beef brisket

This cut is most definitely one of the least tender cuts of beef but when braised or slowly roasted (low & slow) it is rendered soft and has the most incredible flavour!
I was lucky enough to get a very large piece of brisket from my local butcher. A whole 4.6kg of brisket! So I portioned it, wrapped it and placed it in my freezer for a next occasion. One piece, however, was on my dining table last night. And it was sublime! The warm earthy flavours of the spices it was marinated in worked well with the skillet potato & sweet potato and, of course, was the perfect meal for a chilly winters evening.
The low and slow method is very important here so give it the full four hours as per my recipe. You will not regret it.
I also requested my butcher to remove the bone, which was ideal when slicing the meat.

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
1.3kg beef brisket, bone removed
Olive oil
2t paprika
2t ground coriander
2t mustard powder
1t garlic powder
1/4t salt
1/2t black pepper
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
2T brown sugar
2T tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, whole
3 bay leaves
1.5C red wine
chicken stock (about 2 cups depending on the size of your roasting tray)
corn flour if necessary

how to
In a bowl, mix together the paprika, coriander, mustard powder & garlic powder. Drizzle about three tablespoons olive oil over the brisket and gently rub it into the meat on all sides.
Tip the spice marinade onto the brisket and rub it in using your hands, covering the meat on all sides. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for one hour.
Remove the meat from the fridge and leave to come up to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Heat oil in a large oven proof skillet or tray big enough to hold the brisket. Brown the brisket on all sides, about five minutes per side. Remove the brisket and set aside.
Add a knob of butter to the same skillet without wiping it clean. Sauté the onion for about two minutes. Add the carrot and cook for one minute, stirring.
Add the tomato paste & brown sugar to the skillet and cook the mixture for about three minutes, caramelising the onion & carrot. Add the garlic, stir through and then deglaze the pan with the red wine. Leave to simmer for about three minutes. Add the bay leaves, salt & black pepper. Now pour the chicken stock around the brisket, just more than halfway up.
Tightly wrap the skillet with tin foil or cover with a tight fitting lid.
Place into the oven and roast for 4 hours.
Once cooked, leave to rest for about ten minutes, loosely covered with tinfoil. Meanwhile, using an immersion blender, blitz the stock and vegetable mixture and then strain through a sieve into a sauce pot.
Bring the mixture to the boil and then to a medium simmer. Taste and season. Thicken with corn flour if needed. (Two teaspoons corn four with two teaspoons water.).
Using a serrated knife, slice the brisket flat, against the grain.

Serve with skillet vegetables and couscous or roasted root vegetables.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x




braised beef short rib with mushrooms

I am very passionate about stews and casseroles so generally look for any excuse to cook another rich, hearty one pot. (Not that i ever need an excuse to cook anything!)
Good quality meat is the perfect start to any good stew or casserole followed, of course, by fresh vegetables and drinkable red wine. I always buy good quality boxed red wine and keep it in my pantry. It lasts much longer than bottled red wine, making it cost effective.
These dishes need a lot of love and patience, which is all worth it once you lift the lid and sniff the wonderful aroma of slow cooked meat, garlic, herbs and red wine.
Short rib is a fairly inexpensive cut of meat and is beautiful served on its own in portions or pulled in a beefy BBQ sauce or use the pulled meat for a short rib pie in a puff crust.
If this kind of food does not do something for your soul, i really am not sure what will.

ingredients | serves 6 | a little effort
2kg beef short rib (portioned by your butcher)
5T plain flour
200g bacon, diced
1 punnet (250g) button mushrooms, halved
3 stalks rosemary, leaves only
1 garlic head, halved
2 medium carrots, grated
3 leeks, diced
1 large white onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, diced
2T tomato paste
1t salt
1t black pepper
3T olive oil plus extra for browning meat
2T butter
600ml drinkable red wine
2C beef stock
1T brown sugar

how to do it
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
Dredge the meat in the flour and shake off any excess. Heat about four tablespoons of olive oil in a large oven proof skillet and brown the meat in batches until it has a beautifully coloured crust. Set aside.
Add the bacon to the skillet and cook until browned and crispy. Set aside.
In the same skillet, melt the three tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of butter. Sauté the chopped onion until glossy. Add the garlic and press it down, releasing the garlic flavour into skillet.
Add the grated carrot, diced leeks & celery and stir. Add the tomato paste and allow this to cook for about one minute.
Add the brown sugar, salt & pepper and stir to combine.
Pour the red wine into the skillet and allow to cook for about five minutes. Now pour the stock into the pot, add the bacon and the short rib and bring the mixture to the boil.
Cover the skillet with a tight fitting lid or tin foil and carefully place in into the preheated oven to cook for 2.5 – 3 hours until the short rib is soft and almost falling off the bone. Meanwhile, heat butter and olive oil in a pan and fry the mushrooms until just cooked. Set aside.

