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Posts Tagged ‘Jamie Oliver’

Christmas Nutroast

We made this nut roast in January when we were attempting to go meat-free for a few weeks but still wanted something suitable for Sunday lunch. This would make a great centre-piece for a veggie Christmas dinner and we’d also recommend for any celebratory meal, heaps of flavour and definitely challenged our pre-conceived notions about nut roast. Serve with all the usual trimmings.

Wine Suggestion: given the season we’d suggest a Southern Rhöne red, especially one that has fresh spices in the aromas. The Chateau Pesquie Terrasses rouge we think is sophisticatacted and wholesomely satisfying and a wine rack regular, though a step up at this time of year is needed so we opened a wine from Domaine de la Vieille Julienne. Known for their superb Chateauneuf-du Papes, we instead went for their Cotes du Rhone lieu-dit Clavin which is rich, smooth and powerful; a very sophisticated red indeed and belies it’s lowly classification … a hidden gem.

Christmas Nut Roast – serves 8

  • olive oil
  • 100g quinoa
  • 500g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped into 2cm pie
  • 200g vac-packed chestnuts
  • 2 springs of rosemary
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 large field mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 60g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 120g dried apricots, chopped
  • 150g mixed unsalted nuts, chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 40g mature Cheddar cheese, grated

FOR THE SPICED TOMATO SAUCE:

  • 3 red chillies, halved lengthways but joined at the stalk
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 15g fresh thyme
  • 2 large roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 2 x400g tins of plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350°C/gas 4.

Scrunch up a wet sheet of greaseproof paper and use to line all sides of an oiled 1.5 litre loaf tin. Leave an overhang at the ends so you can lift the roast easily out of the tin later.

Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the pack, drain, then leave to cool in a large bowl.

Put the butternut squash, onions and celery into a large roasting tray, crumble in the chestnuts, strip in the rosemary leaves, add the paprika, oregano, a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, and 2 tbsp of olive oil, then toss well. Roast for 40 minutes, adding the mushrooms for the last 10 minutes.

Remove the tray from the oven and tip the vegetables into the quinoa bowl. Finely grate in half the lemon zest, add the breadcrumbs, then add the apricots and nuts. Add the eggs and mix well, then transfer to the lined loaf tin, piling it up high. Roast for 45 minutes, or until golden.

Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a roasting tray set on the hob over a medium heat. Add the chillies and cinnamon stick and cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Remove the chillies and cinnamon and set aside, then add the garlic and most of the thyme leaves and cook for 5 minutes. Add the peppers, tomatoes and a tin full of water, breaking the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon, then add the balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until thickened and reduced, stirring occasionally.

Lift the nut roast out of the tin and sit into the sauce, discarding the paper. Sprinkle over the cheese and place one of the chillies on top with a few thyme sprigs and drizzle with a little oil. Return the rest of the chillies and the cinnamon to the sauce and roast for a final 15 minutes, then leave to sit for 5 minutes. Finely chop and stir the chillies into the sauce (according to taste), then slice and serve.

(Original recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook, Penguin, 2016.)

 

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Vege breakfast

This is a variation on a brunch dish from Jamie Oliver’s Veg book. Honeyed halloumi, chopped salad, yoghurt, tahini and soft-boiled eggs & dukkah. Jamie also suggests figs and black olives but we couldn’t find figs anywhere this weekend so we made do with some grapes instead and a plate of toasted sourdough. It definitely improved our morning and we’ve made honeyed halloumi for breakfast and dukkah on everything since.

To make your own dukkah mix 50g blanched hazelnuts, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 1 tbsp fennel seeds, 1 tbsp coriander seeds and 2tbsp sesame seeds in a bowl. Spread over a baking tray and cook for 8-10 minutes at 180C/160 fan or until toasted. Pulse the mixture a few times in a food processor just to chop the nuts.

Veggie Breakfast – serves 4

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 little gem lettuce
  • 4 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves mint
  • 1 ripe beef tomato
  • ½ a cucumber
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 lemon
  • 225g halloumi cheese
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 4 tsp runny honey
  • 4 ripe figs, quartered –  or other fruit
  • 8 black olives, destoned
  • 1 tbsp dukkah (see above)
  • flatbread or toasted sourdough

Bring a pan of water to the boil, then put the eggs in and cook for 6½ minutes, then drain and peel under cool running water.

