Beef with asparagus and oyster sauce

Beef with asparagus and oyster sauce

Beef with asparagus and oyster sauce

Beef with asparagus and oyster sauce

Beef in oyster sauce is most often served on its own but adding asparagus or mange tout for that matter, makes it so much nicer. It’s really quick and best to use a nice piece of fillet. The asparagus still have a crunch to them which really appeals to me.. at least I feel I’m getting my vegetables and still enjoying the richness of the oyster sauce. (serves 2 with rice)

What you need

400g fillet thinly sliced
handfull of asparagus cut into 1/3’s (about 400g)
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
Pinch chili flakes(optional, I just like a little heat)
50ml beef stock
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 tablespoon maizena/cornflour combined with 2 tablespoons water
Oil

The process

Pop the asparagus into a pot of rapidly boiling salted water and boil for about 1 minute to soften slightly, drain and set aside.

In a wok on a high heat, add a little oil, toss in the galic, stir and then immediately add the meat, stir fry fast, tossing it around for about 2 minutes.

Add the beef stock and the oyster sauce and combine well, stirring constantly. Now add the maizena mixture and stir for about another minute or 2 until the suace thickens.

Toss in the asparagus and mix the whole lot around or toss it in the wok to combine everything and cover the asparagus with sauce and serve separately with rice.

Thats that, a delicious meal in under 15minutes.

Seared beef salad

Seared beef salad

seared beef salad

seared beef salad

After the rare beef with dipping sauce recipe, which I like for it’s pub food flavor, try this as a healthy option or if you are having people over and some want a healthy option. This recipe is for 1 or 2 but just double or triple it for the number of people. You need to slice the beef really thin so make sure you have a very sharp knife, carpaccio thin is the best way to have this. (for 1 or 2)

What you need

250g rare beef fillet sliced paper thin
handfull of green beans
1 small onion chopped into small cubes
Mixed salad leaves
handful of cherry tomatoes halved
Palm of chopped fresh parsley
Palm of chopped fresh basil
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and black pepper

The process

Make the beef fillet the same as the beef with dipping sauce and slice off 250g as thin as you possibly can.

In a pan with a little olive oil over a medium heat, add the onions and cook until translucent, remove to cool.

Steam the beans for about 3 minutes to soften slighlty, you still want them to be firm, remove and let them cool.

In a bowl, add the salad leaves, tomatoes, beans and herbs, then pour over about 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss to coat the leaves, give it a grind of salt and lack pepper and toss again.

Place the beef around the edge of a plate and pile up the salad in the center.

You may want to add some finely sliced chili, cucumber etc to the salad… whatever your favorites are. You could also use a bought dressing like Italian or greek, something that is not creamy, just dress the leaves and not the meat.

If you are really feeling adventurous, serve with some hot out of the oven Yorkshire puddings with this foolproof Yorkshire pudding recipe

Oxtail potjie

Oxtail potjie

Oxtail potjie

Oxtail potjie

Cooking oxtail needs time and patience and a potjie is the perfect method to get that fall off the bone oxtail that I just love. This is a really fantastic recipe that turned out really tender. It takes all the willpower you can muster not to keep opening the potjie to see how its doing and breathe in the awesome aromas so prepare yourself with good friends and a few beers, put it on and just tend to the fire every now and then. Here is an oven made Oxtail Recipe as well.(6 people comfortably)

What you need

500 – 600g Oxtail pieces
2 smoky Kassler chops cubed (you can use bacon, about 1/2 a packet but bacon just does not seem to be as smoky as it used to be)
½ cup seasoned flour
1 liter beef stock
400g tin tomato paste
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
2 dry bay leaves
4 large leeks roughly chopped
2 large onions roughly chopped
2 large carrots roughly chopped
3 large potatoes roughly chopped
250g punnet button mushrooms
1 cup red wine
½ cup sherry
50g butter
Olive oil
Peppercorns
Fresh Mixed herbs, about 10 stalks tied together that you can remove easily or a bouquet garni.

