Gordon Ramsay is trying to get families to eat Sunday lunch together – to promote family bonding. He offers some of his favorite recipes.
HARICOT SOUP WITH TIGER PRAWNS
Puréed haricot beans provide a velvety background to tiger prawns - a concept we call terre et mer, which combines the flavours of the land and sea. In a dish like this, we generally use chicken stock as the base for the soup, as fish stock would overpower the distinctive but delicate flavour of the beans.
250g dried haricot beans, soaked overnight 1 small onion, peeled and halved 1 carrot, peeled and halved 1 bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf and parsley tied together) 800ml court bouillon
(Makes about 1 litre - A poaching liquor used for cooking whole fish and shellfish, such as lobster and crab. Place 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped onion, a few bay leaves, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 1 tsp rock salt and 100ml white wine vinegar in a large pan and pour in 800ml water. Bring to the boil, then let it simmer for 20-30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and use immediately or cool and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days)
(Makes about 1.5 litres - Put 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped onion, 2 sliced celery stalks and 1 sliced leek in a large pan with 2 tbsp olive oil and cook over a medium heat until golden. Add a sprig of thyme, 1 bay leaf, 3 peeled garlic cloves, 2 tbsp tomato purée and 2 tbsp plain flour and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add 1kg raw chicken bones, cover with plenty of cold water and season lightly. Bring to the boil and skim. Simmer for 1 hour and then pass through a fine sieve. Adjust the seasoning)
150ml double cream sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 30g cold butter, cut into cubes, plus a few knobs for frying handful of chives, finely chopped olive oil, to drizzle
1 Drain the haricot beans and place in a saucepan. Add the onion, carrot and bouquet garni and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and boil steadily for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to a simmer. Partially cover the pan and cook for 11/2-2 hours until the beans are soft, stirring occasionally and topping up with boiling water if they appear dry. Drain the beans and discard the onion, carrot and bouquet garni. Scoop out about 4 tbsp beans and set aside for the garnish.
2 Whiz the beans in a blender to a smooth purée, adding a touch of boiling water if necessary (to get the blades moving) and scraping down the sides a couple of times. For a really smooth soup, push the purée through a fine sieve.
3 Bring the court bouillon to the boil in a pan, add the prawns and blanch for 30 seconds, then drain and refresh under cold running water. Cut each prawn into two or three bite-sized pieces if you like.
4 Pour the bean purée into a pan and reheat gently, then whisk in the stock and cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in the cold butter, a piece at a time, using a hand-held stick blender if you like - to froth up the soup.
5 Sauté the prawns and reserved beans with a few knobs of butter to heat through. Season well, add the chives and toss through. Pile into the centre of warm bowls, pour the soup around them and serve, drizzled with a little olive oil.
ARTICHOKE, ASPARAGUS, TOMATO & ONION TART
You can adapt the toppings as you like. Semi-dried tomatoes are a good alternative to fresh ones and to save time, you could use a ready-made tapenade in place of the onion purée.
6 servings ONION PURÉE
olive oil, for cooking 6 onions, peeled and finely chopped sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 tbsp single cream TART
500g ready-made puff pastry flour, to dust 150g asparagus tips 12 quail's eggs 150g ready-cooked artichoke hearts, cut into wedges 150g cherry tomatoes, halved 1/2 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced small handful of chives, chopped 3-4 tbsp classic vinaigrette
(Makes about 250ml - Put 100ml extra virgin olive oil, 100ml groundnut oil, 1 scant tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp white wine vinegar and some sea salt and pepper in a measuring jug and whisk together until emulsified. Pour into a clean bottle, seal and refrigerate. Shake well before using) few rocket leaves, to garnish
1 For the onion purée, heat a little olive oil in a pan, add the onions and season well. Cover and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes until the onions are very soft. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.
2 Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface and cut out 6 discs, using a 13-15cm plate or saucer as a guide. Lay the pastry discs on a large baking sheet and prick all over with a skewer. Place another heavy baking sheet on top of the pastry discs to weigh them down. Bake for 15 minutes until brown and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
3 Add the cream to the onions and bring to a simmer. Tip the mixture into a blender or food processor and whiz to a fine paste. For a very smooth purée, push the onion paste through a sieve. Leave to cool.
4 Blanch the asparagus tips in a pan of boiling salted water for 2 minutes until tender. Remove with tongs and refresh in a bowl of iced water, then drain and tip into a large bowl.
5 Add the quail's eggs to the boiling water in the pan carefully, and cook for 2 minutes, 10 seconds. This will leave the eggs with runny yolks. Refresh under cold running water and peel off the shells.
