Mary Berry – Cook and Share episode 3: Mary is off to Birmingham, home of the world-famous cricket ground at Edgbaston, where she immerses herself in the world of cricket. Mary spent many weekends and evenings watching her husband and boys play the sport at their local village club. While she enjoyed watching the game, the real fun came with the cricket teas. Helping prepare them and sharing with others was her highlight, and now Mary can’t wait to meet some of the England team and prepare lunch for them ahead of their test match against India.
Mary heads to the beating heart of the stadium – its kitchens – to meet head chef Scott, who oversees all the food cooked there for both the teams and the spectators and staff, which can mean over 2000 covers on a match day. Scott’s team make everything fresh and from scratch, earning high praise from those that visit from all over the world. He also works closely with the various teams’ nutritionists to ensure the players get food fit for professional athletes.
Ahead of the test match, the England team are already at the stadium to practise, and Mary has the pleasure of meeting two of their top players, Jonny Bairstow and Ollie Pope. The boys convince her to join them for a bat on the pitch before lunch. No doubt Mary will bowl them over with her delicious hot smoked salmon, rice and asparagus salad lunch, but how will she do on the crease under the watchful eyes of Jonny and Ollie?
Mary Berry – Cook and Share episode 3
Whilst in Birmingham, Mary is keen to meet the future of the sport and heads to a local primary school where cricket is top of the sporting agenda. Many of the children have been inspired to take up cricket after practising during PE lessons, with two of them already making it to county level. After seeing the children practise, Mary asks a few of the players to help her make a delicious cricket snack of fruit kebabs with lemon curd and mint yoghurt before inviting the rest of the class to taste-test them. Will they get the children’s seal of approval?
Back in her own kitchen, Mary makes her delicious jumbo lentil rolls, perfect to enjoy after a slow Sunday watching the cricket, her simple chip chip cassoulet, which always goes down well with both young and old, and her rich ultimate brownies, a mouthwatering treat that’s hard to resist.
Dame Mary Rosa Alleyne Hunnings, known professionally as Mary Berry, is an English food writer, chef, baker and television presenter. After being encouraged in domestic science classes at school, she studied catering and shipping management at college. She then moved to France at the age of 22 to study at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, before working in a number of cooking-related jobs.
Berry’s first job was at the Bath Electricity Board showroom and then conducting home visits to show new customers how to use their electric ovens. She would typically demonstrate the ovens by making a Victoria sponge, a technique she would later repeat when in television studios to test out an oven she had not used before. Her catchment area for demonstrations was limited to the greater Bath area, which she drove around in a Ford Popular supplied as a company car.
Her ambition was to move out of the family home to London, which her parents would not allow until she was 21. At the age of 22, she applied to work at the Dutch Dairy Bureau, while taking City & Guilds courses in the evenings. She then persuaded her manager to pay for her to undertake the professional qualification from the French Le Cordon Bleu school.
She left the Dutch Dairy Bureau to become a recipe tester for PR firm Benson’s, where she began to write her first book. She has since cooked for a range of food-related bodies, including the Egg Council and the Flour Advisory Board. In 1966 she became food editor of Housewife magazine. She was food editor of Ideal Home magazine from 1970 to 1973.
Her first cookbook, The Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook, was published in 1970. She launched her own product range in 1994 with her daughter Annabel. The salad dressings and sauces were originally only sold at Mary’s AGA cooking school, but have since been sold in Britain, Germany and Ireland with retailers such as Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Tesco. She has also appeared on a BBC Two series called The Great British Food Revival, and her solo show, Mary Berry Cooks, began airing on 3 March 2014.
Chipolata sausages are often overlooked in favour of big juicy sausages, but they are perfect for this smokey, spicy take on a cassoulet as they don’t release too much fat and cook quickly. This is a great dish for feeding hungry people after a long winter walk.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a deep frying pan or flameproof casserole over a high heat. Add the sausages and fry until they are evenly browned. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan, if needed. Stir in the onions, garlic and pepper and fry for a few minutes. Stir in the chipotle paste, paprika and tomato purée.
- Pour in the wine and stock and add the baked beans. Return the sausages to the pan, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 25 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and return to the heat to simmer for a few minutes, until the tomatoes are soft but still hold their shape. Serve hot with mash or baked potatoes.
Hot-smoked salmon, rice and asparagus salad
Hot-smoked salmon is like poached salmon, but with a smoky flavour – perfect for salads. The lemon dressing and herbs make this salad vibrant and bursting with summer flavours.
- Cook the rice in boiling salted water according to packet instructions. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain again.
- Place the rice in a bowl. Add the spring onions, dill and parsley. Season well with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Measure all the dressing ingredients into a jug and mix together. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dressing and pour the remainder over the rice. Mix well, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
- Meanwhile, place the eggs in a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 8 minutes for soft boiled. Drain and place in cold water before peeling. Cut each egg into quarters.
- Cook the asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold water and drain again.
- Tip the asparagus into the rice and mix to combine. Spoon into a serving dish and arrange the salmon pieces and egg quarters on top. Sprinkle with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper, then drizzle over the reserved dressing to serve.
Jumbo lentil rolls
These are veggie sausage rolls with a generous filling of goats’ cheese, lentils and herbs. They are a surprise hit that works brilliantly for sharing with friends and buffet spreads. Try to serve them warm as they are much nicer that way.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7 and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the lentils in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 20 minutes until tender (or cook according to packet instructions). Drain and leave to cool.
- Place the cooked lentils in a mixing bowl. Add the goats’ cheese, tomatoes, mint, cheddar and cumin. Season generously with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Unroll the pastry, with the long side nearest to you. Cut the pastry in half horizontally to make two rectangles. Brush the pastry all over, with the beaten egg.
- Spoon half of the lentil mixture along a long edge about 4cm/1½in from the edge. Fold the pastry over the lentil mixture and press down to encase it (to make a long lentil roll). Press with a fork to seal the seam and make a neat edge. Repeat with the remaining pastry and lentil mixture to make a second roll.
- Place the rolls on the prepared baking tray and brush with the remaining beaten egg. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Slice into portions and serve warm.