Stoemp with sausages and bacon

Stoemp is a Belgian vegetable dish that is related to things like bubble and squeak, rumbledethumps and colcannon mash.

It is a mixture of root vegetables all mashed up together, often with the addition of herbs and leeks.

I used potatoes, swede, parsnips, carrots, leeks, thyme and bay leaves, all boiled up together and then mashed with salt and pepper, butter and cream, taking care to leave the mixture with some decent texture. You don’t want a smooth purée here, more of a rustic mixed mash.

You can eat all sorts of things with this, duck breasts are good, as are fried eggs, especially duck ones. It also goes well with all manner of pork dishes, boiled ham being nice, but it is also fantastic with sausages and fried or grilled bacon.

I used two kinds of Polish sausage and some smoked back bacon, which made a lovely combination of salty, smoky pork and creamy, buttery sweetish root vegetables.

You don’t need a gravy or a sauce, but some Dijon mustard is an excellent accompaniment.

It is a fantastic warming dish for cold Autumn and Winter evenings.

Honey and mustard roasted bacon loin with broccoli cheese and a jacket potato

One of our local butcher’s shops on Gloucester Rd, Dave Giles, sells lovely bacon joints and this was made with one of them.

The meat was smeared with a mixture of honey and whole-grain mustard and baked in a Gas Mark 6 oven for about two hours.

To accompany this, we had jacket potatoes and broccoli in a cheese sauce, also baked in the over, in the same way as the more common cauliflower cheese.

Cheese and bacon is a lovely combination, as is cheese and potato, so there really wasn’t going to be many problems with cheese, bacon and potato on the same plate.

Spanish-style rice

This is one of those things that isn’t really paella and is more Spanish style than necessarily authentically Spanish.

I used ordinary long grain rice for this. The ingredients are;

A few raw king prawns
Half a chorizo sausage, cut into chunky slices
Streaky bacon cut into lardons
A chopped onion
A crushed clove of garlic
A chopped tomato
1 measuring cup of rice
Frozen peas
A chopped green chilli
2 measuring cups of vegetable or chicken stock
Two teaspoons of my own “spices for rice” – see below

First heat some olive oil and fry off the bacon and king prawns. When the prawns lose the greyness, remove from the heat.

Sauté the onions, tomato, chilli and garlic in the same oil and add in the sliced chorizo and cook until the red juices start to come out of the sausage.

Then add the rice and spice blend, stir well and add the stock. Stir well and simmer covered for 10-15 minutes.

Add in the frozen peas, the prawns and the bacon and continue cooking until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is done.

If necessary, add hot water if the rice is still too firm and keep on a very low heat.

For a less meaty version, leave out the chorizo and bacon and use some chopped preserved red peppers. You could also add in some drained tinned chickpeas too.

I think that you need the prawns though.

Spices for rice blend;

2 tablespoons of ground turmeric
1 tablespoons of pimenton dulce
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
1 tablespoon of dried parsley
2 teaspoons of chilli powder
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of celery salt.
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and store in a dry air-tight jar.