1. Portuguese pork, bean and chorizo stew



600g dried cannellini beans, haricot beans, butter beans or black beans
1.25kg streaky pork
650g rashers of streaky bacon, or pancetta
4 tablespoons Olive oil
450g ham hocks, cut into chunks
450g Onions, roughly chopped
450g Carrots, chopped into 1 cm-thick slices
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 green peppers, seeded and chopped
1 sprig of Thyme
1 bay leaf
450g very ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped or 1x 410g tin of chopped tomatoes
450g chorizo sausage, cut into 5mm-thick slices
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
chopped fresh coriander or flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
crusty bread, to serve


1. Set the beans to soak overnight in plenty of cold water.

2. The next day, cut off and discard the rind from the pork and bacon. Cut the pork and bacon into 2.5-5cm chunks.

3. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Fry the pork, bacon and ham hock chunks in batches and brown on all sides.

4. Transfer the browned meat to a large casserole dish. Drain the excess fat from the frying pan. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, green peppers, thyme and bay leaf and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes stirring now and then.

5. Transfer the onion mixture to the casserole dish. Add the chopped tomatoes and chorizo. Season generously with freshly ground pepper and mix in the paprika. Add enough water to barely cover the meat.

6. Bring the pork mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently on top of the stove for 2-2 and a half hours or cover and bake in a preheated oven at 160ºC/Gas 3 for the same period.

7. Meanwhile drain and rinse the pre-soaked beans. Place them in a large saucepan and cover generously with cold water.

8. Bring the beans to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender, around 40 minutes to 1 and a half hours, depending on the type of beans. Drain.

9. Add the cooked beans to the stew 15 or 20 minutes before the end of cooking. Check the seasoning and add salt if required. Sprinkle generously with chopped coriander leaves.

10. Serve the stew with crusty bread.

2. Pork and apple sausages with parsnip mash


900g Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
225g Parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
450g pork and apple sausages
300ml light beer
2 tsp Sugar
1 tbsp gravy granules
1 tsp Butter
dash of Milk


1. Cover the potatoes and parsnips with water in a large saucepan; boil for 10-15 minutes until soft.

2. Meanwhile in a large pan, dry fry the pork and apple sausages for 12-15 minutes until cooked through. Add the light beer and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar and gravy granules; cook until thickened.

3. Drain the potatoes and parsnips, and mash with a knob of butter and a dash of milk.

4. Serve the sausages with the potato and parsnip mash and beer gravy.

3. Lasagne al forno


2-3 tbsp Olive oil
25g Butter
2 large Onions, finely chopped
3 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 Carrots, finely diced
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1kg freshly ground fatty beef, such as chuck
2 fresh bay leaves
225ml Milk
1/3 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
225ml White wine, 225
400g tinned plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
9-10 sheets pre-cooked dried lasagne
90g Parmesan, freshly grated
salt and fresh ground black pepper

For the béchamel sauce:
600ml Milk
2 fresh bay leaves
1 onion, halved
freshly grated nutmeg


1. Warm the oil and butter in a heavy-based casserole over medium heat. Add the onion and gently fry for about 5 minutes until softened and translucent. Add the celery, carrots and garlic, and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring to coat well.

2. Stir in the beef with a large pinch of salt and several grindings of black pepper. Cook, stirring, until the beef has lost its raw pink look.

3. Add the bay leaves and milk, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for about 10 minutes, until the meat has absorbed the milk. Season with a pinch of nutmeg.

4. Pour in the wine and let it simmer until it has evaporated, then add the tomatoes with their juice and stir thoroughly.

5. Cook, uncovered, at a lazy simmer with just an intermittent bubble breaking through the surface, for 3 hours or more. The fat will have separated, but the sauce will not be dry. Taste and correct the seasoning.

6. About 45 minutes before the meat is ready, make the béchamel sauce. Pour the milk into a saucepan with the bay leaf, onion and a generous pinch of nutmeg. Bring to just below the boiling point, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 15-20 minutes.

7. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Grease a shallow baking dish.

8. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Strain the milk, then gradually stir it into the flour mixture to make a thick smooth sauce. Season to taste.

9. Pour some béchamel into the baking dish - enough to just cover the base. Place a layer of lasagne sheets on top, followed by a layer of meat sauce, another layer of béchamel and a good handful of Parmesan. Continue with two or three more layers until both sauces are used up. Add a final sprinkling of Parmesan.

10. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until bubbling all over and a knife slips easily through the layers of lasagne.60g Butter
60g plain flour
salt and fresh ground black pepper

4. Beef in guinness pie


115g plain flour
salt and fresh ground black pepper
900g stewing steak, cubed
4 tbsp Olive oil
2 Onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
2 Parsnips, peeled and chopped
800g tinned chopped tomatoes
600ml Guinness
225g button mushrooms
750g Puff pastry
1 egg, beaten


1. Season the flour with salt and freshly ground pepper. Coat the stewing steak in the seasoned flour. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan.

2. In batches, fry the beef until browned. Using a slotted spoon transfer to a casserole dish. Re-heat the frying pan and fry the onion, garlic and celery for 5-10 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add the onion mixture, carrots and parsnips to the casserole.

3. Add chopped tomatoes, Guinness and mushrooms. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring now and then.

4. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Divide the beef stew among 6 small individual pie dishes. Roll out the pastry and top each pie dish with a puff pastry lid, wetting the rims of the pastry dish with water to help the pastry to stick.

5. Brush the pies with beaten egg and cut a slash in each one. Bake for 45 minutes until the pies are golden-brown. Serve.

5. Moroccan chicken with saffron honey


2 tbsp Olive oil
1 X 1.7 KG chicken, jointed into 8 pieces
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
800g Tomatoes, roughly chopped
275ml chicken stock or water
1/2 tsp saffron threads
75ml (5 tbsp) Honey
1 tsp orange flower water
25g flaked almonds, toasted
small bunch Coriander, roughly chopped
couscous or flat bread, to serve:


1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-based pan. Season the chicken pieces and quickly brown them on all sides. Set the chicken aside and cook the onion in the same pan until soft and just colouring. Stir in the garlic, cinnamon and ginger, cooking for about a minute. Tip in the tomatoes, mix everything together well, turn down the heat, and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.

2. Boil the water or stock and dissolve the saffron in it. Pour this over the vegetables and bring the whole thing up to the boil. Set the chicken pieces on top, together with any juices that have leached out of them, and spoon the liquid over them. Turn down to a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the chicken is tender - it should take about 30 minutes but check after 25 minutes.

3. Remove the chicken pieces, set them aside, cover and keep warm. Now bring the juices to the boil and simmer until well reduced to a kind of 'cream' - it shouldn't be at all sloppy. Add the honey and continue to cook until well reduced and jam-like. Check the seasoning and add the orange flower water. Put the chicken pieces back and warm them through in the sauce.

4. Serve with a sprinkling of toasted almonds and chopped coriander on top and couscous or flat bread on the side.

6. Rack of lamb niçoise



1 handful flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp chopped rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp chopped thyme leaves
1 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
125g white breadcrumbs, half dry and half fresh
2 French-trimmed racks of lamb
50g Butter
2 tbsp Olive oil
3 tbsp Dijon mustard

For the Niçoise garnish:
3 tbsp Olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
4 small vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 large courgette, cut into 5 mm dice
10 black olives, pitted
1 handful fresh basil leaves


1. Put the parsley in a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Add the rosemary, thyme and garlic and blend again. Add the breadcrumbs a handful at a time until you are left with a fine, vivid green mixture.

2. Preheat the oven to 240C/gas 9. Season the lamb all over with salt and pepper.

3. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan or roasting tin until hot and foaming. Add the lamb racks and cook, for approximately 5 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Transfer to the hot oven for 4 - 5 minutes or until cooked to your liking, then remove and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes.

4. For the Niçoise garnish: heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat and cook the courgette for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Remove from the heat and set aside.

5. Place the cherry tomatoes, still on the vine, in a baking tray and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Season and sprinkle over the sugar and vinegar. Roast for 5 minutes until the tomato skin starts to blister. Remove and set aside, keeping warm.

6. Brush the lamb with the mustard, then roll it in the breadcrumb mixture to coat all over and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

7. Mix the courgette, olives and basil in a bowl and season. Remove the lamb from the oven and rest it briefly before cutting into slices. Place 2-3 cutlets on each plate, together with a bunch of tomatoes. Spoon the courgette mixture around the lamb and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

7. Thai style roast beef


3 red chillies, seeds removed, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 piece of fresh root ginger (3cm), chopped
2 tbsp Fish Sauce, (nam pla)
1 tsp brown sugar
1 lime, juice
2 tbsp light Soy sauce
2 tbsp Mirin
2 tbsp groundnut oil
2 tbsp basil leaves, torn
2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped

For the beef:
500g topside of beef
0.5 tsp Salt
0.5 tsp coarsely ground peppercorns

For the coriander salsa verde:
1 bunch Coriander
1 bunch Mint
1 bunch Basil
1 tbsp best extra-virgin olive oil
0.5 lime, juice
1 tsp brown sugar
1 piece of fresh root ginger (2cm)


1. Place all the marinade ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

2. Rub the beef with salt and pepper before pouring over the marinade. Put the beef and the marinade in an air-tight plastic bag and leave overnight in a cool place.

3. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Remove the beef from its bag and place in a roasting tin. Spoon over a couple of tablespoons of the marinade.

4. Roast the beef for 30 minutes, longer if you prefer the meat well-cooked. Spoon over the juices once or twice during cooking.

5. While the beef is roasting, make the salsa. Tip all the salsa ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning and serve at room temperature with the hot roast beef.

8. Designer fish and chips with pea emulsion


For the batter:
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
300ml water
1 tsp white wine vinegar
4 tbsp bitter ale
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger root

For the fish:
400g brill fillets, skinned and bones removed
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Soy sauce
Chinese five spice
50g plain flour

For the chips:
4 large baking potatoes, peeled
vegetable oil for deep-frying

For the pea emulsion:
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp frozen petit pois, thawed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp Olive oil

To serve:
sea salt
Malt vinegar


1. To make the batter; sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl.

2. Mix together the water, vinegar, bitter and ginger and pour gradually into the flour, whisking to a smooth batter.

3. Cut the brill fillets into thin strips. Place in a bowl and add the coriander, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and five spice powder.

4. Cut the potatoes into chips measuring approximately 1 x 5cm each.

5. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer or large pan to 120C and deep fry the chips for about 5 minutes until soft but not coloured, then drain.

6. Increase the oil temperature to 160C and re-fry the chips until crisp and golden. Season with sea salt.

7. Dust the brill strips with the plain flour and then dip in the batter to coat them.

8. Deep fry in the oil until the batter is crisp.

9. To make the pea emulsion; blend the egg, peas, Dijon mustard and white wine vinegar together.

10. Drizzle in the olive oil, stirring all the time and season to taste with salt and pepper.

11. To serve; stack the chips and arrange the fish fingers on heated plates. Spoon on some of the pea emulsion and a sprinkling of salt and vinegar.

9. Mum's steak and kidney pie


2 tbsp plain flour
salt and fresh ground black pepper
700g lean stewing beef, or chuck steak
225g beef kidneys, cut into chunks
1 tbsp vegetable oil
25g Butter
2 Onions, chopped
2 Bay leaves
170ml stout
400ml strong beef stock
1 tsp gravy, browning

For the ‘rough puff’ pastry:
500g plain strong flour
1/2 tsp Salt
500g Butter
25ml cold water
1 beaten egg, to glaze

To serve:
Buttered spring cabbage
Mashed potato


1. Season the flour and toss the steak and kidney in it to coat.

2. Heat the oil and butter in a large pan and fry the meat for 5 minutes or until brown.

3. Add the onions and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring.

4. Add the bay leaves, stout and stock.

5. Stir in the gravy browning and cook for 2-3 minutes, until thickened.

6. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the meat is tender.

7. For the pastry, mix the flour and salt together and gently add the butter. Make a well adding the water and bring lightly together to make a dough.

8. Roll out into a rectangle and mark into thirds. Fold over the end thirds into the centre one, turn through 90º and repeat two more times. Chill for half an hour.

9. When the meat is cooked, cool slightly and tip into a pie dish. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface a little bigger than the size of the dish using the trimmings to make a strip the width of the rim.

10. Brush the rim of the pie dish with beaten egg and lay the pastry strip on top to make a seal. Brush again with egg and lay the lid on top. Crimp or flute the edges, brush the lid with the remaining egg and make a slit in the top.

11. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. Serve with buttered spring cabbage and mashed potato.

10. Roast beef


1.5kg rib of beef
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp Salt
300g Carrots, chopped
300g Celery, sliced
600g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and halved
few sprigs of fresh thyme
75cl bottle red wine


1. Preheat the oven to 230°C/gas 8.

2. Prepare the beef by brushing it all over with the mustard then sprinkling with salt.

3. Put the carrots, celery, potatoes and thyme into the bottom of a roasting pan and place the beef on top.

4. Place the roasting pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes before reducing the temperature to 160°C/gas 3 and cook for a further 45 minutes.

5. After 30 minutes, pour the red wine into bottom of pan. Put the roasting pan back in the oven and leave the beef to finish cooking.

6. When ready, remove the beef from the pan and allow to rest for ten minutes before serving. Reserve the pan juices to make Red Wine Gravy .