Good night, old man ...

With more years than I can remember, it is with a broken heart that I said goodbye to my little friend this evening. He passed away so peacefully without a stutter, released from pain and discomfort.

Run free, my old bear. Run free.

Fox. My friend.


Jamaican Mutton Curry

Throw aside all notions of time! Mutton Curry is not to be rushed ...

Jamaican Mutton Curry Jamaican Mutton Curry

Make up a big batch so that you have leftovers, but the general measurements I used were:

For the marinade:
600g Chopped/Diced Lamb, Mutton or Goat (Bones and all)
Spice Rub*
Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Scotch Bonnet Pepper
Ginger - Couple of slices
Garlic - Couple of cloves
Fresh Thyme
Cider Vinegar

For cooking:
Large Onion
Garlic - More cloves
Large Plum Tomato
400ml Coconut Milk

Put all the meat into a large bowl and pour over your spice mix (*turmeric, ground coriander and allspice, for me), enough to coat the meat. Use a little more if there are uncovered patches. Sea salt and black pepper now, give it a good massage.

Take a Scotch Bonnet pepper, cut in half and very carefully de-seed. Drop into the meat, along with a couple of cloves of garlic sliced in half, a couple of slices of fresh ginger and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Fold in together.

Slosh over some cider vinegar. Enough to get the meat wet, but not swimming.

Leave for 24 hours ...

Retrieve the Scotch bonnet pepper, the garlic, the ginger and the thyme.

Brown the meat in batches, transferring the meat to a large lidded ovenproof dish.

Chop the onion and blend with the retrieved garlic, ginger, a couple more cloves of garlic, perhaps a little more ginger, half of the Scotch Bonnet pepper and a chopped up plum tomato.

Fry off this mixture to take the rawness of it and pour in the can of coconut milk. Cook through for a few minutes and pour over the meat, rinsing out with water. Add further water to the bowl if necessary just to cover the meat.

Lid on and settle into an oven set on low for the day, say 125C for something like 6 hours.

About an hour before you want to eat, remove the lid, add a touch more allspice and some peeled and chopped potatoes in good sized chunks. Test for heat and drop the other half of the retrieved Scotch Bonnet pepper if so desired.

Raise the temperature to 180C and let it reduce for the hour, turning in the darkened top ever quarter of an hour, or so until well reduced and concentrated in flavour. Test for seasoning, adding sea salt to taste.

Ready to eat?

Serve out into a bowl and enjoy, perhaps with some Rice & Peas if you're so inclined.


Brinjal Katta (Aubergine & Fried Queen Fish)

I've had a jar of Sri Lankan Fried Queen Fish (Katta) is my cupboard for a few months and lacking inspiration, or really any kind of idea, it has sat there unopened ... until today.

Brinjal Katta

Ingredients read: Fried Queen Fish, Chillies, Salt, Vegetable Oil & Rampe.

Rampe, I gather, is a large leafy green much akin to spring greens or collard. Sadly, the ubiquitous vegetable oil is in there, but so be it. Upon tasting, it became apparent that the fish was rather rough and ready, flesh, skin and bone all in there - great for flavour, but it was going to need careful eating. It was also exceptionally salty! I was going to have to balance that out somehow ... and certainly not add any salt myself.

So, what to do?

I have an aubergine. Upon googling the matter, this jarred fried fish and aubergine is quite a popular Sri Lankan recipe and so after reading half a dozen, I set about with a decent idea of what I was going to do ...

Brinjal Katta


200g Fried Queen Fish (Katta)
Half Large Aubergine
Large Onion
Spice Mix*
200ml Coconut Milk
Black Pepper

* I went with turmeric, ground coriander, paprika, garlic powder, cumin & fenugreek


Melt some butter or ghee in a skillet. Slice up the onion and sauté on a low heat to caramelise. Sprinkle the spice mix over and leave to caramelise for maybe 15 mintues. Remove from the pan, blend and return to the pan.

Add cubed aubergine to the skillet, the jar of fish, some black pepper and the coconut milk, along with some water to cover. Stir in some tamarind - half a teaspoon will do. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

Ensure the dish is reduced and just before serving, squeeze in a little lime.