Recipe 71: Jamie’s steak and ale stew

October 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Posted in Casseroles, savoury | Leave a comment
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After occasional moments of sunshine and warmth (I think we did have Summer – but it was about 4 weeks of sunshine spread over 4 months!) Autumn has set in… and one of the great upsides of Autumn is that slow-cooked stews and jacket potatoes become increasingly enticing. I had some Guinness in the cupboard from making Nigella’s Guinness gingerbread (which i failed to blog about  – but was fantastic), so thought I would try a beef and ale stew. After a little bit of internet browsing I came across a deeply straightforward steak and ale stew on Jamie Oliver’s website.  So on Saturday afternoon, ahead of a cosy evening on the sofa watching a film with Dimity I made the stew…

Making it: Very straightforward – the onion and vegetables were sweated off in the pan for 10 minutes and then all the other ingredients added. Jamie said not to bother browning the meat – vindicating my usual lazy decision not to bother – I really can’t tell the difference in a stew and not having to brown the meat makes it much quicker and less smelly to prepare! Then it was shoved in a low oven for 3 hours and then cooked uncovered for the final 30 minutes to thicken up. I also put some potatoes in the oven for the final 90 minutes to eat with it.

Eating it: We were tormented by the amazing cooking smells for 2 hours, so by the time we got to eat it – we were most anxious to try it… and the taste was as good as the smell! A deeply satisfying, filling and flavoursome stew – perfect for a chilly evening.

Next time: I’ll probably make double the recipe and stash lots in the freezer. Also I might try to not be in the house while it is cooking – the smell was just too good!


2010: a review

January 3, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Posted in baking, Casseroles, puddings, savoury, starters | Leave a comment

As 2010 has ended and thoughts begin to turn to 2011, it is the moment to review the year that has been. I am  delighted that I have managed to complete the new recipe challenge and cook more than 50 new recipes during 2011. I’ve also really enjoyed writing about them – and delighted to discover that people have visited the site to read my burblings.

The nice people at WordPress produce an exciting range of statistics to tell me what has happened to my blog visits over the year: overall there have been more than 1700 views.

The search terms generating the most visitors are about Nigella’s sunshine soup – it would seem that I am one of the few people to have written a review of this recipe. For the record – I love the soup and have made it a couple of times – although I do agree with other reviewers that the colour is not appealing!

I also used the brilliant application wordle to produce a word cloud of the blog – overall this is what I have been writing about

I was asked what my favourite new recipes have been from 2010…  and while I can ponder recipes for a long time and my top picks depend on mood – but right now I think the list (with slightly random categories) is:

the best cake –  hazelnut cupcakes,

best starter: hummus

the best stew: greek lamb stew

best roast: is a tie between greek lamb from Nigella’s kitchen, slow cooked pork belly (both in the Nigella’s kitchen round-up post) or the marinated lamb from the Vicar’s Wife

best pudding: chocolate pavlova

I will be continuing to blog… there will be a post later this week all about what I’m going to be writing about during this year! (If you have suggestions/thought please do leave me a comment)

Thank you for coming and I hope to see you again soon!

Greek stew revisited

March 6, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Posted in Casseroles, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This evening we had some of the lamb stew that I had stashed in the freezer… I am glad to report that it froze well and tasted yummy again this evening (I also added some more herbs while it was reheating which seemed to solve the underseasoning problem)

I also managed to take a photo… so here it is (I’m quite proud of the steam rising…)

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