Auguest 2018: Simon Swadling

French Toast with Red Wine Pears

I’ve always loved breakfast, and French toast was actually one of the first things I started making and teaching myself. It’s probably the start of me really getting into food and it becoming my passion – I loved making making either savoury style (parsley and parmesan with bacon) or the more traditional sweet one.

My love of breakfast foods has ended up becoming a family tradition that on long weekends or holidays we will often start off with a fancy brunch/breakfast made by me. This French toast recipe is what I came up with for Mothers day this year, as sweet French toast is my mum’s favourite breakfast. It has some autumnal vibes with the maple and mulled wine flavours, but really the base recipe of the French toast can be paired with any number of different things, so feel free to go off script and try something different!

French Toast with Red Wine Pears

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 45 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the French toast

  • Loaf of Brioche bread (the batter will do enough for 4 large slices)*
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 3/4 cup full cream milk
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
  • Zest of half an orange

For the poached pears

  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 small Corello pears**
  • 1 cinnamon stick

For the maple mascarpone

  • 1 tub (250g) mascarpone
  • Maple syrup, to taste
  • Dry meringue pieces
  • Fresh raspberries, or any other berries that you like

*If your brioche bread hasn’t been pre-cut (which is ideal), then cut the brioche into thick rectangular pieces. This means that you’ll get a crispy outside, custardy outer layer, and still some fluffy brioche in the middle.

**If you can’t get your hands on the small pears, use 2 large pears and serve each slice with half a pear instead.

METHOD

  1. Poached Pears: Combine all the ingredients for the poached pears into a medium-sized saucepan. If the pears aren’t fully covered, then ensure to turn them around every few minutes to get an even colour and even cooking all around. Timing will depend on the ripeness of the pears so simmer until soft when tested with a knife.
  2. Remove the pears, and continue to boil down the poaching liquid until reduced to a syrup-like texture. You may prepare the pears the day before and then warm them through before serving.
  3. Maple Mascarpone: Mix the mascarpone in a bowl to soften and then add about a tablespoon of maple syrup. Adjust to your own personal liking. Set aside in the fridge.
  4. French Toast: Add all the ingredients, except the brioche bread in a shallow dish and mix well until combined.
  5. Heat up a medium-sized frying pan with a knob of butter and a bit of oil on medium heat.
  6. Dip the brioche slice in the egg mixture on each side and allow it to soak a little.
  7. Fry the slice on each side until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat for the remaining slices.
  8. Assemble: Cut the pears in half. Place the French toast on a plate with the pears on top. Crumble the meringue over and serve with fresh raspberries, and a scoop of the maple mascarpone.
  9. Finally, drizzle over a bit of the poaching syrup from the pears and enjoy!

French Toast with Red Wine Pears

Photo Courtesy & Recipe Copyright © 2018 | thebeardedpatissier

– Simon (The Bearded Patissier)

myTaste.com

Pear & Walnut Cake with Spiced Red Wine Pears

Pear & Walnut Cake with Spiced Red Wine Pears

Hello Everyone! I’ve got a special post for you this evening as today marks 4 years of Amcarmen’s Kitchen! Don’t worry, I’ll still post a Breakfast Smoothie Bowl up for you guys most probably towards the end of the week since I already had the post and pictures prepared for it.

Anyway, technically I started this blog on April 16th, but it wasn’t until 2 days after on the 18th that I posted my very first recipe! You can check it out here: Cheesy Mushroom Omelette with Avocado Mint Greek Yoghurt & Wilted Spinach. Yes, you could say I was less talkative (wordy) for my first few posts, mainly because I had no clue on what else I could write about. When I started this blog out of pure procrastination way back in 2014 during my uni mid-semester break, I didn’t think I would be able to make it this far to be honest! I did slack behind a bit (a lot) towards the end of last year as it wasn’t easy juggling both a very demanding job, this blog, time for family and friends, and wanting some free time to myself as well. I have been doing a better job at keeping up so far, but it’s too early to tell to be honest, since I only just started getting back into this last month.

Pear & Walnut Cake with Spiced Red Wine Pears

I want to say that I promise that I will try to do better this year, but even I know that that’s a promise that I won’t be able to keep, so bear with me my dear followers! I know it is not in any way an obligation for me to share with you guys every single week, but I feel a sense of accomplishment for when I do so, and I don’t ever want this blog to drift away. It’s the only passion that I have going on for me right now because of my busy work schedule, and I don’t want all the hard work I’ve put into this blog for the past now coming 4 years to just become all for nothing.

