Donal Skehan

Irish Beef & Guinness Stew…

Beef Guinness-2 copy

Traditional Beef and Guinness stew is a perfect comfort food dish. You can serve this as a stew or take it one step further and use it as the filling for an impressive pie. Do make sure the meat is tender before serving, different cuts of meat will take longer cooking times.

Beef Guinness-1 copy

You can always add potatoes to bulk out teh stew but I love it served with buttery mashed potatoes. It’s no surprise that this Irish dish appears on most pub and traditional Irish menus across Ireland. This recipe is part of my St. Patrick’s Day Collaboration which you can check out here.

Continue to the recipe for my tradition Irish Beef & Guinness Stew…

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Simple Roast Chicken, Sweet Potato & Coriander Salsa

Roast Chicken Salsa-5
Mastering a really good roast chicken is a bit of an art form in itself and the basis of any good home cook’s reputation. I love cooking it so that you’re left with a salty, crispy skin and meat that is moist and full of herby, aromatic flavour.

Serves 4- 6
1 large free range chicken

For the herby paste:
2 tbsp olive oil
A few fresh rosemary sprigs
A few fresh thyme sprigs
4 garlic cloves, peeled
Sea salt and ground black pepper

For the roast sweet potato chips:
2-3 large sweet potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper

For the coriander salsa:
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Handful of coriander
green chilli
Juice and zest from 1 lime
Sprinkle of sea salt

For the spicy yoghurt:
6 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 tsp of hot sauce

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas mark 6. For the herby paste, blitz together the olive oil, rosemary, thyme and garlic cloves in a pestle and mortar or a food processor until you get a smooth paste. Wash sweet potatoes (you can leave the skin on) and cut into small cubes. Thinly slice the red onions and place on a large baking tray with the sweet potato cubes. Toss in 1-2 tbsp of the herby paste. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Slather the chicken in the remaining herby paste, season with a generous pinch of salt and black pepper and place on top of sweet potatoes and onions. Roast in the oven for 45–50 minutes or until cooked through and the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. While the chicken and sweet potato chips are in the oven it’s time to make the coriander salsa and spicy yoghurt.  For the salsa, whisk the oil, coriander, chilli and lime together in a food processor or pestle and mortar and set aside.

Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest, covered in foil, before serving, remembering to save any juices that run off. While the chicken is resting, prepare the spicy yoghurt by stirring together the yoghurt and hotsauce and season with salt & pepper. Serve the chicken and sweet potato with the salsa on and yoghurt on top.

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The Very Best Pasta & Meatballs…

Bord Bia Spaghetti & Meatballs_1

If I was to name one recipe that is ideal food therapy, it would be this rich tomato & Italian meatballs pasta. There is something extremely relaxing about rolling the meat into little balls and plopping them into a boiling, rich, tomato sauce. I rely solely on the heat of the sauce to cook and infuse the balls with flavour and I love to serve the dish on a big platter with serving spoons, so that people can dig in at the table.

Bord Bia Spaghetti & Meatballs_2

I like to use a combo or pork and beef mince as this give fantastic flavour. My top tip when prepping the meatballs is to make them nice and small. This way they cook in the rich tomato sauce nice and quick and they are a manageable size when it comes to eating them! You can of course use any pasta you like but you can’t beat spaghetti or linguine for a bit of Lady and the Tramp action!

Continue to the recipe for my Rich Italian Pasta and Meatballs…

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Beef and Guinness Pie


Beef & Guinness pie is a perfect dish for a cold autumn day. You can serve this as a stew or take it one step further and use it as the filling for an impressive pie. Do make sure the meat is tender before serving, different cuts of meat will take longer cooking times.

Serves 6
1-2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
1kg shoulder of beef, cut into one inch chunks
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
150ml beef stock
500ml of Guinness
Sea Salt and ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
30g of plain flour
2 sheets of ready to roll puff pastry
A little butter to grease the baking dish
1 egg to brush

Heat the oil in a large pot and brown the meat in two batches, be careful not to overcrowd the pan.

Remove and set aside on a plate. Add another drop of oil if you need it and then fry off the onion, carrots and celery.

Add the meat back into the pot along with the garlic.

Pour in the stock, Guinness, one bay leaf and season to taste. Simmer gently for about 1 1/2 hours until the liquid has reduced.

If the sauce isn’t thick enough strain the juices into a bowl and then transfer to a small sauce pan.  Mix a little of the sauce with the flour over heat until you have a smooth paste, then whisk through the rest of the liquid.  Simmer gently until you have a thickened sauce, then tip back over the meat, before filling the pie.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C.

Grease a baking dish with butter and lay one sheet of puff pastry in. Press it into the sides and prick with a fork over the base.

Fill with the beef and Guinness mix, and top with the second layer of puff pastry. Pinch the two sheets of puff pastry together so they are sealed.

