Food & Drink5 of probably the most comforting recipes to make...

5 of probably the most comforting recipes to make in lockdown, from fish pie to stout-braised sausages


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Hen and leek pie

Serves 2

1 giant leek

2tbsp gentle olive oil or sunflower oil, for frying

300g diced hen leg

1tsp dried thyme

1tsp dried sage

75ml white wine

1tbsp plain flour

200ml hen inventory

1 egg

½ pack puff pastry

¼ cabbage

2 giant or extra smaller carrots

25g butter

Salt and pepper

Trim the highest and backside of the leek. Chop lengthways in half, then into ½cm items.

Warmth the oil in a big frying pan. When scorching, add the hen and fry to brown it on all sides. Switch to a plate.

Add the leek to the pan, with a splash extra oil if wanted. Decrease the warmth and fry gently, stirring every now and then, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the thyme, sage and wine. Let the wine bubble away till simply absorbed. Add the flour and stir for 2 minutes to cook dinner it out.

Steadily add the inventory, stirring till the combination thickens barely. Stir within the hen. Season. Switch to a 25cm x 15cm baking dish. Depart the combination to chill for quarter-hour.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gasoline mark 6.

Crack the egg right into a small bowl and beat with a fork. As soon as the hen combine has cooled, take the pastry out of the fridge and unroll it.

Moist the sting of the dish with somewhat water. Reduce skinny strips of pastry and press across the fringe of the dish to cowl the rim. Reduce a big piece of pastry, utilizing the dish as a template, to cowl the highest and rim, crimping it with the sting strips to seal it. Brush with the egg.

Make a small slit in the midst of the pastry for the steam to flee. Bake for half-hour, till the pastry is golden-brown.

Whereas the pie cooks, wash and shred the cabbage, eradicating any powerful core. Wash, peel and finely slice the carrots.

Ten minutes earlier than the pie is prepared, put the carrots in a frying pan with the butter and simply sufficient water to cowl them. Prepare dinner over a low boil for 5 minutes.

Add the cabbage, flip up the warmth barely and stir-fry for 5 minutes, till tender. The liquid ought to evaporate away.

Season the veg to style and serve with the pie.

Recipe courtesy of

Stout-braised sausages and root veg mash

Stout-braised sausages and root veg mash (Recipe courtesy of Waitrose)

Serves 3

1½tbsp olive oil

2 crimson onions, minimize into wedges

3 thyme sprigs

6 pork sausages

600g blended root greens (parsnip, candy potato, swede), peeled, roughly chopped

½tsp plain flour

200ml Guinness Draught

100ml hen inventory

1½tbsp clear honey

1tbsp Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gasoline mark 4. Warmth half a tablespoon of oil in a big, ovenproof frying pan or casserole dish over a medium warmth and add the onions, thyme and sausages. Fry for 10 minutes, stirring recurrently, till the sausages are golden.

In the meantime, put the basis veg in a steamer and steam for 20 minutes (or boil in water for 20 minutes, then drain and go away to steam-dry for a few minutes).

Sprinkle the flour into the pan with the sausages and fry, stirring, for one minute extra. Pour within the Guinness and simmer for 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Add the inventory, honey and mustard and stir till mixed. Deliver to a simmer, then put within the oven for quarter-hour till the sauce has decreased and the sausages are cooked by way of.

Verify the greens are tender by piercing with a knife; it ought to slip in simply. Switch to a bowl. Add the remaining oil, season and mash with a potato masher. Serve with the sausages, onions and gravy.

Recipe courtesy of

Macaroni cauliflower cheese with mustard and braised chard

Macaroni Cauliflower cheese (Picture courtesy of Riverford)

Serves 2

500ml milk

1 bay leaf

1 cauliflower

1 tomato

150g macaroni pasta

25g butter

30g flour

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

100g cheddar, grated

1 nutmeg

40g breadcrumbs

2tbsp gentle olive oil

1 head chard

Salt and pepper

Fill one saucepan with the milk, bay and 100ml of water. Fill one other with well-salted water. Put each on the warmth (don’t let the milk boil over).

Take away the outer leaves and stalk from the cauliflower then break the florets into 2cm items. Slice the tomato into 5 skinny slices.

