"You Get What You Get Don't You Mummy?"

"You Get What You Get Don't You Mummy?"
"You Get What You Get Don't You Mummy?". Family food ideas for families who want to eat yummy food

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The First Big Freeze

We woke up this morning to a proper freeze. Naturally my first thoughts this morning turned to stew. Hot, steaming and satisfying, filling the house with its smell all day. Tonight called for beef in stout with dumplings.

For the stew
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1kg/2lb 3oz diced shin of beef (cut off the bone into large pieces)

  • 2 sticks celery

  • 2 carrots

    1 parsnip

  • 2 large onions

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 heaped tsp tomato purée

  • 1 tbsp plain flour

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ litre/17fl oz stout

  • 200ml/7fl oz dark beef stock

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

    For the suet dumplings
    • 150g/5oz beef suet

    • 150g/5oz self-raising flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting

    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    • water to bind

      Preparation method

      1. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/Gas 2. Heat a large casserole on the hob. Add some of the vegetable oil and, when hot, add some of the beef in a single layer and cook over a high heat until browned. When browned, remove the beef to a bowl, before adding the next batch and browning. Don't crowd the pan. Remove the last batch of meat and place in a bowl.

      2. Roughly chop the celery. Add the last bit of oil to the casserole and add the celery.

      3. Roughly chop the carrots, parsnips and onions and add to the casserole.

      4. Slice the garlic and add to the casserole. Stir all the vegetables thoroughly and allow them to brown gently, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you go.

      5. Once the vegetables are coloured, add the tomato purée and stir. Add the flour and stir together well until the flour is incorporated. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

      6. Add the stout to the casserole, followed by the beef stock.

      7. Bring up to the simmer and return the browned beef to the casserole. Cover with a lid and simmer.

      8. Make the dumplings. Place the suet in a clean bowl and add the flour. Using your hands, mix the suet and flour well, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If you want horseradish dumplings, now is the time to add it to the mix.

      9. Make a well in the centre of the flour and suet mixture and add water a bit at a time. Mix with your hands until you get a firm dough that comes away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.

      10. Turn the dough out onto a clean board and sprinkle over some flour. Roll the dough out into a sausage shape, then form into six golf ball-sized dumplings (they'll double in size when cooking). Carefully drop the dumplings into the stew. You can store any unused dumpling dough wrapped in cling film in the fridge for two or three days.

      11. Cover the casserole with a lid and place in the preheated oven to cook for 2½-3 hours, checking periodically.

      12. After two hours, turn the dumplings over. Add the bay leaves and the thyme and continue cooking for a further half hour to an hour. When the beef is done, it should fall apart to the touch and the dumplings should be light and fluffy.

      13. Serve the dumplings and beef stew in large bowls.


Saturday, 20 November 2010

Friday 19th November 2010

Today has been soooo cold. I feel tired just trying to keep warm, so the idea of having dinner cooked for me, warms my cockles. Of course the children need feeding first, so after a load of junk at the junior social tennis club 'tuck', we call in for fish and chips on the way home. Just what is required at the end of a cold dark week. Naturally, we had to make sure they were OK, & nibbled on their tea.
Finally, the babysitter arrives and we are thankfully collected in the car by our host. There is nothing better than being cooked really good food by really good friends. The perfect evening.
We ate a beautifully decadent starter of king prawns dressed with capers and lime. Delicious. This was followed by a deeply aromatic chicken braised with Mediterranean flavours of tomatoes and olives, served with a stunning pilaf. Well done Mrs Mackey. The meal was finished off impeccably with tarte tatin and cheese.
We retired to the drawing room and with conversation becoming ore raucous we decided that the flavoured vodkas we brought round should be sampled. The innocent looking pink one was not at all innocent, however the sour cherry is now my new favourite tipple. A lovely night with lovely friends.


Thursday, 18 November 2010

Wednesday 17th November

Tonight is Rainbows and tennis night. We have 30 minutes post school, to do tea and get changed before we battle across Bramhall's traffic. My daughters friend is also with us, so there is much excitement.
Hot dogs (good quality frankfurters), are called for. The kids swallow these down with corn on the cob, grapes, carrot sticks and cucumber. a sure fire winner.
Adult tea is a old favourite.
Garlic cream pasta with prawns.
Heat a tablespoon of oil and add 4 sliced mushrooms to the oil with a pinch of salt. This helps to draw some of the liquid from the mushrooms. When they begin to soften add a clove of chopped garlic, cook gently for a minute or two and add a splash of white wine. Let this bubble away. Sprinkle in a good pinch of dried chilli. Add a good splash of double cream. Turn the heat down to low. Meanwhile cook 200g of pasta in salted boiling water.
3 minutes before the pasta is ready, add some frozen peas to the sauce, a good grating of parmesan, some chopped parsley and the prawns.
Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce. Stir and check for seasoning. Serve in warmed bowls.