Nigel Slater's 20 Best Observer Recipes: Meat Dishes

 ,  |  Updated: October 29, 2013 12:57 IST

Nigel Slater's 20 Best Observer Recipes: Meat Dishes

Beef, pork and lamb in part 1 of Observer Food Monthly's celebration of Nigel Slater's first 20 years with the Observer

• Part 2 appears tomorrow

Pork baps with carrot and galangal coleslaw

Enough for 4
leftover roast pork 180g
carrots 180g
galangal or ginger a large lump (to give 4 tsp, grated)
mayonnaise 150ml
lime juice of ½
coriander leaves (optional) a small handful
reserved skin and fat from the roast pork
floury or seedy baps or soft rolls 4

Using two forks, tear the pork into thin shreds, then place in a bowl. Grate the carrots coarsely, then add to the pork. Peel the galangal, grate very finely, then add to the carrots and pork. Spoon in the mayonnaise, mix gently with a fork to prevent the carrot forming clumps). Season with pepper and lime juice.


Put the skin and fat from the pork on a foil-lined baking sheet and place under a hot grill for 5 minutes or so until the skin has crisped up. Turn it over and cook the other side then remove from the heat and leave to crisp and cool on kitchen paper. Slice into thin strips with a heavy knife.

Split the baps, place a small handful of coriander leaves on the bottom half of each bap or roll, if using, spoon on the carrot slaw, then place a few strips of crackling on to each one. Close and eat immediately.

Grilled sirloin with sweet chilli dipping sauce and Chinese greens

Use the sauce for broccoli or shredded vegetable fritters, or for any seafood. It will keep, tightly sealed, in the fridge for several days and probably longer. You can buy similar sauces ready-made but they sometimes lack the vitality of the fresh version. Heat yes, but no real zip.

Serves 2-3
sirloin steaks 2 x 200g

For the dipping sauce
small hot chillies 4
garlic 3 cloves
golden caster sugar 2 tbsp
water 4 tbsp
groundnut oil 1 tbsp
nam pla (Thai fish sauce) 1 tbsp
lime juice 2 tbsp
chopped herbs (Thai basil, mint etc) a handful

For the greens
bok choy 200g

Remove the stalks then chop the chillies finely. Peel the garlic, chop or mince finely, and add to the chillies.

Put the sugar and water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil - a good stir should dissolve the sugar before the water boils. Cook for a couple of minutes till the syrup starts to thicken. Remove from the heat. Stir in the oil, nam pla, lime juice and chillies and garlic and set aside.

Lightly oil and season the steak with ground black pepper and grill or cook in a shallow pan till nicely done on both sides. (The inside should be rose pink.) Leave to rest in a warm place for a full 5 minutes.

Break the bok choy into separate leaves and steam very briefly, then leave to drain.

Slice the steak diagonally into pieces the width of your little finger, dropping them into a warm bowl.

Add the steamed greens, a little of the chilli sauce, then toss gently to mix.

Transfer to a warm plate or serving dish, spooning over a little of the chilli sauce and the chopped herbs. Serve with the steamed greens and the remaining sauce.

Wasabi beef

The recipe
Heat a little oil in a wok. Add a 300g rump steak, in one piece, and let it brown nicely on both sides. Remove the steak and leave to rest. Add 110g of small Japanese mushrooms (shimeji or enoki) to the pan, and move them around as they fry so they pick up all the juices from the steak. Add 200g of finely shredded mangetout, fry for a minute then add 2 tbsp of white (shiro) miso, 2 tsp of wasabi paste and 100ml of water.

Continue to fry, and stir briefly. Cut the steak into pencil-thick slices and return to the pan for a minute or so, keeping the centre of the meat rare. Serves 2.

The trick
Leave the steak to rest before you slice it and add it to the mangetout and miso. Your steak will be juicier that way. Once the meat is with the vegetables, continue cooking only briefly, so the meat stays pink inside.

The twist
Try using fillet or sirloin steak instead of rump, prepared as in the recipe above but with matchstick courgettes instead of the shredded mangetout. This one is good with a little sliced garlic added with the mushrooms. If you can't find the more unusual mushrooms, try using buttons, cut in half to give juicy little nuggets, then add shredded spring greens instead of the mangetout.

Lamb's liver with red pepper chermoula

Serves 4
lamb's liver 8 thick slices
For the roasted red pepper chermoula
ripe red peppers 4 medium-sized
garlic 4 cloves
saffron stamens a small pinch
crushed, dried chillies 1 tsp
ground coriander 2 tsp
olive oil 5-6 tbsp
mint leaves a large handful
coriander leaves a large handful
lemon juice of 1

To make the chermoula, roast the red peppers and garlic, whole and unpeeled, in a hot oven (220C/gas mark 7) for 50 minutes or so until they are evenly blackened on all sides.

Put the peppers into a bowl, cover with a plate and leave for about half an hour to collapse.

Peel away the skins of the peppers, remove and discard any seeds and cores from within, and finely chop the flesh, preserving as much of its juice as you can. Tip into a bowl.

Pop the garlic from its skins then mash to a paste with a quarter teaspoon of sea salt, the saffron stamens, dried chillies, the roasted peppers and the ground coriander. Grind in a little black pepper and then pour in enough olive oil to make a sloppy paste - about 5 or 6 tablespoons.

Roughly chop the mint and coriander leaves and add to the spice mix. Add the lemon juice and set aside, covered.

Grill the lightly seasoned liver for 2 or 3 minutes on both sides, and serve with the relish.

Guinea fowl with orange and szechuan pepper

Hugely underrated, the guinea fowl offers fine, slightly gamey meat that is rarely anything but tender. One bird will feed two people. Szechuan pepper has a curious flavour, both warm and slightly lemony. I tend to toast it lightly before use.

Serves 2
butter a thin slice
olive oil 2 tbsp
large guinea fowl 1, about 1.5kg
onions 2 medium
carrots 2 medium
celery a stick or two
garlic 1 clove
Szechuan peppercorns 1 tsp
flour 1 heaped tbsp
stock 600ml
orange peel 4 long strips
bay leaves a couple
star anise 3 whole ones

Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6.

Melt the butter in the oil in a large, deep casserole. Cut the guinea fowl in half through the backbone, salt and pepper it, then colour it lightly on both sides in the butter and oil. Remove and set aside.

Peel the onions and cut them in half and then into thick segments. Put them in the pan in which you browned the guinea fowl halves and leave to colour over a moderate heat.

Scrub and roughly chop the carrots, trim and roughly chop the celery, then add them to the onions.

Peel the garlic, crush and add it to the vegetables. Toast the peppercorns in a dry frying pan then crush or grind fairly finely and add them together with the flour.

Continue cooking for 3 or 4 minutes then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Season with salt, pepper, the orange peel, bay leaves and the star anise, then return the guinea fowl to the pan.

Cover with a lid, then bake for 50 minutes.

Serve the guinea fowl, surrounded by its sauce and vegetables.

Photo: Pork baps with carrot and galangal coleslaw. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin                             

Listen to the latest songs, only on




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