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.

Pea and mince curry

Pea and mince curry

Curried mince with peas

Curried mince with peas

Peas in curried mince is an dish often made in the Cape but when I came across this North Indian recipe I just had to give it a try and it was truly fantastic, quite different from the Cape Malay style though. Now that you can get frozen peas in supermarkets again it’s well worth giving a try. (for 4 people)

What you need

2 onions chopped
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
2 large green chili’s chopped
2 bay leaves
500g lamb mince (beef is also fine)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
pinch turmeric
Pinch chili powder
2 tablespoons coriander powder
2 tablespoons cumin powder
2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
Palm of chopped fresh coriander
Oil

Water

The process

The first thing you need to do is blitz the onions, garlic, ginger and chilis in a food processor or grind to a paste in a pestle and mortar.

Heat about 4 tablespoons of oil in a heavy base frying pan over a medium heat and add your paste. Cook for about 3 minutes or so and then add the bay leaves. Cook, stirring until it begins to brown.

Add the mince and cook, stirring occasionally until the meat changes colour, about 15 minutes. Now add the tomato paste and reduce the heat to low.

Add the turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, salt, pepper and cumin and give the mixture a good mix to combine all the flavors. Add the yoghurt and about 3/4 cup water and give it a mix. Cook until most of the water has evaporated. Now add the peas, stir, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Whe you are ready to serve, toss in the chopped coriander leaves, stir and serve.

It’s a really great tasting dish that is perfect for work the next day. Another fantastic curry is the Kerala country chicken, give it a try.

Lamb Rogan Josh

Lamb Rogan Josh

Lamb rogan josh

Lamb rogan josh

I had lamb rogan josh at a really well known Indian restaurant in Cape Town a little while back and found a fantastic recipe to reproduce this incredible dish.It has a rich yoghurt sauce that you will need every last piece of roti to soak up. I did not have it with rice, I think most saucy curries are better with roti.  It’s not a quick and easy recipe but so very delicious that it’s worth every minute of effort. (serves 6/7 people)

It has a long list of spices so print it out and head off to Atlas trading if you are in CT or your local spice shop with the recipe to make sure you have all of the spices.

What you need

4 teaspoons crushed garlic
4 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons coriander powder

1.2kg cubes of lamb leg or shoulder (about 4cm cubes)
100ml oil
1 large onion grated
6 cardomon pods
4 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick about 7cm long
3/4 cup plain full cream yoghurt
Salt and pepper
Water

The process

In a large bowl, add the cubes of meat, galic, ginger, cumin. chili powder, paprika and coriander. Mix it all together well ensuring that each piece of meat has spices on it. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.

In a large cast iron casserole dish or a large heavy base pot on the stove over a medium to hot heat, heat the oil, add the onions and stir until the onions begin to brown.

Now add the cardomon pods, cinnamon stick, cloves and bay leaves and cook for another minute or so, stirring. The aromas will begin to fill your kitchen.

Add the meat with every last little bit of the spices from the bowl and stir around for about 2 or 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, place the lid on allow to cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes . Remove the lid and keep cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated. There wont be much liquid so it will only take about 3 or 4 minutes.

Sounds crazy, but now you want to add 1/2 cup of water, cover again and let it cook for another 5 minutes or so, remove the lid and let the water evaporate again. This is all part of the tenderising and flavor enhancement process so don’t shortcut.

Give the meat another stir and now add 1 cup of water, place the lid on and simmer for 50 minutes on low without disturbing.

Remove from the heat, stir in the yoghurt, add about 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, stir well, cover and take to the table to be served.

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.

Roast lamb leg

Roast lamb leg

roast lamb

Roast Lamb

Roasting a leg of lamb on the bone is really a very simple and a real crowd pleaser. I did this recipe for 8 people and the total time preparing it was about 45 minutes, a real walk in the park. Be sure to go to a good butcher who will select a nice piece of meat for you. I got this one from the butcher in Benmore Gardens, they have been around for more than 20 years and are great guys with all sorts of advice. (8 people)

What you need

2.6 – 2.8kg leg of lamb on the bone
6 large cloves garlic halved
large handful of chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, origanum, parsley)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

The process

Heat your oven to 190 Celsius

In the morning take the leg of lamb out of the fridge and leave it in a cool place until you get home. You don’t want very cold meat to go into the oven.

Slice your garlic cloves lengthways in half and prepare your pile of fresh herbs.

Cut 12 thin slits all over the leg and stuff a piece of garlic into each one, then stuff the hole with fresh herbs.

take a little olive oil on your hands and rub the leg to give it a thin coating of oil, then give a good grind of salt on pepper over the surface.

Slosh a bit of oil into the roasting pan and place the leg with the fatty side facing up, jam it in the oven, pour a glass of wine and leave it for 1 hour. After 1 hour check on it, spoon over a little of the juices that have collected and roast for another 1 hour.

Thats it, done.

Cooking times for roast lamb are 50 minutes per kilo plus an extra 20 minutes. This will give you medium lamb, if you like it a little more rare reduce the time by 10 minutes per kilo and always let it rest to 15 minutes or so before carving.

Serve with roast potatoes, and gravy.

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.

Mutton curry “Kalia”

Mutton curry “Kalia”

mutton-curry-recipeOK folks, this is the real deal that is as good as any lamb or mutton curry you will find in the finest Indian restaurants (or in some of Durbans fine home kitchens). It takes a while to make but is not complicated and lets face it, with the weather as it is right now a little time in the kitchen to make something that is truly memorable is well worth it. It’s called Mutton Kalia or Lamb Kalia if you decide to use lamb. (6 people)

What you need

1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1kg mutton chunks (approx 3cm cubes) You can use lamb as well but this curry is tradionally made with mutton.

Oil
2 large potatoes in chunks similar in size to the mutton
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of cardamom
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
3 medium onions halved and sliced
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup water

The process

In a bowl combine mix together youghurt, cumin, vinegar, ginger, chili powder, and turmeric, mix well and then add your meat, cover and marinade in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours for mutton and 2 hours for lamb.

Add about 1cm of oil to a heavy base pot or stainless steel casserole dish on a medium to high heat and cook the potatoes until borwned. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Remove some of the oil, reduce the heat to medium low and add the onions, cinnamon, cardamom, garlic and sugar and cook to soften the onions. Add the potatoes now and the meat to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the water, bay leaves and tomato paste, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour, check that there is enough water and add about another 100ml if necessary, stir and simmer for another 1/2 hour.

Now check that the sauce is thick and quite gluey and if not, simmer for another few minutes with the lid off.

It’s quite a process but OH so worth it.

Another of my favorite meals is this Chunky Lamb cottage pie.