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28 October 2014

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A Christmas pudding on a festive table
Your festive food will be a winner

Cook up a storm this Christmas

Award winning chef Andy Waters guides you through a plethora of festive menu ideas, guaranteed to impress your family and friends and we continue with main courses.

Want to impress everyone you know with your kitchen prowess this Christmas? Have a bash at our fabulous festive recipes.

Andy Waters, who bagged a Michelin star for Edmunds in Henley, is one of the area's best chefs and he will be revealing some of his favourite dishes every weekend on Trish Adudu's mid morning show on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire and here on the website.

Wrapping things up are Andy's dessert recipes - scroll down the page for starter and main course ideas.

Prune and Brandy Tart

For the pastry you will need:

250g Plain flour
½ tsp Salt
150g Butter
2 tbs Water
2 tbs Icing Sugar

A rib of beef
A rib of beef

Shift the flour onto a board and make a well in the centre, add the salt and butter (soften to room temperature and cut into pieces). Start to mix the ingredients together and then add the water and icing sugar. Knead the dough gently using the heel of your hand, shape into a ball, wrap in foil and set aside in a cool place for 2 hours if possible.

For the brandy sauce you will need:

1 Vanilla pod
500mls Milk
3  Egg yolks
75g Caster sugar
40g Cornflour
Brandy to taste

Split the vanilla pod, boil it in the milk and then remove. Beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar until the mixture turns white, add the cornflour and then gradually pour the milk on to the eggs and sugar, whisking all the time.

Put the mixture into a saucepan, add the brandy and over a gentle heat bring to the boil for one minute, whisking all the time. Pour the custard into a bowl & cool.

To prepare the filling you will need:

300g Pitted dried prunes
100g Caster sugar
¼ Cinnamon stick
25ml Brandy
½ Orange + the zest
1 cup of water

Boil all the above together for 5 – 10 minutes until sticky. Remove & cool

Roll the pastry out into a mould or individual pie dishes. Bake blind in the oven and then allow to cool. Place the brandy cream into the pastry cases until ½ way up.
Arrange the prunes on top.

Spiced Beef

Brussels sprouts
You can serve the pork with sprouts and bacon

You will need (serves 12):

5lb joint of beef (rib on the bone is the best)
6oz salt
8oz brown sugar
1oz saltpetre or preserving salt (your butcher should be able to provide this)
½ oz ground white pepper
½ oz ground allspice (for meat not the pudding variety)
1 tsp ground mace
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 onion (cut in half)
1 tsp English mustard powder

Place the beef upright in a roasting tin and tuck the onion halves alongside it. Combine the seasonings together and then dust over the surface of the meat fat.

Place the meat in the oven (it will have plenty of fat so don’t add anymore). Cook 50 minutes on the fat side and then turn over and cook for another 50 minutes (or until it is cooked to your personal liking).

Try serving with a puree of celeriac and potato:

1 celeriac
3lb maris piper potatoes

Prepare and cook the vegetables separately. Combine together, puree (mash) adjust the seasoning and serve.

Roast Belly of Pork

You will need:

The tart cranberries work well with gamey pheasant

3½ lb belly of pork
8oz diced prunes
50ml brandy
2 carrots
2 onions
2 apples
2 celery sticks
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper

Steep the prunes in the brandy for two hours before placing them in the centre of the belly of pork.

Roll the pork belly, remove the skin and tie with butcher's string to hold (save the skin for crackling).

Cook in a large pan of water which has the vegetables (chopped) and herbs added to it, for two hours.

Pre-heat oven to Gas 6 or 200 C and remove the pork from the cooking liquor and then roast for 30 minutes (if you want crackling, place the skin over the joint at this stage). Allow to rest for 20 minutes and then slice & serve.

Try serving with brussel sprouts and bacon:

Brussel sprouts
Lardons of bacon
White wine

Boil the sprouts in salted water until cooked. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and cook the bacon until crispy (or your own personal liking). Add a splash of white wine and reduce the liquor in the pan by half.

An onion
Chop the onions and caramalise them with sugar

Add the sprouts to the pan along with a knob of butter and fry off until the sprouts are glossy before serving.

Roasted & Braised Pheasant With Cranberries, Smoked Bacon & Confit Of Onions

You will need:

1 pheasant
3 sprigs thyme
1lb butter
2 carrots – chopped
1 celery stick – chopped
1 onion – chopped
Bay leaf
1lb chicken stock
125ml red wine
1 bouquet garni
25ml madeira
½ lb cranberries
3 oz smoked bacon or pancetta – chopped
4 onions for caramelisation

Remove the pheasant's legs at the hip joint and place in a casserole or roasting dish. Place on the hob and add the chopped vegetables, stock, red wine, bouquet garni, madeira and cranberries.

