Si King and Dave Myers are on the search for the most interesting food that Britain's mums are cooking for their families this Christmas, including roast goose and coconut samosas.
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-Ho ho ho.
I love this time of year! It's brill!
You can stuff your face and no-one cares.
We're back on the road to find out what people eat at Christmas time.
The kind of recipes that have been handed down from one generation to the next
and are at the heart of a real family get-together.
After all, it's also the season of goodwill to all bikers.
So we're asking Britain's mums to share their Christmas tips with the nation.
And then we're creating a festive space
where foodie folk can come together and swap their own seasonal recipes.
-Welcome to the Mums Know Best recipe fair.
-It's that time of the year! It's all snowy and lovely.
It's the festive season and it's the king of celebrations.
Just look at the fantastic selection of food that people have bought for us to eat.
Just so you know, it's lovely!
Si, I think you mean, "share with the nation".
And Gerard, our food historian, will be getting the stories behind those recipes.
That's when he is not hijacking them for himself!
Because of health and safety, we can't share this with the
audience because it has got nuts, so I have to keep it all for later.
But first, we're off to meet three mums with great Christmas recipes.
We want them and their dishes to be the centrepiece of our festive banquet at the end of our fair.
Of course, all these fantastic recipes are on the Mums Know Best website for you to make at home,
because when it comes to dishing up the perfect family Christmas, mums really do know best.
-Merry Christmas, mate.
Si, let the festive fun begin.
Where are we off too, dude?
Our first stop is with a mum in Lincolnshire.
She's the matriarch of a big clan who run their own family farm.
Christmas on the farm, bring it on!
Tammy and her husband live on the farm with the grown-up kids next door.
-Merry Christmas to you!
How are you? Nice to see you.
While Jeffery gets back to work, Tammy is going to show us how her family celebrates Christmas.
Tammy is a real mother hen, running a very busy kitchen that feeds a large family but she has got help from her
daughter-in-law Bridget and granddaughter Sinead, who live next door.
Not far to go for Christmas lunch.
Tonight the family is gathering for an early festive feast.
How many people do you have for Christmas?
On average, 24 and then 32 on Boxing Day.
Do you love Christmas?
Yes, I do actually.
Not always do we get all the family together but when we do, it's amazing.
Tammy often cooks a home-grown Christmas goose, a real family favourite.
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat and so are we.
-Look at that!
-Tammy, show us how you do your goose.
I stuff it, it's got rosemary and thyme
and sage and apples and oranges.
It suits fruit, doesn't it?
It loves fruit.
Geese are quite fatty so Tammy has pricked the skin to let the fat drain out during roasting.
-Shall we get it in the oven?
-Yes. We have got a mission now
because we're going over to the other house that was my house
when I was a young bride brought from the city.
You lead the way. We're like the Three Wise Men!
# We three kings from Orient are... #
We're lucky we don't have to go to Bethlehem to find a stable - we're already on a farm.
How big is the farm?
It's about 500 acre,
which is just a nice family farm, really.
'Bridget and Sinead are already busy with the trimmings.
'This family is a finely-tuned cooking machine.'
So this is your second centre of operations?
-Christmas dinner is a military operation, isn't it?
We're training the next generation.
Do you want a hand?
That'd be lovely. You and I are going to do cow pie.
Ooh, come on, let's go and make magic.
Let's go and make magic.
We're off back to Tammy's kitchen for a festive steak and kidney treat, Tammy's family call it cow pie.
Tammy, was your mum a good cook at Christmas?
Don't forget it was just after the war and everything was rationed.
My father was a great forager because he was a fisherman,
so we always had fish and we always had offal, because that's cheap.
And there was no fast food then.
What does Christmas mean to you?
I think it means that it's lovely that the children want to come home to Mum and that chokes me.
Some will say, "I don't know if I can", and then we get that lovely Christmas Eve moment...
I'm going to cry.
-And they turn up.
I know! I am going to cry as well!
It's lovely at Christmas, isn't it?
So you just get that moment and they come through the door, "Hi, Ma".
They're here because they want to be.
Because they get a cuddle and a cow pie. Can I come round?
-In it goes.
That's a pan and a half full.
Has it made your eyes water? Bless.
'Like her mum, Tammy often cooks offal and adds an ox kidney to the stew.
'It's much bigger than the lambs' kidneys we're used to.'
Back in Bridget's kitchen, we're making pigs in blankets.
Getting Christmas dinner ready is a job for the whole family.
All the telephone calls coming in about who's doing what and it's all getting organised.
They all want to contribute and it's a big family.
There's a lot to do and it's a production line. It works, it's lovely.
Bridget is so right, sharing the cooking means everyone gets to enjoy the day.
We'll get on with the pastry.
-I've just left Bridget.
-How was she doing?
'Tammy is using suet in her pastry, which is simply grated beef fat. We love it.'
Right, this is now ready for rolling onto the pie, but first of all, I want the kidney.
'Once the kidney is cooked, it's easier to slice.
'Tammy cuts it into slivers and mixes it back into the stew.
'Even the kids will eat offal like this. Tammy makes her pastry quite thick.
'That keeps it like a dumpling on the inside and crispy on the top.'
-Cow pie is in.
-I reckon it's time for a bit of a sloe gin. Do you?!
