Here I have put together a selection of some of our best home made dishes! Give them a try and let me know what you think.
Partridge, Haggis and Neeps
- 2 partridges, tied, trussed and ready for roasting
- 150g of haggis
- 50g of butter
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- sea salt
- Glazed turnips
- 16 baby turnips
- 2 tsp runny honey
- 450ml of runny honey
- 20 black peppercorns
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 cardamom pod
- 500g of partridge bones
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 small beetroot, peeled and diced
- 40g of unsalted butter
- 2 banana shallots, peeled and sliced
- 6 button mushrooms, sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- 2 tbsp of sherry vinegar, to deglaze the pan
- 2l brown chicken stock
- 8 cloves
- 8 black peppercorns
- 8 juniper berries, crushed
- 75ml of sherry
- 250ml of Madeira
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and begin to prepare the partridge sauce. Place a deep roasting tin over a medium heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once hot, add the partridge bones to the tray and roast for 25–30 minutes.
Add the chopped carrot and beetroot to the roasting tin and return to the oven for 6–8 minutes, then add the butter, chopped shallot, mushrooms, garlic and fresh herbs and return the tin to the oven. Roast for another 6–8 minutes, taking care that the ingredients don’t over-brown.
Add a splash of sherry vinegar to the tin to deglaze it, scraping up any brown residue from the base of the tin. Stir in the stock and return the tin to the oven for another 30 minutes
For the glazed turnips, place the baby turnips into a small pan, cover with water and add the honey and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat and allow the turnips to cool in the cooking liquor. Store in the liquor until ready to serve.
Remove the roasting tin from the oven and transfer the partridge sauce to a deep pan, adding the cloves and peppercorns. Cover the pan with cling film and allow to stand for 45 minutes.
While the sauce is standing, add the sherry and Madeira to a large pan and bring to the boil. Cook until reduced by half.
As this is reducing, add the spices for the honey glaze to a dry frying pan and lightly toast until aromatic. Transfer to a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind to a powder. Place in a small saucepan and add the runny honey, warming through over a gentle heat until combined. Keep warm until ready to serve, or reheat gently first to ensure it remains runny.
Once the sherry and Madeira have reduced and the sauce has rested, strain the sauce mixture through a fine sieve into the pan with the reduced alcohols. Mix well and check for seasoning, reserving until ready to serve.
Cooking the Partridge
To cook the partridge, heat a large frying pan over a medium heat for 1 minute. Add a tablespoon of oil and heat through for a further minute. Season the birds all over with sea salt then add to the pan, browning evenly on all sides.
Add the butter and baste the birds continuously as the butter melts. Turn the birds on their sides and add the garlic and thyme to the hot pan, then transfer to the oven to roast. Cook on each breast and on the backbone for 4 minutes each, basting in the butter with every turn.
Meanwhile, slice the haggis into thick rounds and place on a baking tray. Cook for 6–8 minutes in the same oven, then transfer to a bowl. When cool enough to handle, roll the haggis mixture into 4 small balls and place on a clean baking tray. Return to the oven for another 6–8 minutes.
Remove the partridges from the oven and allow to stand breast-side down and loosely covered in foil for 8 minutes. Remove the legs and trim out the thigh bones, trimming neatly around the drumstick bone for presentation. Carefully remove the breasts from the bone and place in the pan with the warm honey glaze. Turn until coated in the sticky glaze then transfer to serving plates.
To serve, place a glazed breast on each plate along with a leg and a ball of haggis. Scatter over the cooked and sliced baby turnips. Spoon over a little of the partridge sauce and season generously with black pepper.
Smoked haddock with cauliflower 3 ways
- ½ white onion
- 1 large cauliflower
- vegetable stock
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Smoked Haddock
First, we will make the cauliflower puree. To do this you will need to take around 1/3 of the cauliflower and boil it until soft in vegetable stock instead of water. Once done, put the cauliflower pieces into a blender along with 2 garlic cloves, a pinch of salt and pepper and a knob of butter to make it nice and creamy. Dice half an onion and sweat this down in a pan before adding to the blender. Blitz down until smooth but holds its shape. You could always add some of the left-over stock if it’s a little too thick.
