Great British Chefs' Pork Recipes

I admire Great British Chefs' recipes, the way fashionistas admire the latest Jimmy Choo's shoes: I want but I can't have. Or Can I? I am still in shock, after having been asked by GBC to reproduce a recipe of my choosing. After agonising over which to choose, I carefully picked one of their pork recipes: Fillet of Pork with Honey and Sesame Seeds, Carrot and Ginger sauce.

This is a bit like a topsy-turvy, before and after, piece. Before photo being above. Great British Chefs gave me a beautifully presented recipe and I give you my version. My dad used to say that you could never reproduce any of the chefs' recipes because the ingredients  in a "normal kitchen" are different from these used by professional cooks, even if they tried very hard to simplify. He was right and he was wrong at the same time.

On Great British Chefs all the recipes are graded, on the pork section only one is challenging, so it should have been perfectly easy, and it would have been, but for the small matter of "carrot juice". At any given other time, I would have swapped with carrot any kind of juice, but now, I needed the full effect: the look and the taste.
Carrot and ginger is a marriage made in heaven, it took me three days and his help so it won't take you anytime. Carrot juice has a very short shelve life  therefore it isn't stored widely, if you don't fancy hunting, killing and squeezing carrot, the only solution is the organic food store. It is a little expensive but on the other hand, the whole dish costs just under £10 for 4 people.

Needless to say that the recipe lived up to its promises, easy to re-create thanks to the cooking mode. The dish is delicious, the fillet really tender, the sauce a perfect accompaniment, the sesame seeds made it pretty, could easily become a classic.

Fillet of pork with honey and sesame seeds, carrot and ginger sauce  
Galton Blackiston's recipe

Cooking time 1 hour
feeds 4 - if you do it for two, do not halve the sauce ingredients

  • 275ml of carrot juice
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger
  • 60g of salted butter
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 375g pork fillets, trimmed
  • 25ml of rapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp of clear honey 

    1. Preheat the oven to gas 200°C/Gas mark 6. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan until hot, add the rapeseed oil and 30g of the butter.
    3. Once the butter is foaming, add the pork fillets and fry, turning occasionally, until golden-brown on each side. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    5. Remove the fillets from the pan and place onto a plate. Drizzle with the honey and coat well with the sesame seeds. Transfer the sesame-coated pork fillets to a trivet in a roasting tray and place into the oven to cook for 10-12 minutes, or until completely cooked through.
    7. While the pork fillets are roasting, peel and finely chop the ginger and then squeeze into a tea towel to catch the juice. Place the carrot juice and ginger juice into a pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Cook to reduce to about 150ml of liquid, then slowly whisk in the rest of the butter. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
    9. Remove the pork fillets from the oven and leave them to rest in a warm place for five minutes. When ready to serve, carve the pork into thick diagonal slices and place on the centre of each plate. Spoon over the carrot and ginger sauce.
    Here is the after photos:
    Disclaimer: Pork recipes: Fillet of pork with honey and sesame seeds, carrot and ginger sauce is an article sponsored by Great British Chefs whom I thank for giving me the opportunity to write about and reproduce one of their recipe. 


    It's a Wrap : Pesto, Mozzarella & Tomato Wrap

    Pebble Soup new craze is: to wrap around the clock. This wrapping madness occurred last June after my visit to Taste of London where I was given a booklet full of tortilla wrap recipes.

    So what is a wrap: a little Wiki bird told me that wraps are a recent addition to our ever expending range of fast food. Though humans have been eating "take-aways" since time immemorial, wrapping in tortillas is likely to originate from California and was a generalisation of the Tex-Mex Burrito.

    For now I buy my wrap but there are lots of tortilla (flavoured or not) recipes and he promised to give it a go in his attempt to try baking breads from around the world, remember Injera?

    How to wrap?

    1 - Place the ingredients in the centre of the wrap and start folding the sides.

    2- Once done, fold the base of the wrap and roll from the bottom up.

    3 - Cut in half to get a nice presentation.

    What to wrap?

    Really every thing you can think of:
    Prawn cocktails: mayo, prawns, spring onions, celery, coriander
    Sweet potatoes & peppers: cooked sweet potatoes and peppers add balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic, rocket, olive oil, Feta cheese.
    Ham & Cheese with mustard and tomato
    But my favourite is

    Pesto, Mozzarella & Tomato Wrap

    spread Pesto on a tortilla,
    in the middle place Mozzarella (sliced or grated), slices of tomatoes, torn basil
    Use a sandwich toaster to grill or heat for two minutes on each side in a dry frying pan.

