Made with intensely flavoured collar of bacon, this recipe may be old-fashioned, but it's the best of British
- 1½ kg smoked bacon collar joint, soaked overnight if needed (see tip)
- 1 small pack rosemary, leaves picked and very finely chopped
- 1 onion
- 20 cloves
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 carrot, halved
- 2 celery sticks, halved
- 1 garlic bulb, halved through the equator
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- For the sauce 50g butter
- 25g plain flour
- 300ml bacon stock (use the cooking liquid from the bacon collar)
- 6 tbsp chopped parsley
MethodTo do this, remove any string that’s been used to tie the meat, then use a knife to carefully run along the natural seams of the muscles, being careful not to cut all the way through to the other side – you are just trying to make some incisions in the joint, not cut all the way through it. Open it out as much as you can and rub the rosemary all over the exposed meat, then fold the bacon back onto itself. Tie securely with 3 pieces of butcher’s twine, spaced about 2cm apart.
- 900g whole piece of rindless, unsmoked back bacon
- 3 tbsp clear honey
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- chopped parsley, to serve
- 2 leeks, trimmed, green and white parts separted and both finely sliced
- small knob of butter
- 3 potatoes, boiled and mashed
- 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
- 3 tbsp double cream
- 1 medium egg yolk
- 50g butter
- 5 Savoy cabbages leaves, finely shredded
- 1 small potato, finely diced
- 4 tbsp white wine
- 200ml double cream
- Place the bacon in one tier of a steamer, cover and steam for 45 mins, then allow to cool. Once cooled, slice into 4 thick chops and set aside.
- To make the potato cakes, fry the dark green part of the leek in a little butter, and mix well with the potato, flour, cream and egg yolk, then mould into four small round discs. Set aside until ready to serve.
- To make the sauce, melt half the butter in a pan and add the cabbage and potato. Cook slowly for 5 mins, then pour in the white wine and reduce by half. Add the cream and reduce by half. Season and remove from the heat. Stir the rest of the butter into the sauce and keep warm until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Lay the bacon on a roasting tray and brush with the honey. Roast for 10-15 mins, until the honey caramelises, brushing the chops with the sticky juices halfway through. Sweat the remaining white part of the leeks and tomatoes in some butter for 3 mins, then season. Fry the potato cakes in the remaining butter for 2 mins on each side. To serve, place a potato cake on each plate with a spoonful of leek and cherry tomatoes. Lay a bacon chop over the top, drizzle the sauce on the plate, scatter over a little chopped parsley and serve.
- 2 lemons, 1 halved and 1 juiced
- 4 globe artichokes
- 200g butter, chilled
- 1 glass dry white wine (about 100ml/3½fl oz)
- 25g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil with the lemon halves. Cut the stalk off the artichokes. Drop them into the water and boil for 40-45 mins.
- Dice the butter. Pour the wine into a pan, reduce by half, reduce heat and whisk in the butter one small piece at a time. Whisk in the Parmesan and lemon juice.
- To eat, pull off the leaves, dip the broken end into the sauce, eat this and discard the rest. When you reach the middle, lift out the central leaves, scrape away the hairy choke and eat the artichoke heart.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 25g clarified butter (see Know-how, below)
- 2 fillet steaks (ideally beef matured for 3-5 weeks), about 140g/5oz each, at room temperature
- knob of butter
- 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 6 medium mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tsp green and pink peppercorn, crushed
- 3 tbsp brandy
- 100ml red wine
- 200ml good-quality beef stock
- 3 tbsp double cream
- Heat a frying pan over a medium-to-high heat, then pour in the oil and the clarified butter. Season the steaks with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and cook to your liking (2 mins each side for medium-rare, 3 mins each side for medium, depending on the thickness of your steaks). Be sure to seal the rounded edges, too. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the knob of butter to the pan, then fry the shallots, mushrooms and peppercorns over a medium heat for 5 mins, until the shallots have softened and the mushrooms browned. Return the steaks to the pan. Heat the brandy in a metal ladle, light with a match then carefully pour into the hot pan, standing as far back as you can. Once the pan has stopped flaming, remove the steaks again.
- Pour the wine into the pan, turn up the heat and boil rapidly until reduced by half. This will take about 5 mins. Add the stock and reduce again, this time by two-thirds. Stir the cream in to the sauce and allow it to thicken slightly. Check the sauce for seasoning, then return the fillets to the pan to warm through, spooning the sauce over. Serve straight away.