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Spicy Chorizo, Beans and Octopus Stew

Spicy Chorizo, Beans and Octopus Stew

Ingredients (serves 4 as a main course)

2 jars of giant butter beans

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2 or 3 Octopus tentacles cut in chunks depending on the size

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150g Spicy Chorizo sliced or chopped in small pieces

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2 tbsp good quality olive oil

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1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
2 medium garlic cloves, roughly chopped
250ml chicken or vegetable stock 
Fresh parsley for garnish 

Method

  1. To make this Spicy Chorizo, Beans and Octopus Stew, first heat the olive oil in a deep saute pan over a medium heat
  2. Sweat the onions until translucent but keep then pale rather then letting them caramelise
  3. Add the garlic and bay leaves and continue cooking for 2 mins
  4. Add the stock and both jar of beans – juice and all – and bring it to boil
  5. Lower the heat and slowly simmer before adding the octopus
  6. Simmer for a further 10 mins to reduce and warm through the beans and octopus. Remember both of these ingredients are pre-cooked so all we need to do is warm them through
  7. In the meantime, using a dry pan to fry the chorizo until it is nice and crispy
  8. Let the stew rest for a few mins and then add the crispy chorizo on the top
  9. Drizzle with the chorizo oil rendered during the frying process and garnish with freshly chopped parsley
  10. Place your Spicy Chorizo, Beans and Octopus Stew in the middle of the table and let the crowd fight over it
  11. Serve it with a well chilled white wine

I use giant butter beans for this recipe but you can equally use chickpeas or any other beans. Personally I find the butter beans are the best combination for this dish as both the octopus and the beans are pre-cooked so you can enjoy maximum satisfaction with minimum effort.

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Lentil Stew with Fresh Herbs and Wild Garlic

Lentils Stew with Fresh Herbs and Wild Garlic

Ingredients (serves 2 as a main course)

1 jar of lentils

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2 tbsp good quality olive oil

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1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 celery stalk, finely chopped
Small bunch of wild garlic. Try and get some with flowers if you can
2 bay leaves
Small bunch of tarragon
Small bunch of parsley
250ml good quality vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to season

Method

  1. To make this Lentil Stew with Fresh Herbs and Wild Garlic, first wash all the fresh herbs thoroughly. Then separate the stalks from the leaves and set to one side
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan
  3. Gently sweat the onion, carrot and celery for 5 mins or until the vegetables become translucent 
  4. Next add the bay leaves and the stalks from the herbs. Soutee for another 2 mins
  5. Add the vegetable stock and the whole jar of lentils – juice and all – and bring the pan to the boil
  6. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 mins to reduce the liquid to a stew-like consistency
  7. Rip up all the fresh herbs by hand and add to your pot
  8. Mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper
  9. If you can resist, leave the dish for 10 mins to rest
  10. Add the wild garlic flowers and place your Lentil Stew with Fresh Herbs and Wild Garlic in the middle of the table so everyone can help themselves

A great mid-week recipe. Quick to prepare and vegan and vegetarian. However, if you like you can add some grilled chicken, grilled fish or seafood.  For some extra umami why not grate some parmesan over this delicious lentil stew.

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Smoked Duck Carbonara

Smoked Duck Carbonara

Ingredients (serves 4)

Good quality spaghetti 100-120g per person
1 x smoked duck breast

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4 organic free range eggs (2 whole and 2 yolk only)
70g grated pecorino
30g grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. To make our Smoked Duck Carbonara, first boil the spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet in generously salted water. I alway recommend pasta is al dente
  2. Separate the eggs and set aside 
  3. Dice the duck breast into small cubes, skin and all. Don’t remove the fat as this will render down and create a wonderful smoky flavour and you need it as we not using oil or butter to fry it in the pan
  4. While the pasta is cooking on a medium heat, render and crisp up the duck – just the same as you would do when frying bacon
  5. Remove the duck and set it aside on a paper towel
  6. Add the spaghetti to the duck fat and a half a ladle of cooking water and remove from the heat completely 
  7. Add the eggs slowly and make sure you stir the dish so it doesn’t turn into scrambled eggs. Stirring helps cool the dish
  8. Add both the parmesan and pecorino cheese to the pan and keep stirring for another minute to bind everything together
  9. On low heat, reheat the dish and add the duck
  10. Season with salt and a lot of black pepper

Smoked Duck Carbonara is a dish that will always impress! Very quick to make and perfect if you have unexpected guests.

