Marian Finucane

Marian Finucane

Saturday, Sunday, 11 - 1pm

Marian Finucane Saturday 21 December 2019

Marian Finucane

Marian Finucane

Live stimulating mix of news, interviews, reports and discussion. Presented by Brendan O'Connor.

A Woman's Heart Orchestrated

National Concert Hall - Dublin - Wednesday 

WEDNESDAY 12TH FEBRUARY, 2020
THURSDAY 13TH FEBRUARY, 2020
WEDNESDAY 19TH FEBRUARY, 2020

Marquee - Cork

SUNDAY 07TH JUNE, 2020

National Opera House - Wexford

TUESDAY 18TH FEBRUARY, 2020

Neven's Christmas Recipes

Neven's Christmas Recipes

CHESTNUT & WILD MUSHROOM SOUP

(Starter) Serves 4-8

Ingredients:

50g (2oz) dried mixed wild mushrooms

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

450g (1lb) peeled chestnuts (canned or vacuum-packed), chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock

200ml (7fl oz) cream

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

snipped fresh chives, to garnish

fresh micro herbs, to garnish

Method:

Put the dried wild mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and pour 400ml (14fl oz) of boiling water over to cover. Set aside for 20 minutes, until they have plumped up. Drain the mushrooms and gently squeeze dry, reserving the soaking liquid.

Heat a large pan and add the oil. Add the chestnuts, the onion and drained wild mushrooms and sweat gently for 10 minutes, until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.

Add the thyme to the pan with the reserved soaking liquid and the stock, stirring to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for another 20 minutes. Stir in the cream and allow to heat through for 1 minute, then whizz with a hand-held blender until as smooth as possible. Season to taste, then blend again until light and foamy, tilting the pan to get the maximum effect.

To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Garnish each one chives and micro herbs

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SIZZLING DUBLIN BAY PRAWNS  WITH CHORIZO & GARLIC

(Starter) Serves 4

Ingredients:

20 large Dublin Bay prawns

4 tbsp rapeseed oil

knob of butter

50g (2oz) cooking chorizo, peeled and finely diced

1 mild fresh red chilli, halved, deseeded and cut into rings

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

½ lemon, pips removed

1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

crusty bread, to serve

Method:

To prepare the prawns, firmly twist the head away from the body and discard or use for stock. Turn each prawn over and crack open the hard shell along the belly, then carefully peel it away from the flesh, twisting off the tail. To remove the intestinal tract, which looks like a thin black vein running down the back of the prawn flesh, run the tip of a small knife down the back of each prawn, then lift up and pull out the vein. If you are lucky sometimes the vein comes away with the prawn tail or it can be easily pulled out without having to cut the prawn at all.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan set over a high heat with the knob of butter. Once the butter has stopped foaming, add the chorizo and sauté for a few minutes, until sizzling. Add the chilli and garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds, until the garlic is lightly golden.

Tip the prepared prawns into the pan and sauté for another few minutes, until tender. The prawns will change colour and begin to curl up. Be careful not to overcook. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle over the parsley, tossing to coat. Season to taste.

Divide among warmed dishes with all their delicious juices. Serve at once with plenty of crusty bread.

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POTATO CROQUETTES WITH SPICED BEEF

(Starter)

Ingredients

350g potatoes

100g cooked spiced beef, very finely diced

2 tsp chives, finely chopped

2 tsp parsley, finely chopped

50g plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs

100g Japanese panko breadcrumbs

Rapeseed oil, for deep-frying

Method

Boil the potatoes in their skins in a pan for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and allow to cool slightly before peeling off the skins.

Pass the potatoes through a ricer or mash in a bowl until smooth. Mix in the spiced beef, chives and parsley and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Carefully roll the potato mixture into a sausage shape about the length of your small finger. Dip each croquette into the flour, dusting off any excess, then dip in the beaten eggs and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat with each croquette until you have used up all of the potato mixture. Place onto a tray and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up before cooking. These can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge overnight until required. 

Deep-fry each of the croquettes for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper & Serve with celeriac remoulade.

