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1kg Maris Pipers potatoes, peeled

150g butter

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 sticks celery, diced

1 tsp dired thyme

600g minced beef

3 Oxo cubes

1 tsp cornflour

A glug of Worcestershire sauce

Lashings of red wine


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Cut your potatoes into evenly sized chunks, and put in a large pan of cold, salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer until tender.
  2. Heat the butter in a pan over a moderate heat, then add the vegetables. Soften, but do not brown.
  3. Add the thyme, and then the beef. Brown it all over, and then add half the stock made up of the Oxo cubes and red wine. Whisk the other half with the cornflour and then stir into the meat mixture. Add a glug of Worcestershire sauce and allow to simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Drain the potatoes and mash with a generous slab of butter. Season to taste.
  5. Taste and season the meat, adding more Worcestershire sauce if necessary. If it looks dry, pour in a little water.
  6. Put the meat into a large baking dish and top with the potato. Dot with small pieces of butter.
  7. Put into the oven for about 40 minutes, until the potato is crisp and slightly brown, then serve. Next pour over red wine and cook for a further hour.
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1 packet of ‘chicken-style’ Quorn chunks

1 quarter of a red pepper

1 quarter of a green pepper

four large mushrooms, sliced

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp garam masala powder

two cloves of garlic, chopped

1cm cube of fresh ginger

1/2 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp intense tomato paste


  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds, garlic and ginger and the fry those down until they are browned.
  2. Add the quorn and sprinkle with the tumeric, garam masala and lemon juice, letting it capture all the flavours.
  3. Throw in the peppers and mushrooms, then the tomato paste right at the end.
  4. Serve the basmati rice or naan bread.
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1 tbsp pure virgin olive oil

two knobs of butter

300g of freshly shelled young peas

two sticks of celery, finely chopped

one onion, finely chopped

350g arborio rice

1 ltr vegetable stock


  1. Bring the stock to boil in a saucepan and then reduce to simmer.
  2. Gently heat the oil and butter in a heavy based deep frying pan.
  3. Add the onion and the celery and cook until soft but not brown.
  4. Add a ladle of stock and then introduce the rice and begin to stir gently.
  5. Continue to add the stock (a ladle full at a time) making sure that each is almost completely absorbed before adding the next.
  6. Stir frequently to produce a creamy rice texture. You may decide to remove the pan from the heat and continue stirring on a couple of occasion to add to the creaminess.
  7. When you are happy with the texture of the rice add the peas and continue to stir for 4-5 minutes. Serve immediately.
  • 30
  • 8 mini strudels
  • Main
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8 chipolata sausages

50g butter

25g breadcrumbs

1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped

1/2 tsp cinnamon

25g walnuts, roughly chopped

150g filo pastry sheets (about 16 sheets)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Place the butter in a small frying pan and melt.
  2. Mix together the breadcrumbs, cooking apple, cinnamon and walnuts in a small bowl . Add half the butter and mix together well.
  3. Take two sheets of filo pastry and place on a board. At the end nearest to you, place one sausage and a large spoonful of the mixture onto the edge of the pastry.
  4. Using the remaining melted butter, brush the edges of the pastry. Roll up - if the pastry splits just brush with a little more butter.
  5. Take the 'sausage' shape and gently bend into a crescent shape, twist off the very ends of the pastry and place on a baking sheet.
  6. Brush all over with butter. Repeat using the remaining sausage, pastry, etc.
  7. Cook for about 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot or cold.
  • 20 minutes
  • 6
  • Main
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2 tbsp olive oil

1.5kg butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks

6 tomatoes, halved

120g butter

4 red onions, peeled and finely chopped

5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 packet of ready rolled puff pastry

1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp cold water


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large baking tray and add the butternut squash. Toss to coat in the oil and then make sure the squash is in a single layer so that it cooks evenly. Cook in the oven for about 10 - 15 minutes - you're just looking for them to soften a little.
  2. Two minutes before the squash is ready add the tomatoes, cut side down.
  3. Meanwhile melt the butter and the remaining oil in a pan. Add the onion, garlic and chilli. Cook for about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the coriander and cumin and fry for a minute longer.
  4. Tip the onion, garlic and chilli into the baking tray with the squash, making sure it is evenly distributed. Leave to cool.
  5. Roll out the pastry making one sheet large enough to cover the whole tray. Lay the sheet over your vegetables and trim off the excess. Place in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.
  6. Brush the pastry with the egg and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Ovens may vary so keep and eye on the pastry throughout; you are looking for a golden brown pastry and the juices bubbling around the edges. Remove from the oven and place a tray or board over the baking tray. Carefully flip the baking tray over and serve immediately.
  • 35 minutes
  • 4
  • Main
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4 chicken thighs

250ml créme fraiche

2-3 heaped tbsp grain mustard

2 garlic cloves, crushed

150g pancetta or bacon in the piece

3 or 4 small sprigs of thyme


  1. Pre-heat the oven at 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Put the chicken thighs in an ovenproof dish.
  2. Put the créme fraiche in a mixing bowl with the mustard, crushed garlic, a little salt and black pepper. Pull the thyme leaves from their stalks and add them to the créme fraiche.
  3. Cut the pancetta/bacon into short, thick strips then fry in a non-stick pan until the fat is golden.
  4. Mix with the sauce then spoon over the chicken. Bake for 35 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the chicken skin is nicely coloured.
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3lbs of stewing steak cut into bite size chunks

4 tbsp olive oil

2 small/med onions chopped roughly

2 tbsp plain flour

1 bottle of red wine

3 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp of dried thyme

3 cloves of garlic

2 bay leaves

10 baby shallots

140g smoked bacon lardons – can be bought easily in packets in all supermarkets

225g of chestnut mushrooms sliced (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put olive oil in a large casserole dish and heat until hot. Brown off the beef and onions then mix together adding the plain flour to soak up all of the juices.
  2. Add the wine bit by bit making sure you keep stirring to combine the flour, juices and wine. Add garlic, thyme and bay leaves and season.
  3. Cook on a low heat for three hours and in the meantime add a splash of olive oil to a small pan and gently fry the lardons and shallots together and stir in with mushrooms for another hour cooking time.
  4. Serve piping hot with a simple accompaniment of long grain rice.
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12 cooked asparagus spears

Approximately 20 roast spuds

2 shallots, sliced

A handful of rocket leaves

1 fennel bulb, blanched and finely sliced

For the italian dressing (makes 1 litre);

4 egg yolks

4 tsp caster sugar

2 tsp Dijon mustard

600ml olive oil

200ml white wine vinegar

Juice of 3 lemons

Freshly chopped oregano leaves


  1. Slice the asparagus diagonally, cut up the spuds, if necessary, and put all the salad ingredients into a large bowl.
  2. Season well and dress with about 200ml of the dressing. (If you like you can serve with warm spuds and asparagus.)
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675g mixed game such as pheasant, partridge, hare and rabbit, boned

225g venison steak cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes

2 tbsp sunflower oil

2 red onions, peeled and sliced

120g smoked streaky bacon, derinded and chopped

120g chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1 glove garlic, peeled and crushed

30g plain flour

1 bay leaf

1 orange, zest and juice

1 tbsp redcurrant jelly

300ml chicken stock

300ml red wine

340g puff pastry

Salt and pepper


  1. Heat a tablespoon of the oil and brown the game and venison in batches until well browned. Keep on one side.
  2. Heat the rest of the oil and cook the onions for five minutes until starting to soften. Add the garlic, bacon and mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the flour and cook for two minutes. Season well and stir in the bay leaf, orange zest and juice, redcurrant jelly, stock and wine.
  4. Bring to the boil, add the meat and simmer gently for 40-50 minutes until the meat is tender. Cool.
  5. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
  6. Put the meat mixture in a pie dish. Roll out the pastry to make a lid and attach to the dish. Decorate with the pastry trimmings and cut a steam hole in the centre. Glaze with beaten egg.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes and then reduce the heat to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden and risen and the filling is pipping hot.
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400g large raw prawns, peeled and de-veined

Vegetable oil for frying

1 onion peeled and chopped finely

Fresh ginger about 2 inch peeled and shredded

1 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tbsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp ground coriander

Tin of coconut milk

Pinch ground cloves

200g spinach

1 lime

Fish stock

Johnny Cakes   

4 tbsp self raising flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda


  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and ginger and fry for about five minutes or until soft.
  2. Add the spices and cook for another two minutes stirring all the time.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk and fish stock, bring to boil then simmer for five minutes. Then add the washed prawns and cook for another four minutes or until the prawns are cooked.
  4. Put the spinach in a large pan with just the water on the leaves from washing it, add a pinch of salt. Put on the heat until the leaves have wilted, should take about two minutes.
  5. Add the spinach into the prawn dish, add seasoning if required and serve with the Johnny Cakes immediately.
  6. To make the Johnny Cakes: add water to flour, the bicarbonate soda and a pinch of salt, to make dough. Roll into table tennis size balls and fry both sides until golden brown.
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230g canned refriend beans

2 medium tomatoes, chopped small

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1-2 tsp hot chilli sauce or to taste

4 taco shells, warmed as per instructions on the pack

Grated cheddar cheese (optional)

For the garnish;

Sliced avocado

Sour cream optional

Shredded lettuce

Squeeze of lime or lemon juice

For the mexican corn bread;

