Your shareable dishes are a pleasure to dig into this week, including a brisket, a brie and a leek pie.
Some foods - pizzas and pies, dim sum and dips, tapas and mezze - were made for sharing. There's something very convivial about digging into the same plate, portioning out a roast chicken with the usual jokes about breast or leg, or passing round the soup ladle.
John Loydall's slow-cooked joint of beef proved particularly popular around the table, with everyone teasing off a greedy chunk with their fork, together with a spoonful of rich, glossy sauce - but we also loved Betty Bee's peppery, caramelised spin on a classic baked cheese; and Mrs Lupton Jones's seaweed and pork dumplings, which proved as fun to make together as they were to eat.
The winning recipe: 12-hour brisket
Any good butcher will sell brisket, and the larger the piece you can get the better. The only problem with this dish? Once you've cooked it, you'll want to cook it every weekend. John Loydall via GuardianWitness
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 beef brisket (size depending on how many you're feeding)
For the baste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
300ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
Dark soy sauce, to taste
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
½ tbsp white wine vinegar
240ml orange juice
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp runny honey
2 tsp demerara sugar
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp coriander seed
2 tsp black peppercorn
1 tsp smoked paprika
Squeeze of lime juice (optional)
1 Preheat the oven to 120C/250F. Gently fry the onion and garlic in the oil for 10 minutes. Combine with the other stock ingredients, then fine tune to your taste: the mixture should have a fully rounded flavour, deep and sweet with a decent twang - maybe add a squeeze of lime if you think it needs it.
2 Heat the remaining oil in a large ovenproof pan and brown the meat on all sides. Add the stock and cover the pan tightly with foil.
3 Bake for about 12 hours, checking and basting at least every hour. If the stock runs dry you can add more water, but if the foil's tight, it shouldn't. After about 11 hours, uncover to help brown the outside and reduce the stock.
4 Place the meat on a warm serving plate, cut into chunks and then shred with a fork. Pour over any remaining stock to serve.
Warm brie with peppered caramel
This is ideal to share - I just serve it whole and let everyone dig in. It's nice as a quick lunch dish with bread and salad, or it could be served before dessert at a dinner party. Betty Bee via GuardianWitness
200g piece of brie
2 tsp black pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Put the sugar in a small saucepan with 2 tbsp water. Bring to the boil and cook until it's a dark caramel colour.
2 Remove from the heat and add a further 3 tbsp water. Leave to cool.
3 Unwrap the cheese and place on an ovenproof serving dish. Top with the caramel and pepper. Bake for 5-10 minutes and serve warm.
Chocolate and salted almond brittle
I love almond brittle: it is easy to make, looks great and you can make a large quantity to share with your friends and family. In my version I have added dark chocolate to pare down the sweetness of the caramel. Valerie Wong, London, twinnydip.blogspot.co.uk
100g flaked almonds
100g golden caster sugar
50g butter, plus extra for greasing
4 tbsp water
½ tsp salt
1 Toast the flaked almonds in either a frying pan on a medium heat, or in an oven for 5 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Set aside to cool completely.
2 Heat the sugar, butter, water and salt on a medium heat, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil for about 5 minutes, or until lightly golden. Stir occasionally.
3 Meanwhile, lightly grease a baking tray and evenly lay out the almonds. Pour the caramel over the nuts and let it cool completely.
4 In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a bain marie. Tip and spread it over the caramel and leave it to harden.
5 Once cooled and hardened, either shatter the almond brittle to serve, or let everyone break a piece for themselves.
Pork and seaweed gyoza
Makes about 20
For the filling
25g dried seaweed
500g minced pork
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp finely diced or grated ginger root
2 spring onions, halved lengthways and sliced
4 water chestnuts, finely chopped
Dash of sesame oil
Vegetable oil, to fry
For the wrappers
60ml boiling water
150g plain flour, plus extra to dust
For the dipping sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sweet chilli sauce
½ tsp sesame oil
1 Soak the seaweed in warm water according to packet instructions, then drain and rinse lightly. Finely slice and mix with the remaining filling ingredients (except the vegetable oil) and chill for an hour.
2 To make the dough, gradually stir the water into the flour with chopsticks, then knead by hand once the water is cool enough. It should be ever so slightly sticky; add a little more water if necessary. Rest under a damp tea towel for about 10 minutes.
3 Separate the dough into 2.5cm balls then roll out on a lightly floured surface to just under 1mm thick. Put a scant teaspoon of the pork mixture in the middle, wet the edges then seal the dumpling tightly.
4 Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan and fry the dumplings until golden, then flip and repeat. Pour enough water into the pan so that the dumplings are about a quarter covered, spacing them out well, then cover and steam until the water has evaporated.
5 Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the dipping sauce together, and serve with the cooked dumplings.
World war two leek pie
This is my mother's recipe from the second world war. I was born in 1941 in rural Worcestershire, near Malvern, and have been preparing and sharing it regularly since, even after living in Canada for 40 years. 654frayne via GuardianWitness
6-8 floury potatoes, peeled and eyed
3-4 large leeks, trimmed and washed
6-8 slices of streaky bacon
Butter, to grease
80ml whole milk
Salt and white pepper
1 Slice the potatoes very thinly, cut the leeks into 3mm-thick slices and the bacon into 5cm-long pieces.
2 Butter the sides and bottom of a 25 x 25 x 10cm deep ovenproof dish with a lid.
3 Cover the bottom with a layer of potato and then a layer of leek. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Lay 4 or 5 pieces on top of the leeks. Repeat these layers 2 or 3 more times depending on how much you have left, finishing with a layer of potatoes. Top with 3 or 4 small pats of butter. Pour the milk over the top.
4 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Cover the dish and bake for an hour and 15 minutes until cooked through. Uncover and continue baking for a further 5-10 minutes until the potatoes on top are a pale golden brown. Serve with fried eggs, sausage and HP sauce.
Seven vegetable tagines
Surely Moroccan food is the most shareable food in the world, with its generosity of portions and the way it is served with one large dish in the middle for everyone to dip into. This recipe combines chunks of marrow or butternut squash, onions, garlic, a few peas, carrots, plus the last of the home-grown tomatoes, potatoes, and seasoned with a chilli, all from our garden. Ruth Joseph and Sarah Nathan, Cardiff, veggischmooze.blogspot.com
1 tbsp olive oil
4 medium onions, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 small carrots, peeled and cut into 8cm lengths
500g fresh tomatoes
400g tin of chopped tomatoes in juice
500g waxy potatoes
1 large marrow or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped in 5cm chunks
1 whole fresh chilli, slit but left whole
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground ginger
A large pinch of saffron
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sugar
1 vegetable stock cube
200g fresh older peas
25g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
25g coriander, finely chopped
1 preserved lemon, sliced
450g tin of chickpeas, drained
10 green olives
1 In a large pot or pressure cooker heat the oil and gently sweat off the onions until sweetly tender, then add the garlic, carrots, fresh and tinned tomatoes, potatoes, marrow or squash and mix together. 2 Add the spices, sugar and 400ml water. Crumble in the stock cube, bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently on a lowish heat for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes and marrow or squash are almost tender.
3 Add the the peas, half the herbs, and the lemon slices, plus the chickpeas and cook for another 5 minutes until the mixture is meltingly soft and spicy. Season to taste.
4 Serve in a tagine or large serving dish, scattered with the olives and remaining herbs.
John Loydall's 12-hour beef brisket. Photograph: John Loydall via GuardianWitness