The process

Prepare your fire to a hot coal stage and have plenty of spare charcoal or wood standing by because you are going to need to keep the fire going for about 4 hours.

Chop up all your veg and place in bowls ready to add.

Place your potjie on the edge of the fire to heat up, add the butter and a good splash of olive oil, add the Kassler cubes or bacon and cook for about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the oxtail pieces with the seasoned flour to coat and then brown with the kassler cubes, turning them with tongs to get a nice colour all over.

Remove the oxtail pieces and the kassler and set aside.

Add the carrots, the onions and the leeks and cook for about 5 minutes.

Now add back the meat and all of the rest of the ingredients, stir, place on the lid, make sure the fire is moderate to hot just not boiling, crack open a beer and sit back for at least 2 hours before you take a look.

Make sure the fire is kept fairly constant, you want the sauce to bubble slowly, not boil.

After 3 hours check again and if the sauce is too thin, add a tablespoon of maizena(cornstarch) to 2 tablespoons of water, mix and then add to the liquid, stir and cook for the last half hour.

Leave it on the fire for about 3 1/2 hours in total before serving.

It’s a South African institution the Potjie so get your friends around and give it a try.

The same recipe can be used for lamb neck, lamb knuckles or beef shin. Here is a traditional oven made Oxtail recipe.

Meatballs and gravy

Meatballs and gravy

meatballsMeatballs are such a great thing to make and can be served with a nice onion gravy and rice or with a tomato sauce over pasta like this spaghetti meatballs recipe or for a fantastic home made burger. Finding the right combination of flavors is what it’s all about, so of you like basil, add some. If you like hot and spicy, add a little chili and when you find the perfect combination for your taste, write it down. This is how I like meatballs for a quick dinner.(It make 4 large servings)

What you need

Meatballs

500g lean beef mince
2 cups breadcrumbs
2 eggs
Palm of fresh chopped parsley
Pinch of salt and black pepper
A little oil for frying

Sauce

½ cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup beef stock
1/2 cup Mrs Balls Apricot Chutney
Butter, about 3 tablespoons

The process

Mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs together in a bowl and form balls about 5cm in diameter.

Brown the meatballs in a hot p[an with a little oil just to colour them and place in a casserole dish.

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius

Soften the onions in a pan with butter over a medium heat, add the stock and chutney and mix well.

Pour the sauce over the meatballs and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. remember to taste the sauce and add salt and pepper if need be.

Serve over rice or with mash.

Rare beef with dipping sauce

Rare beef with dipping sauce

beef-dipping-sauce

Rare Beef Fillet

Every now and then when I am feeling nostalgic about a trip I did to the UK and Paris a few years ago, I make this simple rare beef with a gravy dipping sauce that reminds me of the fantastic time I had. It’s real pub food that takes only a few minutes to make and is very easy to double for a whole lot of people. There are a few variations like serving it with an Asian dipping sauce as a starter but the good old, rare roast beef, crunchy French loaves and dipping gravy is a real must do. It’s just as good on the braai as well. (4-6 people)

What you need

1.5 to 2kg beef fillet
Salt and black pepper

Gravy

340ml can of beer
1 cup beef stock
3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
salt and black pepper

The process

On a chopping board, grind salt and pepper to cover the surface. Take the fillet and roll it over the board to cover with the salt and pepper, real simple hey! (You van happily add herbs, chili flakes etc)

heat a frying pan to hot, add a thin layer of oil and sear the fillet to a nice beep brown all over. Remove the pan from the heat, leaving the fillet in it. (Turn it from time to time while you make the gravy)

In a pot, add the stock and beer, bring to the boil, add the mushrooms, then reduce heat and simmer until the amount of liquid has reduced by about 1/3, about 10-15 minutes. This will make about 1 1/2 cups of gravy dipping sauce which is enough for 4 people, If you are having more, make 2 batches.

Add the butter and whisk until melted, the gravy will begin to shine. Now taste and add salt and pepper if you need to.

