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making dry cured pork loin (lonzino) – video!

Something a little different today folks. A full on video post. Well, almost full on. I recently put a pork loin in to cure, and air dry and thought it might be rather fun to video the making of it. Turns out it was fun, and I now feel the need to inflict the video on every reader of this blog (hi Mum!).

Lonzino is really pretty simple. A section of pork loin that has cured in salt and herbs, and then is left to dry hang until ready – normally about a month. To make things far less boring, I tend to case all of my whole muscle cuts now – so you get to watch me try and force a big piece of meat into a small casing (no jokes please..). The reason to case is that it slows down the drying process, and also helps prevent the exterior of the meat drying out too much – so you get nice even dryness across a slice.

Click to see the video of me stuffing meat in to a casing!!

Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancakes

I have a somewhat recent love affair on buckwheat.  It seems like savory crepes (galettes) are all the rage here in Seattle, and almost all of them have a proportion of buckwheat in them. This is traditional to the area of France where they were apparently first developed – Brittany. Buckwheat has this lovely rich brown color, and a very distinctive nutty flavor all to its own. Even though the name might be misleading, it isn’t a wheat and is gluten free (watch out however for cross contamination in fields and processing if you are highly sensitive to gluten).

Click to read more, see photos and get this Buckwheat pancake recipe

Eccles Cakes – the classic British tea cake


Something must be kinda wrong with me recently. Maybe Christmas screwed me up…. First, I go and decide to host a “meat party” for 16 guests, when I am really a seafood cook, and then I go and bake.

Me, bake.

Any long (or not even that long) term reader (hi Mum..) will remember that not only do I completely dislike baking, but I am rather rubbish at it.

Continue reading about Eccles Cakes

Winter Squash chutney


Maybe this is a British thing, but there often isn’t anything better than some lovely soft cheese, a decent slice of bread, and some great chutney. Pair it with a glass of wine and you have a lunch fit for champions.

My love affair with chutney really started back in England, in my early twenties. A friend and I every weekend would go off for a walk through the countryside, chew the fat a bit (talk a bunch of complete crap), get thoroughly lost, but somehow always manage to end up at a pub.. Actually if you have been to England you will know it isn’t too hard to always end up a pub.


Dearie’s Meringues


What the hell you say… Matt has done more baking?? Don’t worry, I haven’t suddenly found a love for cooking up all things sweet. A love of eating baked stuff, certainly, but certainly not making it!

The only hand I had in this one was in the photography, and I am happy to say, the eating. Dearie did the rest.

Continue to see this meringue recipe

Baking for PEPs – Pistachio Almond Tuiles, and Apricot Tea Cakes


Bastards. Complete bastards. I have had to do some baking. Sounds odd I know – a cook that doesn’t much like to bake. Well, that is me! Baking always seems like a black art, sometimes it goes great, other times I am left swearing at a rock cake that was never meant to be a rock cake.

So. PEPs was at our house this weekend, on Fathers Day none the less. I had to bake on Fathers Day. Evil Bastards. We had managed to not host the meetings for a while, mainly due to the kitchen renovation, but it was now our turn – well and truly our turn.

Continue to see this tea cakes recipe

Roast Banana Pumpkin Seed Bread


First off, I want to say that I don’t bake. I honestly don’t. I truly believe that you should focus on just a couple of things, and work to get really good at them – spread yourself too thin, and well, you become a jack of all trades, which I don’t want to be.

The fact that this came off edible is a complete miracle. The fact that it tasted bloody amazing is 10 years of miracles rolled into one banana bread.