Q&A: Alex Newman, Head Chef at The White Horse Chester

Alex Newman White Horse Chester
Alex Newman White Horse Chester
Alex Newman, Head Chef at The White Horse Chester, shares his tips for a perfect family Christmas 
What makes the perfect family Christmas for you?
Anything – it’s just nice to see the whole family all together.
Do you have any particular traditions or things in the run up that make you feel festive? 
It usually sinks in when the Mrs has me building bikes and toys after work.
How about a film to watch while you wrap the presents? Mulled wine? Mince pies?
Mainly the Christmas specials of old British comedies, and some After Eights.
Do you cook on the big day? Or do you put your feet up and stay out of the kitchen for a well-earned rest? 
We cook it together as a family and make some good fun out of it.
What’s on your Christmas menu at home?
Two of my kids don’t really eat meat so we just load up on veg from the local farm.
How about a new year bash?  Big party or intimate dinner? Who’s on the guest list? 
No plans, normally we are usually all too tired in my house for all that.
What’s your new year’s resolution going to be, and will you stick to it?
Every year its exercise more and eat healthily, I never get past the second or third day.

Recipe: Slow cooked braised feather blade of beef – currently available on The White Horse Christmas Set Menu

Serves 8 (plus the dog) 
  • 3.5k feather blade of beef
  • 8 onions 
  • 4 carrots 
  • 2 sticks of celery 
  • 2 leeks 
  • 1 litre beef stock 
Start by washing peeling and chopping all of the veg. Once it’s all processed, place a deep tray on the stove, add a little oil and sear the beef heavily on both sides. Then remove it from the tray and cook out the vegetables. Once they turn soft, turn the heat right up and get some colour on them. Then add the beef stock, making sure to scrape all the bits off the bottom and incorporating them into the stock. 
Add the beef again and cover with foil.
We cook this at 90 degrees c for 14 hours, but at home 160 degrees c for 7 will work just fine. 
To check if the beef is cooked, it should be very soft and break with a fork easily. 
Leave to cool in the liquid for about an hour or so and then remove from the juice and pop back in to warm through whilst you strain the liquid.  Thicken the liquid with a little butter to use as the sauce.
Cut it into desired pieces and give the dog the trimmings, mine loves it!
The White Horse, Chester Racecourse, 01244 304 650, https://thewhitehorsechester.co.uk/