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Beef, Mushroom and Guinness Pie
My other pie experiment went incredibly well, I froze these for later and they didn’t last too long.  Forget making your own pastry, just get store bought, it wasn’t worth it.
Ingredients:
500g beef (I used an angus roast I got on sale), cut in 1 inch cubes)
1 tin of Guinness
1 large red onion, diced
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
3 portabello mushrooms, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/8 cup diced rosemary leaves
Olive oil
Salt, pepper and flour
Frozen shortcrust and puff pastry
In a bit of olive oil, season the meat with salt and pepper then sear the beef until brown on all sides.  Add in the carrots and mushroom and cook until soft.
In another pan, soften the onions in the butter, adding the rosemary towards the end.  Mix in the flour.
Toss it all in the slow cooker with the Guinness and let it cook for about 6-8 hours until the meat comes apart with a fork (or 30 minutes in the pressure cooker).  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and perhaps a bit more rosemary if you’d like.  Pull apart the meat slightly with forks so it’s a bit shredded, and reduce the Guinness until it forms a thicker gravy.  If it’s not working, or you’re getting impatient, mash together a bit of butter and flour then mix that in.  Bingo.
Cool completely, and fill individual pie tins with shortcrust pastry on the bottom, and top with puff pastry.  Seal well and freeze.  To reheat, bake for 45 minutes on high heat, until the sauce is bubbling out and the pastry is golden brown.

Beef, Mushroom and Guinness Pie

My other pie experiment went incredibly well, I froze these for later and they didn’t last too long.  Forget making your own pastry, just get store bought, it wasn’t worth it.

Ingredients:

  • 500g beef (I used an angus roast I got on sale), cut in 1 inch cubes)
  • 1 tin of Guinness
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 portabello mushrooms, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/8 cup diced rosemary leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper and flour
  • Frozen shortcrust and puff pastry

In a bit of olive oil, season the meat with salt and pepper then sear the beef until brown on all sides.  Add in the carrots and mushroom and cook until soft.

In another pan, soften the onions in the butter, adding the rosemary towards the end.  Mix in the flour.

Toss it all in the slow cooker with the Guinness and let it cook for about 6-8 hours until the meat comes apart with a fork (or 30 minutes in the pressure cooker).  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and perhaps a bit more rosemary if you’d like.  Pull apart the meat slightly with forks so it’s a bit shredded, and reduce the Guinness until it forms a thicker gravy.  If it’s not working, or you’re getting impatient, mash together a bit of butter and flour then mix that in.  Bingo.

Cool completely, and fill individual pie tins with shortcrust pastry on the bottom, and top with puff pastry.  Seal well and freeze.  To reheat, bake for 45 minutes on high heat, until the sauce is bubbling out and the pastry is golden brown.

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Chili Orange Sage Pork Belly with Braised Peaches and White Beans
Not to brag (only a little), this was the best pork belly I’ve made so far, and the beans went with it incredibly.  Not a ton of ingredients but they work really well together, and it only takes a few minutes to throw together.
Ingredients (pork belly):
1 pork belly
1 red chili, sliced
1 orange, juice and zest
10 sage leaves
3-4 star anise
Salt and pepper
Arrange the ingredients (except the pork) on the bottom of a glass pan that will fit the pork belly nicely, including the orange juice.  Score the skin of the belly about 1cm apart, not cutting the meat.  Place it meat side down in the pan, rub the skin liberally with salt, and chuck it in the fridge overnight.
When it’s time to cook, bring to room temperature (about 30 minutes) and pre-heat the oven to full heat.  Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 150C / 300F.  Cook for about an hour, then blast the heat again until the skin bubbles but not burns.  Let rest for 10 minutes in its own juices before serving.
Ingredients (white beans):
1 can of white beans, drained
1 cup of chicken stock (homemade, if you have it)
2 peaches, pitted and sliced thin
2 tbsp harissa or chili paste (or just mash some chili and garlic with cumin and coriander seeds)
1 red onion, sliced
1 punnet of grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
10 sage leaves, chopped
1 cup chopped flat parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil, salt and pepper
In a pan with a touch of oil, slowly caramelize the onions, about 10 minutes, until very soft.  Add the harissa paste and peaches, cooking for 5 minutes more.  Stir in the white beans, sage, and stock.  Reduce slightly before adding the tomatoes, then cook to a thicker sauce.  Add the parsley and lemon juice, cook 2 minutes more, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Chili Orange Sage Pork Belly with Braised Peaches and White Beans

Not to brag (only a little), this was the best pork belly I’ve made so far, and the beans went with it incredibly.  Not a ton of ingredients but they work really well together, and it only takes a few minutes to throw together.