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Handmade Japanese Wagyu Burgers

Japanese Wagyu Burger

Ingredients (serves 2 as a main course)

1 x 400g ribeye steak

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Or 2 x ready made wagyu burgers

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1 lobe of foie gras or pre-sliced foie gras

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½ tsp Sansho Japanese pepper

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2 tbsp Unagi no tare sauce

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1 medium organic free range egg
2-3 spring onions, split, chopped in chunks and thoroughly washed
2 burger buns, I prefer to use brioche buns 
Salt and pepper 

Method

  1. When making these Japanese Wagyu Burgers, I prefer to make my own purely because when you do so you know exactly what’s in your burger and can season it to your liking. However, if you prefer you can also use ready made wagyu burgers
  2. If you wish to make your Japanese Wagyu Burgers by hand, firstly finely chop the ribeye steak 
  3. Using a glass bowl mix the wagyu, egg, a pinch of salt and the Sansho pepper thoroughly by hand
  4. Mould the mix into two identical sized burger patties or use a burger press.
  5.  Chill the burgers in the fridge until you are ready to start cooking. Bring them out 15-20 mins beforehand. You can also make the burgers the day before
  6. If you are using a whole lobe of foie gras, slice it in angles to get nice big slices about 1cm thick or roughly 50g. The rest can be used to make Foie Gras Pate
  7. Heat a dry frying pan to medium heat and cook the burgers. This should take about 4-5 mins per side but it can be longer depending on how thick your burgers are. To check if your burger is cooked, gently press down on them and make sure the juices run clear. 
  8. Set your burger patties to one side and cover with tin foil and leave to rest
  9. Use the same pan, now cook your foie gras slices. Each side should take about one and a half mins or fry until golden brown. Be careful not to burn the foie gras as it will taste slightly bitter
  10. In the meantime, warm through the burger buns in another dry pan
  11. We are now ready to assemble our Handmade Japanese Wagyu Burgers
  12. Spread a teaspoon of unagi no tare on the bottom half of the bun
  13. Add the burger, foie gras and spring onions
  14. Season with salt and pepper
  15. Use the rest of the unagi to drizzle over the top and finish by adding the top half of the bun

This is the most luxurious burger you will ever taste and I guarantee your friends will be raving about them for years.

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Roasted Foie Gras, Espelette Rub and Roasted Figs

Roasted Foie Gras, Espelette Rub and Roasted Figs

Ingredients (serves 6 as a starter)

1 lobe of foie gras

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3 tbp espelette chilli pepper

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½ tsp table salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 figs, quartered but not split entirely
Runny honey for drizzle

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Sliced and toasted brioche bread
Toasted walnuts
Fig jam for serving

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Hay for smoking. You can get this from a pet shop 
Special equipment needed
Cake pan with holes. If you don’t have one, you can use a roasting rack but layer it with tin foil and spike this with a knife to create the holes
Second cake pan or roasting tray 

Method

  1. To make our Roasted Foie Gras, first remove the foie gras from the fridge 25-30 mins before roasting and take it out of the vacuum pack. If your foie gras weighs around 800g +/- you may want to break it in two parts so you have a small and large lobe
  2. Heat your BBQ or oven to 200C 
  3. Mix the espelette chilli pepper, salt and pepper together and rub this mix over the foie gras ensuring the lobes are well covered
  4. Using the larger cake pan, cover it with hay and place the holed cake pan on top. Put the ready seasoned foie gras inside this pan.
  5. Surround the foie gras with the quartered figs and drizzle the figs with honey
  6. Roast for 25-30 mins
  7. While the foie gras is roasting, toast your walnuts and brioche
  8. Check the foie gras. The flesh should be firm to touch and golden brown
  9. When the foie gras is cooked, remove from the BBQ or oven and cover it with tin foil.
  10. Leave to rest for 15 mins. Remember while the foie gras is resting it is still cooking
  11. Serve the foie gras on a large dish and surround it with the roasted figs, toasted walnuts and a dollop of fig jam serving the brioche on the side

I prefer to make this dish on the BBQ which gives it a fantastic smoky quality and flavour but you can replicate this using hay in the oven and still get a wonderful smokiness.