With that being said, tonight I will be sharing a recipe that I tackled last November actually… For my 26th birthday! I never got around to posting it, and since I literally just got back from Hong Kong last night and had to report straight to work this morning, I’ve had no time to bake a new cake to celebrate Amcarmen’s Kitchen turning 4. So here’s my Pear & Walnut Cake that I drew inspiration from Olivia over on Liv for Cake. The cake itself was moist, not too sweet and had a lovely texture from the soft pear chunks and crunchy toasted walnuts. The honey buttercream was light and fluffy, beautifully contrasted by the deep red pears sitting atop a white-frosted cake.

(Apologies for not having an ingredient shot like how I normally do for almost all my recipe posts, but the photo didn’t turn out so great so I just decided not to post it)

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

For the pear and walnut cake

  • 2 & 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped (plus extra to top)
  • 180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large free range eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 large pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely shredded
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the honey Swiss meringue buttercream

  • 4 large free range eggs, whites only
  • 360g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey

Optional: for the spiced red wine poached pears to top

METHOD

  1. Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears: Follow the recipe method provided in the link above.
  2. Pear and Walnut Cake: Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Grease and flour two 8-inch cake rounds and line with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the plain flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Next, using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy (approximately 3 minutes). Reduce the speed and add the eggs in one at a time to allow to fully incorporate after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
  5. Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk altogether). Make sure to fully incorporate after each addition. Then, gently fold in the toasted walnuts and shredded pears, and divide the mixture evenly between the two pans.
  6. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of both cakes come out mostly clean. Place the cakes on wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto the wire rack to cool further.
  7. Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream: Place the egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk until combined.* Place the bowl over a double boiler on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot and no longer grainy to the touch (approximately 3 minutes), or until it registers 70C/160F on a candy thermometre.
  8. Place the bowl back on your stand mixer and whisk on medium-high speed until the meringue is stiff and has cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (approximately 5 to 10 minutes).
  9. Switch to a paddle attachment and slowly add in the butter (cubed). Mix until smooth.** Add the honey and whip until smooth. Set aside.
  10. Assembly: Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with approximately 1 cup of the buttercream and repeat with the remaining layer. Crumb coat the cake and place in the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes.
  11. Continue to frost the top and sides of the cake in a rustic manner. If desired, add toasted walnuts along the bottom and top, and place the poached pears on top. Secure pears in place with toothpicks and drizzle with the poaching syrup.
  12. Serve and enjoy!

* Ensure that there are NO traces of egg yolks in your whites and that your mixer bowl and whisk is completely grease free or your meringue won’t stiffen.

** The buttercream may look like it’s curdled at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth.

Pear & Walnut Cake with Spiced Red Wine Pears

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears

… on a bed of Pistachio Crumble with a Quenelle of Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream drizzled with a Red Wine & Orange Reduction *drools*

Hello Everyone! I’m really bad at this, and I sincerely apologise. I know I said that I would get back on track with Amcarmen’s Kitchen until the end of the year but once again I have fallen slack and behind for God knows how many weeks now. The truth is that I have been super busy towards the end of last month and into early November with a hectic and stressful event that definitely took a toll on my high blood pressure for sure. Though the past 2 weeks have been quiet, I spent most of it recovering and relaxing from that hell of an event.  I worked at least 15 hours a day from 8am until almost midnight on most nights. I’m just glad that it’s all over… For now.

But anyway, the recipe that I will be sharing tonight is one that I actually made waaaaaay back somewhere in June when I was left home alone (my mom and my sister flew out to Singapore to visit my other sister), during a long weekend too, and I had no plans of stepping out of the house unless I had to *cheeky grin*. So why didn’t I upload the recipe for this back then? Simple – it didn’t comply with the theme I had set out to accomplish for this year on Amcarmen’s Kitchen. So then why now? It’s still 2017. Stop asking so many questions! Haha! I amuse myself sometimes. Well, this is actually part of a special recipe that I will be posting (hopefully) next week, which will also most likely be the last recipe for the year unfortunately. I’m going to use the rest of my time before the year ends to plan and prepare recipes for the upcoming year. I already have a theme in mind to tackle for the whole year and I’m already excited for it!