Ingredients (pork belly):

  • 1 pork belly
  • 1 red chili, sliced
  • 1 orange, juice and zest
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 3-4 star anise
  • Salt and pepper

Arrange the ingredients (except the pork) on the bottom of a glass pan that will fit the pork belly nicely, including the orange juice.  Score the skin of the belly about 1cm apart, not cutting the meat.  Place it meat side down in the pan, rub the skin liberally with salt, and chuck it in the fridge overnight.

When it’s time to cook, bring to room temperature (about 30 minutes) and pre-heat the oven to full heat.  Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 150C / 300F.  Cook for about an hour, then blast the heat again until the skin bubbles but not burns.  Let rest for 10 minutes in its own juices before serving.

Ingredients (white beans):

  • 1 can of white beans, drained
  • 1 cup of chicken stock (homemade, if you have it)
  • 2 peaches, pitted and sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp harissa or chili paste (or just mash some chili and garlic with cumin and coriander seeds)
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 punnet of grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 10 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped flat parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper

In a pan with a touch of oil, slowly caramelize the onions, about 10 minutes, until very soft.  Add the harissa paste and peaches, cooking for 5 minutes more.  Stir in the white beans, sage, and stock.  Reduce slightly before adding the tomatoes, then cook to a thicker sauce.  Add the parsley and lemon juice, cook 2 minutes more, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

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Red Wine Lamb, White Bean and Fennel Pie
Don’t judge, I actually find making pie an incredibly enjoyable way to spend a Sunday.  I made two kinds, this one was really nice and for my first attempt at a rough puff pastry, it wasn’t too bad.  Really though, just use store bought.  It’s way easier.
Ingredients:
500g diced lamb
Juice of 2 lemons
1 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1 cup plus a good splash of red wine
1/4 cup chopped rosemary and thyme
1 tsp cumin
1 fennel bulb, small, diced
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
1 can of white beans, drained
Salt, pepper and olive oil
Frozen puff pastry, thawed
If you want to speed this up, use a pressure cooker.  If not, I’ll give you the slow cooking instructions.
Brown the lamb for 5 minutes in a splash of olive oil, then add the garlic, onion, fennel, and cumin, and saute for 5-10 minutes more, until the vegetables are soft.  Mash together the butter and flour with a fork, and mix into the pan.  Toss everything into the slow cooker with 1 cup of wine, juice of 1 lemon, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 6 hours, until the lamb is soft.
Next, add in the white beans, remaining lemon juice, and another hit of wine.  Cook on a medium heat for about 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is thick.  You may need to put it back into a pan for this (my slow cooker/pressure cooker has a saute setting, so it all just hangs out in there).
Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper accordingly.  Cool completely in the fridge.  Once cool, fill into individual pie pans with pastry on the top and bottom, and freeze.  To reheat, cook on 200C / 375F for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Once the inside is bubbling out a bit and the pastry is brown, it’s done.

Red Wine Lamb, White Bean and Fennel Pie

Don’t judge, I actually find making pie an incredibly enjoyable way to spend a Sunday.  I made two kinds, this one was really nice and for my first attempt at a rough puff pastry, it wasn’t too bad.  Really though, just use store bought.  It’s way easier.

Ingredients:

  • 500g diced lamb
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 cup plus a good splash of red wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped rosemary and thyme
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 fennel bulb, small, diced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 can of white beans, drained
  • Salt, pepper and olive oil
  • Frozen puff pastry, thawed

If you want to speed this up, use a pressure cooker.  If not, I’ll give you the slow cooking instructions.

Brown the lamb for 5 minutes in a splash of olive oil, then add the garlic, onion, fennel, and cumin, and saute for 5-10 minutes more, until the vegetables are soft.  Mash together the butter and flour with a fork, and mix into the pan.  Toss everything into the slow cooker with 1 cup of wine, juice of 1 lemon, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 6 hours, until the lamb is soft.

Next, add in the white beans, remaining lemon juice, and another hit of wine.  Cook on a medium heat for about 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is thick.  You may need to put it back into a pan for this (my slow cooker/pressure cooker has a saute setting, so it all just hangs out in there).

Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper accordingly.  Cool completely in the fridge.  Once cool, fill into individual pie pans with pastry on the top and bottom, and freeze.  To reheat, cook on 200C / 375F for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Once the inside is bubbling out a bit and the pastry is brown, it’s done.

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Rib Eye Steak with Anchovy Butter, Pea Fritters and Salsa
I think I’ve finally perfected this steak, and managed to find a steak butter recipe that I really like.  I went a bit heavier on the herbs, but I made the butter according to this recipe and still have some in my freezer for next time.
The bone-in rib eye steak was 600g, and I seasoned it with salt and pepper then seared in a hot pan with 2 tablespoons of butter for 3 minutes on each side, until there was a dark crust on the outside.  When the pan starts to smoke, add a touch of olive oil.
Pop that into the oven at 175C/325F for 15 minutes until the internal temperature comes up to 48C.  Take it out of the oven and let rest on a plate until the temperature is 52C (medium rare).
I served this with a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s app.  I’ve made pea fritters before but usually not with this sort of batter.  It was much nicer actually, but I kicked his up with a bit of hot sauce and lemon zest in the batter.

Rib Eye Steak with Anchovy Butter, Pea Fritters and Salsa

I think I’ve finally perfected this steak, and managed to find a steak butter recipe that I really like.  I went a bit heavier on the herbs, but I made the butter according to this recipe and still have some in my freezer for next time.

The bone-in rib eye steak was 600g, and I seasoned it with salt and pepper then seared in a hot pan with 2 tablespoons of butter for 3 minutes on each side, until there was a dark crust on the outside.  When the pan starts to smoke, add a touch of olive oil.

Pop that into the oven at 175C/325F for 15 minutes until the internal temperature comes up to 48C.  Take it out of the oven and let rest on a plate until the temperature is 52C (medium rare).

I served this with a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s app.  I’ve made pea fritters before but usually not with this sort of batter.  It was much nicer actually, but I kicked his up with a bit of hot sauce and lemon zest in the batter.

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Orange Chili Duck with Cabbage Pasta and Anchovy Breadcrumbs
The pasta is based slightly off this recipe, the best bit being the delicious albeit weird sounding anchovy breadcrumbs.  They’re amazing and would work in quite a lot of dishes to add a bit of crunch and salt, and only take 5 minutes to make.
My version of the pasta used a different type of cabbage and likely wasn’t nearly as nice as that recipe, so I suggest you just make that.  The breadcrumbs recipe though, I will copy over, as you can put them on anything.
Ingredients (duck):
1 orange, zest and whole orange in half
Sea salt
1 red chili, chopped
2kg whole duck
In a mortar and pestle, mash the zest, salt, and chili.  Spread and massage this into the skin of the duck.  Put the orange halves in the duck cavity, and tie the legs shut with some butchers twine.  Cook at 180C / 350F for about an hour, until the skin is crispy.  If it’s not crispy yet, crank the oven and cook for 10 minutes more.
Ingredients (anchovy breadcrumbs, from the New York Times):
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
4 anchovies
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 tbsp butter
Melt the butter and add the anchovies.  Cook and mash until you had a paste, then add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.  Add in the breadcrumbs and coat with the butter.  Cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally.  Serve with absolutely anything.

Orange Chili Duck with Cabbage Pasta and Anchovy Breadcrumbs

The pasta is based slightly off this recipe, the best bit being the delicious albeit weird sounding anchovy breadcrumbs.  They’re amazing and would work in quite a lot of dishes to add a bit of crunch and salt, and only take 5 minutes to make.

My version of the pasta used a different type of cabbage and likely wasn’t nearly as nice as that recipe, so I suggest you just make that.  The breadcrumbs recipe though, I will copy over, as you can put them on anything.

Ingredients (duck):

  • 1 orange, zest and whole orange in half
  • Sea salt
  • 1 red chili, chopped
  • 2kg whole duck

In a mortar and pestle, mash the zest, salt, and chili.  Spread and massage this into the skin of the duck.  Put the orange halves in the duck cavity, and tie the legs shut with some butchers twine.  Cook at 180C / 350F for about an hour, until the skin is crispy.  If it’s not crispy yet, crank the oven and cook for 10 minutes more.

Ingredients (anchovy breadcrumbs, from the New York Times):

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 4 anchovies
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter

Melt the butter and add the anchovies.  Cook and mash until you had a paste, then add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.  Add in the breadcrumbs and coat with the butter.  Cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally.  Serve with absolutely anything.

