Beef

Healthy Start to the New Year!

The New Year will see me up the ante with my fitness regime and this includes the food I eat! In a nutshell you will see a lot of healthy alternatives this year.

What I do promise is no compromise on taste.  Bland steamed chicken and veg does not do it for me, but simple tweaks and boom, you can have you cake and eat it…so to speak!!

Tonight I was tight for time and this is what I rustled up….

Fillet Steak, Stir Fry Veg and Brown Rice

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serves 1

I feel guilty putting down an ingredient list it is sooo simple!

1 Top Quality Fillet Steak

1 Bag of M&S Peashoot Stir Fry

1 Red Chilli Finely Sliced

1/2 tbsp Fish Sauce

1/2 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce

Juice 1/2 Lime

1/4 Pack of Microwave Brown Rice

Dash Rapeseed Oil

Simply add a dash of oil to a frying pan, heat until super hot, add the steak and cook both sides to your preference, in my case, rare.

Set aside, add a dash of oil to the frying  pan and heat.  Throw in the stir fry and the chilli, after a couple of mins, chuck in the soy, fish sauce and lime juice.

Serve with the rice!

Boom, too simple, full of flavour and beyond healthy!

 

 

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Hearty Beef Stew with Horseradish Dumplings

It has started to get a bit chilly and with Autumn in full swing, nothing beats a hearty stew. I did this in my slow cooker, it can be done in the oven too. Pour a large glass of red wine and get tucked in….food heaven!!

1kg Braising Beef
1 Large Onion, finely chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp Plain Flour
400ml Good Red Wine
300ml Beef Stock
1 tbsp Tomato Purée
1 Sprig Thyme
3 Carrots, cut into chunks
2 Leeks, trimmed and finely sliced
3 Sticks Celery, trimmed and sliced
Maldon Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Horseradish Dumplings

150g Self Raising Flour
75g Shredded Suet
2 tsp Creamed Horseradish
3 Tbsp Chives, finely snipped
5-7 tbsp Water
Salt and Pepper

Prepare the slow cooker or a large casserole dish.

Heat oil in a casserole dish or frying pan and fry the beef, browning well a few pieces at a time.

Remove from the casserole, add the onion. Fry gently for 5 mins, then add the garlic for another few mins.

Put the beef back in and stir well, stir through the flour and cook gently for a minute or so.

Mix in the wine gradually then the stock and stir well.

Add the tomato Purée and stir again.

Add the thyme, bring to the boil and transfer to the slow cooker at this point if you are using and stir through the vegetables.

Cover and cook for 7-9 hours on low.

Meanwhile make the dumplings. Mix the flour, suet, horseradish, chives, salt and pepper. Stir in enough water to make a soft but not sticky dough. Using floured hands, shape into eight balls.

Add to the slow cooker and cook on high for another hour or until the dumplings are fluffy and light.

If you are not using a slow cooker, transfer to an oven heated to 170c for 3-4 hours. Add the dumplings after one hour.

Enjoy!!

Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks in Red Wine

SLOW COOKED BEEF CHEEKS IN RED WINE

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This cut of meat is total luxury when it comes to slow cooked beef! It transforms from one of the lesser attractive cuts of beef to the most amazing velvety soft beef you will ever taste.

It is unique in its richness and a top notch dinner party option for both taste and ease.

Serve with greens and champ for sheer perfection!

Serves 5

Heat oven to 140c.

2 Large Carrots, finely chopped
2 Large Sticks Celery, finely chopped
1 Onion, finely chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, crushed
3 Beef Cheeks, trimmed and cut into nice large chunks
3/4 Bottle of Red Wine, full bodied (Rioja, Barolo, Shiraz)
Plain Flour for dusting
300ml Beef Stock
Rapeseed Oil
A Couple Sprigs Fresh Thyme
Maldon Salt and Black Pepper

In a large casserole dish, add a dash of oil and really brown the beef cheeks all over. Do this a few at a time.
Remove and set aside.
Add a dash more oil if needed and throw in the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and soften for 5-7 mins.

