Elderflower Cordial

image

Such a simple drink to make, using only 5 ingredients.  Elderflowers are synonymous with the start of the British summer and are in season for such a short spell of time, that it’s a shame to waste those fragrant blossoms when making cordial from them is such a simple thing to do.

Elderflower Cordial

You need to pick the elderflowers on a warm, dry day, allowing any dew to evaporate before picking. Make sure that you only pick heads that have just opened and are still the beautiful creamy colour, without any of the flowers starting to turn brown. Find a nice country lane or hedgerow, away from busy traffic routs that could taint and the delicate blossoms with chemicals.

  • 1.5 litres water
  • 2kg granulated sugar
  • 2 Lemons
  • 20 Elderflower heads
  • 85g Citric acid
  1. Pick the heads and very gently shake any bugs free from them.
  2. In a large saucepan, add the water and the sugar.  Gently heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Using a potato peeler, pare the lemon zest from the lemons and slice the lemons into ½cm thick rounds.

Elderflower Cordial

4. In a large bowl, add some cold, clean water and gently swish the elderflower heads to remove any remaining insects.  VERY GENTLY shake the excess water off them.

5. Snip the elderflowers from the stalks (to leave too much stalk on them can leave a bitter taste).

Elderflower Cordial

6. Bring the water and sugar syrup to a boil and turn off the heat.

7. To the sugar syrup, add the elderflower heads, lemon zest, lemon rounds and citric acid.  Stir well.

8. Place the lid onto the saucepan and leave, covered and undisturbed, for 24 hours.

9. Line a colander with two layers of muslin and drain the cordial through into a clean bowl.

10. Squeeze the muslin to extract all of that delicious cordial. Discard the lemons and elderflowers.

11. Pour the cordial into clean, sterilised Kilner bottles.

Elderflower Cordial

This will keep for up to about 6 weeks in the fridge.  You can also freeze the cordial in ice cube trays/bags for use later.

To sterilise the bottles, you can either wash them and dry them, upside down in a warm oven, or wash them through your dishwasher cycle.

Jersey Royals with Minted Lamb Leg Steaks

image

My other recipe using Jersey Royal potatoes is more of a traditional one.  For this one, they’re gently boiled and then roasted to perfection, served with Chantenay carrots and deliciously lean New Zealand lamb leg steaks, slowly cooked in a rich Barolo red wine and mint sauce.

Jersey Royals with Asda

  • 1 lemon, zest & juice
  • 1 lamb leg steak per person
  • 10ml Rapeseed oil
  • 2 Red onions, chopped finely
  • 10ml Plain flour
  • 15ml Mint sauce concentrate
  • 250ml Barolo red wine
  • 100ml Vegetable stock
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Rapeseed oil sufficient to roast the potatoes
  • Jersey Royal potatoes
  • Chantenay carrots
  • Broccoli
  1. Zest the lemon and squeeze the lemon juice over the lamb steaks. Toss to coat, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours to start to tenderise the meat.
  2. Heat the oven to 180℃/160℃ fan.
  3. In a large ovenproof pan (with a lid), heat the oil and fry the onions gently until transparent.
  4. Turn up the heat and fry the lamb leg steaks until browned on both sides. Remove the lamb to a plate to keep warm.
  5. Evenly sprinkle the flour over the onions and oil and mix thoroughly to a paste (no floury lumps).
  6. Slowly add the red wine and vegetable stock, stirring constantly, to prevent lumps forming.
  7. Add the mint sauce concentrate and stir through, then add the bay leaf.
  8. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes until slightly reduced.  Season to taste.
  9. Return the lamb steaks to the pan, stir to coat and then cover with the lid. Place in the oven to cook.
  10. Add the Jersey Royals to a large pan of salted water, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  11. Increase the oven temperature to 200℃, and place a roasting dish with oil in to heat up.
  12. Drain the potatoes and gently add these to the hot oil, toss to coat evenly and return to the oven for 30-40 minutes.
  13. Scrub the carrots, then slice them vertically from top to bottom.
  14. Steam the carrots over a pan of boiling water, adding the prepared broccoli florets for the last 10 minutes until both vegetables are cooked to taste.
  15. Serve the roasted Jersey Royals with the vegetables and a lamb leg steak each.

Jersey Royals with Asda

This recipe is cooked in collaboration with Asda and Jersey Royals to highlight the versatility and great flavour of Jersey Royal potatoes.

 

Valentines Cocktails & Mocktails – Strawberry inspired Bellini

image

Christmas is over, and in a flash, I see all that is romantic and lovely in the shops awaiting the lovers of this world to embrace the season.  Not to be outdone by the festivities, even though I’ve been with my husband for *cough* 32 years this year (I know, I know; I don’t look it do I, but I was VERY young when we met! HAHA!) I jumped at the challenge work with the Central England Co-Operative and create a Valentine’s Day Cocktail (or non alcoholic Mocktail).   What I did end up with is one very tasty and very versatile drink which can be made either way, to your preference. Just a few simple ingredients and you have a delicious drink to toast your loved one.  Here’s how:

One Bottle of Cava (Sparkling Elderflower and White Grape juice for the non-alcohlic version).  Alternatively you could choose a bottle of Prosecco.

1 Lemon

One punnet of strawberries

A little bit of caster sugar

image

Chill your Cava (or Elderflower and Grape juice) until very cold.

Using a very sharp knife (I love mine from I.O.Shen), slice up 6 ripe, juicy strawberries and add these to a mini blender with a squeeze of lemon juice and 2tsp caster sugar.

image

Blitz until you get a smooth syrup.

image
Pour the strawberry syrup into a champagne flute up to about 1/3 of a glass.

image

Top up with Cava (Elderflower and White Grape juice).

image

Slice a strawberry to decorate your glass.  It’s always pretty to leave the leaves and stalk on as decoration, don’t you think?

image

Enjoy with a cheeky square (or several) of Co-Operative Fair Trade Truly Irresistable Ghana milk chocolate with toffee and red Himalayan Salt.

image

Much love and cheers to you all!
imageRosie xx

I was provided with vouchers from the Central England Co-Operative to purchase the ingredients to create my cocktail/mocktail.