Spice up your barbecue

Spice up your barbecue


Holiday at home with our fabulous fusion barbecue recipes

by Sarah ▪ 21 July, 2021

Paradise in your garden

Summer inspires dreams of distant shores, jewelled seas glinting in brilliant sunshine, perhaps a carafe of wine, and certainly some adventurous dishes to tempt and tease the palate. Sadly we can’t jet off wherever and whenever we want – but we can make the most of long summer evenings by using our barbecue for more creative meals than the bog-standard banger and burger combo.

A taste of Morocco

The cuisine of this North African country is both delicious and unique, combining a variety of warm, sweet and spicy flavours from cinnamon to saffron and fenugreek to fennel. The famous Moroccan spice mixture ras el hanout is a combination of up to 27 spices (there is also no definitive recipe, since the translation of the Arabic is ‘top of the shop’, meaning it would be made from a combination of the finest spices an individual merchant had available at the time).
While you won’t be able to recreate the exciting bustle of souks and medinas in your garden, you can experience some of the intoxicating tastes and aromas with Moroccan-inspired barbecue dishes.
Some of our favourites include this melt-in-the-mouth marinaded leg of lamb, these scrummy beef kebabs and this recipe for using a whole chicken.
On the side, why not try Gourmade’s Sweet Potato Wedges – their earthy sweetness complements Moroccan flavours to perfection. While they’re fabulous as they are, you can up the authenticity by removing them from the oven halfway through and tossing in a delicious Moroccan spice mix. Try combining 1tsp cumin, ½ tsp smoked or sweet paprika, 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped, ½ tsp mace, ¼ tsp turmeric and ¼ tsp ground cinnamon in ½ tbsp olive oil. For extra heat, add a dash of cayenne pepper. This will make enough to thoroughly coat a 2-person portion and can easily be doubled up.

A classic Moroccan foodstuff is, of course, couscous, so we’d be very remiss if we didn’t offer a recipe for a couscous based side dish. As it happens, we’re going one better by giving you a choice! First up is a classic combination of Moroccan flavours and ingredients featuring harissa, chickpeas, pistachios and dried apricots. Delicious!

Couscous salad with chickpeas, pistachios and apricots

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking time: 15 min
  • Servings: 4-6
  • Cost: Low
  • Couscous: 300g
  • Chicken or vegetable stock: 450ml
  • Dried apricots: 150g, chopped
  • Butter: 25g
  • Oil: ½ tbsp
  • Courgette: 1, finely diced
  • Chickpeas: 400g tin, drained
  • Harissa paste: 1-2 tbsp (to taste)
  • Mint: 5g, leaves finely chopped
  • Flat-leaf parsley: 10g, finely chopped, plus leaves for serving
  • Lemon: 1, juiced
  • Feta: 200g, crumbled
  • Pistachio nuts: 100g, roughly chopped
Put the couscous in a heatproof bowl. Next, bring the stock to the boil over a medium-high heat, then add the dried apricots and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the stock from the heat and stir in the butter. Pour the stock over the couscous, covering the bowl with a plate or cling film so that air cannot escape. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil over a medium heat before frying the diced courgette for 5 minutes, until golden. Add the chickpeas and cook for a further 2 minutes until heated through. In a small bowl, mix the harissa paste, chopped mint, chopped parsley and lemon juice until well combined.
Once the couscous is cooked, add the courgette and chickpeas, and pour in the harissa dressing. Mix until well combined. Allow the couscous to cool for 5-10 minutes, then gently stir in the crumbled feta. Serve the couscous salad topped with the chopped pistachios and a few parsley leaves.
If you have little ones who might not enjoy the taste or fire of harissa – or just for a change – this BBC recipe is a light, fresh-tasting alternative whose inclusion of pesto and pine nuts makes it equally suitable as a side for the Mediterranean barbecue dishes we discuss later in the blog. Serve your meat and wedges or couscous alongside a large, green salad and you’ll have a barbecue to remember.
Our Gourmade dessert suggestion for your Moroccan meal are our mouth-watering and highly regarded Pear Bakewell Tarts. The mild nuttiness of almond-flavoured frangipane, against the sweetness of pears and raspberry jam, all melting beautifully in the mouth with buttery pastry, perfectly complements Moroccan flavours – and they’re also simply delicious!

