Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts episode 4 – Home: For many of us, nothing hits the spot quite like those dishes that evoke memories of home. Whether it is recreating family favourites, keeping traditions alive or celebrating with festive feasts, this is the food that makes us feel safe and sound.
In this episode, Mary is off to explore how different families use food to create their own wonderful sense of home. Mary meets a father-and-daughter team who have taken their home cooking to the streets with their own food van and a family who have created a slice of Sicily in north London.
Mary spends a magical day and evening with a family celebrating Diwali, helping them to prepare the feast and decorate the home. And Mary also makes some of her own family favourites, including a hearty bolognaise bake with a burrata and heritage tomato salad, paneer and roast vegetable curry, roast chicken with melting onions, and a wild bramble mousse.
Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts episode 4 – Home
This bolognese pasta dish can be assembled ahead, ready to pop in the oven. My method of frying the mushrooms ensures they stay firm and flavourful, not soft and soggy. You will need a large, shallow ovenproof dish, about 1.7 litres/3 pints capacity.
- Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or flameproof casserole. Add the onions and celery and fry over a high heat for about 3 minutes, until starting to soften. Put the mince and fry until browned, breaking it up with two wooden spoons as it browns.
- Add the garlic and tomato purée and stir for a few seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire sauce and redcurrant jelly and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 30–35 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
- Melt the butter in a lidded frying pan, add the mushrooms and fry over a high heat for a minute. Cover with a lid and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and fry over a high heat for 2 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated. Add the mushrooms and thyme to the mince and stir well.
- Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well and run under cold water. Stir the pasta into the mince and check the seasoning.
- Spoon into a large, shallow ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with the cheeses and bake for 25–30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling around the edges. Serve piping hot with a green salad or tomato salad.
Paneer and roasted vegetable curry – Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts episode 4
Paneer is an Indian cheese with a mild flavour, that stays firm when roasted. It is combined with roasted cauliflower and sweet potato in this deliciously rich, satisfying and creamy curry.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the oil into a large roasting tin, add the cauliflower and sweet potato and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 15 minutes.
- Add the paneer to one end of the roasting tin and return to the oven for 5–10 minutes, turning halfway through, until the cheese is golden on both sides, the cauliflower is golden and the sweet potato is tender.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large, deep frying pan. Add the onions and ginger and fry for 5–10 minutes, or until softened. Sprinkle in the spices and flour and stir over the heat for a few seconds. Gradually pour in the stock, stirring until thickened, and simmer for a few minutes over a high heat.
- Stir in the mango chutney, cream, roasted cauliflower and sweet potato and the spinach. And stir until heated through and the spinach has wilted. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the paneer at the last moment and serve piping hot, with the rice.
Roast chicken with tarragon butter and melting onions
A roast chicken seems to me to be the ultimate comfort meal for all the family. And it’s so versatile: serve as a classic Sunday dinner with roast potatoes, or with a selection of salads or side dishes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
- Mix the butter, garlic, ginger, tarragon and lemon zest in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.
- Loosen the skin of the chicken breast by gently pushing your fingers between the skin and the meat, taking care not to break the skin. Using your hand, spread the butter under the skin in an even layer.
- Transfer the chicken to a roasting tin and scatter the onions around it. Rub a little oil over the skin and legs, and season.
- Roast for about 1½ hours, or until the chicken is cooked. The chicken is cooked through when the juices run clear with no trace of pink when the thickest part of the leg, between the drumstick and the thigh, is pierced with a skewer. Transfer to a board to rest. Remove the onions to a hot serving bowl.
- To make the gravy, sprinkle the flour over the fat in the roasting tin and whisk until combined. Pour in the wine and stock and whisk over a medium heat until thickened and smooth. Whisk in the redcurrant jelly, Worcestershire sauce and gravy browning, if using. Pour through a sieve into a jug, stir in the tarragon and season with salt and pepper.
- Carve the chicken and serve with the onions and gravy.