20 Best Nigel Slater Recipes from his Books: Part 2

 , guardian.co.uk  |  Updated: November 06, 2013 11:51 IST

20 Best Nigel Slater Recipes from his Books: Part 2
Lamb, beef and vegetable dishes from the Kitchen Diaries and Real Food as part of Observer Food Monthly's celebration of Nigel Slater's first 20 years at the Observer

• Part 3 appears tomorrow

Lamb 'osso buco' with parsley pappardelle

One of those dinners that look as if they've taken forever but are in fact very quick. Ask your butcher for lamb leg steaks with the bone in. If you have no luck, then use a thick chump chop, bone in.

Enough for 4

olive oil 2 tbsp
leg of lamb steaks, bone in 4, about 1kg in total
onion 1 large
celery 2 ribs
carrots 2 large
Marsala 250ml
pappardelle 250g
parsley, 4 tbsp, finely chopped
butter 50g

Heat the olive oil in a large shallow pan, then brown the lamb steaks on both sides. Remove to a plate. Chop the onion, celery and carrots into roughly 1cm cubes and add to the pan in which you browned the meat. Cook over a moderate heat for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, till they are nicely coloured and approaching softness. Return the lamb to the pan, add the Marsala, season and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and continue cooking, covered with a lid, for 30-40 minutes, till the lamb is tender.

Cook the pappardelle in plenty of generously salted water till al dente, then drain. Remove the lamb and vegetables from the pan, dividing them between 4 warm plates. Add the pasta and parsley to the lamb cooking pan together with the butter and a grinding of black pepper. Let the pasta warm through in the butter and pan juices, then serve with the lamb steaks and vegetables.
From Kitchen Diaries II

Brussels sprouts, bacon and almonds

I have been slowly coming round to the Brussels sprout. Not a Damascene conversion, more a slow warming (I have still to work out the allure of cooked carrots). Fried rather than boiled, partnered with the meat of the pig and slathered in cream, these are the sprouts for me. They never see water in this recipe - only hot butter, cream and bacon. There are almonds too, an inspiration. They were cooked for the last show of my third cookery series, a programme set in Scotland, where they appeared with roast wild venison and potatoes cooked with onions. The recipe is not mine but one of my assistant James's. I used purple Brussels sprouts but use whatever you have.

Enough for 4 as a side dish, 2 as a main dish with brown rice
smoked streaky bacon 100g
onion 1
Brussels sprouts 400g
butter 50g
whole unskinned salted almonds 100g
double cream 250ml

Cut the bacon into finger-width strips and let them cook in a large, shallow pan over a moderate heat till the fat runs and colours to a pale gold.

Peel and thinly slice the onion. Trim the sprouts and cut each one in half.

Place them cut-side down in a single layer in the pan, add the butter and let them brown very lightly, then add the onion. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes, until the sprouts are softening and the onion is translucent.

Add the almonds, then the cream. You need no salt, because of the salted almonds and the bacon. Leave to bubble briefly, then serve.
From Kitchen Diaries II

Pumpkin and tomato laksa

Enough for 4
pumpkin 250g unpeeled weight
red bird's eye chillies 5 small
garlic 4 cloves
ginger a lump the size of your thumb
lemon grass 2 plump stalks
lime leaves 6
coriander roots 5 or 6
coriander leaves a large handful
vegetable oil a little
chicken or vegetable stock 500ml
coconut milk 400ml
cherry tomatoes 24
nam pla (Thai fish sauce) 2 tbsp
lemon the juice of ½

dried noodles 100g, cooked as it says on the packet
mint leaves a large handful

Cut the pumpkin into large chunks and place in the top of a steamer (alternatively, steam them in a colander balanced over a pan of boiling water). The pumpkin should be tender in 12-15 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Chop the chillies, removing the seeds first if you wish, peel the garlic and ginger and chop roughly. Put them all into a food processor. Discard the outer leaves of the lemon grass and roughly chop the inner leaves, shred the lime leaves, then add them to the chillies. Scrub the coriander roots and add them to the chillies, along with half the coriander leaves and stems. Blitz them to a pulp, adding a little vegetable oil if the mixture needs it to go round.

Place a fairly deep pan over a moderate heat, add half the spice paste (keep the other half in the fridge for tomorrow) and fry it, moving it round the pan so it does not scorch. Do this for 1-2 minutes, then pour in the stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil.

Cut the tomatoes in half and add them to the soup with the nam pla and lemon juice. They will take 7-10 minutes to cook. Add the chunks of pumpkin and continue cooking for a minute or two. Place a swirl of cooked noodles in each of four bowls, pour over the laksa and add the mint and the remaining coriander leaves.

From Kitchen Diaries

Seared beef with mint and mustard dressing

Serves 4?
black peppercorns 1 tbsp
Maldon sea salt ½ tbsp
beef fillet (thick end) 500g
olive oil
lemon to serve

For the dressing:
grain mustard 1 tbsp
lemon the juice of ½
mint a small handful (about 20 leaves)
egg yolks 2
olive oil about 4-5 tbsp

Set the oven at 220C/gas mark 7. Crush the peppercorns roughly with a pestle and mortar and mix them with the salt. Rub the beef with a little olive oil, then roll it in the seasoning, pressing down so that most of the salt and pepper sticks to the meat. Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a roasting tin placed over the heat. When the oil starts to sizzle, add the meat and brown it quickly on all sides, then roast in the oven for 10 minutes only. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

To make the dressing, put the mustard, lemon juice, mint leaves and egg yolks in a blender and whiz for a few seconds. Pour in the oil slowly, stopping when you have a dressing the consistency of double cream.

Slice the beef very thinly, then spoon over the dressing at the table. Pass a cut lemon round for anyone who wants it.
From Kitchen Diaries

Lime mascarpone sorbet

Serves 4-6
water 750ml
golden caster sugar 350g
limes the juice and finely grated zest of 5
mascarpone 250g

Put the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir in the lime zest and set aside to cool. Now stir in the juice and the mascarpone. Scrape into a metal or plastic container and put in the freezer or an ice-cream machine.

If you are using a freezer, remove the sorbet after two hours and beat it firmly, bringing the frozen edges into the middle. Now return it to the freezer for a further hour, repeat, then freeze again. At this point you might well wonder what on earth I am up to as the mixture will look somewhat dodgy, with a frozen layer of white on top and a liquid layer underneath. Trust me. It will all blend together at the final beating.

When the mixture is well on its way to being frozen (the length of time this will take depends entirely on your freezer but it will probably be a good couple of hours) you must take it out and beat it again. Move the sorbet to the fridge 15-20 minutes before you intend to serve it.
From Real Food

Buy Real Food from the Guardian Bookshop

Buy Kitchen Diaries from the Guardian Bookshop


Photo: Lamb 'osso buco' with parsley pappardelle. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin


Listen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com


For the latest food news, health tips and recipes, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and YouTube.