Mediterranean morsels

While Morocco does border the Mediterranean Sea, we tend to associate the catch-all phrase of ‘Mediterranean cuisine’ with European holiday destinations such as Italy, Greece and Spain. However, the roasted veg we recommend alongside these sun-soaked recipes would accompany the Moroccan dishes equally well.
Roasting is a really versatile way to cook vegetables, and works with most varieties, so long as you check the timings carefully. Simply chop up the veg you want, add to a baking tray top with the seasonings of your choice, drizzle with oil and mix everything up well before baking in the oven. Root vegetables will take longer than those with a higher water content, and different seasonings will evoke different far-flung destinations – try Herbs de Provence for a Gallic flavour, paprika and cayenne pepper for Spanish fervour and basil, oregano and rosemary for a classic Italian taste.
If you aren’t confident doing it alone just yet, there are plenty of recipes online – for summery vegetables and goats cheese try this recipe from Delicious magazine, while this flexible BBC version has three serving suggestions, from plain roasted veg to a vegetable and lentil salad and even a frittata!
Whatever meat and veg combo you plump for, Gourmade’s Potato Dauphinoise is the perfect, indulgent accompaniment. The type of dish which takes a great deal of time and effort to make yourself, this creamy classic will lift the elegance factor of any barbecue.
For your meat dishes, try Food Network’s Italian-inspired Prosciutto wrapped lamb burgers, Delia’s Rosemary lamb kebabs or these wonderfully simple chicken drumsticks from Good to Know.
Jamie Oliver also has a wonderful recipe for pork souvlaki which, in turn, calls for some tzatziki!
Mediterranean barbecues are also perfect for vegetarian or plant-based eaters – there are so many yummy recipes. If you’re a dab hand with a barbecue, try this amazing recipe for grilled avocado stuffed with chickpeas from FoodFaithFitness. Otherwise, mixed vegetable skewers, slices of oiled halloumi, aubergine or courgette, and a side dish of Gourmade’s Roasted Vegetable Paella (from our EAT.PLNT vegan range) ought to keep you going.

Talking of vegetables, here’s our simple yet scrummy recipe for baked tomatoes to go alongside your main dishes.

Oven-baked tomatoes with tasty toppings

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking time: 15-20 min
  • Servings: 4
  • Cost: Low
  • Beef tomatoes: 8
  • Olive oil: 2 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper: to taste
Garlic and herb topping
  • Garlic: 4 cloves, crushed or finely chopped
  • Mixed herbs of choice: 2tsp
Cheese and bacon topping
  • Cheddar: 75g, grated
  • Streaky bacon: 3 rashers, chopped
For serving (optional)
  • Basil leaves: 10g, torn
  • Parsley leaves: 10g, chopped
  • Coriander leaves: 10g, chopped
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/350˚F/Gas Mark 4. Slice the beef tomatoes in half horizontally, and place on a lined baking tray. Sprinkle your toppings of choice onto the tomatoes, then season to taste and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the toppings are bubbling and the tomatoes are tender. Serve topped with your choice of torn basil leaves, chopped parsley or coriander or some red chilli.
You can be as creative as you like with the toppings. Experiment with different herbs or spices, or try frying some diced vegetables to add, such as onion or peppers. You could also top the tomatoes with a spoonful of minced lamb or beef, finished with a grating of mozzarella or parmesan, depending on the flavour and texture you prefer. Chorizo, Parma ham or prosciutto would all make lovely bacon substitutes, each bringing their own Mediterranean flavours. The cheddar, too, could be substituted for goats’ cheese or flavoured cream cheese, which would also work when added to the garlic and herb topping.

To keep the summery theme going, why not finish up with Sicilian Lemon Roulades – fresh, light and zesty, with the authentic sunshine-grown flavour of real Sicilian lemons, but also sweet and luxurious in its creamy ooziness, which surely everyone wants for a truly satisfying summer dessert.

Summer snaps

Share pictures of your summer barbecues inspired by holiday destinations (and any stellar recipes!) on Insta, Twitter or Facebook. Which Gourmade sides and desserts did you choose for the extra wow factor?

Summery Sunday roasts

Sunny summer evenings will sizzle with our BBQ versions of classic Sunday roasts.

by Sarah ▪ 7 July, 2021

The joys of Sunday dinner

Everyone loves a Sunday roast. Or – let’s face it – an any day roast. Not only is it easy to make and economical, it’s perfect for serving larger numbers while being equally adaptable for couples or eating alone. The leftovers are extremely versatile –the meat can be reworked into all kinds of dishes, including curries, pastry-topped pies, stir fries or simply as sandwich fillings. Mincing roasted meat also works well for dishes like shepherd’s pie, chilli and Bolognese.

Then, of course, there are the sides and condiments which, for many people, crown the whole meal. From Yorkshire pudding to crackling, and bread sauce to mint jelly, the humble roast dinner certainly takes the crown for appetising accompaniments.
A Sunday roast is a great vehicle for bringing family together, which is surely one of the reasons that they are held in such affection. Its only downfall – if it can be seen as such – is that it’s a cosy, wintry meal, sitting alongside stews in the comfort stakes. That’s all very well on frosty evenings, but when the days are long, and you’re still in the garden in a T-shirt come 8pm, a roast isn’t always so appealing.
Enter Gourmade, and the Sunday BBQ. We’ve taken the idea of a roast, but given it a sunny, summery twist. Add some of our delicious, indulgent sides (and, if you’re sensible, a scrummy dessert, too!) for a stress-free meal enjoying the evening sun.

