Showstopper Glazed Gammon

Serves 6/8

Ingredients:

  • 2 KG Gammon
  • 6 Whole Cloves
  • 1 Bay Leaf

For the Glaze:

  • 2 Table Spoons Mustard
  • 100g Light brown Sugar
  • 4 Table Spoons of Local Honey
  • Pinch of Ground Clove
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • Few Drops of Worcestershire sauce

Preparation method

  • Place the gammon in a large pot with cold water. Add the bay leaf and cloves. Bring up to the boil and then allow to simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes making sure there is only gentle movement in the water.
  • Turn off heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes, then remove from the cooking liquid.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C
  • Make the glaze by simply combining all the ingredients in a bowl
  • Place the gammon on a tray and, using a sharp knife, score the fat with crisscross lines.
  • Spread the glaze on the gammon and cook in the oven for 20 minutes, basting with juices from the tray once or twice.

Brian's Tip

Please don’t consider cooking in coke as I have often been asked. Gentle simmering is the key to tender gammon as boiling constantly toughens the meat.

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Roast Chicken Sharing Board

Serves 6

  • 1kg Whole Chicken
  • Sprig of fresh thyme
  • Drizzle of rapeseed oil
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 carrot peeled
  • 1 Onion peeled

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Half the onion and carrot. Place them in a roasting dish.
  • Add a few sprigs of thyme.
  • Place the chicken resting on the carrots and onions.
  • Drizzle with rapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Half the lemon and place inside the cavity of the chicken with a few sprigs of thyme.
  • Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
  • Rest for 15 minutes then place on a board and serve for carving

Brians Tip: Add a few garlic cloves in the cavity if you wish.

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Buffet Sharing Lasagne

Serves 6

  • 500g minced beef
  • 50ml rapeseed oil
  • 1 Onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 350ml Beef Stock
  • Glass red wine
  • 75g tomato puree
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Fresh ground black Pepper
  • Pinch Salt

White sauce:

  • 700ml milk
  • 70g Butter
  • 70g Plain Flour
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 100g Irish Cheddar
  • ground black pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 300g Lasagne sheets
  • 30g Parmesan Cheese

Method:

  • Pre heat the oven to 200°C.
  • Heat a pot, add a drizzle of oil and brown the meat. Add the chopped onion, garlic and carrots and cook for 4-5 minutes then add the oregano.
  • Add the wine and allow the wine to reduce by half then add the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes. Season with fresh ground black pepper.
  • Add the beef stock and allow to simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally.
  • While that's simmering make the white sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan and adding the flour. When you have combined the butter and flour add the milk, bayleaf, nutmeg and pepper and whisking all the time allow the sauce to thicken. Once thickened add half the grated cheddar to the sauce. Set sauce aside.
  • Soak the lasagne sheets in warm water for at least 15 minutes before assembling.

To assemble: Spoon a thin layer of meat sauce into the dish, then a little cheese sauce. Put a layer of lasagne on top, add more of the meat and cheese sauces, repeat a further layer. Finish with lasagne sheets and cheese sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake for 1 hour

Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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New summer potatoes with garden mint

Serves 6

  • 800g New Potatoes
  • 50g Irish Butter
  • Fresh ground White Pepper
  • Pinch Salt
  • 4 sprigs Fresh Mint Leaves

Method:

  • Wash the potatoes scrubbing them gently.
  • Boil the approx 2 litres of water. Add a pinch of salt and 2 sprigs of mint to the water.
  • Gently add the potatoes and reduce the heat to simmer for approx 25 mins.
  • Once cooked drain the water and remove mint sprigs.
  • Add melted butter. Season with Salt and pepper.
  • Add chopped fresh mint leaves and serve

Brians Tip: add a dollop of creme fraiche and less butter if preferred.

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Fancy Tossed Green Salad bowl with eggs

Serves 6

Dressing:

  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove garlic minced
  • 1 green chilli
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Handful of chopped fresh parsley & coriander leaves
  • Pinch Salt

Salad

  • Mixed Salad Leaves
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 celery stick diced
  • 1 bunch scallions thinly sliced
  • 4 eggs hard boiled and peeled.