Dust the beef cheeks with roughly a tablespoon of seasoned flour.

Return the the casserole. Cook for another couple of minutes, then add the red wine, thyme and stock.

Stir well and bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and then transfer to the oven.

Cook for 3 1/2 hours.

Serve with spinach and lashings of luscious champ!! (Spring onion mash!!)

LASAGNE

Lasagne

Following on from my recipe for my Ragu Bolognese, a few extra steps gets you a lasagne! Boom!

Grab, a Pack of Lasagne Sheets
Butter

So, you have made your Ragu Bolognese, now to convert your Ragu Bolognese into lasagne….

Heat the oven to 180c

Béchamel Sauce

This is the basic white sauce recipe for many dishes. In this instance, lasagne! The classic recipe has a blade of mace and nutmeg in it, I have left these out. Also, for a lasagne, you cannot have enough of the stuff, I have learnt through past attempts to double the quantity as it is better to have too much than run out!!

So for a large lasagne serving 6-8 people, double up the quantity stated here!

600ml Semi-skimmed milk
1 Onion, peeled and halved
1 Bay Leaf
6 Black Pepper Corns
55g Butter
55g Plain Flour
200g Cheddar Cheese
Maldon Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan and add the onion, bay leaf and pepper corns.

Gently bring to the boil then remove from the heat. This ensures your milk does not burn.

Cover and set aside for 15 mins to infuse, then strain into a jug.

Clean the pan, then add the butter over a medium heat until melted.

Add the flour, cook gently stirring occasionally for around 1 minute. Take care not to burn the flour.

Now for the tricky bit…add the milk, gradually whisking with a balloon whisk after each addition. Don’t stop whisking or it could go lumpy.

Return the pan to the heat, whisking continuously and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer really gently for 2 mins stirring from time to time. It should be smooth and thick.

Add the cheese and stir from time to time until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now to assemble the lasagne.

Melt a small amount of butter and using a pastry brush, coat the entire bottom and sides of your dish. This stops it from sticking.

Lay your first layer of lasagne sheet on the bottom of the dish, top with the ragu, keep it nice and neat and flatten it a bit, top with a drizzle of the Béchamel sauce.

When doing your layers of lasagne, keep them nice and neat with as little overlap as possible but no gaps for the sauce to fall through.

Now add another layer of lasagne, and again top with the ragu and some Béchamel.

Whilst adding your Béchamel just ensure you always keep the majority for a nice thick layer on the top.

Finally add the last layer of lasagne and top with lots of gorgeous Béchamel!

At this stage you are ready to pop it into the oven for around 40-50 mins, until cooked through and nice and golden on top.

Or if you prefer, you can finish at this stage and freeze for a later date.

A bit of work to get it all put together…once it is in the dish…reeelax!!

BOLOGNESE RAGU

BOLOGNESE RAGU

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An oldie but a goodie! I make a huge pot of this and get enough for Spag Bol and a Lasagna. The sauce is packed with secret veggies so it is perfect for fussy eaters! If you are doing both, double up on quantities.

Serves 6

1.2 kg Minced Beef
1 Large Carrot, whizzed in a food processor
2 Sticks Celery, whizzed in a food processor
1 Large Onion, whizzed in a food processor
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
2 Tins Chopped Tomatoes
2 tbsp Tomato Purée
1 tsp Oregano (dried)
350g Mushrooms, sliced
200ml Beef Stock
150ml Red Wine(give or take a bit😂😂)
Dash of Olive Oil

Start by browning the mince in a large heavy pot. Keep the heat quite high, and break it up so it is nice and fine with a wooden spoon. I like to minimise the fat content in my cooking, so as I am going along, I pour a lot of the fat out of the mince, not all of it! Some may argue this compromises the taste, however I beg to differ.

Remove mince from the pan. Add a dash of olive oil and heat, throw in the onions. Soften for 5-7 mins.

Add the carrot, celery and garlic and continue to soften for another 3-4 mins.

Return the beef to the pot.

Chuck in the mushrooms.

Add the oregano and mix through.

Add the tomato purée and mix through.

Add the wine and cook for two mins.

Add the tins of tomatoes and the beef stock, bit by bit. Don’t add it all if it is looking too sloppy.

Cover and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer for 30-40 mins.

Serve with your pasta of choice and enjoy!

Fillet Steak with Chilli Sweet Potatoes

FILLET STEAK WITH CHILLI SWEET POTATOES

Fillet steak chilli sweet potatoes

Warning!!!! This dish is super healthy and super tasty!!!

Serves 1

1 Lush Thick Fillet Steak
1 Sweet Potato
1/2 tsp Hot Chilli Powder
Olive Oil
Maldon Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Heat oven to 180c

Peel and chop the sweet potato into wedges.

Throw the sweet potato into a freezer bag, add a dash of oil, the chilli powder and some salt and pepper.

Mix it up well in the bag, add to a heated oven tray and cook for 30-40 mins until soft and golden.

Just before the potatoes are ready, it is steak time!
Season both sides with lots of salt and pepper.

Add a dash of oil to a heavy frying pan. Heat until super hot and then add the steak.

Cook according to how you like a steak…there is no set time to cook it, as they vary in size and thickness. However I remember once hearing a steak cooking guideline which I feel is fairly accurate. Using your index finger against your forehead for well done, chin for medium and cheek for rare!

Serve with steamed broccoli or spinach for a guilt free tasty treat! 😋

Braised Beef Shin in Red Wine

Braised Beef Shin in Red Wine

Beef Shin

Serves 6

With Autumn upon us, there could be nothing more appealing than the perfect comfort food. For me a luxurious casserole with creamy mash represents comfort food at its best!!

1.2kg Beef Shin, well trimmed and in chunks large enough to provide one for each person
100g Seasoned Flour
4 Large Carrots, cut in chunks
1 Large Onion finely chopped
350g Chestnut Mushroom, cut in half
12 Shallots, peeled and left whole (it’s easier to peel them if they are put into boiling water for a few mins)
3 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1 litre Red Wine
1 Bouquet Garni
Olive Oil
200g Bacon Lardons
Maldon Sea Salt and Black Pepper
Heat oven to 170c

Toss all the beef pieces in the seasoned flour.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed casserole dish until really hot, brown the meat on all sides and remove from the pan.

Add a dash more oil and throw in the onions and carrots, turn the heat down and fry gently for about five minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for a further two minutes.

Add the beef back to the dish along with the red wine, bring to the boil.

Add the bouquet garni and season.

Replace the lid and place in the oven for one hour.

Whilst it is in the oven, add a dash of oil to a frying pan and when really hot, tip in the bacon lardons and cook for a couple of mins.

Add the peeled shallots and cook until the shallots are nice and brown and the lardons are crispy.

After an hour, add the shallots, lardons and mushrooms.

Cook for a further 2-2 1/2 hours, until the meat is totally tender.

You may need to add a dash of water if too thick. If too thin, you could use some cornflour.

Serve with some fresh wilted spinach and super creamy mash! Lush!!

#casserole #autumnrecipe #braisedbeef #shin

Beef and Mustard Potato Topped Pie

Beef and Mustard Potato Topped Pie

It is feeling a touch chilly for September making me want some lush, wholesome comfort food!  The combination of butter soft beef and a crispy potato topping is hard to beat!

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Serves 4-5 people

1kg Beef Steak Pieces, cut into large chunks
2 tbsp Plain Flour
Maldon Sea Salt and Fresh Black Pepper
2 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
200ml Red Wine
400ml Beef Stock
1 Onion, finely sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
350g Chestnut Mushrooms, halved
2 Large Carrots, cut into 2.5cm pieces
3 Sprigs Thyme
2 tbsp Wholegrain Mustard
6 Large Maris Piper Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm thick circles
A Bit of Melted Butter for the top

Preheat the oven to 150C

Toss the beef and flour together in a bowl with some salt and black pepper.