1 free-range egg

2 tbsp olive oil

1-2 tbsp chopped fresh hot chilli pepper

230g tin sweetcorn, drained or 2-3 fresh earns of corn, kernals cut off

110g créme fraiche or sour cream

130g yellow cornmeal

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking powder

460g grated cheese


  1. In a large frying pan gently fry the onions in 2 tbsp olive oil for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Stir in the refried beans. Add the chopped tomato. Fry til heated through. Season to taste with chilli sauce and a little salt if desired.
  3. Half-fill the warm taco shells with the mixture and top with shredded cheese and shredded lettuce (you can put the lettuce at the bottom of the shell if you prefer). Garnish with a slice or two of avocado and a dollop of sour cream.
  4. For the mexican corn bread: beat the egg with the oil until blended. Add the chilli pepper. Stir in the corn, créme fraiche, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and all but 110g of the cheese. Pour into a 20cm square pan. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Bake in a pre-heated oven (180°)for 40 minutes. Let cool slightly in the pan, then un-mould and serve warm.
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500g raw tiger prawns, shells off and de-veined

2 tbsp groundnut oil

1 onion, chopped

1 courgette, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 handful of shitake mushrooms

3 garlic cloves, finely grated

2.5cm piece root ginger, finely grated

Small bunch of fresh coriander

1 tin of coconut cream

Soy sauce (to taste)

Fish sauce (to taste)



  1. Sauté the onions in groundnut oil along with the red peppers and courgettes to give it a bit of colour.
  2. Then add a splash of fish sauce, soy sauce, and leave until the vegetables are softened.
  3. Add in a tin of coconut milk then add the raw king prawns and mushrooms and poach them in the sauce.
  4. Add a handful of fresh coriander, the garlic and ginger and simmer until it bubbles.
  5. Season and serve with brown rice and a crisp, dry white wine like a Sancerre or a Chablis.
  • 15 minutes
  • 2
  • Main
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1 medium size live lobster

1 x 220g tin of crabmeat in brine, drained

1 tbsp light soy sauce

Sea salt

Egg-fried rice to serve


1 tbsp groundnut oil

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 medium red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 large bunch of fresh coriander

1 large handful of spinach


  1. Prepare the live lobster by placing it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a large pan of water until boiling. Quickly plunge the lobster into the water and cook for eight minutes or until the lobster has turned completely pink. Lift out and drain well. (You can use the lobster broth for a seafood soup.)
  3. Using a large cleaver or knife, chop off the tail and cut into three sections. Pull off the claws. Using the back of the cleaver crack the shell of the claws and all the lobster pieces - this helps to let the sauce seep into the lobster and flavour the meat when cooking. Divide the body of the lobster in half lengthways and then spoon out the brown flesh, if preferred and discard. Chop each half into two pieces.
  4. Put all the ingredients for the sauce in a blender with 7 fl oz lobster broth and whiz until smooth.
  5. Heat a wok over a high heat. Pour in the sauce, add the crabmeat and season to taste with soy sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then toss the lobster pieces into the sauce, mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes. Take off the heat and serve immediately with egg-fried rice.
  • 20 - 30 mins
  • 2
  • Main
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4 rashers dry cured premium bacon

4 premium pork chipolata sausages

1 small bloomer loaf

2 eggs

Olive oil


Mushrooms and cherry tomatoes


  1. Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 6/200°C/400°F.
  2. Take a small bloomer loaf and cut in 1/2 lengthways, place on foil.
  3. Lay rashers of bacon over bread. Add sausages and crack egg in centre of the two sausages.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and season. Add mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.
  5. Scrunch foil around outside of loaf and bake for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Serve with extra mushrooms and cherry tomatoes and sauce of your choice.
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1 1/2lb Cubed steak

2oz Lard

1 1/2oz plain flour

5 large carrots

1 tin of red kidney beans

1 large onion

4oz mushrooms

1 sweet bell pepper

1 Oxo cube (made up to 1 pint stock)

2 level tbsp tomato purée

2 garlic cloves

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tin tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 bottle red wine

Mixed herbs

New potatoes


Pastry (You can buy ready rolled short crust pastry from the supermarket. You need enough to cover the top of the pie dish.)


