From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
1 tblsp olive oil
Large knob of butter
2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
100ml (3½fl oz) port
100ml (3½fl oz) dry white wine
100ml (3½fl oz) beef stock
100ml (3½fl oz) cream
100g (4oz) blue cheese (such as Cashel Blue), rind removed and crumbled
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a pan over a medium heat and add the oil and butter. Once the butter is melted and foaming, add the celery and onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the onion has softened and the celery is tender, tossing the pan occasionally.
Pour in the port and wine, then flambé it off a little by tipping the edge of the pan over the flames very carefully.
When the alcohol burns off, stir in the stock and slowly add the cream, then tip in the cheese. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until reduced, thickened and darkened in colour.
Season to taste and use as required.
This will keep covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.