The Hairy Bikers – mums know best at Christmas – recipes

by Lisa McGarry

Filming has begun on the Hairy Bikers’ Mums Know Best Christmas Special, on BBC Two and the BBC HD channel, which celebrates Christmas cooking in all its diversity, uncovering recipes that have been handed down from one generation to the next and which deserve to be shared with the nation.

Every family celebrates Christmas in its own way, with its own traditions and its own take on festive food, and it’s mums and their kitchens that are at the heart of this important family occasion.

Building on the phenomenal success of Mums Know Best, which returns for a second series early next year, the Hairy Bikers (aka Si King and Dave Myers) are taking to the road to find out how families up and down the country make merry at Christmas.

Each of the featured mums will have a unique take on Christmas cooking and the bikers will focus on finding mums who represent the wide range of culinary and cultural traditions that make up contemporary Britain.

The “star mums'” recipes will be family favourites, each with a compelling story attached. And the bikers will be drawing on their own culinary heritage to offer a hairy take on festive favourites such as loin of venison in a sloe gin and blackberry glaze, kingy cake and smoked salmon, dill and ricotta fritters, with lime-seared scallops, all cooked in classic bikers’ style.

The Christmas Special will climax in a festive Recipe Fair, complete with a bikers’ cookery demo and the magical mix of recipe swapping, food and festive fun.

At the centre of the fair will be the Recipe Swapping Grotto, where mums (and dads) can share their festive dishes and family recipes with food historian Gerard Baker – who will draw on his encyclopaedic knowledge of our food heritage.

Gerard will also delve into our culinary history to shed light on our festive traditions, revealing that the culinary roots of Christmas actually lie in pre-Elizabethan times.

The bikers will also invite a number of artisans to bring an old-fashioned, hand-made quality to the occasion, such as a master baker for macaroons, petit fours and truffles and a craft expert for hand-printed wrapping paper.

Si and Dave will try their hand at each skill and, during the recipe fair, will put together a gift hamper of Christmas goodies for each of the star mums to take home.

The Christmas fair will culminate in a fantastic Christmas banquet cooked by the three star mums and the bikers themselves.

Each of the mums will present their chosen Christmas dishes and, in turn, be presented with the Christmas treats created by the bikers for a heart-warming family finale.

Si and Dave comment: “This is our favourite time of the year and what better way to celebrate than to find out what festive food mums up and down the country cook for the people they love.

“We will also get the chance to share more of our favourite dishes for the Christmas season. Lots of people have already had a go at our Christmas panna cotta and our cranberry, date and macadamia Christmas pudding with butterscotch sauce – in our new book – is also out of this world!

“This is a programme to make you hungry, make you want to cook, laugh your socks off and fill you with the spirit of Christmas.”

Producer Oliver Clark adds: “While other TV cooks seem to get more and more complicated in their search for new Christmas food, the Hairy Bikers go back to the source. Because, as everyone knows… mums really do know best.”