Si King and Dave Myers's book's full of mouthwateringly hearty recipes

Comfort on a plate: From the food they grew up with to the meals they share today with their families, Si King and Dave Myers’s new book is full of mouthwateringly hearty recipes


Based on a classic Spanish vegetable dish called escalivada, this aubergine and pepper salad is super-tasty and has a beautifully comforting texture. It looks as good as it tastes, so a real winner.

Serves 4

  • 3 aubergines, trimmed and left whole
  • 4 long red peppers
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 large cos lettuce, shredded
  • 3-4 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 2tbsp capers
  • Leaves from a small bunch of mint, to garnish
  • Salt and black pepper

For the Halloumi

  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2 x 225g blocks of halloumi, sliced
  • 1tsp dried mint

For the Dressing

  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and left whole

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.

Pierce the aubergines all over with a knife tip or skewer, then place them on a baking tray with the peppers. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the peppers are blackened and the aubergines have started to collapse.

Put the red onion slices into a bowl, sprinkle them with salt and toss with the sherry vinegar. Leave to stand for half an hour.

For the dressing, whisk the olive oil and sherry vinegar together and season with salt and pepper. 

Organic Spanish Monastrell Rosado 2022 (12.5%) £7, M&S

Bruise the garlic clove lightly and add it to the dressing. Leave to stand for half an hour.

When the aubergines and peppers are ready, remove them from the oven and put them in a bowl. Cover with a plate or tea towel, then leave them to steam as they cool. 

When they are cool enough to handle, remove the skin and seeds from the peppers and pull the flesh into strips. Pull the aubergine flesh apart.

Heat the oil for the halloumi in a large frying pan and add the slices of cheese. Fry them until golden brown on both sides, in batches if necessary, then remove and sprinkle with the dried mint.

To serve, arrange the shredded lettuce on a serving dish or individual plates. Top with the roasted peppers and aubergines and season with salt and pepper.

Drain the onion slices and add them and the tomato slices to the salad. Sprinkle the capers over and drizzle with the salad dressing.

Finally, add the fried halloumi and garnish with mint leaves.

Olly Smith’s wine pairing: Gives veg va-va-voom

Organic Spanish Monastrell Rosado 2022 (12.5%) £7, M&S

On the zingier side, this attractive Spanish rosé has a silky texture and a cranberry kick. It’s lush with the Hairy Bikers’ Spanish-style Roasted Vegetables recipe.


Every sausage casserole we’ve done so far has been a hit and here’s another one! A welcome feast on an autumn evening.

Serves 4

  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 8-12 sausages
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) small waxy potatoes
  • A large thyme sprig
  • 1tsp dried sage
  • 300ml (½pt) cider
  • 200ml (7fl oz) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 crisp eating apples, cored and cut into wedges
  • 15g (½oz) butter
  • Salt and black pepper

Heat 1tbsp of the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish and add the sausages. Fry them over a high heat until well browned on all sides, then set them aside on a plate.

Add the onion and sauté it over a medium-high heat until translucent. Add the potatoes and stir until they’re well coated with the onion-and-sausage-flavoured oil, then add the thyme and sage. Season with salt and pepper.

Turn up the heat and pour in the cider, then stir thoroughly to deglaze the casserole dish and make sure no brown bits are sticking to the bottom. 

Whisk the chicken or veg stock with the mustard, then add this and the sausages to the dish.

Bring to the boil, partially cover the dish with a lid, then turn the heat down and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

Old Vine Garnacha 2022 (14%) £6.75, Co-op

While the sausages and potatoes are cooking, prepare the cabbage and apples. 

Add 1tbsp of the remaining olive oil to a large frying pan. When it’s hot, add the cabbage wedges and sear them on both sides. Remove from the frying pan and set aside, then add the remaining oil and the butter. 

When the butter has foamed, add the apple wedges and sear them on both sides.

Add the cabbage to the casserole dish and continue to cook for another 15 minutes until the cabbage is tender to the point of a knife. 

Add the apples and cook for a further 5 minutes, then serve in shallow bowls.

Si & Dave say:  Sausages, cabbage, apples, cider and mustard work really well together so we’ve combined them all in this easy recipe.

Olly’s wine pairing: Super with sausages

Old Vine Garnacha 2022 (14%) £6.75, Co-op

Glossy, fruity and tremendous value for money, this Spanish red is a real crowd pleaser – and it’s a wonderful pairing with the Sausage And Cabbage Casserole.


Bacon chops are a nice change from your regular pork chops and are worth looking out for. They are basically back bacon cut thickly and can be smoked or unsmoked.

