Main Courses

Dad’s Paella

The 30th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is one of the few that actually got passed down from my dad: it’s a joy to make and even better to eat!

There were several drivers for starting this blog and one of them was that hardly any of my dad’s recipes were retained and he’s no longer around to share them and, he was a great cook. So, to have family favourites photographed and typed up seemed like a good plan – not morbid – the kids and their friends are already delving into those that have been published so far.

Anyway, all that aside, Dad used to make great paella and his recipe was actually retained. I have no idea whether it’s authentic but it’s oh-so tasty – intensely flavoured, bringing to mind images of beachside chiringuitos basking in the Mediterranean sunshine – absolutely delicious!

Serves 6

What you need…

Splash of rapeseed oil

8 chicken thigh fillets

2 medium onions, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

100g pancetta, chopped

70g chorizo, chopped (optional: I can’t stand the stuff so left it out)

4 large tomatoes, chopped

600ml hot water from the kettle

2 chick stockpots

250ml dry white wine

2 bay leaves

Sea salt and black pepper

2 mugs long grain rice (about 450g)

Saffron

24 fresh mussels, cleaned

2 fresh squid, thinly sliced

500g clams (I couldn’t get fresh so used ‘Big & Juicy Delicious Clams’ by the Big Prawn Company, Waitrose)

250g raw king prawns

1 mug frozen garden peas

A handful of parsley, chopped

Lemon wedges, to serve

What to do…

First, make your chicken stock by using a balloon whisk to help dissolve the chicken stockpots into the hot water from the kettle. Set aside.

In a large frying pan (I don’t get on with paella pans – the rice always sticks) heat the oil over a moderate heat and then sauté the chicken until golden brown.

Chuck in the onions, garlic and red pepper. Add in the pancetta and chorizo, if using, and sauté until soft.

Chuck in the tomatoes, chicken stock, wine and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Stir everything together.

Add the rice, some saffron, the mussels, squid and clams, if they’re fresh. If however you’ve bought pre-cooked clams like I did, hold them back until later.

Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking on how the saffron is colouring the rice, adding a little more if you would like a deeper yellow colour.

This is also a good time to pour yourself a glass of Rioja to enjoy, together with the fabulous cooking aromas, during the rest of the paella preparation.

Finally, add in the cooked clams, prawns, peas and parsley, cooking for 10 minutes or until the prawns have turned pink.

Serve flamboyantly if possible (I just feel that paella deserves some kind of a grand entrance) with lemon wedges to a group of chattering family and friends with several glasses of good Rioja!

Tips…

The quantity of mussels, clams and prawns is obviously taste-dependent. One of the joys of this recipe is that you can adapt the ingredients to suit your personal preferences, hence the many varieties of paella available.

My dad added to the bottom of the recipe, ‘Cooked lobster is supposed to go in this as well’, but I don’t think it needs it and that this is a flamboyant step too far!

Inspired by…

Dad

How easy…

Very easy and very relaxed to make as well as such a delight to enjoy.

Delectable Duck and Cherry Pie

The 27th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is such an unusual pie and so quackingly good!!!!!

The ‘ménage a trois’ that is duck, port and cherries is truly a harmonious one! The rich, tender, dark duck meat combined with the sweetness of the fruit is simply delicious and the thyme-infused pastry is light and crisp – a fabulous Autumnal or Winter supper treat that will bring cheer to the table, whatever the weather is throwing at you. Dive in!

Serves 6

What you need…

1 x 1.6 litre pie dish, lightly buttered

6 duck legs

600ml boiling water from the kettle

1½ chicken stock pots (I use Knorr)

25g butter

1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 carrot, peeled and roughly chunked

1 celery stick, roughly sliced

3 tablespoons plain flour

200ml port

1 bay leaf

6 thyme sprigs, leaves picked

400g tin cherries in light syrup, drained

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 happy egg, beaten (to glaze pastry lid)

for the pastry

400g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

200g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

1 happy egg

2 tablespoons cold water

1 tablespoon thyme leaves

What to do…

First, the filling: preheat your oven to 180°c / 350° / gas 4.

