Nigel Slater: Eating Together episode 1 – Dumplings – Nigel takes a tour of the diversity in modern British home cooking, starting with bite-sized gems from around the world that make a big impression.
From his classic suet dumplings that say old-fashioned Britain, his travels take him to Lincolnshire to meet Nita, whose recipes for pea kachori and lamb samosas have a profound personal significance.
He meets Rafael from Poland to learn the art of making pierogi, and Liz whose traditional ravioli keeps a little bit of Italy alive for her family in Bedford. As a thank you, Nigel cooks a recipe inspired by them all and invites them to a meal that puts all their dishes on one table.
Nigel Slater: Eating Together episode 1 – Dumplings recipes:
These Polish dumplings are the real deal and surprisingly simple to make. Serve sprinkled with crisp fried onions.
- For the mushroom and sauerkraut filling, soak the dried mushrooms in 300ml/10½fl oz water and set aside to infuse for 1 hour.
- Drain the sauerkraut in a colander and rinse under a tap to remove some of the acidity. Transfer to a pan of boiling water. Reduce the heat until the water is simmering and cook the sauerkraut for 30 minutes. Drain well.
- Remove the mushrooms from the water using a slotted spoon, reserving the water. Finely chop the mushrooms.
- Heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sauerkraut, mushrooms and the reserved water. Bring the mixture to the boil. Continue to boil the mixture until all of the liquid has evaporated, then remove from the heat and set aside until cool.
- For the cottage cheese and potato filling, boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water until soft enough to mash (about 20 minutes). Drain well and set aside to cool.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onions for 4-5 minutes, or until crisp and browned. Reserve a tablespoonful of the onions for the garnish.
Method part 2
- For the dumpling dough, sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Fill the well with the salt, oil and water. Using your fingers, gradually stir the flour into the wet ingredients, until the mixture comes together as a soft dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5-8 minutes, or until it is smooth and glossy. Wrap the dough in a clean tea towel and set aside to rest in a cool room for at least 20 minutes.
- When the potatoes have cooled, transfer them to a large bowl and crumble over the cottage cheese. Mash until smooth, then stir in the fried onions until well combined. Set aside.
- To shape the pierogi, roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 3mm. Cut 10cm/4in rounds from it using a pastry cutter.
- Place one teaspoonful of the cottage cheese and potato filling into half of the pastry rounds, and one teaspoonsful of the mushroom and sauerkraut filling into the remaining pastry rounds. Brush a little water around the edge of each pastry round, then fold the edges together to create a bulging semi-circular dumpling, pressing the edges together to seal.
- Poach the pierogi, in batches if necessary, in a deep-sided pan of boiling water for 3-4 minutes, or until they float to the surface.
- To serve, pile the pierogi onto serving plates and serve the soured cream in small bowls alongside. Sprinkle with the reserved fried onions and the dill.
Beef stew and dumplings
This hearty one-pot beef stew recipe boasts tender beef, chunky vegetables and dumplings to soak up the juices.
- For the beef stew, heat the oil in a large, lidded casserole over a medium heat. Fry the chuck steak for 3-4 minutes, until browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the onions, carrot, celery and swede and fry for 6-8 minutes, or until golden-brown, adding a little more olive oil if need be. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the plain flour and stir well. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until it turns a nut-brown colour. Pour in the stock and stir well until the sauce thickens.
- Return the beef to the casserole, add the red wine and bay leaves and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, then leave to simmer gently for 1 hour with the lid slightly ajar.
- Meanwhile, for the suet dumplings, combine the flour, suet, baking powder and salt in a bowl until well combined. Add the water gradually, stirring the mixture with your fingers, until it comes together as a slightly sloppy dough. Shape the dough into balls roughly the size of a plum.
- For the herby oat dumplings, combine the oatmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and herbs in a mixing bowl until well combined. Grate the chilled butter into the bowl and mix again. Bring the dough together with your fingers, gradually adding enough water, as before, to make a wet dough. Shape the dough into plum-sized balls.
- When the stew has been simmering for an hour, season it again with salt and pepper, if necessary. Put the dumplings on top of the stew, cover the casserole with the lid, and cook for a further 15-20 minutes, or until the dumplings have proudly puffed up. Serve.
Pork and parmesan ravioli on Nigel Slater: Eating Together episode 1
These meaty, flavoursome ravioli are a wonderful way to show off homemade pasta on extra-special occasions. Equipment and preparation: for this recipe, you will need a pasta machine and ravioli mould.
