The Fenn Pool… Smack in the middle of 1950’s built, Pensnett council housing, that’s now very much the worse for wear, and an industrial area of ageing smoke stacks and aluminium tanks hung with gantries, containing God knows what.

It’s around 400 metres from where I lived as a kid, so you can imagine how much time I spent there, but this was my first trip back for a long long time……and I’m sad to say it’s true, things do get smaller. The plan was for this post to be in the series of ‘Things I really Love’, but in all honesty I was dissapointed..The place I remembered only exists in my head, seen through the eyes of a ten year old..

So, at the risk of sounding like a right miserable old git, I’ve fallen out of love…What was once a magic place is now just a pool surrounded by a depressing estate on one side and an industrial wasteland on the other, and my photo, which I should be fairly happy with as an image, seems pure artifice….I actually find that rather sad.

But you know me….I’m not going to leave you on a downer…

I’m a glass three quarters full kinda guy, and how can anyone be depressed when things as wonderful as BEEF BRISKET exist in the world!!!!!

So back to the original plan…’Things I really Love!’


I prepared this little beauty for the salivating Mrs SHPics yesterday evening to make up for the weekend of paperwork.


2-2.5 kilo Beef brisket….Stuff it with around nine coarsely chopped garlic cloves and a fistfull of Thyme sprigs..Shove it all right into the middle using finger power…Any gubbins that pop back out use as a bit of a bed thingy in a nice big roasting dish, then rub yer joint with some good oil, season it with rock salt and crushed black peppercorns and balance it on the top..

Roast at 220 degrees for twentyΒ  mins if its smaller than 2 kilos, 30 mins for a big’un.

Take it out of the oven and cover with foil then cook for 4 hours at 140degrees..(let your oven cool for tem mins before you put it back in.

After the four hours whip it out, remove the foil and put in around 750 grammes of good small potatoes in halves or quarters, skin on..300 grammes small mixed red and white onions in halves..and 6 big tomatoes with a cross cut in the top..

Baste the lot, reseason big style, and put back in the oven uncovered at 180 degrees for around an hour or until the outside of the meat has crisped and the potatoes are cooked through..

A good dollop of fiery horseradish and you’ll have slow cooked, melt in yer ruddy mouth, perfection on a plate.


All Images and Receepees copyright Stuart Allan Hyde, (The Snappin’ Chef).


  1. hellenjc

    he certainly is Scilla… and my Cartmel Sticky toffee pudding would go well after his Brisket woudn’t it !!
    We’ve all done the failed going back thing Stuart but it’s a lovely image nevertheless.. and lucky MrsSHpics…only on account of the food you understand πŸ˜‰


      1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

        I thought when you said ‘My’ that you must have a personal version, not that you were territorial about where you shop….. πŸ˜‰
        However, Fear not!..I was lucky enough to win a Fortnum and Masons hamper in the ‘UK Nude Breakdancer 2009’ qualifiers,
        (West Midlands Over 40’s category, unfortunately eliminated in the semi’s for ‘Causing Offence’…I maintain it was artistic… that one jump was just misunderstood)…anyway, to cut a long story short, there was a Cartmel Toffee Pudding included…..

  2. ~mimo~

    Things do somehow live so much more romantic in our memories as they should. I think with your first photo you recreated a certain romance about the place at least to the viewer. And the second photo and recipe… yummm!


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