Tag Archives: winter

Burns Night Scotch Broth

Wanting to blog about a recipe for others to try on Burns Night (on the 25th January), I asked my mum to see if she had any old family recipes that I could cook up and write about. She found me an old recipe for Scotch Broth from forty years ago, which seemed perfect to try out. Having never made it before, it was incredibly simple to do and filled the kitchen with lovely winter soupy aromas while simmering away.

This is what my mum told me about it…

Burn’s Night is celebrated by a meal, usually consisting of Haggis and other Scottish goodies like Scotch Broth. This could be a starter at a Burn’s Night Dinner or a simple supper dish to celebrate with friends at home. I believe I first ate it at Cha-Cha’s (my daughter’s god-mother) house back in the late 1960′s. Born in Glasgow she came south to work and became friends with my family and introduced us to all things Scottish. We enjoyed many a Hogmany with her and she usually served up something like Scotch Broth on Burn’s Night. I even learned Scottish Dancing with her when she bought me a pair of ‘proper’ dancing shoes. She returned to Scotland and, now retired, lives on the shores of Loch Linnhie and I think of her when I use this recipe.

A one-pot very hearty soup that can be a starter or a more substantial meal served with warm crusty bread or thick french stick.

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 4-6 people, or more if just a starter.

The soup should be made the day before it is needed.

Ingredients:
1½lbs (750g) Lamb neck chops (the meat is taken off the bone for serving)
2 tblsps Pearl Barley
2½ pints of water
3 Leeks cut into slices
1 Medium turnip cut into small cubes
1 Large carrot cut into small slices
1 Stick celery cut into small slices (optional)
1 Medium onion chopped
½ Small cabbage shredded
2ozs (40g) Dried peas (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Fresh parsley chopped to garnish

NB If using the dried peas, place in a bowl, cover with warm water and leave overnight, rinse and drain well before adding to the soup.

1 Place the meat in a deep saucepan with the cold water and bring to the boil, skim off any scum that appears on the surface.

2 Then add the barley, turnip, and if using, the peas, and simmer gently for about 1 hour.

3 Then add the rest of the vegetables and simmer for another 30/40 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.

4 Add the cabbage and stir until heated through and just tender.

5 Remove the chops from the pan and separate the flesh from the bones discarding any fat etc.

6 Return the meat to the pan and then leave the soup to get cold so that any fat can be scraped off.

7 When required reheat the broth, check the seasoning and serve sprinkled with parsley and warm crusty bread.

Enjoy!

Creamy Butternut Squash Gratin

This is a great all year round accompaniment for any hot dish and this year it was perfect along with the Turkey and other vegetables and trimmings on Christmas Day. The idea came from a food workshop day. This is one recipe that I am going to adapt and try with other root vegetables like parsnips and celeriac.

(Printable Version)

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 Large Butternut Squash, peeled, deseeded and sliced 5mm thick
1-2 Garlic Cloves peeled, crushed or grated
175ml/6fl oz Double Cream
75g/3oz Parmesan or Gruyere Cheese, finely grated
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 190C.

1 Place the butternut squash in a large (1 litre) pie dish and season with salt and pepper.

2 Place the garlic and cream in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then pour over the butternut squash in the dish.

3 Sprinkle with the grated cheese.

4 Cover the dish with foil and bake in a preheated oven for 45-60 mins, removing the foil after 30 mins.

5 When cooked, the butternut squash should be soft and the top golden and bubbly.

Enjoy!

Butternut Squash on Foodista

Chocolate Yule Log (Gluten Free)

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As it is christmas time, I thought that I would re-blog about our Chocolate Roulade recipe that is perfect as a Chocolate Yule Log recipe too.

Dont forget that if you are using the recipe for a Yule Log, either fill with a liqueur or chocolate cream, cover in chocolate ganache, mark with a fork, stick on fake robin, and enjoy!

And it is Gluten Free too.

Mince Pies

This has got to be one of the best Christmas treats ever and I have had them homemade as far back as I can remember! They are one thing I love coming back to the family home for, over the festive period. I have even had my Brother in Canada asking me to get this recipe on my blog.

