Eat to beat diabetes | Beef cheek ragout

Beef cheek ragoutThe last time I went home to see my parents, I bought a beautiful pair of beef cheeks from the local butcher and they’ve been sitting in my freezer waiting for the day that some magic would happen. Today was that day. Beef cheek needs long slow cooking to make it tender but the flavour is just amazing, like braised oxtail but without the hassle of the bones. I braise the cheeks whole in red wine with stock vegetables and shred the meat into the ragout once it’s ready. Spoon it over veggie mash with some green veg on the side; it’s a little dish of heaven.

Serves 6

  • A pair of beef cheeks
  • 2 tablespoons of cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • 100 ml robust red wine
  • 3 sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of roasted garlic paste or grated garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A sprig of thyme
  • A beef stock gel pot
  • Half a carton of passata
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon each of salt and coarsely ground black pepper 
  • 1 400g can of cannellini beans
  • A handful of roughly chopped fresh parsley

To make…

  • Preheat the oven to 140°C.
  • Heat the oil gently in a large cast-iron casserole on the hob.
  • Add the chopped onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook gently for about 10 minutes until softened.
  • Add the wine, vinegar, passata, stock, salt, pepper bay and thyme. Add a teacup of water and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the beef cheeks, cover and transfer to the oven.
  • Cook for 4 hours or until the meat is tender and flakes easily with a fork.
  • Take the casserole out of the oven and lift the meat out with a fork onto a chopping board. Coarsely chop the meat on the board and then add it back into the casserole.
  • Add the beans, stir and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
  • Stir the parsley through just before you serve.

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?

NB: Always consult an appropriately qualified health professional before adopting a dramatic lifestyle change – we’re all different, what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone.

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Eat to beat diabetes | Chorizo and Judion bean stew

This is a lovely low-carb one-pot #TheFridayRecipe supper dish that is really tasty, filling and easy to make, especially if you use pre-cooked butter beans and red peppers. The butter beans contain about 13g/100g of carbohydrate and the whole dish, which serves 4, is around 335 calories/portion.

Judion bean stew

Serves 4

  • A jar of Spanish Judion butter beans or 100g dried butter beans soaked overnight and then cooked according to the instructions on the pack, or a 400g can of pre-cooked ones
  • 2 tablespoons of light olive oil
  • A jar of red piquillo peppers or a fresh red pepper, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of pitted green olives
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed to a paste
  • 190g pack of baby chorizo sausages or whole chorizo, sliced
  • 2 sticks of celery, string removed, chopped into 3cm chunks 
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes and a tablespoon of  tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet (dulce) paprika 
  • Salt and black pepper

To make…

I make this in a large round, shallow cast-iron casserole or you could cook this in a sautée pan and then transfer it to an ovenproof dish.

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  • Heat the oil in the pan or casserole over a gentle heat. Add the onion and cook for about 8 minutes or so until soft and translucent.
  • Add the chorizo sausages and colour each side, a little fat should render into the pan, the beans will soak it up and taste delicious.
  • Stir in the celery and garlic, cook for another couple of minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sherry vinegar, paprika, beans and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Cover and pop the casserole into the oven for about an hour. The sauce should have thickened nicely and the sausages cooked through. Taste and adjust for seasoning, add a little more salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Add the sliced red peppers and the olives. Cover and pop it back into the oven for another 15 minutes. Serve with a light dusting of paprika.

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?

NB: Always consult an appropriately qualified health professional before adopting a dramatic lifestyle change – we’re all different, what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone.

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Eat to beat diabetes | Celeriac gratin with Stilton

When you’re cutting carbs from your diet, it’s tricky trying to come up with new ideas to substitute something like a creamy mashed potato that you would normally pair with a meat and veg supper that still tastes luxurious and even dinner party-worthy. I love celeriac and serve it in a variety of ways (mashed, roasted, in casseroles or salads) and this is a real winner. The celeriac is coarsely shredded which gives it a lovely texture and then baked in the oven with a creamy sauce spiked with Stilton and some lemon juice to cut the richness. If Stilton is not your thing, you could substitute a dessertspoon of Dijon mustard with equally good results and it reduces the calorie count. Served with dark greens, pork roasted on a bed of seasoned onion, celery and carrot and gravy (make by pureeing the roasting juices and vegetables together, thin it with a little white wine), it’s a fab supper that is as easy to make as it is delicious.

Celeriac gratin

Serves 4 (5g carbohydrate and 240 calories/portion)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 5g butter
  • ½ large or one whole small celeriac, peeled and coarsely shredded
  • 100ml double cream
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 50g Stilton cheese, crumbled (or a tablespoon of Dijon mustard)
  • A dash of ground white pepper
  • 10g Panko breadcrumbs (roughly chopped walnuts are also a great option to give crunch to the crust topping)
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