284ml (10 oz) can condensed beef broth (Campbells)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 red pepper
1 small head of broccoli
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tbsp olive oil
450g (1 lb) sirloin steak, cut into strips
A 22.5cm/10 inch frying pan/skillet
First, blend together the cornflour and water in a bowl. Stir in the beef broth and soy sauce and then set aside.
Deseed the pepper and cut into small chunks. Break the broccoli into small florets, discarding the stem. Peel and thinly slice the carrots.
Place the pan over a medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. When hot, add the vegetables and garlic and stir to coat. Stir-fry until tender, about 5–8 minutes. Remove and keep warm.
Add the other 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and when hot add the beef. Stir-fry for 2–4 minutes according to how well-done you like your steak. Turn frequently to brown on all sides. Remove and keep warm.
Add the reserved broth to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and stir until it thickens. Return the vegetables and meat to the pan, stirring through the sauce. Reheat for a couple of minutes until hot.
Thin French fries, mushrooms, tomatoes and lettuce leaves
With tip of a knife, lightly score each steak to allow the marinade to seep into the steak.
Prepare the marinade by whisking the red wine, olive oil and pepper together.
Place the steaks in a single layer in a dish. Add the shallots, garlic and bay leaves. Pour the marinade over the steaks and turn them in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least six hours, or overnight if possible.
Lift the steaks out of the dish and dry on kitchen paper, reserving the marinade.
Brush a heavy based pan with oil. (A ridged one works well.) Heat the pan and, when it is hot, add the steaks and cook over a medium–high heat, turning once. As a rough guide, allow 1 minute per side for rare, 2 minutes per side for medium–rare, and 3 minutes for medium. Place the steaks on a warm plate and and cover with foil. Rest for 5 minutes, turning halfway through, to allow the juices to settle evenly.
Meanwhile, allow the pan to cool down slightly. Add the reserved marinade to the pan with the redcurrant jelly and half a cup water. Bring the mixture to the boil. Add the butter and boil down until reduced by about half. Season. Remove bay leaves.
4 x 170g (6 oz) steaks, (rib eye, sirloin or other good quality steak)
For the Béarnaise Sauce
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 shallot, chopped
2 egg yolks, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
115g (4 oz) butter, cut into small pieces (½ cup, or 1 stick)
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
fries and peas
For the steaks
Heat a large frying pan/skillet and add the butter and oil.
Season the steaks then add to the pan. Cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes each side for medium rare, 3 minutes for medium, 5–6 minutes for well done. Or BBQ. Transfer to a hot plate, cover and let the steak rest for a couple of minutes.
For the Béarnaise Sauce
While the steak is cooking, put the vinegar and shallot in a small pan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer to reduce to about 1 tablespoon. This will only take a minute or two. Strain and leave to cool for a few minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with some seasoning. Whisk in the vinegar and 1 tablespoon of warm water. Place the bowl over a pan of just simmering water and add the butter, a knob at a time, stirring until each knob has melted before adding the next. Continue stirring until the sauce is shiny and thick. (The sauce will remain quite thin for a few minutes and then start to thicken very quickly.) Once it has thickened, stir in the chopped tarragon.
Spoon the sauce alongside the steaks and serve with fries and peas.
225g (8 oz) carrots (3 medium), sliced thinly into rounds
2 small courgettes/zucchini, cut into 1.25cm (½ inch) rounds
1½ tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a heavy-based frying pan/skillet for the steaks if not barbecuing
a deep-sided frying pan/skillet with lid for the vegetables
baby or new potatoes and a medley of vegetables (for example, broccoli, mange tout, baby carrots, courgettes/zucchini)
Lay the steaks, in a single layer, in a shallow dish.
In a small bowl add the next 5 ingredients and mix together. Pour over the steaks, cover the dish, and leave to marinade for 30 minutes, turning the steaks halfway through.
Once the steaks have finished marinading, prepare the vegetables.
Wash and cut the broccoli into small florets discarding any stems. Place in a bowl along with the sliced carrots and courgettes/zucchini. Pour over the olive oil and season, then stir through to coat the vegetables.
Put four plates in the oven to warm.
Wash the potatoes, place in a pan, cover with water, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15–20 minutes until tender.
The steak can be barbecued or cooked in a heavy-based frying frying pan/skillet. If using a frying pan/skillet, first heat the pan and then brush with olive oil. Remove the steaks from the marinade (reserving the marinade) and cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan to one of the warmed plates, cover the plate with foil, and leave the steaks to rest for 5 minutes.