Chop the lettuce, mint, tomato and cucumber together on a board. Drizzle over the yoghurt and tahini and squeeze over the lemon juice, then continue to chop and mix until fine. Season with salt and black pepper.

Slice the halloumi lengthways into 4, then fry in 1 tbsp of oil over a medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, then sprinkle with the sesame seeds and turn the cheese until coated all over. Remove to a plate and drizzle with the honey.

Halve the eggs and sprinkle with the dukkah. Arrange the fruit and olives together on a plate.

Serve warm with some toasted sourdough or flatbreads.

(Original recipe from Veg by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2019.)

 

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Pasta with Fresh Peas, Guanciale, Mint & Pecorino

We hardly ever buy fresh peas in the pods as they rarely taste as good as frozen peas (must be Birdseye!), frozen the minute they are picked and therefore guaranteed fresh. Of course if you can pick your own that’s a different matter. We took a chance on some peas in their pods in our local veg shop to make this, but if you’re fortunate to be growing them yourself you have no such worries. The pea shoots are a really nice addition if you can find them.

Wine Suggestion: Our choice tonight is a Gavi di Gavi made by Pico Maccario in the Piedmont and the lemony edge to the wine added a nice extra dimension.

Pasta with fresh peas, guanciale, mint & pecorino – serves 2

  • 350g fresh peas, in their pods
  • 80g piece of guanciale (cured pig’s cheek) or smoked pancetta, finely diced
  • 150g dried rigatoni or similar
  • 2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ a lemon
  • 15g of fresh mint, leaves stripped and finely chopped
  • 30g pecorino cheese, finely grated,  plus extra to serve
  • peas shoots, to serve (optional)

Pod the peas and put the pods in a pot of boiling salted water for 5 minutes, then scoop the pods out and discard (don’t discard the water).

Meanwhile, tip the guanciale into a large cold non-stick frying pan and put over a medium heat to render the fat, tossing often.

Cook the pasta in the pea pod flavoured water according to the timings on the pack.

Add the shallots to the guanciale pan and cook for 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Add the peas and a good splash of water, then finely grate in the lemon zest. Cover and cook gently for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Drain the pasta but reserve a mugful of the cooking water. Tip the pasta into the frying pan, then remove from the heat and toss well. Stir in the mint and pecorino, shaking the pan. Loosen with a little pasta water if needed, then season and serve with extra pecorino, a drizzle of good olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a few pea shoots.

(Original recipe from Jamie Cooks Italy by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2018.)

 

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Panissa Rice

Panissa is a risotto with some extras added to make it more substantial. This one from Jamie Cooks Italy has red wine, tomatoes, salami and borlotti beans.

Wine Suggestion: The Barbera we used was a very good match, as was the Balto Mencia from Bierzo, Spain; both medium bodied and earthy in character. If neither of these are to hand look for something fresh and balanced … not too heavy or high in alcohol which would overwhelm the flavours.

Panissa Rice – serves 4

  • 50g piece of smoked pancetta, cut into 1cm chunks
  • 50g salami, cut into 1cm chunks
  • 2 onions, chopped into 1cm chunks
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped into 1cm chunks
  • 1 litre quality meat stock
  • 30g bunch of fresh rosemary
  • 300g Arborio risotto rice
  • 250ml Barbera d’Asti red wine
  • 400g tin of plum tomatoes
  • 400g tin of borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Put the pancetta and salami into a cold casserole and place over a medium-high heat until the fat renders. Add the onions and celery and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft.

In a separate pan simmer the stock and rosemary.

Stir the rice into the veg and toast for 2 minutes, then pour in the wine and cook until it has evaporated. Add the tomatoes scrunching with your hands to break them up. Add the stock a ladleful at a time, letting each one disappear before adding more. Stir constantly and keep adding stock for 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked but still has a little bite. Stir the borlotti beans in with the last ladle of stock. The panissa is done when your spoon can stand up in the middle. Taste and season with salt and black pepper and stir in the parsley.

(Original recipe from Jamie Cooks Italy by Jamie Italy, Michael Joseph, 2018.)

