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Cook up some winter warmers this Christmas with these festive recipes

Following the launch of their new cookbook to celebrate British farmers and produce, Farmers Guardian has teamed up with NFU to serve up some winter warmers at the farmhouse table.

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Festive winter warmers to cook up this #Christmas

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Individual lamb wellingtons


Preparation time: 35 minutes; Cooking time: 20 minutes




1—2 tbsp olive oil

I small sprig of fresh rosemary

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 lean cannons of lamb (around 400g), trimmed and cut into four equal portions

50g wild mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped

1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped

I tbsp fresh thyme leaves

75g farmhouse påté, softened

375g pack of ready-rolled puff pastry sheets

1 egg, beaten

Handful of fresh thyme leaves, to garnish




Heat the oil and rosemary in a non-stick frying pan over a moderate heat.
Season the lamb portions and brown for 30 seconds on each side. Set aside to cool.
In the same pan, add the mushrooms, shallot and thyme leaves. Cook for five-ten minutes until soft. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 220degreesC/gas mark seven.
Put the lamb portions on a chopping board and spread each portion evenly with the pate, then the mushroom mixture. Press down lightly.
On a lightly floured surface, unroll the pastry and divide into eight equal squares. Roll four to about 6cm larger than the base to allow for covering each lamb portion.
Position each lamb portion on a pastry square, leaving a l cm border. Press down gently and brush the edges with some of the beaten egg. Place the larger pastry square over the lamb, neatly trim the edges and pinch all around the pastry to seal.
Brush the surface with the remaining egg and sprinkle with the thyme. Gently mark the surface of the pastry with the point of a sharp knife to allow any steam to escape.
Transfer the Wellingtons to a baking sheet and cook for 12—15 minutes for a medium choice; longer for well done. Leave to rest for 3—4 minutes.
Serve with fresh seasonal vegetables and creamy mashed potatoes.

chicken pie

Tasty chicken and ham pie


Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour and 45 minutes




1 whole chicken and sixed boned thighs

1 slice of gammon

1 large leek, finely chopped

75g butter

3 level tbsps of plain flour

600ml milk

150 strong chicken stock (from poaching)

2 tbsp mascarpone

1 pack ready-rolled puff pastry

1 egg, whisked




Roast the whole chicken and poach the thighs in chicken stock until cooked.
Take all the chicken off the bone and cut into chunky uneven pieces.
Cut the gammon slice into strips and dry fry or oven cook until lightly cooked.
Sweat the leaks in butter but do not let them colour. Add the flour and gently cook for one minute
Gradually add the milk and stir until thickened.
Add the chicken stock that the thighs were cooked in and stir until thickened.
Stir in the mascarpone, chicken and ham, then leave in the pie dish to cool.
Set the over again to 180degreesC/Gas mark 4.
Cut the puff pastry to fit the pie dish and use any trimmings to attach to the lip of the dish with water.
Crimp edges and then brush with egg.
Bake for 15 minutes then reduce to 160degreesC/Gas mark 3 for a further 30 minutes.


Ginger bread cake with pears


Preparation time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 60 minutes




170g self-raising flour

1 tsp ground ginger

½ a level tsp of grated nutmeg

½ a level tsp of cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 eggs, beaten

2 tbsp black treacle

85ml milk

85g butter, softened

145g muscovado sugar


For the topping:


60g butter

60g muscovado sugar

1—2 pears, peeled and sliced





Preheat the oven to 180degreesC/Gas mark 4
Grease and line an 18cm cake tin
Sift the flour, spices and salt into a bowl
Mix the eggs, treacle, milk, butter and sugar and beat into the flour
In a separate bowl cream the butter and sugar together

For the topping


Spread the mixture around the bottom of the cake tin and arrange the pear slices on top
Pour the flour mixture over the pears and smooth over
Bake for 45—50 minutes, then stand for 10 minutes and invert
Serve warm with cream or custard


Leek and Stilton soup


(serves six) Preparation time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 45 minutes



8 leeks, trimmed, washed and finely chopped

2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped, with a few strips left for garnishing

50g butter

1 tbsp light and mild olive oil

I large baking potato, peeled and diced

1.75 litres vegetable stock

150ml single cream

225g Stilton cheese, crumbled

Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste




Gently sweat the chopped leek and celery in the butter and olive oil for five minutes to soften. Add the diced potato and stock.

Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Blend in batches in a food processor with the single cream, Stilton and seasonings to a coarse consistency.

Serve topped with strips of cooked leek and with warm, crusty bread.

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