In a pickle: Mark Hix's easy-to-prepare potted and preserved New Year dishes

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Potted foods make a refreshing change from leftover turkey and are a perfect snacking food

It's the time of year when guests are likely to turn up unexpectedly, so it's always nice to have a few tasty things to hand. By now, you should have got through all your leftover bits and bobs from Christmas Day, and I find that pickled and potted foods make a refreshing change from leftover turkey, as well as being the perfect snacking food.

Jellied salt beef

Serves 8-10

700-800g salted ox cheek, brisket or silverside, soaked in cold water for about 10 hours
A few sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
3 sticks of celery
10 black peppercorns

To set the beef

12g (4 sheets) of gelatine
2tbsp chopped parsley

Drain and rinse the salt beef and put it into a large saucepan with the rest of the ingredients. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 2 hours, until the beef is tender. Check to see if the water needs topping up. Cooking time will vary according to the cut and size of the meat. Remove from the liquid and leave to cool.

Remove about one-third of a litre of the cooking liquid to set the beef; discard the rest. Soak the gelatine leaves in a shallow bowl of cold water for a minute or so until soft. Squeeze out the water and add to the hot cooking liquor with the parsley, and stir until dissolved. Leave somewhere to cool but do not let it set.

Meanwhile, roughly shred the beef. Put the meat into either a suitable-sized terrine mould or a rectangular container. When the jelly is cool, pour it over the salt beef until just covered (you may have some extra left which you can discard) and give it a stir with a spoon.

Cover with clingfilm and leave to set in the fridge overnight. To serve, remove from the mould by spooning it onto serving plates or turn it out and slice it; serve with a good pickle or piccalilli.

Duck liver pâté

Serves 4-6

This is a quick spreadable pâté that can be knocked up in no time with either duck or chicken livers. It will keep well in the fridge for a few days and is one of those snacks that is hard to resist late at night.

250g duck livers, cleaned
150g butter
3 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100ml port
100ml red wine
100ml medium sherry

Season the livers, heat a couple of knobs of butter in a large frying pan and fry the livers for 3-4 minutes, turning them as they are cooking and keeping them pink. Transfer the livers to a plate, add another knob of butter to the pan and gently cook the shallots and garlic for a couple of minutes; then add the alcohol and simmer until it has reduced to about a tablespoon. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rest of the butter. Mix with the livers and blend in a food processor until smooth. Season again if necessary and store in the fridge. If you want to serve for a dinner party, you can put the pâté in individual dishes and pour a little melted butter over the top.

Marinaded anchovies with parsley salad

Serves 8

Once again the anchovies are being landed down in Devon and Cornwall, which is fantastic news for our menus – hopefully the catch will also attract other species that would normally feed on them. Anchovies can be filleted by simply running your finger down the belly and pushing the fillets away from the bone – no knife needed. If you don't fancy this, you can get your fishmonger to do it for you instead. Rinse the fillets in cold water, remove any visible bones that may be left on and dry the fish on some kitchen paper.

You can keep these preserved in a kilner jar or vacuum-pack them.

30 or so fresh anchovies, filleted
A couple of handfuls of flat parsley leaves, washed and dried
3-4 medium-sized shallots, peeled
2tbsp capers
Some olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the marinade

150ml olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1tbsp white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Make the marinade by mixing all the ingredients together. Lay the anchovies in a dish and pour the marinade over them. Cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

To serve, drain off a little of the marinade and mix with some olive oil to make enough dressing to toss into the parsley leaves. Put the parsley, shallots and capers into a bowl and mix with the dressing, then arrange on serving plates. Lay the anchovy fillets on top and serve.

Potted crab

Serves 4-6

If you buy a live crab and cook it yourself, or a freshly-cooked crab so that you can use the shells to make a bisque or a stock for a risotto, then this dish becomes part of a great-value meal. Weigh the meat once you have picked it and if you have more than the recipe, just bulk up the rest of the ingredients or make a delicious crab sandwich.

1 large shallot, peeled and finely chopped
3tbsp sherry
250g brown crab meat
80g butter, melted
The juice of half a lemon
A good pinch of cayenne pepper
A good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Salt
200g white crab meat
3tbsp mayonnaise

Simmer the shallots in the sherry until the sherry has evaporated, then mix in the brown crab meat, butter, lemon juice and spices, cook for 10 minutes then leave to cool. When cold, mix in the mayonnaise and white crab meat, season to taste and serve in pots with hot buttered toast.

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
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

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Day In a Page

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering