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Gravadlax with beetroot technique

Dry-curing/brine hybrid

cuRinG tiMe

Minimum 3 days

This is a classic, adapted from The River Cottage Fish Book. The beetroot in the cure is my addition. The vegetable has no real curing properties but it has plenty of flavour, of course, and immense visual impact. coloured with the beetroot, the salmon is reminiscent of a sunset watched from a tropical island. Serves 10–15 2 sides (large fillets) of wild salmon, about 1kg in total For the cure 100g caster sugar 75g PDV salt 15g black or white peppercorns, or a mixture, coarsely ground

A large bunch of dill, coarse stalks removed, finely chopped 2–3 cooked beetroot, peeled and grated equipment Food standard tray

Remove the pin bones that run down the centre of salmon fillets with tweezers. Mix all the ingredients for the cure together in a bowl. Place a good handful of the cure on the bottom of a food standard tray. Lay the first salmon fillet on top, skin side down, then cover with more cure. Top with the second fillet, skin side down, and cover again with cure. Put a board on top, weigh down and place in the fridge. Leave the fish to cure for at least 3 days (for smaller fillets) and up to 7 days (for really big fillets from a 5kg or larger salmon. Every day, turn the ‘fillet sandwich’ over and baste the fish in its accumulated juices, then replace the weight. When the fish is cured, rinse the fillets and pat them dry. The outside of the fillets will be stained purple and will have a wonderful gradient of purple and orange along the thin slices. Serve with lightly buttered rye bread. note: You can wrap unused or part-sliced gravadlax fillets and keep them in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Brussels sprout,


and chestnut salad

Serves 4 as a starter 160g fresh chestnuts in shells, or 125g cooked vacuum-packed chestnuts 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to trickle 2 bay leaves, torn (optional) About 150g small, firm Brussels sprouts 2 clementines or tangerines Juice of ½ lemon Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Taking three classic festive ingredients and using them in a rather unexpected way, this is a lovely, quick Christmas salad. It makes a wonderfully crisp and refreshing starter to a rich meal. If you are using fresh chestnuts, preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Cut a slit down the flat side of each shell. Place the chestnuts in an oven dish and roast in the oven for 8–10 minutes until lightly charred. Leave them until cool enough to handle, then peel away the shells and thin inner husk. Whether you are using freshly roasted or pre-cooked chestnuts, crumble them into pieces. Place a small frying pan over a medium heat, add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and the chestnut pieces, followed by a generous pinch of salt, some pepper and the bay leaves, if using. Toss the nuts in the hot pan for a few minutes, coating them in the seasoned oil. Turn off the heat and leave the nuts in the pan while you prepare the rest of the salad. Trim the Brussels sprouts and remove any tough or discoloured outer leaves, then slice the sprouts thinly from top to base. Arrange over four serving plates. Peel the clementines and separate the segments, removing as much of the stringy white pith as you have the patience for. Cut each segment almost in half by slicing from the inner edge to the wide outer edge, without going quite all the way through, then open up the segment like a butterfly (see photograph). Arrange the clementine butterflies over the sprouts, scatter over the salty roasted chestnuts and trickle over a little more extra virgin olive oil. Season the salad generously with lemon juice and salt and pepper, then serve.

Roast carrots with butter and toasted cumin

Carrot and celeriac purée

I make these carrots all the time through the winter. They have a fantastic flavour that is great with turkey but even better with the stronger taste of goose. You can roast them the day before and then sauté them with the cumin and butter just before you eat. The slow roasting brings out all the sweetness of the carrot roots.

An excellent, creamy, textured purée with a gentle flavour, an ideal contrast to the stronger tastes of Brussels sprouts or red cabbage. You can do this a day in advance, allow it to cool, cover it with foil and keep it in the fridge. Leave the foil on and reheat in a low oven (150°C/gas mark 2) for 10–15 minutes, dotted with a little butter.

For 6–8: 900g carrots, peeled and whole Olive oil, for roasting 2 tablespoons cumin seeds Large knob of butter Salt and black pepper

For 6–8: 1 large celeriac root 900g carrots, scrubbed and halved 50g butter Salt and black pepper Freshly grated nutmeg 75ml single cream (optional) Cumin seeds, to serve

Roast the carrots whole – with a little olive oil drizzled over them – in a low oven at 160ºC/gas mark 3 for a good hour. Either leave the roasted carrots whole or slice them into chunky ovals. Then toast the cumin seeds for a couple of minutes in a dry frying pan to bring out the flavour. Add a large chunk of butter, add the carrots to the pan and toss with the cumin seeds. Season and serve immediately.

