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International Recipe Exchange


We are featuring English pub recipes this month




Roast Chicken, Savoury Bread Pudding & Tarragon

 (serves 4)

1 organic free-range chicken (about 1.5kg/3lb50z)
1 lemon, halved
fresh thyme
softened, unsalted butter
1 glass white wine
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
For the bread pudding:
450ml/16fl oz milk
1 small bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 whole cloves
grated zest ½ lemon
freshly grated nutmeg
unsalted butter
150g/5oz white bread, crust removed and broken up
1 small onion, peeled and very finely chopped
1 egg and 2 egg whites
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. To make the bread pudding: put the milk, bay leaf, thyme, garlic, cloves, lemon zest and a little nutmeg in a saucepan and heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile prepare the moulds. Brush all over the inside of four chilled dariole moulds with a thin layer of melted butter, then return to the fridge or freezer to chill until the butter has set. Brush with another layer of melted butter and chill again.

3. Put the bread in a bowl, strain over the flavoured milk and leave to soak for 20 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4.

5. To prepare the chicken for roasting: set it in a small roasting tin or dish. Squeeze the juice from one lemon half over the bird and put the squeezed half inside the body cavity with some thyme. Truss the bird by tying up the wingtips to the knuckle joints on the legs. Spread softened butter all over the bird, then sprinkle with more thyme (leaves and/or flowertips).

6. Put the chicken into the oven and roast for 1½-1¾ hours, basting with the juices in the tin from time to time. To test if the chicken is cooked pierce the meaty part of the thigh with the tip of a sharp knife, the juices that run out should be clear.

7. Meanwhile, finish the bread pudding. Melt a small knob of butter in a pan and sweat the onion until very soft but not coloured. Add to the soaked bread. Lightly beat the egg with the egg whites and add to the bowl. Mix together thoroughly and season. Spoon into the buttered dariole moulds. Set the moulds on a layer of folded newspaper in a small roasting tin and pour hot water into the tin to come half way up the sides of the moulds.

8. Put into the oven with the chicken to bake for 1 hour.

9. When the chicken has finished cooking, put it on a carving board and set aside in a warm place to rest for 15 minutes. Skim off some of the fat from the juices in the tin. Set the tin over a moderate heat, add the wine and bring to the boil. Check the seasoning, then add a squeeze of lemon juice and the tarragon. Keep hot.

10. Carve the chicken and divide among the hot plates. Turn out the bread puddings and put one on each plate. Moisten the chicken and puddings with the sauce and serve.

Fish and Chips


A hint about the chips. Some people cook the chips then keep them warm until the fish is ready. This is OK but the chips can very easily get ''soggy'' when kept warm. It is better keep the fish warm and serve the chips as soon as they are cooked. 'Fresh' chips taste so much better.

Two final suggestions: the secret is in the batter. For an unusual taste consider adding about 2 tablespoons of a dark beer (not lager) to the batter mixture - or add 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce. Please, do not add garlic, chilli powder nor paprika powder, that will not give 'English' fish and chips!
This will serve 4 (depending on how many portions of fish you use).

4 large pieces of cod (or haddock)
1kg or 2½ lbs potatoes
Sunflower seed oil
Salt and fine white pepper to taste.

For the batter:
200g or 7 oz of plain flour
1 large egg
150ml or 5 fl oz of water and milk mixed (making 5fl oz total)
White pepper to taste