This is an original family recipe and one that I think is personally better than the rest but then I may be slightly biased! I asked my mum for some background on them and this is what she told me…

This is my recipe for mince pies, everyone has their own I feel, but these freeze well and my family seem to like them. In fact when my eldest son (me) was at primary school he used to take one for break. This led to me making them for his form teacher too!

You do need a light hand for pastry or make it in a mixer but watch it carefully as it should not be over-mixed. I use my homemade mincemeat that I make with the apples from the garden, but if you use shop-bought mincemeat add a little brandy or rum to it as it adds a certain something to the pies.

I make the pastry with what flour I have in the cupboard – plain, self-raising or a mixture of both. The amounts shown below can be doubled in quantity or even halved.

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
1lb/450g Flour
9ozs/260g Butter (margarine or half white fat half butter can be used)
1 Egg (either the whole egg can be used or just the yolk)
Cold water
Mincemeat

Preheat oven to 200C/400F Gas 6 or 180C Fan Oven.

1 Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. If using a mixer do not over mix.

2 Add the egg and some water; continue mixing until the mixture comes together. If you only use the egg the pastry will be more difficult to work with but that is ok.

3 Remove from the bowl, wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for ½/1 hour.

4 Place onto a floured board, roll out thinly and cut out rounds to fit your tins.

5 Fill with the mincemeat and dampen the edges of the lids with water and press them lightly on top.

6 Brush with either beaten egg, milk or a mixture of both and cut a slit in the top. This can be with a knife or scissors. I am a bit of a traditionalist and put a cross.

7 Bake in the oven for 20/30 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire tray.

8 Serve warm sprinkled with icing sugar and cream or brandy butter.

9 If freezing I find it is better to freeze the mince-pies uncooked. Freeze in the tin, and when frozen remove from the tin and put into a freezer bag. To cook, remove from the freezer put back into the tin, allow to defrost, brush with an egg mixture and cook as before.

If allergic to either eggs or milk just leave them out.

NB I will post my recipe for homemade mincemeat at a later date.

Enjoy!

Braised Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is a good vegetable to buy this time of year. It can be pickled in vinegar but I think served hot with any meat is my preference. It is also very good with cold meat too.

The recipe I have used, has evolved over the years and I am not sure who gave it to me or where it came from, but I know, that when I was a child, we used to have it on Boxing Day with the cold turkey and ham, after we had been out into the countryside to work up an appetite.

It can be made two days in advance and kept in the fridge – it freezes well too. I try to use all organic ingredients as the red cabbages used to come from my grandparent’s garden which never had chemicals on them!

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
1 Red Cabbage (approx 2lbs/1kg)
½/1lb (225g/450g) Red Onions, finely chopped
1 large Cooking Apple (approx 1lb/450g) peeled, cored and chopped small
1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped
2/3tblsp Dark Brown Sugar
2/3tblsp Red Wine Vinegar and/or Red Wine
¼ teaspoon each of Ground Cinnamon, Cloves and freshly grated Nutmeg
A little butter
Salt & pepper

1 Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, cut and shred finely removing the hard stalk.

2 In an oven-proof large pan, melt half the butter and then put a layer of cabbage on top, then add some of the chopped onion, apple and garlic, sprinkling it with some of the sugar and spices.

3 Continue the layering until all the ingredients are in the pan, and then pour over the red wine vinegar and/or red wine. Dot with the rest of the butter and put on a lid.

4 This can either be cooked very slowly on top of the stove or in the oven at 150C/300F Gas Mark 2 or 140C Fan Oven, stirring it occasionally during the cooking time.

Enjoy!

Red Cabbage on Foodista

Sliced Duck Breast with Winter Stir-fry

I thought it was about time that I chose a new recipe to do from one of my books and having a couple of duck breasts in the fridge, I found the following winter recipe from James Martin’s book “My Kitchen”, which looked perfect to use with them. The only thing I didnt have at home were the sprouts, as I normally dont eat them but I thought as they were to be thinly sliced that I would give them a go!

It is a very easy recipe to follow and the timings are spot on, so well done to James for coming up with such a tasty and fun recipe to cook. This is what he has to say about it…

This dish is full of strong, wintry flavours. For the best results, buy Brussels sprouts still on the stalk and crisp up the duck before baking to enhance the taste and texture.

