Spicy Beef Shin Hotpot Recipe

Well, it’s that time of the year again. January and winter in particular for me is all about comfort; slow-cooked meals, like pork, cider and apple casserole; beef hotpot and dumplings, and memories of childhood.

My name is David Wrigley and I am the Head Chef at Saddler’s Bistro.

At the moment, I’m working on a new takeaway menu for February. It centres on meals that are warm, comforting and full of flavour. The winter months are more bearable with slow-cooked meat finished with added herbs, such as thyme and rosemary.

Lockdown has given me more time to think about new dishes, ready for that all-important day when we can welcome our diners back into the restaurant. Until then, I have added a recipe which I’m looking to put on our new takeaway menu.


Spicy Beef Shin Hotpot Recipe


  • 50ml of rapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1.5kg beef shin, boned, trimmed and cut into small cubes
  • 300g of cooking chorizo, cut into slices
  • 2 tbsp of plain flour
  • 1 tbsp of sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp of black treacle
  • 1 tbsp of tomato purée
  • 1 dried ancho chilli, soaked in hot water
  • 500ml of beef stock
  • 400g of tinned chopped tomatoes (1 tin)
  • 400g of chickpeas (1 tin)
  • Salt & Pepper


To begin, place a casserole dish or stockpot on the hob over a medium heat and add half of the rapeseed oil. Once the oil has warmed up, add the finely chopped onion, peppers and garlic and stir to coat. Bring the heat down

Cook slowly for about 15–20 minutes until everything is soft and sweet, then remove from the heat and scrape into a bowl. Give the casserole a quick wipe with some kitchen towel to ensure no bits are left to catch

Next, place the beef shin chunks in a bowl with the flour, salt and pepper and mix together, so that the meat gets a light and even coating. Return the casserole to the hob over a medium-high heat, add the remaining oil then brown the shin in batches, lifting them onto a plate once done

The bottom of your casserole will probably be crusted with meaty bits and pieces, so deglaze with a good splash of water, using a metal spoon to scrape and lift everything up. Pour the thickened liquid over the beef

Add the chorizo slices into the casserole, stirring as they begin to sizzle and release some of their own oil. After a couple of minutes, place the beef back into the pot, along with the softened vegetables, and mix together

Add the paprika and cumin and stir to coat, then after another 2 minutes add the tomatoes, beef stock, black treacle and ancho chilli. Taste for seasoning

Bring up to a simmer then cover with a lid, leaving it slightly ajar so that steam can escape and that the sauce can slowly thicken

After an hour, empty the tin of chickpeas into the hotpot and cook for another 2 hours, or until the beef is very tender. Throughout cooking, return every now and then to stir.


Flammkuchen recipe

Lockdown 2:0 and the Takeaway Dilemma

Well – here we are again! We didn’t think we would have to close our doors again, but sadly Covid hasn’t given up the fight yet.

Last Lockdown we went a little stir crazy in the house, so Andrew & I vowed we would offer a takeaway option if we were in the same situation again. Offering our Sunday Lunch was a given, especially after it was so well received when it returned for the Autumn just before Lockdown 2 began.

However- what else could we do which would be a little bit different?

So – we came up with offering the Fabulous Flammkuchen.

A firm favourite with us when we lived in Germany and sampled at many a ShutzenFest, Oktoberfest & all the other celebrations the Germans love to have. It is a lovely light take on a traditional pizza (personally I find the Italian version a little heavy) and also super easy to make.

So easy in fact – those adventurous ones among you can have a go yourself, check out the recipe below. Or – you can of course head over to our takeaway menu page and order one from us!


Original Flammkuchen Recipe

For the Dough

  • 500 g  strong white flour
  • 7 g  salt
  • 7 g  Fresh yeast (dried is ok but preferably fresh)
  • 320 g warm water
  • Splash of Olive Oil

Sauce and toppings

  • Pancetta or Bacon Lardons,  cut into small squares or cubes
  • 2 onions finely sliced into rings
  • 250 g crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 230 g natural Greek Yoghurt
  • 1  tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh thyme  (optional)


Combine all dough ingredients in a large bowl to form a rough dough.

Knead the dough for 10 minutes until you have a smooth, elastic, stretchy and velvety dough.

Place the dough back into your bowl and cover.

Leave to rest for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature (or overnight in the fridge).

Preheat the oven and a baking tray to 250°C (the highest temperature possible) 30 minutes before the bake. If you have a pizza stone, preheat the oven and the pizza stone 1 hour before.

Divide the dough into 4 parts.

Shape each part into a ball and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Combine the crème fraiche and yoghurt in a small bowl, add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix well.

Roll out the dough pieces (2-3 mm) and transfer to sheets of baking paper.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rest for about 15 minutes.

Fry the Pancetta/Lardons lightly , don’t let them get crispy.

Fry the onion slowly in butter until slightly browned and leave on a low heat for 20 minutes.

If you are making all 4 Flammkuchen don’t add the topping to all of them at once. One by one works better as the topping doesn’t melt into the dough that way.

Spread the cream mixture onto the dough evenly & generously  (you want a really thick coating or the FlammKuchen will be dry), leave a small border around the edge (this will turn golden-brown and crispy).

Scatter the onion rings and bacon on top and sprinkle with thyme.

Slide the sheet of baking paper with the prepared Flammkuchen onto the preheated baking tray and bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges are nicely browned and the bottom is crisp. Repeat until all Flammkuchen are baked.

Serve immediately and enjoy.


Welcome to Our Blog

Well. Here I am, writing my very first blog. If you had told me 3 years ago that Andrew & I would be   running our own business, I would have laughed out loud and called you daft!

So, how did we get here? Of course, it seemed a natural progression for Andrew as he has been a Chef for, like, ever but I had moved away from Hospitality 20 something years ago and spent the whole of that time building a career in the Social Care & Health Field.

We had talked over the years of maybe managing a pub or restaurant, but the 24/7 lifestyle wasn’t the environment we wanted to bring young children up in. I had always had this little dream of running a quaint little tea room, we visited one up in Durham many years ago with cute china cups and quirky furnishings and I said to Andrew I would love something like this !

However, it wasn’t really a serious proposal and we carried on with our day jobs – until March 2018.

We were very lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Andrew & his friend Lee had been half looking for somewhere to start up a café/restaurant and, lucky for us, Lee became aware that our premises, trading as The Mockingbird Deli at the time, was up for sale.  Lots of discussions and umming and aahing went on and then the deal was done.

I fell in love with the place, it was quirky, cosy and welcoming- complete with china cups!

We started off continuing to trade as the Mockingbird Deli, but decided fairly quickly we needed to put our stamp on the place so rebranded as Sadlers in May 2018, complete with fresh colours and new flooring.  We have, however kept much of the original style of the place and continue to add our own quirkiness to it.

Andrew set to work re-establishing a Bistro menu at the weekends, he is at his happiest serving fine dining dishes and now has the freedom to play about with his own menu as he pleases.

So – during the day, I get to run my little café and weekend evenings Andrew gets to showcase his cooking skills. Even better, we are able to achieve a work life balance that wasn’t possible for us previously. Do I have any regrets ? No – just that maybe we should have taken the plunge sooner.

Jenny Sadler 10.11.20