Put the duck legs on a wire rack in a roasting tray. Roast for 1½ hours. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, make the delish filling. First, make your stock by combining the boiling water with the stockpot using a balloon whisk to easily dissolve.

In your food processor, finely chop the onion, carrot and celery.

In a large frying pan, melt the butter and gently cook the onion, carrot and celery, covered, for about 15 minutes, until soft.

Remove the lid, increase the heat to high, tip in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring like mad. Pour in the port and stock and chuck in the herbs. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes to reduce.

Take off the heat, stir in the cherries and balsamic vinegar and set aside to cool.

When the duck is cool, remove the skin and roughly break up the meat. Wipe out your food processor bowl with kitchen roll to make sure there are no raw vegetable remnants clinging to the sides and then fit the blade and chop the duck so it’s quite fine but still in distinguishable pieces. I did this in three batches. Stir the duck into the sauce. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Alternatively, if you’re preparing ahead, stick the filling in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the pie – overnight works really well.

To the pastry: pulse the flour and butter in your clean food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Use a small balloon whisk to beat together the egg and water and then tip into the processor with the thyme leaves. Pulse again until the pastry comes together. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a disc. Wrap in cling film and pop into the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 220°c / 425°f / gas 7 and pop in a baking sheet.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out two-thirds of the pastry and line your pie dish, leaving the excess overhanging.

Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into 1 cm strips long enough to cover the pie dish.

Brush the pie rim with beaten egg. Tip in the filling.

Lay the pastry strips across the filling in a lattice pattern, gently pressing them on the pie rim to stick. Trim the excess pastry from the edge of the pie and brush egg over the pastry lattice to glaze.

Pop into the oven onto the baking sheet for 20 minutes and then reduce the heat to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6 for a further 25 minutes until golden brown and piping hot. Dive in and enjoy this lovely pie!

Inspired by…

Good Housekeeping magazine

How easy…

Really easy and you can go off and do other things whilst the filling is going through its various cooking stages.  The pastry topping takes a little time and you have to concentrate – look at mine: I was Skyping Maddie at the time and the latticework isn’t quite what it should be!!!!! I love the fact that you can prepare the filling the day before so if you’ve got friends coming around, you have very little to do for this splendid supper on the evening when you’re socialising.

Delizioso Homemade Pesto


 

The 20th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this lovely pasta sauce is absolutely perfect for a light, tasty supper and is a regular in the Duffield household (and at Uni!)

This fits into the category of  ‘if it tastes THAT good and is THAT easy’, why buy ready-prepared! This is gorgeous and just shouts ‘fresh’ – it’s tangy and really, really flavoursome. It literally took about 2 minutes to make, including getting the ingredients from the fridge! As well as stirring through pasta (which is what it was made for) I can also use it with gnocchi, as a topping for Italian toasted bread, to top pizza or popped on a nice bit of steak……the list goes on. Give it a go – it’s really lovely!

Makes enough for pasta for 4 – 6

What you need…

Very large handful of basil

Large handful of flat-leafed parsley

40g roughly grated Parmesan

15g pinenuts

2 anchovy fillets

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

80ml olive oil

½ teaspoon sugar

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Juice ½ lemon (optional)

What to do…

With the exception of the lemon juice, put the lot in your food processor. Whizz until a rough paste is created. Taste. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Whizz. Taste again. Add lemon juice, if liked. Whizz. Serve. Enjoy and feel jolly smug that something tasting this great requires next to no effort!

Tip…

Keep your pesto sauce in the fridge for up to a week (although other members of the household have a tendency to dig in with a teaspoon) or freeze for up to a month.

Inspired by…

Delicious magazine

How easy…

Ridiculously. You could almost do it in your sleep!

Spicy Gammon Steak with Mascarpone Peas

The 19th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this dish is supposed to be about the gammon but….it’s the mascarpone peas that steal the show – we’ve had them soooooo many times….and that was before I discovered that it was this dish that Gino D’Acampo cooked naked on This Morning! Hilarious – check it out on YouTube!

The name gives absolutely no clue as to how absolutely delicious this dish is. I loved it so much, I enjoyed it two days running!!! The gammon takes on a real razzle dazzle star quality and quite frankly, peas in mascarpone are going to be a regular event. Try this! It’s fast and fabulous – buonissimo!

