Recipes

How to be the Perfect Host this Christmas with Anna Barnett & Le Creuset

As we head into the festive season, the time has come to prepare the kitchen and the home for welcoming friends, family and the odd stranger into the warmth of our homes. These days, the Christmas period is extended far beyond a few hectic days around Christmas Day and often means several weeks of catching up with friends and family you might not necessarily see on the day itself. The festive period offers an opportunity to entertain guests in relaxed and often unexpected ways, trying out new seasonal dishes in informal gatherings and sharing your home space with those closest to you.

As part of its new Taste of the City collection which draws inspiration from the energy, passion and diversity of urban kitchens, Le Creuset has teamed up with cook and food writer Anna Barnett for some tips on hosting during the festive season and, of course, some delicious new recipes. Anna is a big fan of large relaxed gatherings, regularly hosting pop-up supper clubs and eclectic parties from friends at the converted Hackney pub she shares with her husband and close friends.

Anna Barnett’s Tips on Hosting the Perfect Festive Gathering

  • Make some dishes that actually taste better the next day (such as my Beet Bourguignon). It takes a lot of the pressure off. As you can cook them in advance and just take out of the fridge to heat up when you’re ready.
  • Serve everything on big platters and in bowls that can be passed around the table rather than serving food on individual plates which is so time-consuming to get ready. It’s better to let people help themselves.
  • Mix things up—I always include a great vegetarian dish or two when I’m cooking for a crowd. Even the most die-hard meat eaters rarely notice and tuck in with enthusiasm.
  • Ash for help! Don’t do it all yourself—get guests to bring a dish, lay the table, serve the drinks… it all helps to make the atmosphere feel warm and convivial.
  • Think about the accompaniments to your main dishes…. Everything from great side dishes to vibrant fresh salads. I also bring out a huge selection of condiments, pickles and chutneys that bring it all to life.
  • Have a selection of containers to hand so people can take home a goodie bag of leftovers afterwards—if there’s anything left, of course…
  • Always make more (and even more!) roast potatoes than you think you’ll need. They are undoubtedly everyone’s favourite and will always go down a storm.

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Le Creuset AW17: A Taste of the City

Inspired by vibrant urban living, Le Creuset's sleek new collection brings urban style to your kitchen with its new 'Taste of the City' campaign.

2017-08-30 16:32:41By atkinsons

Anna Barnett’s Festive Recipes

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Beet Bourguignon

Charred Sprouts and Chorizo Stew with Chestnuts and Dates

Slow-Roasted Allspice, Clove and Rosemary Short Rib with Kale Polenta

Ginger Biscuit and Apple Frangipane Tart

Star Ginger Biscuits

Poached Pear and Crumble

 

Beet Bourguignon

This is a favourite in my household, come the winter months we make up batches to see us through the week. If you’re short on time or have guests over, then this is a great hearty and filling dish that is easy to whip up and doesn’t cost a fortune. It’s also a great way to use up left over vegetables and herbs and tastes even better the next day.

Serves: 6-8

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

 

Ingredients

  • A generous glug of rapeseed oil
  • 2 large white onions, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 12 -15 medium/large beetroots, ends trimmed and cleaned (or peeled if preferred) then halved or quartered depending on size
  • 250g baby carrots, ends trimmed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 470ml of good quality red wine
  • 1.5L vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons Marmite
  • 250g pearl barley
  • Several generous pinches of sea salt flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • A generous shake of white pepper

Garnish

  • A generous glug of rapeseed oil
  • 250g Girolle, Chanterelle or Oyster mushrooms
  • A handful of sage leaves

 

Method

  1. Begin by gently heating the rapeseed oil in the 3-ply Stainless Steel Deep Casserole over a medium heat. Dice the onions and mince the garlic then add them to the casserole and cook over the medium heat, for 5-6 minutes until the onion turns translucent.
  2. Next add the beetroot, carrots, bay leaves, thyme, red wine and vegetable stock. Once almost boiling add the mustard, Marmite and finally the pearl barley. Cook over a medium to low heat for at least thirty minutes adding extra stock should you need it and giving it a stir every ten minutes or so.
  3. Next add the seasoning and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. In a large non-stick frying pan, heat a generous amount of oil on a low to medium heat, season with salt and pepper and once piping hot throw in the mushrooms, only turning once when they begin to darken and crisp up.
  5. Once the mushrooms are cooked push to one side of the frying pan. Add the handful of sage leaves, (pre-picked from the stalk). Allow them to turn crispy in the pan, this should take around thirty seconds or so and then remove the pan from the heat.
  6. Once the Bourguignon is ready, serve topped with crispy mushrooms and fried sage.

Charred Sprouts and Chorizo Stew with Chestnuts and Dates

Sprouts and chorizo for me are an unrivalled combination, a duo of flavours that were meant for each other. Add in the sweet richness of the dates and one bowl won’t be enough! I love the ease of this dish, the bold flavour and spice from the chilli and chorizo.

