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Diamond jubilee: Hunters' pie - pheasant pie

It was hard to narrow down my very favourite British dishes. I love a good roast, I adore my mum’s Lancashire hotpot and I’m a huge fan of strawberries. Eventually, I decided to try and recreate one of my favourite British summertime treats, the cherry brandy lolly but then I saw the forecast. It’s due to pour down all day. Winter warmer it is.

I’m particularly partial to shepherds’ pie and usually make it with leftover roast lamb, rather than mince – but lamb is astronomically expensive and I’ve had a pheasant knocking about in the freezer for a while (don’t ask). So here’s my version of the classic meat ‘n mash combo, reinvented for the hunters out there (thanks for the pheasant Freddie).

Diamond jubilee: Hunters' pie - pheasant pie

Serves: 6

1 Pheasant, meat stripped from carcass and cut into bite-size pieces

2 tbsp flour

3 carrots, roughly chopped

3 sticks of celery, finely chopped

2 onions, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tin chopped tomatoes

Half a bottle of wine

500ml beef stock

1 bay leaf

1 spring rosemary

10 potatoes, peeled and sliced

25g butter

50ml milk

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

A pinch of grated nutmeg

50g cheddar, grated

Toss the pheasant pieces in flour and season generously. In a large casserole, brown the pheasant and set aside.

Fry the onions and garlic until brown and soft, then add the carrots and celery and fry for a further couple of minutes. Add the pheasant back in and pour in the wine, tomatoes and beef stock. Stir and add the bay leaf and rosemary. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down low, simmer for two hours, or until the liquid has reduced.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until soft (usually about 10 minutes if sliced), mash with butter, mustard, milk and nutmeg. Pre-heat the oven to 190C.

Fill an oven dish with the pheasant casserole, then cover with a fluffy top of mashed potato. Sprinkle over the grated cheese and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

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Best of British: apple crumble with salted caramel sauce

Best of British: apple crumble with salted caramel sauce

Serves: 4-6 (depending how greedy they are)

For the filling:

4 sharp green apples (Granny smiths or Bramley)

4 sweet red apples (I used Coxes, Pink Lady are also great)

25g dark brown soft sugar

A pinch of ground cloves

1 level tsp cinnamon

For the crumble:

75g plain flour

75g wholemeal/buckwheat flour

75g ground almonds

50g demerara sugar

50g light brown soft sugar

75g butter

Crunchy oat cereal and flaked almonds to garnish

For the salted caramel sauce:

350g unsalted butter

350g granulated sugar

250ml double cream

10g  Maldon sea salt

Best of British: apple crumble with salted caramel sauce

 

Pre heat the oven to 180C

Peel and core the apples, cut into chunks and layer over the bottom of an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle over the sugar and spice.

For the crumble topping, mix all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the butter and rub together until the mixture is crumbly and soft.

Press down firmly on the apples, then pour over the crumble mix, completely covering the apples. Press down firmly and rake the surface carefully with a fork. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, before sprinkling over the oats and almonds and baking for a further 10 minutes until the top is brown and crisp.

While the crumble is in the oven, make the caramel sauce. Heat the sugar in a saucepan, and the cream in another saucepan. Once the sugar turns brown and liquid, pour in the hot cream (stand back, this will bubble fiercely on contact). Stirring constantly, gradually add the butter, a few cubes at a time until you have rich, opaque sauce. Stir in the salt and heat for a further couple of minutes to ensure it is dissolved.

Serve the hot crumble with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce. Happy jubilee everyone!

Well, hang out the bunting: it’s jubilee time (I will celebrate anything that involves an extra public holiday. Anything, I tell you).

Jubilee breakfast: baked rhubarb pots

Jubilee breakfast: baked rhubarb pots

Baked rhubarb breakfast pots

Serves: 4

4 sticks of rhubarb

1 orange, zest and juice

A sprinkle of dark brown soft sugar

250g thick creamy natural yoghurt

Heat the oven to 180C. Peel and slice the rhubarb into 4cm chunks.

Zest and juice the orange and add rhubarb, orange zest and juice to an oven dish. Sprinkle over the sugar and bake for 30 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and slightly caramelized.

Allow to cool and serve with yoghurt.

 

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