Peel the celeriac and cut it into 2–3cm chunks. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and either boil or steam the celeriac and carrots until just tender. Tip the vegetables into a food processor and pulse with the butter until you have a consistency you like. Season with salt and pepper, add grated nutmeg and stir in the single cream, if using. Toast the cumin seeds for a couple of minutes in a dry frying pan to bring out the flavour. When you are ready to serve it, warm it through and sprinkle over a few toasted cumin seeds.

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Roast Christmas turkey serves 8–10

I have always preferred to remove the legs from the turkey, stuff them and cook them separately from the crown, the day before. It reduces the cooking time drastically and means that most of the preparation can be done the day before, giving you more time to spend with your family. When buying your turkey, go to a good butcher. Try to find a bronze turkey as their flavour is superior. They are a bit more expensive but as with most things, you get what you pay for. White turkeys can be good if they’ve been reared slowly and given enough time for their flavour to develop. Never buy a frozen turkey. They take so much time to defrost fully that it can become dangerous to eat them. It’s really important to have a temperature probe when cooking a turkey. If you decide to cook your bird with the legs separate, probe into the thickest part of the breast. If you choose the more traditional approach, place the probe into the inside of the thigh. The temperature should reach 72ºC. one 5kg turkey, with giblets 60g softened butter 1 carrot, roughly chopped 1 celery stick, roughly chopped 1/ leek, roughly chopped 2 1 onion, roughly chopped 2 garlic cloves vegetable oil sea salt and freshly milled black pepper For the stuffing 50g butter 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 tbsp chopped sage 100g fresh white breadcrumbs 100g good-quality sausage meat

Preparing the stuffing Remove the giblets from inside the cavity of the turkey. Reserve the neck and gizzard for the gravy and roughly chop the heart, liver and kidneys to use in the stuffing.

The sinews in a turkey’s legs are more like little bones. These will all need to be carefully removed using a small knife before stuffing the legs. Pull off the skin from each boneless leg in one piece, and reserve.

Heat a saucepan over a medium heat and melt the butter. Add the onion and sage and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook the onion for about 4-5 minutes, until it’s soft and translucent. Add the breadcrumbs and mix well before removing from the heat to cool. Once cool, add the sausage meat and the chopped offal and mix thoroughly until all ingredients are combined. Keep covered in the fridge until required.

Lay a sheet of clingfilm on a solid area of work surface and place the first boneless turkey leg on top with the inside facing upwards. Place another sheet of clingfilm over the leg and using a meat tenderiser or the bottom of a small solid saucepan, give the leg a few solid taps, flattening it out. Don’t bash it too hard. Many lighter taps are more effective than a few hard taps, or you risk tearing the meat. Repeat the process with the remaining leg.

Preparing the turkey Remove the turkey’s legs by opening them out and cutting the skin with a sharp knife, down the inside of each one. Open the legs further and pop each leg, one at a time, out of the turkey’s hip sockets. Cut between the now open socket and the thigh bone all the way through, removing the legs one at a time. Remove the thigh bone from each leg by slicing down each side of the bone and then underneath it, being careful not to leave too much meat attached to the bone. Pop the thigh bone out of its socket and cut through any tendons holding it in place. With the thigh bone removed, slice down the full length of the inside of the remaining leg bone, all the way to the bone and open it up. Remove the leg bone from each leg by slicing down each side of the bone and then underneath it detaching it at the end knuckle.

Spread the skin of each leg out flat on the worktop with the inside of the skin facing up. Place the flattened legs inside the skin. Season each one. Place a log of stuffing down the middle of each leg and roll the legs inside the skin, wrapping the stuffing inside. Tie the stuffed legs with cooking string to hold them together. Roll the tied legs tightly in many layers of clingfilm, twisting and tying the clingfilm in a tight knot at each end to seal them in. Bring a pan of water to the boil and poach the legs for 20 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from the water and allow to cool, still wrapped in the clingfilm. To prepare the crown, using sturdy kitchen scissors, cut through the ribcage along either side of the breast. To remove the backbone, continue cutting all the way through the bones just underneath the wing where it joins the carcass. You should be fine cutting the ribcage with scissors, but you may need a cleaver to continued on page 118



a very british cookbook

continued from page 116 get through the heavier bones to remove the backbone. Once removed, chop the backbone into six pieces and reserve with the giblets for the gravy. Using the heel of a heavy knife or a cleaver, remove the wings at the second joint and chop them each into three pieces. Place the chopped wings with the rest of the bones reserved for the gravy. To roast the turkey, remove the crown from the fridge 2 hours before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 200ºC/Gas Mark 6. Place the crown in a large roasting tray and rub it with the butter. Season the skin liberally and cover the tray with foil. Place the crown in the oven and roast for 80 minutes, basting regularly. Place the reserved bones and vegetables in a separate tray and roast these on the shelf under the turkey for about



