Wood-fired oven recipes to inspire you

I always love finding new ways to cook and I was very interested in learning all about the versatility of the wood-fired oven. While everyone knows they’re great for cooking pizzas, that’s only a tiny part of their capability as David and Holly Jones from Manna from Devon Cooking School are on a mission to prove.

I was lucky enough to meet them at a recent workshop where they cooked a delicious menu for us in the stylish Morsø wood-fired ovens. Everything from beautifully light focaccia, succulent peri peri chicken, Greek-style kebabs and even a fruity dessert.

Wood-fired ovens

Up close on the stylish Morsø wood-fired oven

David and Holly hold wood-fired oven cookery courses at their school Manna from Devon overlooking the River Dart in beautiful South Devon – one of my favourite areas of the UK. It’s such an amazing area for food-lovers that’s well worth a visit. You can find out more on www.foodanddrinkdevon.co.uk

The Jones’ fabulous Wo0d-Fired Oven Cookbook is a comprehensive guide to how to cook with your oven, including plenty of inspiring recipes. Here are three to whet your appetite and motivate you to branch out and do more than make pizza in this amazing outdoor kitchen. Buy the book for £9.99 by clicking here.

Scallops with chilli and mint

Serves 6 as an appetiser

Like all fish, scallops respond well to the hot temperatures in the wood-fired oven – they get a good charring on the outside, which adds to the flavours of the recipe. By baking the scallops in their round shells you won’t have any dishes to wash.

12 large cleaned scallops with their shells, also cleaned

juice and grated rind of 1 lemon

1 tbsp chilli oil

2 tbsp olive oil

25g butter, softened

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

2 tbsp dried white breadcrumbs

salt and ground black pepper

4 tbsp roughly chopped fresh mint

fresh, crusty bread, to serve

Wood-fired oven recipes

Build up the fire in the oven until the temperature reaches 300°C/570°F. This will take about 60 minutes. When it is up to temperature, push the fire to the back of the oven with a metal peel or coal hook, and keep the door open to encourage a hot fire with high flames.

In a bowl, mix the lemon juice and grated rind with the chilli oil and olive oil, the butter, garlic, parsley and breadcrumbs. Season well.

Cut the scallops in half to make discs and put them with their roes back in the cleaned half shells. Divide the breadcrumb mixture over the scallops.

Put the shells on a baking sheet; use two if you need to. Place the baking sheets in the oven, as close to the fire as possible. Keep the door open and bake for just 4–5 minutes, until the tops are golden and sizzling.

Carefully move the baking sheets to the front of the oven, using a metal peel to do so. Pick up the baking sheets, but be careful to keep them level so you don’t lose any of the delicious juices.

Sprinkle the chopped mint over the scallops and serve immediately with some fresh, crusty bread to mop up all the juices, remembering that the shells will be very hot.

Roast duck with orange, star anise and cinnamon and roast potatoes

Serves 4-6

Duck, like pork, cooks beautifully in a wood-fired oven – the fat melts through the meat, keeping it juicy and tender, and the skin crisps up well. It makes a rich meal, so all you need to go with it is some braised red cabbage or a watercress salad.Wood-fired oven cooking

1 large duck, about 2kg

juice of 2 oranges

2 whole star anise

1 cinnamon stick

2 tbsp redcurrant jelly

1 small bunch fresh sage

1.5kg floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

2 tbsp canned duck or goose fat or olive oil

100ml red wine

600ml chicken stock

2 tbsp plain flour

salt and ground black pepper

Build up the fire in the oven until the temperature reaches 190°C/375°F, this will take about 40 minutes. When it is up to temperature, push the fire to the back of the oven with a metal peel or coal hook, and close the door to retain the heat.

Put the orange juice into a small pan on the stove and simmer gently with the star anise and cinnamon stick for 5 minutes to infuse the orange juice. Stir in the redcurrant jelly and simmer gently for 10 minutes until tacky. Remove the spices and season the liquid with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Prick the duck skin all over with a skewer. Generously brush the orange and redcurrant liquid over the duck. Put the bunch of sage in the duck’s body cavity.

Put the potatoes in a large roasting pan and spoon over the duck fat. Put the duck on a wire rack and place in the roasting pan, over the potatoes. Open the oven door and put the roasting pan on the oven floor.

Close the door and roast the duck and potatoes for 1 hour, then take the roasting pan out of the oven. Remove the duck and rack from the roasting pan, drain off the excess fat and any juices into a measuring jug (cup), and turn the potatoes over. Replace the rack and duck, and return the roasting pan to the oven for another 30–60 minutes. Separate the fat from the meat juices in the jug, and set both aside.

Check that the duck is cooked by inserting a skewer into the thigh to make sure the juices run clear. The potatoes should also be cooked through and crisped up by all the duck fat that has been released.

Transfer the duck to rest on a platter. Drain the rest of the juices from the roasting pan into the measuring jug.

Put 2 tbsp of the reserved duck fat and the flour into the roasting pan and stir together on the stove. When the flour has absorbed the fat, stir in the juices from the jug with the red wine and the chicken stock. Keep stirring until it has come to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Season the gravy with salt and pepper.

Carve the duck meat and serve it with the gravy and potatoes and some braised red cabbage.

Cook’s tip

Any leftover duck is delicious shredded and served cold in sandwiches or wraps. Duck fat is great for roasting potatoes so do keep any left over in the refrigerator for just that.

Apple pie with spices

Serves 6

Another all-time classic, apple pie is delicious baked in a wood-fired oven, which crisps up the pastry on the top and the bottom of the pie, giving a crunchy outside and a tender fruity inside. Use the lower heat of the oven to cook the eating apples initially and then build up the fire to get a higher temperature for cooking the pastry. This recipe uses a mixture of dessert apples, which hold together well in the pie, and baking apples, which collapse more during cooking; the baking apples provide a contrasting tartness to the sweeter eating apples.

675g eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges

2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 2.5cm pieces

50g butter

50g caster sugar

50g light muscovado (brown) sugar

1tsp each ground mixed spice, cinnamon and ginger or 15ml/3 tsp apple pie spice

juice and grated rind of 1 lemon

2 pieces ready-rolled shortcrust pastry 30 x 30cm

1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt

clotted cream, ice cream or custard, to serve

Build up the fire in the oven until the temperature reaches 200°C/400°F. When it is up to temperature, which will take about 40 minutes, push the embers to the back of the oven using a metal peel or coal hook. Leave the oven door closed to retain the heat.

Put the apple wedges, butter, sugars and spices in an ovenproof dish. Cover the dish tightly with a lid or some foil, and put the dish on the oven floor. Close the door and cook for 12–15 minutes, until the apples are tender, stirring a couple of times during cooking.

Take the dish containing the apples out of the oven, and close the door to keep the heat inside.

Transfer the apples to a large bowl and gently fold in the lemon juice and rind. Set aside to cool.

Line the base of a 25cm/10in deep ovenproof pie dish with one of the sheets of pastry, pressing it into the bases and sides. Spoon the cooled apples in to the pastry-lined pie dish and spread evenly. Lift the second sheet of pastry with the rolling pin and carefully place it on top of the dish.

Trim the pastry, using a sharp knife, and crimp the edges together. Make a couple of steam holes in the top of the pie with the knife.

Use the trimmings to cut out some pastry leaves or any other pattern to put on top of the pie, if you wish. Stick them to the pie with the beaten egg and brush more of the egg wash all over the top of the pie. Place the pie in the oven for 25–30 minutes, until the pastry is cooked, crisp and golden.

Remove the pie from the oven, and rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm with clotted cream, ice cream or custard. Any leftovers can be reheated or eaten cold with a piece of good Cheddar cheese.

You can find out more about Manna from Devon by clicking here.

 

Recipe: Spicy pork kebabs

Recipe: Spicy Pork Kebabs

I’ve recently got back from Spain and I’m missing those wonderful Spanish flavours. So today I decided to make pork kebabs inspired by the Pinchos Morunos we had for lunch on the beach at Arena bar in Mar de Cristal. A real simple dish where the beautiful flavours come from the spicy marinade.

I griddled the kebabs on my Morsø griddle pan, a wonderful way to keep meat moist while also achieving that lovely browned outside. Morsø‘s new Nordic Cookware collection can be used in the oven, on all types of cookers, including induction, on the grill and the barbecue.

Exclusive offer

Check out the whole fantastic Morsø range at morsoe.com.  And exclusively for Eating Covent Garden readers there’s a 15% discount if you order cookware on the Morsø website. Simply quote the code nac15 when you order.

Morso griddle

The stylish Morso griddle ready for cooking

Makes 12 skewers

1 kg pork fillet, diced

For the marinade

4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

2tsps smoked Spanish paprika

2 tsps ground cumin

2 tsps ground coriander

2 tsps ground thyme

Juice of 1 lemon

4 tbsps olive oil

Mix all the spices and herbs together with the lemon juice and olive oil.

Add the pork and mix well together. Marinate for at least three hours, ideally overnight.

Thread the pork pieces onto skewers. I used mini bamboo skewers.

Griddle over a high heat for about 10 minutes, turning them as they brown.

Morso griddle

The diced pork marinades in herbs and spices

Morso griddle

The pork on bamboo skewers ready for griddling

Morso griddle

The deliciously browned pork kebabs

Keeping to my Spanish-inspired theme, I served the kebabs with these little padron peppers which I simply fried up in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in my new Morsø frying pan.

Morsø frying pan

Padron peppers sizzle in the Morsø frying pan

Morsø frying pan

The non-stick, large Morsø frying pan is great to cook in

 

Find out more about Morsø by clicking here.

 

 

Recipe: Barbecue pulled pork bake

I’m back! I know it’s been pretty quiet on Eating Covent Garden recently as I’ve been doing a lot of travelling. Gathering exciting stories and recipe ideas for all my readers, naturally. While I do love exploring the world it’s always great to get home – and to get back into the kitchen. And I was particularly looking forward to creating some exciting new recipes using my new range from Morsø.

Morsø‘s new Nordic Cookware collection is crafted from stainless steel, so they are great for cooking on while also looking really stylish, as you can see. All items offer great versatility as they can be used in the oven, on all types of cookers, including induction, on the grill and the barbecue.

Exclusive offer

Check out the whole fantastic Morsø range at morsoe.com.  And exclusively for Eating Covent Garden readers there’s a 15% discount if you order cookware on the Morsø website. Simply quote the code nac15 when you order.

Today I’m cooking in my beautiful new Morsø Piaf. I love the look and feel of this dish and it inspired me to come up with a wonderfully tasty recipe.

My brand new, stylish Morso Piaf

Barbecue pulled pork bake

Barbecue pulled pork bake

Crisp and golden straight out of the oven

Serves 4

I love the comfort of a shepherd’s pie and here I’ve come up with a kind of pork version using slow cooked pork with a tangy barbecue sauce. If you don’t have a slow cooker you can do the pork in the oven on very low, just make sure you keep an eye on it.

I added sour cream and finely chopped spring onions to the mash which gave it a lovely something extra.

For the pulled pork

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 boneless pork shoulder roast (crackling removed)

1 can French onion soup

1 cup of tomato ketchup

2 tbsps cider vinegar

3 tbsps brown sugar

Heat the oil in a frying pan to a medium-high heat. Fry the pork until it is well browned on all sides.

Pour the onion soup, ketchup vinegar and sugar into your slow cooker and stir. Add the pork and make sure it’s well coated with the sauce.

Cook on a medium-low heat for 4-5 hours.

Remove the pork and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Then shred it, using two forks.

Barbecue pulled pork bake

The pork simmers slowly in the tangy sauce

For the potato topping

1kg potatoes

3 tbsps sour cream

1 bunch of spring onions, finely diced

Peel the potatoes and boil until the are soft.

Mash with the sour cream and spring onions.

For the bake

2 tbsps barbecue sauce

1 can sweetcorn

1 egg, beaten

Add the barbecue sauce to the mixture you cooked the pork in.

Now start layering. First layer the pulled pork on the bottom.

Barbecue pulled pork bake

The melt-in-the-mouth pulled pork makes the base

Then spoon over about three-quarters of the sauce.

Barbecue pulled pork bake

The tangy sauce is added to cover the pork

 

Add the sweetcorn as the next layer.

Barbecue pulled pork bake

Sweetcorn adds colour and crunch

Top with the mashed potatoes.

Brush the top of the potato with the beaten egg.

Barbecue pulled pork bake

The pie is topped with potato and ready for the oven

Cook in the oven for about 30mins at 180C until it’s golden on top and slightly bubbling.

Barbecue pulled pork bake

Up close to the luscious filling

This is one of my favourite recipes I’ve ever come up with. The best pork pie ever!

Now that I’m inspired by my exciting new range of pans, there’s plenty more to come, so watch this space. I’ll be doing lots more cooking with Morso.

Recipe: Barbecued ribs in the CharBroil Big Easy

Barbecued ribs in a Chinese-style marinade

I love a good rack of ribs. Earliest memories take me back to a Greek restaurant in Harare, Zimbabwe called the Acropolis where we’d tuck into huge plates of ribs. It was a real treat eating with our fingers until all that was left was the piles of bones eaten clean. A somewhat messy business – which seems to make it all that much more enjoyable. And I guess the fact that we so rarely visited restaurants also helped make for an amazing experience. A bit different from my frequent restaurant going days now!

One of the beauties of ribs is that you can marinade them to produce many different dishes, there are so many potential flavours. Today my mixture infuses lovely Asian flavours. I like to marinade them overnight to the flavours really infuse.

The Big Easy offers a unique way to cook ribs. You suspend them from the side of the basket using the handy hooks supplied. The come out beautifully moist and flavoursome with a slightly crispy exterior. Genius!

This recipe uses 12 ribs which is great for two people with the tasty coleslaw accompaniment.

CharBroil Big Easy: Chinese-style ribs

The beautifully browned ribs

For the marinade

100ml hoisin sauce

2 tbsps soya sauce

2 tbsps sweet chilli sauce

1 tbsp runny  honey

2 tbsps teriyaki sauce

Mix all the ingredients together and place in a dish. Add the ribs and make sure they are thoroughly coated. Cover and put in the fridge for at least 3 hours, ideally overnight.

The instructions

Slice between the first and second ribs about 20cm in and use the hooks from the Big Easy kit to hook onto the basket that slots into the barbecue.

Turn the barbecue on to three-quarters heat and leave to heat up for about 15 minutes.

Place the basket into the barbecue and cook for 30-35 minutes until the ribs are browned and slightly crispy.

CharBroil Big Easy: Coleslaw accompaniment

Crispy, spicy coleslaw

For the spicy coleslaw

2 cups of white cabbage, thinly sliced

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

Half a cucumber, thinly sliced

4 tbsps mayonnaise

1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

Mix the mayonnaise and chilli sauce together and combine with the vegetables.

CharBroil Big Easy: ribs in basket

The ribs clip easily onto the basket

The CharBroil Big Easy is the UK’s first three-in-one barbecue which you can roast, grill or smoke in. Find out more about this amazingly versatile barbecue by clicking here.

Recipe: Smoked roast ham in my CharBroil Big Easy barbecue

It’s hard to beat a good roast ham. It’s something usually associated with Christmas or special occasions but it doesn’t have to be. It’s always a great thing to have in the fridge – and even better if you’ve cooked it yourself!

I roasted and smoked this one in my CharBroil Big Easy barbecue. The glaze gives it a beautiful sweetness and you could really taste the smokiness from the alder wood chips. I’m lucky enough to have two large bay trees in my garden so I snipped off some fresh leaves to add to the smoker which definitely added flavour.

Make sure you score the fat of the ham before basting. This helps the flavours really soak through.

The meat thermometer is a handy way to help gauge when the ham is ready. If you’re not sure it is done, keep roasting for a bit longer – as long as it’s not burning it will be fine as the basting keeps it moist.

Roast smoked ham

With an orange and Honey Jack Daniels glaze

Place the alder wood chips and bay leaves into the smoker compartment and turn the CharBroil Big Easy barbecue to a low/medium setting. I chose to cook the ham on a lower setting for longer and it came out lovely and moist.

Leave the barbecue to heat up for about 15 minutes.

Place your ham in the basket and cook it for 25 minutes per pound.

Baste it with the sauce using a brush every 15-20 minutes.

Before taking it out, check the internal temperature of the meat has reached 140C.

Baste it one more time and leave it to rest for at least half an hour before carving.

CharBroil Big Easy

The beautifully browned smoked ham

For the baste

Half a cup of fresh orange juice

Half a cup of honey Jack Daniels

1 cup of brown sugar

1 tsps of ground ginger

Mix everything together thoroughly and baste the ham regularly using a brush.

To smoke

Alder woodchips

6 fresh bay leaves

 

CharBroil Big Easy

The luscious, thinly sliced ham


Recipe book review: Mountain Berries & Desert Spices

I’ve come to baking quite late in life and still find it quite miraculous! You mix wet and dry ingredients, stick them in the oven and hopefully end up with some delicious treat. Like magic!

Mountain Berries & Desert Spices by Sumayya Usmani offers a whole new range of baking opportunities as a journey through the sweet treats of Pakistan. Many and varied they are too. The book starts off with explanations of the exotic ingredients used and moves from delightful fruity dishes through puddings, biscuits, breads, pancakes, doughnuts, samosas, pastries.

The recipes are easy to follow and all the ingredients are readily available in the UK. If you can’t find them in the shops you will online. Here’s a beautiful recipe to tempt you.

And you can win your own copy of this marvellous book – I have two to give away. Find out how to enter below.

Cardamom and rose water marzipan lace

(Badam ki jail)

This Hyderabadi sweetmeat translates as ‘almond lace’ and the name conjures up visions of delicate white fairytale lace. It’s a festive sweet for celebrations and gifts. The art is in its making as the traditional methods are laborious and badam ki jail is always made in abundance. The mixture resembles marzipan, but it dries out quickly so you must work fast.

Preparation 30–40 minutes + overnight soaking

Cooking 10–15 minutes

Makes 8–10

The ingredients

1kg cups almonds with skin on

2 tsp rose water

1kg caster (superfine) sugar

4–6 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground

Butter, for greasing

500g icing (confectioners’) sugar, for rolling

To decorate

Edible silver or gold leaf

15g ground pistachios

The instructions

Soak the almonds in a bowl of water overnight. The next day, the skins should come off effortlessly.

Place the almonds in a food processor with the rose water and grind until they are very fine and paste-like, then place in a heavy-based saucepan and add the caster sugar and ground cardamom. Cook over a very low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and leaves the sides of the pan. Transfer the mixture to a greased glass dish, cover with clingfilm and allow to cool to the touch.

Now form the mixture into 2 balls. Roll each ball out as thinly as possible, dusting both the board and the rolling pin liberally with icing sugar. Using a 5–7.5cm/2–3-inch cookie cutter (flower shape is best) cut out 16–20 shapes. Divide the shapes into two equal groups. On one of the groups, cover the surface of the biscuits with silver or gold leaf. Then using a tiny cookie cutter (such as hearts), make holes in the middle of each shape in the second group. Place these on top of the silver or gold leaf covered ones.

Dust with ground pistachios and serve or store in an airtight container for 2–4 days.

Recipe extracted from Mountain Berries and Desert Spice by Sumayya Usmani, published by Frances Lincoln, an imprint of The Quarto Group. 

I’m regularly delving into this amazing book. First I made these lovely little sweet puff pastry biscuits called Bakar khani. Very simple, made from puff pastry sprinkled with ground cardamom, poppy seeds and sesame seeds. Sweet, spicy exoticness.

Win a copy of Mountain Berries and Desert Spice

The prize

Two copies of Mountain Berries & Desert Spice by Sumayya Usmani worth £20 each.

How to enter

Answer the following question in the comment section of Eating Covent Garden.

What country is the inspiration behind Mountain Berries & Desert Spice?

A India

B Morocco

C Pakistan

D Iran

Terms and conditions

Competition only for residents of the UK.

Closing date for entry will be Sunday 2 July 2017 at midnight.

The winner will be chosen at random after the closing date.

The winner will be notified by email.

No cash alternatives to the prize will be offered. The prize is not transferable.

The editor’s decision is final.