Made in Britain: recipes by Yotam Ottolenghi (2024)

I am not one crumb clearer about what Brexit will look like than I was in June 2016. Still, it’s probably a good idea to imagine, at least, how we’d manage without the plenty that comes our way from the continent every day. Pray we don’t need to, but here goes … something for everyone, with strictly British produce (plus olive oil).

Crispy duck with rye pancakes (pictured above)

Think of this as a British Peking duck, and eat it as you would in a Chinese restaurant, stuffing the shredded duck, sauce, spring onions and cucumbers inside the warm pancakes. It’s a messy business, but that’s all part of the fun. Use shop-bought pancakes, if need be, but if you do make your own, you can do so well in advance and warm them through in the oven before serving.

Prep 30 min
Cook 2 hr 10 min
Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a starter

¾ tsp juniper berries
¾ tsp black peppercorns
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, plus 1½ tsp extra, to serve
3 tbsp golden syrup
2 duck legs, skin patted very dry
250g ready-cooked and peeled beetroot (ie, 1 pack), each cut into 8 wedges
2 Pink Lady apples, cored and cut into eight wedges (250g net weight)
3 small banana shallots, peeled and cut in half (60g net weight)
1½ tbsp sage leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly bashed with the flat of a knife
200ml dry white wine
2-3 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced into 6cm-long strips (40g net weight)
¼ large cucumber, seeds and core scooped out, flesh cut into 6cm x ½cm batons (60g net weight)

For the pancakes
80g dark rye flour
70g plain flour
1 large egg
220ml full-fat milk
⅔ tsp salt
Olive oil, for frying

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Blitz the juniper and peppercorns in a spice grinder until you have a fine powder (or finely crush them in a mortar). Transfer to a bowl and add the Worcestershire sauce, golden syrup and a teaspoon and a quarter of salt. Prick the skin of each duck leg about 20 times with a skewer, then add them to the bowl and toss to coat. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes (or put the bowl in the fridge overnight).

Mix the beetroot, apples, shallots, sage and garlic in a 24cm ovenproof saute pan with a good pinch of salt. Pour in the wine and 75ml water, then lay in the duck legs skin side up, along with all their marinade, taking care not to get any on the skin, then use kitchen towel to pat the exposed skin dry. Roast for an hour and 25 minutes, rotating the pan and basting the contents once halfway, until the duck is cooked and the skin crisp. Transfer the legs to a board to rest for 15 minutes; crush the beetroot and apple into the sauce a little, and keep warm.

While the duck is resting, make the pancakes. Whisk the flours, egg, milk and salt until smooth, then set aside for five minutes. Put half a teaspoon of olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat, then add 40-45g batter, swirling the pan to form a 12cm-wide pancake. Fry for one to two minutes, until nicely browned on the bottom, then flip and fry for 30-60 seconds, until browned on the other side – you may need to lower the heat to medium if the pan gets too hot. Repeat until you have eight pancakes – the batter mix is enough for 11 pancakes, but the first few attempts aren’t usually the best.

Arrange the duck legs on a platter with the spring onions, cucumber and pancakes alongside. Tip the warm fruit and vegetables, and any liquid from the pan, into a bowl and stir in the remaining teaspoon and a half of Worcestershire sauce. Shred the meat off the duck legs at the table, or just before you serve, finishing them off with a little salt and some of the liquid from the fruit and vegetable sauce.

Pear and apple slaw with mustard and watercress

Made in Britain: recipes by Yotam Ottolenghi (1)

This slaw will get soggy if it’s left to sit, so make it just before serving. Cobnuts are a type of hazelnut native to the UK, and are usually found with green or brown shells and husks (more brown at this time of year). To roast cobnuts, crack and shell them, then roast in a 170C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4 oven for about 12 minutes. This salad would go really well alongside grilled sausages, with some extra mustard alongside, or with a root vegetable gratin.

Prep 25 min
Cook 5 min
Serves 4 as a side

60g watercress
1 tbsp English mustard, made from powder so it’s gluten-free
1½ tbsp roughly chopped parsley
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
50ml olive oil
1 williams pear, cored and cut into 5cm x ½cm batons
1 Pink Lady apple, cored and cut into 5cm x ½cm batons
5-6 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into 5cm x ½cm batons (275g net weight)
60g shelled cobnuts or blanched hazelnuts, roasted, salted and roughly chopped

In the small bowl of a food processor, blitz the first five ingredients with a third of a teaspoon of salt, to make a smooth salsa.

Put the salsa in a large bowl with all the remaining ingredients except the nuts, and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving platter, taste for seasoning, then finish with the chopped nuts and serve.

Bacon and chestnut scones with Marmite butter

Made in Britain: recipes by Yotam Ottolenghi (2)

I never thought the combination of bacon and chestnuts could get any better until I added Marmite. Don’t be fooled by the long method – these scones are fairly easy. Take the butter for the whipped Marmite butter out of the fridge way ahead of time, so it’s totally soft.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 25 min
Makes 14

350g cooked and peeled chestnuts
100ml whole milk
110g unsalted butter, fridge-cold and cut into 1½cm cubes, plus ⅓ tbsp extra for frying
150g streaky bacon (ie, about 6 rashers), cut widthways into ½cm-thick strips
240g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp caster sugar
2½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¾ tsp salt
180g buttermilk, fridge-cold
1 egg yolk, beaten
1½ tsp demerara sugar

For the whipped Marmite butter
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ tbsp Marmite

Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/465F/gas 9. Spread out the chestnuts on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and roast for 12 minutes, or until nicely toasted, then remove and leave to cool. Once cool, put 200g of them in a food processor, add the milk, blitz to a thick, slightly coarse paste and set aside. Roughly chop the remaining chestnuts.

Meanwhile, put a large frying pan on a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the third of a tablespoon of butter and the bacon, fry for seven to eight minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp and lightly browned, then transfer the bacon to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain.

Put the flour, caster sugar, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a food processor and pulse once or twice, just to mix them together. Add the butter, pulse three or four times, until the mixture is crumbly, then add the buttermilk and chestnut puree, and pulse two or three times, until you have a shaggy mass – take care: you don’t want the mix to come together. Transfer to a well-floured work surface and use floured hands to flatten the dough into a rough rectangle. Sprinkle evenly with the chopped chestnuts and bacon, reserving a tablespoon of bacon for garnish, and use your hands to bring it all together without kneading.

Gently pat the dough into a roughly 2½cm-thick rectangle about 20cm x 16cm, then fold in half. Give the dough a quarter turn, flattening it slightly as you do so, and fold in half again. Repeat once more, for a total of three folds, using only enough flour to keep your hands from sticking. Finish by patting the dough into a roughly 3cm-thick rectangle, dusting away any excess flour. Use a 6cm round cookie cutter to cut the dough into rounds – give the cutter one solid push for each one – and transfer these to a large oven tray lined with baking paper, keeping the scones spaced well apart. Gather the scraps into a ball, pat this down in the same way as before, then cut out as many scones as you can – you should have enough dough to get 14 scones in total. Refrigerate the tray for 20 minutes, so the scones firm up.

Brush the scones with the egg yolk, sprinkle over the demerara sugar and reserved bacon, then put in the oven and immediately turn down the temperature to 190C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Bake for 25 minutes, until nicely golden and cooked through, then leave to cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the whipped butter by blitzing the butter and Marmite in a food processor until smooth, like a soft peanut butter; scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go. Serve the scones warm or at room temperature with the whipped butter alongside.

Made in Britain: recipes by Yotam Ottolenghi (2024)
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