Top 3 Autumnal Recipes

Autumn is here


There’s been a nip in the air for a couple of weeks now and autumn officially starts on Friday.

Embrace the new season with new additions to your recipe repertoire – these three are well worth a try and may just become family favourites.


Ham Hock with Roast Squash & Lentils

Ham Hock with Roast Squash & Lentils

  • Servings: 8
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Calories 396 per portion
Fat 17g (5g sat) per portion

For the ham hocks

  • Ham hocks 2 x 1.2kg (2lb 10oz)
  • Onions 2, peeled and each cut into 6 wedges
  • Carrot 1 large, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • Celery 2 sticks, roughly chopped
  • Celery leaves a handful
  • Black peppercorns 8
  • Parsley stalks a handful
  • Bay leaves 2

For the squash & lentils

  • Butternut squash 680g (1½lb), peeled, deseeded and cut into 1cm (½in) wedges
  • Romano red pepper 1, deseeded and cut into large chunks
  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • Rosemary 2 sprigs
  • Ready-to-eat puy lentils 250g pack
  • Creamed horseradish 2 tbsp
  • Chopped parsley good handful
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put the hocks in a large saucepan. Cover with water, add one of the onions, the carrot, celery sticks and leaves, peppercorns, parsley stalks and bay leaves and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 3 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.
  2. After 2 hours, preheat the oven to 200°C/180°fan/Gas 6. Put the squash, the remaining onion wedges and red pepper in a roasting tin, mix in the oil and add the rosemary. Roast for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Microwave the lentils according to the pack’s instructions (45–55 seconds), then stir into the roasted squash along with the creamed horseradish, chopped parsley and seasoning.
  3. Drain the ham hocks. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, then pull off the skin and fat and take out the bones and discard. Use a knife and fork to break the meat into large pieces. Serve with the squash and lentil mixture.

Slow cooker method Check that 2 ham hocks will fit in the slow cooker before you begin. Put the hocks in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Put the hocks in the slow cooker with the vegetables and peppercorns and half-fill with the hot water. Cover and cook on high for 5–6 hours.

Cook’s tips Ask your butcher whether you need to soak the ham hocks. If they are salty, soak the hocks in water for 24 hours, changing the water twice, then drain. Keep the cooking liquid with the vegetables and use as the base for soup (it will set like a firm jelly). Bring to the boil, adding some peas or any leftover squash and lentil mixture. Using a stick blender, partly purée the soup and add small shreds of ham before serving.


Rolled Belly Pork with Sage & Apple

Rolled Belly Pork with Sage & Apple

  • Servings: 6
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Calories 571 per portion
Fat 44g (16g sat) per portion


  • Belly pork 1.25–1.5kg (approx. 3½lb)
  • Onion 1 small, peeled and finely chopped
  • Cooking apple 1 small, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • Chopped sage 2–3 tbsp
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil 1 tbsp
  • Sea salt flakes 1–2 tbsp
  • Roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips and gravy to serve (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°fan/Gas 7. Score the rind of the pork with parallel lines approx. 1cm (½in) apart, using a sharp knife or heavy duty craft knife.
  2. Mix together the onion, apple and sage and season well with salt and pepper. Place the meat rind-side down and season it with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the onion mixture on top, pressing it down firmly, then roll the pork up as tightly as possible, securing with kitchen string.
  4. Place the pork in a roasting tin and rub the rind first with the oil, then with the sea salt. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/130°fan/Gas 2 and continue roasting for a further 3 hours or until the meat is tender and the skin crisp. If the skin isn’t crisp, turn the oven back up to 220°C/200°fan/Gas 7 and cook for a further 30 minutes.
  6. Leave the meat to rest for about 10 minutes before carving. Serve hot with roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips and gravy, if you like.

Cook’s tips Ask the butcher to score the rind for you as it’s quite tough to cut through without very sharp knives. If you buy a piece of belly pork that is already rolled and tied with elastic bands, save the bands to re-use rather than tying with string.


Upside-Down Chocolate Pear Pud

Upside-Down Chocolate Pear Pud

  • Servings: 8
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Calories 397 per portion
Fat 14g (9g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing


  • Lightly salted butter 125g (4½oz)
  • Demerara sugar 2 tbsp
  • Glacé cherries 5
  • Ripe pears 4 small, peeled, halved and cored
  • Golden syrup 110g (4oz)
  • Black treacle 110g (4oz)
  • Plain flour 200g (7oz)
  • Bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp
  • Cocoa powder 3 tbsp
  • Light brown sugar 75g (3oz)
  • Egg 1 medium, beaten
  • Whole milk 150ml (¼ pint)
  • Custard or cream to serve (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/Gas 4. Grease and line a deep 20cm (8in) round cake tin. Melt 15g (½oz) of butter and drizzle over the bottom of the tin. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Halve four of the cherries. Place a glacé cherry half in the cavity of each pear and lay the pears, cut-side down, in the tin. Put the whole cherry in the centre.
  2. Put the remaining butter in a saucepan and add the syrup and treacle. Melt gently without allowing the mixture to get too hot. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa into a bowl and stir in the brown sugar. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the egg, milk and melted treacle mixture. Stir together until well blended. Pour the mixture over the pears.
  3. Place the tin on a baking sheet and bake for about 1½ hours until risen and firm to the touch, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a warmed serving plate. Serve hot, cut into wedges, with custard or cream, if using.

Cook’s tips You can use this recipe as a base for other fruit puddings such as halved peaches or pineapple slices, even halved bananas. For a spiced sponge, replace the cocoa powder with another 3 tablespoons of plain flour and add 1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and ginger.


All three recipes are taken from our FANTASTIC new cookbook Cook it Slowly! Prepare quickly, cook slowly and savour every mouthful! The meals in this cookbook are easy, fuss-free and delicious with melt-in-the-mouth textures and intense flavours; they really are well worth waiting for.

Find out more about it here, Cook it Slowly!


Cook it Slowly! cookbook









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