Highlights - November 2013

Stig's Autumn Stew

Celebrating the autumn months with a bounty of seasonality.

Chilli Cheese Chips

... not spent your 80/20? Junk food, done proper.

Swordfish Stroganoff

Showing the sheer versatility of those sparks of imagination that bring forward unique combinations.


Roasted Rat!

Roasted Rat!
Roasted Rat? Yeah! Okay ... okay ... Ratatouille.

Home from work and in need of a quick dinner to eat earlier in the evening and then out fencing. Fencing is no fun on a full stomach!

Ratatouille is a traditional French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, formally titled Ratatouille Niçoise in reference to its city of origin. The main ingredients are tomatoes, onions, courgette, aubergine, peppers, garlic, marjoram and basil. Variations are permissible and indeed, recommended.

My Rat was: onions, aubergine, courgette, cocquina squash, coloured bell peppers, olives, chillies, garlic, oregano, marjoram, sea salt, black pepper and quartered tomatoes. Lashings of olive oil!

Roasted Rat!

Into the oven pre-heated to 180C for about half an hour. Too high a heat and the veggies dry out; 180C is just right to cook through and soften the veggies without them losing all texture.

Roasted Rat!

Now what?

Fish! I had a couple of tail fillets of sea bass, so butter in a skillet, fish in, skin side down, leave it ... leave it ... couple of minutes, flip once the skin is crispy and switch the heat off, allowing the fleshy side to cook through in the residual heat while I serve up.

Serve up, rat down, fish on top, sorted!

Beauty! Time to go skewer some friends ... En Garde!


Chicken & Vegetable Curry

Chicken & Vegetable Curry
Currying in the English tradition goes back to Victorian times, not only as a dish in itself but as a means of spicing up leftovers, and it is this tradition in which this meal came together.

Curiously, Queen Victoria was a great lover of curry and despite being Empress of India ... she actually never visited the country.

Anyway, this curry ...

I'll just tell you about how this started, which meals it's ended up in and how it came to be curry, the ingredients and method will play along as if we're making it from scratch.

I began on Monday when I came home with a great haul of fish and a bag of chicken thighs which were given to me for a song ... £2.40 to be precise, for eight! We're not big meat eaters, but I couldn't pass that up.

So, home, I simply pushed the chicken pieces into the oven covered with water and a couple of bay leaves. Three hours at 150C and the meat was falling off the bones. Meat recovered, cooled and settled into the fridge for another day, I proceeded to prepare all my fish for Monday's Bouillabaisse which used the stock from these chicken thighs and all the trimmings and such from the fish.

That's an aside ...

Tuesday, we enjoyed the chicken pieces bulking out the leftover Bouillabaisse along with more veggies - courgette and aubergine. Sorry, that's zucchini and eggplant.

Tonight, I still have leftovers ... Curry!

My Mrs really wanted Cauliflower Cheese so I focussed the curry on cauliflower and continued the theme of courgette and aubergine, largely a fairly classic Vegetable Curry, but with a good base of chicken.

Phew! From scratch, we'd use the following ...


Chicken - Thighs for slow-cooked, breast for a quick curry

Spices - Turmeric, coriander, cumin, paprika, fenugreek and asafoetida

Sauce - Onion, tomatoes and garlic, and butter/ghee

Veggies - Cauliflower, courgette and aubergine

Seasoning - Black mustard seeds, sea salt and black pepper

Curry Sauce

In a large, heavy-based skillet melt a good amount of ghee or butter and soften an onion, shredded. Low heat, allowing the onion to caramelise.

Add in the spice mix - weights and measures are not so important, but for a large onion, a teaspoon each of turmeric, coriander and cumin, half a teaspoon each of  paprika, fenugreek and asafoetida.

Toss in some chopped garlic and while the onion is caramelising, draw an X into the base of a few tomatoes, immerse in boiling water for a minute, retrieve, peel and chop.

Once the onion is caramelised, take the onion, the tomato and blend together into a paste. Curry Sauce.

