Nigel Slater’s Oxtail Stew & Trimmings

Nigel Slater’s Oxtail Stew & Trimmings

Serves: 4

A sudden need for a dinner seasoned with tradition and nostalgia. I pick up lumps of oxtail from the butcher’s, a jumble of bones with deep maroon meat marbled with cream-coloured fat. I cook them with sweet roots and ribs of celery, letting the heat of the oven do the work. There is red wine and beef stock, tufts of thyme and twigs of bay and I serve it in the casserole in which it is cooked, with a mash of swedes and a flat, crisp cake of potatoes. 


Olive oil 3 tbsp
Oxtail 1.5kg
Onions 3, medium
Carrots 350g
Celery 200g
Plain flour 3 heaped tbsp
Red wine 350ml, light and fruity
Beef stock 1 litre
Smoked garlic a whole head
Bay leaves 4
Thyme 6 bushy sprigs

Swede 1.5kg
Butter 50g

Potatoes 1kg, Maris Piper or similar
Olive oil 250ml
Rosemary 4 large sprigs


Warm the olive oil in a very large, deep casserole over a moderate heat. Add the pieces of oxtail and let them sizzle in the hot oil, turning them as each side darkens to a rich golden brown.


While the oxtail is browning, peel and roughly chop the onions and carrots, and cut the celery into short pieces. Remove the oxtail from the pan to a plate then tip the onions, carrots and celery into the pan, toss them in the oil and general stickiness left by the oxtail, then leave them to cook for 5 minutes. Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4.


Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, stir and continue cooking for 3 or 4 minutes until the flour is no longer white, then pour in the wine and bring to a fierce but brief bubble. Slice the head of garlic in half horizontally. Pour in the stock and bring back to the boil then season with a little salt, the garlic, bay leaves and thyme. Return the oxtail to the pan.


Lower the heat so the liquid bubbles slowly, cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 2 hours. Lift the lid, check the oxtail’s progress. If the meat still clings tightly to the bones, cover and continue cooking for a further 30 minutes or until the meat is soft and can easily be pulled from the bone. Lift the garlic out and remove the soft cloves from their skins, crush them with a fork and return them to the sauce. Check the seasoning and correct with black pepper and, if necessary, more salt.

Mashed swede and potatoes with rosemary and olive oil

Peel the swede then cut into small pieces. Pile into a steamer basket and leave to steam over a pan of boiling water, covered with a lid, until soft. Check for tenderness from 15 minutes.

Put the swede into a bowl or empty pan, add the butter in pieces and crush roughly with a potato masher or fork. Keep warm and covered.

Potatoes with rosemary and olive oil

Should the oxtail be ready before the potatoes, remove it from the oven (it will come to no harm, with its lid in place) and turn the heat up to 220C/gas mark 8, until the potatoes are the requisite golden brown.

You will need a 25cm ovenproof frying pan that doesn’t stick. Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4. Scrub the potatoes (I don’t think you should feel the need to peel them) and slice very thinly. Pour the olive oil into a mixing bowl. Finely chop half of the rosemary, leaving the rest on their stems and add to the bowl. Grind in a little black pepper then add the potatoes and gently turn them over in the seasoned oil. Cover the base of the pan with a single layer of slices, each overlapping the other and adding a little salt as you go. Place a second layer on top, then another and so on, until all the potatoes are used up. Pour any remaining oil over the top.

Bake the potatoes in the preheated oven for 1 hour or until the top layer is golden and lightly crisp at the edges.

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Chicken with creamy sweetcorn, green beans and spring onions

Chicken with creamy sweetcorn, green beans and spring onions

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes 

This chicken dish with sweetcorn, green beans and a creamy sauce is an easy dinner for two, but it’s also good enough for date night.


Drizzle of olive oil
2 large, chicken breasts 
300ml fresh chicken stock
200g sweetcorn kernels
150g green beans
Splash of cream
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
Small bunch spring onions, trimmed


Heat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Heat a drizzle of oil in an ovenproof frying pan. Fry the chicken breasts, skin-side down, for 3 minutes or until the skin is crisp. Turn the chicken over, then put the pan in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until the meat is cooked.


Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a pan until simmering. Add the sweetcorn kernels and green beans, simmer until tender, then remove with a slotted spoon and divide among two warmed dishes (leave the pan on the heat). Add a splash of cream and the wholegrain mustard to the stock, then bubble to thicken slightly. Season to taste.


Slice the spring onions and stir into the sauce. Cut each chicken breast in half and divide among the plates, then spoon over the sauce.

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Pork Loin with garlic and sage calvados sauce

Pork Loin with garlic and sage calvados sauce

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 45-55 minutes

This impressive pork loin steak recipe, with a garlic and sage calvados sauce, is the perfect romantic meal for two on Valentine’s Day or just wanting a romantic meal. 


Pork loin Steaks 800g
1 tsp sea salt flakes
Vegetable oil
Large bunch spring onions, roots trimmed
30g butter
200g shallots, peeled and halved
3 garlic cloves, sliced
200ml calvados or British cider brandy (or see tip)
150ml chicken stock
½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
Handful fresh sage leaves
1 large bunch watercress


Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Remove the skin along with most of the attached layer of fat from the pork. Rub the salt into the score marks in the skin, then set aside.


Heat a glug of oil in a large ovenproof frying pan. When hot, season the chop, then add it to the pan and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side, including the fatty part where the skin was attached, until caramelised and browned.


Transfer the chop, in the pan, to the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Add the spring onions around the chop and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until cooked through and a digital probe inserted into the thickest part reads 65°C (the temperature will continue to rise to 75°C after you take it out). Remove the pork and onions from the pan and rest on a board, covered in foil. Turn up the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/ gas 9. Put the salted skin on a wire rack on top of a roasting tray lined with baking paper and roast for 15-20 minutes until crisp and puffed.


Meanwhile, in another deep frying pan, melt the butter and add the shallots. Gently fry for 10 minutes, then add the garlic and cook gently, stirring, for another 2 minutes.


Carefully pour in the calvados or cider brandy (or see tip) and stock, then bubble to reduce by half. Taste, season with salt and pepper and stir in the mustard and sage. In a bowl, toss the roasted spring onions through the watercress. Cut the joint into 2 chops and serve with the crackling, sauce and greens.

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Rib Eye steak with pesto hollandaise and skinny oven chips

Rib Eye steak with pesto hollandaise and skinny oven chips

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 50 minutes 

Cooking Time: 50 minutes 

This recipe is maximum-pleasure, minimum-fuss, bistro-style take on steak and chips. It’s perfect for a night in when you want to cook and serve a Saturday-night meal to remember – or impress a date or Valentine.


2 large Maris Piper potatoes, sliced into thin fries
2 tbsp Munns Duck Fat (buy it in a jar or use leftovers from roasting a duck)
2 tbsp fine Polenta
850g Rib Eye Steak at room temperature
Rapeseed oil for frying

INGREDIENTS- Pesto hollandaise

1 garlic clove, chopped
Small bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Small bunch fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 tsp sea salt flakes
Zest and juice 1 lemon
40g Parmesan, grated
50ml olive oil
2 medium free-range egg yolks
1 tsp white wine vinegar
110g unsalted butter, cubed


Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 6. Put the fries in cold water and soak for 20 minutes. Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Put the duck fat in a large roasting tin and heat in the oven for 5 minutes until very hot but not smoking.


Add the chips to the hot fat, toss to coat, then sprinkle over the polenta, season with salt and toss again. Roast for 50 minutes, turning now and then, or until golden and crisp.


Meanwhile, make the pesto hollandaise (see tip). In the small bowl of a food processor (or in a pestle and mortar), whizz/pound the garlic, herbs, salt, lemon zest and juice and parmesan, then drizzle in the olive oil and whizz/pound again.


Put the egg yolks and vinegar in a small glass/ceramic bowl and set over a pan of simmering water over a low heat (don’t let the base of the bowl touch the water). Using a wooden spoon, beat the egg yolks for a minute, then start adding the butter a cube at a time, beating all the time with the wooden spoon until the mixture has emulsified into a smooth sauce. Turn off the heat but leave the bowl over the pan. Just before serving, stir in the pesto.


Once the chips have had 
20 minutes in the oven, heat an ovenproof griddle pan (or frying pan), rub the steak on each side with a little rapeseed oil and season with salt. When the pan is smoking hot, cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until deep brown all over. Put the pan in the oven below the chips and roast for 15-20 minutes until the thermometer reads 55°C (for medium-rare). Take out of the oven and rest on a warm plate, turning once, for 5-10 minutes. Serve on a platter with the chips and a bowl of the pesto hollandaise. Slice the steak and enjoy.

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Easy Pulled Pork

Easy Pulled Pork

This pulled pork recipe is fall apart tender, juicy, and packed with flavour from the perfect seasoning! This pulled pork can be made in the slow cooker or oven.


2½ kg boneless pork shoulder, skin removed

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp mustard powder

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp onion salt


Brioche buns



Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2.


Rub the pork with 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Heat a large non-stick pan until very hot and sear the pork on all sides until golden brown.


Place the meat on a wire rack in a roasting tin. Mix the paprika, mustard powder, garlic and onion salt, and some black pepper with the liquid smoke, if using. Brush all over the meat.