    As if it was not enough, I cheat time a little more and instead of cooking rice, I use Tilda pouches.

    The foodies blogosphere does agree on a few things and one being Tilda's new range of steam basmati rice  cooked in the microwave.

    I was sent a couple to form a opinion. Easy, they are great. All you have to do is "squeech" the pouch a little to separate the grains, open the top and place in a microwave for two minutes.

    If the rice was plain, I would say this is utter laziness but since the rice is flavoured, I say this is genius. It comes out always perfectly cooked, the rice is never mushy. Both flavours were very subtle. The range contains 18 flavours so far and retails at around £2.00, each pouch serves two. Verdict: Thumb up.

    Pebble Picture Patchwork #3

    If August is a quiet month, it might only be because July is a manic one. A month when the press is out in force having a taste of Christmas. Everybody who is anybody or nobody is going from one Christmas presentation to another.

    In 2009 when I was first got invited, I dragged a couple of teenagers nieces with me who just couldn't believe their eyes. It was another world, mince-pies in July, I was instantly promoted to "amazing auntie".

    This year, I limited myself to just a few events. One always awaited presentation is that of Waitrose.
    Here is a sneak preview:
    • This Christmas we'll be eating our placemats (bottom left on the patchwork)
    •       Heston's pudding is affordable
    • Trees are made of wood, Swedish style
    •      The plateau de fromages will see numerous Spanish additions
    • And last but not least little bites are flavour of the month and Waitrose is probably the only supermarket to offer individual fish tartars.

    Black & Blueberry Sorbet

    There is something to the lovely month of August which is really laid back. Even if you really wanted to cook "big time", it's too hot to do so and there is too much to do outside that it is even little pointless to try. So let's go with the flow, slide the fip-flops on, dive in the bushes, forage for blackberries and turn the yield into a sorbet.

    But before I get to the recipe and though schools are out, I can't resist to play teacher so pay attention:
    black·ber·ry (blkbr)
    n. from the rose family has the raspberry for cousin.
    1. Any of various shrubs of the genus Rubus, having usually prickly stems, compound leaves, and an aggregate fruit of small drupelets.
    2. The fruit of these plants, usually black, purple, or deep red.
    3. blackberries also called brambles
    blue·ber·ry (blbr)
    n. also called bilberry and cousin to the cranberry
    1. Any of numerous plants of the genus Vaccinium, having white to reddish, urn-shaped or tubular flowers and edible blue to blue-black berries.
    2. The fruit of any of these plants.
    The blackberries used for this recipe where picked in the Dockland's. London's financial district which shelters a strange fauna of stressed office workers but also a large wilderness area with a city-farm, miles of bridle paths and lots of great flora.
    The blueberry meringues added for "marshmallow" effect were my dad's last present which he posted while staying in the Alps, where blueberries are plentiful and used in a myriad of recipes.

    As you will not have this in your pantry, the alternative is plain meringue. There is also the small matter of consistency. This recipe is very concentrated hence the dark colouring of the sorbet. You might want something lighter in which case use 250g of sugar and 240 ml of water.

     Blackberry Sorbet

  • 300g/10½oz caster sugar
  •  a drop of water
  •  500g blackberries
  •  1/2 lemon

    1. Place the blackberries, sugar and water into a saucepan over a low heat. Cook gently to soften the fruit.
    2. Pass the blackberry mixture through a sieve into a bowl, you will then get a purée
    3. Churn in an ice-cream maker according to instructions.

    Give-Away #18 : Sarah Trivuncic's Sweet Bitesize Bake

    A little over a year ago as we were gathered in a restaurant a catch up and review, Sarah as in Maison Cupcake announced that she was going to slow her blogging activity down for the next 6 months. "oh! you are pregnant" somebody said, can't remember who, but I do remember that we all smiled. Not only Sarah is a brilliant blogger but she is also a wonderful mum.

    "No", smiles disappeared, that sounded serious, "It's still very hush, hush, I have been approached by a publisher, I am writing a book". Smiles came back, "oh! a Maison Cupcake, Yippee" The restaurant review was momentarily forgotten, forks came down, question time.....

    Three month later, Sarah was posting again, the bulk of her baking and decorating book had been completed though lots of other stuff remained until pub. day. May be in the old days, everything was done by the the publishing house but nowadays a lot of the publicity is left to the author.

    Sarah being Sarah, she came up with some ingenious ways of attracting people's attention to baking in general and to Bake Me I’m Yours… Sweet Bitesize Bakes in particular. We were invited to join in in a postal bake swap, Pebble Soup went as far as pipping for the first time, the Almond and Rose kisses were a thrilling result.