Marinaded pork and cauliflower cheese

Fire up the barbecue and get ready for a sizzling pork dinner. For our take on roast pork for the summer months, we suggest cooking up some pork chops along with some sausages. If you want a nod to the traditional apple sauce, why not try some pork and apple sausages? These are available in most supermarkets, or you could try these bangers (in both senses of the word!), which are handmade and come from outdoor-reared pigs on small family-run farms in Dorset and Wiltshire.

For your pork cuts, you’re spoilt for choice, from the classic chop to tender belly slices, from elegant loin to eat-with-your-fingers ribs. For extra flavour, try making your own marinade. We found this delicious apple barbecue pork glaze from Living in Happy Place – another nod to the Sunday roast.
Sweet tartness cuts through the fattiness of pork, hence the popularity of apple sauce. You can also add some sweetness with your veggies. Try this lovely recipe for sweet and smoky root vegetables (just be mindful that the marinade needs prepping a day in advance). Add the indulgence of creamy Cauliflower Cheese and you’ve got a real feast for your al fresco supper. (You can always add a dollop of apple sauce, too!)
Gourmade excels at desserts, so it’s always hard to choose just one, but we think the gooey sweetness of Sticky Toffee Pudding hits just the right notes after a pork-based dinner.

Spatchcocked chicken and wedges

We’re using a whole chicken for our BBQ version of a roast chicken dinner – but to cook it, we’re spatchcocking it (splitting it in half, butterfly style) and giving it a tasty marinade. This BBC recipe is delicious and easy to follow, but feel free to experiment with your own marinade.

For a more summery take on roast tatties, we think our Sweet Potato Wedges work a treat. Supplement with our delicious Posh Peas for a light, fresh evening meal. Even the fussiest eater won’t find anything to moan about here. Serve with a chilled glass of white wine or elderflower pressé (or just lemon squash for little ones!).
If you want a more authentic roast dinner experience, simply add some fresh chicken gravy (all supermarkets offer their own versions) and some sage and onion stuffing. Although you can buy this pre-made or in packets, it’s very quick and easy to make – and great for using up stale bread and other store cupboard ingredients.

Sarah’s simple sage & onion stuffing

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking time: 30-40 min
  • Servings: 4-6
  • Cost: Low
  • Bread: 160g/6oz
  • Butter: 1 tbsp
  • Oil: 1 tbsp
  • Onions: 2, diced
  • Eggs: 1
  • Dried or fresh sage: 1tbsp, finely chopped
  • Seasoning: to taste
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/350˚F/Gas Mark 4. Heat the butter and oil in a pan over a low heat and add the diced onion once hot. Season with a little salt and pepper, then fry for 10-15 minutes until the onions are softened and translucent. If using fresh sage, add to the pan for the final minute and fry, stirring. Leave to cool.
Whilst the onion is cooking, blitz your bread in a food processor and beat the egg. Once the onion mixture has cooled slighting, add the breadcrumbs and egg, mixing until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a greased ovenproof dish and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
  • ☑ Fry 3 slices of streaky bacon and leave to cool. Chop roughly, and add to the mixture before baking for extra flavour.
  • ☑ Add chopped garlic to the pan with the sage.
  • ☑ Use dried mixed herbs if you don’t have sage to hand.
Don’t worry – we haven’t forgotten our dessert suggestion. (When would we ever forget pudding?) This is such a family-friendly meal that we’ve opted for some of our most popular and easy-to-share desserts. While children are bound to love our Belgian Chocolate and Salted Caramel roulades, we’ve never heard an adult turn one down either!

Roast reinventions

We’d love to see pictures of your barbecue-themed interpretations of traditional roast dinners. Let us know which Gourmade sides and desserts you used, too. You can find us on Insta, Twitter or Facebook, or just send us a message. Which reinvented roast wins when it’s given a grilling?

Cooling off

After a spicy meal, a cool and refreshing dessert is just the ticket. Why not try our Raspberry Cheesecake or perhaps a refreshing Sicilian Lemon Roulade Gourmade has plenty of delicious desserts to choose from, so you can finish your meal in style.
Do get in touch and share pictures of your Father’s Day feasts, along with any tips for your own Indian side dishes. Tag us on Insta, Twitter or Facebook – and share your Father’s Day celebrations.

Simple sides for an Indian extravaganza

For a fuss-free Father’s Day feast, elevate curry night with these fail-safe side dishes.

by Sarah ▪ 14 Jun, 2021

Pick ‘n’ mix it up

To celebrate the important men in your life, why not take curry night up to 11? Whether you’re making a meal for the extended family or just for two, serving a variety of dishes in traditional Indian tableware is one way to make it super-special, both in style and substance. Luckily there’s no need to toil for hours (or days!) creating several traditional curries from scratch, because Gourmade have done the hard work for you. Simply buy one each (or your favourite combo) of our Chicken Jalfrezi, Vegetable Madras, Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Korma and serve in some beautiful bowls. We love these copper serving dishes, which will bring a glorious warming glow to your table.

