Monday 24 August 2009

Boiled Beef and Carrots

Isn't the title the most unappetising you will ever hear? Yet essentially that is what this is. It's eye of silverside pot roasted and served with onion gravy. A totally delicious Sunday roast if your pocket doesn't want to stretch to Rib. Cooked long and slow in onions and stock it is meltingly tender. I know of people who try to roast this like rib. It won't work. It's too tough a cut for that sort of roasting. It's so forgiving as you can stick it in the oven and forget about it. Great when having folks round for Sunday lunch. Left overs make lovely fridge grazing, sandwiches or/and a superb shepherds pie. It is so tasty do try it if you haven't before. Very economical too.

Pot Roast Beef

Get a good big piece of topside or silverside 2-3 Kgs/4-6 lbs
Two onions finely sliced
Two or three carrots chopped into chunks
A big bunch of fresh thyme chopped
Stock, enough to come half way up the joint in the casserole
black pepper freshly ground
Worcestershire sauce about 2-3 tablespoons
Lard or oil whatever your choice
A little marsala or other alcohol you have sitting around
Cornflour to thicken the gravy if desired.

Melt the fat/oil in a heavy based casserole dish or cast iron pot
Stir in the onions and stir until translucent about five minutes.
Add the marsala or othe booze and let it bubble a little.
Don't let the onions burn.
Turn the heat down low and place a piece of foil into the pot to almost touch the onions.
Leave for half an hour or so until the onions are caramelised and deeply sweet.
Turn up the heat and brown the roast all over.
Add the stock to come half way up the roast
Add the carrots thyme and Worcestershire sauce.
Season well with black pepper
Bring to the boil then cover with foil and a lid and put into a very slow oven
Let it stay there for three or four hours and enjoy the mouth watering aroma all over the house.

When ready remove the meat and wrap in foil and cover with a tea towel to rest and keep warm.
It will stay warm for half an hour to an hour wrapped this way so there is no need to panic. Plenty of time to do the yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes. Such a laid back dinner.
Reduce the gravy on the hob. Season with salt if needed.
Thicken with a little cornflour mixed with water and whisked in, if desired.

Friday 21 August 2009

Sticky Maramalade Tea Loaf

This is a heavenly cake and so very very easy. The marmalade gives a lovely tangy flavour and the spices just lift it to tongue tingling sweetness. It is very moist without being dense. A real keeper. The first one I made ended up in the bin. I had left it to cool covered with a bit of foil and went out for a walk with my furry friend. When I came back and lifted the foil a swarm of wasps rose in the air and I fled! I am hugely allergic to wasp stings. Even contact with them causes a reaction. I didn't want the cake to be the death of me. My resident eating machine was left to sort out the wasps.Photobucket

The recipe is adapted from GoodFood 101 Cakes and Bakes. This little book is becoming a much used one in my kitchen. Some very good recipes in it.

Sticky Marmalade Tea Loaf


140g/5oz/approx 1/3rd of a 450g/1lb jar of marmalade
175g/6oz butter or margarine
175g/6oz light muscavado sugar (I use soft brown as that is what I had)
3 eggs beaten
225g/8oz Self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teasps ground ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice
100g of pecan nute ( I don't do nuts so I left these out)
Takes 1 1/2 hours
Serves 12


Pre heat the oven to180.C/160'C Fan/350.F/Gas4

Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin. I use those loaf tin liners. So handy and good for storing the cake too.
Set aside about a tablespoon of marmalade in a small saucepan.
Throw all the other ingredients into a food processor and whizz until smooth. You can do this in a mixer or by hand.
Tip the batter into the prepared loaf tin
Bake for forty minutes then cover loosely with some tin foil.
Bake for a further twenty - twenty five minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the tin for a while before removing carefully.
Heat the marmalade in the saucepan and brush over the still warm cake.
I added a little grated orange peel to the top of the cake
Watch out for passing wasps!

Thursday 20 August 2009

Family Heirloom

I have long admired this table which belonged to my Mother in Law(GG as she is known). My husband's father sent it back from India before going on to Burma during the second world war. After reading a post on Grannymar's about a similar table I suddenly remembered about it. It had always been promised to me but I hadn't seen it for ages.

I asked GG about it after reading Grannymar's post. It had been sitting happily beside her chair covered with a crotched 'skip cover'. This term was coined by my brother in law. GG is a great hoarder of stuff. Rather than sort out and put her collections away she crochets a blanket and covers the eyesore with it. Hence the crotched skip covers.

It has suffered a bit of damage. Only one tusk from the elephant legs remains and some of the ivory inlay in the centre was dug out by my brother in law when he was a wee boy. He says it is around somewhere so who knows it may turn up yet. I think it is a most beautiful piece of furniture. It has 'Made in British India' stamped on the underside of the table. All the little pieces of white are inlaid ivory. The wood has taken on that glorious patina only time can give.

