Monthly Archives: June 2021

EURO 2020 SPECIAL: Germany- Peter’s Currywurst

I wasn’t originally planning to do a German meal for the Euros as I’d already cooked a couple of meals from there during previous tournaments, but when my friend Peter from Stuttgart heard this he insisted I needed to cook something to mark their match against England tonight. I asked if he had any recommendations for quick and easy dishes- and he immediately suggested his favourite recipe for Currywurst- the Berlin streetfood favourite of fried sausage with a spicy tomato sauce. So, here it is, Peter’s Currywurst! 

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp mild curry powder  
  • 1 can of finely chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp paprika 
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mustard powder or prepared yellow mustard

Bratwurst:

Method: 

  1. Heat a large pan with the oil.
  2. Add the chopped onions and saute until translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, tomato puree and curry powder and stir fry for another minute until well mixed.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt mustard and mix well.
  5. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for around 10 minutes until the sauce thickens up a bit. 
  6. Remove from the heat and blend to a ketchup consitancy using a stick blender.
  7. Cook the sausages in a pan until browned on the outside, then cut into 1cm slices.
  8. plate one sausage per person, then smother with the curry sauce.

To serve- Serve with bread rolls or fries, and dust more of the curry powder over the top of the currywurst for that authentic German streetfood flavour!

Too bad the Germans are out, but I’m sure we’ll meet again! 

EURO 2020 SPECIAL: HUNGARY- MEGGYLEVES (SOUR CHERRY SOUP)

Hungary are one of the historical super powers of world football having reached two World Cup finals (1938 & 1954) and two European Championships semi-finals (1964 & 1972).

Despite that they have struggled recently, but this year marks their return to major finals with a team spearheaded by forward Adam Szalai. Here’s hoping the ‘Magical Magyars’ can put up a good showing!

When I visited Budapest a few years ago I really enjoyed the food- schnitzel, langos and of course, goulash! But for my Euro 2020 special I fancied trying something I hadn’t had before, so after a bit of research decided to go for Meggyleves- a traditional Hungarian summer dish of chilled sour cherry soup. 

Every recipe I found was pretty unique- so I’ve gone for a version that’s quite simple and relatively healthy, as a lot of the others added a ton of sugar! 

Ingredients(Serves 2):

  • 350g of dark cherries pitted
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 extra thick slice of lemon
  • 1/4 tsp clove
  • 150g sour cream
  • Pinch salt

Method: 

  • Add the cherries to a large pot along with 100ml of water (or cherry juice for extra intense flavour), lemon cinnamon stick and ground clove and bring to the boil.
  • Once the cherries have softened a bit, reduce the heat and simmer for around 5-10 minutes. 
  • Turn off the heat and let the cherry mix cool a bit.
  • Take around 50ml of the juice and mix in a bowl with the sour cream.
  • Once everything has fully cooled, mix the sour cream into the soup pan. 
  • Put in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour. 
  • Remove the cinnamon stick and lemon
  • Dish up into soup bowls.
  • Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a mint leaf. 

This was super tasty and pretty different- it reminded me of chilled, creamy, mulled wine. There are tons of variations on this recipe so why not try some out and find your own favourite this summer.

EURO 2020 SPECIAL: SCOTLAND- HAGGIS, NEEPS & TATTIES WITH WHISKY SAUCE

Here we go! I cannot quite believe I am typing this, but after a 23 year absence from major tournament finals my home country of Scotland are back on the big stage, and not only that- they’ve only got a chance of qualifying for the knock-out rounds, something they have never ever done before! 

Growing up my hero was Ally McCoist the Scotland and Rangers striker who made 61 appearances and scored 19 goals for his country. 

Among those goals was a special effort at Euro 96- the last time we had a chance to qualify from the groups. With a single point to our name heading into the final fixture in the section, Scotland knew that they needed a victory and a big swing in the goal difference to progress ahead of the Netherlands. 

‘Super’ Ally’s spectacular 36th-minute strike secured the win, and with the Auld Enemy, England leading 4-0 lead against the Dutch – it looked like we were going to do it. But, alas, being a Scotland fan goes hand-in-hand with heartbreak, and a late consolation scored by Patrick Kluivert saw the other match finish 4-1 and the Tartan Army head home to think again! 

For my Scottish Euro 2020 dinner it could only be our national dish of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with a wee dram of Whisky Sauce.

Ingredients (Serves 2): 

  • 1 Haggis -go for a good quality one, size to suit the number of diners.
  • 500g Neeps (Turnips)
  • 500g Tatties (Potatoes)
  • 50ml Milk and butter for mashing
  • 50g Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

For the whisky cream sauce (optional)

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 150ml double cream
  • 50ml whisky
  • 15g butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Haggis-

  • Cook the haggis as per the manufacturer’s guidelines- normally in the microwave or in a waterbath in the oven.