If you prefer a smooth sauce like i do, remove the meat from the skillet and strain the sauce through a sieve. Press the garlic out into the sauce. Pour the sauce back into the skillet and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce until thickened. Add the meat and mushrooms to the skillet and gently simmer for about five minutes to heat through.
Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with smooth, garlicky mashed potatoes.

If you prefer to keep the sauce in its natural form, simply remove the garlic head, press the garlic out into the sauce and do not strain. Follow steps as above.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x





lamb casserole with mustard dumplings

I love a slow cooked meat stew packed with vegetables, taste & earthiness and a lot of love. The secret to any good stew or casserole is time, patience and attention.
I had a fair amount of cooked leg of lamb in my freezer, which was perfect for this dish. The meat cooked slowly at a low heat in a thick beef & wine broth with a mixture of carrots, leeks & celery.
Good substitutes for the leg of lamb are lamb shoulder, stewing beef, lamb neck and even brisket.
The dumplings make the perfect accompaniment here, soaking up all that wonderful flavour and bringing that extra little something to an already perfect meal.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
900g cooked leg of lamb (or any other cut, raw)
3T olive oil
3T butter
350ml good red wine
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, sliced
3 carrots, sliced diagonally or 200g baby carrots
3 celery ribs, sliced diagonally
2 large leeks, halved and sliced
3T tomato puree
3T all purpose flour
3T worcester sauce
6 sprigs thyme
2T brown sugar
500ml chicken or lamb stock
1t salt
1t black pepper

dumplings
150g self raising flour
130g plain / Greek yogurt
1.5T english or dijon mustard (or a mixture)
handful parsley, finely chopped
handful chives, finely chopped
1/2t salt
1/2t black pepper

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Slice the cooked lamb to the desired size and set aside.
Alternatively, if using uncooked meat, cut it into the desired size. Heat oil in a large skillet and brown the meat all over. Remove and set aside.
Heat the olive oil & butter in a large skillet. Fry the onion until glossy. Add the carrots, celery & leeks and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato puree, stir and cook for two minutes.
Now add the flour and stir through. Deglaze the skillet with the red wine and cook the mixture for about two minutes, while stirring. Tip the meat back into the skillet and stir to mix.
Add the worcester sauce, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper & brown sugar. Stir.
Pour the stock into the pot and bring the mixture to the boil.
Turn the heat down, cover with a tight fitting lid and carefully place the skillet into the preheated oven for two hours.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings.
Mix all the ingredient together to make a wet dough. Roll the dough into equal sized balls and set aside.

Carefully remove the casserole from the oven. Place the dumplings on top of the meat mixture and cover with the lid. Place the skillet back into the oven and cook for a further 20 – 25 minutes.

Garnish the dish with fresh parsley or chives or thyme leaves and serve with a side or couscous or rice.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x




paprika & red wine lamb shank

i love meat and lamb is definitely at the top of my list when it comes to meat love.
Sundays in my home are for family, cooking, eating, drinking wine and repeating this almost until bed time. whether it is a lamb roast, chicken roast, pork belly, shanks or oxtail; meat is certainly always on the menu.
lamb shank is known to be one of the ‘cheaper’ cuts of meat and needs long, slow cooking. the taste and flavour is absolutely worth the wait. i usually start the shanks off on the stove and then stick them in the oven, covered. however, this version was cooked on the stove in my dutch oven and the result…perfectly tender, beautifully aromatic, fall off the bone meat.
leftover meat can be chopped and frozen and used for a lamb pie or served on a bed of herby, spicy couscous. any leftover jus can also be frozen. this makes the most amazing sauce for any meaty pasta dish.

i served the shanks with a buttery, spicy mash and green vegetables. the sauce was served separately.

