Michel Roux Jr’s face is a wonder. It makes Masterchef the Professionals, full of wonderment, shock, horror and pleasure, and he looks like a thoroughly nice guy, even if he is a little reminiscent of a well fed and respectable Gollum. His two episodes of cookery master-classes also reached the pinnacle of modern food porn programming, with no effort to provide a recipe or expect a single viewer to cook his creations at home. All the pleasure was in watching someone very skilled do something very well, and produce something beautiful.
Unfortunately he is not a prolific cookbook writer, his most recent is Cooking with The Master Chef, capitalising on his recent rise in popularity. It’s a lovely book with a good range of complexity in recipes, but it’s not forgiving. Recipes are short and minimal and definitely require some knowledge of what to expect in the kitchen.
Below is a recipe for his ‘Pumpkin and swede crumble’ whose savoury, earthy cheeseyness far out does any sweet crumble I’ve eaten. Like any sweet crumble needs custard, this requires a sharp, sweet, mustardy dressing to perfectly finish it off. I tried replacing the pumpkin with sweet potato, but it didn’t hold its shape as well as the other veg and ended up disintegrating, so stick to pumpkin if you have some to hand, or fill out with more swede or squash.
- 100g butter
- 150g plain flour
- 1 tspn salt
- 100g mature cheddar, grate
- 75g chopped almond, hazelnuts, walnuts or a mixture, roughly chopped
- 300g pumpkin
- 300g swede
- 300g butternut squash
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
- 30ml balsamic vinegar
- 1 tspn demerara sugar
- 2 tbspn olive oil
- 1 tbspn wholegrain mustard
- Sift the flour and rub in the butter until you have a breadcrumb like consistency.
- Mix in the salt, grated cheese, and roughly chopped nuts.
- Peel and cut the pumpkin, squash and swede into 1 cm cubes.
- Cook on a high heat in olive oil, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are slightly browned, around 5 minutes.
- Reduce to a medium heat and add the chopped onion, rosemary, nutmeg, salt and pepper, cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add the garlic, replace lid and cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove the rosemary sprigs, and put the mixture into a dish and spread the crumble on top.
- Bake in a 180C oven for 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- Mix up the dressing and serve.