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Archive for the ‘red wine’ Category

Baked Lasagne


Lasagne is a favourite with a lot of people including our family.  Being a tad lazy I usually just throw it together with my quick fire bolognaise sauce which I have perfected to about 10 minutes preparation and then simmering till required for spaghetti or as a lasagne filling.  
Sometimes however it is nice to spend some time and really develop the recipe.  This is not a quick fix for a week night tea.    It takes a seriously long time to prepare and cook the elements before even considering the putting together and final cooking.   The final dish is most certainly worth the effort and the dish does not hang around long in our household.
Ingredients 
Beef Mince
Vine Tomatoes 
Bacon Lardons
Onion chopped finely
Celery chopped finely 
Garlic chopped finely
Carrot chopped finely
Sugar 
Red Wine Vinegar
Red Wine
Beef stock
Mixed Herbs 
Bay Leaves
White Sauce 
Parmesan Cheese

 It might seem a strange start but wash your mince through in a colander – it helps break up the strands and allows each bit to cook and become crispy.  
 
Lay this mince, which is now quite waterlogged, on a flat baking dish and cook in the oven for 40 minutes (190°c)
 Prepare the tomatoes.  When investing the time and effort in a meal like this it is worth getting good tomatoes (and good quality mince if you can).   Cut the tomatoes in half and lay on another baking tray.  Sprinkle with salt and sugar; these both bring different qualities of taste to the forefront and transform a good tomato sauce into a fantastic one. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until they are charred and very soft –  this may take longer if they are at the same heat as the mince.
Begin to prepare the rest of the sauce.   Fry the bacon lardons till they are turning crispy.  Add the onions and garlic.  I like to get vegetables into the family and have long used carrots, celery and sometimes even peas in dishes like this. None of which are strictly Italian.   Add any carrots and/or celery at this point (peas can be added shortly before putting the dish together)
  
Cover the mix with a large spoonful of sugar followed by a good slug of  Red Wine Vinegar.  These work as a great combination together.
Follow with a large glassful of Red Wine.

Heat through allowing the liquid to be soaked up by the vegetables.  


If the tomatoes are not ready, remove the mix from heat and let the flavours marry together in a fusion of hits and delicious blends.   

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When the tomatoes are soft and charred add beef stock to the mix with the mince and tomatoes, also add the herbs.  Italian herbs are great, or a mixture of  oregano, rosemary and thyme.  My mother always added a couple of bay leaves to any Italian dish and I follow the tradition popping them in now.





Let the mixture bubble away for a while before layering with pasta sheets.  There needs to be some juice still in the mix but not too much as it will seep out during the baking process.  


 
  


Layer pasta, sauce, pasta sauce, finish with a layer of pasta.





Top the lasagne off with a layer of white sauce (I don’t add any cheese yet) which I had also added a sprinkling of mustard powder to add depth to the sauce.   I like to let the white sauce cool slightly before pouring over the top of the lasagne.  

Then finish with lots of grated Parmesan cheese.  This is one recipe where it is worth getting the real cheese and grating over.  Remember though, Parmesan is strong so you may need less than you think.
 Pop back into the medium oven for about 30 – 40 minutes and serve to a hungry crowd
 It is your choice how you serve this, garlic bread, green salad, glass of red wine or even chips but the dish can hold it’s own in the centre of your table.  
  
Enjoy and let me know the occasion you might serve this dish.   The wait is certainly worth it but I say again this is  not for a speedy supper, so enjoy the meal.    
Tiggy 

Take a look at my day to day blog on Tiggy Hayes

Red Wine Lamb

With the weather thinking about turning colder and Sundays filled with sporting fixtures, I dig out my slow cooker and our meals turn into casseroles, stews and slowly tenderised meats.

This is a very rich melt in the mouth alternative to the Roast which essentially uses the same ingredients but in a slightly different way.

Ingredients 
Lamb Steaks 
Onion
Garlic
Rosemary
Anchovies
Redcurrent jelly (or cranberry jelly)
Red Wine – bottle 
Flour for thickening 

I cheat and do not fry the meat off first.  it is usually a question of timing and I chop the onions and garlic 

Put the slow cooker on high. I don’t tend to put any oil in as the meat creates its own.
Add the onions and garlic.

 
The only reason I skim the leaves off the rosemary is the stalks become quite woody after cooking but add the leaves to the pot




Chop the anchovies into small pieces – don’t worry nobody will know they are in there (I promise), throw them into the pot as well.

