Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Work some magic with adult- only meals

One of my favourite recipes is one that I have been making for over forty years.  It is a sure fire success every time.
Red meat gets a lot of bad publicity nowadays from how it raises bad cholesterol to how what comes out of the back of cows does more damage to the ozone layer than what comes out of the back of cars. Once in a while though eating some red meat seems to really perk you up . Every time I serve up this recipe it seems to work some magic. I'm thinking of you busy women with new jobs or small children. This recipe makes six portions, look for the best meat you can afford and set aside some time to make it. While you are stirring and breathing in the lovely aromas put lots of love in it, don't just toss in the herbs,make a wish,make some magic. When it is cool divide it into three portions for two people and freeze . It is not child- friendly with all the wine and brandy, strictly adult only .
Then one evening when your partner comes home  expecting to find you all frazzled and exhausted , begging for yet another take- away , you can dish up your surprise .
Marinating meat in wine overnight draws out the toxins and improves the flavour

Ready to enjoy an adult- only meal for two

1 kg of topside beef, cut into squares and with the fat removed,
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 carrots,sliced
1 glove garlic, crushed
2 sprigs of thyme
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons of olive oil
250 ml red wine
salt and pepper
2 rashers of bacon
12 button onions
2 tablespoons flour
250ml stock, fresh or cubes
3 sprigs parsley
2 sticks of celery
500g champignons mushrooms
1 tablespoon tomato puree
50ml brandy
Put the meat in a china or glass dish with the onions, carrots,salt and pepper,crushed garlic,thyme and 2 of the bay leaves. Pour over the red wine and olive oil and mix well. Cover with cling film and store in the fridge overnight.
Cut the bacon into strips. Melt some oil in a heavy stewing pan. Cook the bacon and the 12 button onions until golden. Take out and set aside.
Drain the meat cubes and dry carefully. Heat the oil and brown quickly on all sides. Sprinkle with the flour and mix carefully so it is absorbed. Pour over the stock and 250ml of red wine.
Stir well. Put in the parsley,celery,thyme and bay leaf tied together with string, or a good quality stock cube. Add the brandy.Bring to the boil.Cover with a tight lid then simmer very gently for about 2 hours until the meat is tender.Remove the bouquet garni if used.Add the bacon and onion mixture.
If you are going to freeze it, then let it cool right down and then freeze in portions depending on your need.Take it out of the freezer the night before and leave in the fridge. When ready to serve, wash the mushrooms carefully and fry in butter to remove the moisture.Add to the meat. Stir in the tomato puree,cook slowly over a very low heat for half an hour. Set aside while you prepare the vegetables of your choice.
Buon appetito

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