Beef with broccoli

Beef with broccoli

Beef Broccoli

This is a super quick, delicious meat dish that you will use again and again. Chinese food is generally very quick, easy and healthy and this one is no exception. It’s a fabulous week night meal that takes just minutes to make. I really love Chinese food and this one, along with the egg fried rice and sweet and sour pork are real favourites of mine. Good for 4 people.

What you need

350g rump steak
1 tablespoon corn flour
5 ml sesame oil
1 head of broccoli
4 spring onions sliced diagonally
1 clove crushed garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
120ml beef stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sherry or rice wine
2 teaspoons sugar

The process

Remove the fat from the steak and slice into thin strips across the grain, this is really important or your steak strips can get tough.

Heat a wok/frying pan to very hot, add a little oil and fast fry the steak for about 2 – 3 minutes in 3 batches tossing them around so that they do not stew. You want them to sear on the outside but not cook completely, remove and set aside.

Now add the broccoli, spring onions, ginger, garlic and stock that has had the corn flour mixed into it and simmer covered for about 3 minutes. Mix the soy sauce,sherry and sugar together and add to the veg mixture. Add the beef back to the mixture and cook for another 2-3 minutes giving it a stir from time to time.

That’s that, you are done.

Serve it with egg fried rice or chinese egg noodles for classic Chinese food.

Steak pies

Steak pies

home made steak pie

Steak pie

I have had a few requests for pie recipes lately which is probably on account of the weather cooling down and this weekend was perfect to try out a homely steal pie recipe. This recipe can easily be adapted to make a pepper steak pie by adding cracked black pepper so for those who have requested pepper steak pies, this is for you as well. You want a steak that has little fat on it like sirloin or some good chuck that has had the fat removed. The recipe can be used to make 6 individual pies in foil pie tins available from any supermarket.

What you need

500g frozen puff pastry that has been thawed
1 beaten egg

Oil for frying
2 medium onions chopped
500g steak (I used sirloin) cubed into 2cm pieces
1 and 1/3 cups beef stock (for those who like a wine flavour substitute the 1/3 stock with red wine)
30ml Worcestershire sauce
30ml tomato paste
30ml flour mixed with 60ml water
Salt and pepper (for pepper steak pie add about 1 teaspoon of extra cracked pepper)

The process

Place about a tablespoon of oil in a pan on a medium to high heat on the stove and cooked the onions until they are softened but not browned. Now add the steak cubes and toss them around until the pieces are sealed on all sides.

Now toss in the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and wine if you are using wine, reduce the heat to medium low and allow it to simmer for about 40 minutes with the lid off. Stir it occasionally and allow the liquid to reduce and the meat to cook through.

You will still have a fair amount of liquid in the pan so now we need to thicken it up by adding the flour and water mixture. Bring it to the boil after adding the flour mixture and stir it constantly for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool while you prepare the pie cases.

Flour a surface and unroll the puff pastry, dust the top with flour and using a rolling pin or wine bottle, roll it out to about 3mm thick. If you are using individual pie cases cut a circle that will fill the pie case and flop over the edges a little as well as 6 further pieces to cover the top, press into the pie case and trim off the remaining pastry from the sides.

Fill the pie cases equally with the mixture, place the tops on and crimp the edges together with your fingers to seal the pastry. Pierce with a fork or knife on top, brush with the beaten egg and pop into a 200 Celsius over for 20 minutes or until the pastry is beautifully gold and crisp.

This steak pie recipe can easily be made in a large pie dish as well, I don’t put pastry on the base of the dish but cover with a thicker piece of pastry on top with is straight from the pack, no rolling, just cover, pierce and brush with egg.

Meat lasagna

Meat lasagna

Meat lasagna

This is the classic meat lasagna recipe that you have probably had a variation of many times in your life. The meat sauce is the classic meat sauce base used in most Italian pasta recipes that can be altered for your own taste. Every Mom, Dad, or Grandmother seems to have their own perfect recipe so start here and create your perfect lasagna. I like to add a tablespoon of Chutney substituting the wine with chicken stock to my meat sauce and sometimes a few fresh herbs that happen to be around the kitchen so send it and make your own. (Good for 4-6 people) Note: the meat sauce takes a while to cook but is well worth the time but if you have your own favourite meat sauce, use that.