  
Next just throw in the steaks, no need to cut them.  I add my Jelly to the pot at this time.  Redcurrent works really well but failing that I usually have cranberry jelly in the fridge so that can be a substitute.



Now it is the time for the Red wine  – I confess it is always the bottle on offer at the supermarket and I don’t quite use all the bottle. Covering the meat is the most important thing and do remember to keep a tad back for thickening later on.

Almost done,  you can forget about them for a few hours.  I like to turn the cooker to low if I leave the house so I would suggest after about an hour and then it can be left.    Re-entering the home you are met with the most wonderful nostalgic smell of roast lamb and gravy which means I am unable to resist opening the pot and turning the meat over.  By now the steaks are no longer complete but in small bite size morcels that just melt in the mouth.




At least half an hour before serving mix a little flour with some of the left over wine




Stir it into a paste and then add to the casserole.


If there is alot of excess liquid – oil can be spooned off but if there is still too much gravy then wack the heat up to high and remove the lid for a while to reduce it.  

I tend to find once the flour paste is in it thickens anyway.


Take off the heat at least 20mins before serving to allow all the flavours to settle and then serve with mashed potatoes and bright vegetables with mint jelly on the side.  Simply devine and no chewing required as all the flavours just explode into a wonderful reminder of  childhood roasts.   

If there is any sauce left, save it for gravy or stock for soup or stew.  


This does not have to be cooked in a slow cooker – use a very hot oven initially with a covered stew pot then turn it to low for 5 hours or so giving you the same wonderful experience.

Enjoy this and let me know what you think  –  if you prefer the traditional roast see my Slow Roast Lamb here.

Have a look at the trials and tribulations of trying to be a writer at my Tiggy Hayes

love 

Tiggy 

Braised Ginger Beef


This is not a quick simple dish.   You need to think about it at least the day before and as I made it in the slow cooker it needs all day to cook slowly and succulently.   A great dish for a Sunday dinner instead of roast or for a warming meal on Saturday evening after a day out in the cold and wet.   

After marinading overnight and then all day cooking the meat just melts in the mouth and the vegetable all fell to bits.  I served it with roasted skins,  caramelised carrots with caraway cabbage.  

Ingredients 
Braising or Stewing Steak cut to bite sized pieces
Carrots sliced
Celery sliced 
Onion  chopped
A bottle of red wine – I used a cheap one which worked very well (the experts say use the most expensive you can afford but I served that in a wine glass along side – delicious)
Thyme – good handful of sprigs
Bay leaves – one or two
Ginger peeled and cut into small bite sized chunks 
Olive oil 

Put the meat into a large basin and cover with the whole bottle of wine.

Leave overnight in the fridge.  

In the morning 

Chop the vegetables and lay them on a small slug of olive oil in a warmed slow cooker pot.




Drain the meat but reserve the juices.   Fry the meat in a separate pan to seal it.  The meat will already be deep in colour having taking in the flavour of the wine.




When browned add to the pot on top of the vegetables 



In the same pan add the remainder of the marinaded wine and and bring to the boil.   


Once boiling a scum will form so remove this and use the rest of the liquid to cover the meat mix.

Add the Thyme and Bay leaves.    Cover and leave cooking for several hours.   

At this point if I was cooking the meat in a conventional stewpot in the oven I would add a quantity of stock,  (beef, chicken or vegetable) to stop it drying out at all, it can be cooked off later but better to keep it moist whilst stewing.

I left it cooking on a low heat for 6 hours and it was heavenly, but you know your cooker best and you know your lifestyle and when you will need to eat.  You could add a few potatoes (new would work best and not mush up).  Leave them to cook in the juices so you could just come in and serve.

This went down so well and had lots of subtle rushes of flavouring.   I had planned to have it again for lunch the next day but it all disappeared that night.

Enjoy and let me know if you can come up with a variation.

For the caramelised carrots I used baby whole carrots (it is good to use whole ones anyway rather than sliced, I chose baby ones).  Place these in boiling water with a good handful of butter and sugar together with a  star anise.  Let the carrots boil away till the water has all gone and they just glaze over.  Serve them without the star anise.

The cabbage was the last minute preparation sliced then cooked in just a knob of butter with a handful of pre-roasted caraway seeds added just before serving.   

The inspiration for this meal came from the lovely Tom Kerridge at The Hand and Flowers   

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Tiggy

Find out what I am up to in my other blog  Tiggy Hayes

Spicy Roast Beef

Sunday Lunch is the highlight of the week and the time when I like to push the boat out a little bit.

Sometimes I will roll my Beef in Mustard and cook it like that but I have taken to doing it this way instead.   There is no getting away from the fact the crust is spicy, so cut off this for fussy eaters.  It surprised me when two of my very fussy children tried this and loved it; they kept returning for more.

I have added my amounts in but this will vary  on who and how many you are feeding, how spicy you like your meat and how big the joint is.  These measurements are a good guideline to try for the first time you spice up your Beef then you can adapt accordingly.

Ingredients 
Mixed peppercorns 1 tbsp 
Mustard Seeds 1 tbsp
Fennel Seeds  1tsp
Red Onions cut into quarters 
Joint of Beef
Olive Oil

Gravy
Flour
Stock Cube
Red currant Jelly (although I had run out and used Chill Jam instead)
good pouring of Red Wine


It is so simple for such a deep pervasion of subtle spices



Crush the peppercorns then add the mustard seeds and fennel seeds crushing them as well.

Cover the joint of Beef with oil.

Spread the peppercorn mix over a plate or roasting dish and roll the oiled joint in the mix.

Leave this for a few hours if you can or even overnight in the Fridge (you could put it in a bag)

Before you are ready to cook take the beef from the fridge so it can acclimatise to the temperature of the room.




Rest the Beef on the onions so any juices drip down.




Cook in  a hot oven 200°C / Gas 6  for about an hour (depending on weight, preference rare or well done –  I like very rare the rest of the family prefer very well done an hour was more to my liking than theirs)

Take the meat out and let it rest for at least 30 minutes – if any longer cover with Silver foil to keep the heat.

Meanwhile using the onions and all the delicious scrapings in the pan.  Mix in a spoonful of flour which has been mixed with water.   Stir it in till there are no lumps of flour.

Add the stock cube, redcurrant jelly and the wine and mix well; over the heat.  If like me you use pampered chef stoneware which cannot have direct heat I put it in the oven remembering to stir regularly.

Serve with delicious Yorkshire Puddings, Roast potatoes and a selection of veg.  I confess to hide all the seeds and onions I strained the gravy before taking it to the table, but some tastes might enjoy the bits still in the gravy

I used the left overs for sandwich fillings and cold meat platters, the kick added to the beef was delicious but not at all overpowering.


Enjoy,  do you add anything else to your joints – let me have a try?


Tiggy

Find out what I am up to in my other blog  Tiggy Hayes

Slow Roast Lamb



This is great if you are out for the day and want to come back to something tender and succulent.  There is a little bit of effort first thing but then leave to slowly cook and tenderise.   The vegetables also should be cooked and served with as much love.    A great meal to serve if you wish to impress someone.

Ingredients 
Lamb shoulder / leg  Hoggitt or Mutton are better than Spring lamb
Garlic – whole peeled cloves
Rosemary sprigs  lots
Anchovies  – these are the cocktail ones from the jar but plain not with herbs
Red Wine / Flour / oxo cube for the gravy


Don’t worry if you can’t stand anchovies these are in the lamb to add depth of flavour and you will not know or taste they are there.

It was when I was discussing this blog and mentioned in conversation my ingredients that both my mother and husband told me in horror that neither like anchovies.  They do however both adore my slow roast lamb.

Heat up the oven to a high heat while you dress the lamb.

Cut holes in the meat skin, then wrap 1 garlic clove and one small sprig of rosemary in an anchovy, place them in each of the holes.  This could do then with a sprinkling of good rock salt and ground pepper but these are optional.  Any spare rosemary can be lain on top of the joint.

Put into the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes then turn right down to 150° and leave to slow cook for several hours.   Prior to the meal, remove the meat from the oven, transfer to a carving dish and leave to stand.  Save the delicious juices for a gravy. 


If you have a second oven use it now otherwise bump up the heat again to at least  200° to cook the roasties.  Remember par-boiled and shaken in the colander will give them a crispy texture.

Add red wine – a good glug to the juices, mix a little veg water with flour and oxo cube then add to pan juices then reheat.

If like me you are using pampered chef stoneware that cannot go on the hob, stir well and put back in the oven.  Stir often and then serve up with your meat.  It helps clean the dish and leaves the gravy full of flavour.

Serve with all the trimmings including mint sauce, no carving required as the meat falls off the bone and melts in the mouth.


Do give this lamb a try and let me know which vegetables you prefer to serve and how you add taste to these as well.  I use my base flavours of garlic, rosemary and mint to bring the vegetables alive.

Enjoy

Tiggy 


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