That’s it, you family and friends will love you.

Slice the fillet into thin slices, serve with warm crispy French loaves and the gravy in a bowl.

For an Asian twist, serve the thinly sliced beef cold with finely sliced spring onions and this dipping sauce.

3 small chili’s finely chopped
1/2 cup of spring onions finely sliced
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup of soy sauce

Mix it all together and serve with the beef that is layered on a plate and covered with spring onions.

am a huge fan of Yorkshire puddings straight from the oven that go so perfectly with rare roast beef that you might want to make this Yorkshire Pudding recipe.

North African beef with couscous

North African beef with couscous

beef-couscous

North African Beef

This is a fantastic couscous recipe that is very quick and smacks of North Africa. It uses a lot of herbs including mint that really brings out the flavours and is a light, fresh meat dish that is perfect for lunch. You do need to marinate the meat for a few hours first, so get it done after breakfast ready for lunch. (for 4 people)

What you need

600g – 700g rump or fillet thinly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (about 5cm piece)
50ml orange juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 medium onion chopped
3 large tomatoes chopped
Palm of fresh chopped mint
Palm of fresh parsley mint
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup couscous
1/2 cup boiling water
1 heaped tablespoon butter

The process

Make a marinade in a large bowl by combining the garlic, orange juice, vinegar, coriander, ginger, mixed spice and vinegar. Add the sliced beef, cover and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours, 3-4 hours is also fine.

Combine the couscous and the boiling water in a bowl and set aside to allow all the water to absorb.

Ina wok or heavy pan, add a little oil and fry the onions until translucent. remove and set aside.

Now heat the wok to very hot, add a little more oil and stir fry the beef in small batches to sear the outside. Toss it about every 30 seconds or so. remove each batch and add to the onions.

Now wipe the pan clean with paper towel, add a tiny bit more oil and quick fry the chopped tomatoes. Once they are hot, add back the beef and onions, toss in the lemon juice, mint and parsley, toss it about to combine everything and finally add the couscous and give it a final toss around to distribute everything evenly.

You can eat this hot or cold. Try the seared steak salad recipe for a really great salad recipe.

Curried beef Chinese style

Curried beef Chinese style

beef-chineseBeef curries are really fantastic but take a fair amount of time and when I read this curried beef in a Chinese recipe book, I just had to try it. The very essence of Chines cooking is good fresh ingredients that are cooked swiftly on a high heat in just minutes so the thought of a great curry in just a few minutes really appealed to me. The sate sauce makes a huge difference to the flavour so if you don’t have any add a little peanut butter that has been watered down. Well I was so impressed that I will certainly be making this curry recipe often. (4 people)

What you need

500g fillet steak finely sliced
3 medium potatoes in small cubes (2cm)
2 medium onions roughly chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder (mild, med, hot – your choice)
Oil for frying

Sauce
3 teaspoons curry powder
2 tablespoons sate sauce
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
80ml water (1/3 cup)
1 chicken stock cube crumbled
3 teaspoons maizena (cornflour)
1 tablespoon rice wine or sherry

The process

In a wok or pan on a medium heat add the oil and cook the potatoes until they are nicely browned and cooked through. They tend to want to stick together so toss them around a bit. Add the onions and 2 teaspoons of curry powder, toss to combine and cook for about another 3 minutes. remove from the pan and set aside.

Clean the wok, add a little more oil, turn up the heat and cook on high, tossing frequently until browned. Add back the potato mixture and all of the sauce ingredients. Stir to combine and bring to the boil. Immediately reduce heat and cook for 3 minutes.

Thats it, a really fantastic curry in minutes.

The fillet steak is soft, tender and because its so thin the sauce permeates right through it.

Enjoy it folks and perhaps treat yourself to the banana fritters for dessert.

