Glazed bacon with red currant sauce
Delicious hot or cold! Serves six to eight.
1.5 kg loin of bacon. Topping: one tablespoon of mustard; one tablespoon of brown sugar. Sauce: two tablespoons of port/wine; two tablespoons of red currants (if available ).
Place the joint in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for approximately 20 minutes per half kg.
Set oven to gas mark 6, 200C (400F ). Remove the joint from the saucepan. Reserve liquid.
Remove the rind and score the fat. Place the joint on a roasting dish. Spread with the mustard and brown sugar.
Add approx 125ml of the reserved liquid to the roasting dish (keep the remaining liquid for soup ). Place in oven for 20 minutes. Top up the liquid if necessary during cooking.
Sauce: Pour off the juices from the joint. To this add the redcurrant jelly, port and redcurrants. Simmer until you have a good rich consistency. Carve the joint and serve with sauce.
Perfect roast potatoes
The most important thing to remember for perfect potatoes is not to roast them too long in advance as they lose their crunch if you keep them waiting. Start by par-boiling the peeled potatoes for six to eight minutes. Drain well and leave to dry out in the saucepan for a few minutes. Heat the oven to gas mark 6, 200C (400F ). Heat some olive oil in a roasting pan. Shake the potatoes around in the saucepan to roughen up the edges — this will give you nice crispy bits when they are cooked. Then add them to the hot oil in the roasting pan. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
Wash and trim the celery stalks and cut into strips approx 4cm long. Place in a saucepan with a knob of butter and salt and pepper. Barely cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes. Drain well and serve.
Simmer peeled potatoes until just soft. Drain and keep warm. Heat a little milk with a generous knob of butter. Beat it into the potatoes along with some chopped parsley, until the potatoes are smooth and creamy. Season well.
Roasted carrots, parsnips, and red onions
Heat the oven to gas mark 6, 200C (400F ). Chop the carrots, parsnips, and red onion into cubes. Toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread them out in a single layer on a roasting pan and cook for 20 to 30 minutes until tender.
Trim the sprouts and place in a saucepan of boiling water with a little salt. Reduce to a simmer and cook for five to eight minutes depending on the size of the sprouts. While they are cooking, brown some diced bacon in a little olive oil. Drain the sprouts well, then toss them in the pan with the cooked bacon. Season with black pepper and serve.