Wild venison with port and whole spice

Venison and dark spices were made for each other. The richness of the game alongside the earthy, evocative flavours of black cardamom, star anise, and mace is a work of beauty. When you throw in the warming glow of the fortified wine from the Douro what evolves is a stew not…

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Topside of venison with rowan and whisky

Speyside is a place that I’ve always held dear, seemingly less rugged than the west coast where I spent most of my childhood holidays but at the same time majestic in its own way. I always loved coming to Coylumbridge to camp, the soothing sound of the river never out of…

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Pheasant braised with cider and star anise

Cooking with pheasant is one of the joys of winter, a bird that is beautiful in feather, and which adds such an amazing aroma to the kitchen when cooking. I prefer to pot braise pheasant as I find it keeps a good degree of moisture in the flesh and is…

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Apple and bramble crumble

Foraging is a term that is on everyone’s lips these days. Wild garlic, mushrooms, nettles and elderflowers are now seen as fairly standard ingredients as the search for free food has become fashionable. However growing up in the 1980s, for me wild food meant only one thing. Brambles, lots of…

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Roast chicken with fennel and tarragon

Fennel and tarragon were always slightly scary to me, maybe because of the urban myth that all things with a hint of anise somehow overpower everything. However now that I’ve got to grips with this irrational phobia fennel becomes one of my favourite vegetables when in season. It has such…

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Hairst bree – Lamb and summer vegetable soup

This is my take on a traditional Scottish dish which is called variously hotch potch or hairst bree (harvest broth). Traditionally made made with neck of lamb or mutton, I prefer to use the shank as it renders it a bit meatier with less fat in my experience. The vegetables…

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Roast lamb with mushrooms and Marsala

Pot roasting is not in my comfort zone particularly. I tend to do my roasting and stewing in the oven, maybe because it’s easier to leave to cook, go for a run (or a pint!) and forget about it. Somehow I just trust my instincts better with that method. However the boned…

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Scottish heritage recipes – Stovies

Stovies

  The ‘Auld Alliance’ with France in 1295 that would last over 250 years brought much more than just armed assistance to Scotland. The food and wine flavours of that country would last within the Scottish cuisine and in the Scottish dialect far longer than the armed support of our…

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