Category: Recipes

Beef and Vegetable Casserole

Cooking time

picPreparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours to 3 hours 50 minutes
Serves 5 people

The traditional, braised beef stew with its thick, rich gravy is ideal for cheap cuts because slow-cooking ensures a tender dish.

Ingredients

Celery sticks – 2 numbers thickly sliced
Onion – 1 chopped
Carrots – 2 big ones halved lengthways and then cut into chunks
Bay leaves – 2
Thyme – 3 sprigs
Vegetable oil – 1 tablespoon
Butter – 1 tablespoon
Plain flour – 2 tablespoon
Tomato purée – 2 tablespoon
Worcestershire sauce – 2 tablespoon
Beef stock cubes – 2 crumbled
Stewing beef (featherblade/brisket works) – 850g cut into large chunks

Cooking Method

Heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Fahrenheit or gas 3 level. Keep the kettle on and put the bay, celery, onion, carrots and one of the thyme sprigs into a casserole along with 1 tablespoon of oil and butter. Soften for about 10 minutes and then add the flour and stir till it ceases to look dusty. Now, add the tomato purée, beef stock cubes and Worcestershire sauce.

Gradually add 600 milliliters of hot water and keep stirring. Now, add the beef and bring it to a gentle simmer. Place the lid and keep it in the oven for around 2 hours 30 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for another 30 minutes to 1 hour till the meat becomes really tender and the sauce thickens.

Nutrition per serving

483 k. calories
33.7 grams protein
14.3 grams carbohydrates
32.6 grams fat
13.4 grams Saturates
2.3 grams fiber
7.4 grams sugar
1.6 grams salt

Cottage Pie

cottage_pie[1]Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Serves: 10

The cottage pie is a family favorite. It freezes well and is sure to please everyone in the family.

Nutrition Facts

600 K. calories
37 grams Protein
40 grams Carbohydrates
34 grams Fat
16 grams Saturates
4 grams Fiber
7 grams Sugar
1.15 grams Salt

Ingredients

Olive oil – 3 tablespoons
Minced beef – 1.25 kilograms
Finely chopped onions – 2
Chopped carrots – 3
Celery sticks – 3 chopped
Garlic cloves – 2 finely chopped
Plain flour – 3 tablespoons
Tomato purée – 1 tablespoon
Red wine – large glass (optional)
Beef stock – 850 milliliters
Worcestershire sauce – 4 tablespoons
Thyme sprigs – a few numbers
Bay leaves – 2

For the mash

Potatoes – 1.8 kilograms chopped
Milk – 225 milliliters
Butter – 25 grams
Strong cheddar – 200 grams grated
Freshly grated nutmeg
Foolproof freezing

Method of Preparation

In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry the minced beef (in batches) till it becomes brown in color. Keep it aside for some time. Pour the remaining oil on to a pan and add the vegetables. Gently heat the pan till for about 20 minutes or till the vegetables become soft. Now, add the flour, garlic and tomato puree. Raise the heat and continue cooking for a few minutes. Add the beef on to the pan. Pour the wine and bring it to a boil. Now, add the herbs, Worcestershire sauce and stock. Keep the stove in simmer and cook without covering it for 45 minutes. Make sure that the gravy is thick and is forming a coat on the meat. Season well and then discard the thyme stalks and bay leaves.

In the meantime, prepare the mash. Keep the potatoes immersed in salted cold water in a large saucepan. Bring it to a boil and simmer until it becomes tender. Drain off the water and allow it to become dry. Mash the potatoes well with milk, butter and three-fourth of the cheese. Now, season the mash with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Transfer the meat into two ovenproof dishes. Cover the meat with mashed potato. Sprinkle the remaining cheese. Heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius or 200 degrees Fahrenheit or gas level 7. Cook for about 25 to 30 minutes or till the topping becomes golden brown in color. If you are not eating it immediately, freeze it.

The pie should be completely cold and should be well covered with cling film before freezing it. It is a good idea to freeze the pie on the same day you make it. Then defrost the pie in the refrigerator overnight and then cook as described above. Or else, cook the frozen pie by heating it in the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 160 degrees Fahrenheit or gas level 4. Then, cover it with a foil and cook for 90 minutes. Increase the temperature of the oven to 220 degrees Celsius or 200 degrees Fahrenheit or gas level 7 and continue cooking for 20 minutes more or till until it becomes golden brown in color.

Hot Game Pie

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 35 minutes (Plus chilling)
Serves 4

This ultimate game pie with crisp crust is made using autumnal vegetables, pheasant and venison.

Nutrition Facts

987 K. calories
62 grams protein
39 grams carbohydrates
61 grams fat
23 grams saturates
10 grams fiber
1.9 grams sugar
3.14 grams salt

Ingredients

Stock

Pheasants – 2, about 800 grams each
Oil – Sunflower or olive oil
Fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs
Bay leaves – 2
Carrot – 1 chopped
Onion – 1 medium (chopped)
Red wine – 200 milliliters
Tomato purée – 1 tablespoon

Filling

Celeriac – 1 small (about 600 grams; peeled/chopped into big chunks)
Butter – 50 grams
Bunch thyme, rosemary and parsley
Venison sausages – 3
Oil for frying
Pancetta – 100 grams (skinned and cut into small cubes; or use bacon lardons)
Shallots/baby onions – 125 grams
Mixture cleaned mushrooms – 150 grams (try shiitakes, chestnuts and ceps)
Young parsnips – 200 grams (peeled and cut into sticks of 6 centimeter length)
Clear honey – 2 teaspoons

To assemble

Mustard grain – 2 teaspoons
Puff pastry (thaw it if frozen) – 250 to 300 grams
Egg yolk – 2
Sprigs of thyme, sea salt for decoration

Method of Preparation

Pull out the legs of the pheasants after untying them. Use the tip of an extremely sharp knife to detach the legs at the point where the thigh is attached to the body. Now, cut the breast fillets off from the rib cage and keep it aside. The remaining parts of the carcass can be discarded.

Take a large pan and heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Brown the legs of the pheasants and season them. Add carrot, onion and 2 to 3 sprigs rosemary, thyme, bay leaves. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil the mixture to reduce it by three-quarters. Now, add the tomato purée. Continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1.25 liters of water and bring it to a boil. Remove the scum and fat that rise to the top.

The stock can then be simmered for about 15 minutes till it gets reduced by half to approximately 600ml. Strain the stock out and then pour it back into the pan. Continue boiling till it gets reduced to around 300 milliliters. The dish could be prepared up to this point as many as 2 days in advance. Or else, the stock could be frozen and stored for about a month. (The legs are not required for this recipe. However, they may be shred.)

Use a covered pan to prepare a celeriac purée by sautéing the celeriac in butter along with 2 sprigs of rosemary. Heat the pan for about 15 to 20 minutes until they become soft. The rosemary can then be discarded. Now, heat the stock and add a small ladleful into a blender/food processor along with the celeriac. Blitz to a purée.

Poach the large chunks of cut breast fillets in the stock for about 7 minutes or till they become just firm. Remove them and set them aside. Now, add the sausages and poach for about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and slice and also remove the stock from the stove.

In a big frying pan, heat oil and sauté the pancetta for about 4 to 5 minutes. Now, add the shallots/onions and a little bit of oil. Cook for 5 minutes more. Transfer the mixture to a big bowl. Add oil to the pan and fry the mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl and toss them together or mix with a large spoon.

Transfer the parsnips onto the pan along with the honey and also the leaves from a sprig of thyme. Season and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. Now, discard the thyme. Transfer the content into the bowl together with the meat. Cut one sprig each of rosemary, thyme and parsley into small pieces and add to the bowl. Toss everything together.

Heat the stock and then add the mustard and 1 tablespoon of celeriac purée. Transfer the remaining purée to the bottom of a rectangular pie dish that is deep and has a size of 22 centimeters × 10 centimeters. Transfer the filling on to the top and pour the stock over. You can cover the filled pie with a cling film and chill it for a day or so.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius or 180 degrees Fahrenheit or gas level 6. Now, roll the pastry on a board that is lightly floured. Beat the yolks till they become smooth. Then brush a little of it around the pie dish’s rim. Put the pastry on top and seal by pressing down the edge. With the help of a sharp knife remove the excess and pinch the edges to crimp.

You can cut some oval shapes, leaf marks in the center and pinch the ends. Fix thyme sprigs and sprinkle sea salt flakes. Keep the pie in the oven for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180 degrees Celsius or 160 degrees Fahrenheit or gas level 4 and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. Wait for 10 minutes and then serve.

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