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Okonomiyaki is a Japanese kind of pancake or tortilla, the name loosely translates to “fry as you like it”. There are many regional styles and variations and this is just one example. You you can vary the ingredients according to your liking. It is fast, filling and very satisfying. Continue reading Okonomiyaki

smoked roe deer heart

I am not much of a fan of all the organ meats that are popular in traditional Viennese cuisine. But when I bought a whole roe deer from a hunter last week, he told me that usually, hunters keep the heart for themselves. For a good reason, apparently it is the most delicious cut of meat. Tempting! Since I recently had a hay-smoked goat’s heart at the wonderful Koya restaurant in London, I made up the following dish which proved to me that the hunters are right. Continue reading smoked roe deer heart

Beef burgers (makes 5)

The essence of a burger is not overcooking it.

750 g beef skirt, or another cheap, lean cut with 10 – 20 % fat
1 tsp salt
1/3 tsp black pepper

Trim the meat of any gristle, dry thoroughly and cut into 25 mm pieces, including the fat. Put 200 g portions into food processor with the steel blade and coarsely mince with twenty 1-second pulses. Note the colder the meat is, the better it will mince. Spread the meat out thinly and sprinkle seasonings over then mix them in thoroughly with your hands.

The Danish option: finely chop 4 tb capers and add.

Take 150 g portions and press tightly into a ball with your hands, then slowly squeeze flat between your palms, keeping the edge in shape with your fingertips. Aim for a thickness of 18 – 25 mm. Make a shallow depression in the middle of the top side with your fingers, like the beginning of a doughnut. This will disappear as the burger cooks ensuring even thickness. Brush both sides with oil and either barbecue over moderate heat or fry in a lightly oiled cast-iron pan over moderately high heat. Allow 4 mins for the first side then 2 for the flip, giving a burger just cooked through. Rest a few minutes.

For those secret admirers of McD’s, eating these with thinly sliced gherkins, mayo and ketchup will  pretty much get you there.

Osso buco with gremolata (serves 6)

I don’t have much experience of osso buco, but this was simple, light and tasty, and could well benefit from further recipe enhancement. It shows how far you can get with just the essential Mediterranean flavour base of garlic, onion, carrot and celery. The onions dissolve into the sauce.

2 hind shins of veal (or beef or venison) cut into 5 cm lengths
plain flour, seasoned with pepper and salt
50 g butter
1 tb olive oil
2 garlic cloves, 2 onions, 2 celery sticks, 1 carrot, all finely chopped
1 large glass of white wine
450 ml light stock
finely grated zest of 1 organic lemon
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tb chopped parsley

Dust the meat in the flour. Heat butter and oil in a generous shallow casserole and brown the meat pieces, remove. All the vegetables and cook until softened, return meat pieces and arrange in a single layer cut side down. Pour in the wine and reduce by half, add stock and simmer gently, covered, for 2 hours until the meat is coming away from the bone, either on the hob or in a very low oven. Turn the meat once or twice.

Mix together the remaining ingredients to make the gremolata and sprinkle over the meat once served.

Source: The River Cottage Meat Book (Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall)