Early warming system: Skye Gyngell reveals her favourite recipes for cold winter days

What better way to prepare for the cold months ahead than by settling down to a hearty meal? This week and next, Skye Gyngell presents her favourite winter warmers

As the nights draw in and the cold starts to chill the bones, what could be better than a warming, hearty dinner? Today and next Sunday, I'll be giving you recipes to prepare two delicious dinners that will fill your stomach and leave you blissfully content.

I've started this week's meal with a soup that is wonderfully elegant, but also has beautifully earthy base notes – and you can tell from its taste that it's good for you. Although it takes a bit of time to prepare, the beef becomes total comfort food when cooked gently, soft enough to eat with a spoon; and while the raspberry and orange pudding is light and delicate, it gives a delightfully cosy feeling inside.

Skye Gyngell is head chef at Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Richmond, Surrey, tel: 020 8605 3526, petershamnurseries.com

Potato, porcini and rosemary soup

Serves 4

180g/6oz dried porcini
300ml/1/2 pint warm water
120ml/4fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
6 sprigs rosemary, leaves only
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 small dried red chilli
1kg/2lb Roseval potatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
60g/21/2oz Parmesan, grated
The juice of half a lemon
A bunch of curly parsley, leaves only, very finely chopped

Place the porcini in a bowl. Pour over the warm water and leave for 10 minutes to allow the porcini to soften and the water to become infused with their lovely, musty flavour.

Place a large heavy-based pan over a low heat, add a tablespoon of the oil and, when just warm, add the shallots. Cook over a low heat for five minutes to soften.

Chop the rosemary finely and add to the shallots along with the garlic. Crumble over the chilli and stir well to combine.

Slice the potatoes into quarter-inch rounds (do not bother to peel, as the skin is delicious). Strain the porcini, reserving the infused water. Chop fairly roughly and add to the pan with the potatoes.

Add the rest of the olive oil, a good pinch of sea salt and a little freshly ground black pepper, stir to coat and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then.

Pour in the reserved water and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender and beginning to fall apart. Add the Parmesan and the lemon juice. Sprinkle over the chopped parsley, taste one final time and add what you feel is necessary – perhaps a little more pepper and a pinch or two of salt. Ladle into warm bowls and serve.

Slow-cooked beef with pancetta and cavolo nero

Serves 4

6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1kg/2lb boneless rib of beef, cut into chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Spanish onions, peeled and sliced
3 sticks of celery, cut into fine slices
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
4 slices of pancetta, cut into cubes
4 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
3 bay leaves, preferably fresh
4 sprigs of rosemary
4 tomatoes, roughly chopped, deseeded
A bottle of Barolo or similar hearty red wine
1 bunch of cavolo nero, washed
3tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
80g/3oz Parmesan, freshly grated
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish. Season the meat generously and brown in batches. As each batch becomes golden-brown, remove and keep warm as you brown the rest. Don't overcowd the dish. Pour out the excess oil and add the onions, celery, carrots and pancetta and cook over a low heat until the vegetables are light-brown and soft. Add the garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, tomatoes and wine and bring to the boil.

Return the meat to the dish and turn the heat to very low. Place a lid on and cook for two-and-a-half hours. Transfer the meat to a serving dish, turn up the heat to high and reduce the sauce by a third, and season.

To prepare the cavolo nero (Tuscan cabbage), blanch for five minutes, and add the olive oil, Parmesan and garlic while still warm. Toss through and serve with the slow-cooked beef.

Raspberry and orange pudding

Served warm with a dollop of cream, this is the perfect end to a meal in cold weather.

Serves 4

100g/31/oz unsalted butter, softened, plus a little extra for buttering the moulds
100g/31/2oz caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthwise, seeds scraped out
2 whole eggs
100g/31/2oz self-raising flour
Finely grated zest of a lemon and an orange
A small pinch of salt
16 plump raspberries
4 tbsp golden syrup
Jersey cream to serve
4 tbsp finely chopped candied orange to serve (optional)

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Butter four darioles (pudding-shaped moulds) and set aside. Mix the butter and sugar together until it forms a pale, smooth cream. Add the seeds from the vanilla pod, followed by one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift in the flour and fold in gently. Finally, add the lemon and orange zest and a small pinch of salt.

Divide the raspberries among the moulds, placing four in each. Spoon the golden syrup on top, allowing about one tablespoon per mould. Spoon over the sponge mixture and cover each mould loosely with some buttered foil. Place on a baking tray and cook in the hot oven for 30 minutes, until they have risen and are cooked through.

To serve, run a knife around each pudding and turn out on to warmed plates. Finish by adding a dollop of cream and, if using, a spoonful of chopped candied orange. Eat while piping hot.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    ICE ICT: Lead Business Consultant

    £39,000: ICE ICT: Specific and detailed knowledge and experience of travel sys...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

    £25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Day In a Page

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map
    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
    Paris Fashion Week

    Paris Fashion Week

    Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
    A year of the caliphate:

    Isis, a year of the caliphate

    Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
    Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

    Marks and Spencer

    Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
    'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

    'We haven't invaded France'

    Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
    Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

    Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

    The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

    Remembering 7/7 ten years on

    Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
    Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

    They’re here to help

    We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
    What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

    What exactly does 'one' mean?

    Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue