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

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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.

METHOD

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.

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