Red Wine Poached Apples stuffed with Blue Cheese

Red Wine Poached Apples stuffed with Blue Cheese (Serves 4) this recipes comes straight from BBC's "Best Christmas Food Ever"

Another much requested recipe from the series is my Red Wine Poached Apples stuffed with Blue Cheese - it is great for a WOW factor and tastes utterly delicious.  Let me know how you get on.

For the apples

  • 300ml red wine
  • 200ml water
  • 100ml Marsala
  • 60g sugar
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 4 pink lady apples, peeled and halved
  • 100g blue cheese
  • 75ml crème fraiche
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • Frisee salad
  • Toasted chopped hazelnuts, to garnish
  • Chives, to garnish
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to finish

To poach the apples, combine the wine, water, Marsala, sugar, honey, lemon zest and juice with the rosemary in a saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved and it becomes slightly syrupy. Add the apples and poach for about 15 minutes or until just softened, turning occasionally.  Remove the apples from the syrup and carefully remove the core.  Bring the poaching liquid to a simmer and reduce until it is slightly syrupy. Allow to cool.

To make the filling, mix together the blue cheese, crème fraiche, lemon zest, juice and chives. 

To assemble, place the frisee on a platter, place the apple halves on top. Pipe or spoon the blue cheese mixture onto each apple half. Drizzle the poaching syrup and extra virgin olive oil over the salad leaves.  Garnish with chives and the chopped hazelnuts.


Catherine's Mincemeat Cheesecake from BBC's Best Christmas Food Ever

During the new BBC food show "Best Christmas Food Ever" I up many sweet and savoury Christmas delights and this was by far one of the most requested recipes via social media and here I share it with you to try out for yourself over Christmas - this delicious mincemeat cheesecake is full of Christmas flavours with a mulled wine sauce.  I hope you enjoy it as mush as I enjoyed creating it. 

Best wishes,


Mincemeat Cheesecake with Mulled Wine & Cherry Sauce  Serves 10 to 12


For the mulled wine (or use leftover mulled wine)

  • 200ml red wine
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ tsp al spice
  • 1 orange, sliced

For the mulled wine sauce

  • 100ml juice from the cherries
  • The mulled wine (per above or leftover mulled wine)
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot with 2 tbsp cold mulled wine, to thicken

For the base

  • 15 digestive biscuits, crushed finely
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 100g melted butter

For the filling

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 75g raisins
  • 2 medium apples, peeled and diced
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Generous pinch of nutmeg
  • 60ml soft brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp rum
  • 400g cream cheese
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1 orange, juice only
  • 100ml cream
  • 2 ½ gelatine leaves, soaked in 120ml cold water
  • 200ml cream, lightly whipped
  • 200g cherries in syrup, drained and roughly chopped
  • Orange zest, to decorate

To prepare the mulled wine, add the red wine, sugar, orange, allspice, cinnamon and star anise to a saucepan and simmer gently until flavours blend.  Then remove from heat

To prepare the mulled wine sauce, add the cherry juice to the mulled wine. Dissolve the arrowroot and 2 tbsp cold mulled wine (or water) and add to the saucepan.  Return to the heat and stir until the liquid begins to thicken.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. To make the base, line the base and sides of a 20cm springform baking tin with parchment.    

Place the crushed biscuits, ground ginger and orange zest into a bowl. Pour enough melted butter over the ingredients and mix well then spoon into the base of the springform tin, flattening with the back of a spoon.  Leave in the fridge to set for ½ hour.

To make the cheesecake filling, combine the apple, butter, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and rum and cook over a low heat until the apple is softened. Leave to cool completely.   Heat the 100ml of cream in a saucepan until hot.  Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine leaves and whisk it into the hot cream until smooth and dissolved.

Whisk together the cheese, caster sugar and orange juice together as well as the warm cream with the gelatine and fold in the whipped cream.  Stir in the raisin apple mix together with the cherries. Spoon the mixture into the biscuit base and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

To serve, carefully unlock the springform tin, place on a cake stand or pretty platter, drizzle with the mulled wine sauce and finish with the zest of an orange.

Pork Ribs with Orange & Pomegranate Salsa

SNUGGLE DOWN to these delicious Pork Ribs with a seasonal Orange & Pomegranate Salsa.