Serves: 6

Preparation time:15 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

 

Ingredients

  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 500g Spanish chorizo ring, good quality and roughly chopped into 2½cm (1inch) lengths
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary, save 2 to add just before serving
  • 150g Medjool dates, roughly chopped and stones removed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 small glass of white wine
  • 3 tins of butter beans
  • 200g pre-cooked chestnuts
  • 3 tins of cherry tomatoes
  • 500ml good quality chicken stock
  • Several generous pinch sea salt flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Garnish

  • 500g good quality chorizo ring, roughly chopped into 2½cm (1inch) lengths
  • 1kg baby Brussel Sprouts, left whole
  • 1 loaf of sourdough, charred or left fresh

 

Method

  1. Begin by preparing all ingredients.
  2. In a Signature Cast Iron 28cm Round Casserole add a generous amount of rapeseed oil, then add in the onions and garlic. Cook over a low to medium heat until the onions turn translucent.
  3. Next add in the chorizo and allow this to darken and crisp up a little, then add in the rosemary (just 2 of the sprigs), dates, paprika, chilli flakes and stir. Cook for a minute or so before adding the white wine, then increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil.
  4. Next add in the butter beans, chestnuts, tinned cherry tomatoes and chicken stock plus a little seasoning. Allow the casserole to simmer over a low to medium heat for 35-45 minutes until rich and sweet, adjusting the seasoning to your taste.
  5. Using a Signature Cast Iron 26cm Grillit® or Frying Pan, char both the sprouts and second ring of chopped chorizo until blackened around the edges. Mix together both the chorizo and sprouts so they become coated in the flavoursome oil from the chorizo.
  6. Once everything is cooked, serve the stew with a generous topping of the charred sprouts and crispy chorizo.

Slow-Roasted Allspice, Clove and Rosemary Short Rib with Kale Polenta

This dish is my go to winter warmer, packed full of flavour, a concoction of earthy spices, clove, allspice and rosemary combined with the completely indulgent and decadently creamy polenta. Perfect for feeding a crowd and requires minimum effort and time in the kitchen!

Serves: 6-8

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Marinating time: 1 hour or overnight

Cooking time: 5½ hours

 

Ingredients

  • 2.5kg beef short rib or 8 individual short ribs, see Cook’s Notes
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 250g baby shallots
  • 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 250ml good quality beef stock

Spice Rub

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup or maple syrup
  • A generous sprinkle of sea salt flakes

Kale Polenta

  • 3 large handfuls of kale
  • Small handful of parsley
  • 200ml milk
  • 800ml salted water
  • 200g good quality polenta
  • 60g salted butter
  • 100g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt

 

Method

  1. Allow the short rib to come to room temperature then place into the 3-ply Stainless Steel Roaster. Coat the meat with a layer of Dijon mustard.
  2. Blitz the spice rub ingredients, or mix together by hand, then add the mix in an even layer over the mustard-covered short rib. Cover and allow the meat to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour, or overnight if you have time. See Cook’s Notes.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC / Fan 150°C / Gas Mark 3.
  4. Place the roaster with the marinated meat into the oven and allow it to cook for around 5 hours, checking on it every now and then and basting with any excess juices that are released from the meat. See Cook’s Notes.
  5. For the final hour of cooking add the shallots, rosemary and beef stock to the roaster, mix together the glaze ingredients and use to coat the short rib and continue to cook. Cook until the meat is completely tender and almost falling off the bone. Allow the meat to rest for half an hour once cooked.
  6. For the kale polenta begin by blanching the kale in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 1 minute then remove, drain and finely chop both the kale and the parsley and then mix together in a bowl. Leave this to one side to sprinkle over the polenta once cooked.
  7. Next gently warm the 200ml of milk with the 800ml of salted water in a large saucepan and add a generous sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper. Once almost boiling gently pour in the polenta and use a whisk to combine the mixture. Continue to whisk for 3-4 minutes, ensuring no lumps form. Once combined reduce the heat to a low simmer and allow to cook for around 40 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally.
  8. When the polenta is ready, add the butter and stir until thoroughly combined. Finally, add the Parmesan and check to see if the seasoning needs adjusting. Serve immediately.
  9. Add the polenta to the roaster, serve with more freshly ground black pepper, the grated nutmeg, a drizzle of olive oil and an extra sprinkle of Parmesan.

Cook’s Notes

  • If marinating the meat for more than one hour, this should be done in the refrigerator. The meat should then be brought back to room temperature before cooking.
  • You can cover the meat with foil for the first hour of cooking if you prefer.
  • Use a good quality polenta like one-minute polenta from Merchant Gourmet, which can be found easily in all major supermarkets.
  • Individual short ribs can be used if preferred or are easier to source.

Ginger Biscuit and Apple Frangipane Tart

This is my ultimate flavour combination, especially once doused in spiced eggnog custard. The ginger biscuit base adds crunch while the frangipane offers a generous soft and creamy layer for the apples to sit in, think of this as a upside down crumble with a difference!

