26th January 2018 Helen 2Comment

This is the most moorish and delicious blade steak casserole. With minimal prep and a long, slow cooking time, it’s perfect for any day of the week – as easy to walk into after work on a weekday as it is to tuck into after a weekend walk.  Serve up with crunchy bread (go for my old reliable lazy homemade option), mash (potato or celeriac), green veg – like wilted kale and carrots. I tweaked an old steak casserole recipe I found years back in the midst of a maternity leave when I needed to feed a large and hungry…

Braised Blade Steak Casserole
Print Recipe
A gorgeous winter stew - best served up with mash, thick socks and a glass of red wine.
Servings Prep Time
4 adults 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3-4 hours 3.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 adults 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3-4 hours 3.5 hours
Braised Blade Steak Casserole
Print Recipe
A gorgeous winter stew - best served up with mash, thick socks and a glass of red wine.
Servings Prep Time
4 adults 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3-4 hours 3.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 adults 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3-4 hours 3.5 hours
Ingredients
Servings: adults
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 C. Prepare your ingredients.
  2. On a chopping board, season the beef lightly on both sides and gently run.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy bottom pot or frying pan, on a medium heat. Add the beef steaks and cook for 2 / 3 minutes until browned. Remove steaks from the heat and transfer to a casserole dish.
  4. Reduce the pan to a low heat. Add the remaining oil, onion, celery and carrots and fry until golden brown ( c. 7 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer to the casserole dish.
  5. Put the pan back on the heat and deglaze it with the red wine, gently scraping any 'bits' from the pan so they dissolve into the sauce. Add the stock, tomato puree, mustard and stir to combine. Bring to the boil. Pour over the meat and vegetables. Add the thyme and bay leaf to the mix.
  6. Cover the beef and vegetable mix with a greaseproof paper / baking parchment, tucking it in around the edged. Cover with a lid. Cook in the oven for 3 to 3.5 hours occasionally skimming any fat from the surface but otherwise not stirring.
  7. Gently remove the beef from the casserole and place onto a warmed dish and cover.
  8. Pour the liquid from the casserole through a sieve removing all of the vegetable pulp. Add back to the pan casserole dish (or pan if the dish isn't suitable for the hob) and bring to the boil. Reduce for c. 3 to 5 minutes. Add the beef.
  9. Serve up with greens - sautéed courgette, wilted kale or spinach are best, and - for extra winter deliciousness, with baked potato, creamy celeriac or potato mash. And wine.
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3rd February 2016 Helen 5Comment

This really simple vegetable dish is what it is: Greens & Beans with Garlic & Basil Dressing. It was knocked up in a bit of a rush the other night making it up as I went. It’s a mix of those lovely flavours that just go brilliantly together plus one of those cans of beans that I buy to feel all good and green but which often lingers in the back of the cupboard feeling terribly unloved. This went down a storm as a side dish with some pasta. It would go equally well with fish and boiled new potatoes; or using a crusty bread to…

Greens and Beans with Garlic & Basil Dressing
Print Recipe
A quick and good looking vegetable dish. Perfect with pasta or fish and easy to split between two meals.
Servings Prep Time
2 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Greens and Beans with Garlic & Basil Dressing
Print Recipe
A quick and good looking vegetable dish. Perfect with pasta or fish and easy to split between two meals.
Servings Prep Time
2 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Rinse the courgettes and chop off either end. Cut into long strips with a knife or (even easier) with a potatoe peeler. Prepare the asparagus by chopping off the bottom end and rinsing.
  2. Heat a skillet (or normal pan) with 1 tbsp olive oil to medium high heat.
  3. Season the courgettes and cook, tossing lightly, for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and place in a serving dish.
  4. Add the asparagus spears to the pan ( there should be no need for more oil unless the pan is very dry). Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and place in the dish with the courgettes.
  5. Add the drained beans to the dish and gently mix to combine.
  6. Using a pestle and mortar - or just mixing in a bowl, blend two good tablespoons of oil, the basil, a sprinkling of salt, the lemon juice and the crushed garlic cloves. Drizzle over the vegetables and mix lightly.
  7. Serve up and enjoy.
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1st July 2015 Helen 10Comment

Nicola at Simply Homemade is hosting a great blog linkup on healthier breakfast choices and I’m delighted to add our morning favourite – a Potatoe, Chorizo, Onion and Cheese Frittata, to the mix. As this is a great recipe for using up those leftover bits and pieces I’ve also added this to the great ‘Clear Out and Eat’ link up over at Three Sons Later. Personally I’ve done a complete u-turn about breakfast over the years. I’ve gone from slugging a cup of coffee on the hop to forsaking a shower in favour of a proper sit-down breakfast. Sitting down for…

