ESPECIALLY for St Patrick's Day, our resident chef, Paul Watters, has produced a recipe for leek and potato soup with beef and Guinness pie with champ and buttered cabbage.
Paul has over 30 years' experience in the culinary industry.
He has worked in some of the best-known places in the world, such as the Savoy Hotel, the Hilton on Park Lane in London and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
Now working in Belfast, he wants to inspire people to cook on a budget, as well as helping them to learn more about food and how to cook.
Leek and potato soup
50g unsalted butter
450g (peeled and rinsed and cut into chunks)
1 onion cut into chunks (same size as onion)
450g sliced white parts of the leek (chef's tip - keep the green parts for another stock or soup)
2 pints of chicken/vegetable stock
140ml of double cream
125ml semi skimmed milk
In a saucepan melt the butter. When it foams add the potatoes, add the onion and leek and stir well until well coated.
Cover with a lid and gently cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft but not coloured. Remove lid, pour in the stock and bring it to the boil.
Simmer until the vegetables are cooked (chef's tip - never over cook or boil a soup as it will lose its flavour). Remove three or four for garnish.
Puree with a hand blender until smooth, season with salt and pepper and pour in milk along with cream. Transfer to warm serving bowls and for garnish, spoon over the potatoes and a little of the greens of the leek (chef's tip - cook in a little butter first), serve and enjoy.
3lb potatoes (maris piper)
1/2 pint of milk
salt and white pepper (black pepper discolours the potato)
1 large bunch of Scallions (spring onions)
Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain through a colander.
In same pot add milk and the spring onion and bring to the boil.
Add potatoes and mash well (chef's tip - whisk in the butter as this will help fluff up the potatoes and make them smooth).
Season with salt and pepper and serve.
1 Savoy cabbage
4 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper
a extra knob of butter
Remove all the tough outer leaves from the cabbage. Cut the cabbage in four, remove the stalks and cut then each quarter into fine shreds.
In a large sauce pan add 1/2 cup of water. Bring it to the boil along with the butter, add in the cabbage and salt and pepper and mix well.
Cook until soft, drain off any excess water and mix in the remaining butter until it melts through and serve.
Beef and Guinness pie with shortcrust pastry
4 oz plain flour
pinch of salt
2 oz butter (cubed)
3 tablespoons of cold water
Place flour and salt in a large bowl and add butter.
Mix well with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter showing.
With a spatula, stir in enough of the water until it binds together. Wrap in cling film and allow it to rest in the fridge until needed.
Roll out and cut into medium sized discs with a large cup and cook on a floured tray at 180 for 15 minutes (chef's tip - brush with a little beaten egg).
1kg of braising steak (chef's tip - buy it yourself and cut it into size required)
2 large onions (rough chopped)
4 large carrots (peeled and cut into chunks)
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
4 tablespoons of flour
500ml of Guinness
2 beef stock cubes
3 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
In a large pot or pan, add oil and beef cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat. Add in your vegetables and cook for a further five minutes.
Remove from the heat and mix in flour and sugar tomato puree and mix well bring back to the heat and add beer and stock and thyme.
Cook for a hour on a medium heat until soft or check the meat is tender. This will thicken slightly so, according to taste, add a little more water if required.
Serve on a warmed plate with the pastry lid on top, serve with champ and buttered cabbage and enjoy.