Bill Granger recipes: Pot-roasted chicken; Fettuccine with beef-rib ragu; Roasted sausages

As the autumn nights draw in, Bill Granger takes solace in simple, meaty comfort food

Bill Granger
Tuesday 30 September 2014 11:03 BST
Bill serves his garlicky pot-roasted chicken with a porcini risotto stirred through
Bill serves his garlicky pot-roasted chicken with a porcini risotto stirred through

Recent grey skies have had me pining for warming, cosy food. After a summer gorging on seafood in Cape Cod, then a long stint in sunny Sydney (it was meant to be the end of winter, but there was no evidence to that effect), I'm suddenly drawn to comforting meat dishes again.

These three simple meals certainly deliver the homely hug I've been missing during recent travels. In fact, in their own very different ways, each one could be my perfect weekend meal.

There's a satisfying sausage bun with Spanish sensitivities for lunch on a busy day, or as an early supper before heading out to the cinema; a simple, timeless chicken with white wine that I might make if friends are coming for dinner; and in true Italian style, a rich beef-rib ragu, which would make the best Sunday lunch, tossed into buttery fettuccine.

Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, and 50 Sekforde Street, London EC1, tel: 020 7251 9032, Follow Bill on Instagram at bill.granger

Pot-roasted chicken with garlic and white wine- and-porcini risotto

Pedants need not write in complaining that I've served risotto as a side dish rather than a primo. Don't worry, I know what I'm doing, and once you've tasted the porcini risotto with the garlicky white-wine sauce from the chicken stirred through it, you'll understand...

Serves 4


1½kg chicken, cut into pieces

Knob of butter

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 sprigs rosemary

6 garlic cloves, lightly crushed with side of a knife

300ml white wine

For the risotto

25g porcini mushrooms, soaked in 5 tbsp hot water for 10 minutes

1 litre chicken stock

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Knob of butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

250g arborio rice

100ml dry white wine

2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan

For the chicken, pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place it skin-side down in the pan and brown all over; this will take about 10 minutes. Add the rosemary, garlic and white wine. Allow to bubble for one minute, cover with a tight-fitting lid and put in the oven for 40 minutes,

Meanwhile, make the risotto. Drain the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid. Roughly chop the mushrooms and set aside.

Put the chicken stock in a pan over a high heat, add the porcini liquid and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Heat the oil and half the butter in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the rice and porcini and stir until the rice grains are coated in the oil. Pour in the wine and let it bubble until almost evaporated.

Add the simmering stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and making sure that each addition of stock is absorbed before you add more. Continue adding stock for about 20 minutes or until the rice is al dente and creamy. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan and the remaining butter. Season to taste. Serve the chicken with the porcini risotto and a green salad or seasonal vegetables.

Fettuccine with beef-rib ragu (Jonathan Gregson)

Fettuccine with beef-rib ragu

Rich, luscious and totally irresistible, this ragu is also delicious with a buttery mash or soft white polenta.

Serves 6


2 tbsp olive oil

1½kg beef ribs

25g butter, plus another knob

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, sliced

150g chopped pancetta

250ml red wine

750ml beef or chicken stock

3 tbsp tomato paste

2 thyme sprigs

500g fresh fettuccine

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas3. Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and brown them on all sides in the pan; you might need to do this in two batches to avoid crowding. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Place the pan back on the hob and reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and pancetta, and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Return the beef to the pan, pour in the wine, reduce the volume by half, then add the stock. Bring to the boil, add the tomato paste and thyme, and cover.

Place in the oven and cook for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat starts falling off the bone. Take the ribs from the pan, cut the meat off the bone, then put it back in the pan with the sauce.

Cook the fettuccine in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water. Toss in the knob of butter, adding a bit of the cooking water to loosen. Serve with the beef-rib ragu.

Roasted sausages with peppers and onions

Roasted sausages with peppers and onions

I like my sausages coarse and spicy, but sometimes find chorizo over the top in a bun, preferring a top-quality Italian sausage instead. (Unless it's in the divine Brindisa chorizo bun in London's Borough Market.)

Serves 4


8 good-quality coarse pork sausages

2 yellow peppers, seeded and sliced lengthways

2 red peppers, seeded and sliced lengthways

1 red onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges

½ tsp dried fresh chilli flakes

1 handful pitted black olives

½ tsp fennel seeds

4-8 crusty bread rolls

Handful fresh basil, leaves picked

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Place the sausages, peppers and onion in a baking dish. Scatter over the chilli flakes, olives and fennel seeds. Toss well and cook in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure even browning.

Heat the buns in the oven until just warmed though. Divide the sausages and oniony peppers between the buns, adding 1 or 2 sausages per bun, depending on your preference. Add some fresh basil leaves and enjoy. 1

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