What you need

Dried lasagna sheets cooked for 4 or 5 minutes and dried
1 liter bechamel sauce

Meat sauce

2 tablespoons grated onion
2 tablespoons grated carrot
2 tablespoons grated celery
1 heaped tablespoon butter
500g lean beef mince
1 cup white wine or chicken stock
125ml milk (1/2 cup)
pinch nutmeg
750g peeled chopped plum tomatoes
Salt and pepper

150g grated parmesan cheese

The process

Add the butter to a pan on a medium heat and then add the onion, carrot and celery and cook until translucent and beginning to soften. Add the mince and cook until the mince has lost it’s pink color. You don’t want it to brown and in fact begins to look grey, this is good.

Now add the wine or chicken stock, stir and allow to simmer until all of the liquid has evaporated. Stir it occasionally to make sure there is little or no liquid left. Now add the milk and nutmeg and allow to simmer again until the liquid has evaporated.

Now add the tomatoes with all of their sauce, stir, reduce the heat to medium low and leave to simmer for about 3 hours stirring occasionally. If you notice the sauce sticking add a little more chicken stock. You really want to do this, it softens the meat and produces an incredible flavour.

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius and begin the assembly. Use a 33cmx23cm baking dish and place a thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom, a layer of pasta sheets and then a layer of bechamel sauce. (I sometimes sprinkle a little cheddar cheese at this point). Repeat the process until you have completely finished the meat and end off with a layer of pasta sheets topped with bechamel sauce.

Sprinkle over the parmesan cheese and into the oven for 40 minutes until browned and bubbling.

That is the best Classic lasagna and meat sauce I have ever tried. You may want to try the Spinach and Ricotta lasagna recipe as well.

Bangers and mash

Bangers and mash

bangers and mash recipe

Bangers and mash

Bangers and mash with a tomato and onion gravy is the easiest and tastiest recipe thanks to tinned tomato and onion mix. You can use pork or beef sausages, tastes just as good. You really must give this a try, it will become a regular in your household, simple tasty home style food.

Lets call it African Bangers and Mash, the British bangers and mash uses a brown gravy, here we are giving it some real flavour. This, along with the Scotch egg recipe need good quality sausages and the Woolies porkers or the Escort sausages are the ones you need. Over December I got some porkers from Checkers in Seapoint and they were truly terrible. (3 or 4 people)

What you need

8 pork or beef sausages
1 tin tomato and onion mix or chopped tomatoes
6 strips bacon chopped

5 or 6 large potatoes
butter (1 or 2 tablespoons)
milk (approx 100ml)
Salt and pepper

The process

Start by peeling your potatoes and cutting them into 8ths, place them in boiling water to cook while you prepare the sausages.

Cook your sausages in a pan on a medium to high heat until nicely browned. When you are half way through cooking the sausages, add the bacon and cook through.

Turn you stove to low and add the tomato mix to the pan and allow to simmer for about 4 or 5 minutes. You want the tomato gravy to reduce a little.

Drain off the potatoes when they are nice and soft and mash very well adding about 100ml milk and a heaped tablespoon of butter and seasoning to the mash. The secret to light and fluffy mash is quite simple, mash, mash mash and stir stir stir. Get someone else involved in the mashing if need be, there is something really good about smooth light mashed potatoes.

This is a really good and economical meal that you will love. It’s weekday cooking at it’s best, easy, economical and quick.

Another great pub style recipe is the rare beef with dipping sauce, try it!

Quiche with a potato crust

Quiche with a potato crust

Potato crust quiche

I came across this interesting idea on for the love of cooking blog and just had to try it! Pastry for whatever reason is not a favorite of mine to make so when the idea to use potato slices as a base for a quiche came along, it was like a godsend. It turned out like a gourmet potato bake with wonderful crisped up edges and is on my all time favorite list from now on. (4 people easily) I used a 29cm springform cake tin to make it in so I could remove it easily and would recommend it unless you are going to serve from the dish.