Two ways with rice

With the curries taken care of, all you need to focus on is the sides – an important element to any Indian supper. First up is rice – and we’ve got two simple recipes to share. Our founder, Jo, has the secret to perfect fluffy rice every time, and we’ve also got a flavoured option for a bit of va-va-voom.

Jo’s perfect rice

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation: 5 min
  • Cooking time: 15 min
  • Servings: 4
  • Cost: Low
  • Basmati rice: 250g
  • Boiling water: Enough to cover rice
  • Water: 200ml
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/350˚F/Gas Mark 4. Add 250g basmati rice in a large pan and cover with freshly boiled water. Bring the water back to the boil on the hob, then drain in an oven-proof colander. Place the colander over the saucepan and pour another 200ml (this time the measuring is important!) of boiling water over the rice. Cover the colander with tin foil and tuck in the edges, ensuring there are no holes for steam to escape. Pop the pan, colander and all, into the oven for 8-10 minutes. The rice will steam cook perfectly, so you’re left with fluffy separated grains. Serve, and enjoy!

Indian flavoured rice

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation: 5 min
  • Cooking time: 25 min
  • Servings: 4
  • Cost: Low
  • Basmati rice: 250g
  • Chicken or vegetable stock: 350ml
  • Cinnamon stick: 1
  • Cloves: 6
  • Garlic: 2 cloves
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Once bubbling, put the lid on the pan and turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer for 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to steam with the lid on for 10 minutes further. Remove the cinnamon, cloves and garlic and fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Best bar naan

Naan bread is a curry night staple – delicious, warming, and perfect for mopping up any leftover sauce. While making your own naan is satisfying (we especially like this recipe for peshwari naan with its wonderful traditional filling), often we just don’t have the time. But it’s super easy to jazz up shop-bought naans. Simply spread the naans with butter, and then top with your choice (or combination) of grated garlic, diced dried fruit, chopped coriander leaves or cumin seeds. Even just adding the butter adds an extra level of delicious decadence! (Cumin seeds, dried fruit and garlic can be added before heating, but for coriander leaves or if you’re using butter alone, add after removing from the oven.) You’ll probably find you have enough food already, but if you fancy some healthy, vegetable-based sides, try making a simple red lentil dal or a sag aloo. (Or, for a slightly less healthy veggie side, simply pop some pre-prepared onion bhajis in the oven!)

Killer condiments

Whether it’s to go with poppadoms before the meal, or just to accompany your main, Indian condiments are too tasty to pass up. We recommend buying a good quality mango chutney – along with lime pickle if you like spice, and brinjal (aubergine) pickle if you fancy something a bit different. However, one condiment you can make quickly and easily is a refreshing raita – perfect if the spice level ratchets up!

Simple raita

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation: 15 min
  • Servings: 8
  • Cost: Low
  • Plain yoghurt: 250g
  • Cucumber: 50g, finely diced
  • Lime juice: ½ lime
  • Garlic: 1 clove, crushed
  • Ginger: 25g, finely chopped 
  • Coriander: 20g, chopped
  • Mint leaves: 10g, chopped
  • Ground cumin: ½ tsp
  • Garam masala: ½ tsp (plus extra to serve)
  • Cumin seeds (optional): ½ tsp, for garnish
  • Salt: ½ tsp
  • Pepper: ¼ tsp
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle a little garam masala and some cumin seeds on top before serving.

Tip-top toppings

To give your meal the professional touch, why not sprinkle your curries and sides with some dressy toppings, which will add a pop of colour and texture? Flaked almonds work beautifully with our creamy Chicken Korma, while chopped coriander creates a wonderful colour contrast on Tikka Masala. Spring onions add bite to the Vegetable Madras, and chopped red chilli gives even more of a kick to the Chicken Jalfrezi. Fried onions are traditional atop a dal, and work equally well on a curry or rice (you can buy excellent pre-cooked ones which add a wonderful crunch!). Other great toppings for Indian dishes include dried fruit, peas, cumin seeds, pineapple or roasted peanuts. You can really go to town and have fun with flavours – or just pick your dad’s favourites!

Cooling off

After a spicy meal, a cool and refreshing dessert is just the ticket. Why not try our Raspberry Cheesecake or perhaps a refreshing Sicilian Lemon Roulade Gourmade has plenty of delicious desserts to choose from, so you can finish your meal in style.
Do get in touch and share pictures of your Father’s Day feasts, along with any tips for your own Indian side dishes. Tag us on Insta, Twitter or Facebook – and share your Father’s Day celebrations.


