Recipes from Meat: The Ultimate Companion


Beef Wellington

Serves 6

Prep time 40 minutes (plus chilling)
Cook 50 minutes (plus resting)

1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) eye fillet
Olive oil, for frying
1 tablespoon dijon mustard or English mustard
400 g (14 oz) mixed mushrooms, such as button, Swiss brown and chestnut
40 g (1½ oz) butter, chopped
2 golden shallots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) brandy or Cognac
Splash of pure (pouring) cream
10 very thin slices of prosciutto
70 g (2½ oz) pate
375 g (13 oz) butter puff pastry
2 egg yolks, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Sea salt

Serving suggestion: roasted baby carrots and buttered green beans

1. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat until smoking. Season the beef generously, add to the pan and sear, turning occasionally, for 6–8 minutes until browned well all over. Transfer to a plate and pat dry with paper towel. Refrigerate and brush with the mustard.

2. Meanwhile, pulse the mushrooms in batches in a food processor until finely chopped, but still with a little texture.

Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until foaming. Add the mushroom, season with salt and pepper and saute for 2–3 minutes until the mushrooms start to give off their moisture. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 4–5 minutes until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms begin to brown. Add the shallot, thyme and garlic, saute for 2–3 minutes until softened, then deglaze the pan with brandy, scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the cream and simmer until the mixture dries out. Check the seasoning, transfer to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator.

3. Lay out a piece of baking paper on a work surface. Overlap the prosciutto in a rectangle on top, arranging it so it is the length of your beef fillet and wide enough to completely enclose the meat. Spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the prosciutto.

4. Spread the pate evenly over the beef. Lay the beef on the closest edge of the prosciutto and roll it into a cylinder, using the baking paper to help roll and enclose the beef (discard the baking paper). Wrap the beef cylinder tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for several hours. Remove the plastic wrap before using.

5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 30 x 40 cm (12 x 16 inch) rectangle. Lay the prosciutto-wrapped beef on one long side and brush the pastry edges with egg wash. Roll the beef and pastry into a snug cylinder and place seam-side down on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Pinch the pastry ends together to seal and trim off any excess.

Brush thickly with egg wash, score in a decorative pattern with a small sharp knife, and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

6. Preheat the oven to 210°C (415°F). Season the beef parcel with sea salt and bake for 20–25 minutes for rare, 25–30 minutes for medium-rare—internal temperature reads 48°C (116°F) for rare or 52°C (125°F) for medium-rare—and the pastry is golden brown. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes. Thickly slice to serve.

➙ Many methods for beef Wellington involve wrapping the meat in a thin crepe or blanched cabbage leaves, to keep the moisture contained and prevent the puff pastry from going soggy. A sheet of fi lo pastry is a simple option.

➙ This recipe is an exception to the rule of letting the meat come to room temperature before cooking, because you want the beef rare while the pastry is well cooked.

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Brine Roasted Turkey

Serves 8 - 10 with some leftovers
Prep time 30 minutes (plus overnight brining, drying)
Cook 3½ – 4 hours (plus resting)

1 whole turkey, about 5.5–6 kg (12–14 lb)
1 quantity of stuffing (see recipes at right)
2 brown onions, thickly sliced
Olive oil, for drizzling
½ bottle (375 ml) dry white wine
100 ml (3½ fl oz) verjuice
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) chicken or turkey stock (see note)

500 g (1 lb 2 oz/2 cups) fine salt
220 (7 oz/1 cup) white sugar
2 tablespoons peppercorns
10 prigs each thyme and sage
2 fresh bay leaves

1. To make the brine, put all of the ingredients with 4 litres (140 fl oz/16 cups) of water in a large stockpot, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat. Remove from the heat, add another 4 litres of water, then strain (discarding the solids) and set aside to cool completely.

2. Pour the brine into a container large enough to hold the whole turkey. Submerge the turkey in the brine and use a heavy plate to weigh it down. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours (see note). Five hours before cooking, drain the turkey, discarding the brine, and pat dry inside and out with paper towels.

3. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F). Season the turkey generously with salt and pepper, inside and out. Loosely fill the body cavity and neck cavity with stuffing (any remaining stuffing can be cooked separately in a buttered baking dish). Secure the cavity with a skewer and tuck the wings underneath
the body.

4. Weigh the stuffed turkey to calculate the cooking time, allowing 20 minutes per 500 g (1 lb 2 oz).

5. Spread the onion slices in a large roasting tin to form a trivet and place the stuffed turkey, breast-side up, on top. Drizzle generously with olive oil and rub well into the skin. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F) and roast, basting every 30–40 minutes with the pan juices, until golden brown, referring to your calculated cooking time. If the turkey browns too quickly, cover with a piece of buttered foil. To check whether it is cooked, a
thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 71°C (160°F).

7. Transfer the turkey to a platter, cover loosely with foil and rest for at least 1 hour.

8. Tip any excess fat from the roasting tin. Heat the tin over medium–high heat, pour in the wine and verjuice and scrape the base of the pan to remove all the lovely caramelised bits. Reduce by half, add the stock and boil for 10–15 minutes to reduce to a rich-flavoured sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

9. Serve the turkey and sauce with your favourite trimmings.

➙➙ For extra-crisp skin, brine the turkey a couple of days in advance, drain and pat dry with paper towel. Refrigerate uncovered for up to 2 days for the skin to dry out.

➙➙ If the turkey comes with giblets, remove them before brining and use them in your gravy.

➙➙ Remove the neck and use it to make a simple stock for the base of your gravy.

➙➙ Resting the turkey after cooking is important: it’s the perfect time to roast your vegetables.
At least 1 hour resting is recommended, but you can rest the turkey for up to 2 hours.

