Good Tempered Food

Slow-cooked food and what the author likes to call ‘good tempered food’, is what proper cooking is all about.  In fact, it’s the chief pleasure of cooking.  It’s about re-uniting yourself with a sense of pleasure in the kitchen, rediscovering that ‘slow’ or ‘time-taken’ doesn’t mean difficult.  This is a hugely underrated pleasure in its own right – as can be the planning, shopping, reading of cookery books or recipes online, deliberating, or telephoning a friend for a recipe.

Good Tempered Food also shows how to plan in advance and half-prepare a dish a day or even a week before.  For example, a dish like risotto can be half-cooked before time, the simplest of meat sauces can be converted from lasagna to cottage pie, hot and cold puddings can be pre-cooked and finished at the last minute.

The book is full of dishes that will give you pleasure to cook – roasted baby tomatoes mixed with baby broad beans, a handful of chives, mint, chervil and thyme, some lemon zest and cheese thrown onto some pasta of a fat piece of belly of port idling in the oven for several hours, steeped in molasses, sweet brown sugar and star anise.