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears

Moving on, sorry that introduction went on way longer that I thought it would (as always though right?). If I can recall, I decided that I wanted to practice my dessert-making skills, you know to a MasterChef quality level worthy of a place in the competition ONE DAY. I have to say that I’m quite impressed with how this dessert played out in my head, to paper, and to the actual deal. The pears were soft on the outside, but still had a nice bite and a bit of crunch to it on the inside; beautifully spiced and contrasted well to the mild sweetness of the vanilla bean ice cream. And everyone loves pistachios, or at least I hope they do so throw that onto the plate for another added texture to the overall dessert dish.

You may want to get a head start on the ice cream so that it’ll have time to set in the freezer. You can either make it the day before, or early in the morning so that it’s ready for dessert time after a hearty dinner.

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears Ingredients

PREP TIME 4 HOURS* | COOKING TIME 25-35 MINS | SERVES 6

*Includes the minimum freeze time for the no churn vanilla bean ice cream; see below for the freeze time range

INGREDIENTS

For the spiced red wine poached pears

  • 6 large pears, peeled and keeping the stems intact**
  • 1 bottle (750ml) red wine
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 10 cloves
  • 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange

For the no churn vanilla bean ice cream

  • 2 cups thickened cream
  • 1 can (300g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

For the pistachio crumble

  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachios
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

**Make sure that you use fairly large pears for this recipe. I found that using smaller pears overcook easily as they need a while to absorb that beautiful red wine colour as well as the flavours.

METHOD

  1. No Churn Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: Using a mixer, beat the thickened cream on medium speed until heavy peaks start to form. Add the can of sweetened condensed milk and beat further. Be careful as to not over whip the mixture. Add the vanilla beans into the mixture along with the pure vanilla extract and gently stir it into the ice cream mixture. Place the ice cream mixture into a container and freeze for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears: Add all the ingredients for the poached pears into a large pot or any that’s a suitable size. Cut out a piece of parchment paper and place it directly on the pears so they remain submerged in the liquid, or alternatively you could also use a small plate.
  3. Bring the wine mixture to boil and then turn it down to a simmer and cook until the pears are soft on the outside are still a little crisp in the middle instead of soft all the way through (about 25 minutes); cooking time will however depend on the size of the pears. For softer pears, cook for a further 10 minutes.
  4. Once the pears are cooked through, use a slotted spoon remove the pears and set aside to cool. Keep cooking the liquid until it reduces to a syrup. Then, strain the wine reduction and discard the spices and zest. If you find the sauce too sweet, add some lemon juice to it to cut through some of that sweetness.
  5. Pistachio Crumble: Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4) and line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper. Process the pistachios in a food processor until roughly chopped. Add the flour, sugar, and salt; processing further just until combined. Add the unsalted butter, and continue processing until the mixture is thoroughly combined and forms pea-size crumbs.
  6. Spread the pistachio crumble mixture on the prepared baking tray. Press gently with damp hands, flattening the crumble to about 1/2 inch thick and bake in the preheated oven until the crumble starts to brown at the edges, about 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, and, using a flat spatula to lightly crumble the mixture. Return to oven, and bake until the crumble is golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes further. Once done, transfer to a wire rack, and set aside to cool on the baking tray completely, about 20 minutes, before roughly crumbling.
  8. Assemble your dessert by spreading the crumble onto the middle of each individual serving plates. Place one pear on top of the crumble and drizzle with the orange and wine reduction syrup. Quenelle the vanilla bean ice cream and place atop the crumble on the side of the pear.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears

BON APPÉTIT

Ps: speaking of desserts – this is completely unrelated by the way, but I just thought I’d share this because it’s hilarious! A week ago or so, my friend asked a question on our whatsapp group chat and the question was: if you were a dessert, what would you be? Without hesitation, my other friend quickly replied “cactus” and to her hasty realisation, she retracted and said “oh I thought you meant desert” and everyone went spiralling down into a pit of undignified laughters – well I couldn’t stop laughing out loud and looking like an insane freak in front of my colleagues at work during that time. God bless her.

