Category Archives: Recipes – Beef

Vietnamese Beef Pho (broth recipe)


Vietnamese beef pho rice noodle broth #chilli #lime #mint #vietnamese

We are a pho-loving family. I don’t think there is ever a time we would reject one – hottest day of the year maybe, but it rarely gets extreme here in Auckland.

Pho is the best antidote to the coldness of a crisp Autumn night. Squeeze of lime, tears of vietnamese mint, rings of picked onions, fresh beef and slices of firey hot chillis. Pour in a good broth and devour. Yum yum 😋🍲🐂 Good for the body and soul!

Ingredients:

Broth

  • 2 onions, halved
  • 6cm piece of ginger, halved lengthwise
  • 1kg beef shin meat with bones
  • 4 litres of water
  • 1 spices package in mesh stock bag (2 cinnamon stick, 2 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tbsp fennel seeds, 5 whole star anise, 6 whole cloves)
  • 60ml light soy sauce
  • 60ml fish sauce
  • 1 small chunk of yellow rock sugar

To serve

  • 3 servings of rice noodles (dried or fresh)
  • Cooked beef from the broth (shredded or thinly sliced)
  • 500g skirt or topside beef, shaved thinly
  • big handful of each: mint, coriander, thai basil
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 2-3 red chilli, sliced
  • 2 big handfuls of fresh bean sprouts
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha hot sauce

Vietnamese beef pho rice noodle broth #chilli #lime #mint #vietnamese

Directions:

Charing: You can do this step either on the gas stove top or in the oven.

Place cut slices of ginger and onion halves on a wire rack and place on the stove or in the oven. Grill on high until ginger and onions begin to char. Turn over and continue until they sre nicely browned.

Parboil the bones: Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Add beef shin and boil for 10 minutes. Drain, wash the blood and muck off the bones and rinse out the pot. Refill pot with 4 litres of hot water and beef shin. Bring back to a boil then lower to a simmer. Using a fine mesh strainer, remove any scum that rises to the top.

Perfecting the broth: Add ginger, onion, spice packet, beef, sugar, fish sauce, salt and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the beef and set aside (you can eat the meat later too.) Strain and return broth to the pot – now is the time for tasting and seasoning. If the broth’s flavor isn’t quite there yet, add 1 tablespoon more of fish sauce, large pinch of salt and a small piece of rock sugar (or 1 teaspoon of regular sugar). Keep doing this until the broth tastes just right.

Prepare noodles & meat: Slice your beef as thin as possible – try freezing for 15 minutes prior to slicing. Shred the cooked shin meat and set aside. Arrange all other ingredients on a platter for the table. Cook the noodles as per packet instructions. If they are fresh rice noodles, just blanch it for 1 minute.

Serving: You are ready to serve when your meat and noodles are in bowls and all other ingredients plated. Bring the broth back to a boil. Once boiling, pour hot broth into each bowl, cooking the raw beef slices in the process. Serve straight away. Everyone can style their bowls as they like.

Vietnamese beef pho rice noodle broth #chilli #lime #mint #vietnamese

Tender beef cheeks with beer, spiced carrot purée and prunes


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Beef cheeks is gaining in popularity, having seen quite a few recipes using cheeks and gracing more restaurant menus. This recipe here is one that I’ve developed over the years and I make it with different cuts of meat on a monthly basis: cheeks, tongue or crosscut. My local butcher has the freshest of them and I stock up when I see them. This is a cheap cut and with some tender loving care (i.e. slow or pressure cooked) it produces the most amazingly tender and texturally different meat. I have anchovies in my recipe for the added depth in flavour. Carrots are favoured to meet the cost but you could substitute with pumpkin or potatoes.

