Beware the Ides of March!

Tuesday 15/3/2005

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Diary and Notes

Watch out fellow Romans, the knives are out. It's that time of year when plots against Ceasar come to fruition and I fear I may be next.

I was informed by a flatmate who is interested in such things that today was the Ides of March (I would never have known otherwise) and although I've obviously heard the phrase from Shakespeare, I didn't really know what it meant - so I looked it up on the web. Unfortunately, it's not really that big a deal - no special day for plotting at all. I did discover that the Roman calendar is a little bizarre (see Infoplease for instance) and has plenty of days with names that seem to mean very little. The Romans were a strange bunch - superstitious, bloodthirsty, enterprising and greedy - very much like modern people, only we don't go to public toilets and share a sponge on a stick to wipe our arses with.

I suppose I should really have done another ancient Roman style meal today, checked out the cookbook of Apicius again and stuffed some sardines with nuts or boiled a whole pig's head, but I didn't have the forethought and went fiesta style instead. I was originally going to make patatas bravas, hence the tomato sauce (which is not patatas bravas sauce by the way) and was going to cook the chorizo in wine. I didn't in the end and had a lovely pork steak instead. The pork steak I just fried in a little oil, but the sauce with it was very tasty indeed. Better than everything however were the potatoes - perfectly crispy and really garlic flavoured too. I will be making these again soon (but with a different main dish of course).

What, no ranting today? Just a little bit about calendars and food? Am I mellowing you may wonder.

Perhaps I'll be back to my vitriolic self tomorrow, for now however, all this fine food in my belly has made me at peace with all things.

Or as Ceasar might have said: Pacis vobis totus - peace to you all.

Cake Blog

Custard bun. A long bun filled with custard, cream and jam.


  • Fried Pork Steak in Tomato and Chorizo Sauce
  • Crispy Garlic Potatoes
  • Sauteed Celery


  • Sauce: Olive oil, onion, green chilli (only a little), bacon, red wine, chorizo sausage, tomato puree, tomato ketchup, wholegrain mustard, salt, pepper.
  • Potatoes: Potatoes, olive oil, salt, garlic, parsley.


  • Sauce: Chop the onions and the chilli and fry gently in a little oil. Add a little chopped bacon. When the bacon is cooked, pour in a dash of wine and reduce until it's 2/3 evaporated, then add some finely chopped chorizo sausage. Add some tomato puree, a little ketchup for sweetness, a spoon of wholegrain mustard and some water. Bubble gently for 1/2 an hour then season and pour over the cooked pork steak.
  • Potatoes: Peel and chop into cubes (2cm) and par boil in salt water until just going soft. Drain put in an ovenproof dish and drizzle some oil over. Bake until starting to go crispy then add some minced garlic and cook for another 10 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle ove rloads of fresh parsley.
  • To sautee the celery, par boil for a minute or two to soften it then add to the pan with the loin steak and fry alongside in the pork juice.