-To good health.
With Jeffrey, Bridget and the rest of the gang gathering, it's time for our early festive celebrations.
There's nothing wrong with having more than one Christmas dinner.
Too right. I can't wait to try the cow pie and the roasted goose with all the trimmings.
Kingy, it's Christmas!
Everybody's enjoying cow pie.
It's a real homely cooked dinner.
You work away a lot, don't you? What is the great thing about coming home?
Seeing everybody again.
'Do you know what, Dave? The best Christmas recipe has only two ingredients.
'Good food and great company.' That's a taste of heaven.
Tammy, this is a wonderful, traditional family Christmas dinner plus a few extras.
Do you know we have the recipe fairs on the show?
We've got a special one, a Christmas fair that's going to be bigger, better,
full of the spirit of Christmas.
-Bring your family, are you coming?
'Kingy, we've got our first mum.'
'And some real hearty food, dude. I don't think I can move.
-'We won't be getting on the bikes either.
-I knew that would happen!
'We could stay in the barn with the cows.
'Si, that feels just right.'
What an evening! What a party!
Before we leave Lincolnshire, there's something else we should do.
What would that be?
Tammy's friend Lucy has asked us round.
She's hosting a meeting for our old nemesis.
You mean the Women's Institute?
Since our Victoria sponge disaster, we have bridges to build.
-And you thought, being the season of goodwill to all bikers...?
So let's meet Lucy and rock'n'roll.
You mean bake'n'roll? Ho ho ho!
Hello, lovely to see you!
We're all so excited. Hello!
-You are hairy.
-Can we borrow your kitchen, Lucy?
Yes but I'm actually in the middle of a meeting.
We're discussing what we're going to cook for our Christmas party.
'Christmas is a serious business for these ladies.
'You can imagine the slap-up meal that that lot can cook.'
'Forget your belly, it's time for us to cook and we'd better get it right this time.'
Right, the most important bit of the year, really, getting ready for the special Christmas dinner.
Here we are, on the stage of WI Central.
Is it just me?
We're going to cook a galette des rois.
The king of cakes.
-Because we've got him, and it's Christmas, it's known as the Kingy cake!
Ze French galette des rois is a traditional 12th night cake with an almond filling.
The interior of said galette des rois is frangipane,
which is a very different beast to marzipan.
Marzipan is quite solid, it's made from egg whites, almonds and icing sugar.
It looks like a slab of plastic explosives and you wrap it on your cake and it's solid.
This is different. It's unctuous, gorgeous, yummy.
Frangipane starts with sugar mixed with butter.
-Flour and plenty of ground almonds go in.
-A shot of brandy.
It is Christmas, after all.
And some vanilla extract helps to give it its distinct taste.
The shape of a galette des rois is very specific.
It's like a crown. It's round.
So this is some bought puff pastry.
Put one of these discs onto some silicon baking parchment.
To give it some Christmas colour, we're using raspberry jam. Not traditional, but we love it.
-Time for the frangipane.
-Work from the outside in.
And we're leaving a good two inches from the edge to be able to close it.
It's easier to decorate it before you put the top on, using a sharp knife to draw whatever pattern you fancy.
Before we put the roof on, it's time for...
You place a bean somewhere in here.
What happens is that whoever gets the slice with the bean is the king for the night.
-Now, the next thing you do is called knocking up.
What you do is, with the knife, separate the layers with the puff
pastry so the edge is going to swell up, almost like a ruffled collar.
Crimp the edge and finish off the pie with a good egg wash to make it shine.
# I'm dreaming
# Of a white Christmas
# Just like the ones I used to know... #
Come on, Kingy. Into the lions' den.
Hello! Are you nearly done?
-This is a chance to reprieve ourselves.
-We'll see about that!
You're terrifying, you lot!
Come on, we've got a treat for you.
It'll be lovely.
Look at that cake. It's Christmas on a plate.
So, ladies, merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas! And watch the bean.
We don't want Heimlich manoeuvres going on.
OK. The moment of truth.
Crispy on the top, fluffy sweet and buttery inside.
And that almond taste -
what a delight.
-Did you get the bean?
-We've found the bean! Yes!
I have to crown you now.
As it's the Kingy cake, there's only one rightful king.
Have we redeemed ourselves for our Victoria sandwich?
It's all right.
Listen, that's as good as we're going to get. That's fine.
-Back on the road we're off to meet mum number two.
Me too. She is Scandinavian. So she is practically related to Santa.
They love Christmas there and she will have some belting dishes for us.
I hope we will have a cool Yule.
Oh, yes. Cool Yule. Welcome, come in.
Karina lives with her husband Robin and daughter Sophie, and is famous for her Scandinavian hospitality.
Nobody goes hungry in this house.
You see, Scandinavia, I think it is where most people think Santa lives.
Santa can only be Scandinavian.
Yuletide, we say Yuletide greetings.
It is the julefest.
-So the Norwegians can lay claim to Yuletide.
-What is Father Christmas?
-What is reindeer?
# Rudolf the Christmas dinner Yum yum yum! #
'You wouldn't really eat Rudolf, would you?'
'No, how would Santa pull his sledge?'
'Yes, good point. I'll eat these waffles though.'
'Especially the way Karina makes them. It is like a pancake recipe with extras.