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CELERIAC REMOULADE

(Starter)

Ingredients

1 small celeriac

juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp mild mustard 

2-3 tbsp mayonnaise or crème fraiche

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Peel the celeriac and then coarsely grate in a food processor or shred into matchsticks on a mandolin. Place the sliced celeriac in a pot of salted boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes and refresh under cold water. All to cool slightly.

Place in a bowl and add the lemon juice and mustard with enough of the mayonnaise or crème fraiche to bind. Season with salt and pepper.

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HAM WITH STICKY APRICOT  & GINGER GLAZE

(Main) Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

5.25kg (11½lb) leg of gammon, on the bone

4 celery sticks, roughly chopped

2 onions, sliced

5cm (2in) piece of fresh ginger, sliced

1 small bunch of fresh thyme

1 tbsp black peppercorns

4 whole cloves

2 star anise

1.5 litres (2½ pints) dry cider

1 tsp ground ginger

For The Glaze:

175g (6oz) good-quality apricot jam or conserve

100g (4oz) light brown sugar

juice of 1 lemon

4 star anise

4 pieces of preserved stem ginger, cut into small matchstick-sized strips

Method:

Soak the gammon in cold water for at least 6 hours (or overnight is best), then drain.

Preheat the oven to 120°C (250°F/gas mark ½). Use a large deep roasting tin with a rack that’s big enough to hold the ham. Put the celery, onions, fresh ginger, thyme, peppercorns, cloves and star anise in the tin and pour over the cider, then put the rack on top. Sit the ham on the rack and cover with a large tent of foil, sealing it well. Put on the hob over a high heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, then transfer to the oven. Cook for 12 hours or overnight – you can now leave it for one or two days before finishing the recipe. Alternatively, leave to rest and cool down for at least 30 minutes.

Raise the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).

Now make the glaze. Put the apricot jam or conserve in a small pan with the brown sugar, lemon juice and star anise. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then add the stem ginger and simmer for 3–4 minutes, until reduced to a thick glaze, stirring to ensure it doesn’t catch at the bottom.

Carefully peel away the skin on the ham, leaving the layer of white fat intact. Using a sharp knife, score the fat diagonally into a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut into the meat. Put into a clean roasting tin and rub with the ground ginger, then brush the glaze on top. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, until golden and sticky. Transfer to a platter and leave to rest for 15–20 minutes. Carve slices from the ham and use as required, warm or cold.

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ROAST RIB OF BEEF ON THE BONE WITH PORT & CASHEL BLUE GRAVY

(Main) Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tbsp English mustard powder

1.5kg (3¼lb) French-trimmed rib of beef on the bone, at room temperature

3 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 large onions, peeled and quartered with root left intact

2 large carrots, halved lengthways

1 garlic bulb, cut in half

small handful of soft thyme leaves, plus extra to garnish

2 tsp plain flour

4 tbsp ruby red port 400ml (14fl oz) beef or chicken stock

75g (3oz) Cashel Blue cheese, rind removed and cheese crumbled into small pieces sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

creamed horseradish, to serve

Method:

Preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F/gas mark 8).

Toast the peppercorns in a dry frying pan until aromatic, then put in a pestle and mortar and grind until cracked. Mix in the mustard and 2 teaspoons of salt. Wipe the meat with damp kitchen paper and rub with the mustard mix.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan that’s large enough to take the rib of beef. Add the beef and quickly sear until lightly browned on all sides.

Pour the rest of the oil into a roasting tin, then add the onions, carrots, garlic halves and thyme, tossing to coat. Season to taste, then sit the seared beef in the middle of the vegetables. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6) and roast for 10 minutes per 450g (1lb) for rare, 12 minutes for medium-rare and 20–25 minutes for well done. A joint this size will take just under 1 hour to cook to medium-rare. Take out and baste halfway through the cooking time.

When the beef is cooked to your liking, transfer to a platter with the garlic halves, cover with tin foil and leave to rest for 30 minutes while you make the gravy.

Pour the juices from the roasting tin into a jug and leave the fat to settle on top, then skim off and discard. Put the roasting tin on the hob and stir in the flour, scraping the bottom of the tin with a wooden spoon to remove any residue. Gradually stir in the port and allow to bubble down completely. Pour in the stock and reserved juices and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring, until reduced by one-third. Strain into a clean pan, then whisk in the Cashel Blue until it has melted. Season with pepper and pour into a gravy boat.