45 minutes turning them from time to time so they brown evenly. Once browned, remove the tray and follow the instructions for making Gravy for Roast Chicken on page 295. To prepare the legs, remove the clingfilm from each one. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, and in a little vegetable oil, fry them on all sides until the skin is crispy and browned, then transfer to a roasting tin. Fifteen minutes before the turkey is due to be ready, remove the foil and increase the temperature of the oven to 220ºC/Gas Mark 6 to brown the skin. Before removing the turkey crown from the oven, make sure its core temperature has reached 72ºC. If not, leave in the oven until it has, covered with foil if it’s browning too quickly. Once out of the oven, rest the crown for 20 minutes. While it’s resting turn the oven back down to 200ºC/Gas Mark 6 and roast the rolled legs for 20 minutes. Serve with all the trimmings.

a very british cookbook

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Shortbread Stars People can’t resist shortbread, and these stars make particularly good presents for the little ones to give at Christmas as it’s a nice, easy recipe for them to help with. The stars look great packed into disposable card takeaway boxes.

makes 12 stars 150g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 100g butter, cubed and softened 50g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling 2 drops vanilla extract

Put the flour into a large mixing bowl, add in the butter and rub together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Fold in the sugar and the vanilla extract and work the mixture with your hands until it forms a ball.

Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough until it is about 1cm thick. Using a star cutter, cut out the biscuits. Transfer these to the lined tray and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until very pale gold in colour.

Continue kneading the biscuit dough until it is smooth and the sides of the bowl are clean. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool a little, then sprinkle with caster sugar whilst still warm.

Preheat the oven to 130ºC/ Gas mark 1/2. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature so that it is workable.

Away & At Play


Spiced orange cake with plum sauce and Christmas pudding ice cream This is a great alternative festive dessert for everybody who says they don’t like Christmas pudding, but still want to enjoy the flavours of Christmas. You can make each component of the dish well in advance so you’re not left with loads to do on Christmas Eve.

Serves 6–8 3 oranges, 450g pulp butter, softened for greasing the tin 300g ground almonds 300g caster sugar 7 eggs 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger icing sugar, to decorate extra peeled oranges, to decorate

For the plum sauce 150g butter, cubed 100g caster sugar 1 cinnamon stick 1.5kg plums, halved and stoned freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

For the Christmas pudding ice cream 375g double cream 375g milk 110g caster sugar 150g egg yolks (approximately 8 eggs’ worth) 2 tablespoons glycerine (optional) 500g steamed Christmas pudding, cooled and crumbled To make the plum sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the sugar and cinnamon stick and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the plums and lemon juice, turn the heat to low and continue stirring until the plums break down into a purée, which will take about 20 minutes.


Proper Pub Food

Remove the cinnamon stick, then pour the purée into a blender and blend until smooth. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl, then leave on one side until needed. To make the Christmas pudding ice cream, put the cream and milk into a saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks in a heatproof bowl until fluffy and pale. Pour the boiling cream on to the egg mix, whisking. Pour the mix back into the pan and simmer, whisking, until the custard reaches 82°C on an instant-read thermometer. Pass the hot custard through a fine sieve into a bowl. Stir in the glycerine, if you are using, and whisk together. It acts as an anti-freeze and helps the ice cream stay smooth and ice-crystal free. Leave to one side to cool completely. Place the Christmas pudding in another bowl. When the custard is cool, stir it into the Christmas pudding, then pour into an ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Place in a freezerproof container and freeze for up to 3 months. To make the cake, place the unpeeled oranges and water to cover in a saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to low and leave the oranges to simmer for 2 hours, or until very soft and tender. Drain the oranges and leave to one side. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and grease a 24cm loaf tin with butter and line the base with baking parchment. When the oranges are cool enough to handle, cut each in half and remove the seeds. Place everything but the seeds – peel, pith, fruit and all – in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Weigh out 450g of the chopped oranges and discard the remainder. Return the 450g chopped orange to the food processor and add the ground almonds, sugar, eggs, baking powder, ground cinnamon and ground ginger and process again until well mixed. Pour the batter into the tin. Place the tin in the oven and bake the cake for 1 hour, or until the cake is set and it comes away from the side of the tin. It is a moist cake, so you can’t test it

with a skewer. You’ll probably have to cover the top of the cake with kitchen foil, shiny side down, after about 40 minutes to stop it from burning. Remove the tin from the oven and leave the cake to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack. When the cake’s cool you can take it out of the tin and peel off the paper. Wrap the cake in kitchen foil and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to serve, take the ice cream out of the freezer about 10 minutes in advance to soften just a

bit and reheat the plum sauce gently. Dust the cake with icing sugar and slice, then serve with the plum sauce and Christmas pudding ice cream on the side and sliced peeled oranges for decoration.

