The Beast of the East is almost upon us and with it some of the coldest weather Ireland has seen in years.
Regardless of whether or not a Siberian blizzard does indeed grace our shores this week there’s no getting away from the fact that we’re about to experience extremely cold weather, so we’ve rounded up some of our favourite comfort food recipes for you guys to try out at home!
Bean and Sausage Hotpot
8 large sausages (course-cut ones like Toulouse or Cumberland are ideal)
¼ quantity tomato sauce (see ‘Goes well with’)
3 x 400g/14oz cans butter beans
1 tbsp black treacle or muscovado sugar
1 tsp English mustard
- In a large casserole, fry the sausages until brown all over – about 10 mins.
- Add the tomato sauce, stirring well, then stir in the beans, treacle or sugar and mustard. Bring to the simmer, cover and cook for 30 mins. Great served with crusty bread or rice.
Melty Cheese and Potato Pie
750g floury potatoes (such as King Edwards), sliced
100ml crème fraîche
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
plain flour, for dusting
2 x 375g blocks of all-butter puff pastry
250g round Camembert (or vegetarian alternative)
1 egg, beaten
For the salad
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
100ml olive oil
(I used red and white for colour contrast), leaves separated
- Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the potatoes into a pan of cold water, bring up to the boil and cook for 2 mins. Drain well, tip back into the saucepan and mix with the crème fraîche. Season, sprinkle over the nutmeg and set aside.
- Dust your work surface with flour, roll the first block of pastry to a circle about 28cm wide and place on a baking tray. Arrange a third of the potatoes in the middle of the pastry, then sit the cheese on top. Pile the rest of the potato around the cheese, leaving a 1cm border at the edge of the pastry.
- Roll the remaining pastry out to a circle about 30cm wide, dusting with more flour if needed. Brush the edges of the pastry on the tray with egg, then drape over the larger circle and seal the sides well, crimping as you go round. A tight seal is important to stop the cheese escaping.
- Brush all over with egg and lightly score a spiral into the pastry with the back of a knife. Bake the pie for 30 mins until golden brown and puffed up. As soon as the pie comes out of the oven, glaze with a little more egg and leave to cool for 5 mins.
- Meanwhile, whisk the shallot, mustard, vinegar and oil together. Place the chicory in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Serve the pie cut into oozy wedges, with the salad on the side.
Hot Chocolate Milkshakes
200g plain chocolate (we used 70% cocoa)
600ml full-fat milk
vanilla ice cream
a nip of rum or brandy for the adults (optional)
- Break 200g plain chocolate (I used 70% cocoa) into cubes and put into a pan with 600ml full-fat milk. Gently heat until the chocolate melts, then bring almost to the boil, whisking regularly until even and smooth. Can be made ahead, then chilled for up to 2 days.
- Re-heat if necessary, whisking, then ladle or pour into heatproof glasses or mugs. Top with scoops vanilla ice cream and mini marshmallows. Add a nip of rum or brandy for the adults, if you like.
(Image credit: Thyme & Envy)