Richard Bainbridge’s Baron Bigod Cheese & Potato Pithivier with Red Cabbage

Award-winning chef Richard Bainbridge of Benedicts restaurant in Norwich has been a supporter of Fen Farm Dairy products from day one. We are over the moon to share with you his favourite autumnal recipe featuring our very own Baron Bigod cheese. We hope you enjoy it!

Serves 4

The Pastry

  • 500g Strong Plain Flour
  • 20g Table Salt
  • 200g Salted Butter
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 180mls Cold Water
  • 3 Eggs Yolks (for Egg Wash)

Place the flour, salt and butter into a large bowl and finger together to make breadcrumbs, then make a well in the middle, add the eggs and water and bring together until the mixture forms a ball. The dough should be smooth and slightly shiny. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge overnight or for at least 20 minutes.

When you are ready to build your Pithivier, cut your pastry into 4 and then each smaller ball into 2 again. Roll your pastry out to approximately 3-4mm, place onto a tray and put this back into the fridge until needed (this can be done the day before).

The Potato & Cheese Filling

  • 4 Dariole Moulds
  • 4 Large Red Potatoes (Washed, Peeled & Thinly Sliced, Approximately 3-5mm)
  • 200-300g Baron Bigod Cheese (Sliced)
  • 4-5 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme (Pick Leaves Off the Stalks)
  • 50g Melted Salted Butter
  • Sea Salt & White Pepper

Place a large pan of salted water on the stove and bring to the boil. Then using a cutter the size of a 50p, cut out circles from your potatoes. Now your water is boiling place the potato circles in the water and cook for 2 minutes or until JUST cooked (still a little hard), then remove from the water and place into ice cold water.

Once cold, remove from the water and place onto tea towels to dry. After drying, start lining your dariole moulds with clingfilm. Now add a few drops of melted butter to the bottom of the moulds, followed by a layer of potatoes approximately 2-4 slices, season with salt then add another few drops of butter and then another layer of potatoes. Now season this layer with sea salt and pepper and repeat all the way to the top. Periodically, add layers of your sliced cheese – around 3 layers per mould: so that’s salt and melted butter every layer, white pepper every other layer and sliced cheese every fourth layer).

Once you have reached the top, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge to set for at least 20 minutes. When you are ready to build your Pithivier, remove from the fridge and using the clingfilm pull out the potato tower in one. Then remove the clingfilm.

Building the Pithivier

Take one piece of pastry, lay onto the table and place your set potato and cheese tower in the middle. Using the egg yolk, brush all around the base of the potato, then brush all over the top of the potato and sides. Take the second piece of pastry and lay over the potato, cupping your hands to mould the pastry around, leaving no air bubbles (if you find trapped air make a small hole in the top).

Once sealed, brush the whole thing in more egg wash and place in the fridge to set for 20 minutes. Remove from the fridge and score using the tip of a small sharp knife with a pretty pattern all over. Line an oven tray with baking paper and place the Pithivier on top and transfer to a pre-heated oven for 35 minutes or until the pastry is cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

The Red Cabbage (Serves 10-12)

  • 1kg Red Cabbage
  • 2tbsp Olive Oil
  • 450g Red Onions (Chopped)
  • 250g Cooking Apples
  • 200g Pears/Damsons/Plums
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • 1 Can of Cider
  • 12 Crushed Juniper Berries Thyme
  • Bay Leaf
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1⁄4 Whole Nutmeg Freshly Grated
  • 1⁄4tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1⁄4tsp Ground Cloves
  • 3tsp Brown Sugar
  • 20g Freshly Grated Ginger
  • 3tbsp Cider Vinegar
  • 15g Salted Butter
  • Pre-heat the oven to 150°C.

Discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage, cut into quarters and remove the hard stalk. Finely shred the rest of the cabbage using a sharp knife or food processor.

Place a large saucepan or casserole dish on the stove on a high heat. Pour in the olive oil then add the red onion. Sweat off for 2-5 minutes but do not allow to colour. Add the cabbage and sweat off again for 2-5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil.

Once boiling turn down the heat and cook until nearly all the liquid has evaporated. Put a tight lid on the casserole dish and slowly cook in the oven for 2-21⁄2 hours, stirring everything around once or twice during the cooking process.

Red cabbage once cooked will keep warm without coming to any harm. It also reheats and freezes very well.


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