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:
3 tbsp Runny Honey
2-4 Duck Breasts
Salt and Black Pepper

For the stir-fry:
2 tbsp Olive oil
5oz/150g Pancetta, diced
4 Shallots, peeled and halved (root left intact)
3oz/75g Butter
11oz/300g Brussels Sprouts, outer leaves removed and thinly sliced
8 Brown Cap Mushrooms, sliced
11fl oz/300ml Chicken Stock
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 180C/350F Gas 4 or 170C Fan Oven.

1 On the hob, heat a frying pan large enough to fry the duck breasts side by side, add the honey and allow to bubble gently.

2 Season both sides of each duck breast with salt and pepper, place into the frying pan, skin side down and cook gently over a medium heat until the duck is crisp and the the honey has turned brown.

3 Transfer the duck breasts into a baking dish, skin side up. Bake in the oven for 8-10 mins (longer for well done), then remove from the oven and set aside to rest for a few minutes before slicing.

4 Meanwhile, add half the olive oil to a non-stick frying pan set over a high heat and fry the pancetta until golden brown. Remove from the pan, dry on kitchen paper and set aside.

5 Drain off the fat from the pan, then set the pan back over the heat, add the rest of the oil and add the shallots to brown them.

6 After they have been cooking for 2-3 minutes, melt half the butter in the pan and tip in the Brusssls sprouts and mushrooms. Sauté for 4-5 minutes to brown a little, adding more butter if necessary, then add the cooked pancetta.

7 Pour in the stock and simmer to reduce for 2 minutes and stir in the rest of the butter. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Place on plates and arrange the sliced duck on top.

Enjoy!

Spiced Beef with Chestnuts and Cranberries

This is a tasty winter warmer that I adapted from a recipe that I was given, when I went on a cookery day out in Somerset. It uses seasonal ingredients such as chestnuts and cranberries, cheaper cuts of beef and would be perfect for a New Year’s party, especially after all the turkey consumed at Christmas!

What is really good about this recipe, is that it can be made upto 4 days in advance, being kept in the fridge and also it freezes well, making this handy for busy people at this time of the year.

It is fairly simple to make but looks very impressive served up.

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
9ozs/250g Smoked Back Bacon Cubes
3 tbsp Gluten Free Plain Flour - seasoned with salt, pepper and a pinch of paprika (not smoked or hot)
3 ½ lbs/1.6Kg Lean Beef Cubed – skirt or chuck steak
2-3 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
3 Red Onions – peeled and finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves – peeled and finely chopped
9ozs/250g Chestnut Button Mushrooms
½ Bottle Red Wine
6ozs/170g Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
4ozs/113g Fresh Chestnuts - peeled and chopped in half
1-2 tbsp Soft Light Brown Sugar
1 ½ pints/300ml Beef Stock
2 tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
¼-½ tsp Crushed Chillies
3 Bay Leaves
Fresh Parsley, chopped to garnish

Preheat oven to 180C/350F Gas 4 or 170C Fan Oven.

1 In a large flame-proof casserole dish, cook the bacon over a medium heat until crispy and then remove.

2 Tip the flour into a plastic bag, add the meat and shake to coat.

3 Add half the oil to the casserole dish and brown the meat in batches, adding more oil as necessary.

4 Remove the meat and set aside and add the onions and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until they start to brown.

5 Add the garlic and mushrooms to the onions and cook for a further 5 minutes.

6 Return the meat and bacon to the casserole, add the bay leaves, red wine, beef stock, sweet chilli sauce and crushed chillies, bring to the boil and cook in a pre-heated oven for one hour.

7 While the casserole is cooking, prepare the chestnuts by splitting the skin, then putting them in a covered dish and microwave each chestnut for 10 secs on high power. Once heated, peel off the outer skin and cut in half.

8 After cooking for an hour, add the cranberries, chestnuts and sugar, season with a little black pepper, stir well and return to the oven for another 45 minutes to one hour.

9 Check that the meat is tender, the cranberries are cooked and not tart, adding more sugar if necessay.

10 Re-check the seasoning, scatter with chopped parsley and serve.

Serve with green vegetables, roast or jacket potatoes, or if preferred, rice!

Enjoy!

Cranberries on Foodista