What you need

2 large roasting potatoes thinly sliced
spash of olive oil
1 medium onion grated
2 cups of filling mixture total, I used diced black mushrooms, chopped spring onions and ham
handful of mature cheddar (about 1/4 cup)
8 large eggs well beaten
1/4 cup of milk
Salt and pepper

The process

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius

Oil the cake tin with spray and cook or a bit of olive oil. Line the base and sides of the cake tin about 5 cm up the side with the sliced potatoes, overlap them and press them down quite firmly. If you have an oil spray, spray a little olive oil onto the potatoes and pop into the oven for about 10 minutes or so to settle to base. Remove and set aside.

While the potato is cooking, fry the onions, mushrooms and ham on a medium heat in a little oil until softened. Beat the eggs and milk well, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the potato base along with the cheese and then pour the egg mixture slowly into the potato shell.

Bake for 30 minutes on the middle rack. Test it by pressing down on the center, it should be a little springy and not soft.

Allow to cool down for about 5 minutes before removing the sides of the tin and serve with a salad!

A really great meal a bit like a really fancy potato bake!

Potato Crust Quiche on Foodista

Lamb sosaties

Lamb sosaties

sosaties

Sosaties

Summer is here and a braai is just not quite the same without lamb sosaties. Here is a really fantastic sosatie recipe that you will want to print and keep for your weekend braais. This sosatie recipe uses dried apricots on the skewers but you don’t have to use them, they are just as good without. For me sosaties should not be hot so I use mild curry powder.(makes 8 sosaties) Feel free to double it up.

What you need

500g deboned and cubed lamb about 3cm cubes (leg or shoulder)
2 Onions, 1 grated and 1 cut into chunks for the skewers
Splash of Sunflower oil, about 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder (mild unless you like them hot)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 dried bay leaves
Juice of half a small lemon or about 1 tablespoon
100ml beef stock
125g dried apricots
1 large green or red pepper cut into squares (similar size to the meat cubes)
Wooden or bamboo skewers

The process

Soak the skewers in water while you cut up all of the ingredients, then thread the skewers with a piece of meat, an apricot, a piece of green pepper and a piece of onion, repeating until the kewers are full and faily well packed. (If you have fresh bay leaves, add one or two onto the skewers)

Place them in a large dish and prepare the marinade.

In a pan on a medium heat, add the oil and the butter, then add the grated onion, garlic and curry powder. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes or so, stirring every now and then.

Now add the turmeric, the lemon juice and the stock, bring it all to the boil, turn down the heat, add the sugar and bay leaves and simmer for about another 3 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Pour the whole lot over the sosaties, shake them about a bit to ensure that each sosatie is covered with the marinade, then cover with cling film and allow to marinate in the fridge over night.

In the morning, or before you go to bed, give them another shake about to cover the sosaties again.

Braai them over hot coals and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Yummy I tell you. (You can also use this sosatie recipe on chicken, it tastes marvelous as well)

Try the Bobotie recipe and the Pork rib marinade if you like this type of Traditional SA food.

Tender lamb casserole

Tender lamb casserole

Lamb casserole

Folks this lamb casserole is the easiest and most delicious casserole you will ever make. It’s my mothers recipe that has been a regular meal for many years and is so tasty that your family will be asking for it every week at least once. Perhaps it took so long to get the recipe is that the flavour is almost too good for it to be so easy. (4 people)

What you need

500-600g lamb braai cops or leg chops cut into pieces
1 425g tin chopped peeled tomatoes
1 small onion chopped
1/2 chicken stock cube
1/2 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Oil

The process

Heat your oven to 150 Celsius

In a hot pan with a little oil and brown the meat well, remove and place in an oven dish that has a lid.

In the same pan, reduce the heat to medium and add the onions, cook until translucent, add the tomatoes, crumble in the stock cube, add the herbs and the water and bring to the boil.

Pour over the meat, put the lid on and then into the oven for 4 hours.

That is it folks, no fuss and the result is superbly tender meat with a rich tomato sauce.

You can add carrots or beans, just add a little extra water and keep an eye on it every hour or so.

Serve with mash, pap, boiled baby potatoes and some greens.

Time is everything with this recipe so don’t be tempted to take it out early, it keeps in the fridge without any problem and reheating is as simple as popping in the oven or even reheating in the stove top or dare I say microwave.