Chicken & Veggies

Several choices here ...

With pieces that need longer cooking, like thighs, either pre-cook simply in water then shred the meat from the bones or brown off the pieces in the skillet, pouring the sauce over, add a pint of water and simmer on for a good couple of hours until the meat is falling off the bones. Add in the veggies, perhaps some more water and cook on until the veggies are soft. Maybe 20 minutes? Half an hour?

With chicken breast, simply diced up, brown off, pour the sauce over, add a pint of water along with the chopped veggies and on a low boil, cook through and reduce. Maybe 20 minutes? Half an hour?


Before serving, season with a teaspoon of black mustard seeds, some black pepper and sea salt to taste.


Serve out and enjoy as-is, perhaps some rice alongside.


Got leftovers? Simply heat up in a pan for lunch with a couple of boiled eggs chopped over. Sorted!

Poached Trout & Potato Salad

Just a quickie ... lunch.

We're having portable lunchtime salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sliced salad potatoes, poached trout and boiled eggs.

Make up the night before, cover with a plate, take to work and enjoy at lunchtime. Sorted!



... taken back to basics.

Bouillabaisse is a Provençal fish stew, originating from a dish made by fishermen with unpopular fish that they had trouble selling. Anyone who tells you that a Bouillabaisse is anything more than a simple fish soup, a simple, rustic fish soup is telling you lies.

Bouillabaisse, like much French cuisine, has been elevated to ridiculous heights with all manner of rules applied; it must contain this, that and the other. Whatever! It's fish soup. Got it?


Seafood - whatever you have: haddock, smoked haddock, pollock, squid, prawns and scallops, for us


Stock - fish stock, chicken stock, whatever you have

Flavours - onion, leek, fennel, garlic, tarragon, star anise and olive oil; tomatoes, tomato purée, sea salt and black pepper

Veggies - why not? I went with a red pepper

Rouille - garlic, egg yolk, olive oil, sea salt and white pepper


Stock is the base of this soup. Some methods will use whole fish that don't want to be in the soup, boiled, blended and sieved. You can buy in a fish stock or even use a cube, but watch those ingredients.

I was lucky to be cooking some chicken pieces alongside for another day, which had finished, so had some lovely chicken stock and bones. I was also double-lucky to be preparing some other fresh fish for lunches, so had the trimmings, bones, heads and whatnot from them, too.

So, chicken stock, bones, fish pieces and some shredded leek greens, I boiled on for maybe 20 minutes to reduce the stock, sieved and set aside to add into the Bouillabaisse later.


In a large pan, soften some chopped onion, shredded leek whites, shredded fennel and garlic in olive oil. Toss in a stalk of tarragon and a couple of star anise. Keep the heat low and let the flavours meld.

Once soft, pour in a carton of chopped peppers along with a good dollop of tomato purée.

Add the stock and set to a high simmer, dropping in the fish pieces. Reserve the shellfish until near the end.

Reduce the liquor and allow the soup to thicken up. Drop in the shellfish within five minutes of serving - they'll take no time to cook through.


Simply, garlic mashed into a paste and let out with an egg yolk and some olive oil to make a mayonnaise, of sorts. Salt and pepper to taste.

Some rouille recipes include breadcrumbs. We don't need to. If you do need to thicken your soup, add some arrowroot directly to the soup at the time you add the shellfish.


Serve out into wide brimmed bowls with a good dollop of rouille in the middle.

We also had some Cheese Puffs alongside - cassava flour, grated cheese, egg, cream, water and baking powder. Pour into cake moulds and rise in the oven for maybe 15 minutes.

Cassava Cheese Puffs

... actually, more like mini-Yorkshire Puddings.


Swordfish Stroganoff

Swordfish Stroganoff
Stroganoff is a Russian dish of sautéed meat and soured cream, or smetana.

Popular worldwide, Stroganoff has grown to incorporate many combinations of tastes, flavours and textures, from the inclusion of vegetables, mushrooms, pasta or rice, served inside crepes, as a topping to baked potato and made with almost any cut of meat, even sausage.

