Mary Berry – Love to Cook episode 6: Mary cooks up four delicious recipes that prove watching the pennies does not mean having to sacrifice flavour. She presents a sumptuous crab courgetti spaghetti dish which uses tinned fish at a fraction of the cost of fresh, a sausage spinach filo swirl with an inventive way to stretch six sausages to feed the family, a thyme bavette steak that uses a cost-effective cut of beef, and a lemon and lime meringue tranche pie pudding which utilises the humblest of ingredients. Mary Berry also shares some clever tips on how to keep ingredients fresher for longer to stretch the budget just that little bit further.
One person who knows all about cooking on a shoestring is School Chef of the Year Holly Charnock. With a budget of just £1.30 a head, Holly recreates her award-winning recipe in the school canteen, much to the delight of the primary school children. A genius at making the budget stretch, Holly is proud to help the children grow and develop, and thrives in making something that brings the kids joy.
There is no ingredient more useful and economical than an egg, and Mary visits Cackleberry Farm to meet Paddy and Steph Bourns. Along with their daughter Sybil, they are passionate about producing good eggs because of the way they treat their chickens.
Mary Berry – Love to Cook episode 6 recipes:
Thyme bavette steaks with potatoes and wilted spinach
Bavette is the French word for flank steak. You could use whichever cut of steak you prefer, but this flat steak is full of flavour. It is often called the ‘butcher’s cut’ as they love to keep it for themselves.
- Place the steaks on a board and, if they are not even in thickness, cover with cling film or baking paper and bash with a rolling pin until they are.
- Place the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, add the steaks and turn in the marinade to coat. Leave to marinate for about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Place the potatoes, onions and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a single layer in a large roasting tin. Season with salt and pepper and toss together. Roast for about 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are lightly golden.
- Mix the crushed garlic and thyme together in a small bowl and sprinkle over the potatoes and onions. Push them to one end of the tin and place the tomatoes, cut-side up, on the other end. Drizzle the tomatoes with the remaining oil and the balsamic glaze. Return to the oven for 8 minutes, or until the tomatoes are just soft.
- Meanwhile, heat a large frying or griddle pan until very hot. Add the steaks and fry for 1–2 minutes on each side. Spoon the excess marinade over each steak before turning. Transfer to a warm plate to rest for a few minutes. Scrape any black pieces from the pan and discard. While the steak is resting, add the butter to the pan and toss in the spinach leaves. Cook over a high heat for few minutes until wilted.
- Season the spinach and spoon into the centre of a long serving platter. Slice the steak into long strips and arrange on one side. Spoon the potato, onions and tomatoes on the other side and serve immediately.
Lemon and lime meringue tranche pie
This is a favourite dessert for so many and the added lime gives it an extra zing. This is made in a tranche tin but it would also fit in a 23cm/9in round deep loose-bottomed flan tin.
- To make the pastry, place the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor. Blend together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and whizz again until the dough comes together to form a ball. Turn out on to a lightly floured work surface and roll out thinly. Carefully line a 12x36x2.5cm/4½x14x1in rectangular loose-bottomed fluted tin or tranche tin with the pastry and press the pastry into the sides. Prick the base with a fork and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 and preheat a baking tray.
- Line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper, add baking beans, place on the hot baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and lightly golden. Leave to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 150C/130C Fan/Gas 2.
- To make the filling, place the cornflour and 200ml/7fl oz water in a saucepan and whisk to combine. Add the zest and juice of the lemon and lime and place over a medium heat. Continue to whisk until the mixture has boiled and thickened. Remove from the heat, add the caster sugar and egg yolks and whisk again. Pour into the pastry case and place in the fridge to chill.
- Meanwhile, make the meringue topping. Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk using an electric whisk until stiff. Add the sugar a little at a time, whisking on full speed, until you have a shiny, glossy meringue. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a plain 1cm/½in nozzle and pipe even blobs over the surface of the chilled filling in a neat pattern. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use two dessertspoons.
- Bake for 35–40 minutes, until pale golden on top and firm to touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing from the tin. Serve warm with the cream on the side.
Sausage and spinach filo swirl – Mary Berry – Love to Cook episode 6
There are not many ingredients in this recipe and it is simple to make but so very tasty to eat! Similar to Greek spanakopita using filo pastry and spinach, I bake it in a cake tin to help the sausage swirl keep its shape.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Grease the sides of a 20cm/8in loose-bottomed cake tin and place the ring on a baking tray (no need to use the base of the tin).
- Melt the knob of butter in a saucepan over a high heat. Add the leek and fry for a few minutes, then cover with a lid, lower the heat and cook for about 10 minutes, or until softened. Increase the heat, add the garlic and spinach and fry for a few minutes, until the spinach has wilted. Tip all of the vegetables into a bowl to cool.
- Remove the sausage meat from their skins and place in the bowl with the cooled vegetables. Season with pepper and mix using your hands.
- Brush the sheets of filo with the melted butter and stick them together, end to end in two layers, to make a long rectangle measuring about 25x90cm/10x36in. Shape the sausage mixture into a long sausage, the same length as the filo rectangle. Place the sausage along one long edge of the pastry and roll, brushing with butter in between each roll. You should end up with a long sausage encased in filo. Bend the filo roll into the ring to make a swirl. Brush the top with more butter and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Place on the baking tray and bake for 40–45 minutes, until golden and crisp. Remove the ring and cut into wedges to serve.