Add 1 cup of water to the roasting tin, cover very tightly with foil and cook for 5 hrs or until almost falling apart.


Drain the juices from the meat into a measuring jug. Shred the pork using 2 forks, discarding the fat. Skim off the fat from the juices.


Mix 125ml of the juices with 4 tbsp BBQ and pour over the meat. Keep warm until serving, or reheat.


To assemble, pile the meat into the halved brioche buns, spoon over the BBQ sauce, top with coleslaw and pickles, and sandwich together. Serve. 

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Sesame, Soy & Honey Marinated Beef Fillet

Sesame, Soy & Honey Marinated Beef Fillet

Serves: 8 

This melt-in-your-mouth marinated beef fillet will be the star of your next summer spread. 

Although a beef fillet is an expensive cut of meat, there is not a morsel of waste and every mouthful will melt in your mouth. Preparation time is minimal with a simple marinade which doesn't overpower the fillet and allows it to keep its delightful flavour. Don’t forget to rest the meat before serving to allow all the juices to be absorbed and to ensure the meat is even more succulent.


32g soy
32g mirin
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp grated ginger
2 Tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seed
1kg (approx.) piece beef fillet
1 Tbsp oil
Watercress and extra sesame seeds to serve


Into a small bowl place the soy, mirin, sesame oil, ginger, honey, garlic and sesame seeds, mixing well.


Place the beef into a sealable plastic bag. Add the marinade tossing to combine well. Marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.


Preheat an oven to 200C.


Remove the fillet from the bag, reserving the marinade, and pat the fillet dry. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Sear all sides of the fillet, then place into the oven for 18 minutes. Remove and allow to sit for 15 minutes.


Slice thinly with a dribble of the marinade on top, watercress and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.


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Healing Buddha Bowl

Healing Buddha Bowl

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Calories: 640kcal

This Buddha bowl is filled with all the macros you need for a healthy dinner and a perfect way to start off any new diet. 


2 x (8-oz.) Beef Fillet (3/4-inch-thick) 
¾ tsp. ground black pepper

100g pearled barley, dry

225g cubed sweet potato

225g julienne pepper strips

2bsp olive oil

120g baby leaf spinach 

120g rocket 

1/2 can no added salt black beans, drained and rinsed

1 medium tomato cut into slices 

4sp pumpkin seeds 

4 spring onions 


1 x carrot, peeled and chopped

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp rice vinegar 

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

2 tsp honey 

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated 

1 tsp Dijon mustard 

1 garlic clove



Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pat steaks dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper; set aside.


Cook barley according to package directions. Line a large rimmed baking pan with foil. Combine sweet potatoes and peppers; toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Spread on prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.


Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook steaks for 6 minutes for medium-rare (130 degrees) turning once halfway through. Let rest for 5 minutes. Cut steaks across the grain into strips.


Make Fresh Carrot Vinaigrette: Place carrot, olive oil, rice vinegar, lime juice, honey, ginger, Dijon mustard and garlic in a blender. Cover and blend until well combined and smooth.


Combine spinach and rocket; divide among serving bowls. Top with steak strips, barley, sweet potatoes, peppers, black beans, and sliced tomato. Drizzle with Fresh Carrot Vinaigrette and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and spring onions.

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Sticky Treacle Glazed Ham

Sticky Treacle Glazed Ham

Serves: 6

A fantastic alternative to turkey. Eat as the main meal, then use it for Boxing Day brunch or cook one as a back up for unexpected guests. The stock makes delicious gravy.


  • Unsmoked ham 3½ - 4kg (7lb 10oz-9lb), boned, rolled piece
  • Oranges 2, 1 cut into wedges, the other grated for zest and juiced
  • Cinnamon stick 1
  • English mustard 2 tbsp
  • Black treacle 85g (3½oz)
  • Cloves, handful
  • Bay leaves, big bunch, to serve (optional)


If you need to soak the ham to remove excess salt, do so the night before.


Heat oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4. Place the ham, skin-side up, in a deep roasting tin, then add enough water to cover the base of the tin. Scatter the orange wedges and cinnamon stick around. Cover the pan with a tight tent of foil, then cook for about 2½ hrs. (If using a different weight of ham, you want 20 mins per 450g.)


While the ham is cooking, mix the mustard, treacle and orange zest together with enough orange juice to make a mixture loose enough to paint over the ham.


When the ham has had its time, remove the roasting tin from the oven and turn up the heat to 220°C / fan 200°C / Gas 7. Remove the foil, leave the ham until cool enough to handle, then pour away any liquid in the tin. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut away the skin to leave an even layer of fat. Use the tip of the knife to score the ham fat diagonally at 3cm intervals – first in one direction, then the other, to produce a diamond pattern. Liberally paint the glaze over the fat, then stud with the cloves at the points of the diamond shapes.