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Red Wine & Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks

Red Wine & Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks

Hello Everyone! I know, I say this every time we come to an end of a blog series – but sometimes it actually does come to quite a bit of a shock when the realisation hits you that another month has passed by and we are that much closer to Christmas and the New Year! It really does at times make me wonder, where did the year go? How was it that it felt like only a few months ago that I was complaining about it being a long way to go before the end of the year, and suddenly in the blink of an eye it will be November soon. I also have that same feeling when it comes to the day after my birthday – where I think about how I have to wait another 364 days until I have a reason to celebrate another year of life – and now look! I’ll be 25 in exactly two weeks!

Anyway, tangent aside, tonight’s recipe has been one that I have been wanting to make for a very long time. I can’t stress enough how much it saddens me when I have such high expectations for a lamb shank dish whenever I order it off a menu. Don’t get me wrong, flavours were nice, and definitely fall-off-the-bone tender, but, my expectations dissipate when a tiny piece of lamb shank hits the table, knowing that it’s definitely not worth the price. So how do I fix this? Well, why not I buy a worthy enough size of a lamb shank that will only cost me $8.00 max. and cook it myself? Not to mention, I can throw in a whole bottle of red wine too to really bring out the flavour *cheeky grin* For my readers who aren’t from Brunei, or aren’t Muslim, you can’t find lamb shanks that have been braised in red wine here in Brunei as if not all, but most Western Restaurants here are Halal. Actually – don’t pour in the whole bottle of wine for your shanks, reserve some for a glass or two to drink while devouring the lamb!

Before I move on to the recipe, please check out the original over on Taste Australia.

Red Wine & Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 30 MINS | SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 x 400g cans Italian diced tomatoes
  • 3 lamb shanks, french trimmed
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 brown onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 170C (325F or gas mark 3). Heat the olive oil in a large flame-proof casserole dish over medium-high. Season your shanks with salt and pepper. Depending on how big your casserole dish is, cook your lamb shanks if batches if needed, for 5 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining shanks. Set aside.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté until golden and fragrant, about 30 seconds, and then add in the onions. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the onions soften. Return the lamb shanks to the dish and pour over the red wine, deglazing the brown residue at the bottom of the pan for extra flavour. Bring to a boil, cooking for 4-5 minutes, or until wine reduces by half.
  3. Remove from heat and add the canned tomatoes and rosemary sprigs to the dish, seasoning with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and bake, covered, for 1 & 1/2 hours or until lamb is almost falling off the bone.
  4. Serve the lamb shanks on a generous bed of rosemary & roasted garlic chunky mashed potatoes and some pan-fried baby asparagus. Enjoy!

Red Wine & Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks

Red Wine & Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

Hello Everyone! It’s week 2 of Cooking with Alcohol month and today I will be cooking with one of my favourite bevvys to have when I’m out with friends or just socialising with – well, this was back when I was in Australia and I don’t do it now; only if a friend throws a party and there’s red wine being served *cheeky grin*. Of course, using red wine in your cooking is just as good as having a glass or two (whispers: or more) on the weekends.

“Secondary cuts of meat are my favourite and I love to use them in this dish. Remember, you’ll need to start this the day before so the beef has time to marinate overnight in that gorgeous red wine. You really do need to use a bold red wine for this recipe, it makes all the difference — just make sure you buy an extra bottle to drink with the meal!” — Manu Feildel

Bœuf Bourguignon Ingredients

Okay, so a little bit of a tangent before I move on to the recipe, this morning at work, my colleague asked me a question after she had seen the ingredients shot that I uploaded just minutes before she asked me this: “I have one question… Whenever you cook, do you always buy new ingredients?” At first I was confused, because obviously I buy meat and veggies when I need them so it’s always fresh, and then she pointed out that my block of butter was new as seen in the photograph below, and went on to point out a new tube of maple syrup in another photo, and a new jar of something which I can’t remember. Well, to answer your question, especially to the particular photograph that she pointed out this morning, yes, most of the stuff were new there because I didn’t have those ingredients in my pantry at that time. Then she saw another photograph that had the same tube of maple syrup that looked new. I then told her that I gently move it around so that the maple syrup sticks to the sides of the tube to make it look full. Also, in terms of butter, I always, and I repeat ALWAYS have a new block of untouched butter in the fridge for my photos, especially if it’s less than half a block already. I eventually use it anyway within the next couple of weeks – it’s not like it sits in the fridge for months/years.

