Best of British

Best of British


Few dots of butter

600g short crust pastry, bought or homemade

A little flour

85g dried bread crumbs

400g good quality sausage meat

200g smoked bacon lardons

¼ tsp each of ground mace, ground pepper and dried sage

A couple of eggs, beaten


Heat the oven to 200c \ 180 fan or GM6.  Line each hole of the muffin tin with a thin strip of baking parchment across the middle that’s long enough so the ends stick out a centimetre or two – use a dab of butter to stick in place.

Roll out two thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface and stamp out 12 x 10cm circles.

Sprinkle 1 tsp of breadcrumbs into the base of each pie. Tip the rest of the crumbs into a mixing bowl. Add the sausage meat, along with the bacon, mace, pepper, sage and just a little salt. Get your hands in and mash and squish everything together until the breadcrumbs have just about disappeared. Divide mixture between the holes, packing in firmly and shaping to a dome in the middle.

Roll out the remaining pastry and stamp out 12 x 7cm circles.

Brush with a little egg and add a top to each pie, egg-side down to stick, carefully pressing pastry edges together to seal. Brush with more egg (don’t throw away leftovers).

Bake for 30 mins until golden then carefully remove the pies from the tin, using the parchment ends to help you lift them out.

Sit on a parchment lined baking tray, brush all-round the sides with more egg and put back in the oven for 8 mins. Cool completely then eat with piccalilli, or your favourite pickle.



½ cauliflower

½ large onion

4 large shallots

Salt and ground black pepper

½ cucumber

60g fine beans or runners cut

½ pint white wine vinegar

150ml malt vinegar

Large pinch dried chilli flakes

175g caster sugar

25g English mustard powder

15g ground turmeric

1 ½ tbsp. cornflour


Cut cauliflower in to small florets peel and cut onions and shallots in to ½ “ dice place in a bowl, sprinkle with 25g salt and leave in the fridge over night

Rinse in cold water to remove salt and dry

Deseed the cucumber (peeling is optional) cut in to ½ “ dice lightly salt and leave for 30 minutes

Place the vinegars in a sauce pan, add chilli bring to boil and leave to stand for 15 minutes to infuse (add more chilli if you like it more spicy)

Mix the corn flour with the turmeric and the sugar, add a little of the cooled vinegar to form a paste, reboil the remaining vinegar and sieve on to the sugar mix; stir in well pour back in to pan bring back to boil and simmer for 2 – 3 minutes.

Pour over the cauliflower, add the cucumber, mix together check seasoning and cool.  Serve with pork pies, cold meats and cheeses.



125g/4oz plain flour
pinch of salt
5g/2oz butter, cubed
30-45ml/2-3 tbsp cold water

Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the cubes of butter.

Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining. Try to work quickly so that it does not become greasy.

Using a knife, stir in just enough of the cold water to bind the dough together.

Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 10-15 minutes before using.

Alternatively using a food processor, put the flour, butter and salt in the food processor and pulse until the fat is rubbed into the flour.

With the motor running, gradually add the water through the funnel until the dough comes together. Only add enough water to bind it and then stop.

Wrap the dough in cling film as before and chill for 10-15 minutes before using



200 g baby spinach

Freshly grated nutmeg

½ lemon

2 English muffins

4 small free-range eggs

Tsp salt

2tbsp white wine vinegar

80g crisp pancetta


For the hollandaise


100g unsalted butter

2 large free-range egg yolks

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1tbsp white wine vinegar


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Heat a heavy bottomed pan, add oil and sauté the spinach with a grating of nutmeg and a good pinch of sea salt and pepper. Cook to wilt the spinach, remove and drain off excess water, then add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste, and keep warm.


Place the pancetta on a tray and grill or place in oven to crisp up


To make the hollandaise, melt the butter in a small pan. Put the egg yolks into a heatproof bowl along with vinegar and mustard over a pan of gently simmering water and whisk constantly until you obtain a froth. Now slowly pour the melted butter into the egg, drizzling slowly and whisking all the time, remove and it should be thick and creamy.


Season and add a little lemon.
Poach the eggs; place a pot of water on the heat bring to boil, add salt and white wine vinegar set the water to a light simmer and stir the water then add the eggs simmer for 3 -4 minutes depending on size, remove with a spoon.


Cut the muffins in half and toast on both sides and place on four plates, top with the spinach, then the pancetta, a drizzle of hollandaise then the egg and then finely coat in hollandaise.




250g rhubarb washed and chopped

50g sugar


For the custard

125ml milk

125ml double cream

150ml sugar

3 egg yolks

1 vanilla pod scraped

20g cornflour


150ml double cream lightly whipped

Red food colouring (optional)

Place rhubarb and sugar in a sauce pan place on a low heat and allow to stew, when cooked blitz in a food processor until smooth


Custard; bring the cream and milk with the vanilla to the boil, whisk the egg and sugar together until pale, add the corn flour and mix in well.


Pour the milk over the eggs, stir in and place back on the heat and stir, bring to the boil simmer for one minute remove and cool


Once cool place in a mixer and beat to soften then add the rhubarb (add red food colouring if using) mix in well then fold in the whipped cream, spoon into glasses and serve.