Seasonal cookbooks

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Time Out's food critics select the best books for recipes through the seasons

Winter on the Farm

Matthew Evans, Murdoch Books, £20

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Winter is rarely longed-for, yet after reading just a few of the recipes in ‘Winter on the Farm’ you may be tempted to think ‘sod it – bring on the freezing temperatures and pass me the casserole dish’.

The book is full of gutsy, steamy, chill-chasing recipes that are without pretension. There are British classics such as cottage pie with mustard cheese topping, pork chops baked with stout, and Kentish cherry and elderflower fruit pudding.

Other dishes are in the European tradition, such as Italian pasta and beans, Jansson’s temptation (a Swedish potato and anchovy bake) and German-style bratwurst with braised lentils. In fact, you’d hardly guess that the author is based in Australia and that the stunning winter landscapes in the book were shot in Tasmania, not in the UK or mainland Europe.

Alongside these, slow-cooked and braised meats that bubble away aromatically, comforting roasts and satisfyingly rich, rib-sticking desserts figure large. Accompaniments and veggie dishes aren’t forgotten either: wintery vegetables such as kale and, of course, cabbage, cooked with dried beans.

Finally, drinks such as blood orange and gin hot toddy, or mulled wine with orange and cardamom, would buck up any dinner party – and would be just the thing to put in the hip flask for a Bonfire Night nip or two. This is the book to reach for to warm your cockles in flavourful style this winter. 

Susan Low, Time Out London issue 2152: Nov 17-23 2011

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