Anyway, one last thing, but not a tangent – before I head on to the recipe, please visit Manu Feildel for the original recipe! I once made Manu’s recipe for Bœuf Bourguignon, while I was still studying in Australia. I made this dish during my second year of studies, and when I come to think of it, that was 4 years ago! I can’t believe how long ago that was! Well, I decided to whip it up again for this theme since I really enjoyed this dish the first time I cooked it. So don’t forget, as the man Manu said: you need to start the recipe a day before so that your beef cuts have enough time to soak in the marinade overnight. And of course, make sure you leave some wine behind, or buy an extra bottle to have with your Bœuf Bourguignon!

Bœuf Bourguignon Ingredients

PREP TIME min. 24 HOURS* | COOKING TIME 2 HOURS | SERVES 6-8

*If you didn’t read above, the beef needs to marinate overnight to soak up all the yummy flavours before cooking.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2kg beef chuck

For the marinade

  • 1L red wine (Burgundy or Shiraz)*
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary**
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 brown onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery, roughly chopped

*I used Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Cabernet.

**Manu’s recipe used thyme, but at that moment I couldn’t find fresh thyme in the stores and I really didn’t want to use the dried kind – however, I had some sprigs of rosemary in the fridge leftover from another recipe I whipped up before this, so I used that instead.

For the stew

  • 250g brown mushrooms
  • 200g bacon, cut into bits
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 3 brown onions, quartered
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

To serve

  • Fresh parsley
  • Pasta, mashed potato, gnocchi, or crusty French bread***

***I first paired my Bœuf Bourguignon with soft pillows of potato gnocchi, and any leftovers we had, we paired them with fettuccine pasta.

METHOD

  1. Place the chopped carrots, celery, and onions in a large bowl (or deep pyrex dish like I have) together with the minced garlic, rosemary sprigs, and bay leaves. Cut beef into large 4cm/1.5″ cubes and add to the dish with the aromatics. Pour over the red wine to submerge the meat and vegetables, then cover with some cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove beef from marinate and season well with salt and pepper. Strain out the marinade herbs and vegetables and discard, but reserve the liquid as this will be your sauce!
  3. Heat the butter and half of the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When the butter starts to foam, add in the meat and sear on all sides for a minute or two. Do this in batches if needed, and once done, set the meat and any pan juices aside.
  4. Heat the remaining olive oil in the same pot, and add onions, carrots, and mushrooms, cooking until golden and caramelised on the edges, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the bacon bits and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  5. Return seared beef and juices to the pan and sprinkle over the plain flour. Stir well, and then add in the red wine liquid to the pan.
  6. Cover the surface of the liquid with a cartouche (baking paper lid), and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce it to a simmer and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours until the beef is tender enough to pull apart with your fingers.
  7. Once tender, spoon the Bœuf Bourguignon into a dish, sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve with fresh pasta, mashed potato, potato gnocchi, or even a big wedge of crusty French bread. Enjoy!

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pappardelle al Ragù

Pappardelle al Ragù

Hello Everyone! So today’s recipe is sort of a carry on from Monday’s special. If you’re like me, living by yourself, having a whole roast leg of lamb to yourself, you’re bound to have leftovers. What do you do? Lamb Ragù! Well, I’m pretty sure you can come up with other dishes to use your leftovers, if you have any that is, or you could always go out and buy lamb shanks or any other cuts that work for this dish.

I decided to go for a lamb ragù because not too long ago, exactly two weeks ago actually now that I think of it, a friend of mine planned for a little celebration for completing our degrees! We had dinner at the Westfield in Pitt Street, at a place called Janus Italian, and apparently she tried to book Jamie’s Italian but they are all booked out for groups until April! But nonetheless, Janus Italian was a nice dining place too – not to mention spacious as we had the whole back area to ourselves, well illuminated, and we could basically hear each other talk without having to shout across the table – all of which we probably wouldn’t have had/been able to do at Jamie’s. Seriously, though the food at Jamie’s is superb, it’s cramped, dark, and loud. Anyway, where I am getting at with this is that I had the Pappardelle al Ragù with slow cooked lamb. It was the best thing I’ve ever had! I even had the entrée sized dish and I was full about three quarters of the way into my dish. It was so good that when I knew I’d be making a roast leg of lamb, I would be able to make this too! Original recipe for slow-cooked lamb ragù can be found on Taste.

