Oxtail with red wine recipe

Oxtail with red wine recipe

This was a really amazing recipe which is really simple to make. You do need to keep an eye on it to make sure that there is enough liquid to slowly braise the oxtail and make it fall off the bone tender.

I am that bloke who buys great oxtail whenever I see it at a good price or where the oxtail is not too fatty and then waits for a cold weekend, or weekend away inDullstroom to make it.

See the image gallery below for pics through the process.

This recipe feeds about 8 people and has a little spice to it from the chorizo. If you prefer a more traditional oxtail, use the following recipe.

Traditional oxtail recipe >>

You can use the same recipe for a slow cooker version. After you have cooked all of the ingredients, instead of putting into the oven, pour into your slow cooker. Put the slow cooker on high until the edges start to bubble and then set at low for about 6 hours.

What you need

2 x large onions sliced
3-4 tablesppons cooking oil
3 x medium carrots peeled and cut into large pieces
3 x sticks celery chopped
1 x tin tomato puree
2kg good quality oxtail
3 taqblespoons flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 heaped teaspoon Thyme
1 x whole chorizo
1 liter beef stock
250ml red wine

Heat your oven to 140 celsius and drop your racks to the bottom shelf.

Season the oxtail with salt and pepper and brown in a hot cast iron pot with the oil for a few minutes. Add the flour, toss around until you have some nively browned edges and remove from the pot.

Reduce the heat to medium, add some more oil and cook the onions, carrots and celery for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time until the onions are starting to brown. You should be getting some amazing smells from the pot about now.

Add the thyme, about a teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes or so.

Now add the tomato puree and cook for at least 5 minutes until the tomatop is hot and most of the bitterness from the tomatoes is gone.

Add the cooked oxtail and the chorizo, stir about and then add the wine and stock. Be sure the oxtail is covered by the liquid. If it is not, add enough water to cover.

Now remove from the stoive, put the lid on and pop into the oven for 3-4 hours until the oxtail is beautifully soft and the sauce thick and delicious. Check every hour or so during the cooking process to check the liquid level and adjust the salt, pepper/wine if necessary.

Serve over creamy mashed potato (add a little parmesan to the potato for added decadence)

Slow cooked Lamb Shanks recipe

Slow cooked Lamb Shanks recipe

Super tender lamb shanks are a real treat and one of my absolute favorite meal.

It does take some time and often like a good curry is bettyer the next day but not essential. This recipe can be done in a slow cooker or in the oven in a nice large cast iron casserole dish but is really good in the slow cooker.

Slow cooker: Use the recipe as it is below for the slow cooker method.

Recipe feeds 4 easily

Picture gallery at the end of the recipe.

This will easily feed 6 people with a little left over. Serve with a salad.

What you need

2 kg of lamb shanks (in this case it was a little less but usually use 4 smaller ones)
2 tin chopped peeled tomatoes
50ml tomato paste
2 teaspoons garlic
2 large onions chopped finely
2 celery sticks chopped
Salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon Italian/Mixed herbs
200 ml red wine
200ml chicken/vegetable stock

The process

Slow cooker method

Place about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and brown the shanks which have been well seasoned with salt and pepper nicely. Remove and set aside.

In the same frying pan on a medium to high heat and cook the onions, celery, herbs and garlic until the onions are translucent and starting to soften.

Add the tomato paste, about 1 teaspoon of salt and half teaspoon black pepper and cook for another 5 minutes or so.

Place the browned shanks in the slow cooker, cover with the onion mixture, add the wine and chicken stock and give it a stir.

Place the lid on, set to high for 30 minutes and then reduce to low.

Leave it be for 8-10 hours.

Always remember to taste and season 

Serve with mash and your favorite veg.

Oven method

Heat the oven to 150 degrees celsius.

Place about 2 tablespoons of oil in cast iron casserole dish on the stove top and brown the shanks which have been well seasoned with salt and pepper nicely. Remove and set aside.

Add the onions, celery, herbs and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent and starting to soften.

Add the tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes or so.

Add the wine and chicken stock and place the shanks in the mixture.

Place the casserole in the oven and let is cook with the lid on for 3-4 hours, checking the liquid level every hour or so. If it needs more liquid, add a little water or stock.

Always remember to taste and season 

After 4 hours check for the last time, turn off the oven and leave alone for another 2 hours.

Serve with mash and your favorite veg.