To serve, carve the rested beef into slices and arrange on warmed plates with the roasted garlic and a dollop of creamed horseradish and garnish with extra sprigs of fresh thyme. Hand round the gravy separately.

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BUTTERMILK BRINED ROAST CROWN OF TURKEY WITH LEMON AND TARRAGON

A great alternative to roasting a large bird, the crown is the turkey breasts and wing joints with the legs removed. From feedback this is the most popular recipe I’ve ever done, as the buttermilk brine ensures that the flesh stays wonderfully succulent.

SERVES 6–8

1 x 1.8–2kg (4–4½lb) turkey crown, off the bone

75g (3oz) butter, softened

1 garlic clove, crushed

finely grated rind of 1 lemon

1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon

4 rindless smoked bacon rashers

For the buttermilk brine:

2 litres (3½ pints) buttermilk

2 lemons, thinly sliced

1 garlic bulb, separated into cloves and sliced

15g (½oz) fresh tarragon sprigs, roughly bruised

3 tbsp sea salt or kosher salt

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

METHOD:

1. Mix together all the ingredients for the buttermilk brine in a turkey bag, then add the turkey crown. Tie up the bag securely and put in the salad drawer at the bottom of the fridge – up to two days is best, but brine for at least 24 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/gas mark 5).

3. Cream the butter until soft, then beat in the garlic, lemon rind and herbs. Remove the crown from the brine and drain off any excess liquid, then pat the skin dry with kitchen paper. Gently loosen the neck ?ap away from the breast and pack the ?avoured butter right under the skin (this is best done using gloves on your hands). Rub the butter into the ?esh, then re-cover with the skin and secure with a small skewer or sew with ?ne twine. Cover the top of the turkey crown with the rashers.

4. Put the prepared turkey crown in the oven and calculate your cooking time: 20 minutes per 450g (1lb) plus 20 minutes. This will cook much quicker than a whole turkey, so make sure to baste it often. You can cover it with foil if it’s browning too quickly. When cooked, cover with foil to rest and keep warm. Drain away the cooking juices to make the gravy.

5. To serve, carve the turkey crown into slices and arrange on warmed plates with a selection of your favourite accompaniments.

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CELERIAC & SWEET POTATO BOULANGERE

(Side) Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

2 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus extra for greasing

3 onions, thinly sliced (on a mandolin is best)

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

1 tbsp chopped fresh mixed herbs (use a mixture of sage, rosemary and thyme) 1kg (2¼lb) sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (on a mandolin is best)

1 large celeriac, peeled and thinly sliced (on a mandolin is best)

900ml (1½ pints) chicken or vegetable stock

50g (2oz) butter, diced

25g (1oz) stale white breadcrumbs (sourdough is best)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6).

Heat the oil in a frying pan set over a medium heat, then sauté the onions, garlic and herbs for 10 minutes, until soft and lightly golden. Season to taste.

Layer the sweet potatoes in a large baking dish with the onions and celeriac. Season each layer as you go and finish with an attractive overlapping layer of the sweet potatoes. Pour over the stock and top with knobs of butter.

Rub some foil with oil and place it over the dish, oil side down, and seal tightly. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and press the potatoes down with a fish slice. Scatter over the breadcrumbs and bake for another 15–20 minutes, until golden. Serve at once or leave to cool completely before covering and storing in the fridge until needed.

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APRICOT & SAGE STUFFING BALLS

(Side) Makes 9

Ingredients:

75g (3oz) butter, plus extra for greasing

1 large onion, diced

1 tbsp chopped fresh sage

175g (6oz) fresh white breadcrumbs

100g (4oz) dried apricots, finely chopped

finely grated rind of 1 small orange

1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Melt the butter in a frying pan set over a medium heat, then add the onion and sage and cook for a few minutes, until the onion has softened but not coloured. Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl and tip in the onion mixture, then mix well to combine and season to taste. Fold in the apricots, orange rind and parsley. Roll into nine balls and either arrange around the bird or place in a small buttered roasting tin.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).

Cook the stuffing balls in the oven for about 20 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown. Serve immediately in a warmed dish.

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CHRISTMAS HERB & ONION STUFFING

(Side) Makes Enough To Stuff 1 X 4.5–5.4kg (10–12lb) Turkey

Ingredients:

175g (6oz) butter

2 onions, finely chopped

500g (18oz) fresh white breadcrumbs

25g (1oz) fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, leaves finely chopped

15g (½oz) fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only

15g (½oz) fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves finely chopped sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Melt the butter in a frying pan set over a low heat, then add the onions and sauté for about 10 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Tip into a bowl and mix in the breadcrumbs and herbs, then season generously. Leave to cool completely.

Use the stuffing to three-quarters fill the cavity of the bird, then secure the flaps of skin over the cavity with a metal skewer. Use the rest of the stuffing to fill the crop of the neck end. Start at the neck end, where you’ll find a flap of loose skin. Gently loosen this away from the breast and you’ll be able to make a triangular pocket. Pack the stuffing inside as far as you can go and make a neat round shape on the outside, then tuck the neck flap underneath the bird and secure it with a small skewer.

                                                                                   VARIATION

FRUITY CHESTNUT AND SAGE STUFFING

If you would like to ring in the changes, try adding 200g (7oz) of chopped canned or vacuum-packed chestnuts to the stuffing along with a couple handfuls of dried cranberries or chopped dried apricots. This version also benefits from the addition of a good tablespoon of chopped fresh sage and even a small packet of toasted pine nuts for a different texture.

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CARROTS WITH ROSEMARY, MAPLE SYRUP & STAR ANISE

(Side)

Ingredients:

450 g (1lb) carrots

1 tbsp fresh rosemary sprigs

2 star anise

2tbsp maple syrup

Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), Gas mark 4. Peel the carrots and then cut into even-sized batons. Place the carrots in a roasting tray lined with parchment paper.

Scatter over the rosemary and star anise. Drizzle over the maple syrup followed by two tablespoons of water. Season with salt & pepper.

Season to taste, then fold in the sides of the parcel to enclose the root vegetables by bringing up the sides, then folding over and twisting the edges.

Roast for 1 hour until the carrots are meltingly tender and slightly caramelised. To serve, either open the parcel at the table or carefully pour the carrots and all of their juices into a nice big warmed dish.

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BRUSSEL SPROUTS STIR FRY WITH CHESTNUTS & CRANBERRIES

(Side)

Ingredients:

500g (18oz) Brussels sprouts

250g cooked chestnuts

100g dried cranberries

1 tsp grated fresh nutmeg/ground nutmeg

3 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil

25g (1oz) butter, chilled and diced

Method:

Peel off the outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts, then slice each one in half.

Place the brussels sprouts in a pot of salted boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes and refresh under cold water.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan set over a medium heat. Put the sprouts in the pan, cut side down, and let them sizzle for 5-6 minutes. Dot over the butter. Add in the cooked chestnuts and cranberries followed by the nutmeg. Allow to cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Season to taste and toss again before tipping into a warmed serving dish. Serve at once.

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ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES WITH BUTTERMILK DRESSING AND CORIANDER COUSCOUS

(Veggie)

Ingredients:

20 baby carrots, peeled and trimmed

12 baby beetroot, trimmed and halved

10 baby leeks, trimmed and halved

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp caster sugar

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

225g (8oz) couscous

juice of ½ lemon

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander sea salt and freshly ground black pepper lightly dressed salad, to serve

Buttermilk dressing:

75g (3oz) soft goat’s cheese or curd

75ml (3fl oz) buttermilk

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6). Line a large roasting tin with parchment paper.

Place the carrots, beetroot and leeks in a bowl with the balsamic vinegar, sugar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then toss to combine. Tip into the lined tin and roast for 20–25 minutes, or until the vegetables are just soft.

To make the buttermilk dressing, whisk the goat’s cheese and buttermilk until smooth and season to taste.

Five minutes before the end of the vegetables’ cooking time, place the couscous in a large pan and drizzle over the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil along with the lemon juice, stirring gently to combine. Pour over 225ml (8fl oz) of boiling water, then stir well, cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes before gently separating the grains with a fork. Season to taste and then reheat gently, stirring continuously with a fork. Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander.

