Warm Salad of Pollock & Tomato

Fusion, or a mish-mash ... you decide.

Ancestral eating is simply about putting good ingredients together and enjoying. The great thing about real food is that no matter what it is, it generally goes well together. Simply prepared, the flavours come out individually and fun combinations form on the plate.

Tonight was one of those "I have some real food and I'm just going to put this lot together" kind of dinners ...

Warm Salad of Pollock & Tomato

LIDL do some lovely tomatoes, on the vine. Large, juicy and so flavoursome. I also have some pollock, a North Atlantic white fish with a firm texture and a good flavour somewhere between cod and haddock.

Slice up the tomatoes and lay into an ovenproof dish with a little sea salt and black pepper. No fat. Lay the fish over, a little more sea salt, some shredded onions and finally the vines from the tomato which will perfume the dish as it cooks.

Warm Salad of Pollock & Tomato

Now, settle it into a pre-heated oven set to 200C (400F) for 15 minutes. That is quite sufficient to cook the fish just perfectly and not overly cook the tomatoes.

Meanwhile, I boiled some salad potato slices then sautéed them off with a little butter and some chorizo slices. I also macerated a few cucumber slices in cider vinegar with a little sea salt and chopped dill.

Serve out, scattering the potato and chorizo around, take a good slice of the fish and tomato, push a few slices of cucumber in here and there and garnish with finely chopped chilli, lemon juice and a little olive oil. As an afterthought, I scattered some halloumi over mine.

Sort of Ratatouille, I suppose?


Chicken Thighs with a Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Chicken Thighs with a Creamy Mushroom Sauce
... a meal of good healthy fats, more good healthy fats and yet more good healthy natural fats.

Fire up your oven to 200C (400F) and get it up to temperature.

Peel and slice some squash pieces into good, larke chunks and settle into a roasting tray. No fat!

Place a wire cooling rack over the tray and place your chicken thighs on - a couple per person. Dust the skin with sea salt, black pepper and a little chilli powder - this will help the skin crisp up.

Settled the tray into the oven for about 45 minutes. As the chicken cooks, the juices and fat will drip down over the squash, so after about 15 minutes, just jiggle the squash pieces to ensure that they've not stuck.

After 45 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven, peel the skin off and set aside. Leave the chicken pieces to rest for a couple of minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal.

In a skillet place some sliced mushrooms and pour over double cream (heavy cream will do if you're States-side). Reduce.

Peel and cut an avocado each into segments.

Now, with the chicken cooled, remove the pieces from the bones, shredding a little.

Line the shredded meat down the middle of a plate, placing the squash pieces one side and avocado slices the other. Pour over the cream and mushroom sauce and crown with the skin, shredded, and some fresh herbs - coriander or parsley.

Protein, carbohydrate and fat ... perfect proportions.


Lamb's Liver

Gently fried in butter with leftover Taco salad and a chilli salsa ...

Lamb's Liver


Jamaican Mutton Curry

Throw aside all notions of time! Mutton Curry is not to be rushed ...

Jamaican Mutton Curry Jamaican Mutton Curry

Make up a big batch so that you have leftovers, but the general measurements I used were:

For the marinade:
600g Chopped/Diced Lamb, Mutton or Goat (Bones and all)
Spice Rub*
Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Scotch Bonnet Pepper
Ginger - Couple of slices
Garlic - Couple of cloves
Fresh Thyme
Cider Vinegar

For cooking:
Large Onion
Garlic - More cloves
Large Plum Tomato
400ml Coconut Milk

Put all the meat into a large bowl and pour over your spice mix (*turmeric, ground coriander and allspice, for me), enough to coat the meat. Use a little more if there are uncovered patches. Sea salt and black pepper now, give it a good massage.

Take a Scotch Bonnet pepper, cut in half and very carefully de-seed. Drop into the meat, along with a couple of cloves of garlic sliced in half, a couple of slices of fresh ginger and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Fold in together.

Slosh over some cider vinegar. Enough to get the meat wet, but not swimming.

Leave for 24 hours ...

Retrieve the Scotch bonnet pepper, the garlic, the ginger and the thyme.

Brown the meat in batches, transferring the meat to a large lidded ovenproof dish.

Chop the onion and blend with the retrieved garlic, ginger, a couple more cloves of garlic, perhaps a little more ginger, half of the Scotch Bonnet pepper and a chopped up plum tomato.

Fry off this mixture to take the rawness of it and pour in the can of coconut milk. Cook through for a few minutes and pour over the meat, rinsing out with water. Add further water to the bowl if necessary just to cover the meat.