The beauty of this dish is that it keeps on giving. Beyond dinner. Any remnants and sauce can be scooped up for next day’s pasta. Or tipped into a pastry lined dish and baked as a pie. Or mixed with boiled baby potatoes for a quick salad. Oh and if desperate, mix it with left over rice, a sprinkling of paprika and chopped coriander for a quick Mexican-style lunch. I often make double batches and save the beef to use in any of the above dishes. You can also make a quick curry by cooking spices and adding beef and coconut milk, it doesn’t take much time at all as the meat is already tender. Super delicious and clean plates afterwards, always. It has saved me so much time in cooking for the week and I can spend more time doing things with my family.

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces Beef cheeks, About 1.2 kg
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 1 Carrot, Diced
  • 1 stalk Celery, Diced
  • 6 cloves Garlic, Peeled and smashed
  • 1 tsp Black peppercorns
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 4 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 4 fillets White anchovies, Often found in small jars
  • 250 ml Beer, Guinness or any dark beer
  • 500 ml Beef stock, Stock cubes used here

Spiced carrot purée 

  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 5 Carrots, Large size
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled and roughly chopped
  • 250 ml Beef stock, Stock cubes used
  • 500 ml Water, Hot
  • 8 Pitted prunes, Whole
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 3 Pitted prunes, Reserve for garnish + add to shopping list

Directions

  1. Preheat oven or your pressure cooker, depending on which one you are using.
  2. Season beef with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in the thick-bottomed pan to brown the beef in several batches.
  4. Brown onion until it softens. Add carrots and celery and cook till they are soft. Add garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, tomato paste and anchovy fillets.
  5. Add beer to deglaze the pan.
  6. Return all the beef to the pan and add stock. Bring to the boil. Cover and fan bake in the oven at 180C for 2 hours (or you can use a pressure cooker like I did and it’s all done in 45 minutes!)
  7. When done, remove beef and set aside.
  8. Reduce the stock further by gently heating the stock, till it has thickened. Pass it though a strainer and pour sauce into a jug for serving.

For the carrot purée:

  1. While the beef cheeks are cooking, prepare the carrot purée.
  2. In a medium hot pan, add a small amount of oil and cook the cumin seeds slightly.
  3. Add carrots and garlic, cook slightly till you see caramelisation around the outsides of the carrot dices and add warm stock and water. Add 8 prunes.
  4. Cook till the water has reduced and carrots are very soft, about 20 minutes. Using a stick blender, blitz the carrots and prunes. Add smoked paprika and salt to taste.

To serve, place a large spoonful of carrot purée on each plate. Place one beef cheek on top of the purée. Quarter each of the 3 reserved prunes and place three quarters on each plate, in with the carrot purée. Drizzle the reduced sauce over and around the plate.

Enjoy!

Beef and truffle pie


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Inspired by the Taste magazine’s “Cook the Cover” feature in June for a Beef and Cheddar pie, I made another with tender beef and truffle cream – I have a fond memory of a simple but elegant fettuccine with truffles at Ortolana and wanted to replicate that flavour.

A few weeks ago at Sabato I came across a “Creama Tartufata” sauce – a blend of champignon mushrooms and black truffles. Perfect match I think for this pie.

The ingredients were enough for me to make a 28cm round pie and a smaller 24cm rectangular pie.

The recipe is modified slightly to suit (whatever I had in the pantry at the time), stock was Simon Gault’s and pastry was pre-made frozen sheets. I find that the sheets fit rectangular dishes best and way easier to defrost than the blocks.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg beef, cross-cut blade*, cut into 2cm strips
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 tbsp Crema Tartufata
  • 250ml  dry white wine
  • 500ml beef stock (Simon Gault’s)
  • 3 tbsp cornflour + 1/4 cup water
  • 4 sheets frozen flaky pastry sheets

Instructions:

  1. Season beef with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in the pan to brown the beef in several batches.
  3. Brown onion until it softens.
  4. Add wine to deglaze the pan.
  5. Return all the beef to the pan and bring to the boil. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours (or you can use a pressure cooker like I did and it’s all done in 45 minutes!)
  6. When cooked, remove beef and flake meat off with a fork.
  7. Thicken the stock with cornflour liquid.
  8. Mix the Crema Tartufata in with the thickened stock.
  9. Line your pie dishes with pastry. Prick with a fork. Fill to three-quarters full. Top with another layer of pastry. Pinch edges with fork to seal.
  10. Brush the tops with egg wash.
  11. Fanbake in the hot oven (190C) until golden and crisp, approximately 20-30 minutes.

