Venison Mince Meat


Venison mince pie

500g seedless raisins

750g currants

500g beef suet

500g dark brown sugar

90g mixed candied peel

750g apples weighed after peeling and coring

zest of one lemon

juice of half lemon

300m ½ pint brandy

1/2tsp salt

1/2tsp all spice

½ tsp cinnamon

½ nutmeg grated

1 tsp ground black pepper


Coarsely grate (or chop finely) the peeled apple pieces.

Mix everything (except the brandy) together with your hands in a big bowl. Add the liquor and mix again.

Pack the mincemeat into sterilised jars, seal with greaseproof paper and tight-fitting lids. Store in a cool place – if you have the time, let the mincemeat mature for 2-3 weeks before using it for mince pies. The meat is preserved by the sugar and brandy and I’ve kept jars for a year to no ill effect, then it is ‘cooked’ in the mince pies but I have to add a health warning – this recipe is to be made at your own risk. Many of the products described on this website involve significant risks, and you should not enter into any recipe or cooking action unless you have fully understood all such risks and have independently determined that they are appropriate for you.

Pastry and pie method coming shortly (the mince is not quite ready I’ll make some at the start of November and post them up.


Cider Apples and Drunken Wasps

We have five cider apple trees and have just planted the same again. Fun

Collect them.

Break them up in the ‘scratter’.

Squash’em. Put the juice in a tub and let it do it’s work.

All you need is apples to make cider.

Beef shin in Cider

1000g             beef shin, diced into 1 inch cubes

30g                  seasoned flour

3tblsp             vegetable oil

250g               onions sliced

600ml               brown stock

300ml             cider



250g               carrots peeled and diced

250g               turnips peeled and diced

2                      sticks of celery, cleaned and diced


Flour the meat. Heat oil fry onions until transparent then add meat and fry until brown.

Mix stock and cider and deglaze pan. Bring to boil.

Remove white scum from surface. Add other veg. Reduce cover and cook for 4 hours in low oven.



Devon Crab

Devon Brown Crab (Cancer Pagurus) is stupendously good and arguably the best in the world!  The people of Salcombe in South Devon celebrate this fact each year in May at the Salcombe Crab Festival and it’s all in aid of charity. This year it’s on the Sunday the 6th and we’re going so I’ll update this blog on Sunday and give you a taste. Can’t wait!

There’s nothing more enjoyable than sitting by the Devon coast leisurely eating a whole Devon crab with a glass of crisp white wine and all the time in the world – it’s the essence of slow food. These days, the crab sandwich has become hugely popular but I favour the crab savoury. Savouries were little treats served as a final course at dinner to ‘cleanse the palate’ before the bottle of port and the sojourn to the card tables, so popular in the 19th century. I like to surprise my family with savouries before dinner and they go mad for them. Crab toasts are one of the best – a simple dish but a perfect one that allows the crab to shine.

Crab Savouries

Take some good white bread, sliced very thin. Cut off the crusts and cut each slice diagonally to create triangles. Toast until golden brown and crisp  (the best way to do this evenly is on a grill tray in the oven). Butter generously while hot so the butter soaks into the toasted bread. Spread thinly with brown crab meat, then pile generously with white crab meat. Season with salt, pepper and a grate of fresh nutmeg. Serve immediately while the toast is still warm.

Crab fishing has always been a specialty of Devon. In the past families would make their own ‘inkwell’ pots in the winter from willow grown locally along the coast. The pots were baited with fresh fish secured with a wooden skewer and lasted about a year. The men would go out to sea and the women would help sell the catch. The pots are no longer hand-made from willow but the industry is still run by small family businesses who fish sustainably, so go get some crab!

Crab Linguine – add a few fennel seeds and chilli for a bit of kick.

Kitchenalia Cartoons can also be seen in Devon Life Magazine –  the Devon county magazine (UK) offering hundreds of pages of articles and superb photography every month.