To serve, arrange the coriander couscous on warmed serving plates with the roasted root vegetables and drizzle around the buttermilk dressing. Garnish with a good grinding of black pepper and the salad.

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SWEET POTATO CAKES  WITH CHILLI AND FETA

(Veggie)

Ingredients:

450g (1lb) sweet potatoes

5 spring onions, finely chopped

1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

100g (4oz) feta cheese

2 large eggs

4 tbsp milk

50g (2oz) self-raising flour

25g (1oz) cornflour vegetable oil, for cooking

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cucumber Raita

1 small cucumber

150g (5oz) natural yoghurt

1 small garlic clove, crushed

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

Salad

100g (4oz) rocket

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

 1 ripe Hass avocado, halved, peeled and cut into chunks

handful of pitted black olives (preserved in oil and drained)

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Method:
Preheat the oven to 100°C (200°F/gas mark ¼).

Peel and grate the sweet potatoes – you’ll need 350g (12oz) in total – and place in a bowl with the spring onions and chilli. Crumble in the feta and season. Break the eggs into a jug and beat with the milk. Sift the self-raising flour and the cornflour over the sweet potato mixture and then mix in the eggs and milk until you have a thick batter.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan on a low heat. Working in batches, add in large spoonfuls of the sweet potato mixture, pressing them down with the back of a spoon until they’re about 1cm (½in) thick. Cook gently for 3–4 minutes on each side, until golden brown, carefully turning them over with a fish slice to avoid breaking them up. Keep warm in a low oven while you cook the rest, adding more oil to the pan between batches if needed.

To make the cucumber raita, cut the cucumber into quarters and remove the seeds, then grate, squeezing out all the excess moisture. Mix into the yoghurt with the garlic and herbs, then season to taste.

To make the salad, place the rocket in a bowl with the tomatoes, avocado and olives. Lightly dress with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste.

To serve, arrange the sweet potato cakes on serving plates with a dollop of the cucumber raita. Have a separate dish of the dressed salad to hand around separately

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TURKEY SATAY WITH VEGETABLES AND NOODLES

(Leftovers) Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

275g (10oz) fine egg noodles
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 large red pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
225g (8oz) fine green beans, trimmed and halved
175g (6oz) baby corn, halved lengthways
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g (14oz) can coconut milk
350g (12oz) leftover cooked turkey meat, cut into bite sized pieces
100g (4oz) crunchy peanut butter
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp light muscovado sugar
juice of ½ lime
50g (2oz) cashew nuts, toasted and finely chopped
handful fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

Method:
Heat a pan until very hot. Add the oil and swirl it around the edges, then tip in the red pepper, green beans, baby corn and garlic and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, sprinkling over 1 tablespoon of water if the mixture is getting too dry. Add in the coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and sugar to the pan. Stir to combine all together. Add in the lime juice & leftover turkey meat.

Cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the turkey meat has heated through and is piping hot.

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TURKEY & HAM PIE WITH  PUFF PASTRY

(Leftoveres) Serves 6-8

Ingredients

75g (3oz) butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 celery sticks, diced

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

50g (2oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting

350ml (12fl oz) chicken or turkey stock or use up any leftover gravy

120ml (4fl oz) dry white wine

2 small leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced

100g (4oz) button mushrooms, halved

150ml (¼ pint) cream

2 tsp Dijon mustard

450g (1lb) leftover cooked turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces

275g (10oz) leftover cooked ham, cut into bite-sized pieces

500g (18oz) all-butter puff pastry, thawed if frozen

egg wash, to glaze (1 egg or yolk beaten with a splash of milk)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Heat 25g (1oz) of the butter in a large sauté pan set over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and thyme and sauté for 6–8 minutes, until tender but not coloured. Add the rest of the butter and allow to melt, then stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the stock and/or gravy and the wine until the sauce is thickened and smooth.

Bring to a simmer, then add the leeks and mushrooms and cook for 3–4 minutes, until tender. Stir in the cream and mustard and cook for another minute or two, stirring. Season to taste, then remove from the heat and fold in the turkey and ham. Transfer to a 25cm (10in) pie dish (or use a large ovenproof dish if you don’t have one). Leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured board until it’s the thickness of a €1 coin and large enough to easily cover the pie dish. Brush the edge of the pie dish with egg wash, then cover with the pastry. Use a sharp knife to trim down as necessary and use a fork to lightly press around the edge to crimp it. Stamp or cut out leaves from the pastry leftovers and use to decorate the pie if liked. Brush with more egg wash and make a small hole in the middle to allow the steam to escape.

Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through and golden brown. Serve straight to the table.

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SPICED POACHED PEARS

(Dessert)

SERVES 4

Ingredients

300ml (½  pint) clear apple juice

juice and finely grated rind of 2 limes

2 whole star anise

1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

½ vanilla pod, split in half

2 tbsp honey

4 firm, ripe pears

2 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

Method

Place the apple juice in a deep-sided pan with a lid (the pan needs to be just large enough to hold the pears in an upright position). Add the lime juice and rind, star anise, cinnamon stick, vanilla pod and honey. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for a few minutes to allow the ?avours to infuse.

Meanwhile, peel the pears, leaving the stalks attached. Add them to the pan, standing them in an upright position. Cover with the lid and simmer gently for 20–25 minutes, until the pears are tender, basting them from time to time with the liquid. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the syrup. The cooking time will depend on the ripeness of the pears.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a dish and set aside. Reduce the cooking juices by half to a more syrupy consistency. This will take 8–12 minutes. Strain into a jug and leave to cool.

To serve, carefully cut each pear in half so that you don’t spoil their beautiful shape. Place the pear halves on a serving platter and drizzle over the spiced syrup followed by chocolate sauce.

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CHOCOLATE FUDGE SAUCE

(Dessert)

Ingredients

25g (1oz) caster sugar

150ml (¼ pint) cream

2 tbsp Coole Swan Irish Cream Liquer

175g (6oz) plain chocolate, finely chopped (at least 70% cocoa solids)

Method

Place the sugar, cream and Coole Swan in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring. Gentlly add in the chocolate and stir gently until completely melted.

This is ready to serve warm or transfer to a bowl and leave to cool completely, then cover with clingfilm and keep in the fridge until needed. Use warm or cold as required.

Cook Ahead:

This will keep happily for up to 1 week covered with clingfilm in the fridge.

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VERA’S SHERRY TRIFLE

(Dessert)

SERVES 6

Ingredients

200g (7oz) Madeira cake, broken into pieces

300ml (½ pint) cream

toasted flaked almonds, to decorate pomegranate seeds, to decorate

spun sugar, to decorate (optional)

For The Custard:

300ml (½ pint) milk

100ml (3½fl oz) cream

½ vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out

5 egg yolks

4 tbsp caster sugar

2 tsp cornflour

For The Fruit:

100ml (3½fl oz) sweet sherry

100g (4oz) caster sugar

½ vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out

1 x 500g (18oz) bag of frozen fruits of the forest

Method

To make the custard, put the milk, cream and vanilla pod and seeds in a heavy-based pan set over a gentle heat and cook until it nearly reaches the boil – but don’t allow to boil. Meanwhile, put the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a large bowl and whisk together until pale and thickened.

Remove the hot milk and cream mixture from the heat and slowly whisk it into the egg mixture through a fine sieve until smooth. Discard the vanilla pod and pour back into the pan, then set over a gentle heat. Cook, without allowing it to boil, until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon, stirring continuously. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, covered with a piece of cling film pressed directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming on top.

Meanwhile, prepare the fruit. Put the sherry in a large pan with the sugar and vanilla seeds and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4–5 minutes, until syrupy, stirring occasionally. Stir in the frozen fruits of the forest and set aside until cooled, stirring occasionally. The fruits should defrost naturally in the hot syrup but still hold their shape.

Scatter the Madeira cake over the base of a 1.5 litre (2½ pint) glass serving bowl. Spoon over the fruit and cover with the cooled custard. Chill for 1 hour, until the custard sets a little firmer, or up to 24 hours is fine.

When ready to serve, whip the cream in a bowl until you have achieved soft peaks. Put spoonful’s on top of the custard, then gently spread with a palette knife or the back of a spoon to cover the custard completely (or you can use a piping bag). Sprinkle over the toasted flaked almonds and pomegranate seeds and decorate with some spun sugar if liked, then place straight on the table to serve.