6 Add the artichokes, tomatoes, red onion and chives to the asparagus, drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to mix. Spoon a little onion purée over the centre of the pastry discs and pile the vegetables on top. Halve the quail's eggs and arrange on the vegetables. Scatter a few rocket leaves over, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and serve.
• TIP - Lightly roll the boiled quail's eggs on the work surface to gently crush the shells, making them easier to peel.
VENISON WITH RED WINE & CHOCOLATE SAUCE
Venison is a sumptuous, lean red meat with little saturated fat and cholesterol. It is not uncommon to pair venison with red wine and chocolate - a little grated chocolate whisked into the red wine sauce helps to thicken and enrich it. Do use good quality brown stock - ideally homemade - you won't get the correct consistency for the sauce if you resort to stock cubes.
150g smoked bacon lardons 250g shallots (about 4 large ones), peeled and roughly chopped few thyme sprigs 2 bay leaves 1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed olive oil, for cooking 350ml red wine 1 litre brown chicken stock
(brown chicken stock is used for a greater depth of flavour - follow chicken stock recipe as per haricot bean soup before, but roast the chicken bones at 200C/Gas 6 for 20 minutes before adding them. Brown duck stock can be made in the same way)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 venison fillets, about 150g each, trimmed 1 tsp raspberry vinegar 20g bitter chocolate, grated
1 Sauté the lardons and shallots with the herbs and peppercorns in a little olive oil, using a wide saucepan, for about 6-8 minutes until the shallots have softened. Add the red wine and boil for 10 minutes until reduced by half. Add the stock and keep boiling until reduced to a syrupy consistency. This may take up to 20-25 minutes. Pass through a sieve into a clean pan, taste and adjust the seasoning.
2 Heat the oven to 220C/Gas 7. Heat an ovenproof frying pan on the hob and add a little olive oil. Season the venison fillets and brown them in the hot pan, allowing 3-4 minutes each side. Remove the pan from the heat and wrap the venison with foil to help retain the moisture. Put the pan into the oven and cook for 6-8 minutes, turning the fillets halfway through. Allow to rest for 5 minutes or so.
3 While the meat rests, add the raspberry vinegar to the sauce and reheat gently. Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the grated chocolate until it melts and the sauce is smooth (If it turns grainy, just pass through a fine sieve and it should become smooth again.) Taste and adjust the seasoning.
4 Slice the venison and arrange on warm plates. Pour the sauce around and serve immediately, with the following accompaniments.
CREAMED CABBAGE & CELERIAC WITH PANCETTA
olive oil, for cooking 100g streaky bacon (about 8 rashers), chopped 400g carrots (2-3 large ones), peeled and diced 1/2 celeriac, peeled and diced 50g unsalted butter 1 small Savoy cabbage, trimmed and finely shredded 200ml double cream sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Heat a little olive oil in a large, wide pan and fry the chopped bacon until golden brown. Add the carrots and celeriac and sweat the vegetables for 6-8 minutes until softened.
2 Add the butter and stir the cabbage through. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the cabbage is tender. Pour in the cream and simmer to reduce slightly. Season generously with salt and pepper and serve.
a little olive oil, to drizzle 200ml whole milk 200ml double cream 1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed 1kg waxy potatoes, such as Desirée or Charlotte 200g medium Cheddar, grated sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Heat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Lightly oil a deep gratin dish. Put the milk, cream, bay leaf and garlic in a pan and heat until simmering. When the liquid begins to bubble up the sides of the pan, turn off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
2 Peel and finely slice the potatoes, using a mandolin. Scatter one-third of the cheese over the bottom of a baking dish and cover with a layer of the potato slices, overlapping them slightly. Season generously with salt and pepper. Continue layering until you've used up all the cheese and potatoes, seasoning the layers and finishing with cheese. Strain the creamy milk, discarding the bay leaf and garlic. Pour over the potatoes to come two-thirds up the sides (you may not need all of it). Gently press the potatoes down to help them absorb the liquid. Sprinkle with a little more cheese and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown and tender when prodded with a sharp knife. Leave to stand for a few minutes before serving.
PAN-FRIED SEA BASS WITH BROCCOLI & SORREL SAUCE
Peppery sorrel adds freshness and a mild acidity that counters the richness of sea bass and the velouté in this recipe. You can usually find sorrel in farmers' markets during the summer - it's a shame that supermarkets don't stock it, as these leaves truly complement fish, veal and poultry.
4 sea bass fillets, skin on, about 175g each olive oil, for cooking and to drizzle sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets 300ml fish velouté
(Makes about 500ml - Heat a knob of butter in a wide saucepan. Stir in 3 finely chopped shallots and sauté gently for about 10 minutes until soft but not coloured. Pour in 200ml dry white wine and 200ml dry vermouth and boil until reduced by half. Then add 400ml stock (fish, vegetable or chicken), return to the boil and reduce by half. Stir in 300ml double cream and simmer gently until the sauce is the consistency of pouring cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper and strain the sauce through a fine sieve)
Handful of sorrel leaves, shredded
1 Check the bass fillets for small pin bones, removing any with tweezers. Using a sharp knife, lightly score the skin at 1cm intervals. Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan until hot. Season the fish fillets and place them in the pan, skin side down. Fry, without moving, for 2-3 minutes until the skin is crisp and the fish is cooked two thirds of the way through. Turn the fillets and cook the other side for about 30 seconds.
2 While the fish is cooking, blanch the broccoli in boiling salted water for 2 minutes and drain well. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
3 Transfer the fish to a warm plate and lightly cover with a piece of foil. Pour the fish velouté into the pan and scrape up the sediment with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan. Simmer for a few minutes, then add half of the shredded sorrel and take off the heat.
4 Divide the broccoli among warm serving plates and lay the sea bass fillets on top. Pour the sauce around the plate and garnish with the remaining shredded sorrel.
A good lemon tart was once the hallmark of a great pastry chef and the tart featured on the menus of all fine restaurants. The secret is to bake the tart in a very low oven to prevent the lemon custard filling from bubbling and cracking as it sets. The custard will firm up as it cools.
300g sweet flan pastry
(Makes about 500g - Put 125g unsalted butter (at room temperature) and 90g caster sugar in a food processor and whiz until just combined. Add a large egg and whiz for 30 seconds. Tip in 250g plain flour and process for a few seconds until the dough just comes together. (Be careful not to over-process or the dough will become tough.) Add 1 tbsp cold water if the dough seems too dry. Knead lightly on a floured surface, then shape into a flat disc, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes before rolling out)
flour, to dust 2 large eggs 4 large egg yolks 180g caster sugar
200ml double cream juice of 2 lemons icing sugar, to dust crème fraîche, to serve
1 Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20cm tart tin with a removable base. Leave the excess pastry overhanging the sides. Rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
2 Heat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. Line the pastry with foil or baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake "blind" for 15 minutes - the sides should just begin to colour. Remove the beans and foil, then bake for 5 minutes until the pastry base is cooked and lightly golden. Lower the oven setting to 110C/Gas 1/2.
3 Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl, then stir in the cream. Finally add the lemon juice (this will thicken the cream). Strain the lemon filling through a fine sieve into a large jug.
4 Pour half the filling into the pastry case. Place the tin on the bottom shelf of the oven. Pull out the shelf halfway, keeping the tin level, and pour in the remaining lemon filling. Carefully push the shelf back into the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes until the filling is almost set. It should have a slight wobble in the centre. Carefully trim the pastry level to the top of the tin and leave to cool completely. Dust the tart liberally with icing sugar. Cut neat slices with a warm knife and serve on its own or with some crème fraîche.
• Tip - For a professional finish, run a cook's blowtorch over the surface to caramelise the icing sugar and give the tart a crème brûlée effect, as illustrated above right.
BLUEBERRY & REDCURRANT ETON MESS
A scrumptious muddle of berries and cream originating from the boarding school of the same name.
300g redcurrants, plus sprigs to finish 300g blueberries 2 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra to coat 4 tbsp kirsch (optional) 600ml double cream 2 tbsp icing sugar 2 meringue nests
(Ideally homemade - Makes about 8-10. Heat the oven to the lowest setting, 100C/Gas 1/4. Using an electric beater, whisk 2 large egg whites in a bowl with a pinch of salt until the egg whites hold firm peaks. Gradually whisk in 100g caster sugar, 1 tbsp at a time. Continue to whisk until the meringue is glossy and holds its shape. Spoon or pipe the meringue into round discs, about 2cm thick, on a lined baking tray. Bake for at least 2 hours until slightly crusty on top, then turn off the heat and let the meringues dry out in the oven for 6 hours or overnight. Peel the meringues off the parchment and store in an airtight container for up to a week)
1 Put half the fruit into a dry non-stick pan with the sugar and kirsch if using. Cook over a high heat for 11/2-2 minutes until the berries soften. Crush lightly with a fork and push the fruit through a non-reactive sieve into a large bowl. Leave to cool completely.
2 Whip the cream together with the icing sugar in another bowl until it forms soft peaks. Crush the meringue nests and fold them through the cream with the remaining berries. Fold or ripple through the cooled berry coulis.
3 Spoon the mixture into a large bowl or on to serving plates. Coat the remaining redcurrants with a little caster sugar and use to decorate each plate.