Slow cooker Oxtail stew

Slow cooker Oxtail stew

Oxtail stew

Winter just shouts Oxtail stew and this Oxtail slow cooker recipe is fantastic, it takes the better part of a day to cook so put it on to cook on Saturday for your Sunday lunch and give it a gentle heat about 2 hours before serving. The meat is incredibly tender and the combination of the coke and red wine do wonders. I found this recipe in Zhoozsh, Jeremy Mansfields recipe book, what a great buy, every recipe has a South African flavour and they are all pretty much hassle free to make, my kind of book. (Good for about 6 people)

What you need

4 medium onions chopped
1 whole Oxtail in chunks
4 tablespoons Olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
125ml Coke
125ml red wine
2 cubes beef stock
1 packet dry brown onion soup
1 liter water

The process

In a large pot on a medium to high heat, add the oil and onions, cook stirring every now and then for about 5 minutes or until the onions begin to brown on the edges. Toss in the Oxtail, a few at a time and brown them all over. Repeat until all the Oxtail pieces are browned.

Add in the salt, pepper and paprika and any remaining oxtail, stir, now add the coke and wine and simmer for 5 minutes.

Now you are ready for the slow cooker. Toss all from the pot into the slow cooker, crumble up the beef stock, add the soup powder, and 1/2 water, put the lid on and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours. After about 4 or 5 hours check to see the liquid level and add water if necessary.

Could it be any simpler?

Once cooked, switch off your slow cooker until about 2 to 3 hours before your meal. Give the mixture a gentle stir and reheat on low with the lid off.

Thats it, the very best Oxtail stew I have ever eaten. Serve it with mashed potatoes or pap.

For an Oven version of Oxtail stew, try the Oxtail stew for Wintery days recipe.

Slow cooker beef roast

Slow cooker beef roast

Slow cooker beef

For this seriously simple crock pot beef recipe I used short ribs, they came out beautifully tender and the sauce was delicious. This is a no fuss, 5 minute preparation and then hours in the slow cooker to tenderise and create a fabulous, full of flavour dinner. Thanks to Knorr and Royco for this one, it just could not be easier. (4 people)

What you need

1.5kg short ribs or 1 kg brisket or any other beef roast
1 Royco roast gravy packet
2 dry Italian dressing mix from Knorr
1 cup water

The process

Mix together the gravy powder and the salad mix.

Place the beef into the slow cooker and sprinkle over the gravy and salad mix.

Pour in the water and set your slow cooker to low. Allow to cook for about 7 or 8 hours. No need to look in on it.

Hell could it be any easier… a weekend must do recipe for winter days.

Try the braised brisket recipe, another superb winter dish.

Winter beef stew

Winter beef stew

Easy beef stew

Beef stew

Winter and hearty beef stews are synonymous and this beef stew recipe is just perfect and very easy to make. It can be done on the stove top or in the oven. It is pretty much foolproof and takes only a few minutes to prepare, then just leave it to simmer and check on it from time to time. (4 to 5 hungry people)

What you need

60ml Oil
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons crushed garlic (its a lot, don’t be afraid)
1 kg beef chuck cut into cubes
3 onions cut into 1/8 ths
4 large potatoes cubed (about the same size as the meat)
4 large carrots roughly chopped
4 celery stalks roughly chopped
350ml beef stock
3 tablespoons flour to thicken sauce
Water

The process

Heat the oil in your pot to medium hot.

Add your flour, salt and pepper to a plastic bag, drop in the meat and shake it about to coat the pieces in the seasoned flour.

Add the meat in 4 lots browning well all over( it does not need to cook through, you want a nice colour on the pieces) and then remove and set aside in a bowl. Don’t do it all together, they will not brown well.

Add your onions and garlic and give them about 2 minutes of cooking time stirring constantly. Then add the rest of the vegetables, the meat and the beef stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 2 hours. If you are doing it in the oven, place the pot (cast iron is best) in a 160 Celsius oven for 2 or 3 hours.

Check on it every ½ hour or so. After 2 hours, taste the sauce and season if need be.

Mix together about 3 tablespoons of water and the extra 3 tablespoons of flour and stir into the sauce to thicken it up. Then leave it for another 10 minutes or so to simmer and thicken.

It’s a winner this one, serve with mash and a few green beans. Try the beef in beer casserole for another winter treat.

This recipe works well in a slow cooker as well. Just add everything to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.