Christmas fruit cake

Christmas fruit cake

fruitcake

Christmas fruit cake

Christmas cakes that contain alcohol should be made about a month ahead of time to allow the flavor to mature. Incredibly, fruit cakes containing alcohol can be stored for around 9 months if in an airtight container.

What you need

500g raisins
500g currants
500g mixed candied citrus peel
375g flour
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
375g soft butter
375g treacle sugar
6 eggs
50ml brandy

The process

Heat the oven to 150 Celsius.

Lightly butter and line a deep cake tin(should be 28cm x about 17cm deep) with grease proof paper. (cut a circle for the bottom and then line the sides)

Sift together the flour, salt, nutmeg and allspice onto a piece of grease proof paper.

In another bowl(large), cream together the sugar and butter until a creamy texture is reached. Take an electric beater and add the eggs one at a time to the sugar mixture beating well after each addition.

Add the flour in 3 batches, stirring by hand to combine after each batch. Add the dried fruits and the brandy and mix by hand.

Scoop the mixture into the tin and smooth the top. Then take the back of a spoon and create a depression in the center by pressing with the back of the spoon(about ½ cm deep)

Place in the oven for 2 ½ hours, test with a metal skewer to see that it comes out clean. If not, return to the oven covered with tin foil (you don’t want it to become too dark brown)for a further 15 – 30 minutes and test again.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.

I am not mad about marzipan so prefer to melt some smooth apricot jam with a little brandy and paint it over the cake before serving.

Store the cake in a tin in a cool place until Christmas. Here is a Christmas glazed gammon recipe , a Christmas roast turkey recipe and of course, perfect roast potatoes.

See all of the Christmas recipe ideas

Butterfly lamb

Butterfly lamb

lamb recipeThis is a great lamb recipe that can be done on the braai or in the oven and is a really nice change from the usual garlic and herb flavored lamb. Do it for your next braai, you won’t regret it and serve it with the potato bake. This is enough for 4-6 people.

If you do it on the braai you will want to squeeze a lemon or two over the lamb while cooking  but it is really important lo let it rest after removing from the fire before slicing or it will be dry.

I sometimes wrap it in foil for the last 10 minutes or so to keep in all the flavours 🙂
What you need

1 1/2 kg deboned leg of lamb

3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons chicken stock powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

The process

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together and microwave for about 1 minute to dissolve the honey.

Place the lamb in a dish and cover with the marinade, turning to coat all over. Cover with cling film and let it marinade overnight. 24 hours in the marinade is better, so prepare on Saturday for your Sunday lunch.

Oven
Place on a rack in an oven at 180 Celsius for 40 minutes.

Braai
Braai over medium/low coals until done (also about 40 minutes)

Remember to let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This will ensure that the juices do not run out and leave the meat dry.

Easy banana bread

Easy banana bread

banana bread recipe

Banana bread

Last night it was cold and windy and had this ghalashing for banana bread, hot and steamy straight out of the oven and turned to a quick and trusty banana bread recipe I’ve had for years and never fails. (It was late so excuse the pic) I have done almost everything with banana bread, including making a bread and butter pudding with it.

What you need

2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice (I didnt have but used 1/2 cinnamon and 1/2 ginger)
150g soft butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 cup mashed bananas (the riper the better)

The process

Oven temp 180 degrees celsius

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric beaters until soft, Add the eggs and beat well, add the mashed banana and mix well.

Sift in all the dry igredients and mix to a smooth batter and mix well again.

Pour into a lightly greased loaf tin and pop into the oven for 35-40 minutes. Check at 35 minutes with a toothpick and if it comes out clean you’re done.

Remove your banana bread from tin and let it cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack if you can resist the smell. If not, go ahead and cut yourself a slice of the warm delicious banana bread and load it up with some butter, I tell you it is irressistable.

You can also add a palm full of chopped nuts like walnuts to make it a really special banana bread.

I like mine with a good spread of butter. Enjoy!

Mamas Lasagna Recipe

Mamas Lasagna Recipe

old fashioned lasagna recipe

Mamas Lasagna recipe

Every now and then a recipe comes along that you just have to print and keep, bookmark or do whatever you need to so that you do not lose it and this old fashioned Lasagna recipe is one of those easy recipes. Don’t be put off by the number of ingredients, you will have most of them in your cupboard.

There is no low fat low salt this or that, it’s from a great friend of mine whose grandmother passed on the recipe and has been a favourite in their household for as long as anyone can remember. This is not to say that it is difficult or complicated, it is a lasagna recipe that is unpretentious, great tasting and home style food at it’s best so do what you need to and cook this one, you will be so glad you did. (serves 6) Dish size is 30cm x 20cm x about 8cm deep.

What you need

1 large onion finely chopped/grated
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
150g pork sausage meat
1 kg beef mince
2 tbsp tomato purée
3 tsp dried oregano
2 x 420g tins chopped peeled tomatoes
150ml beef stock
2 heaped tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
600ml full-fat milk
pinch of nutmeg
250g lasagne sheets
Grated Parmesan cheese
Grated mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil

The process

If you are using boxed lasagna, boil the kettle and fill a dish with boiling water, place your lasagna sheets into the water one at a time and allow to stand for about 10 minutes or so so that they par cook. It is important to add them one at a time or they will stick together.

In a pan on a medium heat with a little oil add the onions and cook until they begin to sften, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the pork sausage meat and fry for about another 3 minutes. You want to make sure that the meat is separated into a mince consistency. Add the beef mince and cook for about 10 minutes, moving it around so that it is all cokked. It may look a bit grey at this stage but have no fear that is how it is meant to look.

Now add the tomato puree, tomatoes, beef stock and oregano, mix it all up and allow to heat through, taste and season with salt and pepper and then leave it to simmer for about 30 minutes or so to reduce the liquid and thicken up while you make the white sauce.

Take a small pot and place on a medium heat, melt the butter and then stir in the flour. You want the flour to cook but not brown so make sure you are tirring all the time and that your stove is not too hot. This should take about 3 minutes with the butter and flour mixture foaming. Now add the milk little by little and stir furiously to get a smooth consistency and you ahve used all of the milk. Now add the nutmeg, give it a good stir and turn off the heat.

By this time your meat sauce should be ready as well and you are ready to get going.

Take a 20x30cm oven proof dish that is at least 6-8cm high and give it a light rubbing with some butter all over the base and add a thin layer of the meat sauce, then a layer of lasagna sheets, a thin layer of white sauce, a sprinkle of parmesan, then another layer of lasagna sheets and repeat until it is all finished. Sprinkle a nice thick layer of Mozzarella over the top with another fine sprinkle of parmesan.

Into a 180 Celsius oven it goes for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is beautifully brown and bubbling.

That is the very best lasagna you will ever taste! Check out some of the other easy pasta recipes.

Christmas recipes

Christmas recipes

Christmas

Christmas

I have had so many requests for Christmas recipes again this year that I thought I would re-post the whole lot in one entry. Some of my best memories are around the table at Christmas time with the table groaning under all the delicious things to eat. It is so worth taking the time and putting in the extra effort to make Christmas dinner or lunch something really extraordinary, it is something that you and all your friends and family will remember for years to come.

There are also a few recipes that are fantastic to make as Christmas gifts like shortbread or cookie hampers, a little effort in the kitchen making Christmas presents is always appreciated and of course a lot less expensive.

Christmas cake recipe
This recipe makes a large cake that will see you through Christmas.

Glazed gammon recipe
For me, this is the best meal of Christmas with loaded sarmies the next day.

Ice Cream Christmas pudding
Summer Christmas must end with Ice Cream

Traditional steamed Christmas pudding
It’s rich and very good

Perfect roast potatoes recipe
A roast is just not a roast without great roast potatoes

Home made shortbread
Perfect to have around and they make great gifts.

Peanut butter cookies recipe
All time favorite cookie recipe

If there are any other recipes you would like to see here let me know and I will add to the list to help make your Christmas a Christmas to remember.

Get Christmas gift ideas and where to buy them at xmasgifts.co.za. Here we have put together the best selling gifts at the best prices. Most are delivered in 24 hours so don’t fret, there is still time and best of all you don’t need to troll around the shops!

Chicken Leek and Ham pie

Chicken Leek and Ham pie

Chicken and Ham pie with Leeks

I made these pies along with the Greek Lamb shanks and Lemon Flans for a dinner party of 23 people the other night and it went down a real treat. You can prepare the filling the night before and then just cover with the pastry and pop it in the oven half an hour before serving. It is a very simple recipe and seriously delicious.  Make a large pie or separate into 4 smaller pies, it works just as well. (Serves 4 to 6 people)

What you need

Large knob of butter (about 2 tablespoons)
1 large onion finely chopped
4 leeks finely sliced
4 chicken thighs poached and bones taken out
1 large potato cubed and par cooked
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons flour
150g cooked ham chopped or shredded
1 pack frozen puff pastry
beaten egg for glazing
Pepper

The process

Put a large pan on a medium heat, melt the butter and then add the leeks and onions. Cook gently until they are soft but not browned. This should take about 10 minutes or so.