➙➙ Leftover roast turkey is great tossed through a salad of boiled potatoes, bitter leaves, walnuts and peaches, dressed with a vinaigrette.

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Serves 6
Prep time 30 minutes (plus overnight drying)
Cook 1 hour 40 minutes (plus resting)

1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) piece of boneless pork belly, skin on
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 pinch of chilli flakes
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small handful of sage leaves, coarsely chopped
2–3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve
11/2 tablespoons sea salt

Wild rocket salad
3 large handfuls of wild rocket (arugula)
3 peaches, stones removed, sliced into wedges (omit if unavailable)
1 large handful each of flat-leaf (Italian) parsley and mint
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Red wine vinegar, to taste

Serving suggestion aïoli
1. Score the pork skin at 5 mm (¼ inch) intervals using a very sharp knife: score just down to where the skin meets the fat. Turn the pork over and lightly score the flesh with a sharp knife: you only need to make shallow incisions.

2. Dry-roast the fennel seeds and chilli flakes in a small frying pan over medium–high heat, shaking the pan occasionally for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl to cool, then coarsely crush. Stir in the garlic, herbs, olive oil, lemon zest and 2 teaspoons of the sea salt and mix to a paste. Rub the paste into the flesh of the pork.

3. Place the pork, skin-side up, on a tray. Rub the remaining sea salt into the skin, making sure you get right into the incisions. Refrigerate overnight, skin-side up and uncovered, to dry out.

4. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F). Lay the pork belly, skinside down, on a clean work surface. Roll into a cylinder and tie at 2–3 cm (¾ –1¼ inch) intervals with kitchen string. Set aside for 1 hour to come to room temperature.

5. Transfer the pork to a wire rack in a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30–40 minutes until the skin begins to crisp and crackling forms. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C (315°F) and open the door to let the heat out. Continue to roast the pork for 45 minutes to 1 hour until cooked to medium: the internal temperature will read 58°C (136°F), and the pork will continue to cook as it rests.

6. Cover the pork loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 30 minutes, then remove the string and thinly slice.

7. While the pork rests, toss the rocket, peach slices and herbs in a bowl. Dress with olive oil and vinegar to taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the sliced pork and the lemon wedges.

➙➙ You’ll need to allow a day in advance to dry out the pork skin, which will help achieve crisp crackling.

➙➙ The fat from the roast that drips into the pan is liquid gold: use it to roast potatoes to serve alongside the porchetta or strain into a container to use for later cooking. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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Pork pie

Serves 10 – 12

Prep time 1 hour (plus chilling)
Cook 5 hours (plus resting, cooling)

750 g (1 lb 10 oz) coarsely minced (ground) boneless pork shoulder
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) boneless pork shoulder (or bone it yourself and reserve the bones for the jellied stock), cut into 5 mm (¼ inch) cubes
250 g (9 oz) skinless boneless pork belly, cut into 5 mm (¼ inch) cubes
150 g (51/2 oz) bacon lardons
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1¼ teaspoons ground mace
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
1½ tablespoons finely chopped sage
2½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1¼ tablespoons sea salt
1 egg, whisked with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash

Jellied stock
2 pork trotters, split
1 brown onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
3 thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 litres (70 fl oz/8 cups) cold water

Hot-water pastry
550 g (1 lb 4 oz/3⅔ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour seasoned with 11/2 teaspoons sea salt
150 g (5½ oz) lard

Serving suggestion: pickled onions and English mustard

1. To make the jellied stock, combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, skimming any scum from the surface, for 2–2½ hours. Strain into a clean saucepan and boil for 25–30 minutes until reduced to 300 ml (101/2 fl oz). Refrigerate until the stock sets to jelly.

2. Meanwhile, make the pie filling. Fry half the lardons, add the onion and fry for 4–5 minutes, adding garlic in the final minute. Add the mace and nutmeg and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl to cool, then add the minced pork.

3. Add the pork shoulder and belly to the onion mixture with the thyme, sage, pepper, salt and remaining lardons. Use your hands to mix well. Fry a pinch of the pork mixture, cooking it through. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. As the pie is served cold and the flavours will be muted, season generously. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for 2–3 hours.

4. Meanwhile, make the hot-water pastry. Put the flour mixture in a heatproof bowl. Put the lard with 350 ml (12 fl oz) of water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until melted. Increase heat
to high, bring to a boil, then use a wooden spoon to beat it into the flour until the pastry comes together. When it’s cool enough to handle, knead on a lightly floured work surface until smooth.

5. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Roll out three-quarters of the pastry to 5 mm (¼ inch) thick and line the base and side of a 10 cm (4 inch) deep x 20 cm (8 inch) diameter spring-form cake tin, allowing 1 cm (½ inch) to overhang the edge.

6. Fill with pork mixture, flattening the top. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash. Roll out remaining pastry to 5 mm (¼ inch) thick, cut out a 22 cm (8½ inch) disc and lay it on top. Press the pastry together, trim and crimp edges with a fork. Cut out a 1 cm (½ inch) hole in the centre and brush with egg wash.

7. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160°C (315°F) and bake for 1¼ hours. Carefully remove the side of the springform tin, brush the pastry side with egg wash and bake for 20–25 minutes until golden brown. The internal temperature should read 67°C (153°F). Set aside to cool to room temperature.

8. Warm the jellied stock in a saucepan over low heat and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a jug and gradually pour the stock into the pie through a funnel inserted through the hole in the lid, tilting the pie to help distribute the stock and letting the stock settle before adding more if necessary.

9. Refrigerate for 3–4 hours until the jelly sets and then store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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