Serves 4

  • 1tbsp olive or sunflower oil
  • 4 bacon chops
  • 1tbsp cider vinegar
  • For the Parsley sauce
  • 400ml (14fl oz) milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A slice of onion
  • 2 cloves
  • A few peppercorns
  • 25g (1oz) butter
  • 25g (1oz) flour
  • ½tsp English mustard powder (optional)
  • 25g (1oz) curly parsley, very finely chopped
  • Salt and black pepper

First make the sauce. Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the bay leaves, onion, cloves and peppercorns. Slowly heat until the milk is almost at the boil, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside. Leave to infuse until the milk is tepid, then strain into a jug.

Heat the butter in a saucepan. When it has melted, stir in the flour and the mustard powder to make a roux. Gradually add the infused milk, a little at a time to start with, making sure the roux is completely free of lumps before the next addition. 

Continue adding the milk until it is all incorporated and the sauce has the consistency of thick pouring cream. 

Simmer the sauce for a few minutes, stirring regularly to prevent it from catching, then stir in the parsley and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as necessary, then cover and keep the sauce warm.

To cook the chops, heat the oil in a large frying pan. When it’s hot, add the chops and cook for 4 or 5 minutes on each side until well browned. Remove from the pan and set aside to keep warm.

Galipette Cidre Brut (4.5%, 500ml) £2.50, Waitrose

Mix the cider vinegar with 50ml (2fl oz) of water and add this to the frying pan. Stir vigorously, letting the liquid bubble up, until you have a small amount of rich brown jus. 

Drizzle this over the bacon chops, then serve them with the parsley sauce and some green vegetables.

Si & Dave say:  The chops are perfect with parsley sauce and mustard. 

If you can’t find bacon chops use gammon steaks instead.

Olly’s wine pairing: Brilliant with bacon

Galipette Cidre Brut (4.5%, 500ml) £2.50, Waitrose

This French gem is the ideal blend of richness and refreshment. A pocket rocket of appley excellence, it goes beautifully with the Bacon Chops.


This tastes really delicious and special, but you can make it with a pack of cooked mixed seafood from the supermarket chiller cabinet, plus cooked prawns. Put these with pasta, veg and an easy mascarpone sauce for a supper to be proud of.

Serves 4

  • 400g (14oz) short pasta
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 15g (½oz) butter
  • 2 leeks, finely sliced
  • 2 medium courgettes, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Leaves from 1 tarragon sprig
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 100ml (3½fl oz) white wine
  • 300ml (½pt) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 200g (7oz) mascarpone
  • 1tbsp pastis or ouzo (optional)
  • 200g (7oz) cooked mixed seafood
  • 200g (7oz) cooked shelled prawns
  • 50g (1¾oz) breadcrumbs
  • 50g (1¾oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • A few basil leaves, shredded, plus extra to garnish
  • Salt and black pepper

Cook the pasta in plenty of well-salted boiling water until just al dente. Reserve a couple of ladlefuls of the cooking water, drain the pasta and set it aside.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a flameproof casserole dish. Add the leeks and courgettes and fry over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until starting to soften. 

Add the garlic, tarragon and lime zest. Season with salt and pepper, then pour in the white wine and stock. 

Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and leave the veg to braise for a few minutes until tender.

Taste The Difference Côtes du Rhône White 2021 (13%) £9, Sainsbury’s

Add the mascarpone and stir until you have a smooth, creamy sauce around the veg. 

Stir in the pastis or ouzo, if using, followed by the mixed seafood, prawns and pasta. 

Stir to combine and add a little pasta water if you think you need more sauce – it’ll thicken as it bakes. 

Taste and add lime juice and more seasoning if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and basil leaves together and sprinkle over the pasta. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is crisp and brown and the pasta is bubbling up underneath. Sprinkle with basil leaves and serve.

Si & Dave say: You could try adding a splash of pastis to this dish – the lovely flavours of star anise pair beautifully with seafood.

Olly’s wine pairing: Seafood sensation 

Taste The Difference Côtes du Rhône White 2021 (13%) £9, Sainsbury’s

Aromatically complex and with a little gingery bite, this mellow French blend will go down a storm with the Seafood Pasta Bake.

Shake things up with Olly’s new book

My World Cocktail Atlas features over 230 delicious recipes from all around the world, from Singapore  Slings to Chilean Pisco Sours. Simple to make, they’ll transport you to your favourite beach or snowy peak. Out now (Quadrille, £22). 

World Cocktail Atlas by Olly Smith (Quadrille, £22) and The Hairy Bikers Ultimate Comfort Food (Seven Dials, £25)

The Hairy Bikers’ Ultimate Comfort Food by Si King and Dave Myers is published on Thursday by Seven Dials in hardback at £25 and ebook.

To order a copy for £22.50 go to or call 020 3176 2937. Free UK delivery on orders over £25.

Promotional price valid until 04/11/23. Photography by Andrew Hayes-Watkins.

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