Christmas Meal Special

17/08/2012 21:52


~ To Start ~

Creamy Cauliflower soup with Cheesy Croutons

~Main course ~

Roast Beef with Peppercorn Crust & Yorkie Puds

~ Vegetarian Choice ~

Cranberry, Chestnut & Mushroom Loaf

All Served with a selection of veggies and potatoes ~

Crispy Roast Potatoes, Brussels sprouts & Chestnuts, Spiced Winter Veggies.

~ Dessert ~

Figgy Pud & Rum butter


This is a delicious creamy soup and so easy to make.

Serves 6

50g butter
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
1kg cauliflower florets
2 bay leaves
500ml hot vegetable stock
500ml whole milk
grating of fresh nutmeg
100ml cream

Melt the butter in a large pan and add the onion and celery. Cook gently over a low-medium heat until soft. Add the cauliflower, bay leaves, stock, milk and grating of nutmeg and season. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently,covered, for about 20 minutes until the cauliflower is very tender. Add the cream and whizz with a hand-held blender until smooth. ~ To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, scatter with cheesy croutons and a sprinkling of snipped chives.

Cheesy Croutons ~ Heat the oven mark 4/180C.
Dice up 150g white bread, and mix with 40g melted butter and 40g finely grated Parmesan cheese, season ans spread out onto a lined baking tray. Bake for 5-10mins until deep golden.

~Serves 8-10
preparation time ~ 5 mins

Rare: 20 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 20 minutes
Medium: 25 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 25 minutes
Well done: 30 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 30 minutes


2.7kg / 6lb : Rib of Beef - or can use, Boneless rib, Sirloin, or Topside Joint.
6 tbsp Olive Oil
4-5 tbsp green or Black peppercorns, lightly crushed
Sea salt


Preheat the oven to gas4/180C/350F

Rub the beef all over with olive oil and place into a roasting tin. Add the crushed peppercorns, pressing well into the beef and coating all sides to make a crust. Sprinkle with the sea salt and pop into the oven, cook for your preferred calculated cooking time. When cooked remove form the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for 15 mins before carving.

Tip ~ Instead of using the Peppercorns, you can also rub the beef all over with a mix of horseradish and mustard before cooking.


2 tbsp Plain flour
150ml glass red wine
150ml beef/ veg stock

Spoon off any excess fat from the beef roasting tin and discard. Place the roasting tin over a medium heat and sprinkle over the flour. Stirring well with a small whisk or spoon add a little stock and stir again, scraping the base of the pan to release any rich, beefy sediment. Next stir in the wine and bubble for 1 min, then add the rest of the stock, stirring, simmer gently.



This is great vegetarian recipe
~Seves 4-6

450g/1lb loaf tin, lined with baking parchment.

1 leek, finely sliced
1 onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
200g/7oz mushrooms, sliced
200g chestnuts, roughly chopped
50g/2oz fresh cranberries
150g/5oz fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp olive oil
flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven gas6/200C.
In a saucepan, heat the oil and saute the leek, onion and garlc for about 2 mins until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 mins. Place the remaining dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add the leek and mushroom mixture and bind together with the egg. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pack the mixture into the loaf tin. Loosely cover with foil and pop in the oven to bake for about 1 hour. Remove the foil for the last 5 mins of cooking. Leave to stand for 10 mins before removing from the tin.
Slice and serve.



~ Serves 4 - Just adapt the quantities to your own requirments.

4 parsnips, scrubbed, trimmed & unpeeled
4 carrots , scrubbed, trimmed & unpeeled
2 white onions, Quartered
1 red onion, Quartered
3 leeks, trimmed & cut into 2 1/2 -inch slices
6 garlic cloves, left whole & unpeeled
6 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
pinch paprika
Salt & black pepper

Heat the oven 220C/425F/gas 7. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.

Cut the parsnips and carrots into wedges of similar size and Put them into the saucepan, cook for 5 mins. Drain and place in the ovenproof dish along with the onions, leeks and garlic, drizzle over the oil and sprinkle over the spices, add salt & pepper to taste, then mix until all the vegetables are well coated. Roast in the oven for at least 1 hour, stirring the vegetables occasionally until they are tender and starting to colour. Remove from oven and transfer to a serving dish.


~ Serves 4-6

350g fresh chestnuts
salt and pepper
700g Brussels sprouts, trimmed
25g butter

With the point of a small sharp knife make a small cut on the flat side of each chestnut. Bake the nuts in their skins in the oven at 200°C/ 400°F / mark 6 for 20 minutes, then peel them, do this while they are still warm, this will make them easier to peel. Meanwhile, cook the Brussels sprouts in boiling salted water for 8 - 10 minutes, until just tender. Drain. Over a high heat, toss the chestnuts and Brussels sprouts with the butter and pepper to taste, until the butter is melted. Serve at once.

~ Serves 4-6

Heat the oven to 200C, Put 1kg of POTATOES that have been peeled and cut into chunks into a pan, cover with cold water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins or until almost cooked, then drain and allow to dry out, Shake well to "roughen up" the potatoes for extra crunchy outsides. Pour 6 tbsps of SUNFLOWER OIL into a large roasting tin and heat it in the oven for 5 mins until very hot, remove from oven and spoon in the potatoes, coating in the oil. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Roast the potatoes in oven for 40-50 mins turning a couple of times until they're golden and crispy.


~ Makes 12

12 hole pudding tin
125g plain flour
pinch salt
2 eggs, beaten
300ml milk
sunflower oil

Preheat the oven 200C/400F/ MARK 6
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a hole in the centre, then pour the eggs in. using a wooden spoon, gradually beat the eggs to incorporate the flour. Once the batter becomes to dry to absorb any more flour, start adding the milk. To insure there are no lumps, add the milk gradually, beating it in well after each addition. until smooth. Leave the batter to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour or even overnight. The batter consistency should be like that of single cream. If it appears thicker, just add a splash more milk.

Pour 1 tbsp of oil into each tin and heat in the oven for 10mins until really hot. Use a ladle to almost fill the tins with batter. Bake for 15 mins until golden and puffy, then sprinkle with salt and serve.


* Ensure that there's plenty of space between the shelves in the oven so that the puds have room to rise.

* Resting the batter is crucial. This lets the starch in the flour swell so it bursts when it hits the hot oil, giving a really light texture.

* Preheat the oil until really hot so the puds won't be greasy and they really puff up.

* Also Remember - Never disturb the puds whilst they are cooking, if cooking a roast, ensure the meat is ready before the puds go in and the potatoes won't burn! For perfect timing, take everything out the oven, turn up the heat and cook the puds while the meat rests. Never open the oven door to peek either or you will see your puds slowly deflate! Pud tins are ideal as they only take 15 mins to cook. If you are making a large pud, you'll need to allow about 30-40 mins in the oven.

Click here for Figgy pud & Rum sauce.