Potatoe, Chorizo, Onion and Cheese Frittata
Print Recipe
A fast and tasty healthy breakfast option, that would also do for supper or tea.
Servings Prep Time
2 hungry adults (with some stolen by the kids) 5 to 10 minutes
Cook Time
10
Servings Prep Time
2 hungry adults (with some stolen by the kids) 5 to 10 minutes
Cook Time
10
Potatoe, Chorizo, Onion and Cheese Frittata
Print Recipe
A fast and tasty healthy breakfast option, that would also do for supper or tea.
Servings Prep Time
2 hungry adults (with some stolen by the kids) 5 to 10 minutes
Cook Time
10
Servings Prep Time
2 hungry adults (with some stolen by the kids) 5 to 10 minutes
Cook Time
10
Ingredients
Servings: hungry adults (with some stolen by the kids)
Instructions
  1. Prepare all the ingredients.
  2. On a heavy bottomed pan on a medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the potatoes to the pan and cover loosely with a saucepan lid. Stir occasionally to avoid them sticking.
  3. When the potatoes are slightly cooked (about 3 to 5 minutes depending on the size of the chunks), add the onion. Pan fry on a medium heat for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the chorizo and cook lightly for about a minute to release the oils.
  5. Mix the eggs, milk and seasoning. Preheat the grill at a medium setting.
  6. Make sure the potatoe, onion and chorizo mix is spread even across the pan. Add the egg mix and sprinkle the cheddar evenly across the top. Cook on the pan for one minute.
  7. Remove from the heat and put under the grill. Cook for roughly 5 minutes or until the egg is cooked through.
  8. Remove and allow to cool slightly before eating. If storing, allow the Frittata to cool completely, and cover tightly with clingfilm, before storing in the fridge. The Frittata can be eaten cold or hot (4 minutes in a 800W microwave) as preferred.
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16th May 2015 Helen 3Comment

Since we started living out of boxes we’ve been eating more crap than normal. A time crunch in the evenings and a dodgy oven mean things like frozen chips, pizzas and waffles have appeared in the shopping trolley on a more regular basis than before. My body and taste buds are feeling the ill effects.    In the midst of all this culinary hum-drum it was timely then that the lovely Elizabeth from Life on Hushabye Farm would host a blog linky to encourage us to delve into our cookbooks – appropriately called ‘the Love your Cookbooks linky’ and here’s my…

Babotie
Print Recipe
A lightly spiced lamb mince base topped with savoury custard topping. A lovely hearty dinner from South Africa.
Servings Prep Time
6 15
Cook Time
30
Servings Prep Time
6 15
Cook Time
30
Babotie
Print Recipe
A lightly spiced lamb mince base topped with savoury custard topping. A lovely hearty dinner from South Africa.
Servings Prep Time
6 15
Cook Time
30
Servings Prep Time
6 15
Cook Time
30
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F / Gas 4.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy pan, over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.
  3. Add the mince and stir well.
  4. Add the carrot, spices, herbs, sugar, chilli, seasoning, almonds and lemon rind. Stir well to combine and continue to cook until the flavours mingle.
  5. Stir in the bread and wine vinegar. Mix well, season to taste.
  6. Put the meat into a shallow baking dish / tray and smooth over.
  7. Make the topping by whisking together the milk, eggs, turmeric and seasoning. Note: I didn't have buttermilk so I used 250ml normal milk but used 4 eggs rather than the 2 suggested so the custard layer would be thick enough to set. Some recipes use double cream so there's plenty of latitude for tweaking the recipe based on what you have to hand.
  8. Strain the custard through a coarse seive as you pour it on top of the meat layer.
  9. Bake in the over for 2. 25 to 35 minutes until set and golden.
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23rd March 2015 Helen 2Comment

Our first of two house moves has seen my kitchen space shrink drastically as I said goodbye to my well-used, well-equipped kitchen, and hello to two gas rings and a dodgy oven. With less time and space on my hands I’ve been taking the easy option and sticking to the family favourites and it’s been a good while since I took a chance on something new.  My desperation must have been obvious then this week when Marks and Spencer offered to let me sample and post a lovely new recipe for Super Wheatberry with Roasted Carrots and Salmon. I made this on Saturday -…

Super Wheatberry with Roasted Carrots and Salmon (a Marks and Spencer Recipe
Print Recipe
A delicious warm grain, fish and vegetable dish that leaves your feeling full and virtuous.
Servings Prep Time
2 hungry people (or 4 peckish ones) 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 hungry people (or 4 peckish ones) 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Super Wheatberry with Roasted Carrots and Salmon (a Marks and Spencer Recipe
Print Recipe
A delicious warm grain, fish and vegetable dish that leaves your feeling full and virtuous.
Servings Prep Time
2 hungry people (or 4 peckish ones) 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 hungry people (or 4 peckish ones) 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: hungry people (or 4 peckish ones)
Instructions
  1. Prepare all ingredients.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/375˚F/gas 5 (170˚C for fan ovens). Put the carrots in a roasting tin and drizzle over half the oil. Scatter over the garlic and cumin seeds, then season. Roast for 30 minutes, until the carrots are just tender.
  3. Cook the Super Wheatberry according to the packet instructions. Gently mix together with the carrots, salmon and dill, and arrange on a serving dish. Scatter over the pomegranate seeds.
  4. To make the dressing, mix together the buttermilk, remaining olive oil and 1 tbsp warm water, then season. Drizzle the dressing over the dish to serve.
Recipe Notes

Note: I was provided with this recipe and all of the ingredients to make it by Marks and Spencer for the purposes of reviewing the recipe and posting it here.  I was not paid to write this post.  All opinions are honest, and my own.

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