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Friday, 23 October 2015

Easy steak and ale pie

I have found a way to make steak and ale pie without the faff.  I know conventional wisdom dictates that to make steak and ale pie you must first brown your meat but I came across a recipe that offered aa alternative.  No searing, no fat splattered cooker, hands, clothes and anything else within a 3 foot radius.
I was sceptical at first but I have now made this recipe twice and it has been amazing!

You need (for a pie for 4 people)

1 packet of ready made puff pastry (I don't know why you would make your own unless you were a contestant on the great British bake off)
750g stewing steak (cubed)
2 tablespoons flour plus seasoning (I use salt, black pepper, mustard powder and a pinch of paprika to season mine)
Assorted veg (onion, carrots, leek, swede or any mix you like really)
Bottle of ale (I picked up some pale ale that was on offer and it did fine)
Couple of splodges of tomato purée
1 pint stock or water.

Method - couldn't be easier

Pre heat oven to 140C
Toss the cubes of meat in the seasoned flour
Put them in a large solid casserole
Toss the chopped veg in the remaining flour
Put that in the casserole too.
Pour over the ale
Bring it all up to a simmer on the hob
Squeeze in the tomato purée and add enough of the stock/water to cover the meat
Cover with foil and put a lid on (I always do that just to make sure it doesn't dry out)
Put it in the oven for 4-5 hours
Turn the oven up to 180C
Transfer to a pie dish, top with the pastry, brush with beaten egg and put back in the oven for 35 - 40 minutes or until lovely and golden brown.

Trust me ..it works and it is delicious.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

I need to watch the rugby!

What to cook?  Rugby World Cup is calling.  Today I need to watch Ireland vs Argentina and, more importantly, Scotland vs Australia.   So that's me planted firmly in front of the TV from 1pm till 7!  I need something that will cook while I watch the rugby and be a delicious Sunday dinner.
I have always been a fan of slow cooked cheaper cuts of meat so my choice for today is pork shoulder.
I spotted one of those oval enamel roasters with a lid last year in Aldi and snapped it up.  My grandmother used to have one in her kitchen.  She used to do an amazing roast chicken in it.  I have used it for today's pork.

Pre heat the oven to 150 C
You will need:
Shoulder of pork joint (3 - 4 lb)
White wine
Stock or water
Fennel seeds
Salt and pepper

Cut the veg into chunks or slices - I left them in fairly large chunks - scatter in the bottom of your roasting vessel (if you don't have a roaster like mine you can use a big casserole or roasting tin with foil covering).
Sprinkle the veg with salt, pepper and a teaspoon of fennel seeds.
Place the pork on top.
Pour over around 500 ml white wine (or cider, or beer) and 200ml stock (I use chicken stock for pork) or water.
Cover and put in the oven.
After 2 hours (during the break between the two rugby matches) take the lid off and cook for a further 2 hours
Take the pork out and let it rest in a warm place for half an hour
Turn the oven up to 180C and let the veg and potatoes brown a bit more in the oven.

Easy one pot delicious Sunday dinner 😋
Now let's hope Scotland win the Rugby! 🏈