Sunday, 9 November 2014

Best Roast Tatties

To be fair roast potatoes are pretty good no matter how you do them. Personally I'd rather have roast potatoes than boiled, steamed, or mash if serving up with some meat, veg, and gravy; or Sunday dinner.
However, many in the UK would agree that the best spud for roast tatties readily available at most supermarkets in Britain is the good old 'King Edward', roast in goose fat - but decent dripping or even lard makes a pretty damn good cheaper alternative.
There are a few variants to the way the Great British cook does them; some put them into the hot fat raw, others part-boil or part-steam them first, others almost fully boil or steam them before putting them into the fat. I think the latter method gives the best results.

So this is how I do them, and of course recommend my method in all cases.

You'll need some 'Neddies' (King Edward potatoes), and some meat fat (goose fat is best but is rather expensive, but the next best is dripping - beef, pork, or whatever you have; bacon dripping is my favourite of these - and if that fails then use lard. You could use vegetable, sunflower, olive oil, but personally I think they don't cut it, good old meat fat is the way to go.

By nearly fully cooking the potatoes first then their time in the oven will be concentrated on crisping and browning rather than cooking.

  • Wash if necessary, and peel your spuds, then cut them into whatever size you're happy with.
  • Chuck them in a pan with a bit of salt, then cover them in cold water.
  • Bring them to the boil, then turn down the heat and let them fast simmer until they start to go rough/fluffy round the edges. Try not to overdo it or they will break up.
  • Whilst the pan is boiling/simmering put the oven on 200C. Put a generous amount of the fat into a roaster. When oven has reached its temperature put the roaster of fat into the oven - we want it sizzling for when we put the potatoes into it.
  • As soon as they've got to this stage then take off the heat and drain immediately (we don't want them to cook some more, so don't leave them standing in the hot water).
  • Take roaster from oven and put the drained spuds into it. You may need to spread them out a bit so they are evenly spaced and hopefully not making a lot of contact with each other as this can lead to them sticking together.
  • Put in oven and leave them alone for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • After this time the part of potato that's immersed in the fat should be getting nicely frazzled.
  • Now take them out of the oven and get in with a slotted spoon or spatula, or whatever you've got to hand, and turn then all over so that the previously uppermost part of each spud is then immersed in the fat.
  • Now put them back in the oven and give them another 20 to 30 minutes.
  • When done they will be golden brown and crispy around the edges.
  • Take them out of the oven and serve straight out of the sizzling fat; if you leave them to stand and cool they'll go soft and soggy and that's not what we want.


Thursday, 3 May 2012

Great British Breakfast

There are many variants on what people consider to be an ideal breakfast.  The health conscious  would say perhaps breakfast cereal (love 'em), cereal bar, grapefruit, and fresh fruit juice or something along that line.  Some might prefer kippers with toast (enjoy that too), or just the toast with butter (or soft spread) or marmalade, or both (love it), and a mug of tea.  Some would perhaps go for scrambled or boiled egg (guess what, I like that also) yet some would go for the 'full monty' so to speak (my favourite).

So here's my idea of the perfect British Brekkie; swimming in grease and deliciously filling:

Bacon, fried eggs, sausages, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, fried bread, and black pudding; all washed down with a large mug (1 pint preferably) of strong caffeine rich coffee.
However I am also partial to the slimmed down version of toast, scrambled egg, baked beans, and sausages.  Or alternatively fried bread, tomatoes, bacon, fried egg; of course both need to be washed down with a large mug of strong coffee to help wake me up with its caffeine hit.

My personal idea of a mini breakfast is breakfast cereal or toast, or both - or a bacon, fried egg, and mushroom cob; washed down with a large mug of strong coffee of course.

By the way I enjoy drinking tea, and probably drink as much tea as I do coffee; but my first drink in the morning just has to be a large mug of strong coffee (you should be sick of hearing that phrase now).

Anyway, this is my personal opinion but let's have some feedback here; I want you to all tell me what your ideal breakfast consists of.  Please email me at or leave a comment on this blog.

Thanks for your involvement!

Back with a vengeance, hopefully

OK, so I've been absent for some time - indeed the last entry I put on this blog site was way back in October, so you may be wondering why I'm bothering now I've been absent for so long.  Well I'm gonna tell you, like it or not, although I'm not really expecting many people to visit and read this particular posting as my readership has become rather slack due to me being rather slack - what goes around, comes around - or so it is said.

You see, I've found a little niche that envelopes my favourite pass-time with writing stuff on the internet and all my focus has been on that subject.  Spare you too many details here but if you click this link and check out my 'Trail Trekking' blog site and 'Facebook' page you'll get the idea.

To be honest with you the main reason I've come back to 'British Belly Busters' is because I've recently completed writing a book and eBook full of recipes - well I say 'writing' when what I really mean is 'compiling' as none of the recipes within it are my own but rather over 140 recipes I've gathered from the internet and set out (occasionally re-written) in regional order.  The point is, I need an outlet to promote this publication and make people aware of its presence in the hope that some will buy; this is partially why I've returned.  What's more I'm also working on another one.

Now I'm not about to try and sell here as it is a free platform and to try and sell from here is against the rules, unethical, and somewhat taking the mick!  What I do need to do however is to start putting up quite a bit of new stuff on here, notifying 'Pingomatic' that I've updated my blog every time I do with the aim of getting some decent readership figures before I try to expand into publishing.

