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Cheating on turkey: Hands up, not everyone’s a fan of the bird – so here are some more meaty options for Christmas


Sausage Roll Garland with Ballymaloe Original relish

Sausage Roll Garland with Ballymaloe Original relish

Sausage Roll Garland with Ballymaloe Original relish

Serves 4

Beef Wellington

What you’ll need

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 shallots, finely chopped

350g wild mushroom mixture or chestnut mushrooms, chopped

6 garlic cloves, crushed

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1 sprig of fresh thyme, leaves stripped and finely chopped

1 sprig of fresh rosemary, needles stripped and finely chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1kg beef fillet, centre cut and well trimmed

Plain flour, for dusting

500g all-butter puff pastry

1 egg

1 tbsp milk


Start by making the duxelles. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion and shallots and sweat for about 10 minutes, until softened and transparent but not browned. Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme and rosemary and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and season well with salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the beef to the hot pan and briefly sear on all sides, then transfer to a plate, season with salt and pepper and allow to cool.

Lightly dust a clean worktop with a little flour, then roll out the puff pastry to a 30cm x 40cm rectangle. Spread the mushroom duxelles over the pastry, leaving a clear border.

Mix the egg and milk together in a small bowl, then brush the edges with this egg wash. Save the remaining egg wash to use again later on.

Place the beef on top of the pastry at the longer edge that’s nearest to you. Wrap the pastry around the beef, pressing the edges with the tines of a fork to seal. With the seal at the bottom, transfer the Wellington to a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 230°C.

Brush the Wellington all over with a little egg wash, then cut a few small slits in the top of the pastry to allow the steam to escape. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200°C and cook for a further 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cut into slices to serve.

Recipe courtesy of Par Excellence by Stephen Buckley with Katy McGuinness, Gill Books, £32.99. Available now

Sausage Roll Garland with Ballymaloe Original relish

What you’ll need

For the sausage mix

225g lean pork, minced

225g pork fat, minced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1-2 tsp thyme, marjoram, basil, and rosemary, mixed and chopped

1 egg, beaten

1 ½ cups soft breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper to taste

For the pastry

300-350g all butter puff pastry

Ballymaloe Cranberry Sauce

Ballymaloe Original Relish

1 egg, beaten

A little milk


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

Combine all the ingredients for the sausages together and mix well. Fry a little of the mixture in a pan to check the seasoning, adjust if necessary.

On a floured work surface, roll the pastry out into a big rectangle, a little thicker than a pound coin. Roll the sausage mixture into a sausage shape with your hands and lay it lengthwise on one side of the rectangle.

Spread Ballymaloe Cranberry Sauce over the pastry, leaving the last ¼ free for sealing.

Roll the sausage and pastry into tube, pressing the seam together. Join both ends together forming a circle, pressing to seal tightly.

Mix the egg and milk and brush the pastry with the mixture. Using a sharp knife, score through the garland to within 1cm of the inside, at 2.5cm intervals. Decorate and place on a baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until puffed, golden and cooked through.

Serve with Ballymaloe.

For more information or recipes, see ballymaloefoods.ie

Mary Berry’s sticky soy and ginger pork fillet

Serves 4

What you’ll need

1 large pork fillet (600g/1lb 6oz)

4 spring onions, finely shredded into long, thin strips

1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced

2 tbsp chopped coriander

For the marinade

4cm (1½in) fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

2 garlic cloves, crushed

4 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

3 tbsp honey


To make the marinade, measure all the ingredients into a dish and mix well.

Trim any sinew from the fillet and discard. Sit the fillet in the marinade, season with salt and black pepper and turn to coat until all the fillet is covered. Leave to marinate for a few hours in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas 7 and line a small roasting tin with non-stick baking paper.

Remove the fillet from the marinade (reserving the marinade to use later) and sit it in the roasting tin. Roast in the oven for 25–30 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.

Remove the fillet from the roasting tin and set aside on a board to rest. Cover with foil and leave for five minutes before carving.

Place the reserved marinade in a small saucepan and place over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

Carve the pork into slices and arrange on a platter. Pour the hot marinade over the top and scatter with the spring onions, red chilli and coriander. Serve with rice or noodles.

Berry’s tips:

* Can be marinated up to eight hours ahead. If serving cold can be roasted up to four hours ahead.

* Freezes well raw in the marinade.

Recipe courtesy of Love to Cook by Mary Berry, BBC Books, £26. Photography by Laura Edwards. Available now

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