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Roasted Yuzu Chicken with Wild Garlic

Roasted Yuzu Chicken with Wild Garlic

Ingredients (serves 4 as a main course)

1 good quality whole chicken

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2 tbsp Yuzu Peel Powder

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½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 lemon, cut in half
Few sprigs of wild garlic. Alternatively you can use lemon thyme, tarragon or a few cloves of ordinary garlic
Steamed rice to serve

Method

  1. To make this Roasted Yuzu Chicken with Wild Garlic, first remove the chicken from the fridge half an hour before cooking to bring it up to room temperature
  2. Mix all the spices together and rub them onto the skin of the chicken and coat the inside of the bird as well
  3. Insert half a lemon into the cavity along with the herbs
  4. Preheat the oven to 160C 
  5. Place the chicken on a roasting rack over a tray filled with a cup of water
  6. Roast for 1hr 30 mins or until the juices run clear when you cut into the chicken
  7. Serve your Roasted Yuzu Chicken with steamed rice and the second half of the lemon

Zingy, light and refreshing  – enjoy the wonderful citrus flavours of this fantastic roast!

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Chilled Pea and Mint Soup with Keta Salmon Roe (Ikura)

Chilled Pea and Mint Soup

Ingredients (serves 4 as a starter)

1 jar 100g Keta Salmon Roe (Ikura)

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2 tsp good quality olive oil

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500g frozen peas
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
4 bay leaves
250ml chicken or vegetable stock
100ml milk
Small bunch of fresh mint
Fresh dill to serve as a garnish

Method

  1. To make our Chilled Pea and Mint Soup, first heat some olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat
  2. Gentle sweat the onions until they become translucent
  3. Add the stock and bay leaves and bring to the boil
  4. Next, add the peas and simmer for 5 mins
  5. Let the soup cool down and remove the bay leaves. Keep them to one side as you will need them later when plating up
  6. Using a hand blender, blitz your soup into a smooth puree, slowly adding the milk while blending to ensure your soup has a nice creamy texture. If needed, you can add more milk 
  7. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and leave your Chilled Pea and Mint Soup to chill overnight in the fridge
  8. When ready to serve, chop the mint leaving a few nice leaves for decoration
  9. Mix the chopped mint into your soup and serve in soup bowls
  10. Gently spoon the Keta onto the bay leaves. Place them at the last minute in the middle of your soup bowl so they float and garnish with extra mint leaves and dill for an additional burst of flavour

This vibrant and tasty summer soup is one you can prepare in advance and is always a sure fire winner!

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Slow Cooked Roast Lamb with Ratatouille by Mary Berry

Slow Cooked Roast Lamb

Ingredients (serves 6)

Large leg of lamb or shoulder, approx 2kg

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3 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp sweet paprika

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2 tbsp olive oil

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2 garlic cloves, sliced into slithers
3 onions, thickly sliced
2 red peppers, chopped into large pieces
1 large aubergine, chopped into large pieces 
400g tin Pomodorini Tomatoes

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300ml beef or chicken stock 
2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
3 fresh bay leaves
1 tpsp acacia honey 

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Salt and pepper to season 

Method

  1. To make this Slow Cooked Roast Lamb, first preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7
  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Saute the mushrooms in batches. Add an extra 1 tbsp oil with each
  3. Using a small sharp knife, make a series of small slits over the leg of lamb. Put 2 tablespoons of the thyme in a bowl with the paprika and oil, season and mix together.
  4. Spread the mixture over the lamb, insert the garlic slivers into the slits and season the lamb with salt and pepper.
  5. Put the onions into a large, deep roasting tin, sit the lamb on top and roast for about 40 minutes.
  6. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3
  7. Scatter the peppers and aubergine around the lamb. Pour the tomatoes into a bowl, add the stock, tomato paste, the remaining thyme, bay leaves and honey, and stir to combine. Pour into the tin over the peppers and stir.
  8. Cover the whole tin with foil and return to the oven for about 4 hours, until the lamb is tender and falling off the bone.
  9. Lift your Slow Cooked Roast Lamb out of the tin and place on a large board. Spoon off any fat from the top of the sauce.
  10. Carve the meat into slices and serve with the vegetables.

