I had two friends over for dinner last week and after scouring BBC Good Food for a new recipe, I opted for this Hungarian Beef Stew. It turned out to be one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made, if you happen to be throwing a dinner party but don’t have time to spare to faff around in the kitchen then this is for you. With minimal preparation needed it really is a case of throwing all the ingredients together in a pot and leaving to cook for 3 hours (in the over or on the hob).
You’re going to need…
- 500g braising beef
- 1 tbsp flour , seasoned really well
- olive oil
- 1 large onion , halved and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves , crushed
- 250g chestnut mushrooms , halved if large
- 1 red pepper , sliced
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp dried chillies
- 2 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 300ml beef stock
- basmati rice , to serve
- soured cream , to serve
Simply toss the beef with the seasoned flour in a large pan and brown all over in 1 tbsp oil. Scoop out all the beef, then add the onions and cook really well until soft and browned at the edges. Add the garlic, mushrooms and pepper and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Return the beef to the pan and add the spices, tomatoes and beef stock. Put on a lid and leave to simmer for approx three hours until the beef is really tender and sauce thickened.
Serve with rice and soured cream. It’s as simple as that!
This weekend, I rediscovered my love of the Caprese salad (I think I could survive on cheese alone) and have today found myself craving more Italian food, particularly bruschetta. Bruschetta is one my favorite dishes, quick and simple but topped with mozzarella and tomato, still manages to satisfy, plus I love that I can find all the ingredients at the local farmers’ market/ deli. I’ve mastered a simple recipe that really enhances the sweetness of the tomato, the peppery taste of basil and the fruity aroma of the olive oil. Here are my little added touches for making it just right.
-Use high quality extra virgin olive oil. Trust me, it’s worth the extra money.
-If you can find some, buy a loaf of rustic, Artisan bread (I love Sourdough from Waitrose).
-Cut the garlic in half and rub the open end on the freshly toasted bread. The heat from the bread melts the garlic evenly without being overpowering.
-Finish with a touch of Maldon sea salt.
Instructions (not that it really requires it!)
Toast the sourdough bread for a couple of minutes on each side and immediately rub with a garlic clove, drizzle with olive oil and top with mozzarella and tomato, fresh basil leaves and a sprinkle of salt. I love to drizzle balsamic glaze over the bruschetta for a finishing touch. Devour.
Prabal Gurung has staged an evolution with his main line. Gurung had seemed to be stuck in a groove the last couple of seasons, but he sprung himself loose here with a more confident collection in which he put the emphasis on structured day-wear.
The collection’s inspiration stemmed from the “Gurkha Army and the dichotomy of military uniforms – the formality, the decorated soldier, and particularly the attitude and strength of female soldiers.” According to Gurung, “Military uniforms are one of the best examples of form and function coming together. We even used hand-embroidery and Swarovski Crystal in a regimented, almost digital way.”
This show confirmed that Gurung is no slouch in the tailoring department, on the contrary, there was a rigor to his jackets, even when they came with deep peplums at the waist. Stand out pieces include the white fur-trimmed coat and (wearable) deconstructed dresses.
When I was younger, I thought there were few culinary combinations as perfect as those in a stew. Big chunks of beef, dumplings and a hearty mix of vegetables, it really is the ultimate comfort food. The recipe which I use is from my Nan although I have changed it slightly by having it served on a bed of garlic mash rather than potatoes cooked in the stew itself. I like good quality beef in my stew but cook it for long enough and any cut will be tender! You can throw in any root vegetables that you have in the cupboard, celery makes a very welcome addition.
Large pack of steak
3 sticks celery
1 handful of pearl barley
1 can chick peas
2 leeks, roughly chopped
200g swede, cut into large chunks
500ml beef stock
Baked beans (don’t knock it until you try it!)
60g Vegetable suet
125g self-raising flour 1 tsp baking powder for dumplings
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste
1 pinch ground white pepper
- Fry chopped onion, add diced steak and fry. Add sliced carrot and celery and half a handful of barley. Half fill the pan with boiling water, add a beef stock cube and leave to simmer for an hour. Season. Add tinned chick peas, baked beans and tomato soup to the stew.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil; add potatoes, and boil until soft, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, and place in a large bowl. Combine potatoes with milk, butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix with an electric mixer or potato masher to your desired consistency.
- For the dumplings, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add the suet and enough water to form a thick dough. With floured hands, roll spoonfuls of the dough into small balls. Place the balls on top of the stew, cover, return to the hob and cook for a further 20 minutes.
- Serve over a a bed of mash.