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Risotto bianco with pesto

It’s anything with pesto in our house at the minute. This dish is definitely suitable for adults too.

Wine Suggestion: We would suggest a good Fiano from Campani in the south of Italy with  freshness and fruit that isn’t too ripe and tropical. By avoiding over-ripeness you get more stone fruit with a fresh vibrancy. Alongside the rich risotto and herby pesto it’s a great match.

Risotto Bianco with Pesto – serves 6

  • 1.1 litres hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a knob of butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ a head of celery, finely chopped
  • 400g risotto rice
  • 2 wineglasses of dry white vermouth or dry white wine
  • 70g butter
  • 115g freshly grated Parmesan
  • fresh pesto
  • small handful of pine nuts – toasted
  • small basil leaves (to serve)

Put the olive oil and knob of butter into a pan, then add the onion, garlic and celery, and cook gently for about 15 minutes without colouring. When the vegetables have softened turn the heat up and add the rice.

Keep stirring for about a minute or until the rice looks translucent. Add the vermouth and continue to stir.

When the vermouth has disappeared, add a ladle of the hot stock and a good pinch of salt. Turn the heat down to a simmer and keep adding ladles of the stock, stirring all the time, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding another. This should take about 15 minutes. After this taste the rice to check if it’s cooked. If not, keep adding stock until the rice is soft with a little bite. If you run out of stock you can add a some boiling water. Season.

Remove the risotto from the heat and add the butter and Parmesan. Stir well, then cover the pan and leave to sit for 2 minutes. Eat immediately garnished with a spoonful of fresh pesto, some toasted pine nuts, a few basil leaves and some extra Parmesan.

(Original recipe from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2005.)

 

 

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Chickpea & Rainbow Chard Pork

We made this with some fabulous rainbow chard from one of our best friends’ vege patches. So simple and super tasty.

Wine Suggestion: Find a youthful Tempranillo with little or no oak influence, juicy fruit and not too much extraction (tannins). Chill it for 30 minutes and enjoy. Our choice, the Paco Garcia Rioja Seis.

Chickpea & Chard Pork – serves 4

  • 400g pork fillet, seasoned with salt and black pepper
  • 1 x 480g jar of roasted red peppers in brine, drained and diced into 1cm cubes
  • 300g rainbow chard, finely sliced including the stalks
  • 1 heaped tsp of fennel seeds
  • 1 x 660g jar of chickpeas

Heat a large shallow casserole over a high heat. Put 1 tbsp of oil into the pan along with the pork and sear for 5 minutes, turning over halfway (you can cut it in half if it fits easier).

Remove the pork from the pan, then add the fennel seeds, peppers and chard to the fat left behind. Stir fry for a couple of minutes before pouring in the chickpeas and their juice. Season, stir well and bring to the boil. Nestle the pork in to the chickpeas so that it’s touching the bottom of the pan and pour over any juices from the plate. Cover and simmer gently for 12 minutes or until the pork is just cooked through, turn the pork over now and then as it cooks.

Rest for 2 minutes, then slice the pork and check the chickpeas for seasoning. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and a drizzle of oil before serving.

(Original recipe from ‘5 Ingredients’ by Jamie Oliver, Penguin, 2017.)

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Duck & Orange Salad

We cooked this while camping in the Dordogne where duck is plentiful and you can buy fabulous fresh walnuts in all the local markets. What a treat!

Wine Suggestion: we can suggest a glass of the walnut liqueur “Liqueur de Noix” for dessert. The Tante Mïon we found from Sarlat was definitely artisanale, but had great character and smoothness. A holiday treat.

Duck & Orange Salad – serves 2

  • 2 x 150g duck breast fillets with skin on
  • 1 baguette
  • 15g shelled unsalted walnuts, chopped
  • 3 oranges or blood oranges
  • 30g watercress

Score the duck skin with a sharp knife, then rub all over with sea salt and black pepper. Place the duck breasts skin side down in a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat. Sear for 6 minutes or until the skin is dark golden, then turn over and cook for another 5 minutes (or longer if that’s your preference). Remove to a board to rest but leave the pan on the heat.

Slice 10 thin slices of baguette. Put the slices of bread into the hot pan with the walnuts and toast in the duck fat until golden, then remove and arrange the toasts on a serving plate.