Neeps and Tatties-

  • Peel the potatoes and turnips, cut into chunks, then boil in seprate pans of salted water for around 20-25 minutes until soft.
  • Drain each pan separately and let them dry out a bit. 
  • For the potatoes- add half the butter and all of the milk, salt and pepper and mash well until creamy. 
  • For the turnips- add the other half of the butter, salt and pepper and mash, leaving a bit more texture than the potatoes.

Whisky Sauce-

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
  • Saute the chopped shallots until soft.
  • Add the whisky and burn off the alcohol for a couple of minutes.
  • Reduce the heat and stir in the cream, then simmer for a couple of minutes- not too long, or the cream will split. 

You can serve the haggis, neeps and tatties as three ‘dollops’ on the plate roughly equal size, or if you fancy making it a bit more presentable, you can use round moulds like I did. Serve with a good pour of the whisky sauce drizzled on the side.

C’mon Scotland, lets do it tonight!!! 

EURO 2020 SPECIAL: NORTH MACEDONIA-TAVCE GRAVCE

North Macedonia are appearing in the finals of a major tournament for the first time ever thanks to a decisive goal in qualifying from their veteran captain Goran Pandev, who at age 37 remains full of beans.

It surely must be due to all the Tavce Gravce he eats- the national dish of North Macedonia, which consists of spicy baked beans. It is traditionally eaten at Friday lunchtime in the Southeastern European country. 

Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 1 can haricot beans
  • 2 onions , sliced 
  • 2 red onions , sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 50ml rapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup coriander finely chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Method:

  • Add the oil to a large frying or saute pan and bring to a medium heat. 
  • Add the garlic, onions, red pepper, yellow pepper and green chilli and fry until softened and lightly browned.
  • Stir in the chilli powder and paprika as well as salt and pepper and stir well to coat all the vegetables. 
  • Add the can of beans and flour and stir through to mix everything well. 
  • Cover with a lid and turn the heat down to low to let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes. 

It’s ready to serve at this point, but if you want the flavours to develop even more you can transfer to the oven to let it bake for a few hours at a low temperature. 

I served it with some nice slices of toasted bread to add a bit of texture and interest. It was super spicy, which I loved, but you might want to tone down the green chilli and chilli powder if you prefer things on the milder side. 

Prijaten obrok!

EURO 2020 SPECIAL: DENMARK- STEGT FLAESK MED PERSILLESOVS

This is the first meal of a few I have planned over Euro 2020.

It will mostly be dishes of countries that I haven’t cooked meals from over previous tournaments including, excitingly, Scotland! 

Everyone knows the story of the Danish Dynamite of 1992, but here’s a recap just in case.

Coach Richard Moller Nielsen’s squad had not qualified for Euro ’92 in Sweden. Still, when the country that had finished above them, Yugoslavia were excluded from the tournament after the breakup of the country and ensuing warfare, the Danes earned a last-minute callup. 

Their players including Peter Schmeichel, Jon Jensen, and my own favourite player of all time, Brian Laudrup, were recalled hastily from their summer holidays!

After a slow start to the tournament that saw them draw ith England and lose to hosts Sweden, they eventually found their form and progressed through the stages, meeting Germany in the final, who they upset 2-0 for one of the biggest Euro shocks ever.

For my Danish meal, I’m making the national dish of Stegt Flaesk med Persillesovs (Fried Pork with Parsley Sauce). 

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 500g pork belly sliced into 5mm thick steaks
  • 700g new potatoes (skin on)
  • 50g Danish butter (slightly salted)
  • 4 tbs plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 100ml single cream
  • 2 handfuls chopped fresh parsley (keep some back for garnish)
  • 1tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper to taste 

Method

  • Slice the pork belly and season with salt and pepper.
  • Clean the potatoes and boil in salted water for 15-20 minutes.
  • Finely chop the parsley.

Parsley Sauce

  • Dry mix the butter and flour in a bowl, then add to a sauce pot to melt. 
  • Once the mixture starts to melt, add some of the milk and stir until it reaches a thin paste consistency. 
  • Keep adding milk and stirring, and repeat until it reaches a good sauce consistency. 
  • Add nutmeg, salt, Pepper and the chopped parsley and let the sauce simmer on the heat for 5-10 minutes to let the flavours blend. 

Pork Belly

  • Add the pork belly to a pan on high heat.
  • Brown for around 30 seconds on each side, then turn down the heat to medium-low and keep cooking for around a further 8 minutes, turning regularly.
  • Let the meat rest for a few minutes before plating up. 

Serving: 

  • Put the potatoes on a dinner plate, then pour over the warm parsley sauce. 
  • Add the pork belly slices to the plate. 
  • Sprinkle the leftover parsley over the dish to garnish.
  • I served with some pickled beetroot and a dollop of wholegrain mustard, which I would recommend as the acidity cuts through the richness of the pork and sauce. 

Nyd din mad!