Method:

  • For the dressing add all ingredients into a blender and blitz. I prefer to chill this dressing so place in a kilner jar for at least an hour in the fridge.
  • For the salad chop up all the ingredients together except the eggs. Once chopped place in a serving bowl and add slices of cooked egg.
  • Drizzle with the dressing just before serving

Brians Tip: Add a few home-made croutons to the salad.

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Tangy Slaw

Serves 6/8

  • 200g White Cabbage Shredded
  • 200g Red Cabbage Shredded
  • 1 Red Onion Diced
  • 2 Carrots Grated
  • 4 Tablespoons Light Mayo
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Pinch of Chilli Flakes
  • Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Squeeze of Lime Juice

Method:

Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Brians Tip: Scatter with nuts or seeds for additional texture

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Summer Veggie Tart

Serves 8

Pastry:

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 125g Butter Softened
  • 1 Egg
  • 35g Water

Filling:

  • 1 Red Onion Sliced
  • Half a Red Pepper Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic sliced
  • Handful Cabbage Leaves
  • 8 Sprigs Early Sprouting Broccoli
  • 10 Cherry Tomatoes halved
  • 2 Eggs
  • 100ml Cream
  • 2 Sprig Thyme
  • Twist of Black Pepper
  • 50g Cheese of your choice

Method:

  • To make the pastry rub the butter into the flour. Add an egg and the water and combine to form a firm pastry. Rest pastry for 20 minutes in fridge. Roll out pastry into a 10-inch flan tin.
  • Blind bake pastry for 15 minutes at 180°c

While pastry is baking heat a frying pan and fry the onions, garlic and pepper with sprigs of fresh thyme. Season with black pepper.

Boil some water and cook the broccoli and cabbage for 2 minutes in the boiling water, then place in cold water to ensure it stays green.

Remove pastry from the oven and allow to cool.

When Pastry is cool place half of all the vegetables into the pastry case and sprinkle with grated cheese then fill up with remaining vegetables and more cheese.

Whisk the egg and cream together, season with black pepper and cheese and pour into the pastry case on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 30 minutes at 180°

Brian’s Top Tip: Change the types of vegetables regularly in this recipe

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Brian’s Garden Rhubarb Crumble

Serves: 4

  • 150g Self Raising Flour
  • 100g Butter Softened
  • 50g Light Brown Sugar
  • 50g Porridge Oats
  • 500g Rhubarb washed and cut in chunks
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla Pod

Method:

  • Preheat an oven to 200° C
  • For the crumble mix the flour and sugar together and rub in the softened butter to form a sandy crumbly texture. Add the porridge oats and gently mix.
  • Spread the crumble out on a tray and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown, stirring the crumble half-way through cooking. Once golden, set aside to cool.
  • For the rhubarb simply add to a pot with the sugar and the seeds scraped from inside of the vanilla pod or use a few drops of quality vanilla essence. Stew the rhubarb by simmering for approx 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before using.
  • Layer the rhubarb into a deep tray and scatter the crumble on top and place in oven for 10 minutes. Serve hot

Brian’s Tip;

You have to serve this with custard and ice cream mmm

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Short Bread Biscuits with Strawberries & Cream

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 250g Butter Softened
  • 125g Caster sugar
  • 100g Semolina
  • 350g Plain flour

To Decorate:

  • 150ml Fresh Whipped cream
  • 1 Punnet Strawberries
  • Dust of Icing Sugar

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180 °c. Line a baking tray with parchment paper
  • In a bowl using an electric mixer cream 100g of sugar and the butter. Sieve the flour into the bowl and add the semolina with a wooden spoon fold together to form dough.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough slightly together. Wrap in cling film and place in fridge for 20 minutes to rest and chill.
  • Roll out to about 75mm and cut into desired shapes and place on baking tray with parchment paper. Sprinkle with remaining 25g sugar and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the tray and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • Serve with whipped fresh cream and sliced strawberries. Dust with icing sugar.

Brian’s Tip:

Add a dollop of Strawberry Jam for an even fruitier flavour