Showing posts with label Beef. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beef. Show all posts

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Virtually Fat Free Minced Meat - VonShef Premium Meat Grinder Review

We all know how versatile minced beef is when it comes to cooking - burgers, bolognese, cottage pie, beef chilli to name a few.  Of course minced pork is also good and I don't know about you, but I always use half and half mixture of the two when making bolognese.  But I'm always concerned about actually what goes into minced beef no matter where you buy it from.
Standard minced beef in the UK is 20% fat but you really should read the label since you'll find it can also contain all sorts of bits and pieces I'd rather not talk about!

Lean minced beef - labeled 5% fat and there's also 10% 12% and even 15% available - complicated or what?  In fact it gets even more so, have a read of this article by the Daily Mail and you might well be convinced it's a good thing to get a meat grinder and mince your own meat products.
 
Now if you have a meat grinder you can of course mince your own choice of beef, pork, chicken or turkey using prime cuts and at least you know what went in it!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Mexican-style Spicy Pulled Brisket Fajitas

Brisket of beef is a cheaper cut of meat that requires slow cooking and when I say slow cooked I really mean it!  Yes 12 hours in a slow cooker is what's needed to get perfect melt in your mouth beef.  I'd never cooked brisket before and fancied it would be rather nice cooked in a spicy tomato based sauce.  The result we perfect and well worth the wait. 

  
Once done, simply pile onto soft warm tortillas and top with a corn and black bean salsa.
If you cook a bigger piece of brisket than I did, once cooled it can easily be popped into the freezer making this meal perfect for an informal dinner party with friends or family.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Express Beef Madras - Tefal Cook4Me Multicooker Review

 Imagine being able to cook a Beef Madras Curry with a cooking time of just 20 minutes?  Fantastic, but only of course if the beef is juicy, tender, full of flavour and tastes good.
 Well, this Beef Madras using casserole beef (braising steak) actually did cook in 20 minutes and it was seriously good.  Oh yes we're seriously impressed with the Cook4Me Multicooker from Tefal.



 Having recently been asked if I'd like to review the Tefal Cook4Me Multicooker the answer was of course yes please.  I wasn't really sure what to expect since I've never had a multicooker before and wasn't quite sure how they worked.  So, armed with lots of questions as soon as it arrived I wanted to use it!
I'll answer all of my questions and of course if you have any please leave a comment and I'll answer it.

 Picture of Cook4Me supplied by Tefal since it's so shiny I found it almost impossible to take a picture that didn't show myself  and my kitchen in it!


 Does is really cook meals in super quick time and if so, are they just as tasty as you'd expect?
Can someone that really isn't into cooking (such as Paul the husband) be able to use the Cook4Me to create a proper meal without any stress?
  •  How does Cook4Me work?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • What kind of foods can you cook in it? 
  • Do the pre-programmed recipes actually work?
  • Can you make up your own recipe? 
  • Is it easy to clean after use? 
 About Tefal Cook4Me and how it works:
 Cook4Me comes with 50 pre-programmed recipes and it guides you step by step to cook meals for 2 to 6 people. With just the push of a button you can cook a variety of meals in next to no time - great if you want to spend less time in the kitchen. 
The pre-programmed recipes include Starter and Side dishes, Main dishes and desserts.  I haven't tried any desserts as yet but will include one in another post.  I have to try the Molten Chocolate Puddings, don't you think?
Five cooking settings allow you to pressure-cook, steam, brown, simmer, or reheat your meals.
    There's no need to stand watching it either as when the meal is ready, the cooker automatically switches to keep warm until it's time to eat.

The display menu is both easy to read and understand: 
Ingredients, Recipes, Manual and Favourites. By selecting one of these takes you to the following:  Meat and Chicken, Fish and Shellfish, Rice and Cereals.  The OK button is like a select button, you turn it to your chosen category.  The arrow button is like a return button and takes you back to the last menu.  In a word, it's really simple to use.  Yes tried and tested - Paul (the husband) actually made Chicken Tikka Masala all by himself - let me tell you that really is something! 

