Friday, May 20, 2016

Perfect Beef Stew

Fom Felicity Cloakes article on The Guardian website.

800g shin of beef

2 tbsp flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

Beef dripping, butter or oil

2 onions, sliced

300ml beef stock

300ml stout 

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs of thyme

2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunky slices

2 small turnips, peeled and cut into chunks

For the dumplings:

100g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

50g suet

Small bunch of chives and parsley, finely chopped

1. Trim the beef of its outer sinew and cut into large chunks. Toss with the seasoned flour to coat. Heat a heavy-bottomed casserole or pan on a medium flame and add a knob of dripping or butter, or a couple of tablespoons of oil. Brown the meat in batches, adding more fat if necessary – be careful not to overcrowd the pan, or it will boil in its own juices – then transfer to a bowl. Scrape the bottom of the pan regularly to prevent any residue from burning.

2. Once all the meat is browned, add some more fat to the pan and cook the onions until soft and slightly browned. Add them to the beef and then pour in a little stock and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Add the beef and onions, the rest of the stock and the stout, season, and add the herbs. Bring to the boil, then partially cover, turn down the heat, and simmer gently for two hours.

3. Add the carrots and turnips, and simmer for about another hour, until the meat is tender enough to cut with a spoon. Leave to cool, overnight if possible, and then lift the solidified fat off the top and bring to a simmer.

4. Meanwhile, make the dumplings by sifting the flour into a bowl and adding the rest of the ingredients and just enough cold water to bring it together into a dough. Roll it into 6 dumplings and add these to the stew. Partially cover and simmer for 25 minutes, then check the seasoning of the gravy, and serve with steamed greens.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Chicken & Pea Risotto

Another left-over Chicken dish…

• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 onion chopped
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 190g Risotto rice

• 1 small glass white wine
• 500ml Chicken Stock (warm before adding)
• Cooked Chicken breasts, chopped
• 1 tbsp thyme leaf
• 100g frozen peas
• Crispy Bacon to scatter on top
• 2 tbsp grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve

1] Heat oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic for 5 mins. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 min more, until it starts to look transparent. Pour in the wine and keep stirring until all the liquid is absorbed.

2] Add the stock and simmer until the rice is just tender. Stir through the chicken, thyme and peas, then cook for 2 mins or until the chicken is warmed through. Add the crème fraîche and Parmesan with some seasoning, then remove from the heat. Cover with a lid and leave to stand for 2 mins before serving with extra Parmesan.