'More butter, eggs and double cream.'
Where to you get your love of cooking from?
My family, particularly my grandmother.
She would have me making hollandaise sauce, because she though if you're
not scared of that you won't be scared of anything.
This is my recipe book.
This is my grandmother's orange jam, pancakes. Sesame breads.
It says Mum and Grandma a lot. "Mum's bread".
This was your book. Will it go to your daughter?
Yes, of course, she has already started cooking.
Karina starts with a classic Scandinavian Christmas recipe,
pinnekjott or stick meat.
That is pinnekjott. That is dried and salted and cured lamb ribs.
It was only cooked and served at big occasions like Christmas.
Like with any cured meat or fish,
she has soaked it for 24 hours to remove the salt and to tenderise it.
-What are the sticks?
-This is birch branches or twigs.
I have a few, because I like the flavour it gives.
She makes sure the lamb is not in contact with the water.
By steaming the meat, she prevents it going mushy.
-Now the pudding.
We're making more than one, you know.
First it is riskrem,
a Norwegian take on rice pudding with a Christmas twist.
It is pudding rice cooked in milk, cinnamon, and vanilla.
Once cooled, whipped cream and flaked almonds are mixed in.
Why have we got one solitary almond?
The magic almond. The prize winning almond, the lottery of Christmas.
That goes in now. You put it on top and you turn it ten times.
-Whoever gets this wins a marzipan pig.
It is like our Kingy cake and the bean.
With a marzipan pig bringing good luck.
Now we put it in a nice bowl and keep it refrigerated.
What a treat. And we're not even finished.
Now the second pudding.
It is a called a kransekake. An almond ring cake.
-You are going to assemble a kransekake.
I love the look of this.
You put icing to keep the biggest ring in place.
The rings are baked in specially designed trays to make the 18 sizes needed.
They are a mix of ground almonds, sugar and egg white.
That is a job for you and your OCD.
Your just so jealous of my skills.
That is nice. Very good.
Kingy, it is time for another feast.
Look at that. A proper festive scene and home-cooked food from Mother Christmas.
These dishes are the heart of Karina's Christmas and we have been
joined by her daughter with two friends and her mate Sharon.
The food is fantastic.
I love the pinnekjott.
The stick meat taste is strong and salty.
A really intense lamb flavour.
There are more great flavours to come. In pudding form.
Karina serves the riskrem with cooked cherries.
You need to look for the whole almond. Whoever gets the whole one gets
-a marzipan pig.
-This is lovely.
This is a million miles from the rice pudding I remember at school.
What are you doing?
Turning it over so it doesn't get dry.
You're not, you're looking for the almond.
Karina, tell him, will you?
Stop it. Two, three.
Despite Dave's efforts, no-one has found the almond so these little piggies will survive the night.
But it is time for your tower to tumble.
That is really good.
I knew it, sweet and chewy.
The almonds taste fantastic.
What a great evening, but it's time for us to move on.
That was fantastic. Yes.
And we were part of Christmas meal.
Hang on. You haven't had your last course.
After a big party, you never send anyone home
without this particular beef broth with meatballs and dumplings.
When the hosts want you to go, they give you this. We call it "go home soup."
-It is like "clear off we have had enough of you soup."
-It's very good.
-I will see you at the fair.
And have a very safe trip.
Look after yourselves. And cool Yule to you.
What a brilliant way to do Christmas.
You can't beat authentic North Pole cuisine.
That pinnekjott will go down very well at our festive banquet.
And the kransekake. Can you imagine one of those towers on each side of the table? Perfect.
Kingy, Christmas cooking is often about roasting, but there are other festive things to eat.
Some of my favourites are fish and sea food.
We should try one at the recipe fair.
Smoked salmon fritters with lime-seared scallops.
A lighter dish in a season packed with heavy eating.
This dish, it is as if the Christmas fairy popped off the tree, danced on the plate
and left a little brindling of stardust for your taste buds.
Mr King, how do you prepare a scallop?
Tea towel. Get a good knife.
Get hold of it.
In on the side. And then just cut tight up to the shell.
You always cut away from you and always have a tea towel.
So if you slip it will cut the towel and not your hand.
You've got to be careful you don't cut the scallop.
It opens up like that, nice and clean. Hardly any meat left.
This is the bit, this bit is the bit you're interested in.
Forget the rest, and we'll leave that in the shell.
Take your thumbs and go around that piece of meat.
Take a spoon, right?
And do that.
Then it comes out in a one-er.
While Kingy carries on with the scallops,
I'm frittering me life away.
These are great as like a canape with drinks or you can have a plate of them on their own.
If you haven't got the scallops. Smoked salmon.
It is luxurious, always has been and always will be.
I remember when I was a boy, I must have been about six,
my uncle Norman came with wild salmon steaks, wrapped in newspaper.
Christmas Eve. What a treat that was.
My dad poached them in milk and to me smoked salmon has always had that significance. It's celebratory.
Put that salmon into a bowl.
One egg. Ricotta cheese.
Cheese goes great with scallops,
as does cauliflower. Flour, salt.
It is a good job we're eating turkey this year. It wasn't always the case.
It used to be beef on Christmas Day.
It was goose down south, but beef up north.
To this, the zest of half a lemon.