Gourmet burger

Gourmet burger

gourmet burger

Gourmet Burger

Burgers are social things that we all at some stage compare, I know from experience of making these how everyone relates, “better than a steers burger” and then the, I once had a burger…. stories. These are seriously yummy and you run the risk of never having a take out burger again. All it really is, is a start and then you get creative. This makes 4-6 burgers depending on the size of your rolls.

What you need

750g lean beef mince
1 cup homemade breadcrumbs (take a few slices of stale bread or bread dried in the oven on a low heat and place in a blender)
1 medium onion grated or finely chopped
2 – 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

The process

In a pan on a low heat cook the onions till soft.

Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl(use your hands it works better) and form into patties that are about 20% larger than you burger roll.

Fry in a little oil over a medium heat until browned nicely.

if you are having cheese with your burger, place it on top of the patty when you turn it over on the pan and the cheese will melt while its cooking. You know the rest, mayonnaise, tomato chutney, mustard lettuce, onions etc.

More often than not, I top my burgers with a fried egg… reminiscent of the days when we used to stop at Bimbo’s in Rosebank for an egg burger after the jol in Hillbrow… Good times I tell you.

If you enjoy this, you are gonna love the spaghetti meatballs recipe, it’s real home style Italian cooking or this Oxtail stew.

Beef with cashew nuts

Beef with cashew nuts

beef-cashewnutChinese food is so good, healthy and uick to make and this one is really fanatstic. The sate sauce makes all the difference so if you don’t have any just mix a 1 tablespoon peanut butter with 1 tablespoon water to thin it out a bit. For thoe who like a little heat you can happily add 1 finely chopped green chili. (4 people)

What you need

500 – 600g rump steak, fat removed, sliced thin across the grain
100g unslated roast cashew nuts (if you have raw cashews just pot them on a baking tray in a 200Celsius oven until they begin to brown.)
6 or 8 spring onions roughly chopped
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
1 tablespoon maizena(cornflour)
125ml water
2 tablespoons satay sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Oil for frying

The process

In a wok or heavy based pan on a high heat, add the oil and sear the beef strips in 2 or 3 batches, remove and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the pan and add the garlic, spring onions, ginger and cashew nuts. Toss around for about 2 minutes then add back the meat and all of the juices and toss again.

Mix together the 1/2 cup water, satay sauce, soy sauce and maizena, mix and then add to the pan.

bring to the boil and stir well to ensure that all of the ingredients are well coated and suace begins to thicken.

Thats it, done.

Serve with boiled rice or this fried rice recipe.

Weekend Beef n’ Beer casserole

Weekend Beef n’ Beer casserole

This has got to be the ultimate cold weekend meal. It will fill your home with a smell that will have the neighbors dropping in to say Hi! Casseroles are really simple, chop everything up, into the oven and wait it out, it really could not be easier. There is serious rugby on this weekend, so for those who want to be prepared, get a few french loaves, make this and have a few friends around.

What you need

1.5kg beef neck or chuck
Seasoned flour for the meat (1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons butter
6 roasting potatoes peeled and roughly chopped
2 onions sliced
2 or 3 carrots roughly chopped
2 cans of beer
2 tablespoons worcsteshire sauce
2 bay leaves
Pepper to taste
Oil for frying

The process

Cut up the beef into cubes and discard the bones.

Sprinkle the flour over the meat and toss it around to coat evenly.

In a hot pan heat some oil, add the butter and brown the meat on all sides. Do it in batches so you do not stew the meat, you want it drowned nicely. Set aside

Layer a casserole dish,

Potatoes
Onions
Browned meat (with the liquid still in the pan)
Carrots

Then add all of the liquid ingredients, the bay leaves and a good grind of pepper.

Place uncovered in a 180 Celsius oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, check on it after about 1 1/2 hours and if the carrots are beginning to brown, give it a mix and return to the oven.

Your home will fill with the most amazing aroma and you will want to dive in straight away.

Let it sit for about 15 minutes out of the oven before serving.

This will serve 4 to 6 people and while you are looking for a really tasty stew, the tomato bredie recipe has been a real winner.