Cut one or two holes in the pastry lid to allow steam escape and then brush all over with egg.

Place the pie into the oven to bake for 25-30 mins, until the pastry has risen and has a crisp golden colour.

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Ultimate Healthy Comfort Food Soup…

Squash Coconut Chilli Soup copy

January is finally over but it seems the cold weather is planning to stick around a little longer. When the days are short and the evenings dark, there is nothing I love more than making a big pot of soup. I’m a big fan of classics like vegetable or tomato or even something like my Cauliflower & Blue Cheese Soup but it’s nice to spice things up every once in a while. This delicious roast squash, coconut and chilli soup recipe is the perfect comfort food, so sweet and creamy! It’s an instant hit!


This recipe works just as well with pumpkin when they are in season so go ahead and use instead of the squash if you have them! Make sure to adjust the spice to your own taste, and be careful when adding chilli flakes…  a little goes a long way!

Continue to the recipe for Roast Squash, Coconut & Chilli Soup…

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Rich Tomato Italian Meatballs With Linguine

Bord Bia Spaghetti & Meatballs
If I was to name one recipe that is ideal food therapy, it would be this rich tomato & Italian meatballs pasta. There is something extremely relaxing about rolling the meat into little balls and plopping them into a boiling, rich, tomato sauce. I rely solely on the heat of the sauce to cook and infuse the balls with flavour and I love to serve the dish on a big platter with serving spoons, so that people can dig in at the table.

For the meatballs
250g pork mince
250g beef mince
100g breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon dried oregano
300g good-quality linguine
Sea salt and ground black pepper

For the tomato sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
2 x 400g (14oz) tins of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1⁄2 glass red wine (about 150ml/5fl oz)

Place the sausage meat, breadcrumbs, garlic, mustard, ketchup and oregano in a large bowl with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Thoroughly mix everything together with a fork. Wear plastic gloves or dip your hands in a bowl of cold water, then take about a teaspoonful of the mixture and roll with your hands into a small ball. (It’s better to make the balls smaller as they will cook quicker and are a lot easier to eat.) Work your way through the mixture, setting the balls on a large baking tray. Place in the fridge to firm up.

To make the tomato sauce, heat a large saucepan over a medium–high heat, add the olive oil and fry the onion for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the tinned tomatoes, Tabasco, oregano and red wine and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sauce has reduced, skimming off any oil as necessary. Season to taste with sea salt and ground black pepper. Add the firmed-up meatballs to the saucepan, making sure they are covered by the sauce – this keeps the meat lovely and tender. Bring the sauce back to the boil and simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve with the linguine, cooked according to the packet instructions, and there’ll be clean plates all around!

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Green Bean, Potato & Pesto Lasagne

Pesto LasagneLasagne is one of those classic Italian dishes which has made a name for itself across the world with a rich meat sauce, layers of creamy white sauce, pasta and cheese, it’s hard to resist. I was excited to come across this lighter version made with green beans, potatoes and flavoured with basil pesto.

Serve 4-6
75g of butter, plus extra for the top
75g of plain flour
750ml of milk
pinch of nutmeg
250g fresh lasagne sheets
150g of fresh pesto
250g of green beans
500g of baby potatoes
75g of Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Boil the potatoes for about 10-12 minutes or until soft when pierced with a fork. Before the end of the cooking time add the green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Place a medium sized saucepan over a medium high heat and add in the butter. When it’s completely melted and foaming add in the flour and whisk until you are left with a roux. Cook for 2 minutes before whisking in the milk. Continue to whisk and cook until the sauce holds a figure of eight when swirled with the whisk. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper and stir in the nutmeg. Remove from the heat and stir through the pesto.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
Spread a little of the pesto sauce across the base of medium sized roasting tin. Lay sheets of the pasta across the base top with the sauce, green beans, slices of potatoes and a generous sprinkle of Parmesan. Repeat the process layering up the lasagne with the remaining ingredients until you are left with a final layer of pasta sheets.

Pour over the remaining sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan and dot with a little butter.
Place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes until bubbling and golden.
Serve straight away with a fresh salad.

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Sriracha Baked Chicken Wings

Siracha Baked Chicken Wings

I LOVE Sriracha Sauce and what better way to eat it, then smothered on tasty chicken wings! This glaze is sweet and spicy  in all the right ways and will have your guests licking their fingers and asking for more!

Serves 4
1.5kg chicken wings
Sea salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
Coriander leaves to garnish
Sesame seeds, toasted, to garnish
Spring onions, finely sliced and curled, to garnish

For the Sriracha Glaze
4 tablespoons of butter
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 small thumb sized piece of ginger, finely grated
4 tablespoons of honey
6 tablespoons of sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime

Preheat the oven to 200˚C.

