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Orange and spice muffins with candied citrus peel. These smell lovely while they’re baking – orange-and-spice, Christmas-just-around-the-corner aroma.
Pan-fried wood pigeon breast is a great starter. It's an easy and quick recipe for very underrated, tasty, cheap and sustainable meat. Serve it with orange caramel and pomegranate seeds.
Turnips roasted with thyme, rosemary and parmesan. They get a new line of life with this recipe, zinged with a dash of parmesan and thoroughly cooked through. Now I’m a hater of overcooked veg, but those babies, they need to be tender.
Parsnip and orange cake with cinnamon and raisins. Very similar to carrot cake though not quite as moist, it’s good enough to bake at Christmas instead of the fruit cake.
Deep fried parsnip fries, a delicious alternative to potato chips. Parsnip fries with gutsy seasoning are healthier than potato chips and can be also made in an air fryer.
Parsnip gratin, baked in a creamy, cheesy sauce with a hint of spice. Another way to zing up a boring vegetable – parsnip gratin. What to do with all those root veg when the sexy ones have all gone out of season?
Pan fried partridge breast fillets with grilled peppers, mushrooms and aubergine. This recipe has the partridge breasts coated in spiced flour and pan-fried for just 4 minutes in total.
Pheasant meatloaf is juicy, flavoursome and gutsy, and wild game is the best choice of meat both for your health and for the environment.
Pomegranate jelly, mega flavoursome stuff and not so very difficult to make. I’m a pomegranate fiend. It is an addiction, obsession, guilty secret – call it whatever, I can eat pomegranates for England and any other country I might call home.
Traditional poppy seed cake in a bundt tin, made the old fashioned way, by soaking poppy seeds in milk. It's buttery and tender, dense with blue poppy seeds.
Pork and mushroom pie in a crust made from scratch, with gravy and chunky tender pork and girolle filling. Pork pie as the English know it is a sort of a twist on pâté in pastry, a wellington with mince or a sausage roll in the shape of a pie, only not quite as nice as any of the above.
Pork and mushroom stroganoff: perfect for when you want to cook an easy but special dish and can’t afford to spend a small fortune on the ingredients.
Potato and cabbage gratin, herby with sage and dill, cheesy with gruyere or Cheddar. Rich, warming and absolutely comforting – it’s an oven-baked antidepressant!
Potato and fennel gratin, a super-comfort dish of sliced potatoes and fennel baked in garlicky cream and a generous sprinkle of Gruyere or Cheddar.
Potato babka is an unusual and tasty alternative to a boring nut roast, the vegetarian Christmas or Thanksgiving option. Lavishly seasoned grated potato mass studded with peppers and mushrooms baked till crisp in a loaf tin.
Simple potato soup with mushroom flavour is as warming and comforting as easy it is to make. Chunky, waxy potatoes, carrot and celery in a fragrant, clear broth flavoured with wild mushroom – gorgeous.
Pumpkin and cranberry pie with filling made with condensed milk and canned pumpkin purée. Homemade pie crust from scratch and a cranberry layer are the winning factors in this festive pie.
Pumpkin fondue in individual munchkin pumpkins, baked and filled with melted cheese. Sliced gherkins, a few lettuce leaves, a ton of apple chunks – and it’s no trick. It’s a treat!
Festive red cabbage stir fried with apples, raisins and spices, super quick to cook. Red cabbage can be cooked super quick and easy, not only for Christmas.
Roast grouse served with game chips. Grouse is a grown-up’s game. For beginners, quail or guinea fowl will be a tame enough start. Intermediate gamers will enjoy partridge and pheasant lest it’s inexpertly dried out in the oven.
Roast partridge with bacon and pears, an easy recipe for a good game bird. Partridge doesn't taste too strong and isn't too dry if cooked right - here's how.
