Category Archives: Beef

Spaghetti Bolognese

Serves 4-6 people.
Chef’s tip: Make this at least 6 hours before you plan on eating it. The flavours will develop the longer you leave it.

Ingredients

  • 500g lean beef mince (a bit less/more works just fine if you can’t get the exact weight)
  • 100ml red wine
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
  • 2 tins of plum tomatoes 
  • 1x 200g tube of tomato puree
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Dry basil
  • Dry oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Method

  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan on a medium-high heat.
  • Add the mince and use a whisk to break it up and remove any chunks. Cook the mince until all of the liquid has evaporated and the meat is starting to brown/stick to the pan (don’t worry, it will come off). This will take your bolognese to another level of flavour.
  • Season the mince with salt and pepper and add the red wine. About 100ml is fine.
  • Cook for about a minute to release the alcohol and then add the onions and garlic.
  • Cook for another 5mins or so to soften the onions then add the tomatoes. Break them up with a spoon/masher/knife if you want smaller chunks.
  • Add about half of the puree (you might need to add a bit more later), a dash Worcestershire sauce, a good sprinkle of basil and oregano – I’d say around a tablespoon of each.
  • Re-season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Turn down to simmer with a lid on for as long as you possibly can leave it. Minimum should be an hour but if you can leave it for hours, occasionally stirring it then even better.
  • Taste it every time you stir and see if you need to add any more seasoning/puree.
  • When you put your water on to boil for the pasta, add a pinch of sugar to the sauce.
  • Serve with your choice of pasta and maybe some garlic bread 😉

Beef Wellington

Serves 2-4 people

Ingredients

  • 450-500g fillet of beef
  • English mustard
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp breadcrumbs (optional)
  • 1 fresh spring of rosemary
  • 4-6 slices of parma ham
  • Puff pastry (I buy pre-rolled but if not you’ll need to roll it out to about A4 size)
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Put a frying pan on a high heat and once hot, add about a tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Sear the meat in the pan – about a minute on each side and then quickly do the ends.
  • Place the meat on a chopping board/plate and brush it all over with English mustard.
  • Add the mushrooms, garlic, breadcrumbs (if using), salt and pepper to a blender and whizz up until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
  • Get a dry frying pan on a medium heat and tip the mushroom mixture in. The idea here is to cook out all of the moisture so this might take a little while.
  • Once completely dry, leave the mixture to one side until it has cooled down.
  • In the mean time, lay out some cling film and lay your parma ham along it, making sure they overlap each other
  • Spread the mushroom mixture over the ham, leaving about half an inch at the top and bottom of where you’ll roll it.
  • Place the beef on top.
  • Use the clingfilm to help roll the beef in the ham and wrap it up in the clingfilm like a sausage. Put it in the fridge to set.
  • Roll out more clingfilm and place your pastry on top. Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan.
  • Get the beef from the fridge and place it on the pastry. Again use the clingfilm to wrap the beef in the pastry. Trim the pastry so that you have just enough to go round the beef without overlapping.
  • Tuck the pastry at both ends and wrap up like a sausage in the clingfilm. Leave this in the fridge for 5-10mins to set.
  • Unwrap the package and place on a baking tray. Brush with beaten egg yolk and use the back of a knife to slice patterns in the top of the pastry (don’t go through it!). You could also use the spare pastry to make shapes on top.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and then cook in the oven for 35-40mins until the pastry is golden brown.
  • Cut into 1cm slices and serve 🙂

Authentic Bologna Bolognese

Gennaro Contaldo’s recipe, goes perfectly with my fresh pasta

Ingredients

  • 250g beef mince
  • 250g pork mince
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 150ml red wine
  • 2tbsp puree
  • 900ml-1ltr beef stock

Method

  • Heat 2-3tbsp olive oil in a high sided frying pan on a medium-high heat.
  • Add the mince, season with salt and pepper, and use a whisk to break it all up. It will stick to the pan at first but it will come off as it cooks.
  • Cook for 5mins, then add the rosemary sprig
  • Cook until the liquid has evaporated and the meat is brown and golden
  • Add the wine and let it bubble away for a minute
  • Add the vegetables and stir, then add the puree. Let this cook for 2-3mins.
  • Add the beef stock and stir.
  • Turn down to a low simmer and cook for around 90mins or until it’s thickened up.
  • Serve with your choice of pasta 🙂

Chilli Con Carne

Serves 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 500g beef mince
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1tsp cumin seeds OR 1-2tsp cumin powder
  • 2tsp ground coriander
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • 450ml stock made with one beef stock cube (or try 300ml water with 1 cube plus 150ml red wine)
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin of red kidney beans
  • 3tbsp tomato puree
  • 1tsp caster sugar
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

Method

  • Put a large non-stick saucepan on a medium heat with a little oil and add the mince.
  • Once browned, add the garlic, 1-2 teaspoons of chilli powder (depends how hot you want it), the cumin and coriander. Cook together for another 2mins.
  • Sprinkle over the flour and stir well
  • Add the wine/stock slowly, stirring constantly.
  • Add the tomatoes, kidney beans, puree, sugar, oregano and bay leaf.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and stir it all together.
  • Bring it to a simmer, then reduce the heat and put a lid on it.
  • Simmer gently for 45mins, stirring occasionally until the mince is soft and the sauce is thicker.

