakes, waffles or eggs. Sausage patties can be fully cooled, wrapped and frozen for microwave reheating.

Salted Caramel & Apple Pudding

1 tbsp butter, softened

3 large eggs, and 2 egg yolks
50g dark brown soft sugar

200ml whole milk

300ml double cream

375g can caramel, beaten until smooth

2 tsp vanilla extract

75g plain flour


ice cream to serve 

Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter a 30 x 20 x 4cm baking dish. Put the eggs, extra yolks, sugar, milk, cream, 200g of the caramel, the vanilla and a large pinch of sea salt in a large bowl, then whisk until combined. Stir in the flour until the batter is smooth.

Halve, core and cut the apples into 1cm slices – there’s no need to peel them. Arrange in the baking dish and pour over the batter. Bake for 30-35 mins until the batter is set in the centre, golden and slightly risen.

Drizzle over the remaining caramel, then sprinkle with a little extra sea salt. Leave to rest for 5-10 mins (it will deflate a little). Serve warm with vanilla or peanut butter ice cream, if you like.

Meat & Vegetable Ragu -
this is a good one if children don't want to eat veggies.

garlic cloves

1 each of:

   red onion, white onion, parsnip, carrot all roughly chopped

2½ tbsp olive oil

250g beef mince

250g pork mince

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

400g can plum tomatoes

400g tomato passata

2 tbsp tomato purée

400ml chicken or beef stock

cooked pasta to serve

Tip the garlic cloves into a food processor with the onions, parsnip and carrots. Blitz until finely chopped. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the veg mix until soft and translucent, about 20 mins.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a second pan and fry the beef and pork mince until starting to brown, about 15-20 mins. Stir the vinegar into the mince, then season and stir into the fried vegetable mix.

Tip in the tomatoes, passata, tomato purée and stock. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 1 hr. After 30 mins, remove the lid so the ragu reduces and thickens. Serve over cooked pasta.

To freeze, leave to cool completely, then pack into freezerproof containers. Will keep frozen for up to three months.

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