In a bowl toss the chicken wings with the sunflower oil and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Spread the chicken wings on two baking trays and place in the oven to cook for 35 minutes or until crispy.

While the chicken cooks, prepare the glaze. In a wok over a medium high heat, add the butter and when it begins to foam add in the garlic and ginger cooking 1-2 minutes. Add in the remaining glaze ingredients and bring to the boil. Cook for 2 minutes and then remove from the heat. Reserve half the glaze in bowl and half in the wok.

When the chicken wings are cooked through, tumble them into the bowl with the glaze and toss to coat. Place back on the baking tray and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove the chicken wings from the oven and add them to the remaining glaze in the wok.
Serve straight away with spring onion curls, coriander and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

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Mini Rustic Steak Sandwiches


These mini steak sandwiches are proper Saturday afternoon sandwiches. The right bread makes all the difference – some chewy, crispy ciabatta is perfect here. If you don’t fancy making your own aoli, you can cheat by smashing a garlic clove with the back of a knife until you have a smooth paste and then mix it with a little store-bought mayonnaise.

Serves 2
2 x 125g striploin or rib eye beef steaks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
4-4 tablespoons garlic aïoli
2 small ciabattas, cut in half
25g  rocket leaves
1/2 red onion, peeled and finely sliced

Season the steaks generously with freshly ground black pepper. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and fry the steaks for 2–3 minutes on each side. Transfer the steaks to a plate, cover with foil and allow them time to rest.

Once rested, slice the steaks thinly, toss in the juices that have run off and season with salt. Assemble the sandwiches by spreading the aïoli on the ciabatta halves, adding a little rocket, red onion, juicy steak slices and topping with the other ciabatta halves. Enjoy!

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Smokey Fish Pie

Pilgrims Choice Fish Pie

The flavours in this pie are really comforting and there is something altogether homely about the dish. I love using smoked fish but if you’re not a big fan just substitute with the regular stuff.

Serves 4-6
900g potatoes, preferably roosters, peeled and diced
a large pinch of salt
25g butter
4 spring onions, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
3 celery sticks, finely chopped
300g smoked haddock, skinned, boned and cut into chunks
300g cod fillets, skinned, boned and cut into chunks
75g butter
75g plain flour
500ml warm milk
110g cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas mark 6.

Place the potatoes and a large pinch of salt in a large saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 12–15 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain and return the potatoes to the pan. Mash the potatoes with the butter then stir through the spring onions.

Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan, add the garlic, carrot and celery and sauté until tender. Remove the vegetables from the pan and place in a large high-sided baking dish with the haddock and cod chunks and set aside. Melt the butter in another saucepan and stir in the flour quickly so you have a smooth paste. Gradually whisk in the warm milk and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a steady simmer and simmer for 2 minutes until the sauce becomes thick. Remove the pan from the heat and add in three-quarters of the grated cheese, (keeping the rest for the topping), the Dijon mustard and season with salt and black pepper.

Pour the sauce over the fish and vegetables and mix to combine. Gently spread the mashed potato over the top, season with a little extra salt and black pepper, sprinkle on the reserved grated cheese and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes until crisp and golden on top.

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Lamb Sausages with Spiced Lentils, Caramalised Onions and Crème fraîche


This lamb sausage and lentil dish is so comforting and will certainly fill you up on a cold evening. If you are a fan of Bangers and Mash, this recipe is probably right up your alley. Spiced lentils and sticky caramelised onions all topped off with amazing lamb sausages and creamy crème fraîche- All good individually but delicious all lovingly placed on one plate!

Serves 8

225g Puy lentils
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
16 James McGeough lamb sausages
1 leek, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
teaspoon smoked paprika
teaspoon ground cumin
good pinch ground cinnamon
300ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, extra leaves to garnish
200ml tub crème fraîche

For the Caramelised Onions
knob of butter
2 onions, sliced

Rinse the lentils in a sieve under cold running water, then place in a pan with 600ml of water. Add a pinch of salt, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until ‘al dente’- just tender but still with a little bite. Drain in a sieve and spread out on a tray to dry if not using immediately. To make the caramelised onions, melt the butter in a frying pan and cook them very slowly until golden brown and caramelised. Season to taste.

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Add one tablespoon of the rapeseed oil to the pan, then add the sausages and sauté over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until cooked through and nicely browned, turning regularly. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a pan and sweat the leek, carrots and celery for about 10 minutes until softened but not coloured. Stir the smoked paprika, cumin and cinnamon and cook for another minute or so. Fold in the cooked lentils and then pour in the chicken stock. Season to taste and simmer for a few minutes until you have a loose sauce and the vegetables are completely tender. Finally stir in the parsley. Spoon the spiced lentil stew onto a large warmed platter and spoon a line of crème fraiche down the centre. Arrange the lamb sausages on top and scatter over the caramelised onions. Garnish with the parsley and a good grinding of black pepper.

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