Tom’s Tip The plum sauce can be made 3 or 4 days in advance and kept in a covered container in the fridge. Reheat gently when ready to serve, letting it down with a little water, if necessary.

Proper Puddings


Chocolate & prune tart s� r� � s 6 For the chocolate pastry 175g plain flour 2 tbsp icing sugar 2 tbsp cocoa powder 100g cold unsalted butter, cut into roughly 1cm dice 1 egg yolk 1 tsp lemon juice 2 tbsp very cold water For the filling 150g ready-to-eat prunes (ideally d’Agen), cut into quarters 1 tbsp brandy 1 tsp vanilla extract 50ml boiling water 75g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces 125ml double cream 200g mascarpone 2 medium eggs, beaten Equipment 23cm loose-based tart tin, 3.5cm deep

The combination of prunes, chocolate and brandy rarely fails to please and this deliciously dark and sophisticated tart uses cocoa pastry for an extra chocolate hit. For the filling, put the prunes, brandy and vanilla in a bowl. Pour on the boiling water and leave to soak for several hours or overnight. To make the pastry, sift the flour, icing sugar and cocoa together. Add the diced butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, do this in a food processor or a mixer and then transfer to a bowl. Mix the egg yolk with the lemon juice and water. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mix. Using one hand, work the liquid into the flour to bring the pastry together. If it seems too dry, add a splash more water. When the dough begins to stick together, gently knead it into a ball. Wrap the pastry in cling film and put in the fridge to rest for at least 15 minutes. Heat your oven to 200°C/gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 23cm loose-based tart tin, 3.5cm deep, leaving excess pastry hanging over the edge. Keep a little uncooked pastry back in case you need to patch any cracks later. Prick the base with a fork. Line the pastry with baking parchment or foil, then fill with baking beans, or uncooked rice or lentils. Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and baking beans and return to the oven for about 8 minutes or until the pastry looks dry. Use a small, sharp knife to trim away the excess pastry from the edge. Use a tiny bit of the reserved raw pastry to patch any cracks or holes if necessary. Turn the oven down to 180°C/gas 4. To make the filling, put the chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and leave until the chocolate has just melted, stirring from time to time. Take off the heat and leave to cool for 3 minutes, then beat in the mascarpone and eggs with a balloon whisk to keep it smooth. Stir in the prunes and any soaking juices. Pour the chocolate and prune mixture into the tart case. Bake for 20–25 minutes until almost set, with a bit of wobble still in the centre. Leave in the tin to cool completely. Serve the tart at room temperature, with a spoonful of cream if you like.

146 s���t

�i�s & t� rts

Pomegranate rum SEASON

All year


3 months

The first time my mother gave me a pomegranate to eat I thought she was playing a cruel joke. Although the flavour was quite pleasant it clearly was not an edible fruit because of the absurd number of pips. An aunt of mine lived long under the mistaken impression that I liked the damn things and would bring me one every time she visited. I hate them. However, pips are no hindrance if you want to make a liqueur and the fact that the pomegranate makes such a fine one is no surprise when you consider that the essential ingredient in many a cocktail is grenadine – pomegranate cordial. If you use pomegranate rum as grenadine you will be adding extra alcohol to your cocktail, but I will not judge you. Makes about 250ml 1 pomegranate 50g sugar About 250ml white rum Carefully break open the pomegranate and gently tease apart the arils (the proper name for the seeds and their surrounding juice pockets). Place these in a 500ml Kilner jar, taking care to exclude the bitter membranes. Add the sugar and top up with rum. Close the lid and shake. Store in a dark cupboard and shake once a day until the sugar has dissolved. Decant the infused rum into bottles after 3 months. Leave to mature for a year or so before drinking. This really is one of the best infusions I know, with a pleasant bitter bite. I highly recommend that you try it.

River Cottage Fruit Every Day! Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall £25.00

Sarah Raven’s Complete Christmas Sarah Raven £25.00

Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food Tom Kerridge £20.00

The Family Kitchen Rob Kirby £18.99

Curing and Smoking Steven Lamb £14.99

Roast Marcus Verberne £25.00

Paul Hollywood’s Pies & Puds Paul Hollywood £20.00

Booze John Wright £14.99

Christmas Recipe Collection  
Christmas Recipe Collection  

A collection of wonderful recipes to reinvigorate your Christmas dinner