Selby Cuisine

Lamb and Apricot Tagine

Lamb and Apricot TagineAfter the thunder storms a couple of weeks ago our apricot tree is shedding an early harvest of slightly battered looking fruits. They are fine to eat and essentially ripe, they just look slightly worse for wear. So armed with several pounds of slightly misshaped fruit it's time to find a recipe and here it is:-


1kg diced lamb shoulder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
3 onions
4 cloves of garlic
60g sultanas
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp saffron stamens
750ml stock
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
350g apricots
a preserved lemon
a handful of coriander leaves
a handful of sliced almonds
a small handful of mint leaves


Mix the cubed lamb in half the ground spices and leave for at least four hours. Overnight would be ideal.

Set the oven at 160C/gas mark 3. Warm the olive oil in a deep, heavy-based casserole or tagine if you have one and add the seasoned meat in small batches. Remove when it is browned nicely on all sides. Peel and roughly chop the onions, then peel and finely slice the garlic. Add to the pan with the remaining spices and allow to soften and colour lightly. Stir regularly over a moderate heat so that the spices flavour the onions but do not burn. 

Add the sultanas, honey, saffron stamens, stock, tomatoes and apricots, then return the meat to the pan. Bring to the boil, season with salt and black pepper, then cover with a lid and place in the oven. Cook for two and a half hours.

Cut the preserved lemon in half and discard the interior pulp. Finely chop the skin and stir into the tagine. Lift out the meat with a draining spoon and boil the sauce over a high heat until it is reduced and thick, then stir in the roughly torn coriander and mint leaves. Return the meat to the sauce and serve. Sprinkle the almonds and serve.

Scallops with Black Pudding – A fresh take on a fusion classic

A dish I noticed yesterday posted on the Web by Delilah's in Selby was very reminiscent of a fusion classic which has become a favourite at home.

The Delilah's version was pan seared scallops with black pudding and mizuna pesto, which on this occasion they had served as a main course. The photograph caused much salivation and I'm sure the dish was exquisite. The sweetness of scallops balances very well with spiced or fragrant meats and the subtle texture is a great counterpoint to the texture of firm meats.

Scallops with Black Pudding – A fresh take on a fusion classic

The version we often enjoy at home we server as a starter, but I'm sure it would create the perfect foundation for a main course.

Pan seared Scallops and Chorizo served we a pea greens salad.


110 grams chorizo
400 grams small scallops (halve them to make 2 thinner discs if they are very fat)
Juice of ½ lemon
1 bag of pea greens
Balsamic vinegar


Slice the chorizo into rounds no thicker than 3mm / 1/8 inch.
Heat a heavy-based pan on the hob and, when hot, dry-fry the chorizo round until crisped on either side (the chorizo will give out plenty of its own oil); this should take no more than 2 minutes.
Remove the chorizo to a bowl and fry the scallops in the chorizo-oil for about 1 minute a side.
Return the chorizo to the pan with the scallops, add the lemon juice and let bubble for a few seconds before arranging and serving. Garnish with the pea greens dressed with a little balsamic vinegar.

Perhaps you have your own take on this recipe? Feel free to add it in the comments!

The Parsonage Hotel and Spa

The Parsonage Country House Hotel . Escrick . York. YO19 6LF Ideal for that special occasionThe Parsonage Hotel and Spa is set in six acres of beautiful formal gardens and woodland, only a short drive from the historic city of York. Built in the early 1840's the building maintains many of its original features. We also have the award winning Lascelles Restaurant, a beautiful Conservatory and elegant Lounges. We have recently added The Cloisters Spa, for added luxury. The Parsonage Hotel is perfect for that special mid week or weekend get away. We are also a popular venue for conferences, weddings, and banquets. You can also enjoy a round of golf at the 18 hole Swallow Hall pay & play golf club only 5 min drive away.

Banqueting and Private Dining at The Parsonage

For that special occasion opt for private dining, this will ensure that your gathering is made even more enjoyable. The Parsonage Country House Hotel can cater for a variety of functions including Christenings, Retirement Party's, Birthday Celebrations, Charity Balls, Dinner Dances, Wedding Anniversaries, Family get-together's and much more... Choose from one of our three beautiful rooms to enjoy a night of fantastic food in the privacy of your own four walls and spend the evening as you please.

The Wenlock Room

The Wenlock Room in the original Old House, seating up to twenty four people, this room has a traditional dining room feel to it.

The Crystal Suite

The Crystal Suite gives you a room with a difference, the party room. With two fully windowed walls giving a conservatory feel and enjoying fantastic views onto our beautiful gardens. Invite up to 150 guests eat and drink the night away.

The Pirus

The Pirus, situated in our Coach House is a modern, yet traditional styled room, with patio doors direct into the walled gardens ideal for drinks on the lawn prior to your meal, and seating up to 80 guests is a great room for those family celebrations.

Chicken Sausage with Potatoes & Sauerkraut

Chicken Sausage with Potatoes & SauerkrautHere’s our weeknight version of choucroute garni, “dressed sauerkraut,” made with chicken sausage. Serve with roasted carrots and maybe some mustard to spread on the sausage.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 links cooked chicken sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 medium potatoes, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 1/2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 bay leaf

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add potatoes, sauerkraut, wine, pepper, caraway seeds and bay leaf; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Yorkshire Day – Jazz Garden Party at Middlethorpe Hall

Yorkshire Day – Jazz Garden Party at Middlethorpe HallFriday 1st August - Yorkshire Day – Jazz Garden Party at Middlethorpe Hall

Celebrate God's Own County with an afternoon in the very heart of it! Listen to jazz on the terrace and enjoy afternoon tea delights designed by the chefs at Middlethorpe Hall. This event will take place in the Drawing Room should the weather be inclement.

Middlethorpe Hall is a William and Mary country house, built in 1699 of mellow red brick with limestone dressings, for Thomas Barlow, a master cutler from Sheffield. It was bought in the 1980s and reopened as a luxury hotel, Restaurant and Spa in 1984, rescued from decay, caringly and lovingly restored by Historic House Hotels. In September 2008, Middlethorpe Hall and the other two Historic House Hotels became the inalienable property of the National Trust by donation, with all profits benefiting the houses and the charity.

The restoration, conservation and conversion into a country house hotel has been carried out to exacting and historically accurate standards. It has been elegantly decorated in the manner of the 18th Century and furnished with antiques and fine paintings, so that its look and ambiance is that of a well-kept, well-furnished private manor house rather than a 29 bedroom Hotel (ten rooms and suites in the house, and nineteen in the adjacent 18th Century courtyard).

The 20 acres of manicured gardens and parkland which surround Middlethorpe Hall are also the result of a transformation - from a rose bed and nettles to a parterre that now includes a fragrant rose garden, intriguing walled garden and romantic meadow which leads to a lake surrounded by beautiful specimen trees. There is also a ha'ha.

Middlethorpe Hall is renowned for its imaginative cuisine and its panelled dining rooms which overlook the manicured gardens. It also boasts a Health and Fitness Spa built behind the handsome façade of two listed Edwardian cottages. This offers guests a range of facilities from Decléor, ESPA and Jessica treatments with trained therapists to a splendid swimming pool, sauna and gymnasium.

Middlethorpe Hall, like its sister hotels Hartwell House in Aylesbury and Bodysgallen Hall near Llandudno, has achieved a graceful transition from country house to first-class hotel without losing its character. Indeed, Historic House Hotels are now the yardstick by which others must be judged.

More details can be found here 



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