Instead, the no nonsense queen of cakes and fervent traditionalist wants to see a return to the fare of yesteryear and is championing the hearty suet favourite. She said: “There are a few dishes I’d love to make popular again. My first choice would be dumplings – they used to be huge!
“I’d do horseradish dumplings or herb dumplings. And people have forgotten about kedgeree, too, which I love. It’s very fashionable now to prepare avocado on toast. I can remember when we didn’t have them at all – now they’re everywhere.
“But this isn’t one of the nicest things to do with them. Better to add them to a prawn cocktail or to a little plate of smoked salmon or shrimps. And I love prawn cocktail – it’s so retro! Do it in a glass, with a little gem lettuce leaf. People used to laugh at prawn cocktail because it felt dated, but it’s coming back.”
Mary first appeared on television in the1970s but her popularity rocketed on Great British Bake Off in 2010. Unlike fellow judge Paul Hollywood mother-of-three Mary refused to move with the show when it defected from the BBC to Channel 4.
Avocado can shine in a prawn cocktail
There are a few dishes I’d love to make popular again. My first choice would be dumplings – they used to be huge!
She tells the latest issue of Radio Times, on sale today: “I cook some of the dishes that I’ve always cooked, but I’ve changed the way I cook them.
“In the old days I would have used a big dollop of dripping to make a cottage pie but now I wouldn’t – it’s just extra fat. I just fry the meat in its natural fat and put a tiny bit of oil around the outside of the pan.
“I like making pies, but I used to put pastry on the base. I certainly don’t now — on top is enough for me.” She added: “I use things like kale these days, which I never used to.
“We’re eating all sorts of quinoa and grains that we didn’t eat years ago (although I can’t do with too much brown rice), and it’s jolly nice to have so much fresh produce around.
Mary Berry features in the Radio Times [PH]
“But you go through different stages of people suggesting different diets, and I don’t think that’s a good thing.
“The way I cook might have changed, but I present my food just like I used to.
“Serving food on slate tiles? Oh, no – that’s all very gimmicky. And I don’t like it when a plate is zigzagged with sauce across it or dropped in little blobs in circles.
“I like simple dishes and I’m not worried about things that seem old-fashioned. If it’s a lovely dish, why not make it?”
Beef stew and dumpings recipe
2–3 tbsp light olive oil
1kg/2lb 4oz braising beef, cut into cubes
250g/9oz shallots or silverskin pickling onions, halved
2 carrots, thinly sliced
200g/7oz button mushrooms, left whole
50g/1¾oz plain flour
500ml/18fl oz ale 150ml/5fl oz beef stock
2–3 tbsp onion marmalade
1–2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 3 bay leaves gravy browning (optional) salt and freshly ground black pepper
Beef stew and dumplings can be a delight
For the dumplings
175g/6oz self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
75g/1¾oz suet, shredded
3-4 tbsp hot horseradish sauce, from a jar
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Mary Berry in pictures
Fri, March 24, 2017
Mary Berry, the famous culinary, on-screen baker in pictures.
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Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a deep ovenproof casserole dish over a high heat. Add the beef in batches and brown all over, adding more oil if needed. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour another tablespoon oil into the casserole dish, then add the shallots, carrots and mushrooms and fry for few minutes, stirring.
Meanwhile, put the flour in a bowl, whisk in a little ale to make a smooth paste, then whisk in the rest of the ale.
Return the beef to the casserole, then pour in the ale mixture and stock. Stir over a high heat until thickened and boiling. Stir in the onion marmalade, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and gravy browning (if using) and cook, stirring, for few minutes. Season with salt and pepper, cover, then bake for 2–2½ hours, or until the meat is tender.
To make the dumplings, put the flour and suet in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Gradually add 150ml/5fl oz water and stir to make a soft, sticky dough. Tip onto a floured work surface and gently knead until smooth.
Flour a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Put the dough on top and roll out to about 15x25cm/6x8in. Spread over the horseradish cream and scatter with parsley. Roll up the dough, from the long side, to make a Swiss roll shape. Chill for 45 minutes, then slice into eight pieces.
When the beef is tender, remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 220C/200Fan/Gas 7.
Remove the bay leaves and add the dumplings. Return to the oven, without the lid, for 25 minutes, or until the dumplings are golden and puffed up. Serve piping hot.