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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Seckel Pear and Colston Bassett Stilton Cheese with Wine

Seckle Pear
An 18th-century Pennsylvania farmer (for whom it was named) is credited with introducing the Seckel pear. It is a small, rosy fruit with a sweet, spicy flavor. The Seckel's firm flesh makes it excellent for both cooking and canning. It's available late August through December. It is often called the sugar pear.
The Seckel pear is tremendously tasty and sweet and is the super-star of tasty pears.

Colston Bassett Blue Stilton is certainly one of the finest Blue Stilton you can buy. Known for its consistent high quality and the subtle salty twang brought on by the blue veining. Established in 1913, Colston Bassett has been producing one of England’s finest blue Stilton for a hundred years.
This is the simplest of deserts but certainly one of my favorites. When you taste a sweet, juicy, ripe pear or smell its aroma, it is easy to see why this fruit has been prized for thousands of years. Poets extol the pear’s flavor and beauty and artists celebrate its classic shape and brilliant colors.

Homer, a Greek poet from the eighth century BC, called pears a “gift of the gods,” and many cooks today agree. Pears are incredibly versatile. They are a welcome addition to entrees, breads, salads, appetizers and desserts and are delicious fresh or cooked in a variety of ways.
Colston Bassett Blue Stilton

Pears take on a new character when combined with cheese and wine. The flavor, scent, and texture of each pear variety enhances both wine and cheese flavors, which is why this classic trio holds a place of honor on tables around the world.

Wine choice is up to you: Suggested wine: Sauvignon blanc, Viognier, Gewurztraminer, emerald Riesling, fume blanc, Beaujolais Nouveau.

Lancashire Hotpot

Meat and potatoes are a classic combination, beloved for its rustic charm but also for its comforting heartiness. The British version of meat and potatoes called Lancashire Hotpot. This dish has everything that we crave: hearty potatoes with a golden crispy top, stewed beef in creamy gravy, and lots of onions and carrots.

2 Pounds lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and sinew and cut into cubes
4 lambs kidneys, cleaned, trimmed, cut into quarters
1/4 Cup All-purpose flour
3 Ounces rendered lard plus more for brushing the potatoes
2 Large Spanish onions, sliced
1 Cup finely chopped celery
1 Large carrot, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
1 3/4 Cups chicken broth
8 Ounces sliced fresh Cremini mushrooms
2 Teaspoons dried herbs (sage, rosemary, and thyme)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon Kitchen bouquet
2 Bay leaves
White and black Pepper
3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 325°F. Oil casserole with olive oil. Heat the lard in a large frying pan.

Flour meat and shake off excess. Fry quickly on all sides until brown. Remove meat and line casserole.

Add a bit of additional lard, add sliced onions, chopped celery and carrot to pan and cook until onions begin to clear.

Place vegetables atop of meat.

Sprinkle remaining flour in frying pan and cook, stirring constantly until light brown.
Gradually pour in stock and stir until mixture comes to the boil. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper, herbs, bay leaves, Kitchen bouquet and Worcestershire sauce; simmering until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Correct the seasonings1 and pour over meat and vegetables.

Place overlapping slices of potato to carpet the meat and vegetables. Salt and pepper the potatoes. Cover casserole dish with lid and place in the preheated oven.

Cook for one hour and 40 minutes or  more until the meat is tender. Turn up the oven to 400 F. Remove lid, brush potatoes with lard then continue cooking until potatoes are golden browned. Serve hot.


  1. Correct the seasoning could include a touch of vinegar, a teaspoon of sugar, more pepper (including red pepper), some port or Madeira. The gravy should jolly well taste great!