Saturday, June 12, 2010

Beef with Carraway Seeds and dumplings

Oh my goodness, I have to get this one down STRAIGHT AWAY. We've just walked away from the dinner table and it. was. de. lish. us. We even decided while we were eating that THIS would be our dinner on moving day (coming up in less than 3 weeks.) It's so nutritious, warming and satisfying!!!

Not bad considering it all came from my own brain as I swirled the flavours around in my head and wondered what would go well? Is this how the chefs do it? I've often wondered how they actually 'wrote' recipes. What I normally do is adjust an existing recipe, but this is my first successful go at writing.

Can you tell how proud I am?

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo diced beef (finely diced 1cm) and doused in 2-4 tabs plain flour
  • plain flour
  • 1 litre stock (I used chicken because it was what I have in the freezer)
  • butter
  • canola oil
  • 1 tab carraway seeds*  (optional - not if on full elimination)
  • 1 leek, halved and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • WHILE BEEF IS COOKING, remaining vegies
  • 2 potatoes - diced 1cm
  • approx 8-10 brussel sprouts - halved and finely sliced
  • 2 carrots - finely diced
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1.25 cups plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tabs spring onions, finely sliced remaining greens
  • 175g cold butter - cubed
  • 1/4 cup cold water
Method:

  • In large heavy-based stovetop pot, gently heat butter and oil
  • Slowly cook leek, carraway seeds, garlic and salt
  • Remove leek etc from pan and add 1/2 beef
  • Brown beef, add to leek
  • Add remaining beef and brown
  • Add beef and leek back to pan
  • Add stock and stir
  • While that's simmering:
  • Finely slice whites and pale greens of spring onions
  • chop/dice the rest of the vegies and add all to the pan and allow to simmer
  • At this point I needed to add more flour to get the gravy thicker.... do what you must.
  • Check for salt.
*Very high Salicylates/Amines
 
I got my dumpling recipe from taste.com.au

  • "Meanwhile, to make the dumplings, sift the flour into a large bowl.
  • Add the chives and season with salt.
  • Use your fingertips to rub butter into flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Make a well in the centre and pour in the water.
  • Use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until evenly incorporated.
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball.
  • Arrange the dumplings over the top of the beef mixture.
  • Cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through. Remove from heat."
Serve in pasta bowls, with a dumpling each and some peas on the side.

Verdict: Like I said: "OH! MY! GOODNESS!" Scoff, scoff, scoff..... seconds!!! Any more, Mum?

Tweeks: Well, using Carraway seeds is probably highly illegal in the Failsafe world. But I've chosen to use a 'high sal' item just this once. Oh, it was certainly worth it. I'll watch the next few days, but I'd really like to think that in the absence of other sals we'll get away with it. I'm already planning to make this again on a 'cooking session' when I put some food away for the moving week.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Roast Chicken - The bird who keeps giving.

Roast chicken is so damn generous. Not only do we get a scrummy meal, we also get stock for numerous future dishes and school sandwiches with the left over meat. Win, win and win!

I roast the chook (free-range, of course!) with a little Canola oil sprayed over it (not aerosol, one of those oil spray bottles you pump.) and then salt all over. No-one in my family likes stuffing except Mr Frillypants.... so he misses out. But there are a few recipes available in the Failsafe recipes books, if that's what floats your boat. Sometimes I'll chuck some garlic cloves in or else sprinkle with some citric acid.

To make the stock; put the carcass into a large saucepan (at least 2++ litres) and cover with water. Make sure all skin has been removed (amines) and don't go adding in all those vegie peelings (salicylate). This is pure chicken stock, nothing else. Bring to boil and simmer for as long as you want, but at least one hour. Allow to cool and then strain into a jug to make it easier to put into containers for freezing. I usually get 2 litres, which I freeze in 500ml lots. Why make stock? Commercial stock usually has MSG or other 'flavour enhancers' or else has herbs (salicylates).

Left over meat is for sandwiches, fried rice, rice paper rolls.... the list is (nearly) endless.