What other kinds foods can you cook: 

You can of course set it to cook a specific ingredient such as Rice, Quinoa, Bulgar Wheat,  Apples, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Potatoes, Peas and Spinach to name just a few.  Everything you want to cook the Cook4Me guides you as to how to cook it.

Do the pre-programmed recipes work:
I've used mine a good few times now and have found it really easy to look for a similar recipe and adapt it to your own recipe.  So far I've cooked Chicken Tikka Masala, Beef Madras, Carrots and Cauliflower and every time the result has been perfect.  The Chicken was really tender as was the meat in the Beef Madras.
Just following the instructions on the screen - select how many you are cooking for and it will display the recipe for you to follow.


Can you use a similar pre-programmed recipe in order to make your own:
Yes you can , just find a recipe that's similar to what you want to cook and use your own ingredients rather than those suggested.  For example there is a pre-programmed recipe for Sausage and Bean Stew.  But since I didn't have all the ingredients to make it I chose to make a Sausage Casserole using a jar of shop bought cooking sauce. It turn out just perfect and since this post is already getting quite long I'll include that in a later post.
     
What about Cleaning:
      At first glance of the instructions you could think that cleaning looks a bit of a bother - only due to the fact that you have to remove the pressure valve and wash the drip tray.  Take it from me this honestly takes a couple of minutes in total to remove, clean, dry and reassemble.  The removable pot and steam basket are dishwasher compatible.  The removable pot is non-stick and a doddle to wash by hand in sudsy water so personally I can't see the need to put it in the dishwasher.

All in All:
  Okay, this muliticooker isn't cheap (RRP £249.99) although at the time of writing I see it's now £220.00 but with that said I wonder if cheaper multicookers on the market would perform as well.
Cook4Me is available from Lakeland instore and online - you can also buy it through Amazon too. 
 I'd go as far as to say it really is worth investing in - especially if you work and have a family to feed.  None of the recipes are tricky nor do they require many ingredients either.  Easy to clean and easy to use.  Since it lots of recipes cook in extra quick time - it will of course save you money too.  Remember the beef madras used casserole steak/braising steak which usually requires cooking slowly for at least 3 hours took just 20 minutes in the Cook4Me. Personally I'd recommend this to anyone.

50 pre-programmed savoury and sweet dishes with a maximum of six ingredients
    Keeps food warm for up to 90 minutes after cooking
    Easy to clean - the ceramic- coated bowl is non-stick, removable and dishwasher safe
    Tell it the ingredient and weight and it will automatically suggest the best way to cook your food
    36.5 x 36.5 x 32cm H. Watts 1300 Capacity 6 litres



Many thanks to Tefal for sending me the Cook4Me to review.

Disclaimer:  I was given this multicooker for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.


Sunday, 9 March 2014

Beef with Tomatoes and Sweet Paprika - Slow Cooker Recipe

My cute and dinky slow cooker from Judge Cookware is just 1.5 litres and I've found this size to be perfect as it stops me cooking far too much for two people.  I do tend to get a bit excitable and cook too much food.  You can read my review on the Judge mini slow cooker and find more of my slow cooker recipes here.

About this recipe for Beef and Tomatoes - I meant to use a red peppers, but for some reason I seem to have got side tracked and found myself chopping a carrot instead!  Anyway, I used the carrot and left out the red pepper (since the two together is a bit odd, I think) and it was fine, but when I make it again I will use a bell pepper instead.


Whatever you do please try to use sweet paprika as it will give a far nicer taste.
Of course if you wanted to you could put this in a casserole and pop it into the oven at say 180C/360F for about 3 hours, or until the meat in nice and tender.  The only problem is with the oven it does tend to need checking on more often as you will most probably find you need to turn the oven down at some point.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Perfect Sunday Roast Beef - How to Cook

 A proper Sunday Dinner of Roast Beef and all the trimmings is simply the best and isn't as hard to prepare and cook as you might think.  With British Food Fortnight, between 21st September to 6th October 2013, it's time to celebrate in all the lovely food we have here and support our farmers by Buying British!

