The Comfort Recipe: Margot Henderson’s mince and tatties
This Saturday, Soho Farmhouse is hosting its annual Food Festival in partnership with Porsche. In anticipation of the event, we’ve asked some of the top chefs who are appearing to share their lives in food
Tuesday 13 September 2022 By Teo van den Broeke Illustration by Adam Menzies
This weekend, Soho Farmhouse will host its annual Food Festival in partnership with Porsche. To celebrate this special gastronomic occasion, we’ve asked a few of the most prominent chefs appearing at the event to share a little of their lives in food, including their ultimate comfort recipe. Today, it’s the turn of New Zealand chef Margot Henderson.
Mince and tatties
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled, halved length ways and sliced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
A good splash of extra virgin olive oil
1 kg minced beef
1/3 bottle of red wine
1 tin tomatoes
½ litre or more of chicken stock
1 handful of oatmeal
1 shot glass of Worcestershire sauce
12 boiling potatoes, preferably straight from the garden
Sea salt and black pepper
1. In a large pan, add the olive oil then sweat the vegetables down, until soft.
2. Add the mince, and stir until it’s broken up and starts to brown. Once it has colour, add the wine and reduce, then add the tomatoes, stock, and oats.
3. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for two hours. Season, then add the Worcestershire sauce.
4. Serve with boiled potatoes, peas if you fancy, and Dijon mustard.
When did you first fall in love with cooking?
‘I’ve loved cooking from an early age, probably from greed and necessity as my mother was a health nut – if we wanted anything that wasn’t a bran biscuit, we had to make it ourselves. I also had a passion for cooking snails, with butter, garlic and parsley from about the age of 10. We had been studying France at school and our teacher asked us to bring in snails from the garden that we cooked.’
What was the first dish you ever cooked for someone other than yourself?
‘Snails, garlic and parsley.’
If you had to pick a death row meal, what would it be and why?
‘Sashimi and sushi at Ikeda, my favourite restaurant. Mainly uni, the food of the Gods, fatty tuna, and lots of cold saké.’
What are your three favourite ingredients to cook with and why?
‘Olive oil, bay leaves, and potatoes. There are so many possibilities and life is always better with a bay leaf.’
Rochelle Canteen at the ICA
What’s the one dish you still struggle to get right at times?
‘Meringues, because our ovens are so hopeless. Cooking is often best when you’re in the flow. And it’s about practice and also not being afraid of one’s ingredients.’
What’s your ultimate comfort food, beyond the recipe above?
‘Fish pie. Smoked haddock and fresh cod, with a white sauce, boiled egg and lovely mash on top, all white and gentle.’
What has been your most challenging kitchen experience to date?
‘Kitchens are always challenging, as are staff and head chefs. I suppose the most demanding was cooking for Russians in Moscow for the opening of the Grange. There were 300 people and the produce wasn’t good, but we had to make the most of it. And Amy Winehouse played – that was very special.’
Catch Margot Henderson in the Where The Wild Things Grow field at Soho Farmhouse Food Festival