Pork Ribs with Orange & Pomegranate Salsa(Serves 4)

  • 8 large meaty pork ribs (about 1.8kg)
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 tsp powdered mustard
  • 500ml pomegranate juice
  • Salt and pepper

For the glaze

  • 4 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 75ml pomegranate molasses
  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

For the salsa

  • 1 pomegranate, seeds only
  • 2 oranges, segmented
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Chopped coriander
  • Sea salt
  • Chopped coriander, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3. To prepare the ribs, place them in a roasting tin, sprinkle over the red chilli, coriander seeds and mustard powder. Season with a little salt and pepper, then pour in the pomegranate juice.  Cover with foil and cook for 2 hours, turning the ribs from time to time until tender.

Place all the ingredients for the glaze into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 4 minutes, until a thick syrup forms. When the ribs are done, pour off the pomegranate juice and brush the ribs with the glaze. Cover and marinate for at least 1 hour, (12 hours is preferable). Allow the ribs to cool completely before placing them in the fridge. To finish the ribs, bring them to room temperature before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7. Cook for 30 minutes, turning from time to time and basting with the sauce, until the ribs are sticky on the outside.

To make the salsa, combine all the ingredients and set aside.

Serve the ribs garnished with chopped coriander, seasoned with sea salt and serve with the salsa.

Happy Christmas & enjoy!  #BestChristmastFoodEver

STILTON & WALNUT MUFFINS Recipe from BBC's "Best Christmas Food Ever"

Here is one of Catherine's delicious recipes from BBC's "Best Christmas Food Ever"....  

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Stilton & Walnut Muffins (Makes 12 large)

375g plain white flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp paprika

4 tbsp walnuts, chopped

8 tbsp caramelised red onions

120g stilton, crumbled

2 tbsp chopped chives

1 tbsp chopped thyme

80g golden raisins, chopped

3 eggs, beaten

6 tbsp rapeseed oil

300ml milk

Walnut halves, for the top of each muffin

Preheat oven to 180˚C/fan 160°C/ Gas 4.     Arrange 12 large muffin cases into muffin trays.   

Place all the dry ingredients and walnut into a large bowl and mix. Add the caramelized red onions, stilton, chives, thyme and raisins, before mixing again.

Place the eggs, oil and milk into a jug and whisk well. Making a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pour in the egg / milk mixture to a soft dough. Spoon the batter into the muffin cases and place a walnut half on top of each muffin.

Place in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes until golden and cooked or when a skewer is inserted and it comes out clear. Cool in the tin for at least 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Serve warm and Enjoy!   #BestChristmasFoodEver

European Lamb Cutlets with Tzatziki

Lamb hi res

I love lamb all year round and these succulent European lamb cutlets are a perfect autumn midweek meal.  This meal, ready in minutes, is full of flavour and ready to enjoy over and over again.  I use it all year round, from BBQ to griddle pan.

Buon appetito


Lamb Cutlets with Tzatziki

Serves 4

Oregano grows very successfully in our herb garden here at the cookery school, as does thyme, so there is no reason why they won't grow in yours. These flavourful European cutlets grill fabulously on the BBQ and go beautifully with an Italian Panzanella Salad for something different this summer.

3–4 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped

2–3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Irish rapeseed oil

100g feta, crumbled

12 small to medium lamb cutlets or 8 large cutlets, French trimmed

2 medium courgettes, sliced lengthways into ribbons

Fresh rosemary sprigs, to garnish

Fresh mint sprigs, to garnish

For the tzatziki:

3 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

½ cucumber, diced

4 tbsp natural yogurt

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix together the oregano and thyme with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil. Mix 2 teaspoons of this herby oil with the feta cheese and spread the rest over the lamb cutlets.

Heat a chargrill pan. Brush the courgette ribbons with rapeseed oil on both sides. Once the pan is hot, place the courgettes in the pan and cook for about 1 minute on each side. Set aside and keep warm.

Place the cutlets in the hot chargrill pan and cook for 3–4 minutes on each side, depending on how you like them.

Combine all the ingredients for the tzatziki in a small bowl.

This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Bord Bia to help promote #lambtryitloveit, a campaign highlighting the benefits of cooking with European lamb. For more recipe inspiration, follow @trylamb on Facebook and Instagram.

 bord bia 4
Fine foodCatherine FilvioGood living


Ballyknocken House & Cookery School
Glenealy, Ashford,
Co Wicklow, A67 X720
Ireland. Tel: +353 (0)404 44627
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