The minced beef patties should be oval to give them the shape of beef fillets. Once the burgers are cooked, prepare the delicious peppered mushroom sauce in the same pan for added flavour. For even more oomph, you can also add a drizzle of whiskey to the sauce. Served with a dollop of warm mash, it’s a surefire hit.
Next is one of my all-time favourite desserts: a rich confit lemon tart.
On top of bringing extra colour, texture and hiding any issues, the confit lemon gives a gorgeous zingy flavour. Once you’ve perfected it, you’ll want to drizzle it over everything — porridge, natural yoghurt, ice cream... even blanched green vegetables. It lifts any dish that needs a burst of flavour.
Ingredients (serves 6-8): ■ 250g sweet pastry (see top tip) ■ 5 lemons, juice and zest ■ 1 lemon, quarered ■ 5 eggs ■ 320g caster sugar ■ 300g butter, cubed
Mehtod: 1. Preheat oven to 180C. 2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Press into an 8-inch tart tin, and trim any excess pastry with the back of a knife. Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to rest — this will help to prevent shrinkage during cooking. 3. Line the tin with ceramic blind baking beans, and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Then remove the ceramic beans and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until fully blind baked. 4. Meanwhile, prepare the lemon confit. Place the lemon zest in a saucepan and add the lemon quarters. Cover with water and bring to the boil. 5. Once boiling, remove from the heat and pour the liquid through a fine sieve to catch the zest and lemon quarters. Repeat the process two more times, draining the liquid each time. 6. Once the zest and lemon have been boiled three times, place back in the saucepan and add 100g caster sugar, 100ml lemon juice and a little water. Bring to a simmer for a further 5-8 minutes, until the zest and lemon are confit and the liquid has reduced to a syrup. Set aside until needed. 7. Next, prepare the lemon filling. Pour 200ml lemon juice into a saucepan and add the eggs and 220g sugar. Whisk over a gentle heat for approximately 5 minutes, without allowing the liquid to boil. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the butter until well combined. 8. Pour the lemon filling into the blind baked tart case, and set aside to cool at room temperature until set. 9. Drizzle the lemon syrup, zest, and a few slices of the confit lemon over the tart. Store in an airtight container and enjoy within a day or so.
Ingredients (serves 4: ■ 500g minced beef ■ 1 garlic clove, chopped ■ 2 onions, chopped ■ 4 tbsp breadcrumbs ■ 1 tsp mixed herbs ■ 1 tbsp oil ■ 30g butter ■ 200g button mushrooms, sliced ■ 2 tbsp plain flour (optional) ■ 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard ■ 500ml beef stock ■ 100ml cream ■ 8 tbsp mashed potatoes ■ 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped ■ Salt and pepper, to taste
Method: 1. In a bowl, combine the minced beef, garlic, one onion, breadcrumbs and herbs. Form four oval-shaped patties and place in the fridge to set for 20 minutes. 2. In a sauté pan, over medium heat, drizzle the oil and add the beef patties. Cook for 5 minutes on each side then remove from the pan and set aside. 3. In the same pan, add the butter, mushrooms and second onion. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly coloured. If using the flour, sprinkle over the vegetables and cook for a further 45-60 seconds. 4. Slowly stir in the wholegrain mustard, and pour in the beef stock and cream. Season with salt and pepper, and return the beef patties to the pan. 5. Simmer for 2-4 minutes over low heat to reduce the sauce and ensure the beef patties are cooked through. 6. Serve over mashed potatoes with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley.
TOP TIP:TART UP YOUR PASTRY SKILLS WITH THIS SWEET FOOLPROOF RECIPE
I often get asked about shortcrust and sweet pastry and which is the best for baking — shortcrust is more crumbly, and sweet pastry more sandy when baked. Use your favourite, but I prefer to use the following sweet pastry. In a bowl, combine 125g soft butter with 85g icing sugar. Add 1 egg and stir in 250g plain flour to form a smooth dough. Rest the dough in the fridge to let the butter set. Once cool, you are