Roast the ham for 30 mins until glazed and just beginning to char around the edges. Leave to cool. Serve warm or cold, decorated with the bay leaves and orange wedges.

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Turkey Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Cranberry Mustard

Turkey Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Cranberry Mustard

Perhaps it’s a good thing Christmas only happens once a year.  This decadent turkey grilled cheese sandwich with cranberry mustard might be a little over the top, but once a year, it seems reasonable, doesn’t it? The perfect way to use up all your leftover turkey! 

Use what cheese you have on hand. I happened to have brie, but any meltable cheese you like will taste good here. White cheddar, gruyere, mozzarella, swiss, etc. 

To make the Cranberry Mustard, simply mix cranberry sauce with whole grain mustard! It’s delicious!

Layer the bread, turkey, cheese, and a generous helping of cranberry mustard and a few leaves of thyme.

Pan-sear in a skillet on each side in a mixture of butter and oil, until perfectly golden. 

Finish the sandwich in a warm oven until the brie is melty. Cut and serve with a green salad.

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Roasted Turkey and Brie Holly Mini Bites

Roasted Turkey and Brie Holly Mini Bites

Prep: 20 min

Broil: 5 min. + cooling

Makes: 24


1 French bread baguette
Mayonnaise 57g
Garlic paste 1-1/2 tsp
12 slices cooked turkey, halved
Apple sauce 57g

Fig jam/chutney 57g
24 fresh baby spinach leaves
Brie 120g
Sweetened dried cranberries 43g


1. Preheat broiler. Cut baguette into 24 slices; place on foil-lined baking sheets. Combine mayonnaise and garlic; spread evenly over baguette slices. Add a half slice of chicken to each. Combine apple sauce and fig jam; spread evenly over chicken.

2. Add one baby spinach leaf and slice of brie to each slice.

3. Top with 3 cranberries. Broil 3-4 in. from heat until cheese is melted, 1-2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

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Extra Lean Burgers

Extra Lean Burgers

Forget fat-packed takeaway burgers. Tuck into our homemade 'fakeaway' treat ready for the New Year resolution. 

This meal provides 255 kcal, 36g protein, 6g carbohydrate (of which 5.5g sugars), 7g fat (of which 2.5g saturates), 3g fibre and 0.4g salt per portion.

  • low-calorie cooking spray
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • 100g/3½oz Portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 250g/9oz extra-lean beef mince (under 5% fat)
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme (or ½ tsp dried thyme)
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 1  little gem lettuce, leaves separated
  • 120g/4½oz cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/3 cucumber, sliced
  1. Serve the burgers with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber.

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Christmas Cooking Timeline

Christmas Cooking Timeline

Tips for serving your Christmas lunch at 2pm for 6 people. 


Roast Turkey



Cider roast turkey
Glazed apples & pears with sticky shallots
Chestnut & cranberry roll
Creamy parsnip & squash bake
Crisp-topped sprouts
Christmas spiced red cabbage
Buttery caraway carrots
Golden roast potatoes
Bread & walnut sauce
Cranberry & Champagne sauce


Getting ahead

All make-ahead dishes should be kept in the fridge or freezer until ready to be cooked.


Up to one month ahead

  • Parboil and freeze the golden roast potatoes
  • Make the stuffing and freeze
  • Prep the spiced cabbage

Up to four days ahead

  • Make the cranberry sauce 
  • Bake the Christmas pudding if you have made this

Christmas Eve

  • Roast the stuffing – keep in the foil
  • Boil or steam the crisp topped sprouts and prepare the topping
  • Steam the buttery carrots
  • Defrost anything frozen in the fridge
  • Cut the parsnips and roast

Christmas Day

9.30am: Stuff the turkey, weigh and calculate cooking time. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.

10am: Put the turkey in to roast (timings based on a 4.5kg turkey).

11am & 12pm: Check the roasting tin- add more cider if needed.

12.30pm: Remove the foil from the turkey to let it brown.

1pm: Leave the turkey to rest. Put the potatoes in the oven to roast, if frozen (if not, put in at 1.10pm). Make the gravy.

1.30pm: Turn oven up to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Turn the potatoes and add the stuffing to oven to reheat.

1.45pm: Cover the parsnips with foil and put into the oven to reheat. Finish sprouts, carrots, cabbage and cranberry sauce. Take foil off the stuffing.

2pm: Serve and enjoy! Warm the pudding in the oven’s residual head while you eat.

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