Recipes for the credit crunch by Angela Harnett, Rob Kirby, Colin Buchan and John Woodward part 2

08 May 2009 by
Recipes for the credit crunch by Angela Harnett, Rob Kirby, Colin Buchan and John Woodward part 2

Are you trying to work out how to offer your customers great meals while keeping costs down? To provide the level of cooking that regulars want while maintaining gross profit? Part two of our series aimed at battling the credit crunch via the kitchen suggests more low-spend recipes. Angela Hartnett and her head chef at the York and Albany, Colin Buchanan; chef director of Lexington Catering Rob Kirby; and head chef of Malmaison Charterhouse John Woodward cover your offer from starter to dessert.

View Recipes for the credit crunch part 1 here >>


By John Woodward
Food costs per portion: £1.50

(Serves four)

For the dressing

  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 150ml extra virgin oil
  • 50ml extra virgin rape seed oil
  • 3 sprigs tarragon
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch red beets
  • 1 bunch candied beets
  • 1 bunch golden beets
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 50g fresh peas
  • 60g fresh broad beans
  • Innes goats' curd (or mild creamy goats' cheese)
  • Micro leaves or young shoots
  • Aged balsamic

To make the dressing, mix the vinegar, olive oil and rape seed oil together with the garlic and tarragon and allow to infuse. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Slice the beets into segments, wrap in foil with the garlic cloves, thyme and half the olive oil and bake for one hour until soft. Peel and season, sprinkle with more olive oil and keep warm. Blanch and peel the broad beans and blanch the peas. Pick and wash leaves and shoots or cress (whatever looks nice in the market at that time). Place the beets, goats curd and salad leaves on a plate. Remove the garlic and tarragon from the dressing then place the peas and broad beans in some dressing and spoon over the plate. Finally drizzle some aged balsamic over and serve.


By Colin Buchan Food cost per portion: £3.80

(Serves four)

Lamb's necks
Lamb's necks

Braised lamb neck

  • 4 lamb necks
  • 1 head of garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 bunch of rosemary
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 8 peppercorns, crushed
  • 8 coriander seeds, crushed
  • 400ml red wine
  • 1 litre veal stock
  • 500ml brown chicken stock
  • 1tbs tomato purée
  • 2 lamb kidneys
  • Carrot purée
  • 6 white peppercorns
  • 6 cumin seeds
  • 2 star anise
  • 6 coriander seeds
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 6 medium carrots, sliced thinly
  • 150ml butter
  • 100ml double cream

Salsa verde

  • 1tbs capers
  • 1tbs cornichons
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • 200ml olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 bunch coriander leaves
  • Salt and pepper

To serve

  • 2 lamb kidneys
  • 200g spinach

Marinate the lamb necks with chopped garlic and rosemary for 12 hours. Heat a heavy-bottom pan and add 100ml of vegetable oil. When hot, colour all sides of the neck and remove from the pan. In the same pan, caramelise the vegetables with crushed peppercorns and coriander seeds until just coloured, finally add the tomato paste and cook for two minutes. Add the red wine and reduce to a glaze. Add the stocks and bring to the boil, checking for seasoning. Finally add the herbs and lamb necks, cover with parchment paper and cook until tender for two-and-a-half to three hours at 110°C in a low oven. To make the carrot purée, roast the spices in a hot dry pan until the flavour can be smelt; in another pan heat the olive oil and add the carrots and roasted spices. Cover with a lid and cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Add a little chicken stock, season and blitz, adding more chicken stock until the right consistency is reached. Finally add a touch of butter to give a smooth paste. For the salsa verde, blend the garlic, capers, cornichons and a little olive oil, continue adding the olive oil until you reach the correct consistency. Add the chopped leaf parsley, coriander and season. To serve, cook the kidneys in caramelised butter for a few minutes then rest for a few more minutes. Arrange the neck, purée and kidneys on the plate, drizzle some salsa verde over the kidneys and serve with wilted spinach.


By Colin Buchan
Food cost per portion: 80p

(Serves 8-10)

Pear and almond tart
Pear and almond tart

  • 1 quantity sweet pastry
  • 8 poached pears, halved, then sliced widthways
  • 200g softened butter
  • 200g sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 100g plain flour
  • 200g ground almonds

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Use the pastry to line a 30cm loose-bottomed, fluted flan tin. Cover the pastry base with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans, rice or dried pasta. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and paper and bake for another five minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. If the mixture looks as though it might curdle, add a spoonful of the flour - this should bring it together again. Sieve together the flour and almonds, then fold into the egg mixture. You can store this almond cream in the fridge until ready to use, but let it return to room temperature first so that it is easily spreadable.

Fill the baked pastry case with the almond cream. Top with the pears, cut-side down, placing them as close to each other as possible.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the pears are a lovely golden colour. Remove and allow to cool a little before removing from the tin. Serve warm or cold.


By Rob Kirby Food cost per portion: 65p

(Serves four)

Rhubarb and blood orange crumble
Rhubarb and blood orange crumble

  • 1kg rhubarb
  • 6 blood oranges
  • 4tbs orange juice
  • 8tbs caster sugar
  • 100g butter (softened)
  • 110g Demerera sugar
  • 200g plain flour

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the rhubarb into 7cm long sticks, place on a baking tray, sprinkle with the orange juice and caster sugar and roast for 8-10 minutes. While the rhubarb is roasting, peel and chop four of the blood oranges, reserving two for serving.

Place the rhubarb and blood orange pieces into an oven-proof dish. Rub the softened butter into the flour and demerera sugar to make the crumble topping then, sprinkle over the rhubarb and blood orange and bake for 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Serve with chopped blood oranges and thick clotted cream.


- Rob Kirby, chef-director of Lexington Catering

  1. Colin Buchan, Angela Hartnett's head chef at York and Albany
  2. John Woodward, head chef of Malmaison Charterhouse London


Breast of new-season Kent lamb, braised and pan-fried in polenta with wild garlic, feta, pea and pomegranate salad

Farmer Ben Brown's asparagus and rocket soup

Baby gem salad

Braised pigs' cheeks with cloves and honey, gratin potatoes, braising juices

Steamed lemon pudding, blueberries and crème fraîche

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking