Boeuf Bourguignon


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My brother, Michael, organizes a ‘world cuisine’ lunch or dinner were our friends and family can gather to catch up and enjoy good food. We pick a different theme each time we get together, the latest being French cuisine. We usually post on the Facebook page he created what each of us is going ot make, so we don’t make the same dishes. I choose to try the boeuf burguignon. Why did I chose this dish you ask?… well I forgot to prepare a meal and my husband kindly reminded me that the lunch was happening the Sunday just gone. Luckily, we were at the supermarket, so I quickly googled French cuisine and chose the first non-chicken based dish I could find (everyone else was doing chicken). I think this came out really nice. It is so simple to make and very tasty!

INGREDIENTS

1.2kg chuck steak, trimmed of fat, cut into 4cm cubes
1/4 cup plain flour
20g butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
150g small button mushrooms
200g bacon, cut into 3cm cubes
12 eschalots or spring onions, peeled
1 large carrot, peeled, diced
1 cup red wine (such as shiraz or cabernet sauvignon)
1 1/2 cups beef consomme or stock (preferably home made)
1 bouquet garni
flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, to serve

METHOD

Step 1

Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly coat meat with flour. Heat a large, ovenproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add 10g butter and 2 teaspoons oil. When butter and oil are sizzling, add one-sixth of meat and cook for 6 minutes or until well browned on all sides. Transfer to a large plate. Repeat with remaining meat, adding more butter and oil as required.

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Step 2

Add mushrooms to casserole and cook, stirring often, until golden. Transfer to a plate and set aside until required. Add bacon, eschalots and carrot to casserole. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until golden. Drain away any remaining oil. Pour wine and consomme into casserole. Bring to the boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen sediment on base of casserole. Return beef to casserole with bouquet garni. Cover and place in oven.

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Step 3

Cook for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and add mushrooms. Return to oven, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove bouquet garni and season with salt and pepper. Spoon casserole onto plates, garnish with parsley and serve with Pommes Anna (recipe published soon).

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Try this for yourself and let me know what you think? What other French inspired dishes do you like?

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Flourless Anything Crumble


Why the “anything” crumble… simple, use whatever fruit you fancy (apple, pears, berries)!

The basis of this recipe comes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘It’s all good’ cookbook. I’ve modified this recipe as I wanted to use what I had in the pantry. It’s a very simple recipe and anyone can make this! I put this together last night in 30 minutes (start to finish), and it tasted so good, I went back for seconds!
For my fruit layer, I used Nannas frozen mixed berries. I ended up using golden syrup as I didn’t have any maple syrup left, and as you know, maple syrup (good quality stuff) is $6-8 for 250ml at Coles or Woolies. So, golden syrup it was. I also added verjuice to the fruit mix. The original recipe doesn’t use this at all, but a friend at work told me about verjuice and how it tends to bring out the flavour in fruit. So figured I’d give it a go. Oh and the cinnamon sugar… it’s a personal favourite of mine and I just had to sprinkle a bit on top of the crumble to ensure that there was some degree of caramelization! If you don’t like cinnamon, you could substitute it for any other dessert spice like cardamom and clove.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

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INGREDIENTS:
4 cups fruit (your choice)
4 tablespoons golden syrup (or good quality maple syrup)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of fine sea salt
1 tablespoon verjuice (optional)
1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar (optional)

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METHOD:
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
2. Put fruit, lemon juice, verjuice and 2 tablespoons golden syrup into a shallow baking dish and toss together using a spoon.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together quinoa flakes, almond meal, salt, cinnamon. Add 2 tablespoons golden syrup and olive oil to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
4. Crumble the mixture over the fruit, sprinkle cinnamon sugar over crumble.
5. Bake until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.
Approximately 20-25 minutes.

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The art of living like Gwyneth

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Lamb Tagine with Butternut Pumpkin & Chickpeas


This is a modified recipe from ‘It’s all good’ by Gwyneth Paltrow.
I made this for ‘what-was-meant-to-be’ dinner last night, which is now lunch and dinner today.
I decided to make a Chicken & Kale Soup and this Lamb Tagine at the same time. Another one of my genius ideas, and I would have pulled it off if I had properly prepared myself. Again, I just didn’t realised how much time was needed to cook this dish, which I would have if I had read the instructions.  Anyway… I got there in the end and I must say, this is absolutely delicious!
I have modified the recipe from the original, not intentionally, but I thought I was growing cilantro (coriander) in the garden. I sent my husband to get some and he returned with flat leaf parsley and basil. Turns out, my coriander is M.I.A, I assume it’s either been eaten by the possums or died. So, since it was late and it was going to take 2 hours to cook, I decided to use my flat leaf parsley. I don’t know what the marinade is actually meant to taste like, but I can assure you, my modified herb choice is fantastic!

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Ingredients:
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, plus extra to serve
3 teaspoons minced garlic
2-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled
1 small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea Salt
1 kg boneless lamb cut into 2-inch cubes (I used a roasting lamb)
500mls chicken stock
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
700g butternut pumpkin, seeded, skinned and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 small lemon, finely chopped

Method:
1. Combine 1/2 cup parsley leaves, garlic, ginger, onion, cumin, pepper, olive oil and a large pinch of salt in a blender. Blend until everything is completely puréed.
2. Place lamb in a large bowl and pour the marinade over it. Use your hands or a spoon to thoroughly coat the lamb.
(Now… the original recipe says to cover the marinaded lamb and refrigerate for 6 hours. Since I didn’t have this luxury  I think I left it for all of 20 mins while I prepared the next few steps and waited for the oven to heat up).
3. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
4. Put lamb, along with all marinade, into a large pot and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occassionally, until completely browned all over.
5. Once lamb is browned, add the chicken stock. Bring this to the boil, scraping the sides and bottom often. Turn the heat off.

6.
If you own a tagine
Transfer the lamb and chicken stock into the tagine, put lid on and place in oven to cook for 1 1/2 hours.

If you don’t own a tagine, as per ‘It’s all good”
Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit inside the pot, crunch it up into a ball, and wet it. Smooth out the damp paper and lay it over the lamb like a blanket (this will help keep in the moisture). Put lid on pot and place in oven for 1 1/2 hours.

7. Take the lid off (and if using a pot, set parchment paper aside). Stir in chickpeas and pumpkin.
8. Put lid back on (if using pot, relay parchment paper over lamb). Put back in oven and cook for final 30 minutes.
(I will admit, while my tagine makes enough food for 6, when I added the pumpkin and chickpeas, I had to remove some of the marinade/sauce as it was overflowing. I put this extra marinade in a small bowl and added it back to the lamb when I transferred it into a larger dish)
9. Season with salt and pepper (mine didn’t need it). Served with lemon and extra parsley. I also served mine with quinoa.

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