Slow-cooked Beef Cheek

IMG_3731.JPG

Beef cheek is a very lean and dark meat that is quite cheap because it can be tough unless slow-cooked or braised.  It has a rich flavour and if cooked slowly will be very tender and delicious. This example was so tender in fact that you could eat it with a plastic spoon.

I had hoped this recipe would give me at least four meals.  Some to be frozen for microwaving later. However, the cheeks shrank in cooking.  Each would be better suited as a fairly generous single serve.  There was a good amount of sauce remaining and I shall freeze it for use later, braising left-over beef. Use more beef cheeks for more servings.

Ingredients

• 2 medium sized beef cheeks
• 1 onion roughly chopped
• 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
• 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
• 2 tsp crushed garlic
• 2 tsp mixed herbs
• 1 packet of mushroom soup mix (I use Cup a Soup single serve)
• ½ bottle of red wine
• Olive oil
• Salt and pepper and a dash of Angostura Bitters

Note: do not over season at the start as the sauce will be concentrated. Reserve some salt and pepper, and the Angostura until the end.

Method

  1. In very hot oil, brown the beef cheeks and transfer to the slow cooker
  2. in the same pan brown the onion and also transfer to the slow cooker
  3. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients (see note above) and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. when the meat is done, remove it from the cooker and purée the sauce with a blender wand
  5. transfer the sauce to a pan and simmer until it is reduced and thickened. Add the Angostura, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  6. While the sauce is simmering return the meat to the slow cooker to keep it hot.
  7. serve the meat with creamy mashed potato, some of the sauce, and steamed vegetables of your choice.
Posted in Beef, sauce, slow cooker, Traditional | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beef Stroganoff

Not sure how traditional this version is, but it is the best I have tasted since I don’t know when.  The meat does not matter too much so long as it is not fatty. Cheap cuts will do because it will be tenderised.

FF6DFC76-62A2-425F-BF33-D965AB0D5649-1013-0000007637018CAA

Stroganoff  

Ingredients:

  • 500g beef (you can buy stir-fry beef already cut)
  • 500g flat brown mushrooms
  • 1 large onion halved and sliced
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2Tbsp. Paprika (I like smoked) Be generous.
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 heaped Tbsp. Plain flour
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • salt and pepper
  • A dash or two of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • a bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • spirali pasta
  1. slice the meat into thin strips (this is best done with a sharp knife when the meat is partly frozen, or partly thawed) unless you are using precut stir fry beef.
  2. Dust the meat with the baking soda, paprika, flour, zest, salt and pepper. Ensure every piece is well coated
  3. put the meat aside, covered, for about half an hour or more.
  4. slice the mushrooms thinly
  5. brown the meat in hot oil then add the onions and mushrooms. Continue to fry until the oil returns and the moisture from the mushrooms is almost gone.
  6. add the stock and sauce and turn down to a simmer until the mixture is almost dry again
  7. While it is simmering, cook the pasta
  8. Turn off the heat, stir in the cream and warm it through
  9. Serve on pasta garnished with fresh parsley.
Posted in Beef, Cream, Pasta, Stew | Leave a comment

Stuffed Peppers

This dish is based on one I learned from a Chinese friend in Auckland.  She used large chilli peppers but I cannot get hold of any here in the Kimberley, so I have substituted ordinary bell peppers and added some Chinese hot chilli sauce to the stuffing.

peppers.jpg

Because the bell peppers are so much larger, I split them lengthways in half to ensure the stuffing is thoroughly cooked through.  With the smaller chillies one can just cut off the top, remove the seeds, stuff them and replace the top.

This recipe fills two peppers (four halves).

Stuffed peppers are good served cold as well as hot.

  • 2 bell peppers, any colour – this is a non-discriminatory blog
  • 250g pork mince (Those for whom pork is a no-no can use chicken mince).
  • 1 uncooked pork sausage, removed from its skin (see above)
  • 1  tsp cornflour
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp apple cider
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce
  • a few dashes of mushroom soy
  • a dash of sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • a few grinds of black pepper (or Szechuan if you have it)
  • hot chilli sauce to taste
  1. cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds
  2. mix the remaining ingredients thoroughly and fill the pepper halves
  3. bake in the oven @ 170C fan bake until cooked, about 45 mins.

