Our farm, Quinta do Cobral in Central Portugal, has become more and more productive over the years since we have been living here permanently. We now have animals - pigs, ducks, chickens although we no longer have goats. We also have a productive vegetable garden as well as a desert grape and kiwi arbour, fruit trees, olive trees and a very good vineyard, successfully using the grapes to make our own wine. All this lovely produce is for our own table, enabling us to become more sustainable in our life here. I have collected a good range of tried and tested recipes using our lovely, home produced ingredients and I’m excited to share some of them with you. Please note - we are not vegetarian, our happy animals are kept in the best free range conditions, killed humanely and processed with respect and dignity on our farm for our own consumption. Click on the recipe link to take you to a printable recipe for your use.
Fesenjan (Pomegranate chicken)
This delicious dish was first made on the Quinta by Edd and Ruby, two lovely volunteers from Devon, England. Edd is a wonderful and inventive chef, he found this Persian dish after picking our first ever pomegranates. It takes time to cook but it is really worth the effort, the resulting chicken is sweet, rich, sticky and very moreish.
Aubergines grow so well here, the soil is perfect and the hot summer sun makes sure they are large and fleshy. Each year we get about 3 crops from the same plants too so this recipe is a summer essential. Usually cooked in our outdoor oven this recipe is very forgiving, it can be left, frozen, cut into portions for later or just eaten as it is, straight from the oven, hot and bubbling. Serve with green salad for a vegetarian treat.
Pattypan Squash stuffed with pork and feta cheese
Delicious and juicy these little golden courgettes are so easy to grow, picked tiny they are lovely just pan fried on their own with olive oil and garlic but when you have so many there are always a few that escape and grow quite big! this is the perfect recipe for using them up. Leave out the bacon and pork mince if you want to make these vegetarian, you could add some different chopped vegetables to the mixture instead.
Wiltshire Brine Cure for homemade bacon
Strong flavourings such as spices, cider, beer, hops and sugar have been added to a basic salt and water brine in many areas of the UK to make the distinctive bacon and ham that has a wonderful bittersweet flavour. This flavour is often enhanced by smoking as well to produce a rich and delicious tasting bacon. Even if you don’t have your own pigs making your own bacon is not difficult - just buy a large piece of pork belly or leg and use this brine as a cure. The quantities of this recipe will easily cure a belly piece, half a leg or a hock, for a large leg you may need to double the recipe. I always prefer this method of curing rather than using just dried salt.