What's a little rain...? Compared to last week in the freezing cold (and it was freezing) a little rain is almost pleasant!
I have a large piece of pork from Havoc and i will be slow cooking it with plenty of vegetables it smells delicious!  I will be making silverbeet and jerusalem artichoke tart which is such a fabulous combination.  I will also be making a wicked slice made with almonds, brown sugar and filled with large plump gooseberries it makes a wonderful pudding also.

Wrap up warm and i will see you all soon.


Serves 4-6

500g shortcrust pastry

600g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut ½ cm rounds

250g Silver beet, washed and drained,
4 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp fresh rosemary leaves finely chopped
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
175ml cream
70g crème fraiche or sour cream
2 medium eggs
150g cheese (curds, feta, cheddar or gruyere), broken into pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Lightly oil a 23 cm loose bottom tin.

Line the tin with the pastry ensuring that you don’t stretch it into the tin (it will shrink) allow enough pastry to overhang the tin. The excess will be trimmed later. Prick the base with a fork and rest the pastry case in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 170C

Bake blind the pastry case by lining it with a round of greaseproof paper and fill it with dried beans or rice. Bake for 35 minutes, remove the paper and beans and continue to bake for a further 5 minutes or until the dough has coloured lightly and cooked through. Remove and cool.

Meanwhile prepare the filling by cooking the artichokes in cold, lightly salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain and leave to cool.

Separate the silver beet leaves from the stalks. Roughly cut both but keep separate as they take different times to cook. Heat the oil in a large frying pan add the stalks and fry for 2 minutes, add the leaves and rosemary and continue to cook for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, seasoning and garlic.

Whisk together the cream, crème fraiche and eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread the artichokes over the base of the pastry shell, scatter over the silverbeet (leaves and stalks) and finally place bits of cheese around the tart. Pour the custard over top and bake for 15 minutes, cover with foil and bake for a further 30-40 minutes or until the filling is set.

Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Break or cut off the overhanging pastry and discard.

Great served warm.


serves 4

1.5 kg good quality pork, boned and skin removed leaving a small amount of fat.
3 fresh sage leaves

3 litres water

4 carrots, peeled
6 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
1 bouquet garni - made with 2 bay leaves, 2 sage leaves, 1 rosemary sprig and 1 marjoram sprig, tied together.
2 celery sticks, cut into 7.5 cm lengths and tied together in a bundle
4 shallots, peeled but left whole
2 leeks, cut into 7.5 cm lengths
1/2 savoy cabbage, cut in 4, with the core left in to hold leaves together
4 medium potatoes, such as desiree, peeled and cut into quarters
a handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preparing the pork: Place the pork fat side down and season the flesh with pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper. Lay the sage leaves in a line along the centre, then take the thickest part of the pork and roll it up as tightly as possible. Tie the string around the belly tightly; repeat 5 or 6 times so the meat holds tightly.

If your pork is already rolled then simply season lightly.

Browning the meat: On a medium heat, in a large non-stick frying pan, without oil or butter, fry the rolled pork belly for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown all over.

Braising the pork: Place the pork belly in a large casserole dish. Pour in the water and bring to the boil over a high heat. With a ladle, skim off any impurities that rise to the surface. Lower the heat and cook on a gentle simmer for 1 hour. Fast cooking would make the meat very tough.

Cooking the vegetables: Add the carrots, garlic and bouquet garni and cook for a further 30 minutes. Then add all the remaining ingredients except for the parsley and cook for 1 hour longer, until the meat and vegetables are tender. Stir in the parsley, adjust the seasoning and serve with the vegetables on the bottom of a large dish and slice the pork and arrange on top. Pour over the broth and serve the large platter with all the goodies directly at the table.


250g chilled butter , chopped
250g self-raising flour
125g ground almonds
125g light muscovado sugar or brown sugar

350g gooseberries , fresh or frozen
85g caster sugar , plus extra
50g flaked almonds


Heat oven to 190C. Line a 27 x 18cm baking tin with baking parchment.

Rub the butter into the flour, almonds and sugar to make crumbs, then firmly press two-thirds onto the base and sides of the tin. Toss the gooseberries with the caster sugar, then scatter over the top.

Mix the flaked almonds into the remaining crumbs, then scatter over the gooseberries. Bake for 50 mins-1 hr until golden and the fruit is bubbling a little around the edges. Dredge with caster sugar, then cool in the tin. Cut into about 8 squares and enjoy with a cup of tea or serve as a pudding with custard or cream.


2-3 lemons - unwaxed

90g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
200g caster sugar

3 large free-range eggs


Grate the rind of the lemons and put into a bowl along with the sugar and the strained lemon juice. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

Place over a pot of simmering water add the butter and stir until it dissolves with the juice of the lemon.

Whisk the eggs and pour them through a sieve directly into the lemon mixture. Stir steadily until the mixture thickens. DO NOT ALLOW IT TO BOIL.

Pour the curd into a clean jar or pot and cover and chill in fridge for up to a week.







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