Lid on and settle into an oven set on low for the day, say 125C for something like 6 hours.

About an hour before you want to eat, remove the lid, add a touch more allspice and some peeled and chopped potatoes in good sized chunks. Test for heat and drop the other half of the retrieved Scotch Bonnet pepper if so desired.

Raise the temperature to 180C and let it reduce for the hour, turning in the darkened top ever quarter of an hour, or so until well reduced and concentrated in flavour. Test for seasoning, adding sea salt to taste.

Ready to eat?

Serve out into a bowl and enjoy, perhaps with some Rice & Peas if you're so inclined.


Brinjal Katta (Aubergine & Fried Queen Fish)

I've had a jar of Sri Lankan Fried Queen Fish (Katta) is my cupboard for a few months and lacking inspiration, or really any kind of idea, it has sat there unopened ... until today.

Brinjal Katta

Ingredients read: Fried Queen Fish, Chillies, Salt, Vegetable Oil & Rampe.

Rampe, I gather, is a large leafy green much akin to spring greens or collard. Sadly, the ubiquitous vegetable oil is in there, but so be it. Upon tasting, it became apparent that the fish was rather rough and ready, flesh, skin and bone all in there - great for flavour, but it was going to need careful eating. It was also exceptionally salty! I was going to have to balance that out somehow ... and certainly not add any salt myself.

So, what to do?

I have an aubergine. Upon googling the matter, this jarred fried fish and aubergine is quite a popular Sri Lankan recipe and so after reading half a dozen, I set about with a decent idea of what I was going to do ...

Brinjal Katta


200g Fried Queen Fish (Katta)
Half Large Aubergine
Large Onion
Spice Mix*
200ml Coconut Milk
Black Pepper

* I went with turmeric, ground coriander, paprika, garlic powder, cumin & fenugreek


Melt some butter or ghee in a skillet. Slice up the onion and sauté on a low heat to caramelise. Sprinkle the spice mix over and leave to caramelise for maybe 15 mintues. Remove from the pan, blend and return to the pan.

Add cubed aubergine to the skillet, the jar of fish, some black pepper and the coconut milk, along with some water to cover. Stir in some tamarind - half a teaspoon will do. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

Ensure the dish is reduced and just before serving, squeeze in a little lime.


Cheats' Carne Asada

Carne Asada is simply grilled meat, nothing complex, nothing esoteric, nothing special, other than good, grilled meat and a bunch of salads.

Friday Night

Home, salad ingredients out, slug of Tequila (Salud!), time to kick back and get on with the preparation ...

I went with three salads, macerated red cabbage, marinated mushroom and green pepper, and a pico de gallo:

Macerated Red Cabbage
Shred red cabbage, pour over red wine vinegar and macerate for a good hour, turning regularly.
Marinated Mushroom & Green Pepper
Slice mushrooms and green pepper, slosh over some avocado oil and some cider vinegar, add black pepper and marinate for a good hour.
Pico de Gallo
Cut up some tomato and cucumber, fine chop a chilli and rough chop some coriander. Mix together and chill for a good hour.
On with the meat ....

You know what? I didn't have any meat, but I did have some burgers. 100% Venison burgers.

Flattened out a little more, grilled and sliced, it was passable ...

Cheats' Carne AsadaCheats' Carne Asada

Served up with some avocado, boiled egg and a green chilli sauce of chopped green chillies, lime juice and avocado oil.



Three Minute Dinner! Turkey Stroganoff

Ready? Go!

Skillet on ... goose fat in.

Peel and chop onion ... in.

Slice turkey breast ... in.

Vegetables ... in.

One minute left ...

Pour boiling water over rice noodles ... 60 seconds.

Back to the skillet ... stir soured cream in ... add herbs ... done!

Turkey Stroganoff

Quicker than a fucking microwave!

Real food, not nuked ...


Seafood Supper [Scraping the Barrel]

Supplies are dwindling ...

Not by any mean twist of fate but simply because I've not been shopping. I keep in a number of "store cupboard" ingredients, but in the main we eat fresh and local, which means if we've not been hunting and gathering we don't have a lot of food available.

Still, with limited options, a little imagination and a creative flair, it is entirely possible to come up with a good, nutritional and attractive dinner.

The thing is, ancestral eating is simple ...

No recipes, no weighing, no measuring, just a case of putting good food together with minimal cooking and you're done! Great meals make themselves if you keep local, keep seasonal and keep organic.

Make the dish look appealing to you. Make the dish flavoursome and full of the things that you enjoy. Brave a combination that you've not tried before. Take snaps and show everyone what you enjoy eating, encouraging them to perhaps try something new.