Serves: 8-10

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients

 

Biscuit Base

  • 400g ginger crunch biscuits, finely blitzed
  • 110g butter
  • ½ jar stem ginger in syrup

Frangipane

  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 4 organic/free range large eggs
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla paste

Topping

  • 20 pink lady apples, sliced with a mandoline into rounds
  • 250ml orange juice
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 250g melted butter

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 160ºC/ Fan 140ºC / Gas Mark 3

  1. Begin by blitzing the biscuits into a fine crumb and then melt the butter and finely chop the stem ginger.
  2. Next, combine the biscuits, stem ginger and melted butter together in a bowl and then firmly press the mixture into the base and sides of the Signature Cast Iron Shallow Casserole. Aim for the base and sides to be equal thickness, just under half a centimetre or so.
  3. Place the casserole into the pre-heated oven and allow the base to cook for 5-10 minutes until the biscuit base looks like it is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. For the frangipane mixture, combine the butter and sugar, whipping until it becomes lighter in colour and fluffy in consistency. Then add in the eggs followed by the almond extract, vanilla paste and finally the ground almonds. Mix together well.
  5. Spoon the frangipane mixture over the biscuit base and place into the oven at 170ºC/ Fan 150 ºC/ Gas Mark 3½. Cook until it begins to turn golden. This should take around 20 minutes.
  6. While the frangipane is cooking, take a mandoline and slice the pink lady apples. Once sliced place in a large bowl filled with the orange juice and sugar, this will help to soften the apples so you can mould and roll them into the rose shapes without them snapping.
  7. Allow the apples to soak for at least 10 minutes or until the frangipane is cooked.
  8. To make the apple roses, begin by rolling one apple slice, place another slice around this and repeat until you have a rose-like flower. Cut a small hole in the top of the frangipane and place the rose into the hole to ensure it stays in place.
  9. Once you have covered the entire base with apple roses sprinkle with icing sugar and serve straight to the table with a warm spiced eggnog custard.

Star Ginger Biscuits

Makes: 48

Preparation time: 5 minutes + 30 minutes chilling

Cooking time: 6 – 8 minutes

 

Ingredients

  • 150g soft butter
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup or honey
  • 1 egg
  • 340g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

 

Method

  1. Cream together the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a bowl.
  2. Add in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger and mix together
  3. Mix the egg into the ingredients to form a dough.
  4. Chill the dough for 30 minutes in a refrigerator.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC / Fan 160ºC / Gas Mark 4.
  6. Dust a work surface with flour and roll the dough out to 3mm thick.
  7. Cut out 48, 7cm stars. Place 12 of the stars onto the Toughened Non-Stick Bakeware Baking Sheet (do not grease) and bake for 6-8 minutes until cooked through.
  8. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet and then using a palette knife lift the biscuits onto a cooling wire to cool completely.
  9. Repeat with the remaining mix until you have baked all the stars.
  10. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Cook’s Notes

  • The mix may be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days before baking if required.
  • Pack the 6 biscuits into individual cellophane bags and tie with ribbon for the perfect homemade Christmas gift.

Recipes

Stevie Parle & Le Creuset's Taste of the City Recipes

Le Creuset has teamed up with prestigious British chef Stevie Parle to create several exclusive new recipes inspired by the energy and diversity of the city. Discover your favourite new Autumn/Winter recipe at The Hut.

2017-09-02 07:30:39By atkinsons

Poached Pear and Crumble

This is a great alternative to the traditional fruit crumble, looks impressive and tastes completely delicious. All the elements of this dish can be made well in advance and just put together and warmed through ahead of serving.

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

 

Crumble

  • 100g wholemeal or plain flour
  • 90g jumbo rolled oats
  • 90g butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 30g raisins

Poached Pear Halves

  • 3 firm pears
  • 1 jar stem ginger in syrup
  • 5cm (2 inch) fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 2 strips of orange peel, finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • A handful of raspberries

Stewed Apple

  • 5 cooking apples, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 handfuls of blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • A generous splash of water

 

Method

  1. Begin by poaching the pears. Peel the pears and cut them in half. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat and poach for around 15-20 minutes, being mindful not to overcook the pears, you still want them to remain firm.
  2. Combine all the stewed apple ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer over a medium to low heat until soft and sweet. Add a splash of the pear poaching liquor to loosen the ingredients if needed.
  3. For the crumble begin by pre-heating the oven to 180ºC/ Fan 160ºC/ Gas Mark 4. Add the flour, oats, butter and sugar to a large bowl and crumble using your fingers until all ingredients are combined and you have a fine crumb. Add the raisins and mix thoroughly. For the ultimate crunchy crumble spread the crumble out on a baking tray and oven bake for 10-15 minutes until it begins to turn golden then remove and set to one side until ready to use.
  4. To make up the individual desserts, add a spoonful of the stewed apples to each ramekin, followed by half a pear, a generous glug of the poaching liquor and then top with a handful of crumble. The top of the pear should be left uncovered by the crumble. Place the ramekins onto a tray and bake in the oven at 180ºC/ Fan 160ºC/ Gas Mark 4 for 5-10 minutes to warm through, then serve immediately.


atkinsons

atkinsons

Writer and expert


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