The rest is easy! Set the oven to around 180 degrees. Put one floret aside then cut up the remaining cauliflower into bitesize pieces, lightly coat them in oil with seasoning and put into a pre-heated oven tray so you hear them sizzle when you put them in. These will need to roast in the oven for around 30 mins depending how big your pieces are. You will want some nice browning pieces.
With the floret, you put aside, cut it into thin slices. Get a very hot dry pan, no oil. Put the slices of cauliflower in turning them regularly so they don’t completely burn, but you will want some ‘charring’ to happen.
The haddock will take around 17mins to cook, so work out your timings accordingly so that it all comes together nicely. Place the fish in pieces of tin foil that will make little parcels. With the fish, you will need to add a small knob of butter, salt, pepper and a lemon slice.
This is a really simple dish for all those cauliflower lovers. It’s great for lunch or dinner.
Pumpkin, brie & honey risotto
- 3 banana shallots
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Handful of fresh Sage leaves
- 350 grams of aborio rice
- Small glass of dry white wine
- 1 litre of fresh vegetable stock
- 350 grams of pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon of clear honey
- 100 grams of brie
- 30 grams of parmesan
- Knob of salted butter
- Basil leaves
- Pine nuts
Finely chop the shallots and sauté in a little rapeseed oil, salt and pepper for 5 minutes. Chop the garlic and slice the Sage leaves, add this to the pan and fry off gently.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the pumpkin into small cubes. Add to a saucepan with the stock and bring to the boil, keep at a mid-simmer through the risotto process (adding cold liquid to a risotto will stop the cooking and ruin your timings)
Once the shallots, garlic and sage have sweated down add the aborio rice. Turn the heat up slightly and stir continuously, you want the rice to pick up the sage flavour and to become translucent.
Now throw in the glass of wine, keep the heat quite high to burn off the alcohol and allow the rice to soak up the liquid. Begin to add your stock, ladle at a time waiting for it to evaporate (wait until all of the stock is gone from around the rice before adding more)
After 15 minutes, add two thirds of the pumpkin that has been cooking in your stock. Drizzle the honey into the pan. Keep going with the ladles of stock. This will take another 10 minutes.
Now blitz the remaining pumpkin. Add to the risotto with slices of brie (take the rind off) with grated parmesan and a knob of butter. Put a lid onto the pan and take off the heat, let it sit and get oozy.
Whilst you’re patiently waiting, dry fry the pine nuts and dish up some crisp salad with warm ciabatta.
Now the risotto is ready to dig in, spoon into bowls and sprinkle on pine nuts with basil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Blue cheese, Caramelised pear & Pine nut tart.
Who doesn’t love pastry? Pastry AND cheese has to be a winner, right?
Billy and I love making tarts and pies as they are so versatile and really quick and easy to make. The following recipe can be eaten with a peppery rocket salad in the Summer or crispy potatoes and roasted veg in colder months. YUM.
No matter what anyone says, sometimes life is too short to make pastry from scratch! Even top chefs admit to that. So, start off with some pre-made sheets of puff pastry – lay this out on grease proof paper on an oven tray (set the oven to around 180 to heat)
Put a non stick pan on the hob at a medium heat and add some butter, throw in chunks (or slices if you prefer) of firm pears like conference variety. Leave these to caramelise and go a little sticky before seasoning with salt and pepper.
On your sheet of pastry, layer blobs of blue cheese, thin slices of red onion and the cooked pears. Pop this in the oven for around 18 minutes on the top shelf.
Once the tart is ready, take out to cool and firm up a little, dry toast some pine nuts in a pan and sprinkle over before cutting. Drizzle on some balsamic vinegar. Then eat and savour the delicious sweet and savoury flavours with a chilled white wine.
Quantities (not that this is needed!)
- 1 rolled out sheet of puff pastry
- Half a red onion sliced
- Around 150g of Stilton cheese
- 2-3 conference pears
- 50g salted butter
- hand full of pine nuts
- Good quality Modena balsamic vinegar