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Gelf Anderson’s River Cottage Great Roasts recipes

Smoked haddock with potatoes, spinach, cream and thyme. (Photo: Emma Lee)
Smoked haddock with potatoes, spinach, cream and thyme. (Photo: Emma Lee)

River Cottage Great Roasts is packed with delicious recipes where all you need is the ingredients, an oven and some simple bakeware to create easy weeknight dinners, fuss-free weekend brunch, and show-stopping Sunday roasts. Often only requiring one roasting tin, Gelf Anderson’s tasty dishes let the oven do the hard work and allows you to bask in the glory.

Smoked haddock with potatoes, spinach, cream and thyme recipe

I love smoked fish and I’m fortunate enough to be able to smoke my own, but I appreciate this is unusual. Most good fishmongers and supermarket fish counters sell naturally smoked fish, which is pale yellow in colour. Avoid anything that is bright yellow, as this will have been dyed and most likely dipped in a smoke-flavoured cure rather than smoked properly. If you have any leftovers (which I doubt), thin down with a little stock the next day for a hearty chowder-like lunch.

Serves 4

500g new potatoes (skin on)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 leeks, trimmed and cut into 1cm slices

5 sprigs of thyme

200g spinach (tougher stalks removed and roughly chopped if using large leaf spinach)

400g MSC-certified smoked haddock fillets (or any smoked sustainably caught white fish), pin-boned and skinned

400ml double cream

small glass of dry white wine

50g mature Cheddar, grated

20g pumpkin seeds

pinch of paprika

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas 7. Put the new potatoes into an ovenproof pan or roasting tray. Trickle over the extra virgin olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cook in the oven for 25–30 minutes until the potatoes are just softened all the way through.

Take the pan out and use the back of a fork to just break each potato. Add the leeks and thyme, stir and cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Now add the spinach and return to the oven for a couple of minutes until it is just wilted.

In the meantime, cut the fish into 2cm cubes. Remove the pan from the oven and add the smoked haddock, cream and white wine. Stir together and return to the oven for 12–15 minutes, until the fish is cooked.

Take out the pan again and turn the oven setting up to 230°C/220°C Fan/Gas 8. Sprinkle over the grated cheese, pumpkin seeds and paprika. Return to the oven for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Serve at once.

Swaps: Replace the smoked fish with small or halved larger chestnut mushrooms.

Great British Life: Roast Jerusalem artichokes with cream and cider. (Photo: Emma Lee)Roast Jerusalem artichokes with cream and cider. (Photo: Emma Lee)

Roast Jerusalem artichokes with cream and cider recipe

Like any dish featuring Jerusalem artichokes, this is a bit of a labour of love as they are arduous to peel, but it is totally worth it I promise! The crunchy breadcrumbs go some way to soaking up the lovely sauce but have extra bread on the side to mop the juices if you’re having this for lunch. If you have any leftovers, break down the artichokes with a fork and this becomes an excellent pasta sauce.

Serves 2 (or 4 as a side)

1kg Jerusalem artichokes

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

300ml double cream

200ml medium-dry cider

4 sprigs of thyme

bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped

small handful of coarse breadcrumbs

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas 7. Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and cut larger tubers into short lengths; leave small tubers whole. Tip them into a medium cast-iron frying pan or small roasting tray, trickle over the extra virgin olive oil and toss the artichokes to coat. Place in the oven for 10 minutes.

Take out the pan (protecting your hand with an oven glove). Add the cream, cider and herbs, stir to combine and return to the oven. Cook for a further 10–15 minutes or until the sauce is thickened to the consistency of double cream, checking and stirring every 5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, scatter over the breadcrumbs and return to the oven for 5–10 minutes until the crumbs are nice and crunchy. Serve straight away from the pan.

Swaps: For a slightly less rich version, leave out the cream. Instead, add a ladleful of chicken stock and a knob of butter to the pan and allow the liquid to cook down to a glaze.

Great British Life: Rolled lamb breast with herbs, lemon and tomatoes. (Photo: Emma Lee)Rolled lamb breast with herbs, lemon and tomatoes. (Photo: Emma Lee)

Rolled lamb breast with herbs, lemon and tomatoes recipe

An under-rated cut, lamb breast comes from the same part of the animal as belly pork, which we know and love. Cooked well, it is tasty and tender, so give it a go. You need breasts from a decent-sized animal – consider asking your butcher for hogget breasts, which will be larger and meatier.

Serves 4

2 lamb or hogget breasts (about 500g each)

4 ripe tomatoes, chopped into 1cm pieces

2 tbsp tomato purée

finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

small bunch of parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped

3 sprigs of mint, leaves picked and roughly chopped

small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Method

Take the lamb out of the fridge around 30 minutes before cooking, to bring it to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 230°C/220°C Fan/Gas 8. Put the tomatoes, tomato purée, lemon zest and juice, garlic and herbs into a bowl, mix together well and season with salt and pepper.

Lay the lamb breast out flat, flesh side up, on a clean surface. Smear the tomato mixture evenly all over the surface to cover generously. Starting from a short side, roll up the lamb to form a fat roll. Tie securely with butcher’s string every 2–3cm, then season the outside with salt and pepper.

Place the rolled lamb breast in a roasting tray and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until deep golden brown on the outside. Add a glass of water to the tray and lower the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan/Gas 3. Roast the lamb for a further 2 hours until the meat is tender.

Now turn the oven up to 230°C/220°C Fan/Gas 8 for 15 minutes to crisp up the outside of the lamb. Take the tray from the oven and leave the lamb to rest in a warm place for 5–10 minutes, then remove the string and carve into slices. I like to serve it with five-root mash and/or roast purple sprouting broccoli with kimchi butter.

Recipes taken from River Cottage Great Roasts by Gelf Alderson (Bloomsbury, £20 Hardback) 

Great British Life: Gelf's latest book: River Cottage Great Roasts. (Photo: Emma Lee)Gelf's latest book: River Cottage Great Roasts. (Photo: Emma Lee)



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