The Big Family Cooking Showdown News

August 27, 2017 1 Comment

The Big Family Cooking Showdown News

The BBC's latest cooking programme has arrived. 

As ever, people wish for it to be The Great British Bake Off replacement.  It is not.  It is a new programme and as with the Bake Off will take time to grow on people.

It is a competitive food show, presented by Zoe Ball and Nadiya Hussain, in which two families face a series of challenges based on the realities of everyday meals, cooking up their favourite dishes both in the studio and in their own homes. At the end of each show, judges Giorgio Locatelli and Rosemary Shrager will decide which family make it through to the next round.  You do not get to see the same contestants each week so will not build up the same affinity to individual contestants as with the bake off.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Zoe Ball

Presenter Nadiya Hussain

Judge Giorgio Locatelli

Judge Rosemary Shrager

We particularly like Nadiya Hussein as she gets on with people in a natural way and appears to put the contestants at ease.  

So far so good.  It is easy to watch and Rosemary Shrager gives it a little edge to stop it being too bland.  She even argued with a contestant about having brussel sprouts as a pizza topping this week.  She was completely dismissive which a judge shouldnt really be even before tasting an offering.

Our favourite recipe from this week was the Braised Pork Belly with Mushrooms.  We'll be giving this a try.  Recipe is as follows:

Braised pork belly with mushrooms


This rich and fragrant dish would go well with salt and pepper tofu, a crisp cucumber salad and steamed rice.


  • 25g/1oz whole dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 small bunch spring onions, one thinly sliced, the rest cut into 4cm/1½in lengths
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5cm/2in piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 piece cassia bark
  • 800g/1lb 12oz pork belly (ideally a 5-layered cut – skin/fat/meat/fat/meat), cut into cubes
  • 3 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine.
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar


  1. Soak the mushrooms in boiling water for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large lidded saucepan over a medium-high heat. Fry the lengths of spring onion with the ginger, garlic, star anise and cassia bark for 3–4 minutes, or until fragrant.
  3. Add the pork and cook until it starts to brown. (Fry in batches, if necessary).
  4. Add the rice wine, soy sauces, sugar, mushrooms and their soaking liquid and enough water to cover the pork. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 1½–2 hours, or until the pork is really tender and falling apart.
  5. Remove the lid, turn up the heat and cook uncovered over a high heat for 10–15 minutes until the volume of the sauce reduces by half and is thick and syrupy.
  6. Adjust the seasoning to taste, scatter with the sliced spring onion and serve with steamed rice.



1 Response

Jayne Mitchell
Jayne Mitchell

August 29, 2017

Great blog! Rosemary Shrager certainly gives it a bit of spice! I love the fact that it’s all about family meals and thanks for the recipe I’ll certainly be trying it too!

Leave a comment