Friday, 19 October 2012

Creamed Mushroom Soup with homemade bread toast, Seared Venison Loin with Scottish Risotto and Golden Pheasant Hash, Sour Cranberry Bakewell with orange and lemon Sherbet drizzle sauce

Hello everyone,

Cooking for today started yesterday with dessert as I thought I wouldn't have enough time today to do everything and rightly so as I started at 12 pm today and have not yet finished. To be more precise, cooking really started on Sunday, when we went shopping for meat and vegetables at Gerald David's just outside of Fermoy's. Here is the link if you fancy a visit to their website. It is a family business with 3 generations of butchers:

We went to the butchers for Venison, Pheasant, chicken livers and streaky bacon. 

Me with the very nice Michael, the butcher. Very helpful!

Right, we got all of our organic veggies at Fermoy's and we shopped for other ingredients at Asda's. I found out that Asda does every single fruit frozen, which is great for pies with fruits that are not in season. 

Well, anyway, I started with the dessert on Monday at the end of the afternoon. I made a sour cranberry bakewell tart.

I started by making the pastry adding sugar to flour and butter and then an egg.

Then I added some orange zest

Making cranberry jam

Lining the tin

This was a lovely, creamy and fluffy frangipane

Blind baking the pastry

Pastry ready to be filled with jam

 Cranberry Jam layer


More jam

All ready

Next day it was the savoury dishes and I started at noon by chopping vegetables: red onions, parsnips, swede and carrot.

Crushing rosemary, juniper berries, salt, pepper and olive oil for the marinade

Rubbing in the venison for later

Chopped leeks

Flour well for making bread

Added water and yeast

Covered yeast up

Chopped pheasant breasts, chicken liver for the hash

Bread dough being kneaded


Breads shaped

Starting pearl barley risotto, adding pearl barley to leeks

Starting hash, frying bacon, rosemary and thyme 

Bread all ready

Garlic Mushrooms for the starter

Hash well on its way

Risotto ready, lacking cheese and parsley

Mushroom soup

I served the soup in coffee cups

Risotto, hash and venison dished up with mini water cress

Last piece of Venison

Bakewell tart half gone

Our guests were Nigel, Ann and Jill. I was unfortunately so tired I ended up forgetting to take pictures of them but I will amend that next time I see them.

It was an exhausting day but very rewarding as we raised some more money for the charity. I couldn't make it to balled the following day I was so tired.

David helped me a lot, otherwise I wouldn't have made it. By the way, I wouldn't make it at all if it wasn't for his help and support.

Please, keep following this blog and supporting the Romanian charity.

See you soon and thank you for reading me,


Some recipes to inspire you:


Cranberry bakewell
dessert recipes | serves 16


• 375g ready-made sweet shortcrust pastry
• 2 tbsp flaked almonds
• A handful of cranberries – fresh, defrosted or rehydrated
Cranberry jam
• 375g cranberries – fresh or defrosted
• About 150g golden caster sugar
• Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
• 1 star anise
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• 300g ground almonds
• 2 heaped tbsp plain flour
• 300g golden caster sugar
• 250g unsalted butter
• 2 eggs
• 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped, or ½ tsp vanilla paste
• A splash of calvados or Cointreau
Orange icing (optional)
• 100g icing sugar
• Grated zest and juice of 1 orange

1. To make the jam, simmer the ingredients, stirring occasionally, until thickened.Taste; if it’s too sour, stir in a little more sugar. Cool, then remove the star anise.

2. Roll out the pastry to line a greased, 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill in the fridge for an hour. Meanwhile, combine all the frangipane ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge with the pastry for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.
4. Once the pastry case is chilled, line it with greaseproof paper and fill with dried beans or rice, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and firm to touch. Remove from the oven.
3. Once cool, spread the pastry with the jam, then evenly dollop over the frangipane and sprinkle with the cranberries, pushing in a little, then scatter with flaked almonds. Bake in the oven for 50–55 minutes, until golden brown. Allow the tart to cool while you make your icing, if using. You can serve the tart slightly warm with crème fraîche, or at room temperature, drizzled with icing. 

Recipe Ginny Rolfe
Photo Tara Fisher

from Issue 14


A Stylist reader recipe

One of the winners of our 100th Issue recipe competition, interpretation officer Emma Booth (far left) impressed the Stylist panel with this alternative risotto, which makes a delightful main course.

Preparation time

10 minutes

Cooking time

45 minutes

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 whole heads of garlic, cloves separated, skin on
  • 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 150g mixed mushrooms (enoki, shiitake, chanterelles or porcini), sliced
  • 11/2 leeks finely chopped
  • 200g pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1 tsp picked fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 200ml boiling water
  • 15g butter
  • 25g Parmesan, grated
  • 2 tbsps mascarpone
  • Black pepper
  • Micro leaf garlic chives to garnish


Step 1: Cover the garlic cloves in a tablespoon of the olive oil and place in a shallow ovenproof dish. Bake for 25 minutes at 190˚C/gas 5, then leave to cool. Peel each clove and roughly chop.
Step 2: Using two tablespoons of oil, fry the mushrooms until golden, set aside.
Step 3: Using the same pan, heat the butter and the last of the oil and fry the leeks over a medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the pearl barley, thyme, cooked garlic, stock and water, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the barley is soft but still has a little bite in the centre. Add water if needed. Once cooked, stir in the mushrooms, Parmesan and mascarpone, season with black pepper and garnish with the garlic chives.

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