Balsamic and red wine beef stew

Now there’s an autumnal edge to the weather, it’s only natural to long for some proper comfort food and this rich beef stew in a thick red wine and balsamic vinegar sauce is just the job. I used half shin and half chuck steak for the stew as they each add different flavours and textures. I made a big batch so we could have it for supper one evening with buttery mash and some new season purple sprouting broccoli and I froze the rest for another day – it makes a lovely ragout sauce for pasta sprinkled with plenty of Parmesan. This stew is also one of my favourites because it’s a no-fuss dish that cooks slowly in the oven for a few hours and fills the kitchen with mouthwatering wafts of deliciousness. Enjoy!

Beef in balsamic

  • 1kg each of shin of beef and chuck steak cut into nice large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour seasoned with black pepper – a good 20 turns of the mill
  • 3 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of light olive oil and a small knob of butter
  • 300ml robust red wine
  • 2 tablespoons of aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic – crushed (I used black garlic, my new favourite wonder ingredient)
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 1 dessertspoon of tomato purée
  • Sea salt 

To make…

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C
  • Heat the oil and butter in a heavy cast iron casserole dish, add the onions and cook gently for 10 minutes or so, add the garlic and stir for another couple of minutes.
  • Beef in balsamicAdd the beef pieces in the seasoned flour – add in small batches, the meat doesn’t need to be really browned but the flour needs to cook out slightly.
  • Add the wine, balsamic, tomato paste, bay leaves and top up with stock until it barely covers the beef. Bring to a simmer and then cover with the lid, place it in the oven and allow to cook slowly for four hours or so until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick and delicious.
  • I usually take a peek after about 3 hours, give it a stir and check the seasoning at this point. This way you can see if it needs a little salt, how tender the meat is and how the sauce is progressing – it should have reduced a little but the sauce is delicious so don’t let it reduce too much. Everyone’s oven is different and the meat may need a little longer. It’s better to leave more time and then just turn the oven off and leave the casserole until you need it than try to skimp on time. You might want to spoon off some of the excess fat before you bring it to the table.
  • Serve with buttery mash and your favourite green veg.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
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Cherry clafoutis

The markets are brimming with fat, juicy black cherries right now. I’d happily eat my own body weight in them just as they are, but I’ve been dying to make this classic dessert from the Limousin region of France too – and try out my new cherry stoner; it’s a brilliant little gadget – £5.99 from amazon. I consulted about 5 different recipes for this dessert but this is pretty much the best one from Larousse Gastronomique (although I added vanilla essence to the batter). Traditionally, the cherries are not stoned as it’s supposed to add to the flavour, however, I think that would make it a bit unpleasant to eat and probably lead to an expensive dental bill if you accidentally chomped into one!

Cherry clafoutis

  • 500g washed, ripe black cherries – stoned
  • 125g plain flour
  • 3 medium eggs, beaten
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • a pinch of salt

To make…

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Lightly butter a baking dish.
  • Stone the cherries and put them into the base of the dish.
  • Make the batter. Mix the flour, sugar and salt together in a basin. Make a well, pour in the eggs and mix thoroughly. Gradually add the milk and vanilla, combine with a balloon whisk until you have a silky batter.
  • Pour over the cherries and bake in the centre of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. It should rise and turn golden. Leave it for another 5 minutes if necessary.
  • Remove from the oven when it’s ready and allow it to cool.
  • Serve lukewarm dusted with a little icing sugar. Enjoy!

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
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BBQ butterflied leg of lamb with tahini yoghurt sauce

This BBQ lamb is a total crowd pleaser for weekend friends and family gathering. Charred and delicious on the outside, pink and juicy on the inside, it’s perfectly complemented by the tahini yoghurt sauce. I serve it with piles of fluffy pilaf rice and chunks of courgettes and aubergine charred on the grill after the lamb is done. It’s what summer weekends were made for!