Meanwhile, top and tail the oranges, cut away the peal, then slice finely into rounds (remove any pips as you go).

Finely slice the duck and put the slices on top of the little toasts. Scatter any extra duck and the oranges around, then dress the watercress with any resting juices on the board and sprinkle over. Scatter over the toasted walnuts, season, and serve.

(Original recipe from Jamie Oliver’s ‘5 Ingredients’, Michael Joseph, 2017)

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Sicilian tuna pasta

We loved this easy pasta dish that we cooked when camping underneath Château de Beynac, right beside the banks of the Dordogne, with hot air balloons floating by. Such happy memories.

Wine Suggestion: We don’t see wines from the Dordogne often in Ireland and found ourselves a bit at sea until we found the Vinotheque de Beynac run by Enrique; young, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and who had curated a nice, boutique selection of wines. His suggestion of the Chateau Montdoyen Un Point c’est Tout! Bergerac Rosé was a great match. If you’re near Beynac et Cazenac in the Dordogne, he’s well worth seeking out for local wine inspiration.

Sicilian Tuna Pasta – serves 4

  • 300g dried pasta shells
  • 4 heaped tsp baby capers
  • 500g ripe cherry tomatoes (mixed colours if available), halved
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 x 220g jar of tuna in olive oil

Cook the pasta in a large pan of salty boiling water according to the time suggested on the packet. Meanwhile, put a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the capers, fry until very crispy, then scoop out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the tomatoes, then sprinkle in most of the oregano. Drain and flake in the tuna, add 2 ladles of the pasta cooking water, and simmer until the pasta is cooked.

Drain the pasta, reserving a little more of the cooking water, then toss the pasta into the tuna pan. Mix together and loosen with a splash of the pasta water if needed. Taste and season, then serve scattered with the crispy capers and the rest of the oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.

(Original recipe from Jamie Oliver’s “5 Ingredients”, Michael Joseph, 2017.)

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Italian seared beef

So this is a bit of a treat and yet has very few ingredients and takes very little time to prepare. Hail to that.

Wine Suggestion: fresher and bit more rustic than Bordeaux is Bergerac, into the Dordogne River to the east. The best vineyards are in the Pecharmant AC and have Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot as the dominant varieties. We found some unoaked wines on our last trip from Domaine des Costes, Cuvée Tradition which, while simple, had a joy and juiciness that perfectly complemented the beef, pesto and rocket.

Italian Seared Beef – serves 2

  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan until golden
  • 250g rump steak
  • 2 heaped teaspoons pesto
  • 40g rocket
  • 15g Parmesan cheese

Put a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Cut the fat of the steak, finely chop the fat and put into the hot pan to crisp up. Cut the sinew off the rump and season with salt and black pepper. Put the steak between two sheets of greaseproof paper and bash with a rolling pin until it is an even thickness of about 1 cm. Scoop out the crispy fat and set aside, then sear the steak in the hot pan for 1 minute per side or until golden but still pink in the middle (as per photo). Remove the steak to a board to rest.

Spread the pesto over a serving plate. Thinly slice the steak at an angle and scatter over the plate. Pile the rocket on top, then scatter over the pine nuts and crispy fat (you don’t have to eat the fat if you would rather not –  we’ll have it!). Mix the resting juices with a tbsp of good olive oil and drizzle over. Shave the Parmesan over to serve.

(Original recipe from 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2017.)

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Smoky Chorizo Salmon

It’s still cold but there’s a bit of sunshine and promise of warm spring days to come. We can’t wait for the spring veg to start but this bright dish is not a bad compromise.

Wine Suggestion: in the mood for Spring we chose the Chateau Vignelaure, La Source Rosé which we often find a good match for salmon and it came through yet again. Vibrant, fresh fruit and a long dry finish.

Smoky Chorizo Salmon – serves 2

  • 2 x 150g salmon fillets, skin on
  • 300g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 sprigs fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 8 black olives, remove stones and finely chop
  • 30g chorizo, finely sliced

Put the salmon in a large cold non-stick frying pan with the flesh side down. Put over a medium-high heat and cook for about 3 minutes or until it is sizzling underneath. Flip the salmon over on to the skin side and continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until the skin is very crispy and the fish is just cooked through.

