The Hairy Bikers bring festive family favorites to the market

Si and Dave (pictured) share a selection of delicious festive recipes for a tasty family Christmas

LOBSTER MAC ‘N’ CHEESE

Everyone loves mac ‘n’ cheese, but we’re taking it to another level with lobster tails. They can be pricey, but you can often find bargains in the supermarket around Christmas. Or use shrimp instead!

Serves 4

  • Salty
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) macaroni
  • 50g (1¾oz) fresh breadcrumbs
  • A few basil leaves, shredded

For the infused milk

  • 4 lobster tails or 400g (14oz) large shrimp, without shell
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100ml (3½fl oz) white wine
  • 750ml (1pt 4fl oz) milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A slice of onion
  • 1 blade of mace

For the sauce

  • 50g (1¾oz) butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 50 g bacon strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 50g (1¾oz) flour
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • tsp cayenne pepper
  • 100g (3½oz) each Cheddar and Gruyere cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 200°C/convection 180°C/gas 6. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to package instructions until just al dente. Drain and set aside.

Separate the lobster meat from the tails or peel the shrimp and keep all the shells. Heat the oil in a pan and add the lobster meat or shrimp. Fry quickly on each side, remove and set aside.

Si & Dave say

If you’re making your custard for the trifle, don’t leave it unattended on the stove as it will thicken very quickly as it cooks.

Place the shells in the same pan and heat over high heat, shaking the pan until they have some color. Pour in the wine and let it bubble. Pour in the milk and add the bay leaves, onion and mace.

Heat slowly to just below boiling point, then remove the pan from the heat. Infuse until room temperature, strain the liquid into a pitcher and set aside.

For the sauce, heat the butter in a large pan. Add the onion and bacon and cook until the onion is slightly caramelized and the bacon is crisp and brown. Add the garlic and thyme and stir in the flour, mustard and cayenne pepper.

Stir until you have a roux, then gradually add the infused milk, stirring between each addition, until everything is incorporated. Add 75g each of the cheeses and stir over low heat until the cheese has melted.

Mix the sauce with the macaroni and stir in the lobster or shrimp (the lobster tails can be sliced ​​if desired). Pour into a large, shallow ovenproof dish. Mix the breadcrumbs with the rest of the cheese and basil and sprinkle on top. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until piping hot, browned and bubbly.

BAKEWELL TRIPLE

We love a trifle and a Bakewell pie, so here we’ve created a marriage between the two – the most beautiful trifle you’ll ever taste.

Serves 6

For the sponge

  • 25g (1oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85g (3oz) ground almonds
  • A pinch of salt
  • 110g (4oz) butter, softened
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • A few drops of almond extract (optional)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

for the custard

  • 250ml (9fl oz) milk
  • 250ml (9fl oz) double cream
  • 50 g (1¾oz) ground almonds (optional)
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • A few drops of almond extract
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 75 g (2¾oz) caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour

Collect

  • 2 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 100g (3½oz) amaretti biscuits
  • 100 ml (3½fl oz) Oloroso sherry or almond liqueur
  • 200g (7oz) raspberries
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) double cream
  • 30g (1oz) slivered almonds, toasted

Preheat the oven to 200°C/convection 180°C/gas mark 6 and line a 20 cm round cake tin with baking paper.

Mix the flour and baking powder with the ground almonds and salt. Beat the butter and sugar with the almond extract, if using, until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and flour mixture with enough milk to get a dripping consistency.

Scrape into the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and springy but firm to the touch. Let it sit for a few minutes before placing it on a wire rack.

To make the custard, place the milk, cream and ground almonds, if using, in a saucepan with the vanilla pod and almond extract. Bring to just below boiling point and then remove from heat. Place the yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl. Beat until very pale and the consistency of stiff foam.

Remove the vanilla pod, pour the milk into the egg mixture and beat until blended. Pour back into the pan. Cook, stirring, until the custard thickens. Beat until smooth and transfer to a pitcher. Cover with oiled cling film. Cool, then refrigerate.

Cut the cake in half horizontally and top with the jam. Cut into cubes and divide in the bottom of a trifle bowl. Garnish with the amaretti and pour over the sherry.

Add the raspberries in a single layer and pour over the custard. Whip the cream until soft peaks form, then smooth over the custard. Sprinkle with the almonds and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

TRAY BAKE CHRISTMAS DINNER

All your Christmas dinner in a few tins. You can add sprouts to the vegetables – halve them, toss in oil and add halfway through the cooking time.

Serves 4

  • 4 chicken thighs, bone and skin on
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges

For the filler balls

  • 15 g (½oz) butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 35 g dried cranberries
  • 50ml (2fl oz) just boiled water
  • 50 g chestnuts, crumbled
  • 75g (2¾oz) breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 egg

For the pigs in blankets

  • 4 slices streaky bacon
  • 8 chipolatas

For the vegetables

  • 3 floury potatoes, diced
  • 2 parsnips, diced
  • 3 carrots, cut into strips
  • 25 g lard, dripping or duck fat
  • Gravy and cranberry relish (see tip at the bottom of the page), to serve

Preheat the oven to 200°C/convection 180°C/gas 6. First make the filling balls. Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onion until soft and translucent, then remove from the heat. Place the cranberries in a bowl, cover with the just-boiled water and let them soften.

They should absorb all the water, but if not, drain and place in a bowl with the onions and remaining ingredients, season and mix. Form the mixture into 8 balls. Then make the pigs into blankets.

Cut each piece of bacon in half and stretch each half with the flat side of a knife. Wrap a chipolata around it. Season the chicken thighs and rub the skins with olive oil. Place the onion wedges in the bottom of a roasting pan and drizzle with oil.

Put the chicken thighs, pigs in blankets and fill them into balls. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes, parsnip and carrot. Simmer for 5 minutes. draining. Shake the pan slightly to fluff up the edges of the potatoes and parsnips.

Place the lard, dripping or duck fat in another roasting pan and place in the oven. When the fat is piping hot, remove the mold from the oven and add all the vegetables. Shake the mold to evenly distribute the vegetables and season.

Place both baking pans in the oven, with the chicken on top and the vegetables below. Roast for 40-45 minutes, turning the pans over so they cook evenly. Serve with plenty of gravy and some cranberry sauce.

The Daily Winners of the Hairy Bikers by Si King & Dave Myers is published by Orion, £22. To order one copy for £19.80 go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937. Free UK shipping on orders above £20. Offer price valid until 11/12/21.

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