When the milk is at a simmer, add the cauliflower. Simmer for six minutes, till the cauliflower is simply cooked.

Get the salted water to a rolling boil and cook dinner the macaroni for 11 minutes.

Take away the cauliflower with a slotted spoon and hold the nice and cozy milk within the pan (take away the bay leaf).

Drain the macaroni and hold to 1 facet. Give the pan a fast wipe.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gasoline mark 6.

Put the butter within the empty pan and place on a medium warmth to soften. Add the flour and beat to make a easy paste. Prepare dinner over a delicate warmth for 4 minutes, till it has a faint biscuity odor.

On a low warmth, add half the nice and cozy milk. Utilizing a whisk, beat out any lumps and look forward to it to begin to thicken. Add the remainder of the milk and produce to a delicate simmer, whisking continuously, till you might have a easy sauce.

Take away the sauce from the warmth. Add the mustard and cheddar. Whisk till the cheese melts. Finely grate in somewhat nutmeg (not more than quarter teaspoon). Season to style. Add the macaroni and cauliflower to the sauce and blend it collectively. Switch to a baking or gratin dish.

Combine the breadcrumbs with a tablespoon of oil. Lay the tomato on prime of the macaroni. Cowl with the breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, put together the chard: Wash it nicely and strip the leaves from the stalks. Finely cube the stalks and roughly shred the leaves. Clear a pan and warmth a tablespoon of oil in it. Add the diced stalks and cook dinner gently for 10 minutes till tender.

Now add the shredded chard leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Prepare dinner gently for an extra 5 minutes till the leaves wilt. Serve your mac’n’cauli cheese with the chard on the facet.

Recipe courtesy of

Fish pie with spinach

Fish pie with chive mash topping (Picture courtesy of Riverford)

Serves 4

250g entire piece salmon

250g entire piece

white fish

700ml milk

½ onion, minimize into rings

6-8 black peppercorns

1 bay leaf

Just a few recent parsley stalks

250g prawns

3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and roughly chopped

2tbsp recent parsley, chopped

50g butter

50g plain flour

Juice of ½ lemon

250g bag of spinach, washed, stalks eliminated and discarded

4tbsp double cream

Just a little grated nutmeg

1 kg potatoes, peeled and diced

Knob of butter and splash of milk

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gasoline mark 6.

Place the salmon and white fish in a big pan (a big frying pan shall be high-quality) and pour over the milk. Add the onion rings, peppercorns, bay leaf and parsley stalks. Deliver to the boil, scale back the warmth and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Pressure the fish, reserving the cooking liquor. Depart to chill barely, then select the onion, herbs and spices, and discard. Flake the fish into a big bowl. Add the prawns, eggs and chopped parsley. Stir gently to mix.

Make a white sauce: soften a knob of butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook dinner gently for 2 minutes. Add the reserved milk from cooking the fish, a squeeze of lemon juice and whisk to mix. Warmth till thickened, then go away to chill. Pour over the fish and gently stir to mix.

Steam or blanch the spinach in a pan of boiling water for 3 minutes, till wilted. Drain and plunge right into a bowl of chilly water, then drain once more. Squeeze right into a ball and gently squeeze out as a lot water as you may, then finely chop.

Place the spinach within the backside of a baking dish. Pour over the cream and grate over somewhat recent nutmeg earlier than pouring over the fish combination.

To make the mash, boil a pan of salted water, add the potatoes and cook dinner for about eight minutes, till simply mushy. Drain and return to the pan.

Add a knob of butter and a splash of milk, season nicely with salt and white pepper and mash till easy.
Unfold the mash over the fish combination then use a fork to tough up the highest somewhat.

Dot some butter excessive, then bake for about 20 to half-hour, till the highest is beginning to go brown and crispy.

Recipe courtesy of

Beef, Stilton and onion pie

Beef, Stilton and onion pie (Photograph courtesy of The Pie Room by Calum Franklin)

Serves 4-6

300g tough puff pastry (or shop-bought puff pastry)

1 egg yolk crushed with 1tsp water, for brushing

600g beef chuck steak, minimize into 4cm cube

100g plain flour

40ml vegetable oil

4 Spanish onions, peeled and halved however with the roots left on

400g chestnut mushrooms, halved

1tsp desk salt

300ml crimson wine

2 bay leaves

3 thyme sprigs

2 litres beef inventory

100g Stilton cheese, damaged into 2cm nuggets

½tsp freshly floor black pepper

Preheat the oven to 220°C fan/240°C/gasoline mark 9.

