Everybody knows about Shepherd’s Pie. I hope. 😉 I really like this dish and when I have first eaten it, I didn’t know what to expect. I discovered a very tasty and homey food. It makes me smile just talking about it. That is why I have made it several times and I would do it again, on a freezing winter day. It goes very well with boiled vegetables and a red wine. And a warm heart. 🙂
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 115 g (4 oz) mushrooms, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 500 g (1 1/4 lb) lean chuck steak, minced (ground)
- 150 ml (1/4 pt) red wine
- 150 ml (1/4 pt) beef stock (if you don’t want to use wine, just put 300 ml of beef stock or water)
- bay leaf
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp tomato purée (paste)
- 675 g (1 1/2 lb) potatoes, boiled
- 25 g (1 oz) butter
- 3 tbsp hot milk
- 5 medium tomatoes, sliced
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- Heat the oil in a saucepan or big pan, add the onion, carrot,mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Stir the beef into the pan and cook, stirring to break up the lumps, until lightly browned.
- Blend a few spoonfuls of the stock or water with the flour, then stir this mixture into the pan. Stir in the remaining stock or water and wine, and bring to a simmer, stirring. Add the bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, tomato purée (paste), the cover and cook very gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncover the pan towards the end of cooking to allow any excess water to evaporate, if necessary.
- Preheat the oven to 190 °C, 375 °F, Gas Mark 5.
- Put the potatoes in a pan with water, to boil, until very tender. Drain then mash with the butter, milk and seasoning.
- Add the tarragon and seasoning to the mince in the pan, then pour into a pie dish or baking dish.Top with a layer of sliced tomatoes, then an even layer of potato. Mark the top with the prongs of a fork.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Posted in Beef, Dishes, English, English, F word
Tagged bay leaf, beef mince, beef stock, butter, English recipe, english traditional recipe, milk, mushrooms, potatoes, red wine, Shepherd's Pie, shepherd's pie recipe, steak, stock, Tabasco sauce, tarragon, Tesco magazine, tomato puree, Traditional British Cooking, traditional recipe, Worcestershire sauce
I feel so relieved! My exams are over. So is my stress. I can continue writing here, without thinking that I have an exam tomorrow or I have to learn for one. So I add today the recipe I put some weeks ago in Romanian. This is the English recipe of mousaka, the Greek type . But this one comes with a twist: it has Gruyère cheese in it. I loved it the moment I put my eyes on it, as it has cheese and aubergines, one of my favorite vegetables. Plus, it is traditional to make with aubergines, not potatoes. I have made mousaka with potatoes some years ago just to see how it tasted, but I didn’t like it. My fave is this one. If you are lucky to have this book: Josceline Dimbley “Marvellous Meals with Mince” – 1982, than you can just skip this.
What I like about this recipe is that it has exotic spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, that add a special flavour and fragrance to the dish.
Mousaka with Gruyère Cheese
- 550-675 g (1 1/4 – 1 1/2 lb) aubergines (approx. 3)
- lemon juice
- 2 onions
- 25 g (1 oz) butter (80-82 unsalted butter, if you find)
- 450 g (1 lb) lamb mince (you can add half lamb and half beef mince if you like)
- 1 tsp (5 ml spoon) ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 6 tbsp water
- a good handful of parsley, chopped
- 200 g (8 oz) Gruyère cheese, sliced thinly (the original recipe states 100 g, but my experience has shown me that it is not enough, plus I love cheese, so there is never enough for me)
- salt and pepper
For the topping:
- 50 g (2 oz) butter
- 50 g (2 oz) plain flour
- 450 ml (3/4 pint) milk
- a little grated nutmeg
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp single cream
- salt and black pepper
- Peel the aubergines, slice into 1/4 – 1/2 inch (5 mm – 1cm) rounds and immediately smear with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Then rub all over with salt and leave in a colander in the sink for half an hour, to drain away the bitter juices. I can tell you that there won’t be much or no bitter juices.
- Peel and chop the onions. To do this I have discovered in London the excellent Alligator Onion Cutter. I hate cutting onion so I have purchased one there. I saw it in Selfridge and other stores. It is worth it having one, believe me. Heat the butter in a large frying pan and cook the onion over a gentle heat until softened. Add the minced lamb and fry over a rather higher heat, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon until it is separated and sealed. Stir in the ground cinnamon and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Then stir in the tomato purée and water and bubble until the water is absorbed. Turn of the heat and stir in the chopped parsley.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and empty the aubergine slices into it. Cover the pan and boil for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.
- In a 2 1/2 – 3 pint (1,4 – 1,7 litre) ovenproof dish (a glass one shows tha layers attractively) make layers of aubergine slices, mince mixture and Gruyère cheese, starting and ending with a layer of aubergine.
- To make the topping, melt the butter in a saucepan, remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Stir in the milk, gradually at first. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time and then bubble gently, still stirring, for about 3 minutes. Season lightly with salt and black pepper add a little grated nutmeg. What a lovely flavour!Remove from the heat.
- Whisk the egg yolks with the cream and gradually add the white sauce, stirring in thoroughly. If the sauce is al all lumpy, whisk until smooth and then pour on tp of the aubergine and meat layers.
- Heat the oven to Gas Mark 4/ 180°C, 350°F and bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, until a rich golden brown on top.
