Random Recipes 11 - Gary Rhodes: Pork, Apple and Sage Kebabs

 Just to let you know, this post was written before I started the paleo diet to help ease my psoriasis. Nowadays I eat a more allergy-friendly diet, but leave these older, non-paleo posts up in case they are useful to readers, as I know not everyone eats the same as I do. Thanks for your understanding. 

The theme for this month's Random Recipe challenge (hosted by Dom at Belleau Kitchen) is cookbooks you never use. And there is only one cookbook that gathers dust on my bookshelf and that's Great Fast Food by Gary Rhodes. Don't get me wrong; when I first bought it in 2000, I used it a lot, whipping up prawn pies with filo pastry and curried scrambled eggs. But somehow it just fell by the wayside once I got more into cooking - I don't really know why.

So I plucked it from the shelf, closed my eyes, flicked through the book and opened it at a random spot. It opened on page 145 - and Pork, Apple and Sage Kebabs.

Putting together the dish was easy, and quick. And it forced me to cook with a cut of meat that I haven't cooked with much before: pork loin fillet. It cost around £5 per fillet, which fed the whole family, so it's fairly cheap and the meat was lean and really tender.
I just whisked up some honey, olive oil and cider to make a marinade, threaded chunks of pork, sage leaves and apple slices onto skewers and, after a 10-minute sit in the marinade, I grilled them. The sage leaves in my supermarket plastic pack weren't exactly on the large side, so some of them disappeared once they were snuggled in between the pork and the apple on the kebabs, but they were there, I promise!

The honey and cider marinade caramelised a little under the grill, and gave the kebabs a slight burnished appearance and a real sweetness. The apple gave moisture and sweetness, and the pork was succulent - it only took 10 minutes to cook.
But even so, as we scoffed up the last of it, it wasn't a dish I would rush out and cook again. The marinade gave sweetness, but I think I'm desensitised and expect much stronger, spicier flavours even, from my kebabs. But it forced me to cook with pork loin fillet and I found it so easy and quick to cook, that i think, with a little tweaking, I'll be revisiting this recipe again, before passing the book on to the charity shop.


  1. I love the idea behind this challenge - I have so many cookbooks I need to use more!

  2. oh Jo it looks really good!... I love Gary Rhodes too so I can imagine how good this tastes. It'd quite a traditional dish too isn't it? Lucky charity shop for getting this book!... and thanks so much for taking part this month, it's lovely to have you on board x

  3. Thanks Dom, I will try and join in more often! Cara - it's a great idea, gets you cooking things you don't normally think of!

  4. I think sage is my favourite herb at the moment - although most of the last packet I bought was drunk as fresh sage tea to ward of a sore throat! Adding the leaves to kebabs is a great idea though - I'll have to remember it for future skewering!

  5. came over from dom's! i have newly discovered sage during christmas and am in love with it!

  6. Hi Ruth and Shu Han - I love sage, especially when it's crispy and scattered over some butternut squash risotto :) Ruth - just make sure you get some big leaves, I think I missed out a bit on the flavour of them, because they disappeared on the skewers!

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