Roast pheasant with best Brussel sprouts and garlic spinach mushrooms. Game birds roasted inevitably evoke the spirit of Christmas, especially when paired with disputably fragrant aroma of cooking Brussels sprouts.
Roast venison haunch with chocolate sauce: this recipe is for the most tender, juicy and succulent meat served with the perfect accompaniment, chocolate sauce.
Roast wild mallard duck, easy to cook, tender and full of flavour. Female specimen are plumper but if in doubt, salt the mallard in advance to tenderise it.
Chunks of beetroot roasted with honey, thyme, tarragon and balsamic vinegar. This is really gorgeous – beetroot baked long, loooong, you might even consider biscuit beetroot: cooked twice.
Potato, beetroot and celeriac rösti. A very Swiss thing. It’s the Alpine dish where you get the starch, the oil, the crispiness of frying, the seasoning – and preferably a sliver of bacon on top – which is just what you need after a day of skiing.
Sausage, pear and root vegetable tray bake with chestnut mushrooms and rosemary is an easy one pan dish that hits the comfort spot.
Schiacciata con l'uva (pronounced ‘ski-a-charter’ and meaning 'squashed'), Tuscan grape focaccia is a sweet version of the flat bread, with grapes and raisins.
Shaved Brussels sprout salad with toasted walnuts and Manchego cheese; the sprouts are raw, the walnuts are toasted and the cheese is mashed into a dressing. Feed it to a sworn Brussels hater and see what happens.
Spelt risotto with pearled spelt grain and dried porcini mushrooms is a gorgeous vegetarian dish: wholesome, flavoursome and effortless.
Baked pears with blue cheese, a great starter, dessert or a side dish. These roasted pears are spiced with cinnamon and topped with Gorgonzola.
Spicy, cheesy lentils bake, a superior vegetarian dish put together in 15 minutes. Baked cheesy lentils inspired by NY Times Cooking.
Deep fried sprats can be eaten whole, head, tail and all but it’s very easy to lop the heads off and clean the sprats a bit. An easy, cheap and delicious treat.
Steak and ale pie with flaky homemade shortcrust pastry. Supremely flavourful, hitting all the right spots with the salty, the meaty and the earthy from the mushrooms
Sticky fig upside down cake. The figs get sticky and melt into the almond layer; and if they don’t look quite as appealing as I was hoping – well, the proof of the pudding and all that.
Sticky pear and ginger cake is dark, moist and incredibly easy to make. With juicy chunks of pears and crunchy pecans scattered over the sticky syrupy surface, it’s the perfect winter dessert.
Boned and rolled guinea fowl with pork and dried fruit stuffing. Poultry, game birds and pork love sweet, fruity and spicy company. Ham cooked in Coca-Cola, chicken in chocolate sauce, duck with prunes or a l’orange to name just a few classics.
Tartiflette, the best potato and cheese dish ever invented; with bacon lardons and Reblochon cheese. Tartiflette is the definitive comfort food. Potatoes, bacon and cheese – you can’t go wrong with that. It’s a simple dish and like any recipe coming from the highlands of any country, it looks in the pantry, finds stale bits and bobs and puts them together for dinner both nutritious and satisfying.
Twice roasted beetroots with figs and pomegranate seeds. Crimson central – this is a dish of red, red and more red, suitable for the season of flaming gold on tree branches and misty mornings.
Venison casserole with mushrooms and red wine, cooked slowly in the oven, delivers tender and succulent meat with the flavour of juniper, thyme and the wind.
Venison steaks seared in a hot pan, served with rich red wine sauce made with pan juices. Aged venison is tender so keep the steaks in the fridge for a couple of days in advance.
Tartine sourdough loaf with toasted walnut chunks. Squirrels have dug holes in my lawn, the sure sign of autumn. I don’t blame them much – they manage just about to scuff the grass and topsoil, puny diggers they are.
Vibrant winter rainbow salad with red and green cabbage, red and white onions, herbs and vinaigrette dressing.
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