Wednesday, 19 December 2012


Pre it all kicking off

A quatre of the biggest shop I've ever done, crates of onions...crates of spinach, crates of thyme and parsley, half a farm (cows and pigs) 150 eggs, loads of stuff.

Stuffing slice Pie thing- Make it and eat it hot or cold, or hot then cold the next morning, it's fit either way.
For 1 large pie
Buy pre rolled puff pastry- You ideally need  1 1/2 rolls 
Bunch of Sage -Fresh
Butter (to stop the pastry sticking to the dish)
1x Pack of Paxo- the small one
1 x lemon zest
350g of Sausage meat
Cranberry sauce
1 x large red onion
3 big handfuls of spinach
1 x bag of pre cooked chestnuts
1 x egg

The idea is that you layer up all your favourite festive food components and cook it up into one of the best bits of your roast.

I normally start with the sausage meat, season with salt and pepper and fresh thyme, then add a layer of slow cooked red onions- pre cook these so they caramelise, add a tbsp of brown sugar and fresh thyme so they're super sweet and sticky, then add a layer of chestnuts, followed by cranberry sauce then spinach (make sure you squeeze as much of the water out of the spinach as possible- use a tea towel or sieve. Then add you ready made paxo- I always add a chunk of butter and extra lemon zest when adding the water, it's a good dry top for the pie and means that the puff pastry lid doesn't go soggy.

For the crispy sage puff pastry, add olive oil and 8 or so sage leave to a frying pan and cook for a few minutes until crispy but not burnt. Take them out and roll them straight into/onto the puff pastry.

Make sure you cover the side of the underneath pastry so that when you add the lid it sticks, I like my pie to be rustic/a mess so just mould the sides together with my fingers, you could use the back of a fork for neatness. Then cover the whole lid with a whisked egg and cook on 200 for 45/55mins, keep checking it as if the lid looks like it's cooking too quick just cover with foil to make sure that you leave it in long enough for the meat and stuffing to cook through.


Hungover and hard work in the kitchen!!


The prawnbocker, is just layers of shredded gem lettuce, cucumber and avocado, all well seasoned with home made mayo and marie rose sauce with a load of small prawns mixed in with finely chopped parsley and then a layer of 4 or 5 king prawns. I bought the ready shelled ones, so much easier- you can also buy the frozen ones and and soak in boiling water for 5 mins to defrost, then rinse in cold water and keep refrigerated.

For the mayo, separate the yoke from the egg white - use about 3 egg yolks and add good quality olive oil and whisk the hell out of it, it works better just doing it by hand, add a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper. keep it in the fridge ad it lasts about a week.

For the marie rose sauce, just add ketchup and extra lemon juice and a dash of paprika- loads of fresh black pepper.

Hard at work...

I forgot to take a photo of the final piece..but the yorkshire pudding, cheesey leeks and spinach starter is so good (I always make sure this is part of my Sunday roast),  my favourite thing ever.
To start with use a muffin tray- they're much deeper than the yorkshire pudding dishes.
Add a generous glug of olive oil to the tray then heat on 200/210 for 10mins in the mean time you should have made your yorkshire pudding mix at least half an hour ago so it can rest in the fridge.
Yorkshire pud mix-
3 eggs
Roughly 200g of plain flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 pint of milk
The main thing I find with this is not to have exact measures but to have the right consistency, it should be runny but quite gloopy, I like my yorkshires eggy and not too thin and crispy.
Cook for 25/30 minutes and try to not open the oven door so that they don't collapse.

Cheese Sauce-
Melt 50g of salted butter in a pan on a medium heat
Add x2 large tablespoons of plain flour
pinch of salt and pepper
and mix with a wooden  spoon into a rue
Then add very slowly small amounts of milk up to about a pint
Add a dollop of dijon mustard or english mustard
Keep stirring away until it thickens and then add a load of mature cheddar and mix until its fully dissolved. -A good tip that I learnt from one of the mothers was to add a lump of blue cheese if your cheese isn't strong enough.

To cook the leeks just wash and slice them and lightly fry in butter for 5 mins or so- salt and pepper these also, you can do the same for the spinach.

Then just pile it all up. You can reheat / pre prepare the yorkshire pudding if you're doing it for a dinner party. 

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