# Dashing through the snow In a one horse open sleigh... #
At Christmas, my whole life becomes one big musical.
The juice of half a lemon.
And lastly, some fronds of dill.
Mix that together and that is your fritter mixture.
This is a tip from Delia Smith, but it works.
If you're making Scotch pancakes or some such fritters, put one spoonful in.
Flatten it and then another spoonful on the top,
and you get height and thickness without it spreading too much.
Back to you, Kingy.
What we're looking for is to caramelise them. That is the colour you want.
It takes about a minute a side.
I'm going to add the butter to pan.
Watch what happens. The oil is stopping the
butter burning and I'm just basting the scallops in the butter.
Now, what we do is we zap the whole lot with lime.
We're making a bed of fresh salad and herbs.
The colours of the watercress, purple basil and cherry tomato are Christmas on a plate.
Once the fritters are ready, make a tower of Christmas loveliness
-This is one dish that is not just for Christmas.
-It is great.
But it is Christmas with the colours.
What I love is as well salmon, scallops, turkey,
anything you have is always treated with reverence and you are like, "Oh."
Well, let's revere this.
Oh, hey, lemon juice in the fritters, brilliant.
The cheese goes so well with the scallops.
This is Christmassy, but it is lovely and it is a bit of sunshine.
Between Christmas and new year, what lovely thing to have.
This will be a really good Christmas, I think.
So I do I, mate.
So far our dishes have been classic fare, but Christmas is celebrated all over the world.
Let's try something new.
How about something hot and spicy from our last mum?
In the middle of winter it's just what you need to warm your cockles.
And our next visit is a bit of a BOGOF -
not one mum, but two.
On our way, then!
Oxford, here we come.
Best mates Nassira from Morocco
and Hafsa from Bangladesh have been cooking together for years,
sharing old family recipes handed down from one generation to the next.
I'm Hafsa. Hello.
Let's get in and see what is cooking.
Do you have something nice in store?
That smells fantastic. What is it?
It is a Moroccan soup.
It is full of goodness.
It is a rich, meaty broth made with cinnamon and ginger, all the flavours of the season.
The smells that we associate with Christmas are kind of cinnamon, ginger and allspice.
So you know, it is Christmassy.
In Morocco, you love Christmas don't you?
Yes, we do.
I go back to when I was younger, back home.
We used to go to town and there would be Christmas tree and decorations
and lots of decorations.
'In Morocco, it is harira that is shared to start the festivities.'
'It reminds me of the people we met when we were in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.'
It was great riding the bikes around the world. There was always a celebration somewhere.
It was perfect for us. We're like, great, join this.
-If you have a spare helmet, I could always go with you.
-We certainly do.
You wouldn't take up much space either.
I would sit quietly, I don't talk a lot.
She can talk for England!
'Enough chat, me belly's rumbling.'
Hafsa is teaching me her mum's samosa recipe.
We make the pastry first.
Doing it from scratch, properly.
'To make the dough, she mixes together plain and self raising flour with butter and a little water.
'It's so easy.'
Who taught you to cook?
My mum. She would make the filling and then say, "Let's do it together."
We make it as a whole family and everybody does it.
I gather you are quite strict with them? That they don't get their presents until they've...
Yes, my children and my niece and nephew, they have their presents in the evenings.
Do they get more and more excited?
I feel that on Christmas Day, if you give it to them first thing in the morning, by the afternoon...
It keeps them alive until we all sit down with puddings and snacks.
Hafsa's mum's secret is in the kneading.
The more you knead, the better it is,
as you want your samosa dough to be really elastic.
While you two are kneading away, Nassira is teaching me how
to cook a chicken tagine
with apricots and prunes.
It smells fantastic.
It does, it smells lovely!
The wonderful cinnamon and ginger aroma comes from the marinade.
Like the Harira soup,
these Moroccan spices tie in perfectly with the festive theme.
In essence, it's a casserole.
It is. My children always bring their friends around and they love the food, too, you know, so...
It's fantastic. Good food is good food, wherever it is in the world.
Now, did I mention that the dish, chicken tagine,
get its name from the clay pot, or tagine, in which it's cooked?
Simon, what a scholar you are!
Only around food, dude, you know.
This is what we're talking about, this is the conical lid of the tagine
and all of those flavours sit there and fall back into the tagine, making the flavours rich.
And the lovely gravy and ooh...
No flavours escape.
All the flavour stays in the pot.
With the samosa pastry rested, Hafsa gets on to the fillings.
Christmas is around the corner,
so I thought it would be really nice to have Christmas colours.
To start, she's making three savoury fillings - potato, pea and onion.
-Spinach and cheese.
-And beetroot, chillies and garlic.
Samosas are great. You can put anything you want in them.
Even sweet things.
Yeah! And check this lot.
Grated fresh coconut soaked in date juice,
which is a real festive favourite in Bangladesh.
I think we need a bigger plate, Kingy!
On its way.
That's beautiful. If you're cooking these for Christmas,
how many would you have to make?
We'd go through hundreds.
Hundreds? Man, I'm in samosa heaven!
Stop thinking about your belly!
Do you want to start frying these up?
-Just standing there, watching your tagine.
-It's important business!
We've got a factory here!
The tagine is done. Just before serving,
Nassira simply adds the apricots and prunes to the cooked chicken.