Serves 2

What you need…

Splash of rapeseed oil

4 teaspoons salted butter

1 teaspoon dried crushed chillies

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

2 gammon steaks (choose thick, juicy ones – maybe 2cm)

160g frozen peas, defrosted

4 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

Sea salt and black pepper

Squeeze of lemon juice

What to do…

Heat half the oil and half the butter in a frying pan, add the crushed chillies and half the parsley. Then pop in the gammon steaks and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Transfer gammon and juices to a baking tray and pop in a low oven to keep warm.

Wipe out the pan with kitchen roll and return to the heat with the remaining oil and butter. Add the peas and cook over a high heat for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.

Season with salt and pepper, add the mascarpone, the remaining parsley and lemon juice. Stir the lot together and serve these party-dressed peas to accompany the razzle-dazzle gammon – that’s it – buonissimo!

Serving suggestion…

Red potatoes, sliced or chunked, tossed with olive oil, dried rosemary and chopped garlic and the cooked in the oven for 35 minutes: lovely!

Inspired by…

Gino D’Acampo

How easy…

Marvelously easy and it tastes like something that was meticulously created!

 

 

Yuzu Salmon with Buttered Leeks

The 18th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is a fabulous fish dish that often graces are table, being easy to prepare and spectacularly tasty!

A Mary Berry dish, this one is from her ‘Everyday’ series. The first thing that I should say is that I couldn’t find Yuzu juice anywhere but that didn’t matter – Google recommended the alternative mix of fresh lime and orange juice – I have no idea whether this combination tastes like the Japanese citrus fruit juice, ‘Yuzu’, but I can tell you that this salmon dish was absolutely delicious – fresh, tangy with a touch of Asian-inspired heat, all working brilliantly as a foil for the richness of the salmon. Also, it’s stupidly easy AND can be prepared in advance! This is DEFINITELY on the regulars list.

Serves 4

What you need…

Knob of butter

4 small leeks, finely sliced

4 x 125g salmon fillets, skinned

3-4 radishes, thinly sliced, to garnish

A few coriander leaves, to garnish

for the dressing

2cm chunk of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Dessertspoon of fresh orange juice

4 tablespoons rapeseed oil

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Into a screw top jar, tip the ginger and garlic with the chilli, lime juice, orange juice and oil. Season with salt and pepper, screw on the lid and shake like mad. Set aside until you’re ready to cook the meal.

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°c / gas 6.

Heat the butter in a large frying pan and when it has melted, add the leeks and fry over a high heat for 3 minutes. Pop the lid on the pan, lower the heat and sweat the leeks for 10 minutes until soft but not brown. Tip into an ovenproof dish.

Sit the salmon fillets on top of the leeks and season with salt and pepper. (If you’re preparing ahead you could now just cover the whole lot with cling film or foil and pop into the fridge).

Spoon all but two tablespoons of the dressing over the salmon. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through (a little longer if the dish has been sat in the fridge already prepared).

Toss the coriander leaves and radishes in the remaining dressing. Serve a spoonful of leeks onto each plate with a salmon fillet on top and then spoon over the radishes, coriander and dressing.

Enjoy this delicious, tangy and vibrant supper dish and remember to stick it right back on the menu to enjoy again soon!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

Ridiculously easy and so much flexibility with time (we enjoyed ‘wine time’ between when the salmon sat on the leeks and when the dressing went on and the whole lot went into the oven.

 

Fantastic Feast of Pulled Pork

The 15th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this pulled pork dish converted me to the joys of the pig and provided us with a supper created for conviviality! So good: we’re having it again tonight!

OK! A savoury OMG moment! I can count the number of times I have eaten pork on the fingers of one hand probably (other than bacon and sausages – they don’t count!) But…I am drawn to a pig roast but it never quite delivers in taste what the enticing aromas promise. So, anyway this recipe caught my attention and I have to say that I am now a total convert! This pork was succulent and sooooo tasty; flexible too – it was happy stuffed in rolls or dressed up with plums and a lovely potato and apple combination that I made up on a whim. Seriously, for a relaxed family and friends supper that everyone will just love, give this one a go. Oh also, zero effort – pop in oven and walk off for 6 hours – love it!