5-6 lamb shanks
flour for dusting
olive oil
3tbs butter
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
4 leeks, sliced
2tbs tomato paste
1 can chopped tomato
4 stalks thyme
4 stalks rosemary
3tsp paprika (not smoked)
2c red wine
2.5c beef stock
10 dried juniper berries
salt
pepper
2tbs brown sugar
2tsp cornstarch
fresh parsley, chopped
fresh chives, chopped

dust the shanks with flour. heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven and sear the shanks until brown all over. set aside.
in the same pot, add a little more olive oil and butter and cook the onion until translucent. add the carrot, celery, leek, paprika, thyme, juniper berries rosemary & tomato paste & brown sugar and cook for about 3 minutes.
add the red wine and reduce by almost half. pour the beef stock into the pot with the chopped tomato. place the shanks into the sauce. cover with cold water. bring the mixture to the boil. season with salt & pepper.
turn the heat down to a low, gentle simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for about 1.5 hours, checking every half hour.
if needed, cook the meat for a further 30 minutes.
remove the shanks from the pot and set aside. pour the stock into a blender in batches and blend until smooth. pour through a sieve into a pot. simmer until reduced to about three quarters. mix the cornstarch with 2 teaspoons water and add it to the sauce, off the heat. place the pot back on the heat and simmer on low, while stirring, until thickened.
season to taste.
place the shanks back into the sauce. garnish with parsley & chives and serve.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x


tomato chicken & rosmarino one pot



chicken is a staple in my home. a lean meat, high in protein, easy to cook and very versatile. my firm favourite is a whole chicken stuffed with lemon and herbs and drenched in white wine, then shoved into the oven for a lengthy roasting period. yum.
and then pasta…my other secret love affair.
so combining the two makes perfect sense. to me food is not only to cure hunger. it brings people together. it soothes an aching heart. it stirs up good conversation. it makes a very dull day colourful.
it really is the best medicine money can buy. and it doesn’t always have to be fancy.
rosmarino is a small rice like pasta that i often use when making a cold salads with zesty dressings. and if you are not totally sold on the pasta idea in this dish, then use rice instead and have a Spanish evening.
this is comfort food at its best. a little effort in shredding the chicken after the cooking process but well worth it! i like to shred the chicken before serving as it is a little easier (and tidier) than doing it at the table but there really are no rules.
a great tasting, home cooked meal, perfect for the family or an evening of easy going entertainment.

serves 6
1 whole chicken, giblets removed
2tbs olive oil
3tbs butter
1 small onion, chopped
3 fat garlic cloves, chopped or grated
2tbs tomato paste
1 can chopped tomato
3 medium carrots, peeled and diagonally sliced
3 celery ribs, sliced
2tbs brown sugar
2tsp paprika
1/2tsp onion seeds
1/2tsp cumin seeds
1/2tsp coriander seeds
1/2tsp dried mixed herbs
2tbs worcestershire sauce
3 stalks rosemary, leaves only, chopped
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp black pepper
1/2c dry white wine
600ml chicken stock
600ml cold water
handful fresh chives, chopped
handful fresh parsley, chopped
200g rosmarino pasta

how to do it
preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. or 160 with a fan.
heat a little oil in a deep, oven proof dish with tight fitting lid or dutch oven.
place the chicken in the hot oil, breast side down, and brown the meat for about 4 minutes. remove and set aside.
add the remaining oil and butter. sauté the onion until translucent. add the tomato paste, brown sugar, spices & rosemary and cook for about 2 minutes, until wonderfully fragrant. deglaze with the white wine and cook until reduced by half.
add the carrots and celery and stir to coat. pour the chopped tomato into the pot with the chopped garlic. stir and cook for 2 minutes. place the chicken back into the pot, skin side up. pour the chicken stock and cold water mixture into the pot, around the chicken but leaving the top of the chicken breast untouched.
bring the pot to the boil, uncovered.
once boiling, place the lid on top and put it into the oven for one hour, 20 minutes.
carefully remove the pot from the oven and gently stir in the rosmarino pasta around the sides of the chicken. put the pot back into the oven, with the lid on, for a further 30 minutes.
remove from the oven and rest, covered for 20 minutes.
now you can remove the chicken and shred the meat to your preference, discarding the bones and carcass. stir the parsley and worcestershire sauce through the pasta. place the shredded chicken on top and garnish with the chopped chives and a few pinches of paprika.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x