The fruit has been boiled separately
with sugar and cinnamon to make it plump and juicy.
Kingy, it's our third Christmas dinner.
And it's not even Christmas yet.
-I love it!
-Tonight, it's Harira soup plus chicken tagine
with apricots and prunes from Morocco.
And from Bangladesh, some festive samosas, sweet and savoury.
Just look at that table.
To share the feast, Hafsa's husband and sons have joined us,
as well as two of Nassira's sons.
And plenty of their friends.
What a feast! What a wonderful Christmas table! Fabulous.
Nassira, would it be Harira first and then we move on to solids?
Harira is a normal starter for us.
It's great, isn't it?
Here's one I prepared earlier for you!
You're a natural.
I think we have got competition.
If those two get a motorbike, we're sunk.
Actually, you've got a motorbike so we'll have a rickshaw.
What's the worst present you've ever had?
-I can't remember.
-It had to be the foot spa.
-It's still in its cardboard box.
It's the thought that counts!
At last, it's time to tuck into that tagine.
The smell's been driving us mad!
We've heard that your mother is quite strict and
you don't get to open your presents until the end of the day.
She shows us the presents and she holds it and holds it until we've finished.
We're not allowed to finish a little bit. We have to clean the plate.
-Does that work in your house?
Fortunately, Hafsa is not stopping us eating the samosas. Look at them.
They're like little presents waiting to be unwrapped.
Ladies, you've got to come to our Christmas fair and cook.
-We'd love to.
-It'll be brilliant.
And join in the party.
It'll be fantastic.
We look forward to it.
I really don't think I can eat any more.
It's time to say thanks and hit the road.
That Harira soup, it's just the thing for a cold winter's ride.
You're not wrong, dude. And we've got all three mums!
-We've got four mums!
-It's going to be brilliant!
So that's it. We've got our fantastic mums.
Tammy with her roast goose and cow pie.
Karina and her Pinnekjott plus two great puddings.
Nassira with her chicken tagine with apricots and prunes and Hafsa and her special samosas.
But we've been busy, too, with our Kingy cake
and our smoked salmon fritters with lime-seared scallops.
Bring on our Christmas bonanza!
The morning of our Christmas recipe fair has finally arrived.
Along with the weather!
Don't! You... Right!
Come on, big lad!
Yes! What a corker!
To celebrate in style, we're taking over the magnificent Burton Agnes Hall in East Yorkshire.
Dude, they've been celebrating Christmas here for the last 400 years.
That's a serious Yuletide inheritance and now it's our turn to carry the torch.
Dave, it's snowing quite a bit. Do you think anybody's going to turn up?
Don't worry, just believe in the spirit of Christmas.
Do you know, I feel like I'm eight again.
On Christmas Eve before Santa comes.
-In real snow!
I tell you what though, dude, I think the bikes might be here for a while.
We managed to get them here, but that might be it.
Log fire, bikes? Log fire, bikes?
Log fire! To help us collect the recipes and taste the dishes
that people are bringing, is our food historian, Gerard.
His job is to find out what people eat at Christmas and why.
And we've also invited some new friends.
Sophie will be making macaroons,
the sort of hand-made gift which really shows how much you care.
And Olivia, to demonstrate
how to create wonderful ornaments from unusual materials.
She decorated the whole of Burton Agnes Hall.
You can see she knows what she's doing.
And of course, our special Christmas mums.
-Good to see you!
And there's nothing like giving away our famous Mums Know Best aprons
to get them in the mood for a spot of cooking.
-An apron! Woo!
-You know you've got to cook everything that you did for the banquet tonight.
-Next time we come back, we want the air filled with Christmassy cooking smells.
-Jingle Bells and reindeers and fairies.
-We've got all that, and more! See you later!
-See you later.
Whilst they start cooking, it's time for us to check
if the Christmas spirit has been strong enough to draw the people in.
And, mate, look at that. Mums and dads are arriving, despite the cold and the snow.
-Thank you all for coming!
-You're all like snowmen!
Here to share their secrets of what makes a great Christmas.
-Come in! What a shame for you.
What's your favourite thing at Christmas?
-Being with the family.
-I live in Sunderland,
so every year, it's coming down home and it just being the same as when you were three years old.
'Kingy, now that people are here and the fair has started, I really fancy a little nibble.
'Me too. Let's go and see Sophie and her lovely macaroons.
'To make them, Sophie whisks egg whites with sugar and a food colouring of her choice.
'Then she blends in a mixture of ground almonds and icing sugar
'before baking them for a few minutes. It's simple.'
-How are you doing?
-All right, thank you. We've been making macaroons.
-Are they traditional Christmas...?
-Well, they're gorgeous sort of French patisserie.
-Perfect for Christmas gifts.
-How do you make a macaroon?
It's a meringue-based mixture and then all of our flavour comes from the centre.
So we're using a flavoured centre.
Today, for the filling, Sophie is using a mix of white chocolate, double cream and strawberry jam.
-A lovely thing to receive at Christmas, these.
-Merry Christmas! Oh, they're soft.
You know, when you're making Christmas gifts, what a lovely thing to do.
I think they really appreciate the effort and time that you put into it.
-Brilliant. Well done. See you in a bit.