Even if you can’t be together in person, you can make this Mother’s Day special.

by Sarah ▪ 08 Mar, 2021

Treat your Queen Bee

This is the second Mother’s Day in which many people won’t be able to see their loved ones, which is all the more reason to treat a special lady in your life – be it your mum, granny or a beloved chum – and let them know they’re in your thoughts.

In our family, it’s traditional to bestow big bouquets of golden spring daffs on our mum, and it’s also a day when we generally get together for a jolly lunch, a seaside walk and some board games. Many people enjoy treating their mum to a pub lunch. This year, these aren’t options available to us, but there’s no reason you can’t still lay on a royal spread.

Ready meals for royalty

If you live a long way from your loved ones, why not send them a surprise lunch? Gourmade’s premium frozen ready meals are a perfect present – your favourite lady can feast at leisure! What’s more, this week Gourmade are offering a whopping 20% off orders over £50 with the code MAMMAMIA20. There are lovely hamper ranges to suit all tastes, or simply choose what your mum would like most from the range. There’s delicious traditional fare, from Beef Stew and Dumplings to a selection of pies. For a mother with wider ranging tastes, there are classic meals from countries around the world – tagine from Morocco, moussaka from Greece and curries from India and Thailand – not to mention Italian favourites like lasagne. There’s even a vegan range courtesy of Gourmade’s sister company, EAT.PLNT.

And, of course, as it’s a treat, you can’t afford to forget dessert!

Silver service

However, if you have the good fortune to be within driving distance from – or, better yet, in a bubble with – mother dearest, then cooking up something impressive for the occasion is definitely a way to wow her. We’ve found a fantastic recipe, courtesy of Delicious Magazine which is simple to make yet is sure to make a hit. It’s also a dish that’s easy to reheat if you prepare it ahead and drop it around to your mum (or whichever wonderful woman you want to spoil).


Tartiflette is actually a relatively recent dish, with most agreeing it was invented in the 1980s. However, it’s so delectable that it’s already become a classic, and has been co-opted by several countries other than its native France – notably other Alpine nations such as Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Italy.

The Haute-Savoie department of the Aravis Valley region is the birthplace of Reblochon cheese, the cornerstone of tartiflette – and the reason for its existence. First produced in the 16th century, Reblochon is a soft wash-rind ad smear-ripened cheese which is still made in the traditional manner. It has a rich creamy texture and fresh, delicate flavour.
When sales of this unique cheese began to decline perilously, the Reblochon Trade Union took action, devising a dish in which Reblochon was the star ingredient, imparting distinctive flavour. Thought to be a modern reworking of an older dish, pela, tartiflette infuses the traditional potato, cheese and onion gratin with cream, and cured pork fat or lardons.
Is your mouth watering yet? Then let’s cook!
Tartiflette and Alpine Salad
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 2 hours
  • Servings: 4
  • Cost: Medium
For the tartiflette:
  • Floury potatoes: 500g (peeled weight), very finely sliced
  • Unsmoked bacon lardons: 130g
  • Butter: 20g
  • Onions: 1, finely sliced
  • Garlic: 1 clove, crushed
  • Reblochon cheese: 150g, cut into long strips
  • Double cream: 250ml
  • Dry white wine: 35ml
For the Alpine salad
  • Little gem lettuce: 2, leaves separated
  • Red onion: 1, small
  • Radishes: 110g, finely sliced
  • Mint leaves: 3tbsp, finely sliced
  • Lemon: 1, juiced
  • Olive oil: 2tbsp
Preheat the oven to 170˚C/150˚C fan/325˚F/Gas Mark 3. Fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the slices of potato and cook for 3 minutes, then drain. Spread the slices out on kitchen towel and allow to steam dry. While the potato slices cool, heat a large dry frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the lardons and fry, tossing them frequently, for 4 to 7 minutes, until crisp. Remove the lardons from the pan using a slice or slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towel, retaining the fat. Turn the heat to low and add the butter. Fry the sliced onions until softened (approx. 8-10 minutes), stirring occasionally, then add the crushed garlic. After two further minutes, take the pan off the heat and return the lardons to the dish, mixing well.
Now liberally line a 2 litre baking dish with a layer of potatoes. Add a layer of the onion and lardon mixture, and top with some slices of Reblochon. Pour over some of the white wine and cream, then season well with black pepper and salt. Repeat these layers until all the ingredients are used, topping with a layer of potatoes covered with cream. Season, then cook for 80-90 minutes, until the top is crisp and golden, with the creamy sauce beginning to bubble through. Rest the dish for 10 minutes before serving.
While the dish is cooking, prepare your salad. Put the leaves, red onion, radishes and mint in a bowl and toss together until well combined. In a small bowl, mix the lime juice and olive oil together. Stir the dressing into the salad leaves just before serving.
You may have to leave your offering on the doorstep, but if you will get the chance to plate up for her, try some of our tips for making any plate look professional.
Serving tip
Use a sharp dressing for your salad and also serve a variety of pickles, which will cut through the creaminess of the Tartiflette for wonderful contrast. Adding charcuterie meats will complete the Alpine experience.
Also try …
Use smoked lardons if you enjoy a more robust flavour, or in place of additional charcuterie (some charcuterie meats, such as parma ham, would also work in place of lardons). For a vegetarian option, omit the lardons and add layers of caramelised onions instead.