Now add the flour and give it a good mix. You want to cook the flour but not colour it so stir for about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer so that the mixture begins to thicken. Now add the potato, chicken and ham, simmer for about 5 minutes, taste season if need be(this will depend a lot on the type of ham you use) and then remove from the stove.

Before serving, transfer everything into an oven proof disk, cover with the pastry, poke 2 holes into the top, wash with beaten egg and into a 200 Celsius oven for 30 minutes or until beautifully browned and puffed up.

This recipe can be doubled or trebled without any problem.

Black Cherry Tiramisu

Black Cherry Tiramisu

black cherry tiramisu

Black Cherry Tiramisu

This is a non alcoholic Tiramisu that worked so well the friends and family were groaning at the table, taking “just one more little piece”. It really is very simple and the only thing you need to be a little careful with is not turning the egg yolks into scrambled eggs but I have a fool proof method for that which will make sure your Black Cherry Tiramisu is perfect every time. You wil;l need a 30cm round pie dish or similar (makes enough for 10 people)

What you need

1 x 200g packet lady fingers (Bonomi is the brand I used from Picknpay)
2 x tins black cherries in syrup (pitted)
3 x tablespoons caster sugar

6 x egg yolks
4 tablespoons caster sugar
500g Mascarpone cheese (or 250g mascarpone and 250ml fresh cream beaten stiff)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

The process

Open the tins of black cherries and add the syrup to a pot on a medium heat. Add the caster sugar and stir until the caster sugar is completely dissolved then remove and allow to cool while you make the mascarpone mixture. (if you want an alcoholic version, add 2 tots of cherry liqueur now.

follow these steps for the mascarpone exactly to ensure your egg yolks don’t scramble

Put a small pot of water onto the stove and bring to the boil, remove it.

In a glass mixing bowl add the egg yolks and caster sugar and beat to combine. Now place the bowl over the hot water in the pot and continue to beat until the misture turns a pale yellow (more white than yellow). It will thicken and when you lift the beaters it should leave a light trail along the top (about 3 minutes of beating)

Remove from the pot of hot water and beat for another 2 minutes until it has cooled a little.

In another bowl combine the mascarpone and vanilla essence (or if you like it a bit lighter like I do the mascarpone and beaten fresh cream and vanilla essence) Mix until smooth with no lumps.

Add the egg yolk and sugar mixture to the mascarpone mixture and fold together until well combines and smooth.

Dip the lady fingers one at a time in the cherry sauce and line the base of your pie dish with ladyfingers.

Add a layer of the creamy mixture and half of the cherries (halve them for a complete layer) and then sprinkle over a little cinnamon.

Repeat the process one more time ending with a layer of black cherries over the top.

Chill in the fridge for about 4-6 hours (this can be made the day before.

Folks, this is seriously delicious, the cherry flavour seems to fool you into thinking it’s not so rich and every mouthful is so tasty you will be hard pressed to stop before you are groaning. 🙂

Brinjal Curry

Brinjal Curry

brinjal curry recipe

Brinjal Curry

This one is really fantastic if you have vegetarian friends that your meat eating mates will also love. It is very tasty, does not take much effort apart from making sure you give it a stir every now and then so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

Next time I make it I will also add 2 medium diced potatoes and a little extra water just to add another texture and make it go further. I had 9 people around for dinner and used it as a vegetable not a main meal. It will feed 4-6 people as a main with rice 0r 10-12 as a vegetable.

What you need

1 kg baby brinjals halved or 1 kg chopped brinjal
2 medium onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon clove or 1 clove crushed up
1 teaspoon salt
1 Cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
3 cardamom pods
2 star anise
10 or so curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
1 tin chopped peeled tomatoes including liquid
1 cup vegetable stock
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon Garam Masala
Chopped fresh coriander to serve (makes a big difference)

The process

Pop your brinjals onto a baking tray and then into a 200 Celsius oven for about 15 minutes to start the softening process.

While that’s on the go, place a large pot on a medium heat and cook your onions and garlic in a little oil until softened. Now add all of your spices except the cumin and Garam Masala, mix them well and allow to cook for about 2 minutes.

Now add your brinjals, stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stock, stir well, cover and allow to simmer, stirring every now and then until the brinjals are nice and soft, about 1 hour.

About 10 minutes before serving, stir in the cumin and garam masala.

It is best to make this the day before and then reheat it before serving.