 Please excuse my poor picture, it's not easy to photograph steaming hot food!

 As with most things, having the proper tools makes any job easier and OXO Good Grips have everything you need to make preparing and cooking food easy.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Easy Cheesy Chilli Pasta Bake - Leftover Recipe

When I make chilli con carne I always make too much, but not to fuss it doesn't get wasted.  Just pop any you have leftover into a nice clean tub and freeze.  When you want a quick dinner all you have to do it defrost and reheat, of course it must be piping hot.


Or you can do as I did, preheat your oven to 200C/400F or Gas 6
Cook some pasta in salted water as packet instructions - I used spiral shaped pasta but of course you can use whatever shape you fancy.  Drain the pasta and stir through your chilli.  Put the lot into an oven proof dish, top with a mixture Mozzarella and Cheddar and sprinkle over some paprika, cover with a lid or foil till it's heated through.  Remove the cover in the last 10 minutes or so till the cheese is golden and bubbling.  
Serve with a side salad and enjoy.

You can find my recipe for Chilli con Carne here.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Family and Friends Mexican-themed Fun Night In

For a quick and easy meal, tacos or tortillas make a great dinner the whole family will enjoy.  But how about holding a Mexican-themed dinner party for family and friends?
Mexican food is vibrant, colourful and tasty and can mostly be prepared in advance.  There's no need for any fancy cooking equipment or amazing cooking skills, making it the ideal choice for a fun night in. 
 
Meat, Chicken or Vegetarian?
Minced beef, thinly sliced beef and chicken are all good choices.  For vegetarians or for anyone wanting to try to eat less meat, Old el Paso have a seriously great recipe for spicy bean and cheese vegetarian burger tacos – now how good do they sound?!   All you need is their Stand and Stuff Dinner kit which includes the spice mix.  To make the burgers you just need cheese, breadcrumbs, kidney beans and pinto beans, red and green bell pepper, an egg and some freshly chopped coriander.  Shredded lettuce is good for serving and the whole meal can be made in 20 minutes.


Another idea - Quesadillas:
Not only do they look good but they take minutes to make.
First prepare your ingredients, chopping and slicing. Pop a soft corn or flour tortilla into a really hot frying pan and top with your choice of filling.  Add another tortilla on top like a sandwich, turn to cook the other side and serve.


Tortillas, Tacos or Wraps?
A hard decision to make, purely because there are so many choices available in the supermarket these days!  Do you fancy crispy crunchy tortillas, flour tortillas, wholewheat tortillas or a lovely soft floury wrap?  Fajitas are great and of course you can make them really mild for anyone that’s not too keen on spice and kids love them.


Once you’ve made a choice, you can fill your tacos, tortillas or wraps with meat and vegetables or just veg. 

Salads and other bits and bobs:
Sliced bell peppers in any colour you fancy, onions, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and in my opinion, grated cheese as far as I'm concerned is a must!
 Dips, salsas, sour cream and guacamole can be bought from the shop ready prepared.

Drinks:
Tequila sunrise is great since it’s so colourful and of course you can make a non-alcoholic version for the kids using pineapple.  Or what about Mojito which always goes down well. 

Whatever you decide to serve, enjoy your relaxed night in!  
 

Monday, 29 July 2013

Quick and Easy Dinner - Lasagne

Much as I really love cooking, sometimes I simply don't have the time to spend in the kitchen.  I'm not usually a fan of those jars of ready made sauces but it has to be said I think they've come a long way from the over salty and sugary thick gooey sauces they were a while back.


So armed with a couple of big jars of Dolmio tomato, roasted onion and garlic sauce for lasagne and a large jar of their lasagne white sauce this lasagne was whipped up in no time and it tasted good.  

 No need for a recipe as it tells you all this on the jar - apart from my adding red wine, oregano and black pepper.  Using a mixture of pork and beef mince gives the lasagne much more flavour and I really urge you to try it.

Just brown a mixture of half pork and half beef mince, when that's nicely cooked just add the tomato sauce.  Stir well and continue to cook for about 10 minutes or so.  As I say, I couldn't help pouring in a small glass of red wine since I think it adds to the flavour along with a pinch of dried oregano and a good pinch of black pepper.