Queen of the Castle

Your mum can’t fail to enjoy this dish, which is the ultimate in comfort food and perfect for crisp spring days. Such a decadent, creamy, cheesy main calls for a dessert with tart flavours. You really can’t go wrong with Gourmade’s zesty Lemon Tarts, which look and taste the part for a special occasion with their silky filling and flaky pastry. They look stunning served with a few strawberries or raspberries and topped with a light dusting of icing sugar. If your mum has a really sweet tooth, she can still get a citrussy hit with the fabulously light and fresh Sicilian Lemon Roulade.

Even if being apart means the lovely lady of your life feels like Rapunzel in her tower, you can bring her a happy ending this Mother’s Day. Let us know how you’ve made this special day count. Enjoy!

3 ways with mash

Mashed potato is the unsung, humble heroine of spud cuisine, being simple to make, comforting to eat and a welcome side to almost any main. And let’s not forget its creamy, buttery texture! Delicious. It might be viewed as a fairly basic dish compared to, say, Dauphinoise potatoes – but that’s to ignore how fantastically flexible mash can be.
With just a handful of ingredients, you can transform your mash into a masterpiece, and make an everyday meal into a treat. While I’d contend that a classic buttery mash is gem in its own right, flirting with flavour can fun every now and then.

And what better time to experiment than British Pie Week (1-7 March)? Pie and mash go together like cheese and wine (which wouldn’t go amiss for afters, either), so we’re sharing three of our favourite modified mash recipes for you to try with your favourite pie.

This recipe comes courtesy of our founder Jo, for whom it’s a personal favourite. The combination of three types of mustard gives this mash a glorious colour (American), toothsome texture (Wholegrain) and wonderful bite (English). We’ve paired it with our Steak & Ale Pie, but it also takes sausage and onion gravy to a whole new level.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking: 15-20 min
  • Servings: 8
  • Cost: Low
  • Potatoes: 1.5kg, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • Butter: 100g
  • Milk: 100ml
  • English mustard: 1 tsp
  • Wholegrain mustard: 2 tsp
  • American yellow mustard: 2 tsp
Add the potato chunks to a large pan of salted water and boil for 15-20 minutes or until soft. (To check whether they are done, pierce a potato with a fork. If it slides off easily, they are tender enough to mash.) Drain the potatoes in a colander and return to the pan to steam-dry for a few moments. Add the butter, milk and mustard, season well, then mash thoroughly until creamy. Cover to keep warm until serving.
Using rocket adds a fresh, peppery flavour to lift to creamy mash. It makes the perfect accompaniment for our Chicken, Ham & Leek Pie, and works well with goulashes or casseroles. For a milder flavour, substitute baby spinach for the rocket.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking: 20-25 min
  • Servings: 8
  • Cost: Low
  • Floury potatoes: 650g, cut into bite-size chunks
  • Milk: 100ml
  • Butter: 25g
  • Rocket: 170g, roughly chopped
Cook the potatoes in a large pan of salted water for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain well, then return to the pan to steam-dry for a few mins before mashing. Push the potatoes to one side of the pan and add the milk and butter to the other. Melt the butter into the milk over a gentle heat before combining with the potatoes. Add the rocket and mash to your preferred consistency. Season to taste, then serve.

The sweet, nutty flavours of sweet potato make for a wholesome and hearty mash that complements dishes with either sweet or spicy undertones, such as the Moroccan Style Chickpea pie from our EAT.PLNT vegan range, or our Chilli Con Carne  – as pictured here. (We also have a delicious veggie version.) Sweet potatoes are also higher in antioxidants like Vitamin A and Vitamin C than white potatoes!


  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation: 15 min
  • Cooking: 150 min
  • Servings: 6
  • Cost: Low
  • FSweet potatoes: 4 large (about 1kg)
  • Chipotle paste: 1 tbsp
  • Soured cream: 100 ml
  • Butter: 25g
  • Smocked paprika: ½ tsp

Preheat your oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/400˚F/Gas mark 6. Roast the sweet potatoes in the oven for 50 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a knife. Once roasted, peel back and discard the skins and mash the flesh in a bowl until smooth. Add the chipotle paste (harissa paste will also work), soured cream and butter and mix well. Season to taste.

