They’re a hard-working bunch, mums, so it’s only right we have at least one day of the year where they can be thoroughly spoiled. She might love some really beautiful flowers, a trip to the theatre, something sparkly (be it wine or jewellery), but if she’s anything like our mums, the way to her heart is definitely through her stomach. So show your love and cook her something special. That’s sure to make her smile.
Fluffy Scotch Pancakes with Crispy Bacon
Whether it’s breakfast in bed or a laid-back brunch, nothing squeals ‘treat!!!!’ louder than a big stack of light-as-a-feather pancakes.
Combine 140g sieved self-raising flour with 1 heaped tablespoon of golden caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Beat one large egg and mix it with 150ml whole milk. Make a well in the centre of the flour; pour in the milk mixture and combine the wet and dry ingredients quickly and lightly, making sure not to over mix. If you have time, let the batter rest for an hour or so – it’ll make your pancakes even softer.
Lightly brush a hot, non-stick frying pan with vegetable oil. Over a moderate heat, drop ladlefuls of the batter into the pan, making sure they have room to spread a little. Cook the first side until bubbles start to form on the surface of the batter, then flip them quickly and cook the second side. Transfer the cooked pancakes to a folded tea towel to keep warm while you finish the rest.
Serve with hot and sizzling streaky bacon and drizzle with maple syrup for the ultimate sweet-savoury treat.
Picanha Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
Give your celebration supper a Brazilian twist with a distinctive steak cut from the rump and a punchy sauce that’s vibrant and zingy.
Grab a big handful each of fresh parsley and coriander, along with a few sprigs of oregano, a couple of cloves of garlic and a small shallot. Blitz them all together in a blender (or chop finely by hand) before adding the zest of half a lemon, a good squeeze of lemon juice, a generous glug of olive oil and a couple of teaspoons of cider vinegar. Season to taste with red chilli flakes, salt and pepper.
To cook your steak, heat a griddle pan to smoking hot, then, using tongs to hold it, sear the fatty edge until it starts to render down and turn deliciously crispy and golden. Then cook for at most a couple of minutes a side (for medium rare – you can be quicker if you prefer your meat rare) before letting the steak rest for at least 5 minutes, wrapped in foil.
Drizzle the steak with the chimichurri and serve alongside super-crisp fries (well, obviously) and a light slaw with red cabbage and tart apple. A glass or two of Brazilian Cabernet Sauvignon wouldn’t go amiss, either.
For a dig-in-and-share supper with all the family, there’s not much to beat Peking duck. It takes a bit of preparation ahead of time, but it’s not tricky and it tastes amazing. Just remember, mum gets the last pancake…
Make a syrup by warming together 100ml each of runny honey and dark soy sauce with 150ml of rice-wine vinegar and the juice of a lemon. Bring the mixture slowly to a simmer, bubbling it gently for about 15 minutes before taking it off the heat to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, take a whole duck (removing the giblets if necessary) and dry the skin thoroughly with kitchen paper. Sit it on a rack over a roasting tray and, with a ladle, slowly drizzle over the glaze, making sure it gets into all the nooks and crannies and covers all of the skin. Give the duck a few coatings, then put it in the fridge overnight to soak up the sweet stickiness and dry out.
Next day, add a splash of water to the roasting pan under the duck then cook in a 220°C oven (fan) for 15 minutes. Turn down to 160°C and continue cooking for another hour. Once cooked, rest the duck in foil for a good 20 minutes then carve or shred, serving it with soft pancakes, shredded spring onion and hoisin sauce.