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Recipes 3

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This is a good Supper dish. It is like shepherd's pie but is made with a rich bean and vegetab1e mixture topped with mashed potato.

The Chinese call aduki beans 'red dragon' or 'red wonder' beans as they have found them to be so full of goodness.

The cooking liquid from aduki beans is thought by some to be a tonic for the kidneys.
Serve this pie with green vegetables and a tomato or mushroom sauce. Maybe you will have the power of the dragon after eating it!

Serves Four
4 oz (110g) aduki beans
2 oz (50g) wheat grain or rice
2 pints (l.1 litres) water for soaking
2 pints (1.1 litres) water for boiling
1 tablespoon of oil
1 Onion, peeled and finely chopped
8 oz (225 g) carrots scrubbed and diced
l-2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato purée
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
½ pint (275 ml) aduki bean stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb (450 g) potatoes, peeled
1 oz (25g) butter

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 350 ºF (180 ºC).

Wash the aduki beans and the wheat grain or rice and soak overnight or steep them in boiling water for 1 hour. Drain and rinse, then bring them to the boil in fresh water and cook for 50 minutes or until the wheat grain or rice is fairly soft.
Drain, reserving the stock.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion for 5 minutes add the carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the cooked beans and grains. Mix the soy sauce, tomato purée and herbs with the stock. Pour this over the bean and vegetable mixture. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes, so that the flavours are well blended. Season to taste. Add a little more liquid if necessary so that final mixture is moist Transfer into a greased 3 pint (1.5 litres) Casserole.
Boil the potatoes until soft and mash them with butter. Season well. Spread the mashed potatoes over the beans and vegetables. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the potato is crisp and brown.

TIP - Buy your Aduki Beans in cans from Sainsbury, saves all the soaking and long cooking time. Adapt the recipe by using rice when buying aduki beans like this.

Cottage Smallholder Pear and Lemon Jam Recipe

(inspired by a half remembered recipe in 'The Silver Spoon')


" 2 kilos of pears (peeled, cored and chopped
" 3 medium lemons (strained juice and zest)
" 1 kilo of granulated sugar
" 1 litre of water


1. Prepare the pears and place in a large covered bowl, to stop them browning.
2. Remove the zest from the lemons carefully to avoid adding the bitter pith. Set zest aside. Squeeze the lemon juice and strain.
3. Add the water, chopped pears, lemon zest and juice to a large heavy bottomed saucepan.
4. Simmer very gently until the pears are just soft.
5. Pour in the sugar and stir, over a medium/low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
6. Bring the heat up to a rolling boil (what is a rolling boil? See Tricks and tips below). Allow to boil hard for ten minutes before testing for a set. If it has not reached setting point (what is setting point? See Tricks and tips below). Continue to boil rapidly, checking for a set every four minutes or so (set the timer for this). When the jam has set remove from the heat.
7. Allow the jam to stand for a few minutes and pour into warmed sterilised jars (how do I sterilise jars? See Tricks and tips below). Cover with screw top lids or wax disks and cellophane tops. Label when cold. Store in a cool dry place.

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