☑  Cut your potatoes into equal sized chunks so that they cook evenly. For quicker cooking, cut smaller chunks!
☑  Boil potatoes in salted water.
☑  Make sure your butter is at room temperature before adding to mash – and consider heating any milk used.
☑  For plant-based eating, use a non-dairy milk alternative and vegan butter. You can also buy or make vegan sour cream.
☑  Cheesy mash (add 80g mature cheddar, 30g parmesan and 2tbsp of cream cheese to 1.5kg mashed potatoes).
☑  Garlic and herb mash (Boil 4 garlic cloves with 1.5kg potatoes, then mash with 4tbs of crème fraiche and a handful of chopped chives and parsley).
☑  For extra indulgence, serve mashed potatoes topped with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of herbs.
Mashed potato freezes well, so if you have leftovers you can portion it up to defrost next time you want an easy meal for a stress-free evening. You could also try moulding leftover mash into flat circular discs and frying for a few minutes on each side until crispy on the outside. These potato cakes are always a treat served with a classic fried breakfast.
Once you’ve chosen your mash and your pie, you’ll be ready for a proper celebration of British Pie Week. Personally, I’ll be trying the Chicken, Ham & Leek and mixing my mashes by trying the mustard medley.
While some die-hard pie fans insist on pastry, we’re also pretty fond of our potato-topped pies, so if you don’t fancy wielding the masher yourself, our sweet-potato topped Cottage Pie or classic Fish Pie might fit the bill.
For the final touches to your British Pie Week special, just add some tasty veg, like our Posh Peas, Honey Roast Parsnips or Cauliflower Cheese and you’ll be all set for a pie-fect evening.

Decadent chocolate orange mud cake recipe

In honour of National Chocolate Cake Day, the Gourmade team presents an irresistible recipe.

An excuse to celebrate!

National Chocolate Cake Day falls on 27 January, and at Gourmade we feel there’s really no better time. We’re a month past Christmas, waiting for the next pay-check and signs of spring while still in the depths of sharp wintry snaps, dark mornings and hard frosts. In short, we need cake in our lives – and what better cake than chocolate?
The team was frankly delighted with the task of taste-testing chocolate cake recipes. We’re all confident you’ll love the recipe we’ve chosen. An easy-to-make, sumptuously gooey orange chocolate mud cake ticks all the boxes for an indulgent dessert, elevenses treat or afternoon pick-me-up. It is definitely worth the calories! If you can bear to part with it, this makes a stand-out celebration cake to gift someone, too.

Even if you don’t have the time or inclination for baking, you shouldn’t miss out on National Chocolate Cake Day. Luckily, Gourmade is on hand with an offer you can’t refuse. On Wednesday, for one day only, we will be sending out free chocolate puddings. Yep, that’s right – you’ll receive either chocolate sponge puddings or a chocolate roulade completely free of charge! Just click here to take up this fantastic offer.

If you’re anything like us, you’ll want to do both. So … Let’s Cook!

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation: 15 min
  • Cooking time: 25-30 min
  • Servings: 8
  • Cost: Low
  • Plain flour: 220g
  • Sugar: 60g
  • Eggs: 3
  • Oranges: 3 (40ml juice, 30g peel and zest)
  • Baking soda: 10g
  • Milk chocolate spread: 500g
Preheat the oven to 170˚C/325˚F/Gas Mark 3 (150˚C with a fan oven, but we don’t recommend using the fan setting for cakes, as it can cause a crusty outer layer). Grease a 9in/25cm cake tin (you can also line it if you wish). Separate the egg yolks from the whites,1 retaining both in individual mixing bowls. Beat the egg whites until they form firm peaks. Add the sugar to the bowl with the egg yolks 3 and combine thoroughly. 
Squeeze two or three oranges until you have 40ml juice. 4 Retain the peel. Add the orange juice to the sugar and egg yolks, 5 mixing until the consistency is smooth. Add the baking soda and sift the flour, adding it gradually whilst continually beating the mixture until it reaches a silky texture. 6
Next, remove the peel from the oranges, being careful not to retain the pith, and chop finely. 7 Add the chopped peel to the mixture and stir to combine. 8 Add 250g chocolate spread and beat well. 9
Then gently fold in the egg whites 10 (folding rather than stirring will give the cake a silkier texture when baked). 11 Grease a 9in/25cm cake tin (you can also line it if you wish) and once combined, pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes. 12

The cake is cooked when a skewer comes out clean. While the cake cools (approx. 30 min), heat the remaining chocolate spread (you can use the oven which will still be hot, use a bain marie or cook in the microwave for short bursts) until it is softened and easy to spread. Pour the heated chocolate onto the cooled cake and use a palette knife to spread evenly and level off. 13 Grate the zest of one or more oranges to decorate, or use candied orange slices. Finally, refrigerate the cake for an hour before serving up a dense, gooey chocolate cake of supreme sticky deliciousness. 14

For a nuttier flavour, replace the chocolate spread with a hazelnut one.
A mud cake traditionally has a denser, smoother consistency than standard cake. If you prefer a fluffier cake, replace the chocolate spread with an extra 100g sugar, 150g softened butter and 65g cocoa powder (or 100g dark chocolate melted using a bain marie). Combine thoroughly with the ingredients before adding the egg whites.

