Steamed treacle pudding SERVES SIX INGREDIENTS METHOD
This is the best recipe – everything just needs to be blitzed together. 180g softened butter, plus extra for greasing the basin and paper 3 tbsp golden syrup 180g self raising flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 large tbsp black treacle 180g soft brown sugar 3 la
Generously butter a one-litre pudding basin.
Add three tablespoons of golden syrup to the bottom of the basin and leave to one side.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl then add the black treacle, brown sugar and eggs and whisk with a hand blender until you have a smooth, even mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin and level it out then cover with a circle of buttered parchment paper sitting directly on the mixture.
Now cut out a large square of foil and one of parchment paper and place the paper on top of the foil. Make a fold in both across the middle – the pieces need to be large enough to cover the top of the basin with at least 2.5cm overhang around the edge.
Place this over the basin, foil facing down, and tie with string twice around the rim and then over the top of the basin to form a little handle (you will need to borrow someone’s finger to help with this!).
Set the bowl on a couple of upside-down ramekins in a large saucepan and fill the pan with water to just below the tops of the ramekins. Place on a low-medium heat and steam for two hours, but make sure you check the water levels – you don’t want the pan drying out.
Take the basin out of the pan. To remove the pudding, run a knife around the edge and tip it out on to a serving plate
Serve with custard or cream.
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Brush the aubergine slices with oil. Cook in a hot pan, turning once, until browned and soft. Mix the breadcrumbs, butter and parmesan. Make sure all the crumbs are well coated. Add a fat pinch of salt and a good grinding of pepper to the flour. Beat the egg lightly with a pinch of salt. Set the breadcrumbs, flour and egg in three separate shallow dishes.
Lay a chicken fillet on a board and bash with the base of a pan until about 2mm thick. Dip into the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs to coat. Lay on a large baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the chicken and then the aubergine. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Pour the passata into the base of a shallow baking tin. Arrange the chicken, aubergine and mozzarella in overlapping rows. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and browned. Serve with winter leaves.
Brown off the meat you have really well – it should be a proper teak colour – for maximum flavour.
The expensive cuts aren’t the best when you’re cutting down. Fillet steak may be tender, but it has little flavour. Opt for a smaller, and cheaper, piece like rib eye instead. The same goes for other “posh” cuts.
Mince is perfect for stretching. Try swapping half the mince in a bolognese sauce for finely chopped mushrooms. Fry well to drive off the liquid and brown them, then carry on with your recipe.
Coating thin pieces of meat with egg and breadcrumbs makes them seem twice the size.
Spiced sausages like chorizo give heaps of flavour to bean, lentil and vegetable one-pot dishes.
Don’t cut back on the gravy: vegetables doused in meaty juices are fabulous.
Save the fat and juices from the Sunday roast, and use for cooking in the week: fat is a brilliant carrier of flavour so it’ll add a savoury punch to veg.
A good side dish can be the main attraction, especially if there’s a bit of meat in there. Think of cauliflower cheese with a few chopped rashers of smoked streaky bacon added to the sauce.
Slice the meat before it goes on the plate: it’s what restaurants do to make the meat go further.