Bring to the boil and then place in a pre-heated oven at 180C or gas mark 4 for 45 minutes until the skin is glossy and the legs are tender (test with a tip of a knife)
Keep warm until ready to serve.

Make an incision both sides of the breast bone and tuck in sprigs of thyme. Lift the skin away from the breast and smear a little unsalted butter under the skin and season.

Heat the remaining butter in a heavy- based pan. Sear the breasts on both sides and then sit on their sides in a roasting tin. Place in a pre-heated oven at 220 or gas mark 7 for seven to 10 minutes. Turn over and continue roasting for another seven to ten minutes. Remove and leave to rest for five minutes.

Black pudding
Fry the black pudding with the apple and scallops

Strain the cooking liquor used to roast the legs and reduce by half before whisking in a little butter.

Thinly slice the onions and place in a pan with 2 tbsp water. Cook very slowly stirring all the time. The sugar from the onions will slowly caramelise and become dark golden brown & sweet tasting.

Remove the breast from the carcass and arrange on a plate along with the legs. Garnish with the onion confit, crispy bacon & cranberries


Tomme Au Marc De Raisin Cheese Tart with Caramelised Onions

You will need (serves four):

375g  Ready-rolled puff pastry
2 large Spanish onions
1 clove garlic
10 sage leaves
2oz brown sugar
2 floz vinegar
Tomme au marc de raisin cheese
Salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200C or gas mark six


Stilton cheese
The stilton is marinated in the Port

Chop the onions and caramelise them by sauteing until soft and then adding the chopped garlic, brown sugar and vinegar and cooking gently until sticky.

Place the pastry onto a buttered baking sheet and cover with the onions, leaving a 1cm ridge around the outside. Then cover with the sage leaves and slice the cheese before assembling that on top of the sage leaves.

Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 mins or until the pastry is golden brown. Sprinkle with olive oil before serving.

Black Pudding with Sautéed Scallops, Glazed Apple, Sherry Vinaigrette & Salad Leaves

You will need (serves four):

250g black pudding (best quality that you can buy)
8 scallops
1 apple (Granny Smith, if possible)
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 floz sherry vinegar
4 floz peanut oil
7 floz olive oil
Salad leaves & croutons to garnish


Slice or dice the black pudding - that's up to you - and cut the apple into eight evenly-sized pieces. Then fry the pudding and apple with the whole scallops until the scallops are cooked through. (Top chef's tip - a cooked scallops should be the texture of the bottom of your thumb so take a look at your hand first!)

When cooked sprinkle the thyme into the pan and toss through gently.

Then take the sherry vinegar and put into a bowl with a pinch of salt and some pepper and then stir with a whisk until the seasoning is desolved. Add the olive and peanut oils and whisk to an emulsion. Taste the vinaigrette and adjust seasoning as required. Store in a suitable container - a top tip is to put it in a squeezy sauce bottle to make it easier to drizzle.

A plate of smoked salmon
Cover the salmon with the prawns and sauce

To serve, place the scallops, black pudding and apples on to a plate, drizzle with the vinaigrette and garnish with salad leaves and croutons.

Stilton Fritters with Port Jelly

You will need (serves four):

115g Stilton
50ml Port
¼ pint beer
Salad leaves to garnish

For the jelly:

100ml Port
1 lb blackcurrants
1 lb caster sugar


Around 24 hours before serving the dish, put the cheese into a small basin, cover with the Port and leave to marinate for 24 hours.

To make the Port jelly, put the blackcurrants into a hand blender and pulp until smooth.
Put them in a pan with the sugar and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Add the Port and simmer again until sticky. Cool before serving.

Mix the flour and beer together to make a batter and add a teaspoon of water if the batter is too thick. Dice the stilton into pieces, toss in some flour and one by one, dip each piece into the batter. Place each gently into a deep fat fryer (at around 170C) and fry until golden.

Serve in a dish garnished with the salad and accompanied by the Port jelly.

Smoked Salmon Roll with Prawns Marie Rose, Crème Fraiche & Brown Bread Fingers

You will need (serves four):

1 lb long smoked salmon
½ lb prawns
Marie rose sauce (brought or homemade)
Crème fraiche
Brown bread
Fresh dill


Firstly, if you want to make your own Marie rose sauce, just mix brandy, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, garlic and lemon juice with some mayonnaise in quantities that match your personal taste.

Then chop the dill and add it to the creme fraiche and butter the brown bread before cutting it into fingers.

Lay the smoked salmon flat on some cling film in individual portions 6 inches long by 5 inches wide. Place the prawns on top and drizzle with the marie rose sauce. Roll the salmon in the cling film and leave in the fridge to rest.

When you are ready to serve, unroll the cling film and cut the salmon portions in half. Place on a plate and drizzle the dill crème fraiche over the salmon. Garnish with buttered bread fingers.

last updated: 23/12/05
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