I have some swordfish ... so thought, "why not?".


Your set of ingredients might differ wildly, but do take the opportunity to try this with swordfish - it's really good!

Swordfish, bacon, mushroom, onion, garlic, paprika, black pepper, celery salt, dill and parsley. Double Cream. Rice noodles and courgette.

Mise en Place

Mise en Place is a French culinary term "put in place", or prepare; all the chopping cutting and little piles of food ready to drop into pans as you go.

I'm going with swordfish, bacon, mushrooms, onion and garlic as the main part of the dish, so simply chop chop up into strips. Set aside.

For the noodles, I'm using rice noodles which need nothing more than three minutes sitting in boiled water, but I am going to bulk them out with courgette ribbons. Peel a few ribbons from a courgette and cut down to thin long strips. Place this lot into a pan, ready for boiling water.

Cream. I don't have any soured cream, but double cream will do fine. How much? Some! Pour in at the end, sufficient to make a sauce, but not too much to drown the dish.

For flavours, black pepper, paprika and celery salt is all nice, as is some chopped fresh herbs: dill and parsley for me.


Take a large heavy-based skillet and get the bacon softening, rending out some of the fat.

Toss the chopped onion in and just soften.

Drop in the mushrooms to soak up all the fats.

Now, in with the swordfish and sauté until coloured through.

Chopped dill, parsley, paprika, black pepper and celery salt, reserving some chopped parsley for garnish.

In with some double cream and lower the heat so as to reduce the cream while it melds with all those flavours.

Prepare your noodles. Boiling water over, three minutes - perfect for the cream to have reduced.


Noodles and courgette down, Stroganoff over and garnish with fresh herbs.

I popped a tomato on top, too, just because ...


Novel. Very enjoyable. Definitely a "do again" and something I'd encourage all to try.


Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken
Sunday ... and I awoke with Roast Chicken on my mind.

Unable to get it out of my head, I succumbed ... and bought a chicken. Woodland reared, Freedom Food and most definitely NOT corn fed.

She's about 1.3Kg and will take an hour and 20 minutes end to end, with 20 minutes rest time for perfection.

What will be on the plate?

Chicken - cavity stuffed with lemon and garlic, settled onto a bed of shredded leeks with butter under the skin and sea salt, black pepper and majoram over.

Shiitake Jus with the juices, some black pepper and thickened with arrowroot

Red & White Cabbage - steamed

Mashed Potato - butter and cream


Pre-heat the oven to just shy of 200C (400F?).

Take a roasting tray and line with shredded leeks - the green parts are good.

Open the cavity of the chicken and stuff with lemon and garlic.

Peel the skin back on the breast, sufficient to push a good slab of butter under. Not only will this keep the breast meat especially tender, but will add to the crispness of the skin.

Generous amounts of black pepper, dried marjoram and some sea salt over ...

Roast Chicken

... and settle into the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes. No faffing.


Pling! The chicken is done. Do the obligatory stab in the thigh to reveal clear juices and a hot knife tip when tested against your tongue ...

Roast Chicken

... she's done!

Retrieve from the oven, carefully lift to allow the juices to flow out into the tray - keep for the jus. Wrap the chicken in tin foil and set aside to rest.

Shred some cabbage and settle into steamers. Steam.

Peel and cube potatoes and get 'em boiling.


Add just a little boiling water to the roasting tray and boil up on the hob, scraping away at the bottom for all the lovely flavours.

Strain into a pan, taste. Add black pepper and perhaps some sea salt.

Mushrooms go so well with chicken. I had some Shiitake in, so quartered and added to the jus - the mushrooms soak up some of the fat, but if your jus is obscenely fatty you can lay a piece of kitchen towel on the surface and remove - this will collect some of the fat. Repeat, as necessary.

Reduce and check for flavour. Now thicken with a little arrowroot.


Veggies ready, chicken rested and the jus thickened, it's time to serve.

Make a good mount of potato in the middle of a round plate and spread the cabbage around.

