Friday 23 March 2018

Comfort food recipes: Kimberly Wyatt's top Winter Warmers

Beef and Root vegetable hotpot
Beef and Root vegetable hotpot
Celebrity MasterChef winner Kimberly Wyatt. Photo: Photocall Ireland
Slow roasted lamb shoulder with Rosemary
Minstrone soup
Chicken and chorizo mash pots Tesco Christmas with Kimberly Wyatt
Sloe gin royal cocktail Tesco Christmas with Kimberly Wyatt

Celebrity MasterChef winner Kimberly Wyatt has teamed up with Tesco to present comfort food dishes that the whole family will enjoy.

She's the cat that got the cream: former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt added some serious kitchen cred to her CV when she was crowned the winner of Celebrity MasterChef last year. Now, the TV star - who was in Dublin recently to launch Tesco's Christmas season and its 'To the hosts' campaign - is sharing her top cookery tips.

iw Tesco Kimbe.jpg
Celebrity MasterChef winner Kimberly Wyatt. Photo: Photocall Ireland

"It's really important not to overcrowd the oven because the food won't cook as it should and your timings will be thrown off," she says. "And keep it simple. You don't need to offer your guests 10 types of vegetables; they'll be more than happy with two or three." Read on for her favourite seasonal dishes…

Beef and Root Vegetable Hotpot

iw Beef root v.jpg
Beef and Root vegetable hotpot

This hearty dish will look after the whole family at dinner time and any leftovers are suitable for freezing.

Serves 4


3 tbsp rapeseed oil

Diced beef 540g

1 onion, sliced

1 leek, thickly sliced

2 carrots, chopped

1 parsnip, chopped

1 tbsp flour

½ tsp ground allspice

1 tbsp tomato purée

100ml red wine (optional)

600ml beef stock

300g passata

500g sweet potatoes, finely sliced into round


Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large pan and brown the beef. You may need to do this in batches. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.

Pour 1 more tbsp of the oil into the pan and add the onion, leek, carrots and parsnip. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until softened and golden.

Return the beef to the pan and stir in the flour, allspice and tomato purée before adding the red wine, if using, beef stock and passata.

Simmer gently for 45 minutes then carefully tip the mixture into a 1.5 litre (2ƒpt) casserole dish.

Preheat the oven to gas 4/180°C/fan 160°C.

Top the hotpot with an even layer of sweet potato slices, brush with the remaining oil and cover with a lid. Cook in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, until golden and the beef is tender.

Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Rosemary

iw Slow_roaste.jpg
Slow roasted lamb shoulder with Rosemary

This simple recipe really brings out the gorgeous flavours and texture of lamb shoulder. Cooked with plenty of garlic and rosemary this is best served with seasonal vegetables and roast potatoes.

Serves 6-8


2kg (4lb) lamb shoulder, on the bone

1 garlic bulb

5 sprigs rosemary

2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, quartered

2 carrots, quartered lengthways

2 celery stalks, halved

300ml (½ pint) red wine

300ml (½ pint) lamb or chicken stock

Flour, to thicken gravy


Place the lamb shoulder in a large roasting tray. Using a sharp knife, make 6-8 small deep incisions over the surface. Crush 3 cloves of garlic; roughly chop the rosemary and combine with the crushed garlic and the olive oil. Rub the mixture over the joint, then cover and chill for at least 4 hours.

Remove the lamb from the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat oven to gas 7/220°C/fan 200°C. Poke the remaining garlic cloves into the incisions. Season the shoulder with salt and pepper.

Place the onions, carrots and celery around the base of the shoulder and push a few pieces under the meat. Pour the red wine over the lamb and cook for 30 minutes to brown the meat slightly.

Take a large piece of crumpled damp greaseproof paper and lie it over the top of the lamb. Then cover with foil and seal tightly. Reduce heat to gas 2/150°C/fan 130°C and put the tray in the oven on the lowest shelf for 6 hours.

When the meat is cooked and falling off the bone, remove the foil and greaseproof paper and grill the joint on medium for 15 minutes to crisp the skin. Re-cover with greaseproof paper and leave to stand for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, strain the liquid into a saucepan and boil until reduced by half. Spoon off a couple of tablespoons of fat from the top of the sauce and place in a clean saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and mix well. Cook for a few minutes, then remove from the heat.

Gradually add 500ml of stock to the red wine liquid, whisking to keep the mixture smooth. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Season to taste. Shred the lamb and serve with the gravy, roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Chicken and Chorizo Mash Pots

Chicken and chorizo mash pots Tesco Christmas with Kimberly Wyatt

Serves 2


4 large potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced



100g (3½oz) strong cheddar cheese, grated

For the filling: 1 tsp olive oil

480g skinless chicken thigh fillets, trimmed and cut into small cubes

1 onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 leek, trimmed, washed and thinly sliced

100g (3½oz) chorizo sausage, cut into thin slices

400g of can chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato purée

300ml vegetable stock

1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into small pieces

Pinch black pepper

Pinch of salt


Place potatoes in a large pan of boiling water. Cook with the lid on for about 20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Drain, add a little butter and milk and mash.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/fan 160°C. In a large pan heat the oil and add the chicken, onion, garlic, leek and chorizo.

Cook until chicken is lightly browned and leeks have softened. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer on the hob for 30 minutes (15 mins with lid on then 15 mins off).

Place in individual oven-proof pots, roughly top with a mound of mash, sprinkle with cheese and cook for 20-25 minutes until topping is golden and chicken cooked through, with no pink showing.

Minestrone soup

iw Minestrone .jpg
Minstrone soup

This delicious take on a classic Italian recipe involves making your own homemade chicken stock and is packed with seasonal, nutritious veggies and hearty, comforting flavours. Made in just six easy steps, there's even the option to make this recipe gluten-free - simply swap out the spaghetti for risotto rice or quinoa.

Serves 4


1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 celery stick, diced

1 carrot, diced

200g (7oz) swede, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp tomato purée

1 x 400g tin plum tomatoes

1 x 400g tin borlotti beans, drained

50g (2oz) spaghetti, broken into pieces

½ savoy cabbage, leaves shredded

30g basil leaves, about half shredded

Freshly grated parmesan, to serve

For the stock:

1 tbsp olive oil

1kg (2lb) chicken drumsticks

1 leek, roughly chopped

2 carrots, roughly chopped

2 celery sticks, roughly chopped

1 onion, halved

Handful parsley

4 thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves

¼ tsp black peppercorns


For the stock, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Brown the drumsticks in batches, then return to the pan along with the remaining stock ingredients. Cover with 1.5l (2ƒ pint) water and bring to the boil.

Using a large metal spoon, skim the scum from the surface (repeat as needed during cooking). Push the ingredients down with the back of your spoon, submerging fully in the liquid, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours. Strain the stock through a sieve into a glass bowl and discard the rest. Leave to cool before chilling for up to 2 days, if necessary.

To make the soup, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot and swede and cook for 10 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the garlic and thyme leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes more.

Stir in the balsamic vinegar and tomato purée and then add the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes before breaking them up with a spoon. Add 1l (1.75pt) stock and the beans. Bring to the boil, then add the spaghetti and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the cabbage and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Season to taste, then stir in the shredded basil.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and scatter over the Parmesan, extra basil leaves and a little freshly ground black pepper.

Sloe gin royale

Sloe gin royal cocktail Tesco Christmas with Kimberly Wyatt

One part sloe gin (available from Tesco Finest)

Three parts Prosecco

Serve in a champagne flute and garnished with a strawberry

Irish Independent

Life Newsletter

Our digest of the week's juiciest lifestyle titbits.

Editors Choice

Also in Life