Tag Archives: Beef

10 of my favourite online recipes

I have recipes everywhere. In cookbooks, scribbled on pieces of paper, cut out from magazines and bookmarked online and then there’s the ones that just exist in my head. I subscribe to a ton of food blogs through Google Reader which I look over while I down my morning coffee. My favourite food blogs currently have to be:

Joy The Baker – the mother of all baking food blogs
The Pioneer Woman Cooks – delicious cowgirl food
The Pink Whisk – previous runner-up of Great British Bake Off, step my step recipes and techniques
Food Stories – makes food you really want to eat. Also has a separate sandwich rating blog
Domestic Diva M.D – super entertaining with recipes too
A Cozy Kitchen – awesome food photography and recipes

I’ve just been dribbling over the home pages of these whilst retrieving the links for you. Anyway, I find that subscribing to blogs is a great way of coming across yummy new recipes which you won’t find on websites like BBC food although they are great go to’s for recipes as well. Thanks to satellite television, I can also watch recipes being made at almost any hour of the day. And with the invention of Pinterest I can also be constantly looking at pictures of food. Frankly, it’s enough to make you fat.

Another great online tool is Delicious which is where I keep all my bookmarked recipes. You can tag links as you like and since they’re all stored on the web, you can access your bookmarks anywhere from any device. I have almost 500 recipe links saved and unlike a chef’s cookbook, all of the recipes are things I know I’ve seen and liked. Here are 10 of my favourite recipes which are available online and that I’ve previously bookmarked, cooked, eaten and LOVED then cooked, eaten and LOVED again!

1. Nigella’s Mexican Lasagne

A recent addition that’s already been made and enjoyed a few times! Absolutely scrumptious and innovative recipe which uses flour tortillas to create a Mexican lasagne. I adapt the recipe my adding beef mince before the canned tomatoes but the unadulterated recipe is great for vegetarians.

2. Joy The Baker’s Polenta

I’d never ever heard of adding milk to polenta until I’d seen this and now I always make it this way. Plus I love using American cup measures – so much easier.

3. Heston’s Ultimate Mashed Potato

There aren’t many Heston Blumenthal recipes you can make on a regular basis but here is one! I think I’ve mentioned this recipe at least twice on my blog already but it… is… goooooood! I don’t have a thermometer or a potato ricer (family take note, Christmas is coming :-)) but I can still make this easily. The amount of butter required is a little alarming, but one taste and you know it’s worth it.

4. Ottolenghi’s Vegetable Paella

Another vegetarian recipe which I’ve made meaty by adding fried chorizo in at the end! Great served with some olive bread and a platter of Manchego and Serrano ham.

5. BBC Good Food Chicken Cacciatore

A really quick and inexpensive midweek recipe of chicken in a tomato and mascarpone sauce. The simple sauce is tasty over pasta too.

6. Delia’s Dhal Curry

Super cheap, healthy and vegetarian (I haven’t added meat to this one!) recipe for a dhal curry. Mr B. even liked it despite the lack of meat which means it must be a good recipe. You can add a Nann bread on the side if you want to.

7. Antony Worrall-Thomspon Goat’s Cheese and Roasted Vegetable Terrine 

Unlike Antony I don’t thieve the cheese from my local Tesco to make this! A really nice make-ahead recipe which works well as a dinner-party starter. Looks pretty impressive when served as well.

8. Nigella’s Mustard Pork Chops 

Really easy and cheap midweek meal. I use honey mustard instead of wholegrain as I found that a bit too strong in taste. Goes really well with the gnocchi that Nigella recommends as well as some buttery spinach… which I recommend!

9. Joy The Baker’s Pull Apart Cinnamon Bread

I mean, just look at it! You’re in trouble of eating your laptop screen aren’t you? I’ve made it. It was amazing. When I went to bookmark it on a social media site, I saw that 2 million others had done so before me!

10. Lorraine Pascale’s Honeycomb

Simples. Tasty. Versatile. The recipe works every time.

Happy bookmarking and cooking.



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The Luther Burger

Luther Burger

Never too much, never too much, never too much.

Well, in all honesty, 1 of these kind of was for me! And I blame my good friend Rich. You see Rich is doing something new every day in 2012 for charity and then blogging the results. Some of my favourites over the past 6 ½ months have got to be:

– Chased a duck
– Got chased my geese
– Crossed a ford (and lost his socks)
– Took a bath in a suit
– Ran around his garden, naked, in a snow storm (his wife told me he then caught man flu)

He’s also tried and cooked many new foods and dishes, a couple of which I’ve helped with:

– Made a Herman the German Friendship Cake
– Tried a stinging nettle curry
– Took on the cinnamon challenge (and failed!)
– Made a Celebrations toastie
– Cooked American pancakes with bacon and maple syrup
– Ate a curry cooked in a pineapple

You can read more about his exploits on his blog and make a donation here. You can also suggest something new and crazy for him to do!

A colleague of Rich’s suggested The Luther Burger as something new. The Luther Burger originates from Georgia, USA. It’s so called after Luther Vandross. The interweb doesn’t really confirm why, but it’s thought that he had one. Coming in at a massive 800-1,500 calories a Luther Burger is your standard burger, served in a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Oh Yes. Traditionally, the doughnut is opened and grilled on the inside, then eaten with the glazed side touching the meat, but we preferred ours the other way around.

When Rich suggested this to me, I was up for it. In my mind, it worked. After all, bacon and maple syrup work wonderfully together. Same goes for caramelised onions and barbequed meat. And the Luther Burger does work! It’s very tasty. But I just couldn’t eat a whole one again!

The Luther Burger 
Serves 1 (or 2 if sharing – recommended!)

-1 good quality beef burger
– A slice of burger cheese
– 1 rasher of smoky bacon
– 1 original glazed Krispy Kreme

1. Simply barbeque your burger and stack the cheese and bacon on top.

2. Open the Krispy Kreme and lightly toast the inside on the barbeque.

3. Serve the burger inside the doughnut with the glazed side on top or on the meat, as you prefer. Find someone to share it with you!


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Shooter’s Sandwich

When I was younger (about 12) I was a bit obsessed with the cooking programme ‘Two Fat Ladies’. For anyone not familiar with the show it was, well, two 60+ women who were fat and cooked recipes. As if that wasn’t enough they travelled around on a Triumph bike – one of them driving and the other in a sidecar! They cooked a lot of traditional and forgotten recipes, many containing lard, and cooked with hands adorned with rings. They sang and drank wine while they cooked and went out for a cigarette break when they had something in the oven!

Anyway, they made quite an impression on me and one of their recipes has stuck in my mind for over 15 years and I finally decided to have a go at making it my own way.

A Shooter’s Sandwich is an Edwardian invention designed for taking along for eating on a hunt. Nowadays it makes a fantastic picnic dish. It’s basically a hollowed out loaf stuffed with fried steak and mushrooms, which is weighed down and left for 6 hours. The flavours amalgamate and the weighing down allows you to cut it into slices. Here’s my recipe.

Oh and if you want to see Two Fat Ladies in all their glory making this dish, check it out on YouTube here.

Shooter’s Sandwich
Serves 4-6

– Knob of butter
– 2 onions, finely diced
– 2 tbsps fresh thyme, leaves picked
– Salt and freshly ground pepper
– 650g rump steak (this is about 4 small-medium sized steaks)
– 1 large round white loaf of bread
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 4 Portabello mushrooms, stalks removed
– Piccalilli (to serve)

1. Start by frying your onions in a knob of butter on a medium to high heat. Once the onions have softened a little, turn down the heat, season well and add the thyme. Continue cooking for 5 minutes or so until the onions are buttery and soft. Remove from the heat and put to one side.

2. Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot (you don’t need oil in it). Season the steaks with pepper and cook on both sides. It’s best to cook the steak medium for the sandwich and the cooking time will vary according to the thickness of your steaks and the effectiveness of your hob. Mine took about 5 minutes on each side.

3. While the steaks are cooking, slice off the top of your round loaf. Carefully remove the inside of the loaf. You can keep the innards to use as breadcrumbs another time. Remove as much as you can, being careful not to tear through and then press the remains of the inside down.

4. Your steaks should now be done, remove them from the pan and allow them to rest. Keep the griddle pan on the heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Fry the mushrooms on both sides until very soft and nicely coloured. You may need to add more oil to the pan if the mushrooms soak up the one tablespoon you added. Season them well.

5. Now comes the fun bit of packing! Snuggle 2 of the steaks into the bottom of the loaf. Cover with half of the onion mixture, making sure to spread it over the steaks. Then squeeze in 2 of the mushrooms. Press the three layers down a little.

6. Now wedge in your other 2 steaks and again smoother the onion mixture over the top. Cram in your remaining 2 mushrooms and the loaf is full to the brim! Remember to pour in any juices from the steak where you left it to rest on a plate. Then you can get your lid and pop that on top. Optionally, you could add some mustard to the inside of your lid if you like.

