7 recipes to cook in October

10 recipes to cook in October

by Great British Chefs 1 October 2020

With autumn now in full swing, our attentions turns from leafy greens to the burnished gold of root vegetables and wild mushrooms. Take a look at a few of our favourite October recipes, courtesy of some of the UK’s best chefs and food writers.

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.

The summer of lockdown has finally ended and the shorter days and cooler nights are indisputable signs that winter is on the way (whether it brings another lockdown or not, time will tell). As the leaves shift from summery greens to autumnal reds, oranges and browns, the seasonal produce follows suit, with root vegetables and wild mushrooms sprouting up across the UK.

Greengrocers’ shelves across the nation will be stacked high with colour, as vibrant pumpkins, butternut squashes and heritage carrots burst onto the scene. With the nights drawing in, these vegetables provide the perfect foundation for hearty soups and casseroles. Heritage carrots also provide a beautifully sweet taste to any dish in which they feature.

October also represents the peak of the wild mushroom season, with girolles, chanterelles and the daunting trompettes de la mort all providing an incredible, earthy flavour. Pair them with a sumptuous roast beef or lamb or add them to a gorgeous risotto for a perfect evening meal.

Apples, quinces and pears dominate the dessert scene as the months get colder. Juicy and delicious pears are at their best right now and are perfect for poaching, while apples can be used to fill a spectacular tarte Tatin. October is also the time to make the most of the end of the blackberry season by producing a few final crumbles.

Mussels are at their prime in the autumn months and are one of the most sustainable shellfish in the sea. Pair with chorizo, leeks or shallots for a perfect seafood main. More game birds are also becoming available, with pheasant and woodcock now on the market. While the latter is hard to get hold of, its flavour more than makes up for the effort of sourcing.

We’ve gathered together a series of some of our favourite seasonal recipes for October that we know will see you through the cooler days and nights!

Steamed mussels with cider, leeks and chorizo

This combination of mussels, leeks, cider and chorizo is a match made in heaven. This incredible recipe from Georgina Fuggle showcases the delicious flavours of seasonal mussels and implores you to savour the preparation. Make sure you serve with plenty of bread for mopping up the beautiful sauce.

Apple and blackberry crumble with a macadamia nut and vanilla topping

Michelin-starred chef Adam Gray puts his own twist on this classic British dessert by baking the Macadamia and vanilla topping separately for an extra depth of flavour and crunch. The seasonal apples and blackberries combine to produce an autumnal delight that is delightfully easy to make. Serve after a roast dinner for a perfect, hearty evening meal.

Fermented barley and girolle risotto

For his take on a classic risotto, Robin Gill ferments the barley for five days to add an extra flavour dimension to the grain. He then pairs it with delicious girolles to produce a distinct, earthy flavour. While this recipe may require some patience, the results will more than make up for it. Complete the dish with any seasonal vegetables that you have to hand.

Pithivier of game with carrot purée and glazed onions

As always, we turn to the Galvin brothers when we're looking for a show-stopping game dish, and this majestic dish doesn't disappoint, highlighting the very best of seasonal produce. The stunning pithivier is packed with a mixed game filling and served alongside a lightly spiced carrot purée to produce a truly impressive main. This recipe is a popular fixture at the brothers’ own restaurants.

Roasted lamb rump with salsify and wild mushrooms

This lamb rump recipe from Richard Corrigan is the perfect example of how the diligent preparation of select ingredients can garner stunning results. By taking your time with each element – Jerusalem artichoke purée, salsify, sweetbreads, seasonal wild mushrooms and, of course, the beautiful lamb – you can achieve a wonderfully caramelised exterior and an incredible earthy flavour.

Pan-roasted rump of beef with butternut squash, girolles and Treviso

This beautiful dish from Andy McLeish is a true, earthy delight. The pan-roasted rump of beef is paired with vibrant butternut squash, girolles and mild Treviso to produce a phenomenal autumnal main. The trick to this dish is not overcooking the beef; the rump should be evenly coloured on the outside and beautifully pink in the middle.

Butternut squash, pear and gorgonzola flatbread tart

The sour taste of the blue cheese and the sweetness of the fruit combine in this tart to release a symphony of flavour that perfectly hits the spot. The final component of Adam Byatt’s recipe is butternut squash, which adds a rustic earthiness to the dish. This vegetarian tart provides a wonderfully autumnal main and is the perfect way to make use of seasonal ingredients.

Steamed cod with curried mussels and carrots

Pearlescent cod meets rich, curried mussels in this autumnal treat. Mussels are coming back to their best this month, so this is a perfect time to give Steve Groves' dish a try. The base is a curried broth of shallot, garlic, carrot and celery, which Steve augments with the juices from the mussels and a hit of curry powder. Steam the cod gently to get that perfect translucent, flaky finish, and then sit it on top.

Partridge with Swiss chard, girolles, quince and chestnuts

Geoffrey Smeddle's exquisite partridge dish is October on a plate – a perfect display of autumnal produce. He roasts quince in butter, thyme and cinnamon, fries girolles in butter and serves alongside a perfectly-cooked partridge, which he roasts in more butter, giving it a lovely golden hue. Feel free to use whatever seasonal vegetables you have in the fridge!

Pear tart and Tregothnan Earl Grey tea ice cream

Aside from being the finest fish cook to grace the land, Nathan Outlaw also produces some outstanding desserts. He loves riffing around classic British flavours, and this pear tart makes the most of early season pears, marrying them with a wonderful Earl Grey ice cream. Make double quantities of the ice cream if you have room in the freezer – it's worth having some on hand for the next time you need an emergency dessert!