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7 best recipes to cook in November

7 recipes to cook in November

by Pete Dreyer 31 October 2018

Winter is upon us – the nights are drawing longer, morning frosts are routine and daylight commutes are a bitter memory. Luckily, there's still plenty of amazing ingredients to stock up on at home. Read on for some winter favourites to raise your spirits.


November is when winter really starts to set in. We often think of these winter months as being rather depressing – a season to persevere through until the bright lights of spring appear – but there’s actually lots to love about winter, particularly when it comes to food.

Britain is a melting pot of food cultures from all over the world, but if there’s one thing that we can consider ourselves experts in, it’s winter comfort food. Pies, crumbles, cobblers, stews, casseroles and pasties – comfort food is in our DNA, and winter produce suits it perfectly. There’s a glut of root vegetables hitting the shelves, from squash and turnips to parsnips and celeriac. There’s salsify, too – a long, sticky root with a hint of oyster to it, which is delicious simply roasted in butter and herbs.

One of the most under-appreciated is the Jerusalem artichoke – with a luxurious silky texture and nutty flavour, it's held in high esteem by chefs, but still rather underused by home cooks. You can keep things simple by roasting them, or making them into delicious soup or purée, and they go well with pork, lamb and beef, as well as other winter flavours like wild mushrooms and truffle.

Speaking of truffles, winter truffle season has well and truly arrived. Look out for white truffles at the beginning of the season – the most prized are from Alba in Piedmont, Italy – and black truffles from Périgord in France, slightly later in the year. Both will cost you a pretty penny, but the flavour and aroma of a good fresh truffle is unmatched – if you can’t order any with specialist greengrocers, online stores are your best bet.

Game birds like partridge and pheasant are still available for the rest of the winter until early next year, but November is when the most prized species of deer become available as well. It’s open season for fallow, roe and Chinese water deer – the latter has a fantastically subtle flavour, which makes it a good option for those who find normal venison a little too strong. Either way, it’s worth asking your butcher about different species of deer – venison is the most sustainable meat in the country, and something we should all be eating more of.

Apples and pears are still in the middle of a glut – all the excuse we need to be making multiple pies and crumbles each week – and though many fish become almost completely unavailable in the winter months, you’ll see plenty of hake in the window of your local fishmonger. This meaty white fish makes a fantastic cheap cod or haddock alternative, and the flavour is extremely versatile, fitting with all sorts of different combinations.

For recipes using all these beautiful seasonal ingredients (plus many more), take a look at our favourite November recipes below.

1. Venison leg cooked in hay with roast celeriac and braised red cabbage

Simon Rogan’s delicious venison roast looks like homely plate of food, but typical of the two Michelin-starred chef, there’s plenty of technical elements under the hood. Simon roasts his venison haunch in hay, then uses the trimmings to make a rich, caramelised venison sauce. Alongside large chunks of roast celeriac and a spiced, braised red cabbage, this satisfying recipe is perfect for November.

2. Jerusalem artichoke, truffled brie and honey

Robin Gill’s majestic canapé makes the most of two luxury winter ingredients – Jerusalem artichoke and truffle. Robin Gill infuses a rich, creamy Brie de Meaux with fresh winter truffle and truffle oil, then sandwiches slices of it in between thick, crunchy Jerusalem artichoke crisps. Finish with fresh grated truffle, a drizzle of honey and a dusting of mushroom powder (you can buy it if you don’t want to make your own) and there you have it – a seriously impressive dinner party showstopper.

3. Roast hake with salsify, citrus and radicchio

Hake, grapefruit, radicchio, salsify – this perfectly balanced recipe from Pascal Aussignac is November on a plate. Sharp citrus is a classic accompaniment to bitter radicchio leaves, and Pascal adds depth with the sweet, aniseed hit of fennel and some sliced kumquat on the side. With batons of butter-basted salsify and a lovely piece of pan-roasted hake (complete with crispy skin), this is a memorable main that’s sure to win you brownie points.

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

Mallards are still plentiful in November, and wild duck – though difficult to find sometimes – has a delicious gamey flavour that’s well worth the effort it can take to find it. Paul Welburn’s stunning recipe is an incredible display of technique and precision – a lot of work goes into this recipe, but the result is incredible. Paul expertly breaks down his mallards, using the trimmings and bones for sauce, before confiting the legs whilst roasting the crowns. The roast duck is finished with a honey glaze and served alongside seasonal turnips, cavolo nero and mashed potato.

5. Venison loin with sprout tops, truffled honey and chestnuts

If Simon Rogan’s homely haunch roast doesn’t quite do it before you, perhaps Adam Byatt’s sophisticated warm salad of venison loin will. It looks fantastic, but it’s really simple to put together – Adam pan-roasts his loin with butter and thyme and serves it with lightly blanched sprout tops, freshly shaved truffle and slices of raw chestnut. As we get deeper into November, you can switch things up a bit, serving the venison with Tenderstem broccoli and hazelnuts instead.

6. Apple cake

You’re bound to find yourself with a fruit bowl full of apples at some point this winter – more apples than you’re capable of eating yourself. Steven Hawkes’ apple cake is the perfect way of dealing with a glut – not only do you end up with a delicious cake, it’s also relatively healthy, as Steven uses sunflower oil and yoghurt rather than butter. Peel and dice your apples, mix your wet ingredients, add your dry ingredients and bake! Easy peasy.

7. Clementine tart with Italian meringue and caramelised macadamias

Graham Hornigold’s clementine tart is the definition of a showstopper. Graham starts with a classic French sweet pastry, blind-baking his tart shell before filling with a set clementine egg custard and garnishing the top with caramelised macadamia nuts, charred clementine segments and Italian meringue. If that sounds complicated, don’t fret – Graham’s recipe is foolproof, and he has loads of incredibly useful tips that will turn you into a pastry-making pro.

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