- For the pasta, pile the flour onto a chopping board or clean work surface and make a well in the centre. Pour the salt, eggs and oil into the well. Carefully mix the dry and wet ingredients together using a wooden spoon, then work the mixture into a dough using your hands, adding a touch of water if the dough feels dry.
- Turn the pasta dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 12-15 minutes until it is smooth and glossy without any dry or damp patches. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap it in cling film and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, for the filling, heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the pork mince, garlic, onion and celery and fry gently for 12-15 minutes, or until the pork has browned and the vegetables have softened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- For the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a separate frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic, celery and onion and fry for 6-8 minutes, or until just coloured. Add the passata and 300ml/10½ fl oz water, stir the mixture well and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering and simmer gently for 30 minutes, then stir in the basil, oregano, sugar and salt. Keep warm.
- When the filling mixture has cooled, blend it to a rough paste in a food processor, then transfer to a bowl. Beat in the eggs, parsley, parmesan and 3 tablespoons of the tomato sauce until well combined.
- To make the ravioli, cut the dough into satsuma-sized pieces. Dust the rollers of a pasta machine with flour.
Method part 2
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten the dough and feed it twice through a pasta machine set to its widest setting. Adjust the pasta machine so that the rollers are on the second-widest setting, then roll the dough through the machine again. Continue adjusting the machine until you have rolled the dough through its narrowest setting. Set the pasta sheet aside (cut it into smaller lengths if it is unmanageably long).
- Repeat the rolling process with the remaining pieces of dough.
- When all of the pasta has been rolled out thinly, lay one sheet of pasta over a ravioli mould. Spoon a little of the filling mixture into the centre of each ravioli (use the wells of the mould as a guide). Brush the edges of each raviolo with water using a pastry brush or your finger.
- Lay another sheet of pasta on top of the ravioli, then press the pasta sheets together to seal the edges of each raviolo, squeezing out as much air as possible in the process. Turn the ravioli out of the tray and cut through the sealed edges to separate them.
- Repeat the filling and cutting process with the remaining pasta sheets and filling mixture.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Carefully lower the ravioli into the water, in batches, and cook for 3-4 minutes; they are cooked when they float to the surface of the water.
- Serve the ravioli in serving bowls topped with the warm tomato sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan.
Pea kachori – Nigel Slater: Eating Together episode 1
Make these oven-baked green-pea pastry bites to serve as canapés at a party, or as part of an Indian-style feast. Equipment and preparation: For this recipe you will need a food processor. Each serving provides 151kcal, 5g protein, 20g carbohydrate (of which 1g sugars), 5g fat (of which 1g saturates), 3g fibre and 0.7g salt.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Lightly grease a baking tray with a little oil.
- For the filling, blend the ginger and green chillies to a paste in a food processor, then remove from the food processor and set aside.
- Blend the peas in the food processor (there is no need to wash the bowl). Remove and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a lidded frying pan over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and fry, covered with the lid, until they start to pop. Take care to keep your eyes and face away from the pan.
- Add the ginger-and-chilli paste and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the pea purée and continue to fry, stirring well, for a further 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the cinnamon, garam masala, turmeric, salt and chilli powder and fry for a further 2-3 minutes, or until there is little to no moisture left in the pan but the peas are still bright green. Transfer the pan contents to a bowl and set aside.
Method part 2
- For the pastry, put the flour into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the salt and oil to the well, then rub the mixture together using your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Pour in 120ml/4fl oz of the water and stir the mixture until it comes together as a dough. Gradually add the remaining water, kneading it into the dough until it feels firm and pliant. Roll the dough into a ball, then rub your hands with a teaspoonful of oil and pat the dough all over to cover it in the oil – this will keep it moist.
- Pinch apricot-sized pieces of dough and roll each piece into a 10cm/4in circle on a lightly floured work surface.
- Place 1 heaped teaspoonful of the filling mixture into the middle of each pastry circle and bring the edges of the pastry up tightly around the peas. Seal at the top by pinching the edges closed and trimming off any excess pastry. Roll each parcel into a ball and place onto the prepared baking tray.
- Gently roll the kachori balls around on the baking try to coat them in the oil. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown.
Apple and Stilton dumplings
Nigel Slater’s sweet and savoury pastry parcels make a delicious and filling mid-afternoon snack or teatime treat.