The easy way. Modern. Heated in the microwave. If microwaves had been invented when mulled wine was, this is how it would have been made.
I use wine that I buy in a cask at twelve dollars for four point four litres. I know – call me crazy – but I think it’s worth paying that much, just to get the good stuff.
Orange essential oil provides the zest flavour without the bother of finding a clean orange and grating it. I like.to use real orange juice, but any will do, or none at all. I often leave it out completely and add more wine. Brandy or orange liqueur can be substituted, or added, at Christmas.
The star anise and orange juice are optional. Well, it all is really. Except the wine. It would be silly to leave that out.
Orange essential oil
Raw or brown Sugar
Powdered cinnamon (NOT cassia)
Powdered star anise
Pour 200 ml red wine into a 300 ml tumbler
Add 2 tsp sugar and mix
Add 2 drops orange oil, a pinch each of cloves and star anise and a more generous pinch of cinnamon
I have always been a follower of the “milk in scramble, water in omelette” school of culinary thought. But today, acting on a tip from the Internet, I discovered that the perfect scrambled eggs is made with lemon juice.
That’s parsley from my flower pot completing the taste bud rhapsody.
1Tbsp lemon juice
Lots of parsley
Butter in the pan
Chop the parsley, whisk eggs and lemon juice, season. Add the parsley.
Melt butter in pan over moderate heat
Cook the scrambled egg in the butter, moving it gently as it sets. Turn off the heat well before the egg is fully set. Let it set slowly until it is creamy and moist but not overdone.
My electric wok thermostat allows me to set it 80C, which means I can use it as a slow cooker. This means I can make a one pot recipe. No need to fry and transfer to a slow cooker. Less to clean up.
This is a near traditional recipe almost just like my grandmother made. Except she would use water rather than Guinness. Also it was my idea to make it a cottage pie with potato on top instead of pastry.
The problem with preparing something like steak and kidney is that it is virtually impossible to make a reasonable amount for a single serving for one person. Therefore I need to make a lot and freeze some for another day. I don’t want steak and kidney every day for a week.
1kg lean stewing or chuck steak cut into 25mm cubes
500g lambs kidney, or ox kidney, cleaned and chopped.
2 cups Guinness
2 beef Oxo cubes, crumbled
1Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp thick soy sauce, or mushroom soy
2 cups chopped carrot
1 large onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1/2 cup flour (I prefer wholemeal).
1/2 tsp mustard
1 tsp mixed herbs (thyme, sage rosemary)
Oil for frying
Your favourite cheese(s)
Mix the steak, sauces, anchovy, crumbled oxo and mustard
Marinate in a covered container in the fridge at least 1 hour
Roll the meat cubes in flour and coat well
Fry onions in oil until browned and put aside
Fry the floured meat in oil, in batches until well browned on all sides
Add the kidneys and fry until they are browned
Rinse out the container used to marinate the meat with Guinness
Mix the Guinness with the remaining flour and add to the wok with all other ingredients. (Not the potato and cheese).
Bring to a simmer than turn down to slow cooking mode (or transfer to a slow cooker)
Cook 4 to 6 hours until steak is tender and gravy is thick.
Eat some for dinner, leave the rest to cool.
Place in pie dishes or foil trays and top with mashed potato.
Wrap in cling film and freeze until needed
Reheat when thawed in an oven (or BBQ) at 180 for 30 minutes
This is really good! Even if I say so myself. The photos do not do it justice. It would be perfect for vegetarians without the meatballs and speck.
I had some leftover roast pumpkin that I had cooked with chicken and with maple syrup. (Incidentally, do try this. The combination of pumpkin and maple is divine. Also you must try the toffee that forms when the syrup pools and hardens in the baking dish).
I thought it was time to come up with a different sauce to use with spaghetti. This experiment came out so very, very well. The sauce is a bright yellow colour that is not very photogenic in artificial light, but looks really good in person. It tastes superb!
I could have made the sauce very smooth and creamy using a blender wand, but I went for the rustic look. In retrospect it might have been prettier blended.
I made meatballs using my current favourite meatloaf recipe, excluding the boiled eggs and tomato, of course. I rolled them in a mixture of panko and my home made breadcrumbs and shallow fried them in olive oil. These may be the best meatballs I ever made too. Fitting for the sauce.
The final touch is some toasted pine nuts.
Amounts in proportion to the amount of pumpkin and number of servings intended. Cooking is an art. Be creative.
Having just discovered the delightful combination of butternut pumpkin and maple syrup, I wondered how it might go in a korma. It was going to be vegetarian, but then I remembered I had some leftover roast lamb. This experiment came out really well. So well I decided to blog it.
Ingredients. (vegetarian option)
Pumpkin – about 600g
Red lentils 1/4 cup
1 Onion, chopped
Water or vegetable stock
Maple syrup 1 Tbsp
Salt and pepper
Oil or ghee
Amounts not definitive. Work out how much you want to make.
As above but with added cubes of chicken, goat or lamb. ( i added some leftover cooked lamb)
It would good too marinate raw meat a while in yoghurt, garlic and ginger (next time).
Cook the lentils in water as per packet instructions until tender, transfer to slow cooker.
Steam cubes of pumpkin until cooked
Transfer half the pumpkin pieces to the slow cooker
mash the remaining half with a Tbsp of of maple syrup and transfer to slow cooker
Fry chopped onion in ghee or oil, add cumin and mustard seeds
Add ginger, garlic, turmeric, chilli, ground coriander and fry a few minutes
If including meat, add now.
Put half a can of thick coconut cream in a blender with a generous handful of cashews ( I use salted roasted-no need to add more salt unless you want to). Add water or stock and blend to a smooth creamy consistency
Add to the onion and spices, bring to a simmer then transfer everything to the slow cooker.
Everything should by now already be cooked, so just add the Garam Masala, mix, and simmer until all flavours are melded. Add more seasoning if necessary.
Serve with rice and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.
I think this would work with mashed kumara and cubed potato.
Dinner for four, me and my three imaginary friends. (One of us doesn’t like potato). Half a leg of boneless lamb, and vegetables. The pumpkin is stuffed with sunflower seeds and maple syrup. The hasselback potatoes are stuffed with garlic butter. There’s garlic on the lamb. Everything has been sprayed with olive oil. Bisto gravy made separately
No instructions, this is all freehand.
The combination of pumpkin and maple syrup is amazingly delicious.