7. Carefully wrap your loaf in greaseproof paper and secure with string. Cover again with 2 layers of tin foil. Now find some heavy stuff to weigh the loaf down with and leave it on your kitchen worktop for at least 6 hours. Go do some exercise so you don’t feel so guilty about devouring this later!

8. When you are ready for the sandwich just unwrap and slice it. Serve it with some piccalilli and salad or other picnic food. I can’t wait to whip this out at a picnic and see the surprise on people’s faces when I slice into this bread and they see what’s inside!


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Food Miles: New York

I would put good money on there being traces of Red Bull in the “New Yawk” water supply. Everyone seems to be going a million miles an hour; I don’t know how they do it. After a long flight and jet lag this can feel intimidating. But the pace of NYC grabs you quickly and after a couple of days I was pounding down the “sidewalk” yelling, “I’m walking here” and then I found myself ordering “a cawfee to go”.

It’s not all fast food though. Granted this is still not a place to come to if you don’t eat red meat or are on a diet (even the vegetables arrive creamed!). This is a place to indulge – it’s a breakfast bagel, a deli sandwich lunch and a steak dinner kinda place. So don your trousers with the elasticated waistband and pop across the pond.

Eating in New York
As a multicultural melting pot, you’ll find every cuisine represented in NYC along with the latest in foodie trends. First though, you must must must get yourself to “the classics” (as I call them) – a trip wouldn’t be complete without these. Head directly to Katz Deli http://katzsdelicatessen.com/ and whatever you do don’t eat beforehand. Whether it’s their Rueben or Pastrami on Rye it’ll be THE best sandwich of your life not to mention the biggest but not to fear – you’ll find a poster on the wall which tells you how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver and another that tells you there is a CPR kit behind the register.

Number 2 is The Magnolia Bakery http://www.magnoliabakery.com. A must visit for any Sex and the City or just general cupcake fan. If you’re stupid (or greedy) like us, you can go after Katz Deli and demolish a red velvet cupcake washed down with some homemade lemonade.

Number 3 will definitely have to be sought out on your next day when you might just be able to face food again. The Grand Central Oyster Bar http://www.oysterbarny.com/ is a New York institution. Enjoy a chowder, a colossal salad or every type of Oyster there is!

With the classics done, it’s time to enjoy some funky and quirky places. If you like the secret bars in New York, you’ll also like the hidden burger joint at Le Meridian hotel http://www.parkermeridien.com. The real secret to this place is to walk in from 56th street and look like you know where you’re going! Walk through the bar and turn right – there’s just a red curtain but go down the left hand side of it and you’ll find a hidden burger joint. Mind you, the queue might have given it away already! Inside the walls have been graffitied by the likes of Leona Lewis (who doesn’t even eat meat?!) and Britney Spears. There’s only one thing on the menu – a tasty burger – but cooked how you like with a choice of toppings or THE FULL MONTY.

Next is The Meatball Shop http://www.themeatballshop.com for some “naked balls” and sliders. Choose your ball – beef, pork, chicken or veggie then your sauce and then your sides. You can have your balls “naked” with a tomatoey or cheesy sauce or served as a slider. Hands down, the best value meal in NYC.

There are plenty of options for finer dining too. The best we tried was Buddakan http://www.buddakannyc.com/ – an achingly cool Asian fusion restaurant in the Meatpacking District serving delicious dishes cooked to perfection. Try the Hoisin Glazed Pork Belly, the Tuna Tartare Spring Roll and Charred Fillet of Beef.

Finally, another finer stop off is DBGB Kitchen http://www.danielnyc.com/dbgb.html in the East Village where we went for our Thanksgiving Dinner – and I was thankful!! Well-flavoured and wholesome food in funky surroundings with great service. Yum!

While you’re walking off all this food, Chelsea Market in the Meatpacking District is a must-visit for any food lover. A large indoor food hall that gives Borough Market a run for its money. Some really rare food finds can be found – sea urchins, truffles imported from Italy and Wagu beef, though should you need some, you’ll find Red Bull widely available too!

Rachel Sandwich
Serves 1

To fix your Katz Deli withdrawal symptoms back home you can try this Rachel Sandwich – a Rueben with pastrami instead of beef brisket and coleslaw instead of the sauerkraut. Miniscule in comparison but tasty nonetheless.

– 4 slices of light rye bread, buttered
– A pack of pastrami (or 8 slices)
– A couple of dollops of good coleslaw
– 6 slices of Emmental cheese

1. Stack your pastrami onto the bread and top with a dollop of coleslaw

2. Layer the cheese onto the slice of bread for the top of your sandwich and melt it under the grill until just soft

3. Put your sandwich together and serve with a gherkin.

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