Hearty wholesome Supper Party favourites

Recipe of the Month Sep 26, 2011 No Comments

With the long dark damp evenings fast approaching, it’s time to put the BBQ away and to stock up on some hearty wholesome Autumnal food. Below are two favourites of mine. Both being great Supper Party favourites… plus they freeze extremely well!! Happy Cooking!!



Serves 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 ½ Hours

  • 2 Tablespoons Plain Flour
  • 750g (1 ½ lb) lean stewing beef, diced
  • 25g (1 oz) butter
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 parsnips, sliced
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • Several Thyme sprigs
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato puree
  • 625g ( 1 ¼ lb) butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into small chunks
  • 1 tablespoon dark muscovado sugar
  • 50g ( 2 oz) fresh root ginger-finely chopped
  • Small handful of parsley-extra to garnish
  • Salt and Pepper

1. Season the flour with Salt and Pepper and use to coat the beef.

2. Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan and fry the meat in 2 batches until browned, draining with a slotted spoon.

3. Add the onion, carrots and parsnips to the saucepan and fry gently for 5 minutes.

4. Return the meat to the pan and add the herbs and tomato puree. Add just enough water to cover the ingredients and bring slowly to the boil. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting, cover with a lid and simmer very gently for 45 minutes.

5. Add the butternut squash, sugar, ginger and parsley and cook for a further 30 minutes until the butternut squash is soft and the meat is tender.

6. Check the seasoning and serve scattered with extra parsley.

TIP: This dish can be changed to a vegetarian option by leaving out the beef and using lentils or chickpeas instead. Traditional colcannon is the ideal accompaniment to this.

Duck Liver Parfait

  • 600g duck or chicken livers , or a mix of both
  • 250g pack butter , diced and slightly softened
  • shallots , finely sliced
  • garlic clove , sliced
  • splash each brandy or port
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100g butter
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • toast, gherkin and chutney, to serve

Serves 6 as a starter or light lunch

1. Cut away and discard any large sinews from the livers, then set the livers aside. Heat about a third of the butter in a large frying pan, then gently fry the shallots and garlic for 3-4 mins until soft. Turn up the heat, add the livers, then fry until just browned on all sides. Add the brandy and port, boil down as quickly as possible – if the sauce catches light for an instant, then all the better. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool completely.

2. Season the livers generously, then tip the contents of the pan into a food processor with the tomato purée and remaining butter, and blitz until smooth. Push the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, taste for seasoning, then tip into a serving dish, banging the dish down on the tabletop to smooth out the surface. Place in the fridge to set.

3. Once the mixture has set, make the topping. Gently melt the butter in a small pan or in a bowl in the microwave, then leave for a min to settle and separate. Pour the yellow butter that has risen to the top into another bowl and discard the milky liquid. Leave the yellow butter to cool slightly, then mix in the thyme and peppercorns. Pour the mixture over the parfait and leave to set in the fridge. Serve with plenty of toast, sliced gherkins and chutney. Will keep for 2 days in the fridge.

Make ahead

You can make the parfait up to 4 days ahead, making sure it’s properly covered with the melted butter. It can also be frozen for a month, but start defrosting it in the fridge 2 days before serving.

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