Serves 4-6

What you need…

for the pork

1 x roasting tin, lined with enough foil to cover the pork

1.6kg shoulder of pork, string and rind removed

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1½ tablespoons dark brown sugar/maple syrup

300ml hot water

for the sides

4 red potatoes, chunked

2 cloves of garlic, chopped,

1 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper

Splash of olive oil

2 Pink Lady apples, cored and chunked

4 Ciabatta rolls

Knob of butter

4 – 6 plums, halved and stoned

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 220°c / 425°f / gas 7.

In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger and sugar or maple syrup.

Unroll the pork and pop it in the foil-lined roasting tin. Rub the mixed ingredients all over the pork and pop it straight in the oven for 30 minutes to brown. Reduce the heat to 150°c / 300°f / gas 2. Pour the water into the foil and then wrap the foil around the joint and seal tightly. Cook for around 6 hours or until tender.

Just before you get to the end of the 6-hour cooking time, pop the red potatoes in a baking dish, scatter over with garlic and dried rosemary, salt and pepper and the splash of olive oil; stir to mix everything together thoroughly.

Increase the oven back up to 220°c / 425°f / gas 7 and uncover the pork. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes the remove from the oven. At the same time, pop in the baking dish of potatoes.

After 10 minutes, remove the pork from the oven, cover with foil and rest for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°c  / 400°f / gas 6. Tip the apples into the potatoes, stir in and roast for another 25 minutes.

10 minutes before you are ready to serve, pop the ciabatta rolls into the oven to warm through – they should only take 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan over a moderate heat and then place in the plum halves, flesh side down. Turn the heat up to high and cook for 10 minutes until the flesh is just starting to go golden brown.

Everything is now ready and your can dive in. Put the lot onto a serving platter, start pulling the pork with two forks and then leave it on the platter for everyone else to help themselves: pulled pork in ciabatta rolls or just on it’s own with the wonderful addition of a few of those potatoes and the OMG plums – they go sooooooo well. Whichever choice, it doesn’t matter – it will all go! Enjoy – a fantastic feast of pulled pork that requires next to no effort!

Inspired by…

Lovepork.co.uk

How easy…

Seriously, next to zero effort for a really fantastic sharing supper!

Luscious Lasagne

The 14th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this one is an absolute family favourite and just conjurs up memories of raucous suppers with an abundance of food, wine and chatter!

Sooooo lovely and comforting, both to make and to eat – this is such a lovely family supper dish, the accompaniments for which are good friends and family, flowing wine, gentle music and a leisurely approach to social dining…perfect!

Serves 6

What you need…

Ovenproof dish (mine is 20cm x 30cm)

Splash of olive oil

1 kg minced beef

500g minced lamb

150g mozzarella, torn up

A handful of fresh sage leaves

Lasagne sheets, fresh or dried (enough to cover your ovenproof dish three times)

for the tomato sauce

Splash of olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary

3 bay leaves

2 x 400g tins of chopped Italian tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato puree

for the white sauce

1 litre milk

Pinch nutmeg

½ onion, peeled and sliced

Small handful black peppercorns

80g butter

60g plain flour, sieved

120g – 150g grated fresh Parmesan

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Heat a large, deep frying pan with a splash of olive oil. Slowly fry the garlic until lightly coloured, then add the rosemary, bay leaves, tomatoes and tomato puree. Cook gently for 45 minutes with the lid on.

Add the meat to your tomato mixture and simmer for 20 minutes, creating a tomato and meat ragu.

Meanwhile, put the milk, nutmeg, onion and black peppercorns into a medium sized saucepan and bring gently to the boil. Melt the butter in a third saucepan (large) and tip in the flour. Mix well to form the beginning of a roux sauce (it will look like a glossy ball). Gradually add the flavoured milk – one ladle at a time and through a sieve (you don’t want all the peppercorns and onions in there), stirring it well until you have a thick, smooth white sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes, then take off the heat and add Parmesan and seasoning.

Remove the rosemary and bay leaves from the tomato and meat ragu.