Delicious Roast Beef

Chef’s Tip: serve with my Perfect Roast Potatoes, plenty of veg and some Yorkshire Puddings 🙂

Ingredients

  • Roasting joint of beef (silverside/topside/small roaster)
  • 2 onions
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven to 240C/220C Fan
  • Peel the onions and cut them in half. Place them face down with the garlic (unpeeled) in a roasting dish
  • Place the beef joint on top, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  • Add about 50-100ml of water to the bottom of the pan to stop the veg from burning
  • Put it in the middle of the oven and turn down the heat immediately to 200C/180C Fan
  • Check the cooking time of your joint but generally follow the rule of 20mins per 450g/1lb for rare and then add an extra 10-15mins for medium and another 15mins for well done.
  • Make sure you baste the beef with the juices at least twice during cooking and add more water if necessary.
  • Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let it stand for 10-15mins before carving.

Slow cook beef casserole

Serves 2 people

Chef’s tip: You can either use a casserole for the whole process or use a frying pan and oven dish which is how I’ll describe it.

Ingredients

  • 600g stewing beef (either casserole beef or brisket is fine) cut into chunks
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5tbsp plain flour
  • 1.5tbsp tomato puree
  • 1.5tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 beef stock cube (I use Knorr)
  • 400ml boiling water
  • 100ml red wine

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 150C/140C Fan/Gas 2
  • Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, carrots, celery and bay leaves and soften for 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour in and stir until it’s not dusty anymore.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, puree, stock cube, water and wine.
  • Stir until it simmers
  • Add the beef and simmer for 5 mins.
  • Transfer to an oven dish/casserole dish, cover and cook for 2hrs.
  • Uncover and cook for another 30mins until the sauce has thickened up and the meat is super soft.

 

Steak and Ale or Red Wine Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 rump steaks or approx 450-500g stewing beef
  • Plain flour
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (optional – I have made without this and it’s fine)
  • 350ml beef stock OR if using wine instead of ale 400ml beef stock
  • 250ml ale – I find that something dark works best as it gives a richer flavour OR 200ml red wine
  • Ready rolled puff pastry

Method

  • Preheat oven to 190C/180C Fan/Gas mark 4
  • Cut the beef into 1cm squares and dust with the flour. I find it easiest to pour flour onto a plate/bowl and then add the beef and stir it around until covered.
  • Fry the beef until browned and then set it aside in a bowl.
  • Using the same frying pan, fry the onion and garlic on a medium heat until the onion has softened.
  • Add the beef back into the pan, along with the paprika, bay leaf, puree and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until covered.
  • Add the beef stock and ale, and bring to the boil.
  • Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 15mins.
  • Remove the lid and turn the heat up to reduce the sauce until thick and dark.
  • At this point, it’s your choice what you do with the pastry but make sure you brush it with beaten egg or milk before it goes in the oven:
    • Cut the pastry into individual portions, cook in the oven on a baking sheet for around 20mins and then dish up the meat onto a plate and top with the cooked pastry.
    • Pour the meat and sauce into an oven dish, cover with pastry and cook in the oven for around 20mins.
    • Make mini pies by cutting rounds out of the pastry (large circles for a base and small circles for a lid). Line a cupcake tray with the bases, fill with meat and pop the lid on top to cook for 15-20mins.

Tomato Beef Casserole

Ingredients

  • 600g casserole/stewing beef, diced
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 or 2 beef stock cubes – this will depend on how much stock each cube usually makes. If the packet says you would make around 200-250ml then use two and if it’s a 400-500ml cube, use one.
  • 400ml boiled water
  • 1-2tbsp red wine
  • Sprinkle of dry basil
  • Sprinkle of dry rosemary
  • Tomato puree (about 1/3 of a tube)

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 170C/150C Fan
  • Heat a large frying pan on a medium heat with some olive oil.
  • Chop the onion and fry until soft.
  • Add crushed garlic and stir for a few minutes, taking care not to brown the garlic.
  • Pour the chopped tomatoes in and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the stock cube and half the water. Stir until the stock has dissolved.
  • Add the basil, rosemary and puree and stir.
  • Leave to simmer until it thickens then add the rest of the water and the wine.
  • Simmer the sauce so that it thickens again.
  • Brown the meat in a hot frying pan and then add it to the sauce. Stir it all in and then transfer it to an oven dish.
  • Cover with foil and cook for around 3 hours, stirring it half way through.
  • Towards the end, it may still be too thin, so you can either remove the foil and let it thicken in the oven or reduce the sauce in a frying pan.

Lasagne

Ingredients

Method

  • Make your bolognese
  • Make your white sauce
  • Add a layer of meat to your dish, followed by lasagne, then a layer of white sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan
  • Repeat meat, pasta, white sauce, parmesan until you get to the top which should be parmesan.
  • Cover with a double layer of foil and cook for the required time of the lasagne sheets (usually dry for around 30mins and fresh for 20mins).
  • Take the dish out of the oven, cover the top with mozzarella and cook until cheese is melted and browning on top.

Meat Sauce for Lasagne

Serves 6-8 for bolognese or lasagne. Scale down the mince to 500g for 2-4 person bolognese, and based on your preference you can change to 1 tin of tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 750g lean beef mince
  • 100ml red wine
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
  • 2 tins of plum tomatoes
  • 1 200g tube of tomato puree
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Dry basil
  • Dry oregano
  • Garlic granules (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Method

  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat.
  • Add the mince and use a whisk to break it up and remove any chunks. Cook the mince until all of the liquid has evaporated and the meat is starting to brown/stick to the pan (don’t worry, it will come off).
  • Season the mince with salt and pepper and add the red wine. About 100ml is fine.
  • Cook for a few minutes to release the alcohol and then add the onions and garlic.
  • Cook for another 5mins or so to soften the onions then add the tinned tomatoes.
  • Add about 2/3 of the puree, the Worcestershire sauce, a good sprinkle of basil, oregano and garlic granules.
  • Re-season with salt and pepper and add a small pinch of sugar.
  • Turn down to simmer with a lid on for 30mins-1hr