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Lamb Rump Roast with Lentils
After a few weeks getting food at the pub while the oven’s been broken, and a terribly inconvenient case of bronchitis over New Years, I’ve gotten back into cooking.  The lentils, we won’t talk about.  They didn’t go so well.  But, in general, lentils of some sort would be great with this roast.
Last time I made this, I had two smaller rumps, and it worked out great.  This was a bit larger, enough for 2, but I still marinated for 24 hours prior and that really makes a big difference.  The recipe is only altered slightly, and it’s served with greek yogurt that’s been blended with some mint and jalepeno for a bit of kick.
Ingredients (lamb):
1 lamb rump roast (enough for 2 people)
1/2 cup thyme
1/2 cup oregano
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, diced
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Mix the ingredients and toss into a tupperware to marinade overnight.  Remove lamb from marinade, and set the herbs aside.  Get an oven-proof pan smoking hot, add a bit of olive oil, and sear the fatty side of the lamb for about 5 minutes, until it’s starting to get really brown and burned.  Flip it over, toss the marinade into the pan around the lamb, and bake for 30 minutes at 175C / 350F.  Remove when the internal temperature is 50C, let rest for 5 minutes or until the temperature comes to 55C.  Slice and serve on lentils.

Lamb Rump Roast with Lentils

After a few weeks getting food at the pub while the oven’s been broken, and a terribly inconvenient case of bronchitis over New Years, I’ve gotten back into cooking.  The lentils, we won’t talk about.  They didn’t go so well.  But, in general, lentils of some sort would be great with this roast.

Last time I made this, I had two smaller rumps, and it worked out great.  This was a bit larger, enough for 2, but I still marinated for 24 hours prior and that really makes a big difference.  The recipe is only altered slightly, and it’s served with greek yogurt that’s been blended with some mint and jalepeno for a bit of kick.

Ingredients (lamb):

  • 1 lamb rump roast (enough for 2 people)
  • 1/2 cup thyme
  • 1/2 cup oregano
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Mix the ingredients and toss into a tupperware to marinade overnight.  Remove lamb from marinade, and set the herbs aside.  Get an oven-proof pan smoking hot, add a bit of olive oil, and sear the fatty side of the lamb for about 5 minutes, until it’s starting to get really brown and burned.  Flip it over, toss the marinade into the pan around the lamb, and bake for 30 minutes at 175C / 350F.  Remove when the internal temperature is 50C, let rest for 5 minutes or until the temperature comes to 55C.  Slice and serve on lentils.

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2012 Recipe Roundup
That’s it for me this year.  Here are my favorites from 2012:
Best way to spend a RAINY DAY: Pulled Pork with Cannellini Beans, Butternut Squash and Tomato
Best HANGOVER cure: Arepas with Black Beans, Haloumi and Avocado
Best way to make your COWORKERS jealous: Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes, Almonds, Cilantro and Red Pepper
Best INVENTION: Grape, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Egg Pizza
Best CELEBRITY CHEF recipe: Neil Perry’s Chicken Stuffed with Garlic and Coriander
Best dinner for ONE: Pan Roasted Chicken with Pesto
Best LEFTOVERS: Balsamic and Pomegranate Short Ribs with Bacon, Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomato Trofil
Best way to make your friends HATE you: Smoked Salmon Dip in Cucumber Cups
Best BRUNCH at home: Sage Toad in the Hole with Tomato and Avocado
Best dish made with a WEIRD cut of meat: Master Stock Beef Cheeks with Spicy Rhubarb Sauce, Orange Salt, and Braised Fennel
Best SIDE dish: Saffron Sweet Potato Fries with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce
What have I missed?

2012 Recipe Roundup

That’s it for me this year.  Here are my favorites from 2012:

Best way to spend a RAINY DAY:
Pulled Pork with Cannellini Beans, Butternut Squash and Tomato

Best HANGOVER cure: Arepas with Black Beans, Haloumi and Avocado

Best way to make your COWORKERS jealous: Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes, Almonds, Cilantro and Red Pepper

Best INVENTION: Grape, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Egg Pizza

Best CELEBRITY CHEF recipe: Neil Perry’s Chicken Stuffed with Garlic and Coriander

Best dinner for ONE: Pan Roasted Chicken with Pesto

Best LEFTOVERS: Balsamic and Pomegranate Short Ribs with Bacon, Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomato Trofil

Best way to make your friends HATE you: Smoked Salmon Dip in Cucumber Cups

Best BRUNCH at home: Sage Toad in the Hole with Tomato and Avocado

Best dish made with a WEIRD cut of meat: Master Stock Beef Cheeks with Spicy Rhubarb Sauce, Orange Salt, and Braised Fennel

Best SIDE dish: Saffron Sweet Potato Fries with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce

What have I missed?