Preheat the oven to 180c / 350 f / gas 4 and butter a large baking dish.

Cover the bottom of the dish with lasagne sheets. Then cover with a thin layer of your ragu. Then cover with a thin layer of the white sauce. Repeat with a further two sets of layers – pasta, ragu and white sauce – ending with white sauce.  Scatter over the torn mozzarella and sage leaves.

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and let your lovely lasagne settle for maybe 10 minutes. Serve with a fabulous, robust bottle of Italian wine.

Inspired by…

Jamie Oliver

How easy…

It is easy but does take time: you need to be in the right mood. Choose your music, open a nice bottle of red and enjoy the process. The cooking smells are wonderful and definitely contribute to the enjoyment of this dish. There are however loads of pans to wash up but….it’s worth it! I wash them whilst the lasagne is in the oven so that when I sit down, I’m totally relaxed.

 

Chicken Wrapped in Parma Ham with Creamy Herb Sauce

The 11th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this fabulous recipe was done by soooooo many people after I first blogged in and we’ve had it countless times – an absolute winner!

I’m really getting into these sauces that are so easy but intensely flavoured, simply as a result of a few ingredients that have been reduced. This dish is quick, easy and in my book, sensational. It could just as easily grace a dinner-party table as the supper that it was created for. Make it once and it definitely won’t be the last time – buonissimo!

Serves 4

What you need…

I bulb garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

800ml hot water from the kettle

2 chicken stock pots

12 slices Parma ham

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Sea salt and black pepper

400ml double cream

1 large handful fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 large handful fresh basil, finely chopped

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Place the whole garlic bulb in a square of foil with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Wrap it up securely and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes.

Using a balloon whisk, dissolve the stockpots into the hot water to create 800ml chicken stock.

Lay 3 Parma ham slices beside each other, slightly overlapping. Season one of the chicken breasts and place in the middle of the ham. Fold the slices over the chicken to create an evenly wrapped parcel. Repeat for each of the remaining chicken breasts.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken parcels for 2 – 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and cook for a further 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest (the chicken, not you!)

Meanwhile, in a saucepan reduce the chicken stock by half, add the cream and then squeeze out the garlic from each clove, also adding it to the stock. Reduce the sauce by half and then strain into a jug. Stir through the chopped herbs and serve over your yummy chicken breasts. Quick, easy and absolutely delicious!

Tip…

The two reductions take between 10 and 15 minutes each.

Inspired by…

Gino D’Acampo

How easy…

Really easy

 

 

The Most Sensational, Naughty Sauce for Steak

The 8th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this recipe is beyond delicious and demands total indulgence – a weekend or date-night treat perhaps…

I watched Michael Caines do this and just had to give it a go. It is soooooo much more than the gloriousness that it looked on telly. It really is the most sensational sauce to serve with steak and has a taste and texture that simply evoke ‘naughty!’ Michael did his with Madeira but our bar was not forthcoming but seemed heavily stocked with sweet sherry, so that was substituted – it worked REALLY well. But finally, a word of caution: don’t try and rush the ‘reduction’ elements of this sauce – you’ll get a pale imitation of the voluptuous, flavour-intense version that assures this recipe is right at the top of our favourites list!

Serves 4 (I’ve doubled up on the sauce quantities because we do enjoy lots of sauce, so you may not need the quantities that I have listed, depending on your own sauciness)

What you need…

4 x 200-250g sirloin steaks

Olive oil

300ml boiling water from the kettle

1 chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

50g butter

6 shallots, thinly sliced

150g button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked

220ml sweet sherry (I use Harveys Bristol Cream)

300ml double cream

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

First, make your stock by dissolving ¾ chicken stockpot into the boiling water, using a balloon whisk to help the process. Set aside.

Over a moderate heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and cook until the shallots are transparent.

Add the button mushrooms and continue cooking until they are slippery in texture. Stir in the thyme.

Slosh in the sherry and simmer until reduced by half.

Pour in the chicken stock and reduce by half again.

Gently pour in the cream and reduce by half yet again – you will then have a lovely thick, opulent sauce. Add a little black pepper, taste (chef’s privilege) and adjust the seasoning to taste. Make a resolution not to keep on tasting until it’s served! Keep warm on a low heat, stirring occasionally whilst you cook your steaks.