    Then it was time for a launch party, so we could see and eat some of the mini treats, All the chapters were there looking too gorgeous to eat 

  • Fondant Fancies
  • Mini Cupcakes
  • Cutesy Cookies
  • Little Tiers
  • Petit Fours  

  • Whoppie pies, cake pops, biscuits and more all decorated, pipped, sugar pasted, royal iced this possibly isn't a word but you know what I mean, with traditional flowers and bows or more modern and themed.

    All the techniques are explained in the book and the best thing is that I got not one but two so we can share. And you too can enjoy a book which is a cross between a coffee-table thanks to its superb photography and an easy guide to simple and comprehensive baking and decorating for some of the trendiest yet traditional sweet small treats.

    To win a copy of

    Follow the Rafflecopter instructions. If you have any problem do not hesitate to contact me.
    To buy a copy of Sarah's book use either of the following links :
    Sweet bite size + sarah

    Pebble Picture Patchwork #2 : A taste of Slovak Cuisine

    Pebble Soup HQ's contribution to the Olympics was a visit to Slovak house, a Slovak Tourist board pop-up showcase of the "little big country". Currently claiming its place on the tourist map with its wonderful scenery, traditional hospitality and traditional food. And, No it is not all about cabbage.

    Let's start with a tongue twister, repeat after me: Slovak sommelier shows off spectacular sabrage skills.

    Then, our rendez-vous with Slovak cuisine: dishes prepared by Chef Marcel Ihnačák, formerly of Pied-a Terre and Fifteen in London.

    If Hungarian, Tchecks and Slovaks battle it out to ascertain their ownership over Goulash, Bryndza and Ostiepok are typically Slovak sheep cheeses featuring in starters fried in bread crumbs or mains such as in Chicken Stuffed with Bryndza.

    Slovakia association with soups is more than Pearl Barley Soup. I was not prepared for a creamy garlic soup which honestly would see me travel to Slovakia for a second helping.

    Of cabbage we saw very little but potatoes featured predominantly, in dessert fried in butter then rolled in poppy seeds, in salad, gnocchis, rosti, dumplings, pancakes and ravioli filling. The country favorite soft drinks is Vinea a wine- flavoured carbonated drink, not to forget gorgeous unadulterated white wine such as Viognier

    Overall impression, a solid home cooking, safe in its tradition, surprisingly much lighter than expected.

    Sweet Peppers, Ricotta and Basil Pie

    TV travelogue, Sicily Unpacked, presented by art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon and Michelin-starred chef Giorgio Locatelli could have ended up being yet another programme where two old & not so wise guys got paid by the BBC for going around their favourite grounds.

    Instead the charming pair managed to avoid a predictable trap. It genuinely was about art and food and lots of it was packed in. These two guys forgot about their ego and shared their respective passion with one another, and in doing so with us. Did it do anything for our knowledge of art and Sicilian food?

    Hand up if you saw this BBC2 program. Now the other hand up if you remember any of the dishes. Well,  neither do I  but somehow it made me think that a trip to Sicily, a place where I never before thought I would like to set a foot on, could be a pleasant thing to do.

    My personal Sicilian food knowledge still goes as far as Arancini and Lemoncello. Except, recently, as soon as I see the word Sicily, I pay a little more attention, it is how this recipe came to be enjoyed at Pebble Soup HQ's table

    Sweet Peppers, Ricotta and Basil Pie

    A great recipe for picnics, which uses in season ingredients

    Use a packet of short crust pastry
    3 roasted red bell peppers, skin and seeds removed
    1 cup ricotta cheese
    10 leaves fresh basil
    3 eggs
    300g cream
    4 tablespoons grated Grana Padano cheese
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    In a little bit of olive oil, fry the pepper till soft,
    Remove from heat, wait until it is slightly cooled transfer to a bowl and add  ricotta, basil, eggs, cream and Grana Padano cheese. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
    Roll out the pastry and line a quiche dish, you could bake it blind for 10 minutes or "forget 'bout 'ee" and pour the mixture in bake in oven medium to high heat for 40 minutes


    Pebble Picture Patchwork #1

    As a freelance writer, I get invited to events which will make publications other than this blog. And I hope to have found a way to share what I see with a weekly picture column. Last week Pebble Soup crew was invited to discover Indian Wines at La Porte des Indes.

    The little known brands from the subcontinent are worth a try and not only for their novelty value, Ritu viognier, made from grapes grown in the Maharashtra region, south of Mumbai was a success with Indian snacks.


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