Meanwhile, tear up most of the basil leaves and mix with the cherry tomatoes, the red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix the chopped olives with 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil and a splash of water.

Add the chorizo to the pan with the salmon for the last 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes for 30 seconds. Divide the tomatoes between two plates and top with the salmon, then spoon over the olive dressing and the rest of the basil leaves.

(Original recipe from 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2017.)

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Sausages and green lentils with tomato salsa

Italian-style comfort food with honest, rustic flavours. Generous portions of deliciousness and tastes even better on the second day. Do seek out proper Italian sausages if you can – some of them are gluten-free as well for our coeliac friends.

Wine Suggestion: playing on the rustic theme works well by looking for an earthy wine match, you also need a bit of acidity which you can often find in Italian wines. We’ve successfully tried some cheaper Rosso Conero from the Marche made from Montepulciano and simple Chianti made from Sangiovese. Alternately the Insoglio del Cinghiale from the Maremma steps it up a notch, and then a step further the Pira Luigi Serralunga Barolo.

Salsicce con lenticchie verdi e salsa de pomodoro – serves 4

  • 8 good-quality Italian sausages
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 500g purple-sprouting broccoli or cima di rapa
  • juice of ½ a lemon

FOR THE SALSA ROSSA:

  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon
  • 1-2 small dried red chillies, crumbled
  • 2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes

FOR THE LENTILS:

  • 400g Puy lentils or lentichhie di Castelluccio
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • a handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped and stalks reserved
  • red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • a small handful of thyme tips

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Start with the salsa by heating some oil in a saucepan and cooking the onion, garlic, cinnamon stick and chilli over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes or until the onions are soft. Turn up the heat and add the red wine vinegar, then turn the heat to low and add the tinned tomatoes (chop them up with you hands or with a wooden spoon). Simmer the sauce slowly for about half an hour while you cook the lentils.

Put the lentils into a large pot, cover with water and add the whole cloves of garlic, the bay leaf and the parsley stalks (tied together so they’re easy to remove at the end). Simmer for about 20 minutes, checking to make sure the liquid still covers the lentils. Check regularly near the end of the cooking time to make sure they don’t overcook.

Toss the sausages in a small bit of olive oil and bake in a roasting tray for about 25 minutes until golden.

When the sausages are cooked either boil or steam the broccoli until cooked, then drain and toss with some lemon juice, good olive oil and seasoning.

Fish the parsley stalks and bay leaves out of the cooked lentils and pour off most of the water. Mash the garlic cloves with a spoon and mix into the lentils with 4 tbsp of good olive oil and 1 to 2 tbsp of vinegar. Stir in the chopped parsley, then mix and season.

Pour away any fat from the sausages and slice thickly.

Remove the cinnamon stick from the salsa and season well.

Put the lentils onto plates, spoon over the salsa and top with the sliced sausages. Sprinkle with the thyme tips and serve with the broccoli.

(Original recipe from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2005.)

 

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Italian Baked Rice

We vowed to set Jamie’s 5 Ingredients book aside for a while but we keep coming back to it – this time as we only needed to pick up one ingredient. This is definitely not conventional cooking as we know it but it works, and we’re continually surprised by what read like pretty ordinary dishes. This makes a great midweek meal served with a rocket salad but would also be a good side for roast or barbecued meat.

Wine Suggestion: What you choose may depend on if there’s meat being cooked too, but we ate this initially on its own so went for the Dog Point Chardonnay which was both rich and round as well as fresh and vibrant; perfect.

Italian Baked Rice – serves 4

  • 2 onions, peeled, quartered and divided into petals
  • 60g fennel salami
  • 300g Arborio rice
  • 1 heaped tbsp mascarpone cheese
  • 40g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4.

Put a large shallow casserole over a high heat. Throw the onion petals into the pan and char for about 4 minutes, tossing regularly.

Reduce the heat to medium and stir in 1 tbsp of olive oil and the salami, then the rice and cook for 1 minute. Add 1.2 litres of boiling kettle water and the mascarpone, then stir in the Parmesan with some sea salt and black pepper.

Bake the rice in the oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is just cooked through. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and season to taste before serving.

(Original recipe from 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2017.)

 

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Mustardy Beef

Another successful dish from Jamie Oliver’s ‘5 Ingredients’. Such a clever book with lots of simple dishes and bags of flavour. We served with creamy chive mash and buttered cabbage.

Wine Suggestion: We quite like to have richer, Southern French reds with casseroles, sometimes from the Rhône but this time we opened a Mas Amiel Pur Schist from Rousillon; another find hiding in the corner of the cellar. Rich, warm and at the same time elegant and sophisticated.

Meltin’ Mustardy Beef – serves 6

  • 900g beef shin (get your butcher to remove the bone but take it with you for extra flavour), diced into 5 cm chunks
  • 500g carrots, cut into 5 cm chunks
  • 2 onions, peeled, quartered and broken into petals
  • 120ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard

Heat your oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.

Put a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Toss the beef with lots of black pepper and a good pinch of salt, then dry fry in the hot pan with the bone for about 8 minutes or until nicely browned.

Heat a shallow casserole pan over a high heat. Add the carrots with a tbsp of olive oil and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the onions and continue to cook until starting to soften and colour a bit. Add the browned meat, then stir in the Worcestershire sauce and mustard plus 800ml of boiling water from the kettle.

Cover the casserole and cook in the oven for 4 hours or until super tender. Loosen with a splash of water if necessary. Season to taste and serve with mash and greens.

(Original recipe from ‘5 Ingredients’ by Jamie Oliver, Penguin, 2017.)

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This is the ‘succulent lamb stew’ from Jamie Oliver’s latest book – ‘5 Ingredients’ . It takes a little while in the oven but requires virtually no prep and the results are super tasty. Who knew a jar of pickled onions could be such a revelation? We served with buttery mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

This is the third recipe we’ve tried from this book and have yet to be disappointed. Go Jamie!

Wine Suggestion: we found that a youthful wine from Jumilla, the Finca Bacara “3015” Monastrell was a great match. It was perfectly ripe but avoided the clumsy tannins of other Monastrell we’ve had in the past despite being young and only spending 2 months in oak to bring it together. Look for juicy fruit, freshness, and bold but supple and unobtrusive tannins in whatever you choose.

Easiest Ever Lamb Stew – serves 6

  • a few good sprigs of rosemary, about 15g, leaves stripped
  • 800g boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 3cm chunks
  • 150g mixed-colour olives
  • 1 x 280g jar of silverskin pickled onions
  • 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3.

Heat a 30cm shallow casserole pan over a high heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and toss the rosemary leaves around for about a minute to crisp up. Scoop out the rosemary and set aside, then brown the lamb for a couple of minutes in the same pan.

Drain the pickled onions and add to the pan with the olives (remove the stones if necessary first). Stir everything together before adding the tinned tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon, plus 2 tinfuls of water. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours, or until the sauce has thickened and the lamb is meltingly tender. Jamie suggests stirring half-way through and adding a splash of water if needed. After an hour we had loads of liquid left in the dish so cooked for the remaining hour with the lid off. It probably depends on the heat in your oven so do as needed.

Taste the dish and season with salt and black pepper, then sprinkle over the crispy rosemary to serve.

(Original recipe from 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver, Penguin, 2017.)

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Epic rib-eye steak

New Year’s eve is a night we treasure to eat nice food and open a good bottle of wine; just the two of us (the third still flakes out around 7pm). This year we are glad that Jamie Oliver is back on song with his new book “5 Ingredients”. This was delicious, luxurious and yes –  very few ingredients.

Wine suggestion: from our cellar came a bottle of the Chateau Rayas “Pignan” 2005 which while 12 years old was beautifully youthful, smooth, complex and deep. A 100% grenache from a very particular vineyard this is a remarkable wine that we’re glad to have shared together to begin 2018.

Epic Rib-Eye Steak – serves 4

  • 600g piece of rib-eye steak (ideally about 5 cm thick), fat removed
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves stripped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 350g mixed mushrooms, tear up any larger ones into bite size chunks
  • 1 x 660g jar of white beans
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Rub the steak all over with a little olive oil, a pinch of salt and some black pepper, then sear on all sides for 10 minutes in total. You’re looking for a nice dark brown on the outside and medium rare in the middle – of course keep cooking if you prefer it more cooked than this. When done, remove to a warm plate and cover with tin foil.