To arrange the filling, put the meat in a roasting tray, mud with the flour and toss the meat till all of the flour has been absorbed by the meat. Add 20ml of the vegetable oil to the tray and toss nicely to make sure the meat is evenly coated.

Put the tray in to the preheated oven and roast the meat for 20 minutes till browned and any juices launched throughout cooking have evaporated.

Whereas the meat is roasting, minimize every onion half into six wedges by way of the basis to depart petals. Put a big frying pan over a medium warmth, add the remaining 20ml of vegetable oil and heat for one minute. Add the onions to the pan and cook dinner, stirring regularly with a wood spoon till the onions have began to brown.

Add the mushrooms to the pan with half the salt and proceed to cook dinner for an extra three minutes till the mushrooms have simply softened. Subsequent, add the crimson wine, bay leaves and thyme and produce to a simmer.

After 20 minutes, take away the meat from the oven and verify it’s properly browned. If not, return it to the oven for an extra 5 minutes. When the meat is prepared, tip the onions, mushrooms, herbs and crimson wine into the roasting tray excessive of the meat. Put the frying pan again on the warmth, pour within the beef inventory and produce to a simmer.

Add to the tray with all the opposite pie filling elements.

At this stage, be sure that the meat will not be caught to the underside of the roasting tray: utilizing a wood spoon, dislodge any caramelised chunks of meat. Working rigorously, tightly cowl the highest of the tray with aluminium foil.

Return the tray to the oven and proceed to cook dinner at 220°C fan/240°C/gasoline mark 9 for 10 minutes, then scale back the temperature to 160°C fan/180°C/gasoline mark 4 and set a timer for 1¾ hours.

Whereas the filling is braising, put together the pastry. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. On a calmly floured floor, roll out the pastry to a 5mm thick circle giant sufficient to cowl the pie dish.

Slide the rolled-out pastry onto the lined tray and chill within the fridge for at the least 25 minutes. Put aside
any pastry trimmings for adornment later.

After the meat has been braising for 1¾ hours, take away the tray from the oven and, utilizing a dish towel to guard your palms, peel again a nook of the foil. Spoon out one chunk of beef and verify to verify it’s tender. It shouldn’t be chewy. If obligatory, pop the tray again within the oven for an extra quarter-hour.

When the meat is prepared, rigorously take away all of the foil from the tray. Place a colander over a big bowl and tip within the filling. Let the combination pressure for a few minutes, then place the contents of the colander again into the tray to chill down.

Switch the strained liquid from the bowl to a big saucepan, convey to a simmer over a medium warmth and cook dinner till thick sufficient to coat the again of a spoon. Season with the pepper and the remaining salt, stirring and tasting recurrently.

Pour the decreased liquid over the combination within the tray and put aside to chill to room temperature, stirring sometimes. As soon as the combination is cool, switch the filling to the pie dish and degree the floor. Nudge the nuggets of Stilton into the filling, distributing them evenly however avoiding the perimeters.

Improve the oven temperature to 200°C fan/220°C/gasoline mark 7.

Brush the rim of the pie dish with the egg wash, brushing about 2.5cm down the perimeters of the dish. Lay the pastry circle centrally throughout the highest of the dish, permitting it to relaxation calmly on prime of the filling. Press firmly down on the pastry in opposition to the egg-brushed rim of the dish to seal all the best way spherical. Calmly brush the pie lid with extra egg wash and adorn utilizing the reserved pastry trimming, brushing that with egg wash. Return the pie to the fridge and chill for 20 minutes.

Place the dish on a rack within the centre of the oven and bake the pie for 25 minutes or till the pastry is golden brown and the core temperature of the filling has reached at the least 70°C on a digital probe thermometer. Alternatively, poke the tip of a knife into the center of the filling for just a few seconds – it needs to be scorching to the contact. Midway by way of the cooking time, flip the dish round to make sure an excellent bake.

Serve the pie with boiled new potatoes and slow-roasted carrots.

Recipe from The Pie Room by Calum Franklin, £26, Bloomsbury Absolute

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