  1. Remove the excess fat from the steak and cut into cubes. Peel, top and tail the carrots, then slice. Remove the seeds and white pith from the centre of the sweet pepper and roughly chop. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Slice the mushrooms.
  2. Melt the lard in the large frying pan. Pour the flour over the chopped steak and mix together with your hands.
  3. Put the steak into the pan and fry until the meat is well browned.
  4. Remove the meat, leaving any fat in the pan. Turn the heat down low. Add the carrots, peppers, onions and garlic. Cook on a low heat for about five minutes turning the vegetables frequently to ensure they are all lightly coated in some fat.
  5. Return the steak to the frying pan with the veg. Add the stock, wine, tomato purée, tinned tomatoes, kidney beans and Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and bring to the boil.
  6. Turn the heat to a low setting, cover and simmer for two and a half hours until the beef is tender. The frying pan must be covered while cooking to preserve the moisture and prevent the meat from drying out on the top.
  7. When cooked, transfer the mixture to a casserole dish and leave to cool for at least 1 1/2 hours, preferably three to four hours.
  8. Add two tablespoons of oil to a frying pan and fry the mushrooms at a medium heat for three minutes. Place the cooked mushrooms on the pie filling and mix into it well with a fork or spoon.
  9. Pop your pastry - lightly brushed with a little milk - over the top of your mixture and casserole dish, making two holes with a little knife so steam can escape.
  10. Put the pie in the pre-heated oven (220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 5) and cook for a further 30 minutes. Then boil some new potatoes, toss with butter, herbs and fresh mint and serve.
  11. Any leftover pie will keep in the fridge for 24 hours and is delicious the next day.
  • 45 minutes
  • 4
  • Dessert
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Crumble mix;

60g unsalted butter (kept at room temperature)

120g plain flour

60g caster sugar

(A little extra flour on standby is useful as sometimes a little more seems to need to be added to get the consistancy just right.)

Fruit for crumble:

1 packet of plums (approx 10)

8 tblsp amaretto

45g ground almonds

For custard:

2 egg yolks

500ml double cream

1 vanilla pod

30g caster sugar


  1. Pre-heat the oven to180°C - 190°C.
  2. Dice the plums leaving the skin on and de-stone. Place in a pan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer until they start to breakdown.
  3. Add the ground almonds and amaretto and reduce the mixture until syrupy.
  4. For the crumble topping, mix the butter and flour in a bowl by hand and gradually add the sugar to make breadcrumbs.
  5. To assemble, pour the stewed plums into a dish and top with the crumble, cook in the oven for 40 minutes.
  6. For the custard, separate the eggs and add 2 yolks to the cream, whisk together then place in a bowl over a bain-marie. Slice the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Bring the egg and cream to a simmer and add the sugar and vanilla. Keep heating until thick but do not boil.
  7. Serve the crumble in individual dishes or spoon a generous spoonful onto a plate and serve with a jug of custard.
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250g haricot beans, soaked overnight

2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2.5cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped

1 red chilli, split

1 red pepper, chopped

1 tbsp paprika

2 tsp tomato purée

2 litres hot chicken stock

200g lentils

Salt and fresh black pepper

200g fat prawns

200g hot chorizo sausage, chopped

Handful fresh coriander, chopped

Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped


  1. Soak the haricot beans overnight in plenty of cold water; drain them when ready to cook.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the prawns, onions, garlic, ginger and chilli until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the paprika and cook for a minute or two, then add the tomato purée and cook again, stirrng so that you are almost frying the purée.
  4. Now add the drained beans and pour in half the hot chicken stock.
  5. Bring to the boil, and then cover the pan and simmer for one and a half hours or until the beans are tender.
  6. Add the lentils and the remaining litre of stock and cook for a further 30 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. To finish off, heat the chopped chorizo in a hot pan and scatter over the soup with the coriander just before serving. Serve with crusty bread and a small green salad.
  • 1 hour
  • 4
  • Main
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4 plump duck breasts

1 butternut squash

Large bundle of green beans or some broccoli, as preferred

1-1.5kg floury potatoes

1 brick of butter

250ml sour cream (Do not substitute with créme fraiche; use real sour cream or extra thick double cream)

Large garlic bulb

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


  1. Cut the squash into large wedges but before making the first incision, when you think they're big enough, make them a bit bigger! Place the wedges in a non-stick baking dish, cover with olive oil and season with sea salt and ground pepper.
  2. Bake at 200°C for 40 minutes or until a fork slides easily through wedge. For colour, add green beans or broccoli for the final ten minutes.
  3. Drizzle the green beans or broccoli with oil oozing from the roasting squash, layer them on top of the squash and cook until al dente.
  4. For the garlic mash, peel and boil the potatoes until soft.
  5. Drain and put the potatoes in mixing bowl or leave in the pan. Add the brick of butter and the large tub of sour cream and mash with a hand mixer.
  6. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  7. While the potatoes are boiling, roast the full garlic bulb dressed with olive oil and a little stock from the vegetables for 20 minutes in the high heat oven (200°C). Squeeze each clove separately into the mashed potatoes and mix.
  8. Place the duck breasts on a dry, non-stick roasting tray and score across the fat of the duck.
  9. Salt the bottom of the tray and rub salt into the duck's fat. Then bake at 200°C until the duck breasts plump up off the tray or to taste (medium or medium well).
  10. During the last five minutes of cooking time grill the duck fat to desired crunchiness and taste.
  11. Slice and serve on a white plate. Place a dollop of mashed potatoes at the top of the plate, fan slices of duck under potatoes, and place squash next to duck.