Food 2019 – Recipes (Celeriac, Pancetta and Hazelnut Soup; Tartiflette; Sausage and Cider Casserole with Apples and Sage)

Saturday, 2nd November 2019 – Recipes (Celeriac, Pancetta and Hazelnut Soup; Tartiflette; Sausage and Cider Casserole with Apples and Sage)

This turned out to be a brilliantly earthy, deeply satisfying soup for a freezing cold day sitting in a grandstand watching Formula Ford cars race frantically. Wrapped in blankets, with thick coats, thermals and woolly hats, all was right with the world.

Celeriac, Pancetta and Hazelnut Soup

Serves: 4
Time: 30 min


  • 100g smoked pancetta, diced
  • A knob of butter
  • 1 onions
  • 1 large celeriac (about 750g)
  • 1 large floury potato (about 400g)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 litre fresh chicken stock
  • 25g hazelnuts
  • Crème fraîche, to serve
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
  • Fresh chives, to serve


  1. Fry the pancetta in a large saucepan with the butter until golden and crisp. Remove two thirds with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper and reserve. Finely chop the onion, add to the pan and fry for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and chop the celeriac and 1 potato into even chunks. Add to the pan with the bay leaf and stock and season well. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the veg are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, toast the hazelnuts in a dry pan, then coarsely chop.
  4. Remove the bay leaf from the soup, then whizz with a hand blender until smooth. Taste and season, then serve topped with dollops of crème fraîche, the hazelnuts, reserved pancetta, a glug of extra-virgin olive oil and snipped fresh chives, if you like.

The Perfect Tartiflette

Food of the gods… and the very hungry skier! I love tartiflette but it’s an indulgence you really shouldn’t give in to too often. If you do, this fine recipe from the Guardian by the wonderful Felicity Cloake is the only way to go.

Serves: 6
Time: 60 minutes


  • 1.3kg waxy potatoes, skin left on
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 200g smoked bacon lardons
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 200ml whipping cream
  • 1 reblochon
  • 1 clove of garlic


  1. Boil the potatoes in well-salted water until just tender to a fork, but not cooked right through. Drain well and leave to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, melt half the butter in a frying pan and saute the onions and bacon until the onions are soft and both are beginning to brown. Tip in the wine, bring to a simmer, and reduce to nearly nothing. Stir in the cream off the heat.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark six. Cut the potatoes into smallish cubes (roughly 1cm). Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan and saute them until golden. Cut the cheese in half horizontally.
  4. Rub an ovenproof dish with the cut clove of garlic, then cover the base with half the potatoes. Spoon over half the onion and bacon mixture and season well. Top with half the reblochon then repeat the layers, with the remaining reblochon half, rind uppermost, on top.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes until browned and bubbling (stick it under the grill for five more minutes if you want it really crisp), then serve with a green salad and a glass of dry white wine.


Do NOT overcook it. If you do everything will separate out, and while it will still taste fine, it won’t look nice at all.

Warming, wonderful and heats up a treat on the second day in the unlikely event there’s any left!

Sausage and Cider Casserole with Apples and Sage

Serves: 4-6
Time: 60 min


  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 8 British outdoor-reared pork sausages (I used a selection of venison, wild boar, and pork sausages)
  • 200g smoked bacon lardons
  • 50g butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 small parsnips (about 350g), chopped
  • 3 large celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml medium or dry cider (I used 500mls and reduced the water in the stock)
  • 300ml fresh chicken stock (you can use a cube or a stock pot, it’ll be just as good)
  • 8-10 fresh sage leaves, chopped, plus a few leaves fried in a little oil until crisp (optional)
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 small eating apples, such as cox
  • A squeeze of lemon to serve (optional)


  1. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole (with a lid). Add the sausages and brown them all over, then transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the bacon lardons to the casserole and fry for 5 minutes until the fat is crisp and brown. Transfer to the plate with the sausages.
  3. Drain off all but 1 tbsp of the oil from the casserole, add half the butter and, when melted, add the onions and garlic. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring now and then, until soft and lightly browned.
  4. Take off the lid, stir in the parsnips and celery and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in the tomato purée and flour, then gradually stir in the cider and stock and bring to the boil.
  5. Return the sausages and bacon to the casserole, then stir in the sage and mustard. Cover, put in the oven and cook for 40 minutes.
  6. When the casserole is ready, melt the remaining butter in a non-stick frying pan. Quarter, core and slice the apples into wedges. Add them to the pan and fry gently for 2-3 minutes until golden all over and just tender. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  7. Remove the casserole from the oven, stir in the apples and season to taste (add a squeeze of lemon if you think it needs it). Sprinkle with the fried sage leaves, if using. Serve with baked potatoes or mash and greens.

Note: You can get as far as step 5 and then cool and chill the dish for up to 3 days in an airtight container or food bag. Just cook the apples when you have it ready to serve.

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