Gastropubs serve some of the best food in the country, with a lot of chefs championing local and seasonal food.But my, they can be eye-wateringly expensive.
If you'd like to cook gastropub-style nosh, but would rather stay indoors and save the hefty price tag, here are some very translatable dishes collated by Diana Henry in The Gastropub Cookbook: Another Helping.
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The book covers all regions in Britain, picking out the best pubs and recipes. We can't wait to get stuck in...
Sautéed ceps and potatoes with garlic, parsley & fried egg
A great lunch or supper dish. If your purse can’t stretch to ceps use cultivated mushrooms, or a mixture of cultivated and wild ones.
250G (9OZ) RATTE POTATOES (OR OTHER WAXY
VARIETY OF POTATO)
500G (1LB 2OZ) CEPS, WIPED CLEAN WITH A DAMP CLOTH
4–6TBSP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
100G (31⁄2OZ) BUTTER
6 CLOVES GARLIC, FINELY CHOPPED
SALT AND PEPPER
JUICE OF 1⁄2 LEMON
SMALL BUNCH FLAT-LEAF PARSLEY,
4 FREE-RANGE EGGS
- Place the potatoes in salted cold water and bring to the boil. Cook until just tender. Halve the potatoes or cut the larger ones into chunks.
- Slice the ceps 5mm (1⁄4 inch) thick. Heat 3tbsp oil in a large cast-iron frying pan and add the ceps, three-quarters of the butter and the potatoes, and cook until golden brown. Add the garlic, salt and pepper, and toss together. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and chopped parsley.
- In a separate pan, fry the eggs (without browning them), in a little olive oil and the remaining butter. Season to taste. Divide the ceps and potato mixture between 4 plates, place an egg on top of each portion, drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Brecon mutton shepherd’s pie
If you’ve only ever had shepherd’s pie made with lamb, you’re in for a treat.
900G (2LB) MUTTON SHOULDER, CUT INTO
1.5CM/1⁄2 INCH CHUNKS
4–5TBSP OLIVE OIL
2 LARGE WHITE ONIONS, FINELY CHOPPED
4 CARROTS, DICED
2 CELERY STICKS, DICED
1 SMALL SWEDE, DICED
2 X 400G CANS GOOD QUALITY
SALT AND PEPPER
SPRIG OF ROSEMARY
2 BAY LEAVES
1 BOTTLE DRY WHITE WINE
1.5KG (3LB 5OZ) MARIS PIPER POTATOES,
PEELED AND QUARTERED
250G (8OZ) SALTED WELSH BUTTER
- Preheat the oven to 140ºC/275ºF/gas mark 1. Heat a little oil in a flameproof casserole dish and brown the mutton in batches, then set the meat aside. Add a little oil in the casserole dish and brown the onion, carrots, celery and swede together until soft.
- Add the mutton to the vegetables and mix well before adding the tomatoes, seasoning, rosemary, bay leaves and finally the wine.
- Bring this to a simmer and transfer to the oven for around 4 hours. The mutton should become very tender. Cook the potatoes in salted water until tender then mash with the butter. Season well.
- When the mutton is cooked, skim off the excess fat from the top. Spoon the mutton mixture into one big pie dish, or smaller individual ones, and top with the mash. Turn the oven up to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4 and then brown the pie or pies the oven for 15–20 minutes.
Chocolate truffle cake with espresso mascarpone cream
Yes, this dessert could nearly kill you, but what a way to go…
450G (1LB) PLAIN DARK CHOCOLATE (YOU NEED
EXCELLENT STUFF, WITH 70% COCOA SOLIDS)
600ML (1 PINT) DOUBLE CREAM
FOR THE MASCARPONE CREAM
300ML (1⁄2 PINT) DOUBLE CREAM
1TBSP ICING SUGAR (OR MORE TO TASTE)
250G (9OZ) MASCARPONE
1 SHOT STRONG ESPRESSO
- Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl set over simmering water. You must not let the chocolate get too hot; the bowl should be in steam, not in water. Warm the cream and stir into the warm chocolate.
- Place a 20cm (8inch) cake ring on a flat plate. Pour the mixture into the ring and leave to set for 3 hours in the fridge. To remove the cake from the ring, place a hot dishcloth around the ring to slightly melt the edge of the cake and lift it off. Dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder.
- For the mascarpone cream, whisk the cream with the icing sugar until it forms soft peaks. In another bowl, mix the mascarpone with the shot of espresso and incorporate the cream into this mixture. Use a hot knife to cut the cake and serve with the mascarpone cream.