Duck and plum baked pilaf

Recently, I moved in with my boyfriend, so he’s been making a lot more dinner requests lately. Now, it’s not all been pies, and the other day he suggested something with chicken and summer berries. The man has a sweet tooth.

I, however, do not. My brain just shut down at that one. Later, when I’d recovered, and pored over the resulting mental crash dump, I came out with this:

Duck and plum pilaf bake

It’s a simple one-pot bake that’s basically a lazily asianed-up pilaf.

Continue reading Duck and plum baked pilaf

Ox cheeks slow-braised with ginger and plums

Slow-cooked ox cheeks are not often considered summer food, so I’m not even going to try pleading that this has fruit in it. It’s just something tasty I worked up after seeing cheeks on the butcher’s counter, and not being able to say no.

Heck, the plums aren’t even in season, so that’s me done for, really. I imagine there’ll be a tutting, hemp-clad psychopomp strong-arming me to a McDonald’s of perpetual flame in the hereafter. Might as well enjoy the stew while I’m here.

Ox cheeks with ginger and plums

Actually, I’ve always thought seasonality was more inspirational than holy, and food miles are a bit of a crass simplification when you start factoring in other energy costs. Jay Rayner puts this all far better than I ever will, and anyway I’m drifting wildly off topic.

No, this is actually a way to bring some gentler, fresher flavours to what might be my new favourite cut of beef. It’s cribbed substantially from a River Cottage Every Day recipe my old housemate used to cook, but I’ve mucked about with the flavours and thrown plums at it.  Continue reading Ox cheeks slow-braised with ginger and plums