Our favourite recipes of 2018

Our favourite recipes of 2018

by Great British Chefs 20 December 2018

Our illustrious group of chefs, food writers and bloggers have contributed some exceptional recipes to the website this year. We’ve picked through them all to select the very best of 2018.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

2018 has been a pretty special year here at Great British Chefs. It's amazing to think that at the beginning of the year, we were hard at work testing, photographing, writing and editing the Great British Chefs Cookbook – our first foray into the cookbook world. Safe to say, we're hugely grateful for the support – thousands of you have bought the book this year, and set about cooking every single recipe from it in the Great British Chefs Cookbook Club!

Since then, we've been hard at work tracking down the most interesting stories in the world of food and bringing exciting new recipes to you, courtesy of the best chefs and food writers in the country. We've explored a variety of food cultures and cooking methods, and over on Great Italian Chefs, we've embarked on a region-by-region exploration of Italy, cataloguing some of the country's best regional dishes.

We finish the year extremely well-fed, but there are a few recipes that really stand out in our memories. Scroll down to take a look at our favourite dishes from 2018.

Tomato and anchovy risotto

Luke Holder has always been a chef we turn to when we’re looking for hearty Italian cooking, but he may just have outdone himself with this incredible tomato risotto. The risotto itself is a simple, silky blend of passata, Parmesan and butter, but then Luke amps up the umami with a big hit of anchovy and garlic at the end. It’s comfort food at its absolute best.

Regional Italian favourites

2018 has been a huge year for Great British Chefs, but also for Great Italian Chefs, where we’ve been cataloguing Italy’s best regional dishes. We’ve eaten more malfatti than we can count on our collective hands this year, and cooked our way through three-quarters of the country, discovering amazing regional dishes like the hearty, rich and delicious Ossobuco alla Milanese from Lombardy. Head over to Great Italian Chefs to discover a true taste of Italy.

Mchuzi wa samaki (Tanzanian coconut fish curry)

We’re always on the lookout for recipes that are easy to make, quick and absolutely packed full of flavour, and this Tanzanian fish curry delivers on all three fronts! Tanzania and India were close trade partners in the nineteenth century, so the local cuisine has been heavily influenced by Indian spices like cumin, chilli, turmeric and coriander. As a result, this curry is warm and rich with spice, but has incredible depth thanks to plum tomatoes, coconut milk, and a dollop of tamarind paste at the end.

Crab katsu curry

Undoubtedly one of the UK’s most exciting chefs, we were thrilled to welcome Gareth Ward to the site this year, alongside a collection of his jaw-dropping tasting menu recipes from Michelin-starred Ynyshir in Wales. It’s tough to choose just one, so we’ve chosen two – the crab katsu curry is probably the most achievable for the home cook, but the Welsh wagyu burger is a dish that has been stunning diners at Ynyshir all year – an incredible mix of punchy, umami flavours.

Lobster croquettes, charred lime, nori gomasio

If you’re looking to impress some dinner guests, Michael Bremner’s lobster croquettes with charred lime and nori gomasio are a dead cert. It’s a great lesson in how to preserve all the flavour from a lobster – Michael boils his lobster with lemon and bay leaves, and then reserves the stock, shells and meat, using the former for a sauce to bind the latter. A charred lime mayonnaise is the perfect accompaniment.

Burnt ends with Kansas-style barbecue sauce

This incredible burnt ends recipe takes a Deep South classic right down to its fundamentals – a cracking Kansas-style barbecue sauce, and a delicious bit of brisket smoked for eight hours to create a nice peppery crust. All you need is a barbecue with a lid, a day of sunshine, and a crate of beers to keep you going. Bliss.

Roast parsnips with bacon, olives, sage and sprout leaves

In this ingenious recipe, Peter jazzes up plain roast parsnips with a symphony of flavours – salty bacon and olives, sage, wilted sprout leaves and lemon to create something fantastic that accompanies all sorts of roasted meats. A dish that should be on every dinner table this Christmas.

Honey-glazed mallard, confit leg, turnips, cavolo nero

Paul Welburn has had a fantastic 2018 – he finally received a much-deserved Michelin star for his cooking at Oxford Kitchen, and he’s provided us with lots of brilliant recipes too. This honey-glazed mallard was one of the most popular dishes on the site all year, despite only appearing in the last six months. From the careful roasting of the duck crowns to balancing the flavours in a superb spiced glaze, this recipe is a true labour of love – but one that is absolutely worth the effort.

Steamed haddock with saffron mash and gremolada

Jeremy Lee is an expert when it comes to taking humble ingredients and elevating them to something very special. The combination of haddock – gently steamed to the point of pearlescence – and rich saffron-infused mash and lemony gremolada is something we could eat multiple times a week. It sounds simple, but is deceptively delicious.

Nanny Bush's trifle

Richard Bainbridge’s playful recipes take inspiration from his past. This trifle – as you may have guessed – is inspired by his grandmother, who used to feed the family with delicious, rustic home cooking. Richard’s play on the trifle takes all the flavours that he remembers – including hundreds and thousands, popping candy and whipped cream – and transforms them into a stunning, restaurant-quality dessert.

Pan-roasted cauliflower with cashew cream

Josh Eggleton’s Root restaurant in Bristol’s fashionable Wapping Wharf, led by head chef Rob Howell, has been a whopping success this year, proving that there’s room for quality veg-centric cooking in restaurants all over the country. This pan-roasted cauliflower has been a dinner staple for various members of the Great British Chefs team – vegan and otherwise – and is a great example of the joy one can get out of a single cauliflower. Cut yourself two steaks, and use the rest to make a raw cauliflower salad and a creamy cauliflower purée.

Chicken, ham and leek pie

British classics, taken to the next level – that’s the mantra at Heston Blumenthal’s Hind’s Head pub in Bray. This chicken pie is a perfect case in point – most of us can throw together a decent chicken pie given a sturdy casserole dish and a bit of pastry, but this version from head chef Pete Gray takes every single element to uncharted territory. It’s everything you expect from a Heston recipe – brines, infusions and reductions, but the result is undoubtedly the best chicken pie you will ever eat in your life. Plus, you can make a big batch and freeze them, so they’re ready for a midnight snack!