BBQ lamb

  • Leg of lamb, butterflied i.e. with the leg bone removed
  • Marinade: 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 2 cloves of crushed garlic (I used my favourite black garlic but white is fine), 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 dessertspoon of ground, roasted cumin, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary, 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. 
  • Tahini yoghurt: 50g tahini, 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, crushed, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 250g Greek yoghurt

To make…

  • Ask your butcher to butterfly the lamb for you, or remove the bone yourself if you have the time using a sharp boning knife. You should end up with a long roll of lamb in a single piece. Place skin side down in a shallow dish.
  • To make the marinade, crush the garlic into a paste with a little sea salt with a mortar and pestle. stir in the oil and mix thoroughly, add in the balsamic, rosemary, lemon juice and spices until you have a paste. Pour over the lamb meat and massage it into all the little nooks and crannies and then smear the skin side. Cover with clingfilm and leave it to infuse overnight in the fridge or for at least six hours.
  • Remove the lamb from the fridge to come up to room temperature for an hour.
  • Butterflied BBQ lambHeat up your BBQ – we use a Weber gas BBQ. Once it’s up to temperature (200°C) place the lamb on the rack and cook for about 35 minutes – turn it occasionally so it’s beautifully charred on the outside and pink and juicy on the inside.
  • To make the tahini yoghurt, add the lemon juice to the tahini in a bowl first and then add the oil, yoghurt, lemon juice and garlic. Cover and chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
  • Once cooked, remove from the BBQ and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving to serve. Pour over any juices that have accumulated on the carving board, sprinkle the slices with a little sea salt and roast cumin and serve with the tahini yoghurt sauce.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
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Tomato and basil summer pudding

At this time of year, not only is there usually a glut of tomatoes but with all the sunshine we’ve had, the flavour will be at its absolute best. So, this tomato and basil summer pudding I found in an old Clarissa Dickson-Wright book (half of the Two Fat Ladies team – this recipe is Jennifer’s) is a great idea if you’re looking for a new way to use them up. It needs to be made the day before you want to eat it; served chilled with some good quality Mozzarella and cold salami or bresaola it makes a great starter for four or a light lunch.

You will need…

  • Light olive oil
  • 8-10 slices of good quality white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 Kg ripe tomatoes, skinned and deseeded
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • A small bunch of basil leaves, torn
  • juice of a half a lemon or a tablespoon of good quality sherry vinegar

To make…

  • Lightly grease the pudding bowl with a little olive oil.
  • Plunge the ripe tomatoes into a bowl of boiling water for a couple of minutes. Skin and remove the seeds, chop the tomatoes into small pieces and retain all the juices – you need them to soak into the bread.
  • Mix the chopped tomatoes with the lemon juice or sherry vinegar, garlic and basil leaves and a dash of extra virgin olive oil – season with a little salt and pepper.
  • Pour a pool of the tomato juice onto a flat dish and briefly dip each bread slice into it, then use them to line a small pudding basin. Make sure the slices overlap slightly and cover the base.
  • Pour the mixture into the bread-lined basin, make a cover/lid with the remaining bread and seal. Put a flat plate over the pudding and weight it down – I use tins of tomatoes.
  • Leave overnight in the fridge.
  • To serve, run the blade of a knife around the edge and turn the pudding out onto a plate. Spoon any juices over the top of the pudding to soak into the bread.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
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50% off to try Pasta Evangelist!

Pasta EvangelistsI love proper fresh pasta dishes so I was intrigued to try this upmarket artisan pasta by post company. They are called Pasta Evangelists and have impressive backers – Giles Coren (food critic for The Times), Prue Leith (Bakeoff judge) and William Sitwell (Waitrose Food magazine editor) – it’s pasta like your Italian nonna would make – if you had one anyway! Not cheap but no more expensive than a Chinese or Indian takeaway and perfect if you want a delicious five* treat after a busy day at work or play. Follow this link and you’ll qualify for 50% off your first order!

Order here to get your 50% off. 

 

 

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