Sunday, October 25, 2009

David Grayson Quote

"Talk of joy: there may be things better than beef stew and baked potatoes and home-made bread --- there may be."
David Grayson
'Adventures in Contentment' (1907)

Beef Stew and Dumplings

beef stew


For the beef stew
2 tbsp olive oil
25g/1oz butter
750g/1lb 10oz beef stewing steak, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp plain flour
2 garlic cloves, crushed
175g/6oz baby onions, peeled
150g/5oz celery, cut into large chunks
150g/5oz carrots, cut into large chunks
2 leeks, roughly chopped
200g/7oz swede, cut into large chunks
150ml/5fl oz red wine
500ml/18fl oz beef stock
2 fresh bay leaves
3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
3 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, or to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dumplings
125g/4½oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
60g/2½oz suet
water, to make a dough
To serve
mashed potato
1 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. For the beef stew, heat the oil and butter in an ovenproof casserole and fry the beef until browned on all sides.
3. Sprinkle over the flour and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and all the vegetables and fry for 1-2 minutes.
5. Stir in the wine, stock and herbs, then add the Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar, to taste. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Cover with a lid, transfer to the oven and cook for about two hours, or until the meat is tender.
7. For the dumplings, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
8. Add the suet and enough water to form a thick dough.
9. With floured hands, roll spoonfuls of the dough into small balls.
10. After two hours, remove the lid from the stew and place the balls on top of the stew. Cover, return to the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes, or until the dumplings have swollen and are tender.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Anon quote

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."

Friday, October 16, 2009

Arnold Schwarzenegger Quote

"I love Thanksgiving turkey... It's the only time in Los Angeles that you see natural breasts."

Arnold Schwarzenegger


Turkey meatballs




500g British turkey mince
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 tbsp vegetable oil
225ml whipping cream
3 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
1 tbsp olive oil
finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
salt and freshly milled black pepper
200ml chicken stock
2 heads of broccoli, cut into small florets, cooked
300g cooked pasta ribbons


Cook the onion and garlic in a little oil to soften, about 10 minutes.
Place the mince, cooked onion, lemon zest, olive oil, breadcrumbs, and 1 tbsp of whipping cream into a bowl and mix well. Season well with salt and pepper.

Form into 20 small balls, then chill well.

To make the sauce, boil the chicken stock and lemon juice to reduce by two thirds. Add the remaining cream and re boil, the sauce should thicken straight away. You may need to add a touch of stock if the sauce thickens too much. Season well with salt and pepper, and keep warm.

Place a couple of tablespoons of oil into a non stick frying pan.

Add the meat balls and gently cook for 15 minutes to lightly brown and cook through. Serve with warm pasta and broccoli. Spoon over the hot lemon sauce.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Virginia Woolf quote

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. ----Virginia Woolf

Osso Bucco

osso bucco

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 60g butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, cut into small cubes
  • 3 sticks of celery, cut into small cubes
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3/4 cup plain flour, seasoned
  • 8 veal shanks (about 1.5kg)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 800g diced Italian tomatoes in juice
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Gremolata
  • finely grated rind of 2 large lemons
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  1. Heat 20g butter and 2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan. Add carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to an ovenproof dish.
  2. Place seasoned flour into a plastic bag. Toss, two shanks at a time, in flour. Shake off excess and place on a plate.
  3. Preheat oven to 200°C. Melt remaining butter and oil in a frying pan over high heat. Brown both sides of veal in 2 to 3 batches. Place on top of vegetables.
  4. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, beef stock, thyme and bay leaves to pan. Bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over vegetables and veal. Cover roasting dish with lid or foil. Transfer to oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours to 1 3/4 hours until veal is tender and add a few olives.
  5. To make gremolata: Mix ingredients together. Sprinkle over veal and serve.