When supplies dwindle, be imaginative, be creative and spark your inner caveman who met this regularly.

I do need to go shopping, though ...


Not quite having enough to call a full meal for the main course, I made up a little starter of boiled egg, some leftover brown crab meat, a tiny amount of leftover mashed potato, tomato, cucumber and various pickles, finishing off the fresh basil and the last of the salad ingredients.

Seafood Supper

Main Course

Oven cooked pollock, defrosted, emptying the freezer and finishing off the last of the fresh herbs; steamed carrots, leeks and tenderstem broccoli, emptying the vegetable drawer. Vegetables tossed in olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar to finish the dish.

Seafood Supper

Nothing left now other than a cupboard of spices, some cheese, a couple of jars of pickled, half a bag of rice noodles, a can of pilchards and two jars of caviar! I must go shopping ...

Nah! I can make another meal out of that lot!

No, I'll go shopping ...


Poached Trout with Sweetheart Cabbage

I picked up a sweetheart cabbage the other day - it's like a pointed cabbage but sweet in flavour and seems to like little cooking.

Today, I bagged a few pieces of Loch Trout at a proper knock-down bargain price which my Fishmonger reeled me in with ... "Those ... I can do them for £1.40" ... priced at £2.00 a kilo, already knocked down from £4.00 a kilo. He wanted rid and I wanted to eat, so we struck a good deal.

Poached Trout with Sweetheart Cabbage

It's hot today. We fancied a light dinner.

Cabbage, poached trout and a creme fraiche & lemon juice dressing. For seasoning, I went with salt and pepper: Icelandic ash salt and green peppercorns.

The fish was poached in water with bay leaves, juniper berries and peppercorns, the stock then strained and boiled off with the outer leaves from the cabbage and some potato, blended, which will do for Mrs' lunches for a couple of days this week; the cabbage steamed over.

Dinner done, lunches sorted.

Never throw anything away ...


Keema & Pea Curry [Midweek Mutter]

Keema & Pea Curry
Mutter? Mattar? Matar?

Depending upon the region of the Indian sub-continent, but we know them as peas, garden peas or petit pois.

Keema? That's minced meat - lamb, usually.

Curry is not difficult!

I cannot stress that enough. So many people see curry as exotic, difficult to replicate that restaurant taste, too complicated through use of a bewildering array of spices or simply through a lack of understanding of language.

Again, curry is not difficult and this Kashmiri favourite is one I have enjoyed practically my whole life after first enjoying a bowl from The Kashmir, Bradford's oldest and longest established Curry House, at the age of 5?

Let's get currying ...

The quantities listed will do for two people, or one hungry Yorkshireman!


1lb Minced Lamb
Ghee or Butter
Large Onion
Garlic, Ginger & Chillies
Spice Mix
Frozen Peas
Sea Salt


This is a mid-week curry. It should be quick to make and so many of the corners are cut for one of those million and one ingredient with implausibly long method kind of curries you might enjoy making at the weekend.

Slice the onion and in a large skillet with some butter or ghee, warm the onions for about 20 minutes over a low heat until they begin to caramelise. If you've got the time, give them longer but 20 minutes is good. Remove from the skillet and place into a receptacle for blending later on.

Into the skillet, brown off the minced lamb. No fat needed, since lamb will release its own - just keep the heat down to medium and this will take around five minutes to brown and soften. Lamb mince softens quicker than beef in my experience.

Meanwhile, add garlic, ginger and chillies to the onion and blend. As a guideline, a couple of cloves of garlic, maybe a teaspoon of shredded ginger and a couple of chillies is good. More if you like more of any of those. Blend and add to the minced lamb in the skillet. Fry off for a few minutes.

Sprinkle over your spice mix. I tend to go with equal parts of turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, then a sprinkle of fenugreek and asafoetida. Stir in a fry on for a minute, or so.

Pour in water to cover, raise the heat to a gentle boil and reduce.

Pour in water to cover a second time, add in a good handful (or more) of frozen peas, quarter up a tomato, raise the heat to a gentle boil and reduce.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaf, freshly chopped green chilli and salt to taste.


On its own is fine, with some rice, perhaps some cauliflower rice, maybe just some steamed vegetables alongside. As you can see, I went with some tenderstem broccoli and a boiled egg.

Needless to say, you can add in pretty much any vegetable during the second boil: spinach, potatoes, mushrooms, whatever. Now you have a basic curry and a means of varying.

Enjoy your mid-week curry!