This is one of our favourite roast lamb dishes. From Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts, this all-in-one roast has a wonderful aromatic coating with ratatouille-style vegetables. Once it’s in the oven you can forget about it for 4 hours. Great for feeding family and friends and the perfect Sunday roast whatever the occasion.

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Hungarian Beef Goulash Stew and Soup

Hungarian Beef Goulash Stew

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 tbsp good quality olive oil

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1kg diced beef

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2 tbsp sweet paprika

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1 tsp hot paprika to balance the sweetness. However, if you like a kick to your goulash add 2 tsp hot paprika

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75ml good quality white wine keeping the rest for the chefView Options
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, whole
1 romano red pepper, deseeded and diced
2 tsp tomato purée 
2 large tomatoes, diced 
250ml beef stock
Flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
2 bay leaves 
Pinch of cumin powder
Pinch of cumin seeds
Sliced chilli or red pepper 
Salt and pepper to season
Boiled potato cut in quarters to serve. If you are feeling adventurous you can use asian rice noodles instead

Method

  1. To make our Hungarian Beef Goulash Stew first quarter or half the bigger mushrooms and leave the smaller ones whole.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Saute the mushrooms in batches. Adding an extra 1 tbsp oil with each batch. Set the mushrooms to one side.
  3. Add the last bit of olive oil if needed followed by the onion, garlic cloves and pepper. Gently fry until soft for around 5-10 mins. You don’t want the onions to brow. So cook slowly to  maintain a pale colour for this dish.
  4. Return the mushrooms to the pan and add the paprika and bay leaves. Fry for 2 to 3 min to release the flavours of this wonderful paprika. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for 2 mins.
  5. Add the wine, stock and diced tomato. Bring to boil and then reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for a further 20 to 25 min.
  6. At this point season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  7. Stir in the sour cream leaving some to garnish the finished dish. Simmer for 5 min bringing allowing all ingredients to come together. This results in a creamy, silky, mouth watering sauce.
  8. Leave the Hungarian Beef Goulash Stew to rest for another 10 min so the flavours can develop and infuse.
  9. In the meantime boil the rice with a pinch of salt. Reheat the dish if needed. Serve with sour cream, a sprinkle of chopped parsley and sliced chillies.
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Shredded Duck Confit Soup

Shredded Duck Confit Soup

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 Duck Leg Confit ready cooked (1 pack)

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2 medium carrot cut in small cubes
2 celery stick cut in similar sizes as your carrot
1 bay leaf
1 large white onion finely chopped 
2 whole garlic cloves 
Baby zucchini or asparagus (whichever you like and in the season) not cooked 
1.5 litre chicken stock (you can use stock pot or cubes)
Rice noodles (cook it upfront following the instruction on the packet) 
Freshly chopped parsley or coriander to finish

Method

  1. To make this Shredded Duck Confit Soup, first place the vacuum-packed duck leg confit in a warm water bath for half an hour. This will melt the duck fat around the legs. And it will be easier to remove from the packet.
  2. Cut the pack open and pour the duck fat in a bowl. Save it for your roast potatoes.
  3. Remove the skin from the duck legs if you don’t want it in the soup and set it to one side. Use it in a stir fry or with fired rice.
  4. Shred the duck meat using a spoon and fork and gently warm it in a frying pan. This process will melt the remaining fat and keeps the meat nice and juicy.
  5. Gently saute the onion, garlic and bay leaf on a low heat using a teaspoon of duck fat for a few mins and then add the stock.
  6. Bring the stock to the boil and add the carrots and cook for 3 mins. Then add the celery and cook for a further 10 min. Or until your veggies are cooked to your liking. I like mine with a bit of a bite but not crunchy.
  7. Taste before you season as some shop bought stock can be quite salty.
  8. Divide the ready cooked noodles into bowls. Add the shredded duck, sliced baby zucchini and pour the boiling hot soup over the top.
  9. Sprinkle your Shredded Duck Confit Soup with chopped parsley, serve and enjoy.