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Drunken British Bucket Turkey
Or otherwise known as Orange Bourbon Tea Brined Turkey roasted with Molasses Bourbon Orange Butter.
Just… wow.
Anyway, follow the directions here for the brine, then follow these easy steps to inject your turkey full of goodness to bake.
Ingredients:
Brined turkey
1 stick of butter
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup molasses
Cayenne pepper
Salt
2 springs of rosemary
2 bay leaves
Put the butter, orange zest, half the orange juice, bourbon, molasses, cayenne pepper, and salt in a blender.  This works better if the butter is at room temperature, but whatever.  Blend.  It may not combine entirely, but that’s ok.  Refrigerate it for a bit if you need to.
Make a pocket under the turkey skin, and mash the butter mixture all up in there.  Put 1 bay leaf and 1 sprig of rosemary on each side, over the breast.  Squeeze the remaining orange juice over the skin, and season the outside, and the cavity of the bird, with salt and pepper.  Stuff the orange rind into the cavity, and bake for however long a bird of the size you have needs to bake.  Cover it for the first 3/4 then remove the cover for the last 1/4.  Let it rest for 30 minutes, covered, before serving.

Drunken British Bucket Turkey

Or otherwise known as Orange Bourbon Tea Brined Turkey roasted with Molasses Bourbon Orange Butter.

Just… wow.

Anyway, follow the directions here for the brine, then follow these easy steps to inject your turkey full of goodness to bake.

Ingredients:

  • Brined turkey
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 springs of rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves

Put the butter, orange zest, half the orange juice, bourbon, molasses, cayenne pepper, and salt in a blender.  This works better if the butter is at room temperature, but whatever.  Blend.  It may not combine entirely, but that’s ok.  Refrigerate it for a bit if you need to.

Make a pocket under the turkey skin, and mash the butter mixture all up in there.  Put 1 bay leaf and 1 sprig of rosemary on each side, over the breast.  Squeeze the remaining orange juice over the skin, and season the outside, and the cavity of the bird, with salt and pepper.  Stuff the orange rind into the cavity, and bake for however long a bird of the size you have needs to bake.  Cover it for the first 3/4 then remove the cover for the last 1/4.  Let it rest for 30 minutes, covered, before serving.

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Bacon, Thyme and Mushroom Stuffing
We’re now two steps removed from the original recipe I based last years stuffing recipe off of.  I forgot how different the types of things you can get in New York are, but this is ‘same same but different’.  Crispy salty meat, mushrooms, and herbs.
Ingredients:
10 cooked American bacon strips, broken into pieces
1 big loaf of ciabatta, cut into half in cubes
1 cup of chicken stock
3 tablespoons chopped dried chanterelle mushrooms, soaked in the stock
2 cups chopped baby bella mushrooms
2 carrots, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped thyme
2 sticks of butter
Salt and pepper
Melt a stick of butter, and soften the onions in it.  Add the carrots, celery, and baby bella mushrooms.  Cook until soft and season with the thyme, salt and pepper.  Melt in the other stick of butter, then add the bread and toss to coat.  Pour over the stock with the dried mushrooms.  Mix well, add the bacon, and stir through.  Pop into a casserole dish, and bake for 20-30 minutes at 200C / 375F.

Bacon, Thyme and Mushroom Stuffing

We’re now two steps removed from the original recipe I based last years stuffing recipe off of.  I forgot how different the types of things you can get in New York are, but this is ‘same same but different’.  Crispy salty meat, mushrooms, and herbs.

Ingredients:

  • 10 cooked American bacon strips, broken into pieces
  • 1 big loaf of ciabatta, cut into half in cubes
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dried chanterelle mushrooms, soaked in the stock
  • 2 cups chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped thyme
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • Salt and pepper

Melt a stick of butter, and soften the onions in it.  Add the carrots, celery, and baby bella mushrooms.  Cook until soft and season with the thyme, salt and pepper.  Melt in the other stick of butter, then add the bread and toss to coat.  Pour over the stock with the dried mushrooms.  Mix well, add the bacon, and stir through.  Pop into a casserole dish, and bake for 20-30 minutes at 200C / 375F.

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