Home For Christmas

Home For Christmas

Actress and former TV Presenter, Caroline Morahan joined Brendan in studio to chat about life with a new baby and being home for Christmas.

A Woman's Heart

A Woman's Heart

Eleanor McEvoy and Wallis Bird talked to Brendan this morning about A Woman's Heart Orchestrated and preform a song from the album.

Mulled Cider

Mulled Cider

Adaptation of a Tom Kerridge recipe, served by Sean Gargano at The Legal Eagle in Dublin

The addition of the rum helps to bring back up the alcohol levels that you’ve reduced during the simmering process.

Makes approx 2.5 litres

2 litres cider (avoid anything too sweet)

250ml cloudy apple juice

200ml dark rum

150g demerara sugar

10 cardamom pods

10 juniper berries

10 cloves

4 star anise

3 bay leaves

1 cinnamon stick

1 vanilla pod

peel of 1 orange

peel of 1/2 lemon

Method

Put everything in a large pot except the rum & peel, and bring to boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add rum & peel, take off heat and allow to steep until cool before straining.

Heat to order as you would with mulled wine, and garnish with cinnamon stick & orange slice.

Christmas Food And Drink

Christmas Food And Drink

Brendan was joined by Chef Neven Maguire and Aoife Carrigy, wine and drinks editor at Image Interiors & Living to talk all things Christmas dinner and drinks.

Christmas Viewing

Christmas Viewing

DAVES PICKS

MUSIC DOCUMENTARYS

Joni Mitchell: Both Sides Now -  Mon 23 Dec, 12.33am 

Marvin Gaye: Greatest Hits Live - Tues 24 Dec, 12.55am

Shane McGowan: Live at Montreux - Weds 25 Dec, 1am

Johnny Cash: Live at Montreux – Thurs 26 Dec, 12.18am

Cobain: Montage of Heck - Fri 27 Dec, 11.30pm

BB King: Live at Montreux - Sat 28 Dec, 12.45am

The Last Waltz - Sun 29 Dec, 10.30pm

Festival Folk at Newport - Mon 30 Dec, 12.35am

The Doors: Live at the Isle of Wight - Tues 31 Dec - 12.55am

Rolling Stones: Live at the Hampton Coliseum - Weds 1 January - 12.55am

Arcade Fire: Lives at Earls Court - Thurs 2 Jan - 12.45am

Lemmy - Fri 3 Jan - 11.30pm

Boomtown Rats - Sat 4 Jan - 12.05am

Woodstock Festival Highlights - Sun 5 Jan - 12.25am

The Decade the Music Died [David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin] Sky Arts on Fri Dec 27 at 9pm

FILMS

Mary, Queen of Scots.  Sky Cinema Premiere at 8 pm on Sun Dec 22.

Home Alone. RTE1 3.50pm on Christmas Eve

Home Alone 2 Christmas Day at 2.55pm or 3.55 Channel 4. 

Home Alone   E4 on Christmas Day at 7.55pm. 

Princess Bride  Monday 23rd Dec on RTE2 at 3.15pm. 

FARGO  TG4 on Sat night at 10.20pm

GRETA  Sky Cinema Premiere at 10pm on Mon Dec 30

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, TG4, Xmas Eve 1.05pm.

Casablanca, Xmas Eve 2.10pm RTE One. 

Boyhood Fri Jan 3 at 9.30pm on RTE2.

IRISH FILMS

Cardboard Gangsters, Fri Dec 27, 10pm Virgin Media One.

A Date For Mad Mary, Sun Dec 29th 9pm Virgin Media One.

Float Like A Butterfly, Sun Dec 29, 9.40pm, RTE2.

FACTUAL

Hugh Grant: A Life on Screen Mon Dec 23 at 9pm on BBC Two.

Celebrity University Challenges BBC2 at 7.30pm/8.00pm.

Have I Got 2019 News For You Fri 27 Dec at 9.30pm on BBC One. 

Shane Lowry special RTE One  Mon Dec 30th

Mary Kennedy special Tues Dec 31 on RTE One.