Happy National Chocolate Cake Day! If by any chance chocolate isn’t your thing, Gourmade offers a wonderful selection of desserts you could celebrate with instead – I recommend the Sicilian Lemon Tarts for those who like a tangy citrus palate cleanser, or the Salted Caramel Roulade for those with an extra sweet tooth!


A hearty, healthy meal for Veganuary

Who doesn’t enjoy a good chilli? Packed with rich, smoky flavours, there are few meals so comforting, warming and satisfying for a midweek family meal or weekend treat in front of the TV. Not only is it easy to make, it’s also perfect for making in bulk and freezing.

If you’re doing Veganuary but don’t yet have a stockpile of recipes, chilli is a great one to try. There are as many recipes for plant-based chillis as there are vegetables, but this one is super-tasty (and see the top tips to make it super-speedy, too!) and doesn’t rely on meat substitutes. We’ve used vegan cheese both as a topping and to mix in to the chilli itself for extra indulgence (we recommend Asda’s free-from mature cheddar or Applewood’s smoked vegan cheese).


  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Servings: 4-6
  • Cost: Medium
For the roasted butternut squash
  • Butternut squash: 1
  • Olive oil: ½ tbsp
  • Cayenne pepper or smoked paprika: ½ tsp
  • Cumin: ½ tsp
  • Seasoning: to taste
For the chilli
  • Vegetable oil: 1 tbsp
  • Onion: 1 (red or white), diced
  • Garlic: 4 cloves, crushed or finely chopped
  • Cumin: 1½ tbsp
  • Smoked paprika: 1½ tbsp
  • Black beans: 2 cans (800g), drained and rinsed
  • Red kidney beans, pinto beans or mixed beans: 1 can (400g), drained and rinsed
  • Chopped tomatoes or passata: 1 can (400g)
  • Chipotle paste: 3 tbsp
  • Vegetable stock: 1 cube dissolved in 350ml boiling water
  • Lime: 2 (1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges)
  • Coriander: 10g, roughly chopped
  • Vegan cheese: 120g, grated
  • Mint: 20g, leaves chopped
  • Spring onions: 4, sliced
  • Coconut yogurt: 200g
Pre-heat the oven to 220˚C/200˚C fan/400˚F/Gas mark 6. Halve the butternut squash lengthways 1, then scoop out the seeds with a spoon, peel and chop into 1-inch pieces 2. Put on a baking tray with a drizzle of oil, the cayenne or paprika, cumin and seasoning and toss until coated. Bake for 20-25min, until tender 3. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Once hot, fry the onion for 4-5 minutes or until softened 4. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the smoked paprika and cumin and stir for 30 seconds. (If the pan looks a little dry, add a further drizzle of oil.) Add the chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5-6 minutes, then add your drained, rinsed beans, lime juice, stock and chipotle paste and bring the mixture to the boil. Cook at a simmer for a further 5 minutes, then use a potato masher to lightly crush some of the beans. Keep stirring until the mashed and whole beans reach a rich, thickened consistency 5. Stir through the coriander and a third of the cheese until well combined. Serve topped with the roasted butternut squash, chopped mint, sliced spring onions and remaining cheese, and the lime wedges to garnish. The coconut yoghurt goes well as a dollop on top or to the side for dipping 6!
☑  To reduce cooking time, you can leave out the squash and still have a delicious meal. You could also replace the garlic with garlic paste when you cook the spices (around 1½ tbsp, according to taste), and use tomato frito or passata flavoured with onion and garlic to replace the onion and chopped tomatoes. Another swap for extra ease is using pre-prepared butternut squash, either fresh or frozen!
☑  If you don’t have any squash, you can use roasted sweet potato instead (use the same seasoning, but roast for 45 min to 1 hour at 200˚C).
☑  If you miss the texture of mince in your chilli, simply cut down on the number of beans and add some minced meat substitute. Add to the pan after the spices and fry for 5 minutes before adding the tomatoes. You won’t need to mash any of the beans in this case.
The beauty of chilli is its versatility. You could serve with rice, use as a hearty jacket potato filling, or simply warm some tortillas (the wraps or the chips!) and have some fantastic finger food. Sliced avocado (or guacamole) and salad make great accompaniments for any of these options.
If you’re still struggling to find plant-based recipes that don’t take too much effort, check out EAT.PLNT’s fabulous range. We recommend the Spinach and Chickpea curry– yum!


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Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie <br>
Classic, homely, and a British favourite