Using ready made fresh lasagne sheets (made with free range eggs) just layer lasagne, tomato sauce followed by a layer of white sauce and repeat making sure you finish with a lasagne sheet topped with the rest of the white sauce.  Grated cheese is necessary of course!  Cover with kitchen foil and bake in a preheated oven 200C/400F of Gas 6 for about 40 minutes.  Remove the foil and return for a further 5 minutes of so till golden and bubbling.
 
Top Tip!
You can of course freeze your cooked lasagne just as long as it's fully defrosted before reheating till piping hot it will be fine.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Easy Leftover Turkey Curry - The Best Recipe

There are many different leftover turkey curry recipes but it has to be said my latest invention, in our opinion, is one of the best.  Great for using up leftover Turkey at Thanksgiving or of course Christmas.
Make a simple spice paste of onions, ginger, garlic and chillies.  Fry gently along with cumin, ground coriander, garam masala and throw in a cinnamon stick.  Add coconut milk, tomatoes and soft brown sugar and a little chicken stock and cook till done - continue reading for the full recipe.
Slightly sweet tasting yet very nicely spiced.  Of course you can make this with leftover chicken too.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Giveaway - Ingredients for Boeuf Bourguignon in a Box

Boeuf Bourguignon, the perfect dish for cold and dreary nights.  I've kindly been sent the ingredients (supplied by Forman and Field) to make Marco Pierre White's recipe created for Knorr.  They also have a box for me to giveaway which will be won by one lucky reader.  
In the past 18 months or so I've been sent some fantastic seasonal boxes supplied by Forman and Field containing the ingredients to make recipes by Knorr.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Chilli Beef Lettuce Wraps - Finger Food at it's Best

Who's been watching Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course?  Weeknights on Channel 4 at 5pm?  A fantastic show!  Everything he's made so far I want to make too.
  Spicy chilli beef served wrapped in gem lettuce with a lovely dipping sauce.
 Absolutely delicious and very easy to make - finger food at it's best.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Picadillo - Mexican Fruity Chilli

Okay I know this sounds a bit odd, regular chilli made with the usual minced meat, but with the addition of banana, apples and raisins?..... 
 However, if you saw Thomasina Miers cooking this on her TV series 'Mexican Food made Simple' on Channel 5 then I'm pretty sure you'd want to make it too.  It was totally delicious, very hot but the heat is nicely balanced with the sweetness from the raisins.  Yes I will make this again and again.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Search for a Connoisseur of Beer and Food

The nation’s biggest food and beer pairing competition ever!
To launch the new Connoisseur’s Choice range of premium beers, Sharp's Brewery have teamed up with three of the UK’s most inspiring chefs to search for a true connoisseur of beer and food.
  The Connoisseurs Choice 2011 range offers drinkers three unique beers: 
   Single Brew 4.5% AVB
Mid golden in colour with a fresh, herbal citrus aroma and a clean, refreshing finish, the beer is excellent when paired with light white fish dishes or as an aperitif.

Honey Spice Triple 10% AVB
A specialist Trappist yeast is used, giving the beer a wonderful tartness and a long dry finish. This beer could be matched with desserts featuring banana or toffee or a creamy goats cheese dish.

Quadrupel Ale 10% AVB
This dark ruby beer is full and warming with a wonderful fruit aroma and intense bittersweet flavour. Quadrupel Ale could work really well with dark chocolate, fruit flavours or strong cheese and is an excellent alternative to a dessert wine.

The Prize:
Our three chefs will each choose their favourite dish and beer pairing. The three finalists will receive a day of mentoring with the chef that chooses their dish; a unique opportunity to hone your skills with one of the UK’s finest!
The three finalists will then compete in a ‘cook-off’ to be held at The Seafood School in Padstow, Cornwall, after which one winner will be crowned ‘Sharp’s Connoisseur for 2012’!
As our ‘Sharp’s Connoisseur’, you’ll be provided with exclusive first tastes of any new beers released during your winning period, a meal for two at your chef-mentor’s restaurant, a private tour of the brewery and beer tasting plus a night’s accommodation for two in Cornwall.

The Competition:
With the help of Nathan Outlaw, Jack Stein and Alyn Williams, we’re on the search to find the UK’s ultimate beer and food connoisseur.
Watch the videos starring our celebrity chefs to discover how they’ve paired quality food with each of the three beers, and then enter the competition to create a dish yourself.
Choose your beer, try the range (or read the tasting notes), then create a dish that you believe will go perfectly with your chosen ale. Name your dish, list your ingredients and describe your method, then tell us about your dish. For bonus points, take a picture of your dish or submit a video of you preparing it (the more entertaining the better!)
 The competition is now open over at FaceBook until 15th September 2012



Thursday, 24 May 2012

Baked Eggs with Leftover Chilli and Tortilla Wraps

Ever made too much Chilli con Carne and then wondered what to do with the rest?  I always make too much and have come up with all manner of things to do with it!  
 You can stretch it out further by adding a few other tasty bits and bobs, such as tomato, spring onion, jalapeno peppers and cheese - you must have cheese!  This particular concoction of mine even uses up the odd tortilla wrap you might have floating about somewhere too!
Please note the serving dish you use must be able to go into the oven.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Slow Cooker Recipe - Beef in Guinness

This will do the trick on a cold winters day!   Meltingly tender beef slow cooked in Guinness with shallots, carrots, celery and other nice things.  Once it's all in the slow cooker you can forget about it and the house will smell delicious. 
     This recipe makes enough to easily serve 6 to 8 people and can be frozen.  Just serve with a dollop of mash, a jacket potato or just some nice crusty bread!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Steak and Kidney Pie with Black Sheep Ale

Yesterday I felt the need (as you do) to make steak and kidney pie with ale.  Now, you either like kidneys or you don't - simple.  If you don't like them don't put them in and you'll still have a delicious steak pie.
My addition of Black Sheep Ale in this I think really made it something special.  The gravy (even though there was only a relatively small amount) tasted good - really good.
 Once again - not the best of pictures but I can't be letting my dinner get cold just to take a picture - blog or no blog sorry!  Trying to take a picture of something that's steaming hot is near on impossible.
Lambs kidney's don't take very long to cook at all so having read a recipe by Gordon Ramsay and found he adds them in at the end I did the same - what a marvelous idea!
You can use Ox kidney but as I understand it they take longer to cook so you will need to add them into the casserole along with the meat as you would normally.  
Anyway, on with the recipe....

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Not Quite Jamie Oliver's Elvis Burger

I say not quite Jamie's Elvis Burger for two reasons:
  The first because I thought they sounded way too massive at 250g (9oz) each (and that's coming from a quite a greedy person).  I'm sure I've missed the point of it being called an Elvis burger because mine were smaller.
The second reason for my burgers being 'not quite Elvis' is because having used half the beef that Jamie did to make 4 burgers, I still used the same amount of spices and mustard etc.
    Result - excellent!
They tasted really good and I'll be making these again!
My picture isn't too amazing but you get the gist.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Not Just a Minced Beef and Onion Pie

Do you ever feel the need to eat mashed potatoes - or is it just me?
Mash is nice at any time I think.  But in order to be fed properly you need something to go with it, so of course.....Pie springs to mind - well my mind anyway!
  Scrummy yummy flaky puff pastry.  Inside?  Minced beef, red wine, onions, peas, oregano, rosemary, Colman's mustard, and..... 

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Brie and Bacon Burgers

 Homemade, nice fat juicy burgers topped with bacon and Brie.
Ideal for the nice BBQ weather we've been having!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Beef in Black Bean Sauce with Green Peppers

Beef in Black Bean Sauce, just like the Chinese takeaway. No sorry, I'll rephrase that, better than the takeaway!  All freshly cooked, what can be better? 
 I first raved on about this over a year ago, but as it's so good I'm posting it again.  Fermented Black beans are usually preserved in ginger and salt, they will need rinsing and soaking before use. 

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