Jamie Oliver’s new book is his most user-friendly ever — here’s three recipes to try from it

I’m just the biggest fan of Jamie’s; I don’t even need to write Oliver, you all know who I mean.

I was first introduced to Jamie by the late Rose Gray of the River Café in London in the 1990s.

When I raved about the exquisite lunch, a sublime spinach rotolo I had just eaten, Rose brought me into the kitchen to introduce the young chef with tousled hair and a mischievous grin who had cooked my lunch, saying, ‘Watch this boy, he’s going to go far….’

A few months later in 1999, Jamie hit our TV screens with his first series, The Naked Chef, it caused a sensation and suddenly it was ‘pukka’ rather than naff for young lads and lasses to cook. Soon after the series, the cook book, The Naked Chef (which he wrote when he was 18), flew off the shelves, it sold over 1.2m copies by the end 2000. Jamie was on a mission.

In 2002 he established the Fifteen Foundation, a program that gave underprivileged youths the opportunity to experience a career in the culinary industry at his Fifteen Restaurant in London.

Jamie then turned his attention to the shocking quality of school dinners and the TV series, Jamie’s School Dinnersdocumented him training a group of school cafeteria workers and helped to launch the overwhelmingly successful Feed Me Better campaign.

On and on he went urging Governments in Britain and the US to feed children healthy wholesome food. jamie magazine and an international chain of restaurants followed but in 2019, the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group became insolvent, a bruising experience for all concerned.

Jamie may have lost a fortune but not his vision and capacity for hard work. His absolute passion to fight childhood obesity remains undimmed and has led to the UK Government’s new obesity strategy which he hopes will include banning junk food advertising.

There is so much more about this chap who started out as a special-needs kid in school and went on to write 30 cookbooks, selling over 15m.

But this article is to tell you about Jamie’s new book, One: Simple One-Pan Wonders. It’s a cracker, as Jamie might say in his ever-punchy parlance, packed with budget friendly recipes you can rustle up any time. Meals to get novice cooks started, minimum prep and washing up, big on flavour, all cooked in just one pan or tray.

This may well be his most user-friendly cookbook and that’s saying something from an ‘aged’ fan girl. Here are a few recipes to whet your appetite.

Rosemary Roast Chicken

A hearty homemade meal for long evenings

Preparation Time

15 mins

Total Time

1 hour 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1kg (2 1/4lbs) mixed chicken thighs and drumsticks, skin on, bone in
  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • 3 leeks

  • 3 sprigs of rosemary

  • 250ml (9fl oz) nice cider

  • 1 x 400g (14oz) tin of butter beans

  • 30g (1 1/4oz) Stilton cheese

  • 3 tbsp full-fat crème fraîche

method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Put the chicken into a large cold shallow casserole pan and place on a high heat. Fry for 10 minutes, or until golden all over, turning regularly, while you peel and finely slice the garlic, and wash, trim and very finely slice the leeks.

  3. Pick and roughly chop the rosemary leaves, then add to the pan with the garlic and leeks, season with sea salt and black pepper, mix well and cook for a couple of minutes to soften slightly.

  4. Make sure the chicken is skin side up, then pour in the cider, half drain and add the beans, and roast for 45 minutes or until the chicken pulls easily away from the bone.

  5. Move the pan to a medium-high heat on the hob. Bomb in the little nuggets of Stilton and add the crème fraîche. Mix well, simmer for just a few minutes, then you’re ready to serve.

Buddy’s broccoli and cheesey cake bake

A delicious pasta bake, with added greens, to serve up on school evenings

Buddy's broccoli and cheesey cake bake Buddy's broccoli and cheesey cake bake

Preparation Time

15 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of broccoli – 375g (13oz) each

  • 4 cloves of garlic

  • 1/2 – 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes

  • 1.5 liters (2 1/2 pints) semi-skimmed milk

  • 100g (3 1/2oz) baby spinach

  • 100g (3 1/2oz) Cheddar cheese

  • 500g (18oz) dried pastry shells

  • 100g (3 1/2oz) garlic bread

method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/Gas Mark 6.

  2. Cut off and discard the tough ends of the broccoli stalks, trim the green florets into 3cm (1 1/4 inch) pieces and put aside, then roughly chop all the remaining stalks and place in a food processor.

  3. Peel and add the garlic, then blitz until fine. Place a large shallow casserole pan on a medium heat.

  4. Once hot, go in with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the chilli flakes, to taste. As soon as they start to sizzle, tip in the blitzed broccoli stalks. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then pour in 1 liter (1 3/4 pints) of milk.

  5. Pour the remaining 500ml (18fl oz) of milk into the processor with the spinach and crumble in the cheese. I wanted this to be healthy, but now’s the time to add the extra cheese if you want it more indulgent.

  6. Blitz until smooth, pour into the pan, then bring to the boil and season to perfection. Stir the broccoli florets and pasta shells into the sauce and boil for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

  7. Tear the garlic bread into the processor (there’s no need to clean it first) and blitz into crumbs. Sprinkle over the pasta bake and transfer to the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Delicious served with a fresh green salad.

  8. Seasonal Swaps: Go festive and swap out the broccoli for Brussels sprouts – blitz half for the sauce and quarter the rest to add with the pasta. Embrace Christmas cheese board cheeses and try a cheeky crumbling of chestnuts in the garlic bread crispy bits.

Tender Glazed Lamb Shanks

An impressive dish, but easy to make

Tender Glazed Lamb Shanks

Preparation Time

20 mins

Total Time

1 hour 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 lamb shanks – roughly 400g (14oz) each

  • 1 bulb of garlic

  • 6 mixed-colour peppers

  • 1 lemon

  • 800g (1lb 12oz) baby new potatoes

  • 8 black olives, stone in

  • 1 tsp runny honey

  • half bunch of flat-leaf parsley – 15g (3/4oz)

method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas Mark 4.

  2. Place a large deep casserole pan on a high heat. Season the lamb shanks with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then fry in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, turning until browned all over.

  3. Meanwhile, halve the unpeeled garlic bulb across the middle and tear up the peppers into big chunks, discarding the seeds and stalks. Add both to the pan, then use a speed-peeler to add the lemon peel in strips.

  4. Go in with the potatoes, halving any larger ones, then squash, de-stone and add the olives, also stirring in a splash of liquor from their jar.

  5. Mix together well, cover, then transfer to the oven for 1 hour. Mix up again, and cook uncovered for another hour, or until the lamb is tender.

  6. Remove from the oven. Mash the soft garlic cloves into the stew, discarding the skins, then season to perfection with salt, pepper and a thimble of red wine vinegar. Brush the honey over the lamb, then pick over the parsley leaves and serve.

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