If you want to cook Sophie's macaroons,
or any of the others recipes we've collected,
they're all on the Mums Know Best website.
Over in our temporary kitchen, our VIP mums are getting along famously,
helping each other with the workload.
With lots to do, Tammy called in her daughter Gina
and Karina's friend Sandi
to help sweat the onions for the cow pie.
She said there's some secret about kidney. I can't wait to find out what that is.
-All I know is, it tastes amazing.
-Oh, right. OK.
And it's my favourite thing that I ask for when I come home.
My daughters ask for money when they come home!
THEY LAUGH On the other side of the kitchen,
Nassira and Hafsa are explaining how to prepare the samosas' potato, pea and onion filling.
-Are the potatoes cooked beforehand?
-You can boil it or you can cook it there and then and mash it.
Then once the onions are roasted, you put the mashed potatoes in
and then put your peas in, cook it for 5, 10 minutes and, if you like your colours, put turmeric in.
-It should be OK.
-There should be some cooked!
My assistant over there should be cooking. I think she's yapping!
Back in the house, Gerard has taken over the dining room,
tasting and discovering some real treasures, including a very Christmassy steamed pudding.
Now, Sue Thompson, you made this Christmas pudding. Is it your recipe?
-It's my husband's family recipe.
-Brilliant. And how long does that go back?
-At least 100 years, I believe. It's a very old farmhouse recipe.
-What's in it? It looks light for Christmas pudding.
-It is light. Fruit,
-and the usual breadcrumbs and suet, apple, carrot, potato and brandy.
-Mixed with stout.
-Can I dig in?
-It's really moist.
We think that puddings derived in about the 17th century,
and people worked out that you could boil a pudding in a cloth rather than just a mash in a pan.
That's where we begin to get more distinct puddings and pudding forms.
And Christmas pudding has all that fruit and carrot added, as well,
because it'd sweeten the mix when sugar was very expensive.
And here we are in an Elizabethan house, and the Elizabethans were mad about sugar.
Elizabeth famously had black teeth. Only very rich people, like the monarch, could afford it.
So we don't see sugar widespread in recipes. We see it almost used as a spice.
That's pretty good. Really lovely. Thanks for bringing it in.
Veggies in a sweet pudding?!
You know, it just works.
Get the recipe?
-I never put potato in... a cake that I've ever had of.
Sean, here you are and here are your lovely rum cakes.
Tell me where they came from.
Initially, we were on holiday at Christmas in the Caribbean and found and fell in love with rum cake.
-When we came back to freezing-cold England...
-..we ended up with Auntie Ruth's intoxicating rum cakes.
-They're very seasonal.
Absolutely. Rum helps to make Christmas Christmas.
-Have one yourself.
-Thank you very much.
Mmm. Oh, that's ace.
-The nuts and the whole thing, it's nicely balanced. It's not too strong, is it?
-I'm going to get this recipe. Have you brought it with you?
Hand it over before it goes missing, and then I can definitely copy it down.
As well as the rum, which was strong enough,
it was the walnuts which I particularly liked. It wasn't dry.
That was really nice.
'In the main hall, working alongside Sophie is Olivia,
'whose hand-made decorations bring the Christmas spirit to Burton Agnes Hall every year.'
-So, what's... You have a wonderful house.
-You're very keen on origami.
-We love it.
-We love crafting - making hand-made Christmas decorations to fill the house each Christmas.
-They look fantastic.
-So Isla's making some little hanging paper birds.
-And we've been making some paperback Christmas trees.
Paperback Christmas trees!
-Would you like to have a go?
-What a great thing to do with old books.
It's a really fun way to use up really rubbishy books.
You take 30 pages, which you slice with a craft knife down the spine,
and you fold the corner down to the spine.
And if the paperback's looking a bit fresh and new, you can age it with cold tea.
Oh, I love doing that!
-And once you've folded and turned your 30 or so pages...
-Paperback Christmas tree!
-You have a paperback Christmas tree.
And if you have any iridescent spray or gold or silver spray, you can give it a little sheen.
-If you have different-sized books, you can get a bit of a forest. Look.
-I could stay here for ever!
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the finished effect -
both attractive, enlightening and very decorative!
-Hafsa, I come bearing coconuts!
-Ooh, how do you break them? Any ideas? Tammy, any ideas?
-Just throw them on the floor!
-It will if you do it hard enough!
Result! Have coconut, will travel!
Hafsa shreds the coconut and cooks it in brown sugar and date juice, with bay leaves and cinnamon.
-Where does that recipe actually come from?
-It sounds fantastic.
-It's very traditional.
And it's perfect for Christmas. Brilliant, I have to have a go.
It's great that the mums are getting on so well.
Yes, it's all happening. Now we should go and see Gerard, dude.
There's always good stuff to eat where he is.
-Hello! How do?
-How are you doing?
You've got a lot of festive frolics going on!
-We've been frolicking all day, you know me!
-What have we got, Gerard?
Armind has brought this wonderful special-occasion cake, and will tell us what's in it.
-This is a Moroccan serpents' cake.
-Wonderfully decorated with almonds, but I don't know what's in it.
-Plenty of almonds, sugar, cinnamon...
-..and there is orange blossom water as well.
-And all wrapped in filo pastry.