Joint the chicken - cut off the back legs, separating the thighs from the drumsticks, clip the wings off and carve the breast meat.

Serve the chicken pieces on top of the potato and smother with delicious jus, crowning the meat with the mushrooms.

Absolutely, completely and utterly gorgeous!


Drop the whole carcass into a large pan of boiling water with a good splosh of cider vinegar, boil on for a couple of hours, strain and you've got the base for a good soup or stock.


TexMex Frikadeller [Fun with Fusion]

Frikadeller are simply, Danish Meatballs, usually served with red cabbage alongside.

Most often made with pork, I made up a batch with turkey mince ... and gave it a little twist.

Friday night is our Tex Mex night. We have Chilli, Fajitas, Enchiladas, that sort of thing on a Friday, so tonight, is a kind of fusion - Danish Meatballs with a Red Cabbage Salad made Mexican (italicised).

I'm justifying it as a meeting of the two cultures somewhere, somehow, like how Enchiladas Suizas came to be - a meeting of Mexican and Swiss.


Frikadeller - turkey mince, cassava flour, lemon zest, ground coriander, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, celery salt and dill, goose fat for frying

Salad - Red cabbage, tomato, cucumber, radish, spring onion, red chilli, green chilli, black pepper, dill and a sprinkle of cider vinegar

Sides - Holy Guacamole! ... with dill, and Greek yoghurt with lemon and dill.


Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and begin forming meatballs. See? Nordic Meatballs ... but spicy!

In a couple of batches, fry off the meatballs in your favourite paleo fat (all together now ... "goose fat, for me"), flip after a couple of minutes and then roll them around the pan after another couple.

We'll cook through in the oven - this is just to seal them.


Mount up in an ovenproof dish and settle into the oven set to 200C for about 20 minutes.


Shred up all the ingredients, slosh the cider vinegar over and place in the fridge to chill.

Red Cabbage Salad


Holy Guacamole is simply a case of blending avocado with lemon juice and a little sea salt. Today, I added dill. NordiScandiWegians love dill! Place in the fridge to chill.

Greek yoghurt with lemon juice, touch of sea salt and more dill. Place in the fridge to chill.


Big bowl of 'balls, bowl of salad, bowls of sides ... you don't need a map.

Eat, drink and wind down - it's Friday!


Coley with Tomato, Smoked Bacon & Mushroom Sauce

Sauces never fail to make any dinner of simple ingredients more flavoursome, be it a gravy, a tomato sauce or one of those posh-sounding French sauces which are actually quite easy, really.

Taking coley and cabbage, partnered with something starchy alongside (rice, for me; boiled potatoes for the Mrs) I made up a tomato sauce packed with an umami punch.


Fish - Coley

Veggies - Cabbage and optionally, something starchy

Sauce - Chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic, chilli, smoked bacon, mushrooms, olive oil, black pepper and celery salt


Coley is a large, North Atlantic fish which gleans high protein profile fillets.

Technically a white fish, coley actually has a sublime pink hue to its flesh and a structure less flaky than cod, more like pollock or haddock.

I bought a side fillet which just wanted a few bones picking out and skinning. Cut into thick portions and the trimmings for the cat, just place the fish into a steamer and set aside.

We'll steam it later ...


Shred the cabbage and place into a steamer and set aside.

Tomato Sauce

Sauces should not be boiled. Sauces like gently reducing to meld the flavours, so give yourself half an hour.

Begin with a generous puddle of olive oil into which shredded smoked bacon can just bathe over a gentle heat before chopped onions, garlic and chilli join it.

Keep the heat gentle.

Toss in some sliced mushrooms, which will soak up the initial fats rendered from the bacon and the olive oil.

Pour in a carton of chopped tomatoes and pulp them down a little further.

As the volume reduces and the flavours come together, add some more olive oil in, along with black pepper and salt to taste. Sea salt is great; I used celery salt.

With the sauce done, just leave it on low and it will continue to improve.


Steam away ...

