Treacle treat: Mark Hix's Halloween feast

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

I'm not a great one for celebrating Halloween – although obviously I love the variety of pumpkins and squashes that you find in the shops and supermarkets in the weeks preceding the festivities. Halloween is of course more geared towards children, who love donning fancy dress and carving out pumpkins – but where does that leave the grown-ups? Stuck at home, usually, answering the door to trick-or-treating kids ... So that's why this week I'm providing you with some warming Halloween recipes that you could share with your neighbours – in between dishing out bags of sweets.

Lamb's wool

This is a traditional recipe unearthed by Nick Strangeway, the cocktail supremo at my new restaurant. It's a warming long drink combining ale with apple purée and spices. It also features in a verse from Robert Herrick's Twelfth Night (c1648).

Next crown the bowl full
With gentle lamb's wool
Add sugar, nutmeg and ginger,
With store of ale too;
And thus ye must do
To make a wassail a swinger

Makes 4 small glasses

1 bottle of Hix IPA or light ale or bitter

For the sugar syrup

200g granulated sugar
200ml water
4 allspice berries
The peelings from the grated root ginger, below
8 cloves
2cm of a cinnamon stick

For the apple purée

500g bramley apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
A good pinch of grated nutmeg
tbsp finely grated root ginger
120g Demerara sugar

First, make the sugar syrup. Put all of the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes; remove from the heat and cool. Then place all the ingredients for the apple purée in a thick-bottomed saucepan and cook on a low heat with a lid on for 6-7 minutes, stirring every so often until the apples have disintegrated. Remove from the heat; blend in a food processor until smooth.

To serve, strain the syrup through a fine-meshed sieve, gently heat the beer and whisk in the syrup and apple purée to taste; serve in a pewter or silver tankard.

Parkin

Serves 4

My pastry chef at the Albemarle restaurant at Brown's Hotel in Mayfair adapted this parkin recipe last year to give it more of the feel of a gingery sticky toffee pudding.

100g self-raising flour
2tsp ground ginger
A good pinch of mixed spice
A pinch of salt
30g pinhead oatmeal
175g dark brown sugar
100g butter
100g golden syrup
60g black treacle
20ml milk
1 large egg, beaten

For the ginger toffee sauce

200ml double cream
200g dark brown sugar
tsp ground ginger
150g butter

Pre-heat the oven to 175C/gas mark 4. Sift the flour, spices and salt into a bowl. Stir in the oatmeal and sugar and make a well in the centre.

Meanwhile, melt the butter, golden syrup and treacle over a low heat, whisking to emulsify, then remove from the heat and leave to cool a little. Mix into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon, then beat the milk and egg together and stir into the mixture until well mixed. Pour the mixture into a greased, preferably non-stick loaf tin, or you can use individual pudding basins, and bake for 45-50 minutes (half that time for individuals), leaving the mixture slightly soft to the touch. Leave to cool for 30 minutes or so before turning out.

For the toffee sauce: put all of the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring to ensure the butter and sugar has melted. Simmer on a medium heat for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat. Slice the parkin into 4 pieces horizontally, spoon some of the sauce on to each slice and reassemble back into the cake tin. Re-heat in the oven for about 5-6 minutes then turn out on to a warmed serving dish for the large one or individual plates for the small versions.

Spoon over the rest of the sauce and serve with clotted cream.

Haggis baked potatoes

Serves 4

This dish came about when I was wondering what I could put into a jacket potato to make it more interesting and I opened the freezer and spotted a haggis. Haggis may not be everyone's cup of tea, but really, it's no worse than eating a sausage – and what's more, it's delicious!

2 large baking potatoes
400-500g best quality haggis, chopped up a little
100g butter
2-3tbsp of fresh white breadcrumbs
A couple of good knobs of butter, melted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Bake the potatoes for about an hour or until tender, then remove from the oven and leave to cool a little. Cut the top off the potatoes and scoop out the potato and mix in a bowl with the haggis and butter. Refill the skins, discarding the top bit that you have already cut off. Mix the breadcrumbs and butter together and scatter over the potatoes. Return to the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes before serving.

Mutton and maple pea stew

Serves 4

For a simple stew like this, I think mutton has the best flavour. Maple peas or carlings are not that common, though you tend to find them in the north of England. If you can't find any, you can substitute chickpeas instead.

1kg neck fillet of mutton, cut into rough 2cm pieces
Plain flour for dusting
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
Vegetable oil for frying
A small sprig of rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.5 litres chicken or lamb stock (can be made with good-quality stock cubes)
80g maple peas, soaked in cold water overnight
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tbsp chopped parsley

Season the pieces of mutton and dust generously with about a tablespoon or so of flour. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and fry the pieces of mutton and onions, without colouring them too much, for 3-4 minutes. Add the rosemary and stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 1-2 hours until the mutton is soft and tender. This may take a little longer, or it may be quicker, as it's difficult to put a cooking time on braising cuts. You may need to add a little stock or water during cooking if the stew is getting dry.

While the mutton is cooking, place the maple peas in a pan, cover with water, add a couple of teaspoons of salt and the bicarbonate of soda, bring to the boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until tender, then drain. Add to the mutton and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes; then add the parsley and serve.

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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Ashdown Group: Print Designer - High Wycombe - Permanent £28K

    £25000 - £28000 per annum + 24 days holiday, bonus, etc.: Ashdown Group: Print...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager

    £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager required for ...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator

    £25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator A...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there