While the steaks are cooking the vegetables can also be cooked. First, heat the deep sided frying pan/skillet, then toss in the vegetables and sauté over a medium heat for 4 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Reduce the heat a little, add the lid, and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Remove the lid, turn up the heat again, and cook for a further minute to crisp up the vegetables.
While the steak is resting, stir the reserved marinade into the steak pan and, over a gentle heat, let it bubble to heat through. (If the steak was barbecued, once the vegetables have been cooked and removed from their pan, use this pan to heat through the marinade.)
Serve the steak with the sauce poured over and the vegetables alongside.
575g (1lb 4 oz) sirloin or rump steak, fat removed
4 tbsp medium-dry sherry
6 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp caster sugar/white sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
225g (8 oz) button mushrooms, sliced (3 cups)
1 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
For the rice
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
200g (7 oz) brown rice (1 cup)
475 ml (15 fl oz) chicken stock (2 cups)
½ tsp cumin seeds
2 medium tomatoes
Pour the sherry and soy sauce into a large bowl. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved.
Cut the steak into 1.25cm (½ inch) slices and add to the bowl. Turn the steak to coat, then cover the bowl, refrigerate, and leave to marinade for at least an hour.
Remove the bowl from the fridge just before preparing the rice to enable the steak to come to room temperature.
For the rice
Put the onion, rice, stock and cumin seeds into a large pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 35–40 minutes until the stock has been absorbed by the rice.
When it is cooked, leave to rest for 10 minutes while cooking the steak and vegetables.
For the steak
First, cut the tomatoes in half and then each half into thirds.
Drain the meat, reserving the marinade.
Blend the cornflour/cornstarch into the marinade and set to one side.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet over a medium heat. Add the steak and stir fry for 2–3 minutes, turning frequently, until lightly browned.
Add the mushrooms and stir fry for a further minute.
Add the tomatoes and stir in the reserved marinade. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 1 minute.
Divide the rice between four plates, spooning it around the edge of each plate to form a circle. Now divide the steak and vegetables into four portions placing each in the centre of the rice and spoon over any sauce remaining in the pan.
Serve immediately, garnished with a little parsley.
*In Canada these little bags of bouquet garni aren’t available so I make my own. A simple bouquet garni consists of a sprig each of parsley and thyme, a bay leaf, 2 cloves and a few peppercorns tied together in muslin to form a sack.
A deep sided large sauté pan.
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) (gas 3)
Tip the 3 tablespoons flour into a small storage bag and season. Shake bag to mix. Add the meat to the bag and shake again to coat the meat with the flour. Set aside.
Heat the oil in the pan over a medium–low heat and gently cook the onions and pepper for 5 minutes to soften, stirring occasionally.
Increase the heat a little and add the meat and cook until lightly brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and stir through the paprika and cook for a further minute.
Stir in the tomato purée/paste, seasoning, flour and a little grated nutmeg and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Gradually add the stock, stirring until everything is well blended. Increase the heat to medium and cook the sauce until it is a smooth and thick.
Remove from the heat and stir through the tomatoes and bouquet garni.
Cover, and cook the goulash in the oven for 1¾ hours. Remove, stir in the beer and return for a further 10 minutes.
700g (1½ lb) potatoes, peeled and sliced (4½ medium)
salt and pepper
1 × 400g can, or ½ × 28 fl oz can whole tomatoes
225g (8 oz) peas (optional) (1½ cups)
lidded casserole dish
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) (gas 3)
Place the flour in a plastic food storage bag and add salt and pepper. Shake the bag to mix. Cut the steak into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes and add to the bag. Shake again so the flour coats the steak.
Layer the steak, onions, carrots and potatoes in the casserole dish, sprinkling each layer with a pinch of nutmeg and some seasoning as you go. Sprinkle any remaining flour in the casserole and add the tomatoes. Pour enough stock to come just over halfway up the ingredients. Gently stir the stock into the ingredients.
Cover and cook for 2½ hours.
Peas can be added 15 minutes before the end of cooking.
Trim any excess fat from the steaks and put in a single layer in a baking dish.
Stir the rest of the ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Pour over the steaks. Turn the steaks over so they are covered with the marinade. Cover the dish and refrigerate overnight.
Drain the steaks and reserve the marinade. They can be BBQ’d or cooked in a little oil and butter in a frying pan/skillet.
Once they are cooked, transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm. Rest for 5 minutes for the juices to be absorbed back into the steak.
Meanwhile, pour the reserved marinade in a small pan, stir and bring to the boil. (If the steaks were cooked in a frying pan/skillet, use this.) Reduce the heat to low and cook for a further minute. A little water can be added if the sauce reduces too much.