Both the cabbage and the coley will take about 10 minutes.


Cabbage down first, fish over and sauce on top. Optional starch alongside.

Yum! Sauces never fail to MAKE dinner!


Chilli Cheese Chips [Junk Food Friday]

Chilli Cheese Chips
Friday ... at last!

Time to kick back, relax and set yourself up for a great weekend. I jest a little, but if you've not spent your 80/20 allowance, now is the time to do it ...

Prior to ancestral eating, one of our favourite Friday night junk food dinners was a big bag of Doritos, over which I'd dump chilli and a whole heap of grated cheese ... under the grill for a few minutes ... garnish with pickled chillies, tomato, cucumber and the like ... and eat.

Taking a play on the word chips, which is US for crisps, UK for chips ... UK chips are not chips, they're chips, as in chipped potatoes, your fries; your chips are our crisps ... because they're crisp. Got it?

I'm using chips (UK chips, that is). Yes, I could find some gluten-free tortilla crisps (chips) but I am not a fan of "gluten-free" per se, more, I'd rather find a real food alternative and if that is a potato, so be it.

"But our ancestors didn't eat potato ..." ... SHUT IT! It's my Chilli Cheese Chips and I'm going to do it my way.

I'm also using oxtail. Googling around, I find this already to be a Nevada classic. Bachi Burger restaurant in Las Vegas, apparently. They call it Chili Cheese Fries and go the extra mile, dumping a fried egg on top. Good call, but not necessary for tonight.

You know what? I absolutely love Guy Fieri's 'Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives' ... on a road trip across America, I would never go hungry.

It amazes me that (as an outsider) we view American eating habits as about as bad as you can get and consider it the yardstick against which neolithic diseases are measured, but stand back and look at the wonder of your country, all those little Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives that you have which produce such a plethora of good, honest food.

So, it's not ideal, not paleo, not even by a long stretch, but it's good, honest food ... and you could do a whole lot worse.

This is an ode (yeah, "an ode", I'm British ... we do "odes" ...What? You don't have odes in your country? You should ... they're pretty cool) ... an ode to these wonderful DDD establishments that I see on my telly and will frequent if I ever troop over to that side of the pond.

So, ingredients ...

Meat - Oxtail, bay leaves and black pepper

Sauce - Onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, ground coriander, paprika, black pepper, celery salt and chillies

Chips - Potato and your favourite paleo fat

Cheese - Smoked cheddar

Salsa - Cucumber, tomato and olives


Bleary-eyed and working up the enthusiasm to go to work, grab an ovenproof dish, place the oxtails in over a few bay leaves and a little black pepper, top up with hot water and settle into the oven at 125C for the day.

Home in the evening, retrieve and remove the meat from the bones, shredding and sifting some of the larger pieces of fat off.

Keep the cooking liquid!


Make up a simple spicy tomato and mushroom sauce in a heavy based skillet with chopped onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes, celery salt, black pepper, ground coriander and paprika, into which goes chopped onions and the shredded oxtail. Add in chillies to taste.

Now, over about an hour, keep just covering with the cooking liquor and refresh as it reduces. Using the cooking liquor will deepen the flavours and get the whole sauce really well cooked.

Oxtail Chilli!


Dice up tomato cucumber and olives. Add some pickled chillies if you like.

Grate some cheese - I went with smoked cheddar.

Slice up potatoes into chips, fries or whatever you call them.


Par boil for a couple of minutes, retrieve, drain, pat dry and shallow fry in your favourite paleo fat - goose fat, for me. Beauty!


Chips down. Yeah, the chips are always down, eh?

Chips down, Oxtail Chilli over, cheese on top and sprinkle the salsa over.

Grab a beer and dig in, enjoying thoroughly!


Cod & Puy Lentils [Variation]

Lentils are something that I enjoy eating on occasion, Puy lentils a variety I regard as quite special.

Today, a variation on a classic Cod & Puy - you can read my thoughts on lentils in the link, but generally, I regard them as fairly inoffensive and perfectly good to eat every now and again ... if that's what you want to do.

Puy lentils, a Protected Designation of Origin green lentil variety from the Le Puy region of France owes its distinct character to the terroir within which it grows.

It's autumn, and so I'm bulking this meal out a little ...

We'll have roasted cod over a sort of hash of leek, potato, carrot, puy lentil and spinach, with a green peppercorn sauce.


Fish - Cod, athough any white fish will do, along with your favourite paleo fat, goose fat for me

Lentils - Puy lentils, leek, garlic, potato, carrot, spinach, black pepper, turmeric, ground coriander, chilli, fish sauce and your favourite paleo fat, goose fat, here

Sauce - Cream, fish sauce, spring onions and green peppercorns


Let's get the lentils going ...

In a heavy based skillet, melt some fat and start to soften some shredded leek with the spices - I wanted a spicier version, although not necessarily a curry, so used ground coriander, tumeric and black pepper.

In with some potatoes and carrots, or any roots you fancy; doesn't have to be what I used. Swish in the fat to colour up with the turmeric.

Pour in drained can of Puy Lentils, topping up with hot water, squirt of tomato purée, chopped garlic and a little fish sauce for the saltiness.

Let that simmer on for about half an hour, over which time the liquid will reduce and the flavours consolidate. Optionally, add a splash of Worcestershire Sauce to boost the umami - I didn't, I like the flavour as is and consider the little tomato purée to do that admirably.

Just prior to serving, stir some spinach through along with a shredded chilli.


In a saucepan, pour in double cream, a chopped spring onion, splash of fish sauce for the saltiness and some green peppercorns.

Allow that to very gently simmer on the lowest heat you have, adding a teaspoon of water periodically, if the sauce becomes too reduced. We want the flavours to melt, the sauce to darked ever so slightly and reduce just a touch.


Simply pat dry and lay on an ovenproof plate over your favourite paleo fat.

It'll take maybe 20 minutes at 180C, sufficient just to colour up without drying out.

I'm guessing that the above prep took about 10 minutes, so we're good to put the fish in now ... if the lentils have to go over the half hour, so be it.


Spoon the lentils out onto a plate as the base, fish on top and spoon the peppercorn sauce over.

What a buzz! The pepperiness really boosts the dish and works so well with the cod.

Cream sauces tend to work better with smoked white fish, something I'll probably do next time, but it'll be a year or so until that happens, so don't hold your breath ...


No adverse side effects noticed, not immediately afterwards, an hour after, overnight or the following day. Properly prepared, lentils can be perfectly nutritious ... every now and again.


Beef Shin

Beef Shin
We've been eating this almost routinely on a Sunday evening since I got about half a damn tonne of the stuff at a price I could not refuse.

Beef Shin. Thick meat, gelatinous connective tissue, beautiful fat.

Preparation is simply to trim off the excess skin and fat - we don't want our meat swimming in the stuff. Cut into meal sized pieces, wrap and freeze. Each chunk will take a good day to defrost and most of the day to cook, so don't forget that Saturday morning is the start of preparation for this meal!

With the meat defrosted, bleary-eyed on Sunday morning, I simply lay the chunk of meat in a lidded ovenproof Pyrex dish over chopped onion, three bay leaves, four or five garlic cloves, some black pepper and then a pint of beef stock, topped up with water.

... no sealing, no faffing, just get the meat into the oven and get on with your day.

Lid on and into the oven at 125C for the day ...

... yes, the day. The longer and slower this is cooked, the better. The more adventurous amongst us will select a good Belgian brew and have the meat cuddled in beer for the day.

Ready to eat?

Retrieve the meat from the dish, gently as you go, wrapping in kitchen foil and putting back in the oven (now switched off) to keep warm.

Get some veggies steaming through - I went with mashed potato and some Romanesco broccoli.

Strain off the cooking juices, sieve some cassava flour in, whisking as you go and finally, whisk in some butter for a nice sheen.

Serve out and enjoy with a good glass of red wine alongside; Côtes du Rhône, for us.