It is a much treasured possession. I am it's custodian until it will be passed on to the next generation. It is a memory of a much loved man. One of many who went through God only knows what to fight for our freedom. Bless you Bill. You are still very much in our hearts after twenty five years. It is an honour to care for this wonderful item.

Wednesday 12 August 2009

Beetroot Chutney

I love beetroot. I love the colour. I love the way your hands turn bright pink when working with it. Oh the simple pleasures of life in the kitchen. I prefer this chutney to plain old pickled beetroot. If you grow your own this is the perfect way of using it.. The recipe comes from my Mother's old recipe book. Ludicrously simple, you just can't fail. I love it on just about everything. It is perfect with goats cheese and the colour gives wonderful contrast. It keeps for ages in a cool dark place.

Beetroot Chutney


1.3Kilos/3 lbs cooked beetroot cubed
225g/ 1/2 lb cooking apples cubed
2 large onions finely chopped
225g/ 1/2 lb sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teasp salt
568mls/1 pint malt vinegar
juice of a lemon

Approx 6 warm sterilised jam jars.


Place the vinegar, salt, ginger, lemon juice, and sugar in a large thick based pan.
Add the apples and onions and give it all a good stir.
Boil for20 minutes
Add the beetroot amd boil for a further 15 mins or until nice and thick
Spoon into the warm jars.
Seal tightly.
Store in a cool dark place

That's it

Monday 3 August 2009

Baileys Cheese Cake

My hairdresser Wendy gave me this recipe at Christmas time. It is so quick and easy. Quick and easy is always good at Christmas. It was such a hit I made it today for the family who have a habit of dropping by for dinner. Very very rich unhealthy and huge in calories. If you want healthy don't eat dessert. Have an apple. It takes but a few minutes to throw together and just needs a little chill in the fridge.

Baileys Cheese Cake

500g/1lb 4 oz Philadelphia Cheese
100g/40z icing sugar
250mls/9fl oz/1 cup double/heavy cream
Baileys Irish Cream to taste


15 digestive biscuits
50g/2 oz melted butter


Crush the digestive biscuits into fine crumb and mix with the melted butter. I did this in the food processor.
Press into the bottom of a 20cm/8" springform cake tin

Mix all the other ingredients together in a large bowl.
Beat until smooth, thick and well combined
Pile on top of the biscuit base
Chill in the fridge until needed
That's it

I decorated it with bits of chocolate. I just spread strips of melted white,milk and dark chocolate on the work top then when it was hard scraped it up with a palette knife to make splinters. I had too much so I popped the extra in a jar for another day.

Sunday 2 August 2009

Quick Lemon Chicken.

I pinched this recipe from another Blog. Not a food blog but Grannymar's. It's a very good read. Lot's of short stories of interest. The comments are pretty interesting too. Monday is recipe day and I liked the look of this. Grannymar had borrowed it and changed it and in turn I borrowed and changed it. It's just one of those dishes. I always find chicken breast a little tasteless unless it is attached to the bird so I used a little bacon to add flavour. It is very quick and easy. A handy dish for when in a hurry or when you have a few veggies needing using up. Grannymar's version can be found here So with apologies to Grannymar here is my version

Quick Lemon Chicken

Serves two

1 tablespoon oil.
4 strips of smoked streaky bacon cut into smal pieces
2 chicken breasts cut in strips
2 garlic cloves crushed
6 tenderstems of broccoli or florets.
3 chopped spring onions
6 cherry tomatoes halved
1 heaped teaspoon cornflour/starch.
1 tablespoon clear honey ( I used maple syrup.)or 2 teaspoons sugar
grated zest of half lemon plus juice of 1 lemon
Approx. 100mls chicken stock
1/2 a teasp chilli paste
A quick splash from the open bottle of wine (I used marsala)
Handful of toasted pine nuts.
Flat leaved parsley or coriander to garnish

Heat a large frying pan or wok.
Toss the pinenuts around until toasted. Set to the side.
Add the oil to the pan and fry the bacon. Set to the side
Add chicken and fry 3-4 minutes until golden, do not burn. Set to the side with the bacon
Add the garlic, broccoli, tomatoes and spring onions.
Stir fry for a minute or so, then cover and cook 2 minutes more until almost tender
Mix the cornflour, honey (maple syrup)or sugar, chilli paste, stock and booze (if using) in a small jug, then pour into pan and stir to thicken.
Tip the chicken back into the pan and let it heat through, then add the lemon zest and juice and the pine nuts.
Stir and garnish with the parsley and/or coriander.
Serve with rice or new baby potatoes.