Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Nigel has arrived - Part 66

Nigel flew into Limoges yesterday, very tired, after a very early morning start to get to Stansted airport before the M25 traffic got jammed.  It is a nightmare if he hits the ' early morning rush', compounded by the 50 mph speed limited road widening works; everything quickly comes to a standstill and the plane does not wait for anyone!  

Within a couple of minutes of the plane landing, we had our first rain for weeks; he seems to have this magic touch of changing hot sunny days into cooler and wet ones!!

Dinner was asparagus from the garden, steamed and served with melted butter (2 tablespoons), soy sauce (1 tablespoon) and balsamic vinegar (1 teaspoon). This was served with French country style bread. 

Main course was:

Pigs Heart a la Diane     (If you don't like offal, read no further!!!!!)

2 Pigs hearts (Cut into bite size pieces with any tough bits removed)
200 gr dried beans, soaked over night (I used cocos blancs but not sure what they are in English!)
Duck fat (because I had it in the fridge)
400 gr Toulouse Sausage (cut into about 3 inch pieces)
4 large tomatoes chopped
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 onions, sliced
1 med courgette (I would have used 2 sticks of celery but had none in the house!)
6 garlic cloves cut in half
Freshly ground pepper
Good pinch of cayenne pepper
1 table spoon mixed herbs

Drain the beans and cook for 5 mins in fresh water, drain and set aside.
Melt the duck fat and brown the heart pieces.
Add the carrots, onions and tomatoes, (also sliced celery if using) cook for a few minutes.  Add the drained beans, mixed herbs, peppers and enough cider to just cover.  Simmer for about 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile brown the sausages in a little fat and slice the courgette. Turn the oven on to 17O°C.  Put everything together into a casserole dish, cover and cook for a further 1 to 1½ hours. Stir halfway through cooking.

Serve with a salad, but this was really a meal on its own. 

Nigel's comment was "very good".  BUT we did both think that maybe the second part of the cooking would have been better in the slow cooker and given more time. The heart was tender but not melt in the mouth, which it usually is when I cook them slowly.

Pudding was the chocolate cream desert, see my last post. Yum Yum.

Need I add we had a bottle of wine to go with the meal.


  1. I Luuurve Pig's Heart (but then I like pretty much all the little bits of dead piggy!)

  2. Hi Keith, sorry I did not ask you to dinner we had enough! Diane

  3. Great for you Diane - I hope you're going to pamper Nigel for a few days before getting him to do all those little jobs about the house ... :)

  4. OneStonedCrow I always pamper him!! Well sometimes! Not that many odd jobs to do around the house, most I have done. Just the ceiling over the cupboards in the kitchen is easier for him to reach at 6'4". But as they don't look too bad, I have suggested they wait until the end of July when he is here for 2 weeks. I hope this week he will simply relax. Diane

  5. I'll be you're happy to have Nigel home, at least for a little while.
    That casserole sounds good. Never eaten pig's hearts, but my Mom used to prepare something similar with beef hearts.

  6. It must be wonderful to have him back and have someone to cook for. I've had beef but never pig heart. The recipe sounds intriguing. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  7. Enjoy the precious time with your husband, hope the weather brightens up again.

  8. Gaelyn, it is really good to have Nigel around even if only for 8 days. Then I have to look forward to the middle of July! Diane

  9. Hi Mary, It is wonderful to have Nigel here for a few days. My favourite heart dish is stuffed sheep's hearts in the slow cooker, just so yummy. Diane

  10. Hi LindyLouMac, The weather has not been too bad though colder than it has been. Rain around but sadly not on my garden so I am still watering. We hope to go out cycling tomorrow.Diane

  11. I took your suggestion and read no further, but I feel your happiness at having Nigel home! Enjoy your rain. Hope the sunshine returns soon.

  12. Welcome home Nigel - I hope you both enjoy some sunshine xx

  13. How wonderful for you that he is there for a visit Diane. I hoe you have a great time together.

  14. H Marjie. I also hope the sun shines soon. It is trying from time to time but it is very watery! Diane

  15. Roz - Thanks, only wish it was longer than 8 days but roll on July!. D & N

  16. Thanks Joan. It is good to have Nigel here. Just wish the weather would improve!. Diane

  17. Glad Nigel got home okay. Even after living in France for so long, I still can't eat innards. But I will try your chocolate pudding!

  18. Hi Dedene, Hope you enjoy the chocolate, it really is delicious. Diane


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