Herring & Coddled Eggs

Herrings! I adore oily fish and after a good run with sprats, I've turned my attention to herring ...

Over on MDA, I was delighted to see that my Herring Salad made the Recipe Corner, and it was noted that this was a great reminder that we could all do with more herring in our lives.

Let's just take a moment to look at these beautiful fish ...

Found in temperate waters of the North Pacific and North Atlanic, including the Baltic, these silvery beauties grow to around six to eight inches in length for Baltics and up to eighteen inches for open sea species.

The fat to protein ratio is high, something like 40% being fat, rich in omega-3. Thin bones, you really don't mind getting a few in with the fillets (or whole fish) which no doubt contain all manner of micronutrient goodies, besides which the carcasses make great stock!

This is breakfast, and as such I just pull things out of the fridge and cupboards, keep piling up until I have what looks like a hearty meal.

Today, Herring & Coddled Eggs.


Herring, bacon, pea shoots, black pepper and chilli powder. Whole grain mustard.

Chestnut mushrooms, tomato and a couple of eggs.


Gut the fish, keeping the roes. Fillet, clean up and put all the offcuts and the carcass into a pan with some water to simmer for a good hour - collect the stock and freeze it. The roes, I'll use another day, possibly in a starter tomorrow evening.


Coddling is an old-fashioned method of very gently cooking eggs without the fierceness of poaching directly.

Simply crack an egg, or couple of eggs, into a ramekin which we'll immerse into boiling water just level with the tops of the ramekins.


The eggs take the longest amount of time, possibly 20 minutes, so immerse into boiling water and lower the heat until a lively simmer is seen.

Leave the eggs to it ...

In a skillet, get a couple of rashers of bacon each cooking through gently, alongside, fry off some mushrooms and half a tomato each.

Meanwhile, dress a plate ...

I used some pea shoots, black pepper and chilli powder, over which the rest of the meal will be placed. Spinach would do admirably, here.

Once the eggs are just about done, which you can check by just poking the tip of a knife into the very middle and testing against your lip, clear the skillet and fry off your herring fillets in a little butter.

Skin side first and once the opaqueness is just coming through, flip them over and let the residual heat cook them through.


Bacon down, herrings over, mushrooms and tomato in each corner and turn the eggs out (gently does it!) alongside.

Optionally, spoon some wholegrain mustard over the herrings. Perfect partners, and relax ... mustard is a seed, not a grain.

There you have it ... Herring & Coddled Eggs.


Stig's Autumn Stew

Way back when I first went Paleo (capitalised, following Robb Wolf's introductory template), I made up a gorgeous meat stew, pretty much just chucking in anything I had to hand ... they're the best meals, aren't they?

So, Stig, my proverbial Northern European Ice Age dweller, who I like to think is closer to the mesolithic, would have eaten whatever was local, seasonal and avalable.

... and so, Stig Stew is more an approach than a recipe.

stig stew
Stig Stew

Meat - seasonal and available

Veggies - whatever varieties are in season and local to you

Flavours - onion, garlic, bay leaves, herbs, black pepper and meat stock

For ideas around what is seasonal for folks here in Britain, check out: http://www.eattheseasons.co.uk - there will be a similar website for you, wherever you are in the world ... go hunt!


Venison provided the main meat, bulked with beef liver, lamb kidney and some smoked bacon.

The meat was all browned and then the base flavours added, cooked through and beef stock added.

Base flavours were onion and garlic, puréed, black pepper, thyme and bay leaves.

Cooked in a large, open skillet on low for about an hour and a half, time for the veggies ...


Squash, courgette, chestnut mushrooms, oyster mushrooms and beetroot.

Simmer on for another half hour, or so, until you are ready to eat ...


Serve out into wide-brimmed bowls and an optional mound of carbohydrate: rice, for me, potatoes for the Mrs. Garnish with fresh herbs - chervil, here.

So, there we have it ... a wholesome stew that can be cooked any time of the year, celebrating the bounty of the seasons.