It’s a charming cookbook, wittily written and beautifully illustrated by Cinzia Zenocchini, but will the recipes past the rigorous taste test of canine connoisseurs?
We assembled a team of discerning doggies to rate and review Debora’s lovingly prepared recipes.
Our Evening Standard rePAWter Marcel the Corgi, plus Debora’s dogs, Barney and Gracie, tucked into three of the recipes from the new book. Watch the video above to see our furry foodies’ reactions.
“I try to feed my dogs a really healthy diet, which is about 70 per cent meat, 20 per cent fruit and vegetables and then about 10 per cent healthy grains. And I stick roughly to those principles,” Debora says.
“It’s important to be conscious of things dogs can’t eat as well as things they can,” she adds. “For example, onions are extremely toxic to dogs, as is chocolate, grapes and raisins.”
If you’re inspired to treat your cuddly canine to some slap-up posh pup grub, we’ve written out the recipes in full below.
Doggy Breath Bones
Makes approx. 32
* A big bunch of parsley, about 70g, finely chopped, stalks and leaves
* 1 large carrot, about 130g grated
* 60g grated Cheddar cheese
* 300g buckwheat flour or brown rice flour, plus a little more for dusting
* 70ml or 5 tablespoons olive oil
* About 50ml hot water
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / Fan 160 Degrees C / Gas 4
Mix together the parsley, carrot, cheese and flour until well combined. Trickle over the olive oil and stir in the water. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until you have a firm dough. Roll out to 5mm/1/4 in thick and cut out with a bone-shaped cookie cutter.
Lay the dough bones on baking trays and bake in the preheated oven for 22-24 minutes, until crisp and starting to brown slightly around the edges. Cool on a wire rack.
The bones will keep for a month in an airtight jar or you can freeze them for up to 4 months.
Try making these with apple in place of the carrot – simply core the apples, then grate them with the skin on. Add a good pinch of ground cinnamon, too, if you like.
You can use any hard cheese in this recipe – it’s a great way to finish off any odds and ends left lingering in the refrigerator.
Turkey and Quinoa Meatballs
Makes approx. 35
* 500g minced turkey or chicken
* 200g plus 3 tablespoon black, red or golden quinoa, cooked weight (approximately 60 g uncooked)
* Lightly cooked, chopped spinach, drained and
* 2 tablespoon ground flaxseeds (optional)
* 1 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary (optional)
For the optional dipping sauce
A few tablespoons of live yoghurt mixed with a little finely chopped mint.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C / Fan 180 degrees C / Gas 6. Line a roasting tin with baking parchment.
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Roll into walnut-sized meatballs (you should be able to make about 35). Place them in the lined tin and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned. Cool before feeding them to your dog with a dollop of the yogurt dipping sauce if you like.
They will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days or you can freeze them for up to four months.
Lamb, Millet and Squash Stew
Makes one large pot
* ½ teaspoon olive oil
* 500g stewing lamb
* 1 garlic clove, finely chopped (optional)
* 500ml stock or water
* 80g millet
* 300g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1cm dice
* 100g peas, fresh or frozen
* 2 tablespoon finely chopped mint
Warm the oil in a heavy saucepan over a medium high heat and add the lamb. Cook, stirring from time to time, for five minutes. Lower the heat, add the garlic if using and stir for a minute. Pour in the stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Add the millet and squash and cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the meat is very tender. Add the peas, cook for 5 minutes more, remove from the heat, and stir in the mint. Cool before serving.
If you like, cook this in a slow cooker for around eight hours or in a pressure cooker on high for 25-30 minutes.
It will keep sealed in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for four months.
Dogs’ Dinners: The healthy, happy way to feed your dog by Debora Robertson is available to buy now (Pavilion Books, £9.99) here.