Apple and bacon salad with farmhouse cheese dressing
Two small heads of cos lettuce, broken into pieces; one apple, chopped; 50g (2 oz ) diced streaky bacon; one tablespoon of olive oil; squeeze of lemon juice and salt and black pepper.
Dressing: 125ml of soured cream; one tablespoon of cider; 50g of Cooleeney farmhouse cheese, chopped and a dash of cider vinegar.
Heat a pan, cook the apple and bacon in a small amount of olive oil. In a small saucepan heat the soured cream, cider, cheese and vinegar together until smooth and creamy.
Dress the lettuce with some of the oil and lemon juice and seasoning. Divide between four plates. Place the warm apples and bacon on top, then drizzle on the dressing — great with warm soda bread.
Beef casserole with cranberries and port
Two tablespoon of flour; two teaspoons of ground mace; salt and pepper; three kg of diced chuck beef, well trimmed; three tablespoons of oil; three large onions, chopped; four to five cloves garlic, chopped; four to five sticks of celery chopped; one tablespoon of whole grain mustard; glass of red wine; glass of port; 600ml beef stock; two to three bay leaves; two tablespoons of fresh oregano or thyme, chopped; 300g (approx ) cranberries.
A day ahead if possible, mix the spice mixture and rub over the beef, leave in the fridge overnight.
Mix the flour, mace and seasoning together. Toss the diced beef in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the beef, in batches. Then transfer to a large flameproof casserole dish. Add the onions, garlic and celery to the pan and sauté for three to four minutes, then add mustard and wine. Bring to the boil and reduce for a few minutes. Pour the lot over meat in the casserole. Add the port, stock, herbs and half the cranberries.
Cover and cook gently for approximately two hours until the meat is tender, or cook in the oven 180°C, 375°F, Gas Mark 4, for about the same time. Fifteen minutes before the end of cooking time add in the remaining cranberries. Check the seasoning before serving and garnish with sprigs of watercress and orange. Lovely with creamy mashed potatoes and crusty bread toasted and drizzled with olive oil and chopped herbs.