Friday, 18 January 2013

A Winter Tarte Tatin

This morning I woke up and  there was snow everywhere! After calling my boss and deciding it was too dangerous to drive I had to decide what to do with my day, and of course baking came to mind. I thought about baking this at christmas, but ran out of time and as it is lovely and snowy I wanted to bake my winter tarte tatin. Yum!

  • 200g of plain flour
  • 200g of butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • a pinch of sugar
  • Ice cold water (I did think of using snow, but there are a few cats around my neighborhood so I quickly ruled it out)
  • 75g of butter
  • 75g of caster sugar
  • 4 apples
  • Cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Cinnamon 
  1. Put the plain flour on a clean surface, make a well in the centre and tip the cold cubed butter and the salt into it.
  2. Now using one hand, scrunch the butter into the flour and keep doing this until most of the butter is Incorporated yet there are still some visible flakes.
  3. Add in the ice cold water (enough to bring the pastry together).
  4. Now roll out the pastry into a long rectangle.
  5. Fold the pastry into three and give it a quarter turn. This is the first turn, now roll it out once again and fold into three. Wrap the pastry in cling film and rest for half an hour.
  6. Now do this again (turn it twice) and let it rest for another half an hour.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 180c.
  8. Meanwhile, peel and slice the apples and cover them with lemon juice so they don't brown.
  9. Melt the butter and sugar in a pan together over a medium heat (do not stir it). This will take about 5-10 minutes until it becomes an amber colour. Take it off the heat.
  10. Now lay the apples, cranberries and raisins over the caramel and sprinkle the cinnamon over the top. 
  11. Roll out the pastry to just over the shape of the pan, lay it on top then tuck the edges round the side to stop the caramel from escaping.
  12. Cook for 25 minutes. 
  13. Once the pastry has cooked get a large plate, turn out the tarte (minding the caramel doesn't burn you).
  14. And serve with cream or ice cream... yummers!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Venison, black pudding and redcurrant casserole with a wild garlic mash.

I don't want to toot my own horn but I have to say that this is probably the best casserole recipe I have ever created. It is full of deep flavor and is very seasonal (the wild garlic mash is not seasonal... but I made wild garlic butter last spring and froze it). So here is my smashing version casserole.

Ingredients (casserole):
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of smoked garlic
  • Butter
  • 500g of version 
  • Chantenay carrots
  • Fresh rosemary and thyme, chopped
  • a large glass of red wine
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 1 pint of beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon of beef bisto
  • 1 tablespoon of redcurrant jelly
  • a good glug of Worcester sauce
  • 30g of dried cranberries
  • 60g of fresh redcurrants
  • Bacon lardons
  • Black pudding
  • Button mushrooms
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170c. 
  2. Dice the onion and crush the clove of garlic. Soften on a low heat, in butter, in a heavy base saucepan. Add in the chopped fresh herbs. 
  3. Flour the venison (and season it), then remove the onion from the pan and seal the venison. 
  4. Now add the onions back in and pour in the wine. Let the alcohol cook off. 
  5. Mix the mustard powder, cinnamon, tomato puree, redcurrant jelly, and Worcester sauce into the stock then add it to the pan. Sprinkle a tablespoon of beef bisto into the pan. 
  6. Take the storks off the redcurrants and add them into the pot with half of the cranberries.
  7. Pop a lid on the casserole and cook in the oven for 2 hours. Stir occasionally, and for the last hour add in the button mushrooms, bacon lardons and black pudding.
  8. Serve with mash potato (I just added the wild garlic butter to the potato) and green veggies.


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Slow Cooked Meatball Ragù With Homemade Pasta

 This recipe came to me when I was having a creative day just sitting over Christmas and thinking of recipes. It was my first time making pasta, and I think it was a learning experience. The most important thing I learnt was to flour the pasta when putting it through the machine so it doesn't stick. Anyway the ragu and meatballs were lovely, even if the pasta needs a little work!

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 400g of lean minced beef
  • 2 cloves of smoked garlic
  • 1 slice of sliced bread, chopped into breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Cinnamon 
  • Herbs de Provance
  • Worcester Sauce
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • salt 
  • sugar
  • 500g of passata
  • Fresh basil
  • 300g of '00' flour
  • 3 eggs
  • a big glug of balsamic vinegar
  • Parmesan to garnish
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160c. 
  2. Use a quarter of the onion and chop it finer as this will be added to the meatballs. Break up the beef and mince in a bowl and season. 
  3. Add in the herbs de provance (enough to your liking), one clove of diced garlic, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a glug of Worcester sauce, 1 egg beaten and the breadcrumbs then scrunch all the ingredients together with your hands. Make into balls then pop into a frying pan on a medium-high heat just to seal them. Remove them from the pan and allow them to cool until needed. 
  4. In a saucepan, soften the onion and garlic. Once soft, add in the diced tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. 
  5. Add in a glass of red wine, a pinch of salt and sugar and a good glug of Worcester sauce. Allow the alcohol to cook off. 
  6. Now add in the passata a handful of fresh basil. Bring to the boil then transfer it to a heavy bottomed ceramic dish, pop in the meatballs, put a lid on and cook for 1 hour 30-45 minutes. 
  7. Now make the pasta. In a large bowl put the flour and make a well in the center. 
  8. Break the eggs and using a fork bring the flour into the egg mixture very slowly. Continue doing this until all the flour is included and a dough is being formed (finish it off with your hands). 
  9. Knead it until smooth then pop it in the fridge in cling film for 30 minutes. 
  10. Occasionally stir the meatball ragu. 
  11. Once the pasta dough has rested divide into three then tackle each 3rd at a time. Put the dough through the fattest setting on your machine and then fold it over and put through again. Do this 8 times. 
  12. Now work your way down the settings until it is the thickness desired. Pop it through the linguine section and then lay it out on a tea towel until ready to use.
  13. Put the pasta in boiling water with a little olive oil and cook for 2 minutes. 
  14. Remove the ragu from the oven and mix in a good glug of balsamic vinegar. 
  15. Mix in some of the ragu to the drained pasta and then lay the meatballs on top. Dust with grated Parmesan.