-There's a lot of sugar in Arabic cooking, isn't there?
-Where you least expect it as well - in lamb meals and all that sort of thing.
This is usually served at special occasions.
-A perfect celebratory dish, isn't it?
You can see, in the pastry, you've got this lovely sticky filling,
and you can see the colour of the cinnamon, but it looks very sweet.
From a distance, it looks like a mega sausage roll, as you were saying.
And then you bite it, and you'd get this wonderful sweet, "Oh-ho-ho!"
It's a surprise in your mouth, isn't it?
Look, somebody's dribbling here behind us! Look at your face.
-Look at that, lovely!
-Have a bit.
-Thank you very much.
-This crispy bit here looks fantastic.
Go on, Armind, have a piece.
-Ooh, it's wet with sugar.
-It is, isn't it?
Just so you know, it's lovely!
This is going on my Christmas list. That's lovely.
Now, sadly, because of health and safety, we can't share it with the audience,
because it's got nuts, so I'll have to keep it all for later.
'If he thinks he can pull that one off, he's dreaming! Look at that!
'Everybody's already scoffing it!'
-What's up next?
-We've got a fabulous dish made from lovely local ingredients
by Simon, whose house we're in today.
This is Simon and his lovely son Joss.
Not only do you open your doors, you cook for us as well. This is a great privilege.
Well looked after here.
It smells fantastic. Simon, tell us what's in it.
It's a local Burton Agnes estate-driven dish - it's Burton Agnes pheasant in there.
And we've got apples from our gardens, onions from our gardens,
and it's been slow-cooked in our Aga overnight.
That's why we associate Christmas with those game birds,
because that's what was alive at that time of year,
so all the Christmas dishes come with game and birds in mind, because that was what was walking around.
-It smells wonderful.
-Let's dig in, anyway.
-Oh, it's nice and gamey as well.
-Gosh, that's good.
-There's a sweetness to it, as well, isn't there? It's lovely. The apples.
-We'll see you later on. I think we'd better go and see how the mums are doing.
-Onward? I'll follow you.
'Oh, Kingy - I could have eaten all of that lovely casserole.
'Me, too, mate, but it's time for us to get ready to cook.
'Oh, not before having one of Karina's succulent waffles.
'Great idea, dude!'
-How are you getting on? You're popular!
-There's good smells coming from here.
Do you have anything ready, Karina, for two hungry chaps?
-On the popularity stakes, that's you, I think!
'Karina's waffles are the best - I just can't resist them!
'And mate, everything seems to be ticking along nicely -
'Tammy's meat is in the oven and our Oxford mums seem to be on a roll.'
-There's some lovely smells coming from here.
-It is lovely, isn't it?
-Nice, fresh samosas on a day like this - what else do you want?
-I love these.
-I love these, too.
-There's a wonder in a samosa.
That's steaming away.
-The pastry is so nice and light, isn't it? That's what makes it...
-You're very modest(!)
-But, yes, the pastry is so light. You're such a good team, you two, aren't you?
-I can't live without her, she can't live without me.
-Just like us two, really.
-When you retire, we'll take over.
-Got a bike?
-Thursday next week!
'Before that happens, let's check out Nassira's tagine, which isn't in a tagine at all.
'No, today, Nassira is slow-cooking the chicken in big pots,
'as no clay tagine is big enough for a Hairy Bikers banquet.'
-Oh, the smells!
-That's just beginning to drop to pieces now, isn't it?
Yep, and you see the colour of the saffron on top?
-Yeah, are you happy with them?
-I am very pleased.
'And she's not the only one.
'Our visitors are scoffing away like good 'uns - only to keep out the cold, mind!
'But now it's our turn to cook.'
Oh, it's raw out there!
-Are you warm enough?
-I'll tell you what, I'm very tempted to toast MY chestnuts on an open fire.
What are we going to cook in our creaky, windy tent?
It's venison, the loin of venison. And we're going to cook it
-in a sloe-gin glaze, and it's our Tammy's sloe gin.
-Thank you, Tammy!
Thank you, Tammy!
'We're starting with the saddle of venison, and cutting out the loin following the ribcage.
'It's important to strip off the silvery membrane, as it's chewy.'
Whilst Si's doing that, I'm going to prepare a pancetta blanket.
Ooh, I love it when he talks dirty.
No, I love wrapping stuff like this. I'm good at presents as well, you know.
I'm quite good at making paperback Christmas trees now.
'First, I'm stretching the pancetta strips, then laying them on clingfilm, slightly overlapping.
'The pancetta blanket prevents the venison from drying out during cooking.'
The clingfilm is going to enable me to wrap that venison loin without it falling apart,
get the bacon and everything fine.
We're going to pour some olive oil on it, and rub it all over with oil.
In the world of venison, especially the loin, it's a dry meat,
it's a fat-free meat, so you really need to keep it moist.
And then we're going to put some thyme on it. Wash my hands...
Now lay that onto the pancetta.
Now, as you see, once those little bacon ends are stuck to the venison,
just peel that off gently...
When you fry it off at first, make sure you seal it
the join side down on the pancetta, and then it's not going to unravel.
Once that's sealed, turn it all the way round, get colour on it.
I'll just chop some shallots. We want the shallots, for the pancetta and the broad beans, diced finely.