Onto each steak, massage in 1 teaspoon oil. Then season to your liking. Flip the steaks and give them the same treatment on the other side.

Heat another frying pan over a hot heat.  Pop in the steaks and cook for 4 minutes on each side, depending on how you like your steak.  Remove the steaks and serve them onto warmed plates, allowing them to rest for a couple of minutes.

Decant your luscious sauce and pop it into the middle of the table to allow your fellow diners to help themselves – remind them about the need to share: they’ll want the lot to themselves! Indulge and enjoy! Serve with a bit of greenery, maybe some exotic mushrooms and Hasselback potatoes. Simply scrummy!

Inspired by…

Michael Caines

How easy…

Very easy as long as you take your time and allow the reductions to work their magic.

Burns Night Supper: Haggis with Wonderful Whisky Sauce, Neeps & Tatties Mash with Parsley & Walnuts

The 6th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cook book, this is a wonderful way to serve haggis and the recipe definitely deserves a place in the book! Am sharing it today in case anyone is looking for inspiration for this Friday’s Burns Night. Cheers! Shlàinte! (hoping I’ve got that right: Scottish Gaelic equivalent – I’m sure I’ll be corrected if Google’s mislead me!)

I know haggis is not for everyone but we love it (and I’m afraid this picture does not do this fabulous dish any justice at all – will re-photograph this week!) I am devoted to the Simon Howie haggis brand – so tasty, peppery and perfectly balanced with a little spicy edge to it.  Served with the mash (with the added delicious dimension of the parsley and walnut oil) and the simply sumptuous sauce and ….it’s a celebration on the plate! Add a wee dram to the proceedings – an aged single malt if you can run to it – and you’re all set to celebrate Mr. Burns birthday or merely the excuse to indulge in haggis!

Serves 4 – 6

What you need…

2 x 454g Haggis, (we love the Simon Howie Scottish butcher brand)

30g butter

2 large shallots, finely chopped

250ml whisky (not expensive)

1 litre hot water from the kettle

2 x beef stockpots (I use Knorr)

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

200ml double cream

for the mash

700g swede, peeled and chunked

650g potatoes, peeled and chunked

125g turnips, peeled and chunked

1 tablespoon butter

Sea salt and black pepper

25g fresh parsley

50g walnut pieces

Squeeze of lemon juice

100ml olive oil

What to do…

Cook both of the haggis according to the packet instructions – mine were to wrap in foil and pop in boiling water, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the swede. Cook for 5 minutes then add the potatoes and turnips. Bring back to the boil and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Drain. Return the vegetables  to the saucepan, add the butter, season and either mash or whisk.  Pop the lid back on and keep warm.

In a mini chopper, chop the walnuts finely, add the parsley and chop again.  Tip in the lemon, pour in the oil and whizz the lot together. Set aside.

Whilst the veg is bubbling along, you can make the fan-dabby-dozi sauce. Melt the butter in medium pan over a moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft and golden. Increase the heat and add the whisky. Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until reduced by three-quarters.

Dilute the beef stockpots into the hot water with the aid of a balloon whisk to create your beef stock. Pour the stock into the shallots and whisky, add the Dijon mustard and simmer for 10 minutes or until reduced by three-quarters again. Strain the sauce through a sieve and discard the shallots. Return the sauce to the pan and then add the cream, bring to a simmer and remove from the heat. Season, taste, adjust seasoning if needed. Set aside and keep warm.

Once your haggis’ are cooked, remove from the pan, discard the foil and peel back the plastic pouch. Cut the haggis into lovely chunky slices and serve onto warmed plates. Swirl the parsley and walnut oil into the mash or serve the mash and drizzle it over the top. Try not to be greedy and share the sauce between you all nicely.

Taste, enjoy, take a sip of your chosen wee dram. Repeat until plate and glass are both empty – shame!

Inspired by…

The birth of Robert Burns and then the Waitrose Weekend magazine!

How easy…

The haggis cooks itself, the sauce is a total joy to prepare and the mash is, well mash – not hard is it?