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Guy Fawkes Spiced Pork Chops

with a Barbecue Sauce & Tastie Tatties

  • 4 pork chops either on the bone or off (cutlets)


  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 desert spoon black peppercorns
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Small piece of nutmeg finely grated
  • A few thyme leaves
  • 3-4 spring onions, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 scotch bonnet chilli, chopped finely
  • 1 dessert spoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • Juice of one lime

In a pestle and mortar pound the peppercorns then place in a processor with the allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, spring onions, garlic and chilli. Blend to a paste then stir in the sugar, soy and lime juice. Transfer to a bowl and coat the chops all over and leave covered for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Barbecue Sauce

  • 120 gms tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp dark soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tbsp cider or white wine vinegar
  • 1 dash hot chilli sauce (tobasco)
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder or ½ tsp ready mustard
  • ¼ tsp salt

Place all the ingredients into a small saucepan, stir well and heat slowly to a simmer before taking off the heat and allowing to cool slightly ready to serve.

Tastie Tatties

Allow 1 medium sized potato for each person, peel then trim and cut into a dice approx 1cm square. Place into a pan, cover with water, add salt and bring to the boil and cook until just done (about 10 mins). Drain and dry in kitchen paper.

When dry, heat a non stick fry pan, add a layer of rapeseed oil or olive oil and fry the potato squares in batches until nicely coloured and crisp on most sides, stir in some chopped tomato flesh (concasse), some chopped jarred red peppers and some chopped basil, season and serve.

The pork

Heat a fry pan or griddle pan to a medium heat, scrape the marinade off the chops.. Pour a small amount of oil into the pan and cook the chops in the pan for about 4 minutes on both sides, if the chops are boneless then allow about 3 minutes each side.

To serve, place a mound of tatties on each plate, place a chop against them with a generous spoon of barbecue sauce for dipping into.

Bonfire Night Minestrone Soup

serves 4 – 6

  • 200 gms approx dried cannellini or haricot beans, soaked in cold water overnight
  • 1.5 – 2 litres light chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 large onion – finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot – finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks – finely chopped
  • 2 medium courgettes – unpeeled – finely diced
  • 250 gms approx tomatoes – skinned and chopped
  • 4 rashers of unsmoked bacon – with rinds if possible
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or rape seed oil
  • 200 gms green cabbage leaves – finely shredded
  • Approx 100gms dried pasta – spaghetti broken into small pieces or any other small pasta shapes
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Grated fresh parmesan

Having soaked the beans overnight, drain them and place into a large saucepan with the light (weak) stock. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer on a medium heat with the lid half on and half off for about one and a quarter hours until the beans are nearly tender. Top up the stock if necessary.

Cut the rinds from the bacon and chop the bacon itself finely. Heat the oil in a 2 nd pan, add the bacon rinds with the onion and garlic and cook gently for several minutes. Tip into the 1 st pan containing the beans and the stock. Continue cooking for 10 minutes then remove the rinds and discard. Add the chopped carrot, courgettes, celery and tomatoes. Cook for a further 10 minutes. Taste the soup and correct the seasoning if necessary. Add the pasta, the shredded cabbage, and the finely chopped bacon with half the chopped parsley and cook for another 10 minutes.

Serve topped with more parsley and some grated parmesan.

This soup always benefits from being made well in advance and then reheated.

Spiced Plums

Serves 4 – 6

  • Approx 1 kg plums, fairly ripe but not too soft
  • 375 mls water
  • 125 mls honey
  • 60 mls maple syrup
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in two
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Either crushed praline or crushed ginger nut biscuits to serve, Crème fraiche or ice cream

Preheat oven to 160C (320) F. Cut plums in half and remove stones. Place plums in large dish flat side down in one layer. Put all other ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes to infuse well. Pour this syrup over the plums and cover tightly with foil. Place the dish in the oven for about 30 – 45 minutes depending on size of plums until they are just tender. Remove foil lid and cool plums slightly before serving in coupes or bowls, topped with crème fraiche or ice cream and a sprinkling of praline or crushed ginger nuts.

These reheat very well on top of the stove

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