Category Archives: The Rest

Stuff I can’t think where to put it

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

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!

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.
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

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

Comedy Club, Aberystwyth Arts Centre

West Wales is a beautiful part of the world and has a food scene that punches above its weight
But where would we be without the Arts Centre at the University?
It’s our main venue for theatre, music and comedy, and manages to lure big name stars out west.

In addition to big comedy names like Jimmy Carr, the Arts Centre has been host to a monthly comedy night for the last two years.
It’s run by Little Wander, the company which manages (amongst other things) the Machynlleth Comedy Festival.
This gives the audience the chance to see three relatively unknown acts for the very reasonable price of £10.
Continue reading Comedy Club, Aberystwyth Arts Centre

Making Pulled Pork with Meat from Rattray’s Butchers

We’ve had our ProQ smoker for two years now, and we’re delighted with it (review here).
Rainy weekends this summer have stopped us using it as much as we like, so when last weekend was sunny we took our chance and made pulled pork.

Americans make this with a cut called Boston Butt – a giant lump of pork shoulder with the bone still in – but these are very hard to get in the UK.
But the advantage of having an excellent local butcher like Rattrays is that you can ask them to make a joint how you’d like it.
Continue reading Making Pulled Pork with Meat from Rattray’s Butchers

A Review of “ProQ Frontier Elite” BBQ Smoker

Once it gets sunny, there’s only one thing we want to do – BBQ!

After being knocked out by the food at Aber’s Backyard BBQ and the Welsh Hang Fire ladies down south, last year we bought a BBQ that could also smoke.

It was a huge success, so we wanted to share what we learned.
Be warned, there’s a lot to be learned initially.
But if you like smoky meat and fish, it’s well worth it.
It’s the reason we hardly ever eat out anymore!

Continue reading A Review of “ProQ Frontier Elite” BBQ Smoker

Cambrian News – The Truth Won’t Ruin A Good Headline

The “Aberystwyth” edition of the Cambrian News had two really good stories on the front page of 21 April 2016.

One tells of how a customer in Starbucks was told to “Speak English Or Get Out”.  And look, there’s a beautiful “opera star” involved!
That story has everything, and yet there’s more!

The main story has the headline “Woman ‘Put Hand Down 15-Year Old’s Trousers'”
And there’s a picture of a pretty lady here too!

It’s hard to think how that front page could be bettered!
Only, maybe, by it not all being complete bollocks.

Continue reading Cambrian News – The Truth Won’t Ruin A Good Headline