NOTE, chopped prawns can also be included.

img_3540img_3541

Posted in barbecue, chilli, Chinese, fusion, Mince, Pork, spices | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Festive Meatloaf

Following the resounding success of my festive turkey stuffing, approved by 100% of all who tasted it, I have undertaken to continue my ginger zing odyssey by creating a festive meatloaf.

My masterpiece.

img_3479

Ingredients

  • 500 g lean steak mince
  • 500 g pork sausage meat (squeezed from good pork sausages)
  • 1 cup turkey breast cut into chunks
  • 1 cup ham off the bone cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 red capsicum, diced
  • 1 tsp each of sage, thyme, rosemary, cumin
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, mace and allspice
  • 1 Tbsp each of chilli sauce and mushroom soy
  • 1/4 cup each of pine nuts, pepitos and slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger, slivered
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg

Mix all ingredients very thoroughly, place in a greased loaf tin and bake at 170 deg. C fanbake for 40 minutes.

img_3477img_3478

Update: the next day.

It is even nicer chilled and much easier to slice.IMG_3484.JPG

Posted in Beef, fusion, ham, Leftovers, Mince, Pork, spices, turkey | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turkey with Cranberry and Ginger Stuffing

img_3471I tried a new stuffing this year.  It may well be my best yet. Also the simplest.  The festive zing of ginger works well for me.

Ingredients: for a small to med turkey.

  • 6 pork sausages, skinned
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 cup crumbs made from fresh whole grain bread
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp each of dried sage, thyme, Rosemary
  • 1/2 jar of cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2Tbsp candied ginger sliced into slivers.
  • 1 egg

Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk and egg then mix all ingredients in thoroughly. Loosely pack about a half of the mixture into the cavity of the turkey and roast the bird for the recommended time and temperature for its weight.

The remainder of the stuffing can be wrapped in foil and baked separately.

The candied ginger I use is Buderim brand naked ginger, which is not coated with sugar.  I am sure that you could just use ordinary crystallised ginger and rinse off the sugar, or not, as you please.

Good quality pork sausages give a better result than the roll of (beef) sausage meat I used to use. I just squeeze the sausage meat out of the skins.

The front crop cavity of the turkey can also be stuffed with more sausage meat.

When a turkey is stuffed it is really important to ensure that it is thoroughly cooked all the way through.

img_3470

Posted in Con-fusion cooking, fusion, Party Food, Roast, sacred food, Traditional, turkey | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Slow-Cooked Moroccan Goat with Makfoul

An authentic Moroccan dish, adapted for a slow cooker.

Lamb can be substituted for goat.

Moroccan Goat Curry

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 500g goat leg or shoulder  cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt,
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground fenugreek
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Makfoul

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • ¼ tsp ground fenugreek

Method

Goat

  1. In a hot pan, brown the meat in olive oil on all sides, then place in the slow cooker
  2. In the same pan sauté the chopped onion until softened
  3. Add the garlic and ground spices, sauté until aromatic,
  4. Stir in the chicken stock and add to the slow cooker with the bay leaves, cardamom, and cinnamon.
  5. Cook on low for about 3 hours, then cook on high for 1- 2 more hours with the lid off until the meat is tender and the gravy has thickened.
  6. Remove the bay leaves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon stick before serving the meat and gravy

Makfoul

  1. In the last hour while the meat is cooking, sauté the sliced onion until soft, then add the chopped tomatoes
  2. Lower the heat and continue cooking, stirring every few minutes, until the tomato and onion are caramelized and thickened. This should take around 45 minutes or more.
  3. Stir in the honey and fenugreek. Keep the makfoul warm until the meat is prepared.

DSC00009.JPG

Slow-Cooked Moroccan Goat with idli rice and makfoul

.

Posted in curry, Goat, Rice, slow cooker, Traditional | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment