I have been having a think this year about all the food my Mother loved (she loved it even more when I met and married a chef!) I thought I would share with you her top 5 favourite dishes and some of her secrets!
- Sunday Roast. My mother was a traditional lady and Sunday Roast was a meal not to be missed in our family. Every week, without fail, her and George always served up something amazing and accompanied by the very best wine. One fantastic tip she gave me was the roast potatoes. Before putting the potatoes in the oven always coat with a layer of flour and grind some sea salt over the top. I guarantee this works every single time – these will give you the crispiest roast potatoes you could dream of.
- Olive’s Sweet Lamb Chops! If you love lamb, you will love these. I would dream of these whilst at school and once a week I was guaranteed this dish for supper. Get only the best thick lamb chops from your local butcher. Marinade them in mustard,lavender honey, red wine cider, fresh mint and a touch of garlic. Leave to marinade for as long as you can resist and then sprinkle with brown sugar before grilling on both sides for 5 minutes. Serve with mashed minted peas and you will have a taste sensation second to none.
- Comforting Lancashire Hot Pot. I can still see the gorgeous Lancashire Stone Pot that she used for this. This meal really was one of her signature dishes. It was full of goodness, tender melt in the mouth beef, good old Cheshire potatoes all coated in a thick stewy gravy. Patience is required for this dish as it should be cooked slowly at 140 to get that melt in the mouth beef. Add some thyme as this gives a real country flavour to it. Mmmmmmmm, I have never been able to quite recreate it as my mother did it. May be the secret is the pot!
- Brown Bread Ice Cream. Now this recipe I firmly have in my grip! I remember when my mother first served this up at one of her renowned dinner parties. I tried not to pull a face as I just thought the combination sounded all wrong! It wasn’t – it was amazing and whenever I host a dinner party, friends ring me and politely hint that it would be lovely to find this on the menu. The secret is getting the right crispiness to the brown bread. It needs to be fried on a low heat and removed just at the right time – in my experience about 5 minutes. You can also add some melted good quality white chocolate to it. Yummy!
- Home made Yorkshire pudding. I am gutted to say that this is one recipe that she did not share with me and to this day I have never recreated Olive’s huge and delicious Yorkshire puddings. I will keep trying and report back if I ever manage it!
The last mother’s day gift I gave was a day trip for her and George on the Orient Express. My mother was old school so she loved the idea of dressing up and having a gourmet experience whilst speeding through the beautiful English countryside. When I picked her up that night she was in raptures about the food, the wine and the gin & tonics, but she said that nothing beat one of the Chef’s roast dinners!
This is dedicated to all those gorgeous mothers whether they are still with us or not. I love you Olive Warburton, you were simply the best mother I could have wished for