Turn the heat under the pan down to medium. Add the rosemary leaves and crisp up for 30 seconds, then add the garlic and mushrooms with a splash of oil if needed and cook for 8 minutes or until golden.

Pour in the beans and their juice, add the red wine vinegar and simmer for 5 minutes, then season to taste. Sit the steak on top and pour over any juices from the plate. Slice the steak at the table and serve with with a drizzle of your best olive oil.

(Original recipe from 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2017.)

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Minestrone

This minestrone soup is from Jamie Oliver’s very first cookbook, back when his recipes were from the heart, had a simplicity and weren’t designed to be chucked together in 15 minutes. If you bake a ham be sure to reserve the water that you cook the ham in before baking, it makes a great ham stock for soups like this one.

Minestrone Soup – serves 6

  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced into 1 cm cubes
  • 2 leeks, remove the outer leaves and dice into 1 cm cubes
  • 5 sticks of celery, remove the stringy bits with a vegetable peeler and dice into 1 cm cubes
  • 2 red onions, peeled and diced into 1 cm cubes
  • 1 cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 heaped tbsp of chopped rosemary
  • 850ml gammon/ham stock (or chicken or vegetable stock)
  • 3 handfuls of basil
  • 170g spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Put the olive oil into a warmed heavy-based pan and sweat the carrots, leeks, celery, onion, garlic and rosemary over a medium heat until just tender – around 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming off any froth that comes to the top. Add the cabbage, cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, then rip in the basil leaves and add the pasta. Simmer for a further 5 minutes. Taste and season.

Serve garnished with the grated Parmesan and a slug of good olive oil.

(Original recipe from The Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 1999.)

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Rigatoni Peperonata

A simple midweek pasta supper for using up those multi-pack peppers. It reminds us of summer and Italy.

Wine suggestion: a great match with Cabernet Franc. The bell pepper, inky and pencil shaving character really compliments the flavours in this simple dish. A favourite of our is the Ch du Hureau from Saumur. Their “Tuffe” a youthful Cab Franc is a gem that regularly makes its way onto our wine rack. If you want to stick with Italian a 100% Sangiovese would make an excellent choice too.

Pasta Peronata – serves 4 (easily halved)

  • 2 red peppers, sliced
  • 2 yellow peppers,  sliced
  • 2 red onions, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or crushed
  • 2 handfuls fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped and stalks reserved
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 handfuls grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 heaped tablespoons mascarpone cheese or crème fraîche (optional – we don’t usually add this unless we have some already)
  • 500g rigatoni or penne pasta

Put the peppers into a large frying pan over a medium heat with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover with a lid, and cook gently for about 15 minutes until softened. Add the onion and cook for a further 20 minutes. Then add the garlic and parsley stalks and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Season to taste. Add the vinegar, then add a handful of the grated Parmesan and the mascarpone or crème fraîche if you are using it and turn the heat down to minimum while you cook the pasta.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack. Reserve a little of the cooking water before draining. Toss the peppers, pasta & chopped parsley in a large warm bowl. Add a bit of the reserved pasta water and a splash of good olive oil to coat the pasta. Serve with the rest of the Parmesan.

(Original recipe by Jamie Oliver).

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Cherry tomato & chipolata bake

Despite the simplicity of this dish it really showcases perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes; excellent when the garden is overflowing and you’re trying to think of recipes to use them all! One of our butchers does great, meaty and coarsely filled chipolata sausages which we used here, but Cumberland or coarse Italian ones work just as well. Leftovers make a great pasta sauce (see below).

It’s might be a bit early yet for Irish garden tomatoes but our friend Patty, who has just left Ireland to become the Garden Program Director at the University of the Pacific in Stockton California, has a huge tomato glut. So we promised a tomato recipe to help Patty, Michael, and the rest of the staff use up all the tomatoes.

Wine suggestion: Great with a robust and juicy red, don’t over complicate it and pick a moderately priced one. We’ve tried Southern Italian Primitivo’s, Barbera from the north, Cotes du Rhone, Spanish Tempranillo’s and Garnacha and a couple of juicy Aussie Shiraz’s. All work a treat. Californians won’t go wrong with a good Lodi Zin!