Heat a large casserole until hot, add half of the rapeseed oil and enough of the beef to just cover the bottom of the casserole.

Fry until browned on each side, then remove and set aside. Repeat with the remaining oil and beef.

Return the beef to the pan, add the wine and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by half, then add the stock, onion, carrots, thyme and mustard, and season well with salt and pepper.

Cover with a lid and place in the oven for two hours.

Remove from the oven, check the seasoning and set aside to cool.

Remove the thyme.

When the beef is cool and you’re ready to assemble the pie, preheat the oven to 200C.

Transfer the beef to a pie dish, top with the circles of potato and brush with the butter.

To serve, place a large spoonful of pie onto each plate with some green beans alongside.

#autumnalrecipies #beefcasserole

Spaghetti Bolognese with Secret Veggies

Spaghetti Bolognese with Secret Veggies

Spaghetti bol

This one is for my babies! They simply cannot get enough of this. I generally make a huge pot and freeze some. Except for the mushrooms the veggies are all whizzed in a food processor and are some small no one notices them, therefore no picking! Result, veggies in and huge smiles of faces!!

1.2 kg Lean Mince Beef
1 Onion, minced in a food processor
2 Cloves Garlic, minced in a food processor
3 Carrots, peeled and minced in a food processor
2 Sticks Celery, minced in a food processor
1 Courgette, minced in a food processor (Optional)
2 tbsp Tomato Purée
2 Tins Chopped Tomatoes
A Big Glug Red Wine
250ml Beef Stock
A Handful of Fresh Chopped Basil
Olive Oil

Add the mince in a couple of batches to a large pot, fry until well browned all over. Breakup the mince as you go. Remove from the pot,meet aside.
Add a dash of oil to the pot and fry the onion and garlic gently for 5 mins.

Add the rest of the veggies and fry for a further 3-4 mins.

Add a good splash of red wine, cook for a couple of mins.

Add the tomato purée and stir.

Add the tinned tomatoes and the beef stock.

Stir, bring to the boil and then simmer gently for around 30 mins.

Just before the end, add the chopped basil.

Serve with spaghetti or whatever pasta you fancy and some nice fresh Parmesan shavings! Delish!!

Chilli Con Carne

Chilli Con Carne

Chilli

Everyone has their own wee special way for Chilli Con Carne, this is my version. It is full of flavour and easily adaptable for kids by some tricks I have employed to cater to the varying tastes on heat levels in our house.

I have played around with Chilli con Carne over the years, I have been known to add 90% cocoa dark chocolate to it! Serve with rice, tacos, tortilla wraps….it is so versatile! Best bit it is so quick to make!

Serves 5

1kg Mince Beef
2 x 400g Kidney Beans, drained
1 x 400g Chopped Tomatoes
1 tbsp Tomato Purée
1/2 Cinnamon Stick
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Dry Oregano
1 tsp or either Mild or Hot Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Hot Paprika
1/4 Cayenne Pepper
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Green or Red Pepper Finely chopped
1-2 Fresh Chilli’s chopped (optional)
300ml Beef Stock
Rape Seed Oil

In order to reduce the level of fat to as low as possible, I brown the mince first at quite a high heat. As it releases fat, I drain the majority out. Whilst some may argue that you loose flavour this way, I firstly don’t think this is the case here as it is packed with flavour.

Once browned, remove the mince.

Add a dash of oil and fry the onion gently for 5-7 mins until soft.

Add the pepper and fresh chilli if you are using it and fry for another couple of mins.

Put the mince back in and add the cumin, oregano, chilli powder, cayenne, hot paprika and cinnamon stick.

Stir and cook for a couple of mins.

Add the tomato purée, stir and cook for a minute.

Add the tin of tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil.

Turn down and cook gently for 1/2 hour.

Add the beans and cook for a further 15 mins.

Bingo bango! Tasty, healthy, lush!
#chilliconcarne