'I'm sweating the shallots and pancetta in a drop of olive oil.
I give you my heart, but the very next day, you gave it away!
'Come on, Karaoke Kingy, you'd better check your meat!
'All right, dude, the venison's now ready to go into a hot oven, but only for a few minutes.'
Now, these broad beans - frozen ones -
you've left them to thaw, pop the skin out, these nuggets of loveliness are in there.
Just pop those with the pancetta and onions, leave them to warm through.
-And that, I assure you, is enough cooking.
-Oh, look at that!
-Look at that.
-That's marvellous. Right, now, that needs to rest, so...
-Deglaze the pan!
-Look at that. Ooh!
-Got alcohol in that.
That's that done.
To that we add a demi-glace, which basically is a very much reduced stock.
-To that we add some juniper berries,
and just let that cook together for a while.
Now, I've got a little potato cake, a bubble and squeak cake,
I'm going to reheat that in the pan.
And with the juniper berries, just with the back of your spoon,
-just crush them so they release all that lovely flavour inside.
This is the elixir of the dish.
Put that back to the pan.
Now, as a final, super-duper fruity flourish,
we've got blackberries. Good British blackberries.
And that's that sauce for your venison.
Si, I sense our work here is nearly complete.
-Do you want to carve it?
Now, that's cooked perfectly.
It's a little pink in the middle, but it's not oozing blood. That's perfect.
'We're serving our venison with candied shallots, bubble and squeak and our broad beans with pancetta.'
We're going to dribble around it as well.
In a restaurant, that's an extra 20 quid!
And there we have it, our loin of venison with a sloe-gin glaze,
with some broad beans, pancetta and shallots, with all the various Christmas trimmings that we love.
-Thank you very much.
What a day, Si. But it's time to say goodbye to all the people who braved the elements
to share some Christmas spirit with us.
At least they're going home with plenty of new recipe ideas, ready for their own family Christmas.
But Kingy, it's not over yet.
No! To say thank you to all the people who've helped us, we're having a mega Christmas banquet,
with all the food we've tasted on our Mums Know Best journey.
It's going to be quite a feast.
Oh, look at this!
-Look at the goose!
But what a wonderful environment for our celebratory meal.
-What a magnificent feast, I think we'll all agree.
It wouldn't have been possible without these four fantastic ladies.
-Absolutely brilliant - the mums!
Because all year round, but especially at Christmas, mums do know best.
Tonight we're having Tammy's cow pie, a family classic for their farmhouse Christmas.
Karina's grandma's Norwegian steamed lamb and fab festive puddings.
And from Hafsa and Nassira, a chicken tagine with apricots and prunes, and special festive samosas.
We've not been idle, either, dude. We've got some yummy smoked salmon fritters with lime-seared scallops.
-Marvellous galette de rois!
-And the venison we cooked earlier.
Shall we carve the goose?
-You get stuck in.
-Merry Christmas, mate.
-Merry Christmas, mate.
My favourite thing so far, I think, is the tagine.
But I'm working my way up to the lamb. And then I'll be stuffed.
I think having a dress-rehearsal for Christmas dinner is a very good idea.
-I might have to do this more often, I think.
-The beef pie was really nice,
and the mixture of the pie and meat worked well for me, and I really enjoyed it.
I loved the tagine, I loved all the different flavours, the apricots and prunes - really tasty.
The tagine was beautiful, so tender.
It's got all sorts in it - nuts... and I don't know how many ingredients she put in, it was just amazing!
I've had cow pie - I must go home and make it.
The tagine, oh! My family's going to go mad for that.
I have tried the cow pie, which is delicious, the meat is so tender.
It's been a bit like, um,
real camaraderie between all the mums, and everyone's helped each other today.
And to finish in style, we're having riskrem, Karina's rich rice pudding.
Whoever finds the whole almond will get the lucky marzipan pigs.
And it's the same with our galette de rois -
whoever finds the bean will be crowned the king or queen of this fantastic evening.
Oh, I've got it!
I've got the almond!
Gerard's found the almond!
Thank you very much.
Hafsa's got the bean!
It is our honour to crown you Queen Hafsa...
-and then it's round to yours for dinner next week!
This, for me, is the spirit of Christmas, sitting around a lovely table, great hospitality,
sharing the food you love with the people you love.
And we hope you have a safe and happy Christmas.
# We wish you a merry Christmas
# We wish you a merry Christmas
# We wish you a merry Christmas
# And a happy new year
# Good tidings we bring
# To you and your king
# We wish you a merry Christmas
# And a happy new year! #
The Hairy Bikers, Si King and Dave Myers are on the search for the most interesting food that Britain's mums are cooking for their families this Christmas.
Celebrating the very best of Christmas Cooking in Britain, Si and Dave tour the nation hunting out Britain's festive favourites and a few surprises. On their journey they find mums cooking everything from Roast Goose with all the trimmings to Pinnekjott (that's salted cured lamb steamed over birch twigs to you and me) and from festive Gingerbread to Christmassy coconut samosas!
The lads also conjure up their own seasonal specialities including loin of venison in home made sloe gin and lime seared scallops with smoked salmon fritters.
The celebration of Christmas favourites culminates at a snow-bound stately home filled with nearly 150 mums tasting and sharing each others' favourite dishes.