Sweet cherry tomato and sausage bake – serves 6

  • 2kg ripe cherry tomatoes, mixed colours if you have them
  • 2 sprigs each of thyme, rosemary & bay
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 12 good-quality sausages (see above)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5.

Put the tomatoes, herbs, oregano, garlic and sausages in a large roasting tray – big enough to take the tomatoes in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss together and make sure the sausages end up on the top, then bake for 30 minutes in the hot oven. Give the tin a good shake and turn the sausages over, then return to the oven for 15-30 minutes or until the sausages are at your desired level of stickiness (we like them pretty sticky!).

Lift the sausages out of the sauce, then put the tray on the hob and reduce the sauce to a nice thick consistency, before putting the sausages back in. Check the seasoning and serve with some warm bread and a green salad.

(Original recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at Home, Michael Joseph, 2007.)

Cherry tomato & sausage penne

As the bake makes loads just chop up the leftovers the next day and reheat to serve with penne or another chunky pasta like rigatoni or macaroni. Delicious altogether!

Cherry tomato & suasage penne

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Courgette Carbonara

We are getting close to the last courgettes for the season and what a way to celebrate this humble vegetable … delicious!

Wine Suggestion: We drank an Aligote from Jean Fournier in Burgundy. Aligote is completely underrated and we don’t see it often, but this example shows why we should: fresh, rich and full of fruit but with a core of crisp acidity and earthiness that makes it sing alongside the eggy cream, add layers to the pancetta and parmesan and make the courgettes even more silky.

Courgette Carbonara – serves 6 generously

  • 6 medium green & yellow courgettes
  • 500g penne pasta
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 big handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • 12 thick slices of pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, cut into chunky lardons
  • small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped

Bring a large pan of water to the boil.

Halve and quarter the courgettes lengthways. Discard any fluffy bits from the middle and slice at an angle into similar sized shapes to the penne. If you have small courgettes you can just slice them finely.

Cook the penne according to the pack instructions.

While the pasta is cooking, put the egg yolks into a bowl and add the cream and half the Parmesan. Mix with a fork. Season lightly and set aside.

Heat a very large frying pan, add a splash of olive oil and fry the pancetta/bacon until dark brown & crispy. Add the courgette slices and a very generous grind of black pepper. Add the thyme leaves, and stir to make sure the courgettes are well coated with the bacony oil, then fry until turning lightly golden and starting to soften.

Drain the pasta and reserve the cooking water. Immediately toss the pasta into the courgette pan, then take off the heat and add a ladleful of the reserved pasta water and your creamy sauce. Stir together quickly but don’t put back on the heat.

Add the rest of the Parmesan, and a bit more cooking water if needed, to give you a silky sauce. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

(Original recipe from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver, Penguin, 2007.)

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Humble Chicken Stew

This is a great way to use up leftover roast chicken – including the carcass. Too often we guiltily put the bones in the bin.

Wine Suggestion: Our natural instinct when cooking chicken is to plump for a Chardonnay as it goes so well, but instead we drank a delightful German Pinot Noir from Villa Wolf, which is made by Ernie Loosen. He’s managed to get a real charm and ripeness in the aroma that tempts you to think this comes from a warmer country, with even a few hints of new World. It, however, is true to it’s roots and had a rounded earthiness and real charm along with an easiness and gentle weight that didn’t overwhelm the chicken; plus the earthy spice complemented the “humble” nature of this dish too.

Chicken Stew – to serve 4

  • 300g leftover roast chicken
  • 1 chicken carcass
  • 4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, finely sliced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, chopped
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 200g button mushrooms, halved
  • 1 heaped tbsp plain flour

Place the chicken carcass in a large pan and bash with a rolling pin to break it up. Cover with 1 litre of water, bring to the boil and simmer for at least half an hour, skimming off any scum.

Meanwhile, heat a lug of olive oil in a casserole over a medium heat and add the bacon. Cook for a few minutes before adding the onions, carrots and potatoes along with the thyme and bay leaves. Cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in the mushrooms, chicken and flour.

Pour the stock through a sieve straight into the pan (add a bit of water if necessary). Simmer for 4o minutes and season to taste before serving.

(Original recipe from Save with Jamie, Penguin Books Ltd, 2013.)

 

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