Pappardelle al Ragù Ingredients

PREP TIME 210 MINS | COOKING TIME 3 HOURS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg roast leg of lamb meat
  • 500g pappardelle pasta
  • 1 can (400g) diced tomatoes
  • 3 celery sticks, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and then minced
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 large spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme, chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • Shaved parmesan cheese, to serve
  • Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat  oven to 220C.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large, frying pan over medium-high heat. Add in the garlic, chillies, and fresh herbs. Sauté until fragrant and then add the onions in. Cook until the onions are soft before adding the carrots and celery in. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for a further 10 to 12 minutes, stirring continuously.
  3. While the vegetables are cooking, add the lamb meat as well as the bones to a casserole dish (in my case I just used my rectangle pyrex dish).
  4. Add the red wine and leave to cook for about a minute or two before adding the the diced tomatoes, stock cubes, tomato paste, and about 2 cups of cold water. Stir to combine and then bring to a boil.
  5. Once boiled, remove from the heat are carefully scoop out the vegetables transfer them to the pyrex dish with the lamb meat. Then pour the liquid into the dish. Cover using aluminium foil, or with the lid if using a casserole dish with a lid, and place in oven to cook for about 3 hours or until tender.
  6. Once the lamb is done, get started on your pappardelle pasta. Bring a medium-sized saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain and transfer to a serving plate. Top with the lamb ragù and shaved parmesan. Serve!

Pappardelle al Ragù

Pappardelle al Ragù

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Braised Steak au Poivre in Red Wine

Braised Steak au Poivre in Red Wine

Hello Everyone! So last night, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you would’ve known that I posted I few images of this dish and apologised for not being able to post the recipe on the same day (just had a lot of course reading material to get through and prepare for class the next day). Anyway, here is the recipe! And an early upload as well than my usual upload time.

So a couple of weeks (maybe 1 or 2 weeks back I guess) I was searching for a slow-cooked beef in red wine recipe as I had a lovely gravy beef steak waiting to be cooked and a bottle of red wine that was given to me by a friend. I don’t usually drink wine so that’s why I figured, why not cook with it instead?

Braised Steak au Poivre in Red Wine

Please check out the original recipe here. I changed mainly the quantities because of the amount of meat I had, but otherwise I kept to the recipe and added a few veggies to the dish. I completely forgot to add in the crème fraîche when I photographed the dish (but I remembered when I was halfway through eating), so I do apologise if the dish is looking a bit dark!

Au Poivre, for those of you who don’t know, is a French dish which translated just means steak (traditionally a filet mignon) prepared or served with a generous amount of coarsely ground black pepper. The peppercorns form a crust on the steak when cooked and provide a pungent but complementary counterpoint to the rich flavor of the high-quality beef.

Braised Steak au Poivre in Red Wine Ingredients

Braised Steak au Poivre in Red Wine Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 4 HOURS 10 MINS SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g beef shank, cut into 3 large chunks
  • 220ml red wine
  • 250g small cup mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 1-inch long strips
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme (or a tsp of dried thyme leaves)
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Crush the peppercorns coarsely with a mortar and pestle. Mix the ground peppercorns together with the flour on a plate. Then coat the pieces of meat into this mixture, pressing it well in on all sides.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat in a casserole dish (make sure it is really hot), and quickly brown the pieces of meat on all sides, and then transfer them to a plate.
  3. Keeping to a high heat, add the remaining olive oil to the pan and brown the onions, about 3-4 minutes. Then add in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add in any remaining flour and pepper left on the plate to the pan, stirring well to soak up the juices. Pour the red wine in a little at a time, continuing to stir to prevent any lumps forming, and scraping in any crusty residue from the bottom and edge of the pan. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Once simmering, add the meat to the sauce, season it with salt, then pop in the bay leaves and thyme. Bring it back to a simmer.
  5. Once simmering again, put a lid on the casserole and transfer it to the middle shelf of the oven to cook for 4 hours or until the meat is tender. During the last hour of cooking, add in the cup mushrooms and zucchini strips.
  6. When you’re ready to serve, remove the herbs, add the crème fraîche, stir it in well, then taste to check for seasoning before serving. Serve on a bed of mashed potatoes and a side of honeyed Dutch carrots (optional, open to creativity).

Braised Steak au Poivre in Red Wine

I will post the recipes for honeyed Dutch carrots and mashed potatoes in a separate post so stayed tuned for those two in the next two days!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

 

myTaste.com