Posted in Beef, Dishes, English, F word, Greek, Lamb
Tagged aubergine, beef mince, black pepper, butter, cinnamon, egg yolk, flour, greek food, greek recipe, Gruyere cheese, Josceline Dimbley, Josceline Dimbley Marvellous Meals with Mince, lamb mince, lemon juice, Marvellous Meals with Mince, milk, minced meat recipe, mousaka, mousaka recipe, Mousaka with Gruyère Cheese recipe, mousaka with Gruyere cheese, nutmeg, onion, parsley, salt, single cream, tomato puree
Are you a chocolate addicted? Then you will love this. Petit pot au chocolat. I remember that this recipe was among the few that I had tried at home, in Romania. I had found it in “The Sunday Times” at the end of my staying in London and I had decided to make it at home. It was worth waiting that long. And last Wednesday I thought of making it again. For Thursday. Why? Because Thursday was my birthday. Wow, I made a rhyme!
When I think of birthdays, I always think of doing something special, as long as is not that traditional. Don’t get me wrong, I am quite old-fashion in some ways but not in other ways. So, these delicious pots seem just perfect to indulge on somebody’s birthdays. You have a perfect smooth chocolate cream and you will ask for more until you die. Of pleasure, of course. I am sorry to ruin your daydreaming but let’s get to work.
Petit Pot au Chocolat
- 350 ml double cream
- 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways or 2 tbsp of vanilla sugar
- 250 g plain chocolate, broken into pieces (remember, remember: at leat 70 % cocoa)
- 150 ml milk (full fat please, please, if you make it for your birthday, spoil yourself)
- 4 small egg yolks
- 2 heaped tbsp icing sugar (or simply sugar, if you don’t have icing sugar)
- This is my favourite part. 😉
- Preheat the oven to 140 °C, 275 °F, Gas Mark 1.
- In a saucepan, warm the cream with a vanilla pod, whisk to disperse the vanilla seeds, the cover and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. With vanilla sugar just make sure it melts in the cream and leave to cool.
- In another pan, melt the chocolate in the milk. (I know you will taste a bit. )
- In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar, add the chocolate milk and vanilla cream, then blend thoroughly. (I bet that you will taste again, and I win. What I win? I won’t wash the dishes.) Pass through a fine sieve and pour into a little pots or ramekins. (I adore ramekins, there are never enough for me, that is why I have decided to buy some more the moment I am in London.)
- Bake in a bain-marie in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until slightly puffed-up and spongy. Don’t worry about the crust forming top. It may look as it is overcooked but it is not. Plus, this crust when cold, covers an intense chocolate cream. Cool in the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving.
PS: Some pictures with my “birthday cake”.
Blow the candles! 😉
Posted in Chocolate addictive, Desserts, F word, Vegetarian
Tagged bain-marie, chocolate, chocolate dessert, double cream, egg yolk, french dessert, french recipe, icing sugar, milk, petit pot au chocolat, petit pot au chocolat recipe, plain chocolate, ramekins, The Sunday Times, vanilla pod, vanilla sugar
Today I am going to post a very tasty, easy and vegetarian dish. The first time I made it, I found it so delicious that I had said to myself, I would do it again. And I did it.
In case you have a toothache, this recipe is also welcomed. It is tender and it melts in your mouth. One thing I also like about it is the fact that you can mix vegetables that are in season and you end up with a nice colored dish. This recipe is from “Original card from Delicious Meals Made Easy”.
Cheesy – topped vegetables
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 cauliflower, divided into florets
- 225 (8 oz) broccoli, divided into florets
- 75 g (3 oz) frozen peas (you can choose petit pois if you want or fresh peas)
Sauce (as you know, there is never enough sauce so you can double the ingredients):
- 40 g (1 1/2 oz) butter (or 80 g)
- 40 g (1 1/2 oz) plain flour (or 80 g)
- 450 ml (3/4 pint) semi-skimmed milk (or 1 l for a the same milk or a whole one)
- 100 g (4 oz) reduced – fat double Gloucester cheese, grated (or 200 g of that cheese or cheddar or any other that you prefer)
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard (or 4 tsp)
- 1/4 (or 1/2) tsp salt
- black pepper
- 2 tsp of dried herbs de Provence (optional, for a herby flavour)
- Boil the carrots in a big pan of water for 3 minutes. I said big because you add the cauliflower, broccoli and peas. And they need space. Boil for 4 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.
- Drain the vegetables. Transfer to a flame-proof dish or a Jena oval or square dish and keep covered.
- For the sauce, melt the butter in a pan. Add the flour and cook gently, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Heat gently, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. Stir in three-quarters of the cheese, the mustard and seasoning.
- Pour the sauce over the vegetables and stir until well coated. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
- Preheat the grill to medium. Put the dish under the grill for 5 minutes, or until the cheese starts to bubble. Serve.
Posted in English, F word, Vegetarian
Tagged broccoli, butter, carrot, cauliflower, cheddar, cheese, cheese sauce, cheesey - topped vegetables recipe, cheesy - topped vegetables, cheesy recipe, cheesy vegetables, Dijon mustard, easy recipe, flour, Gloucester cheese, herbs de Provence, milk, Original card from Delicious Meals Made Easy, peas, petit pois, sauce, vegetables recipe, vegetarian, vegetarian recipe