I started this particular blog site way back in June 2011 and so far have received just over 500 page views since then, whereas my 'Trail Trekking' blog site I set up at the end of August 2011 and so far it has received well over 5,000 page views; that's because I've updated it regularly, so I really need to do the same here or at least try and increase the page views somehow.

So there you have it, I'll be posting on here more often from now on - or at least I hope so.  However if you would like more info on the book then blast me an email to and I'll sort it for you.



Saturday, 1 October 2011

UK regional recipes continuation

For this part of our UK regional recipe exploration we're going to venture into the north with a few Scottish recipes to tempt your taste buds.

In years gone by people had to make do with what they could forage or get on home ground, long before the big supermarkets came and promised everything one could wish for. Some areas of Scotland are harsh barrren lands where living day to day would prove to be challenge enough for our northern friends and ancestors, and this is of course reflected in some of the recipes from the area.

For example many Scottish regional recipes make use of oats which were hardier than many other cereal crops and could withstand the harsh conditions the harsh conditions, and some of these oatmeal recipes can be found in my new regional recipe ebook that I hope to complete by Christmas, look out for it.
Scotland is famous for it's shortbread and whisky so in the meantime lets look at a couple of recipes that feature them and a couple more besides.

Makes 1 small loaf


175g currants
85g sultanas
90ml whisky
1 tablespoon lemon juice
350g plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
175g dark brown raw cane sugar
1½ level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
175g butter
150ml milk


1. Soak the dried fruit in the whisky and lemon juice for a few hours, the longer
the better.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line a 900g loaf tin with baking paper.
3. Put the flour, spice, sugar and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and
rub in the butter. Mix in the soaked fruit (do not over work the mix or the cake will be
chewy). Gradually stir in the milk, to end up with a soft dropping consistency.
4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for about 50 minutes, or until firm to the
touch and a skewer inserted comes away from the cake without any traces of
uncooked cake.
5. Leave to cool on a wire rack and then turn out. Slice and spread thickly with salted
butter, or fruit compote and thick cream.


I use this one to make shortbread and it works a treat.


175g (6oz) plain flour
50g (2oz) cornflour
50g (2oz) caster sugar (and a bit extra for sprinkling)
115g (4oz) butter, diced


Preheat oven 160 C / 325 F / Gas 3
Lightly flour shortbread mould and line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment
Sift together flour, cornflour & sugar in large mixing bowl
Rub in butter until you can knead mixture into a soft dough
Place half the dough into mould & press gently but firmly to fit neatly
Carefelly invert mould onto one of the baking sheets and tap firmly to release fough shape
Mould remaining dough the same way
Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes, until they are just a pale golden colour
Sprinkle a little caster sugar evenly over the top of shortbreads & leave to cool on baking sheets before serving


This famous Scottish soup is so substantial, it could be served as a main course. Originally, it had beef as an ingredient along with the chicken, so you could add a bit of left-over roast beef near the end of cooking if you like. It is important to cook the chicken as a whole piece first and then dice it so that the broth remains beautifully clear and golden.


15 Gram Butter ( 1/2 oz)
300 Gram Chicken portions (12 oz)
300 Gram Leeks, washed well (12 oz)
1.1 Litres Chicken stock (2 pints)
1 Bouquet garni
6 Prunes, stoned and halved
Parsley sprigs to garnish


Melt the butter; fry the chicken until browned on all sides. Cut the leeks into 4 lengthways, then chop these pieces into 2.5 cm (1 inch) lengths. Reserve the green parts and shred them finely. Add the white pieces to the pan and fry for 5 minutes until soft.

Add stock and the bouquet garni. Bring to the boil, simmer for 30 minutes. Add the green leek pieces and the prunes. Simmer for another 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken, get rid of the skin and bones and cut the meat into chunks. Add the meat to the serving dish, then pour over the rest of the soup. Garnish with parsley.


Another of Scotland's soup recipes, some refer to this dish as Scotland's national soup. It is best made the day before it is needed so that the fat can be skimmed from the top. This is a hearty and filling dish to be served as a main course.


700 Gram Shin of beef, diced (1 1/2 lb)
2.3 Litres Water (4 pints)
1 Medium Carrot, chopped
1 Medium Turnip, chopped
1 Medium Onion, chopped
2 Leeks, chopped and thoroughly washed
3 Tablespoon Pearl barley
Chopped parsley, to garnish


Put everything in a large pan.
Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

There you have it, four Scottish recipes for your palette. Of course there are many more in my new UK regional recipe ebook out soon. In the meantime if you want a copy of the ones above to keep then as usual click here and download a FREE pdf with them in it.


Any ideas for this blog or to ask me anything then please email me at and I will try and respond quickly.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Hedgerow recipes pdf

Here it is as promised, the fist hedgerow recipe pdf for free.

I've had my team of researchers (me) working tirelessly to bring you this first hedgerow recipe ebook. In this little ebook you will find a host of hedgerow recipes to get you started making the most of widely available hedgerow produce you can gather for free, often only a short walk from home.

We are already getting towards the end of September so you need to get out there now and gather the abundant autumn harvest before it is too late.

My researchers are working on a second hedgerow recipe ebook as I type so look out for it here soon.


Click here to download your FREE hedgerow recipe book.