Tag Archives: Nigel Slater

Mincemeat, Apple and Panettone Pudding

So, I checked this recipe out last week, having just enough mincemeat and panettone left from Christmas – a good way of using it up I thought. As you can see from the image, this pudding is not the most glamorous. However, on tasting the first mouthful, both John and I were blown away. Underneath that brown topping is a pudding that is simply and lusciously sensational. It’s that good, that I’m doing it again this Sunday after a roast dinner with friends but…am going to have to make more mincemeat and have been donated a spare panettone to complete the task! It’s worth it!!!

Serves 4 – 6

What you need…

1 x baking dish, liberally buttered

500g sharp eating apples

3 tablespoons water

200g mincemeat

60g butter, melted

250g panettone, processed to course crumbs

1 tablespoon demerara sugar

What to do…

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

Peel, core and chunk the apples and tip them into a saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat, leaving the apples to collapse into a purée (I left my quite lumpy as I like finding little chunks of apple in amongst the mixture).

Remove from the heat and gently stir through the mincemeat – don’t mix it altogether to a brown mush but rather leave it unevenly mixed – looks and tastes better. Tip the whole lot into your baking dish.

Pour the melted butter into the panettone crumbs and mix thoroughly to create a loose, moist jumble of crumbs and dried fruit.

Tip the crumbs over the mincemeat and apple, leaving the surface rough and rustic! Sprinkle over the demerara sugar and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Serve with custard, double cream or ice-cream. Watch how fast this glorious pud is demolished!!!!

Inspired by…

Nigel Slater

How easy…

Sloth like effort required. Perfect for a leisurely Sunday lunch.

Hot-Smoked Fish and Leek Pie

This gorgeous pie is, for me, the perfect antidote to all the rich menus of Christmas without the usual deprivation that is often present in January meals (as everyone announces the need to diet). It’s still indulgent with the help of puff pastry and cream but is also light and really, really tasty given the combination of smoked fish and fresh herbs. It also has the advantages of being really easy and a filling that you make in advance – great for a supper sharing with friends and family.

Serves 8

What you need…

2 x large baking sheets, 1 of which is lined with baking parchment

500g leeks, sliced into 1cm chunks and washed

40g butter

3 heaped tablespoons plain flour

250g hot smoked salmon, forked roughly into large flakes

250g smoked mackerel, forked roughly into large flakes

500ml double cream 500ml

300g red potatoes, quartered and sliced into £1 coin-thick pieces

4 tablespoons rapeseed oil

Sea salt and black pepper

3 tablespoons parsley, chopped

1½ tablespoons tarragon, chopped

375g puff pastry

1 large, happy egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon nigella/poppy seeds

What to do…

Melt the butter in a deep heavy-based pan over a moderate heat and then tip in the leeks. Pop on a lid and cook for 10 minutes, so they are soft but not brown.

Gently warm the double cream in a small pan and remove from the heat. Add the flour to the leeks, stir and leave to cook for a couple of minutes then gently stir the fish into the leeks. Pour over the warm double cream and leave to cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, warm the rapeseed oil in a shallow pan then sauté the potato slices on both sides over a moderate heat until golden on the outside but still soft in the middle.

Fold the cooked potatoes into the fish and leek cream, season to taste with salt and black pepper; then gently stir through the chopped parsley and tarragon. Transfer to a mixing bowl and leave to cool before thoroughly chilling in the fridge (preferably overnight). If you skip this step it will be impossible to shape the pie.

Set the oven at 200˚c / 400˚f / gas 6. Place the unlined baking sheet upside down in the oven.

Cut the pastry in half then roll out each piece into a rectangle of   about 32cm x 22cm. Place one rectangle on the remaining lined baking sheet and then pile the cold filling on top of the pastry, leaving a border on all four sides of at least 2cm.

Smooth the top of the filling so you have a deep rectangle of mixture. Brush the bare edges of the pastry generously with the beaten egg.

Place the second sheet of pastry over the filling then press the edges of the two pieces of pastry firmly together to seal well (to prevent leakage).

Brush the top layer of pastry all over with more beaten egg, scatter with the nigella or poppy seeds, then pierce a small hole in the centre with knife or the handle of wooden spoon.

Pop in the oven, placing your pie-laden baking sheet on top of the hot, upturned one, and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Leave to rest for 5 minutes before sliding off the baking sheet onto a serving board or dish and slicing into thick generous slices of gorgeousness – enjoy!

Tip…

I believe that placing the food-laden baking sheet on top of an already hot one reduces the chances of a soggy bottom when cooking pastry and I now do this with all pastry bakes.

Inspired by…

Nigel Slater

How easy…

Very easy. Quite a lot of washing up for the prep of the filling but I love the fact that you do very little the day you actually want to eat it!

Christmas Mincemeat Sandwich with Panettone

Ok, so it it’s not the best photographic subject but whoa: what a fabulously festive treat (breakfast in this case, served alongside a double espresso). It felt like a naughty Nigella kinda thing but is actually inspired by Nigel Slater and his simply wonderful ‘Christmas Chronicles’ book. Try with out delay and ‘Merry Christmas!’

Serves 1

What you need…

2 x slices panettone

A good dollop of mincemeat

Butter for spreading/frying

A sprinkle of icing sugar (optional)

What to do…

Spread the mincemeat evenly over one slice of bread and pop the other slice on top to create a sandwich. If you have a ‘lean mean grilling machine’, simply preheat it and then butter your sandwich on the outside of the panettone slices, pop it in the machine for about 2 minutes and ‘voila!’ – your naughty festive sandwich is complete.

Alternatively, melt a knob of butter in a small frying pan and then fry the sandwich on one side until golden brown. Then flip it and fry the other side until equally golden.

Sprinkle with icing sugar if you’re feeling the need to add an extra touch of Christmas sparkle – enjoy – absolutely delicious!

Inspired by…

Nigel Slater

How easy…

Festively ridiculously!

Black Pudding and Baked Apples with Celeriac and Mustard Mash

A rather unusual and gorgeous combination this! Creamy mash providing the perfect foil for the rich black pudding and luscious apple – a great little supper dish of comfort and joy…. and so very easy!

Serves 4

What you need…

750g celeriac, peeled and chunked

Squeeze of lemon

350g potatoes, peeled and chunked

3 bay leaves

4 small, firm dessert apples

60g butter, plus a few extra knobs

500g black pudding, cut into four thick slices

1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

Sea salt and black pepper

A small handful of parsley, chopped finely, to garnish (optional)

What to do…

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

Chuck the celeriac pieces into a large saucepan of salted water and add a squeeze of lemon to stop them discolouring. Add the potato chunks and bring to the boil. Throw in the bay leaves and season with a pinch of salt, lower the heat and leave to cook, bubbling gently for about 20 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, score the apples around the middle, cutting just under the skin. Place them on a baking tray, top each with a knob of butter and pop them in the oven for 15 minutes. Place the black pudding slices on the same tray, dot with butter and pop back in the oven for a further 15 – 20 minutes, until the black pudding is sizzling and the apples are fluffed up.

Drain the vegetables and tip them into your food processor with the 60g butter. Whizz until smooth, light and creamy. Fold in the mustard and a good grinding of black pepper.

For each lucky person, serve generous scoops of mash onto warmed plates; top with a thick slice of sizzling black pudding and crown with a lovely hot, sweet apple. Enjoy a little of each element on every forkful – comfort and joy!

Inspired by…

Nigel Slater

How easy…

Dead easy!