To serve, pour the sauce over the steaks and accompany with baked potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
This is a lasagna recipe that I stumbled across many years ago and that has always been a great family favourite. The dish has three layers of pasta, a meaty tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese, topped with Parmesan.
9 lasagne sheets (De Cecco, is my favourite brand)
450g/1 lb mince beef/ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 × 400g cans/1 × 28 fl oz can chopped/diced tomatoes
156ml/5½ fl oz can tomato paste
½ tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
450g/1 lb mozzarella cheese, grated*
25g/1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
* In the U.K. the prepackaged grated mozzarella cheese contains only cheese and anti-caking ingredients. In Canada it has a lot more additives, so I buy the block mozzarella and grate it myself. Just pop it in the freezer for ten minutes before grating to firm it up.
A Caesar salad can be served as an accompaniment.
Deep sided frying pan/skillet or sauté pan
A 4 litre (32.5 x 22.5 x 5 cm/13 x 9 x 2 inch) ovenproof dish
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Over a medium heat, brown the meat in the pan, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano and season. Fill the tomato paste can with water and stir into the mixture. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Many brands of lasagne pasta require no pre-cooking but I have found they benefit from cooking for a short time anyway. A baked lasagne using uncooked pasta isn’t as moist. De Cecco needs to be pre-cooked.
So bring a large pan of water to the boil and add a glug of olive oil. Drop 5 of the lasagne sheets into the water one at a time (they need to be cooked in two batches or they will stick together while cooking) and boil for 4 minutes. Remove the sheets with a pair of tongs and rinse under a cold tap. Lay the individual sheets on a clean tea-towel. Repeat with the remaining four sheets.
Spread a thin layer of the meat sauce in the bottom of the lasagne pan. Layer 3 lasagne noodles, a third of the remaining meat sauce and a third of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat twice more. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan cheese.
Bake, covered with foil, in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes. Then let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
This is a lovely rich beef stew with chunks of beef, baby carrots, swede/rutabaga and red onion, cooked slowly in a wine and passata enriched stock. Perfect for a cold winter’s day, served with garlic mashed potatoes.
Chantenay carrots, which are found in the U.K., are lovely small sweet carrots. The baby carrots found in North America are smaller but can be a good substitute or just use ordinary carrots roughly chopped, small.
Butternut squash would be a good alternative to the swede/rutabaga.
For the garlic mashed potatoes
800g/1¾ lb potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 sprig of rosemary
2 sprigs of sage
Knob of butter
For the stew
Put a little oil in a large deep pan and brown the beef over a medium heat, about 5 minutes. Remove to a bowl.
Add a little more oil to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. The onion should have started to brown.
Return the beef to the pan with any of its juices. Stir in the garlic and thyme. Add the butter, Worcestershire sauce and wine. Stir, and let it bubble to reduce a little.
Add the passata and stock. Season well. Cover and let it simmer very gently for about 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Add the carrots and swede and cook for a further hour. The meat should be really tender and the vegetables cooked through.
Remove the thyme sprigs before serving.
For the garlic mashed potatoes
Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water for 20 minutes until tender.
In a separate pan, over a low heat, add the oil, garlic, rosemary and sage. Cook very gently for about 10 minutes to flavour the oil. Remove the sprigs of rosemary and sage.
Drain the potatoes and add the oil. Mash. Add a knob of butter, season, and beat until creamy.
The addition of Guinness makes this a hearty beef casserole on a cold winter’s day. The beef is cooked very slowly with carrots, swede/rutabaga, and onions in the Guinness and beef stock. Soak all this up with herby dumplings.
1 tbsp mixed dried herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme) or
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped and a pinch of black pepper
A deep-sided sauté pan
Preheat the oven to 150°C /fan 130°C/300°F/gas mark 2.
For the casserole
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the casserole dish and brown the beef. Set aside. Add the remaining oil to the pan and gently fry the onions and carrots for 10 minutes until softened. Add the swede and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Return the beef to the pan, sprinkle in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the hot stock, stirring continuously, to mix in. Stir in the Guinness. (If you choose to omit the Guinness add extra stock.) Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours.
For the dumplings
Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the herbs. Using a flat-bladed knife, gradually stir in enough milk to make a soft but not sticky dough. Divide the dough into 8 and roll into balls.
Drop the dumplings onto the top of the casserole, spaced evenly apart. Cover and cook for 20 minutes until the dumplings are puffed up.
Accompany with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.