Roast Saddle of Venison with Blackberry Sauce – Recipe & Tips

After being given an interesting lesson in jointing a whole venison carcass (link), I had a saddle to roast.
You don’t need to do anything fancy with venison – just roast it & make a sympathetic sauce. “Tandoori venison” makes me squirm.

Here’s how I cooked my Venison Saddle with Blackberry Sauce.
It was closer to “medium” than “medium rare”, and though still excellent, next time I’ll go a bit less and use meat thermometer.
Continue reading Roast Saddle of Venison with Blackberry Sauce – Recipe & Tips

Jointing and Cooking Venison

This week I was very pleased to see my favourite butcher announce they had new season venison in stock.
I scuttled along to make my order, and asked what cuts they had.
“Whatever you want” said Mr Rattray, and brought a whole venison carcass out of the van ready to joint.
“What do you fancy?”
So I got my camera out, and then did some research.

Venison is tasty, low-fat, and free range. You HAVE to shoot some every year to manage the population.
So here’s a quick overview of what to do with the three main venison sections, and how to joint a whole carcass if you’re lucky enough to have one.
Continue reading Jointing and Cooking Venison

Turned Away From the “Light of Asia” at 1:35!

The ‘Light Of Asia’ Indian restaurant didn’t have the best reputation for a long time, but that changed with the new owners a few years ago.
I’ve had lots of people advise me to go.

So this Bank Holiday weekend we put on our walking boots, clomped 5 miles along the coastal path, and arrived at 1:35 looking forward to their good value lunch, a warm welcome and even warmer curry!

First impressions are important, and a locked door isn’t the best.
We peered through the window like urchins, and could see people eating.
Continue reading Turned Away From the “Light of Asia” at 1:35!

Free Bus Travel in Wales At The Weekends!

From July 8 2017, the Welsh Government is funding a 9-month trial of free weekend travel for all on the TrawsCymru bus network (ie bus routes beginning with T).

So why has this stirred a moribund blog out of its torpor – what’s this got to do with food?

It’s being launched just as we go into food festival season, making it the ideal way to travel to your foodie (and drinkie) festivals.

Continue reading Free Bus Travel in Wales At The Weekends!

Wetherspoons Mexican Monday

Some people are sniffy about Wetherspoons – not us.
We particularly like the Steak Tuesday and Fish Fridays, and the nephew and I have enjoyed plenty of their breakfasts.

Wetherpoons recently  added “Mexican Monday” to its daily themes.
Sadly, this isn’t a day when your local branch is run by sexually promiscuous border-hopping illegal immigrants – unless you’re in the Lincoln branch, of course.
They have simply cut the prices of their limited Mexican food offerings on a Monday.

Bethan is a fan of all things Mexican AND saving money, so this sounded just our sort of thing.
Plus, we thought supporting Mexican culture would annoy Donald Trump.
Andalay! Andalay!

Continue reading Wetherspoons Mexican Monday

Making Your Own Easy Pizza With Bread Machine

Everyone likes pizza.
I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like pizza.
Aber has the world-class Baravain, the decent No.25, the excellent Pier, the rightly-maligned Domino’s  and, well, loads of places.
But.
Don’t you ever find yourself noticing you could make it yourself for a fraction of the cost?
Doesn’t it hurt to be charged £1.50 for “extra pepperoni” that cost them about 20p?
Supermarket ones are better priced, and although Morrisons do excellent toppings, those hard bases are hard work.
With hungry nephews to feed, I decided to see if I can make good ones at home.
And I wasn’t afraid to cut a few corners either.

Continue reading Making Your Own Easy Pizza With Bread Machine

Welsh Government Shouldn’t Blow £300,000 on Another Report into The Aberystwyth-Carmarthen Railway

This is a hard blog to write, as I love railways, mid-Wales and economic regeneration.
It would be wonderful if Wales had a north-south rail link, and we could go to Cardiff without going east to Shrewsbury.
There used to be such a thing, but it was slow and under-used, and it closed in 1965.
In 2015, the Welsh Government spent £30,000 on a Scoping Document that looked at the feasibility of re-opening the line. It is an optimistic document, yet details the many problems re-opening the line would face before concluding at a wildly optimistic (and much quoted) total cost of £750million.

Based on this, the Welsh Government plans to spend £300,000 on a more detailed study.
£300,000 is a lot of money.
At the time of writing, parts of Llanidloes have no street lighting as the council can’t afford to repair them, and the A44 is Wales’ most dangerous road.
There are better ways to spend £300,000 than a further report into something that will never happen.
Continue reading Welsh Government Shouldn’t Blow £300,000 on Another Report into The Aberystwyth-Carmarthen Railway

Pizza at no25, Aberystwyth

Everyone’s a winner with pizza.
Customers can’t get enough of that bread and cheese – it’s a hit with kids, people on dates and drunks on their way home.
It’s good for restaurants too – pizza is tricky to do well at home, the mark-ups are phenomenal and punters are always on the look-out for a new angle.
So even though Aber has Baravin and the Pier offering great pizzas in attractive settings, and there’s Domino’s for masochists, you can’t blame Pizza at No25 for joining the fray.

Continue reading Pizza at no25, Aberystwyth

Mama Fay’s Caribbean Restaurant, Aberystwyth

After the closure of Irie’s, one might question the wisdom of another Caribbean restaurant opening in Aberystwyth.

But Mama Fay’s looks to be set for the long game, with a well-priced and interesting menu, enthusiastic staff  and a good location on Portland Street (site of the late and unlamented Nick’s).
The menu even looks (whisper it!) quite healthy!

Continue reading Mama Fay’s Caribbean Restaurant, Aberystwyth

Making Your Own Pastrami

After my first visit to New York over the summer, I came back determined to make a pastrami sandwich as close to this beauty from the Mile End Deli:
new-york-sandwichI wanted meat as soft and red as this, and enough to be able to load up my sandwiches that heavily.

And so, after plenty of research, and after Rob Rattray cut me a perfect piece of brisket, I ended up with this:
03-finished-pastrami-sandwichPretty close, and it tasted superb.
It takes a long time, and there’s a lot of steps, but each stage is pretty easy.

Here’s what we did. Continue reading Making Your Own Pastrami