Roast grouse with game chips, watercress and bread sauce

10 recipes to cook in September

by Great British Chefs 1 September 2019

Though we must say goodbye to summer, we say hello to a new glut of produce and the start of comfort food season. Marcus Price takes a look at what's on offer in September, and picks out some favourite dishes.

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.

With the tropical temperatures of this year’s summer bidding their final farewells and the first few leaves beginning to crunch underfoot, it is clear that autumn is fast approaching. Whilst you may well mourn the loss of picnics and barbecues, there is plenty to look forward to from a British culinary perspective, with nuts, fruits and game birds all at the forefront of seasonal produce.

The highlight for many will no doubt be the dawn of the wild duck season, which begins on the 1st of September. While mallards tend to be slightly smaller than the average farmed duck, they are packed full of flavour and will be in abundant supply at your local butcher. Grouse and wood pigeon offer a more than fitting alternative and will provide any dish with a gloriously seasonal centrepiece.

For the perfect accompaniment to your game bird dish, look no further than the cobnut, an English strain of hazelnut native to Kent. Popular among chefs, their sweet, nutty flavour combines beautifully with the gamey meat. Chestnuts, while traditionally associated with Christmas, are also now in season. Pair them with sweet scallops for an elegant starter or add them to a risotto for a rich, hearty version of the Italian classic.

For delicious jams and desserts, look no further than damsons. The sweet subspecies of plum begins to ripen in September and makes terrific gin and wine. Elderberries too will maintain a ubiquitous presence across the UK and offer the chance to create a delightful and free pontack sauce. September also marks the return of the native oyster season. Love them or hate them, this luxurious delicacy will feature in restaurants and fishmongers up and down the country.

We’ve gathered together a collection of our favourite seasonal recipes for this month that we know you’ll love!

Roasted breast of mallard with crispy leg, pumpkin soup and roasted chestnuts

With a number of technical elements and a significant prep time, this roasted mallard recipe from Robert Thompson is not for the faint-hearted. However, the end result will be more than worth it, with the deep flavours of the chestnut and pumpkin combining perfectly with the rich duck and crunchy Panko breadcrumbs. Serving four people, pull this off and you will be hosting for months to come.

Chestnut risotto

Whilst the festive season may still be a few months away, chestnuts are widely available from September onwards. Theo Randall provides us with his sumptuous risotto recipe, which offers a fantastic way to take advantage of these distinctive nuts. As with all risottos, this dish requires a little patience but will be well worth it, with a dash of brandy providing a warm heartiness against the sweetness of the chestnuts.

Wood pigeon with cobnuts

Alan Murchison uses cobnuts to garnish his delicious wood pigeon recipe. When fresh, these nuts have a distinct coconut flavour, which becomes sweeter and juicier as the nut matures. He combines the pigeon and nuts with a carrot purée and plates with bok choi to produce a wonderfully seasonal and earthy starter.

Roast grouse with game chips, watercress and bread sauce

Celebrate the British game season in style with the Galvin brothers’ delicious grouse recipe. The chefs have selected it as one of their Dishes of the Decade, which is no mean feat. The grouse is prepared alongside the classic accompaniments of game chips and bread sauce and is served with fresh, peppery watercress. Why not try this recipe as an alternative to a traditional Sunday roast?

Warm chocolate doughnuts with a damson fool

There is never a bad time for a warm, chocolate doughnut, but Adam Gray adds an elegant twist to these decadent treats with a creamy damson fool. British damsons are widely available throughout the autumn and make a fantastic alternative to the more common plums. Served with a damson purée, Italian meringue and a generous dusting of sugar, these desserts are guaranteed to impress.

Autumn fruit pavlova

Make the most of seasonal fruits with Graham Campbell’s superb pavlova recipe. Blackberries, figs and plums are combined with a blackberry purée, vanilla cream and light, airy meringues. Roast the figs and plums in the oven with a drizzle of honey to add an extra helping of sweetness to the soft fruits and create the perfect autumnal dessert.

Crispy oysters with pickled vegetable salad and citrus mayonnaise

Nathan Outlaw uses local Porthilly oysters from his native Cornwall to produce his delicious crispy oyster recipe. He rolls each oyster in flour, egg and finally Panko breadcrumbs before deep-fat frying until crisp. He then serves them in their original shells alongside a pickled vegetable salad and a healthy dollop of citrus mayonnaise to form the perfect September canapé.

Elderberry vinegar

Elder trees burst into life in September, sprouting forth with huge clusters of elderberries. These deep purple berries are only around for a month or so, but you can preserve them in all sorts of different ways. Our favourite is this elderberry vinegar – so simple, but perfect for bringing fruity balance to your cooking for the rest of the year.

Damson ketchup

One of the easiest ways to incorporate sweet damsons into savoury cooking, this easy ketchup can be used in place of the traditional tomato variety. Serve it with bacon sandwiches and cheeseboards for an easy seasonal twist, or simply have it as a dip for chips.

Grilled and barbecued autumn fruit with honey sabayon and thyme

Autumn fruits like apples, pears, plums and quince are a little more robust than their summery cousins, which makes them perfect for the intense heat of the barbecue. Ben Tish's simple but utterly delicious dessert starts with fruit charred on the barbecue, and matches it with a creamy honey sabayon and aromatic thyme syrup.