Cherry and Pistachio Stuffing

Growing up in Canada my mom always made a traditional stuffing that you shoved into the backside of your turkey, and for me it was the best part of Christmas dinner. Here in England though stuffing is a completely different creature all together, but no less delicious. This recipe is made in the traditional English style, but has a fruity modern twist that should delight even the most fussy eater in your house.

The best part of this recipe though is that you can make it now and freeze it. Just remember to take it out of the freezer a couple of days before so they have time to completely defrost.

  • Skill level: easy
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 1 red onion, finely diced. (see video)
  • 450g/1lb sausage meat (if you can’t find sausage meat, just pick your favourite sausage and remove them from their skins)
  • 175g/6oz fresh white breadcrumbs
  • zest 1 lemon
  • zest 1 orange
  • 100g/4oz shelled pistachios
  • 100g/4oz dried sour cherries (or dried cranberries)
  • 1 large egg
  • small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • drizzle of olive oil


  1. Melt the butter in a small pan, add the onion and cook until soft, and then leave to cool.
  2. Roughly chop the pistachios (I used a food processor and then just pulsed them a few times).
  3. Mix the ingredients, except for the olive oil. The best way to do this is by hand. Once mixed roll the stuffing into 24 walnut sized balls and put on a baking tray. or in a freezer proof container if freezing.
  4. Drizzle the stuffing with olive oil and cook at 220°C/Gas 7 on the middle shelf of your oven for 20 minutes before moving to the top shelf for 10 additional minutes.

These stuffing balls can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or put in the freezer for 2 months, but remember to take them out of the freezer a few days before Christmas and thoroughly defrost in the refrigerator before cooking.


Pan Haggerty

Winter is truly taking hold here in Britain. The evenings are darker and there is a biting chill in the air. Personally, I love winter because it provides the perfect excuse to spend my evenings wrapped up in a warm blanket with the fireplace blazing, doing nothing but lazing in front of the telly with the kids and the missus. It also provides the perfect atmosphere for consuming some delicious one pot, carb heavy food.

Pan Haggerty is a dish that fits the bill perfectly. Traditionally a dish made to feed the coal miners in Northeastern Britain it is a dish perfect for taking the chill out of your bones, and for eating from large bowls in front of the television.

pan haggerty

Pan Haggerty

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Skill level: easy


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 250g bacon rashers
  • 6 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 5 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 150g cheddar cheese, grated


  1. Using a high sided frying pan, heat the oil and fry the bacon until it just begins to crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside. Leave the bacon grease in the pan.
  2. Place a layer of potatoes over the bottom of the pan. Don’t worry about presentation, just toss it in. Add a layer of onion, a layer of carrots and a layer of bacon. Repeat the layers, finishing with a layer of potatoes across the top.
  3. Pour the chicken stock over the pan, and cover. (If your pan doesn’t have a lid, just cover it over with a layer of foil.
  4. Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are tender.
  5. When everything is cooked, heat the grill. Uncover the pan and top with the cheese, then pop it under the grill until everything is golden and bubbling.
  6. Serve in bowls with some lovely crusty bread.


Old Skool Pork Chops

Pork chops are still one of the cheapest cuts of meat available. The trouble with them is that they are so boring without a little work.

I think one of the easiest things to do to add a bit of flavour is to pair them up with their old friend the apple… And if you are feeling very daring, some cheese.


Old Skool Pork Chops

  • Preparation time: less than five minutes
  • Cooking time: around 15 minutes
  • Serves: 4
  • Skill level: easy


  • 4 decent sized pork chops
  • 2 good eating apples, cored and cut into 8 wedges
  • knob of butter
  • handful of fresh sage leaves
  • 100 g strong cheese (stilton, taleggio, or strong cheddar)


  1. Heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6
  2. Season the chops with some black pepper and salt, then pour a glug of cooking oil into a pan. Carefully put your chops in the pan and cook until golden brown (3-4 minutes on each side).
  3. When the chops are nearly done, place them on an oiled baking tray. Add the apple wedges and a knob of butter to the pan and fry them until golden.
  4. Place a couple of apple wedges on each chop. Dress the sage leaves in a little olive oil and top each apple stack. If you are using the cheese top each chop with a knob of cheese. Place the chops in the oven for 5 minutes or so until everything is golden and melted.
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s, Cook with Jamie


Sausage and Butternut Squash Casserole 

Autumn has arrived in Britain, and this is a perfect dish for these cold dark evenings. As an added bonus, it is also pretty easy to make.


Sausage and Butternut Squash Casserole

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Skill level: easy


  • 50g butter
  • 6-8 sausages (best-quality you can afford)
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 3 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (I used a garlic crusher)
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds and gunk removed, cut into equal sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 200g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 500ml chicken stock


  1. Heat oven to 180º C/350º F/gas 4
  2. Heat half the butter in a large casserole pot over a medium heat and fry the sausages for 5 minutes, or until golden brown all over.
  3. Add the remaining butter, onion and shallots and fry for 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and sage leaves and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring well.
  4. Add the squash,stir to combine and turn the heat up high. Add the vinegar and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the sugar, then pour in the tomatoes, beans and chicken stock, season to taste, and bring to the boil.
  5. Transfer the casserole to the oven for 1 hour or until the sausage is cooked through and the squash is tender.


Mid-week cheat: Turkey Satay Stir-Fry with Pilau Rice

After a busy day working nobody wants to spend hours in the kitchen preparing dinner. That doesn’t mean you have to grab a take-away or heat up a ready meal. It is easy to have a freshly cooked meal in less time then it would take to wait for the pizza guy to arrive.

Turkey Satay Stir-Fry

  • Preparation time: less than five minutes
  • Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
  • Serves: 4
  • Skill level: easy


  • ½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 400g turkey breast strips
  • 200g fine beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1 orange, yellow or red pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 x 120g pack satay stir-fry sauce
  • 2 x 250g pouches of microwave pilau rice


  1. Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat and add the turkey. Cook for three minutes, stirring until lightly golden.
  2. Add the beans and peppers and continue to stir-fry for five minutes or until softened.
  3. Pour in the satay sauce and a splash of water. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick and the turkey is cooked through.
  4. Heat the rice to pack instructions. Divide the rice between four plates, and serve the stir-fry on top.