As I explained a while ago, I recently had the very pleasant task of using up corned beef in a week of enjoyable leftover meals.
It was glorious.
While I’ve had this recipe for a while, it called for slices of pastrami and not roast beef. Thick with beans, tomatoes and a rich roast capsicum paste, it seemed to me an ideal vessel for shreds of corned beef. So I tried it and it was good. Continue reading Day 1 – Turkish White Bean and Beef Stew (Kuru Fasulye)
If there is a challenge to this cooking-within-a-strict-budget lark, it is to convince other people to try unfashionable foods. Think lard, veal and anything from the early 1970s.
This recipe is therefore a triple threat. Stick with me now.
Goulash evokes memories of a so-so beef stew washed away by a carton of sour cream, but it’s actually a much simpler dish. Consisting of beef, capsicum and paprika, this is often presented as a soup in Hungary rather than a stew and sour cream is verboten. Continue reading Day 10 – Veal Goulash
My friend stayed with me for a week, down from Sydney, and we launched into a massive long weekend that involved an Elvis Costello concert, a game of football, a comedy show and lunch with friends. It was into this neatly contrived busy period that my friend also tried to have a quiet 50th birthday all to herself.
When my family have their birthday, they always select their favourite meal for that evening’s family dinner and so I offered to cook my friend her favourite meal. Her response was, “Anything you cook is going to be fine with me”, so I broke out the beef ribs, all $8.99 a kilo of them. Because that’s what best friends do – we spare no expense. Continue reading Day 13 – Sticky Barbecued Beef Ribs
It’s a great truism of Australia that every country town is likely to have a pub and a Chinese restaurant to feed and water the weary traveller. Yes, even now.
I can’t remember the last time I was in small town restaurant, with its faded wallpaper or red lantern light fittings and it’s been a long time since I’ve had anything other than broccoli in an oyster sauce, but this is a recipe worth revisiting.
Continue reading Day 12 – Beef in Oyster Sauce
Lancashire Hotpot traditionally combines lamb neck chops, lamb kidneys, root vegetables, thick slices of potato and oysters – yes, oysters – in a layered stew that is cooked slowly until the meat falls apart. Of course, it’s the perfect winter warmer. Perfect, that is, if you live in the north of England with nothing between you and Greenland for protection from the arctic winds.
Here in spring-like Melbourne, things are starting to warm up and the end of the footy season marked the emergence of spring fashions and green leaf buds as well as a rather dispiriting flush of pale skin. Given Melbourne springs are fickle, it’s not quite time to take the thick blankets off the bed just yet, and when one day the temperature plunged back into the mid teens after being in the thirties the day before, a variation on this hotpot – using beef rather than lamb – made perfect sense.
Continue reading Day 4 – Beef Hotpot
Beef cheeks have been around on restaurant menus for some time and that should give you a clue to how wonderful this cut of meat is, so let me introduce you.
From what is surely the hardest working muscle in the entire beast – all that chewing of cud makes strong muscles – beef cheeks require extensive cooking times. And by extensive, I mean three to four hours, minimum. But oh, how it rewards you.
I bought two beef cheeks last week for an insanely low $5.99 kg and other readers have since reported them in some Aldi shops, so do look around. If you have a dependable butcher ask him to order them in and freeze some for another meal. Your butcher will cut away a large sinew that runs down the centre of the cut ensuring it will look quite unattractive – it won’t affect the result.
I cooked it on the stove in an enamelled cast-iron casserole pot, but you can easily adapt it for cooking in an oven, for a slow cooker and even a pressure cooker if time has escaped you. It really is a beautiful cut of meat. Try to cook it as a whole piece and shred it roughly at the end, or serve it up in large chunks. By the time it’s finished cooking you should be able to cut it with a spoon. Continue reading Day 8 – Slow-Cooked Beef Cheeks
Mongolian Lamb. It’s not authentic of course, no more authentic than sweet and sour pork, but it still consistently rates as one of the most popular of all takeaway items from chinese restaurants around the country.
It would be terrific to recreate at home, except for one small factor: Lamb is still the most expensive meat in Australia.
I’ve said before that cost is the main reason I don’t include more lamb recipes but that hasn’t stopped me from having a hankering for this meal for the longest time. It’s been on my to-do list to include this recipe for ages but at no time has the price of lamb dropped far enough to make it.
So, it’s time for an adaptation.
Mind you, beef isn’t exactly cheap, especially when you consider the cuts of meat you need for a quick stir-fry. The result I want is exquisitely falling-apart tender meat, providing the right contrast for the crunch of spring onions and the robustness of the sauce that accompanies it. Beef so tender as to be velvety.
Continue reading Day 8 – Mongolian Beef and Noodle Stir-Fry
As you might expect from a middle-aged mumsy brunette, I am not one to trade on my looks. Not knowing how to dress well and never having been a head turner, I’ve always gone for substance over style.
All of this is a rather roundabout introduction to the thorny problem of gastro-pub dining in Melbourne. I met a friend at the dining room of one of the iconic pubs of Melbourne, one that has traded on its looks and position for over a century and a half. It’s got a lot going for it – magnificent architecture, a sympathetic renovation, superb position in the centre of the CBD.
But the food was woeful. Continue reading Day 8 – Beef and Guinness Pie
Remember that beef pot roast from a few days ago? Of course you do. I was reminded of it every time I opened the fridge, presented as I was with the sight of half a kilo of uneaten roast beef and the option of creating yet another meal of leftovers. Joy.
Leftovers is a wonderful idea but eating the same old thing can lose its appeal – fast. The key to re-appropriating leftovers is creativity and a certain inventiveness or panache that makes the meal even better than the original night you ate it. And of course, when it comes to kitchen panache – in the middle of the week, with screaming children and a busy schedule – we all have that in spades, don’t we? Hmmm?
Continue reading Day 2 – Beef Miraton
Ahhh, leftovers. We’ve had a recent conversation around these parts about ideas for using up leftovers and the recent recipe for Pot Roast Beef seems a perfect place to begin. The addition of potatoes makes for a perfect supper dish and the prospect of constructing it all in one pot in under 15 minutes suddenly elevates leftovers into a very desirable and, dare I say it, a really sexy, meal.
A potato and beef hash is a perfect arrangement. I love it with a fried egg on top, the soft yolk running through the hash makes it all the more velvety. While this is never going to feature on a restaurant menu, you can bet your life that chefs would happily make this as a staff dinner without a second thought.
Which, when you think about it, is the best recommendation of all. Continue reading Leftover Lottery – Beef and Potato Hash