Serves 4-6 people.
Chef’s tip: Make this at least 6 hours before you plan on eating it. The flavours will develop the longer you leave it.
- 500g lean beef mince (a bit less/more works just fine if you can’t get the exact weight)
- 100ml red wine
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
- 2 tins of plum tomatoes
- 1x 200g tube of tomato puree
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Dry basil
- Dry oregano
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan on a medium-high heat.
- Add the mince and use a whisk to break it up and remove any chunks. Cook the mince until all of the liquid has evaporated and the meat is starting to brown/stick to the pan (don’t worry, it will come off). This will take your bolognese to another level of flavour.
- Season the mince with salt and pepper and add the red wine. About 100ml is fine.
- Cook for about a minute to release the alcohol and then add the onions and garlic.
- Cook for another 5mins or so to soften the onions then add the tomatoes. Break them up with a spoon/masher/knife if you want smaller chunks.
- Add about half of the puree (you might need to add a bit more later), a dash Worcestershire sauce, a good sprinkle of basil and oregano – I’d say around a tablespoon of each.
- Re-season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn down to simmer with a lid on for as long as you possibly can leave it. Minimum should be an hour but if you can leave it for hours, occasionally stirring it then even better.
- Taste it every time you stir and see if you need to add any more seasoning/puree.
- When you put your water on to boil for the pasta, add a pinch of sugar to the sauce.
- Serve with your choice of pasta and maybe some garlic bread 😉
Serves 4. Great with fresh cream or custard.
For the puddings
- 125g pitted dates
- 100ml boiling water
- 50g unsalted butter
- 80g light or dark muscovado sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 100g self raising flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 60ml whole or semi-skimmed milk
For the toffee sauce
- 40g unsalted butter
- 80g light or dark muscovado sugar
- 60ml single or double cream
- Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan
- Grease 4 ramekins
- Soak the dates in the boiled water for a few minutes, then drain and whizz into a paste.
- Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth and creamy.
- Add the egg a bit at a time, making sure to beat it in well.
- Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in a bowl, then add a third to the mixture and fold it in.
- Add half of the milk and mix it well.
- Continue with the next third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and the final third of the dry.
- Mix in the date paste.
- Split the mixture between the four ramekins and bake for 20-25mins.
- The sauce only takes 10 minutes so you can start as the puddings are almost done or let the puddings cool and use them later on.
- Add the butter, sugar and 40ml of the cream to a pan and melt over a low heat.
- Stir consistently for 7-10mins until all of the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is a dark toffee colour.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 20ml of cream.
- Turn the puddings out onto a plate/bowl and spoon the toffee sauce on top.
Serves 4-6 people
Chef’s Tip: Try my custard recipe which goes perfectly with this crumble!
For the filling:
- 3-4 cooking apples
- 100-120g blackberries
- 30g unsalted butter
- 30g demerera sugar (or golden caster sugar)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
For the crumble:
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 100g plain flour
- 80g butter
- Optional: 1tbsp soft brown sugar
- Optional: 2tbsp ground almonds
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6
- Peel and chop the apples into small cubes.
- Put the butter and sugar in a medium/large saucepan and melt together over a medium heat until it turns into a light caramel (around 3mins).
- Stir in the apples and cook for 3-5mins.
- Add the blackberries and cinnamon and cook for another 3mins.
- Cover with a lid and remove from the heat to sit for another few minutes while you make the topping.
- Add the sugar, flour and butter to a mixing bowl.
- At this point you can also add the optional ingredients which I highly recommend!
- Use your hands to combine the ingredients until they are crumbly.
- Sprinkle the topping over your filling and bake for 10mins or until golden and crunchy on top.