New Years Eve

Jools Holland’s Hootenanny Channel 4 11.15pm

Una Healy’s New Year Eve Party at 10.25pm On RTE One

.........................................................................................................................................................................

SINEADS PICKS

FILMS

Home Alone  –- Christmas Eve 3.50pm RTE One,

Home Alone 2 – Lost in New York 5.30pm Channel 4

Elf – ITV 2 17.10 22/12; UTV 17.15 Christmas Eve

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Christmas Day, 13.20 RTE One

Love Actually Monday 23rd RTE One 21.30; UTV 22.10 27th

FAMILY FILMS

The BFG BBC One 5.15pm – Sunday 22nd December

Paddington Sunday 22nd 7.15pm Channel 4

Beauty and the Beast Christmas Eve 5.30pm BBC One; Christmas Day RTE One 4.45pm

Finding Dory 3.10pm Christmas Day BBC One

Paddington 2 Christmas Day 7pm RTE One; Stephen’s Day BBC One 19.20

The Wizard of Oz- Christmas Day 4.45pm Virgin Media One

Mary Poppins Returns Christmas Day Sky Cinema premiere 8pm

Short Circuit  @ 10.50am Channel 4 Friday 27th December 

Zootropolis Friday 27th 3:15pm BBC ONE 

Paint your Wagon  (Tomorrow BBC2 13.10) )and

The Magnificent Seven, (Christmas Day 16.05 RTE 2)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 17.45 RTE 2 Friday 27th 

Raiders of the Lost Ark, Christmas Day RTE 2 16.10

FOR THE ADULTS

Bond- Spectre tomorrow RTE One 9.30pm;  

Skyfall 9pm St Stephen’s Day RTE 2,

Quantum of Solace New Year’s Day 9pm RTE 2 

The Irishman  on Netflix.

DOCUMENTARYS/ FACTUAL SHOWS

Reindeer Family and Me – Sunday 22nd 6pm RTE Two

GAA Cúil na Bliana - Christmas Eve 7.15pm TG4

Gogglebox 2019 Christmas Eve 9pm Channel 4

Dolly Parton Here I am 8.30pm Christmas Day Channel 4

Phil Coulter Mo Shaol TG4 @ 9:30pm

Paddington: The Man behind the Bear BBC TWO @9pm  St Stephen’s Day

Attenborough’s Birds of Paradise -St Stephen’s Day RTE 2 8pm

No Planet B 27th December 7.25pm RTE One 

Snow Animals BBC2 December 30th presented by Liz Bonnin BBC 2

DRAMA

Dracula BBC One - New Years Day / 2nd January & 3rd January 

Gavin & Stacey Christmas special Christmas Day - 8.30pm BBC One

FOR THE KIDS

The Christmas Letter RTE One 6.30pm Monday 23rd December

The Tiger who came to Tea -  Channel 4  @7:30pm Christmas Eve

The Snail and the Whale – BBC One @ 2:30pm Christmas Day

The Gruffalo is on Christmas Eve at 9.45am,

Zog is Christmas Day at 9.25am,

Mimi and the Mountain Dragon  St Stephen’s Day BBC One 3.20pm,

Worzel Gummidge 26th BBC One 6:20pm & 27th Dec @ 7pm

Klaus – Netflix new animated film good for age 5

CATCH UP ON

The OA  - NETFLIX

The Bodyguard NETFLIX  

Stranger Things -  NETFLIX  

 Merry Happy Whatever – NETFLIX

Workin’ Moms –  NETFLIX  

The Young Offenders – RTE 

You - NETFLIX    

NETFLIX -  The Crown

 NETFLIX -  Angela’s Christmas

The Two Popes - Netflix

The Witcher - Netflix

SINEAD AND DAVE  

A Christmas Carol @ 9pm BBC One Tomorrow night

Call the Midwife @ 7pm BBC ONE  Christmas day

The Trial of Christine Keeler - Sunday 29th BBC One 9pm  (Six part drama)

About The Show

In-depth interviews, human interest stories, consumer and lifestyle news as well as a lively panel discussion on issues of the week and newspaper reviews.

Saturday and Sunday from 11am-1pm

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Contact the Show

Call: 1850-715150 / 08457-853333 Northern Ireland & U.K

Text: 51551

Presenter: Marian Finucane

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