Sunday, 26 September 2010

Sunday lunch: Beetroot soup, roast pork shoulder, apple and blackberry steamed pudding

After the wedding, where I didn't get to taste the cake but did manage to persuade the photographer to send me some pictures of the finished (decorated) beast, all the Lufbra gang stayed at mine so I felt duty bound to provide a nourishing full English breakfast and a traditional Sunday roast.

Since I was cooking for six and after a big night I needed things that could be done in advance and were relatively simple. Despite a request for roast pork putting the rest of the menu together proved quite troublesome. Anyway I ended up cooking:

Beetroot soup
Roast pork shoulder with mash, cabbage and apple sauce with a mustard cream gravy
Steamed apple and blackberry sponge pudding

Beetroot soup

This was deep crimson soup was garnished with soft goat's cheese, spring onions, green apple sticks and hazelnut praline. The idea of the garnishes was to provide a variety of textures and to bring alive the earthy flavour of the beetroot and to give the palate a new taste with every mouthful.

Roast pork shoulder with crackling, mash, cabbage and apple sauce with a mustard cream gravy

Now due to time and space constraints and cooking for six, I didn't plate this up quite as I would have liked. One of the highlights was the apple ring braised in cider which had a beautifully pink halo. The crackling was ok, but the crackling on the pork belly I did before was better. I think it was pretty good for a roast even though there were no roast potatoes.

Steamed apple and blackberry sponge pudding

Sweet seasonal fruit, billowy sponge and lashings of cream. That's the definition of "pud", isn't it?

I spent the majority of the day in the kitchen and people left almost as soon as the last spoonful was downed (pesky train journeys to the Midlands), but it was a lovely day even though there was a little bit of clearing up to do:

I'm going to try and eat off the leftovers for the rest of the week, so look out for a report about how it goes next weekend.

On to the recipes, which were adapted from a number of sources:

Beetroot soup (serves 6)
Taken from a Matt Tebbut recipe in Olive magazine and the praline from One Perfect Ingredient by Marcus Wareing

750g cooked beetroot, large dice
3 bay leaves
1½ onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1½tbsp red wine vinegar
900ml chicken stock
To garnish:
75g hazelnuts
Pinch fine salt
1½tbsp water
60g caster sugar
3 spring onion, finely sliced
100g soft goats cheese
1 green apple, sliced into batons
Olive oil

1. Fry the onions and garlic in olive oil until very soft.
2. Add the vinegar, beetroot, stock and bay leaves and simmer for about 15-20mins.
3. Purée and pass through a sieve. If it is too thick add more water or stock until the desired consistency is reached.
4. For the praline, toast the hazelnuts in a dry pan. In the same pan gently melt the sugar and water together until it turns a golden caramel (swirl the pan occasionally). Add the salt and hazelnuts then poor onto silicon paper and leave to cool. Once cooled, roughly chop.
5. For the other garnishes, finely slice the spring onions on the angle and cut thin slices (approximately 3mm) from the apple then slice into batons (there should be a small amount of skin left at each end)
6. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Drop some onions into the middle and top with a few criss-crossed apple batons. Dot small pinches of goats cheese around the outside interspersed with the praline. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Roast pork shoulder with crackling, mash, cabbage, braised apple and apple sauce with a mustard cream gravy (serves 6 heartily)
Elements taken from The Cook's Book, New British Classics by Gary Rhodes and Sauces by Michel Roux

3.5kg pork shoulder, boned, rind left on
Sea salt
2 red onions quartered, lengthways
2 white onions quartered, lengthways
2tbsp honey
2 lemons, quartered, lengthways
2-3tbsp sage, chopped
1 savoy cabbage, shredded
For the apple sauce:
500g Cox apples, peeled, cored, finely diced
150ml water
20g caster sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch ground cinnamon
30g butter
For the braised apple:
3 red apples, cored sliced into ¾"(2cm) rounds
~300ml dry cider
For the mash:
2lb floury potatoes, peeled and chopped
4oz butter
~100ml cream
For the mustard cream sauce:
~100ml double cream
2tbsp wholegrain mustard

1. Score the rind of the pork with a very sharp knife (or get the butcher to do it). Pour a kettle of boiling water over the rind then leave to cool.
2. Pat dry and liberally massage the rind with coarse sea salt. Rub all over with a little vegetable oil and put in the oven on a trivet for 15mins at 220°C.
3. Turn the oven down to 150°C and cook for another 2 hours.
4. Remove the pork from the oven and take out of the pan. In the pan sauté the onions and lemons until just caramelised. Drizzle over the honey and sprinkle with sage. Place the meat directly in the centre of the pan and return to the oven for 1¼ hours.
5. Once cooked (the crackling will be crisp and the meat tender) leave to rest, covered with foil for 15-30mins.
6. To make the mustard cream sauce, deglaze the roasting pan with the cider reserved from the braised apples. Reduce and then add the cream and mustard.
7. Whilst the meat is roasting, all the trimmings can be made. For the apple sauce, put all the ingredients except the butter into a pan and cook over a medium heat for 15mins, until the apples are tender, but not dried out.
8. Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the butter and a pinch of salt. If required, loosen the sauce with water to reach the desired consistency.
9. For the braised apples, place the apple slices into a pan and cover with the cider. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 min. Remove from the heat, cover with greaseproof paper and allow to cool.
10. Once cooled, remove the apples from the cider and reserve the cider for the cabbage and gravy. Prior to serving reheat the apples in the oven with a knob of butter.
11. For the mash, cook the potatoes in plenty of salted water until tender. Drain and then use a ricer to mash.
12. Beat in the butter and cream. Then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
13. For the cabbage, melt a knob of butter in a pan and add the cabbage. Then add a little cider (~50ml) and ~150ml chicken stock. Cook until the cabbage is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
14. To serve, separate the cracking from the meat and cut into pieces. Carve the pork into thick slices. Sit one apple ring per person on a couple of spoonfuls of apple sauce. Dish up the cabbage and mash. Cover liberally with mustard cream sauce.

Steamed apple and blackberry sponge pudding
Taken from New British Classics by Gary Rhodes.

4 green dessert apples, peeled cored and quartered
2oz caster sugar
8oz blackberries
1tbsp blackberry jam
For the sponge:
4oz butter
5oz caster sugar
4 eggs
1 egg yolk
7oz plain flour
1tsp baking powder
¼tsp ground cinnamon
Zest of 1 lemon

1. Butter and flour a 2 pint pudding bowl (this is the minimum size bowl you can really use).
2. Cut the apple quarters in half lengthways and then again through the middle to give 16 chunks per apple.
3. Melt a know of butter in pan then add the apples and sugar. Cook for 2-3mins then add the blackberries and jam. Stir in and remove from the heat and leave to cool.
4. To make the sponge cream the butter and sugar until white and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs. Finally sieve the flour, cinnamon and baking powder then fold into the mix with the lemon zest.
5. Put half the apple and blackberry mix into the bowl then top with the sponge mix. Cover the bowl with a sheet of greaseproof paper and a sheet of foil folded together to create a pleat to give space for the pudding to rise. Tie the "lid" on with string.
6. Steam for 1¼ hours.
7. To serve turn out the pudding onto a plate and top with the reserved fruit.


  1. Thanks very much, I was rather please.

    Soups are so easy and tasty, but I always think it's the "extra bits" that elevate them to something really special. The flavour profile and textures of the different elements worked really well together.

    You should give it ago before beetroot disappears from the shelves for another year.


Related Posts with Thumbnails