1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into chips. If you are not going to cook them immediately then keep them covered in water to stop them going brown.
2. Start to make the batter mixture by putting the flour into a large bowl.
3. Whisk the egg and add (if you want) a maximum of 2 tablespoons of dark beer or 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce.
4. Now pour the whisked egg into the flour adding the milk/water mixture and beat until smooth. Leave this to stand for an hour.
5. Heat a deep pan, filled with enough oil to cover the chips, until it is hot. (If you drop in a tiny piece of potato and it immediately starts to fizzle then the oil is hot enough).
6. Heat a second pan of oil just deep enough to cover the fish.
7. Individually put each fish fillet into the batter. Slide the fish back and forth to cover with batter and lift out and allow to drip for a second or two then repeat. This makes sure the fish is completely covered in batter.
8. Lower a battered fish into the hot oil skin side to the bottom of the pan to stop the fillet curling as it heats. Now cook, one fillet at a time. After 5 minutes turn the fish over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
9. Repeat with the second fillet, keeping the first cooked fillet warm in an oven.
10. Now put the chips in the pan to cook. Take care as the oil might froth as the wet chips go in. This is quite normal but be careful you do not burn yourself.
11. Carry on cooking the other two fillets and put them in the oven to keep warm.
12. Lift out the chips when they reach a nice golden brown colour and are cooked. Use a mesh spoon or similar to lift the chips out, letting the oil drip back into the pan.

Serve on plates (or newspapers) with the fish nestling on a bed of chips. Vinegar, salt and tomato sauce (ketchup) should be available.


Steak and Guinness

Serves 4

1 pound eye round steak, cubed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon raisins (optional)
5 medium onions, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups (300 ml) Guinness Stout
8 slices bacon, chopped
3 ounces lard fresh parsley, chopped
double crust pie pastry

1. Cut the steak into bite-size cubes and roll in the salt and pepper seasoned flour. Brown the steak cubes in the lard with the bacon over medium heat in a heavy skillet for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown. Please the meat in a casserole dish to cool. In the remaining bacon and lard drippings sauté the onions until golden and add to the meat when browned.

2. In a mixing bowl combine raisins and brown sugar with the Guinness. Let stand for 5 minutes for raisins to plump.

3. Add the mixture to the casserole dish, cover tightly and simmer over low heat on in a very moderate oven at 325 degrees F for 2 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally and add a little more Guinness or water if the rich brown gravy gets too thick.

4. Meanwhile, line a deep pie dish with half the prepared pie crust and pre-bake as directed. Add the Guinness and beef mixture from the casserole to the baked pie crust. Cover the meat mixture with the remaining pie crust layer and bake until finished, approximately 10 minutes. Remove pie from the over to cool, slice and serve with potatoes.

5. Variations: Substitute 3 tablespoons honey for the brown sugar. Either ingredient takes the bitter bite out of the Guinness. If you do not care to cook with lard, substitute vegetable oil for browning the meats.




Minted Lamb Pie

 (serves 6)

750g – 1kg lamb or hogget
2 Tbsp oil
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 medium-sized parsnips, peeled and diced
1 leek, trimmed, washed and finely diced
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp flour
1 cup beef stock
1 cup medium sweet sherry or use beef stock
½ cup raisins
2 Tbsp barley or brown rice
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
400g packet flaky puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg, beaten (to glaze with)

Cut the lamb into 2-3cm sized pieces. Season well with salt and pepper and brown quickly in hot oil. Set aside.

Add the vegetables to the pan and stir over a moderately high heat until the vegetables begin to brown a little (you may need to add a touch more oil). Stir in the garlic and flour and cook for 1 minute. Do not overcook, as the garlic will burn.

Stir in the sherry or stock, raisins and barley or brown rice and bring to a simmer. Transfer with the lamb to a casserole and cover.

Cook at 160°C until the lamb is tender. Cool, then stir in the mint and season with salt and pepper. Before covering with pastry, cool thoroughly. (If the pastry is placed on a hot filling it will have a soggy layer underneath.)

Transfer the cold mixture to a large pie dish, preferably one with a lip. Place a pie funnel in the center if you have one, or make one from foil. Brush the rim with water or egg glaze.

Roll out the pastry to 2cm larger than the pie dish. Cut a 1cm-wide strip and press this onto the pie dish rim. Then carefully roll the larger piece of pastry over the pie, pressing the top firmly onto the pastry-covered pie rim. Do not pinch the edges together though. Trim the edges.

Brush with egg glaze, being careful to avoid any glaze going over the cut edge of the puff pastry, as it will glue the layers together and prevent them from rising.

Bake at 220°C for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to 200°C for a further 20 minutes until the puff pastry is well risen and golden and the filling is hot.