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*Note: I prefer to cook with cross-cut blade when making stews, casseroles and curries as the texture of the meat helps create this irresistible gelatinous goo that binds everything together. Yum!!
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(this is a photo of the beef and cheddar pie I made for the “Cook the cover” competition. Didn’t win but my consolation was that my photo was featured in the magazine’s email out to subscribers, so in a way it is a dream come true, to have my photo ‘published’ in my favourite magazine!)

J said “the flavour bursts into my mouth and it is so delicious!” She even had a third helping!

Massaman Beef Curry


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I don’t know about you, but I find that Monday dinners are the hardest to get on the table, fast.
Coming home from a full day’s work after a relaxing weekend – it’s hard to get back into the routine and I’m always in a rush to prepare anything decent.
What I’ve found to work for us, is that I pre-prepare dishes that we can heat up for Monday night.
That way, all we need to do is to cook the rice, add some veges and heat up the main dish.
Therefore you’d find that this blog category mainly consists of curry and other slow-cook meals. Not your typical Monday dinners of quick throw together meals, but instead meals that have been cooked with tender loving care that can be reheated in a matter of minutes.
Click over under the Monday Dinner  tab to see what other slow-cook meals I have in my repertoire.

This curry is sweet with a bit of kick.
J’s review: “I like it because it’s yummy and has potatoes and tender beef. Easy to eat and healthy for you.”

Ingredients:

800 g cross-cut beef, cubed
5 tbsp of spice paste
3 tsp dry spice powder
470ml of coconut cream (1 can)
5 potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 tbs of unsalted, roasted peanuts
2 tbs of peanut oil
2 tbsp tamarind water

Spice Paste:

3 Dried red chilli
1 Lemongrass
5 cloves of Garlic
2 Shallot
5cm Ginger
5cm Galangal
1 tsp Salt
4 tbsp Oil
4 tbsp Palm sugar

Dry spices powder:

combine 1 tbsp of each (except where indicated otherwise) in a mortar and bash them together.
Mustard seed
Fenugreek
Coriander seed
Turmeric
White pepper
Paprika
Cumin
Cinnamon powder
Clove
Cumin
Coriander seed
10 Cardamom seeds
6 Bay leaves
** save the remainder of your spices mix for the next curry.

Method:

1. Coat beef in 1 tablespoon of peanut oil and massaman curry paste. Stir well to coat and set aside.
2. In a large pot, heat remaining oil over a medium heat.
3. Add the curry-coated beef and brown for 1-2 minutes. Add the dry spices. Stir the beef well to coat it in the spices.
4. Add 1/2 can of coconut cream and 1/2 to 1 cup of water until the beef is just covered by the liquid. Stir well and then bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn heat down very low and cover. Gently simmer for 1 1/2 hours. (I leave them in a thermos cooker so I don’t even need to watch it)
5. After this time, add the remaining can of coconut cream, potatoes and peanuts. Stir well. Taste and add a little more fish sauce and sugar if necessary.
6. Turn heat up to medium and cover. Cook for another 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
7. Meanwhile, prepare the tamarind juice. Soak the dried tamarind seed in 2 tablespoons of warm water and use a spoon to push the pulp off the seeds into the water. The water will become brown and pulpy — this is tamarind juice. Discard the seeds.
8. Once the potatoes are cooked, remove the curry from the heat. Stir in the sugar and tamarind juice. Stir well and serve with Jasmine rice.

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