Recipes, Savoury

Hidden Veg Bolognese

spag bol sauce logo.jpgServes 4

My fiancée is one of the fussiest eaters I know and really doesn’t enjoy eating a lot of veg. Occasionally I’ll find ways of adding veg into our meals (with him knowing of course) so we both still get some of our 5 a day. This recipe is one of the best bolognese sauces I have created to date.  If you’re a parent with fussy little ones, or even a fussy partner like me, this will please everyone!

 

Ingredients:

  • Oil
  • 500g good beef mince
  • 500g pork and veal mince
  • 1 large carrot, grated or 2 small carrots
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 zucchini (courgette), grated
  • 3 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 400g tins of diced tomatoes
  • 1 700ml jar passata
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Small bunch fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • salt and pepper

 

Method:

  1. Heat a large heavy based pot over a medium high heat and add about 1 tablespoon of oil and brown off all the mince, making sure you season with some salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the meat out into a bowl and then drain the fat and juices from the pot. Set meat aside.
  2. Turn heat down to a medium heat and add another tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and celery first and a little salt and cook till slightly softened. Then add the rest of the vegetables and garlic with the pinch of chilli flakes if you’re using them. Continue to cook the veg until sweated down and softened.
  3. Return the mince to the pot with the vegetables and then add the tinned tomatoes, passata, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, dried oregano, dried basil, fresh basil, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Mix thoroughly, turn down to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes-1 hour (the longer the better).
  4. Taste the sauce and decide whether you need more salt, pepper or sugar. Add the milk and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and with a stick blender just give the sauce a quick blitz to the consistency you desire.
    Enjoy with spaghetti, or even use the sauce for a lasagne.
Recipes, Savoury

Homemade Juicy Burgers

burger logo.jpgMakes 4 Burgers

I love burgers, but some days you just cant be bothered to leave the house and go out to your fave burger joint. But you can easily enjoy a great burger right at home, and you know exactly what is going into it!

Ingredients:

  • 500g good quality premium mince, divided into 4 portions
  • Cheese slices of your choice (if you choose to use cheese)
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 brioche buns
  • Any toppings you desire

 

Method:

  1. Make sure your mince is cold. Form the portions into balls and flatten them out to about the size of your bun and make a thumb indentation in the centre (this is for more even cooking). Season them generously with salt and pepper just like you would a steak.
  2. Preheat a heavy based skillet over a medium high heat (no oil required), and when it is hot, add the patties. They only need about 5 minutes on each side for medium done burgers, or a bit longer if you like em well done. When you’re about half way through cooking the patties on the other side add your slices of cheese and place a lid over the top. This creates steam which helps melt the cheese and also finishes cooking the patty.
  3. Remove the patties from the pan and set aside to rest for a few minutes. In the mean time place your buns in the same pan cut side down to toast them to your liking. Assemble the burger any way you like with your favourite toppings and you’ve got yourself a delicious homemade burger better than any take away.
Recipes, Savoury

Mexican Short Rib Burritos

burrito logo.jpg

Makes 4

Mexican food is probably one of my favourite foods. I decided one day that I really wanted a nice tender beefy burrito, and so here it is!

Ingredients:

  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • 6-8 beef short ribs
  • Packet of taco seasoning (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 150g chilies in adobo sauce pureed
  • Oil for searing
  • 1 large bulb of garlic, cut horizontally
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 1/2 cups of melty cheese with flavour (Cheddar, colby etc.)
  • 2 cups of Mexican rice (I used a packet of instant rice)
  • Sour cream and guacamole for serving (Coriander/ Cilantro is optional)

Method:

  1. In a bowl, combine the taco seasoning, brown sugar, tomato sauce and  chillies in adobo sauce and then add the ribs. Mix well, cover and refrigerate  for at least 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160ºc. In a large heavy based pot, heat some oil over a medium heat and sear the ribs until brown on all sides. Add the garlic, the marinade from the ribs and the wine. Make sure while mixing you scrape the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce slightly. Add the beef stock. Cover with the pot lid, or with foil and bake in the oven for 2-3 hours, basting the meat occasionally until the meat is tender. Uncover the pot and cook for a further 25-30 minutes.
  3. Transfer the ribs to a plate and scoop off any excess fat from the pot and then strain the sauce and squeeze out the garlic through the sieve as well and mix it into the sauce.
  4. Pull the rib meat off the bone and chop into smaller pieces and place back into the sauce. Turn the oven up to 200ºc.
  5. Scoop some meat onto a tortilla with a few tablespoons of the Mexican rice and sprinkle some cheese over it. Wrap it up and place it into a greased baking dish and repeat until you are out of meat. If you have any sauce left, spoon some on top of the burritos and sprinkle a little more cheese on top.
  6. Bake for about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, lime wedge and a sprinkle of coriander if you wish (Ew, coriander).
Recipes, Savoury

French Onion Oyster Blade

French onion oyster blade logo.jpgServes: 2-4

My mother has been making this for as long as I can remember and it’s so simple to make! You just need a couple ingredients and you have your meat and sauce all in one! I might also add that this is a budget friendly recipe too so you can feed your family of 4 for less than $20 (AUS)

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 Oyster blade steaks
  • 1 packet of dry french onion soup mix
  • 2-3 tsp water

And that’s it!

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºc. In a small bowl mix your french onion soup mix with enough water to create a loose paste, say about the consistency of a thick gravy. Place each oyster blade steak onto a square of foil (you will be wrapping them individually) and then spread about 1-2 tsp of the french onion paste onto the steak, then wrap them up and place onto a baking tray.
  2. Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes. Let them rest for about 5-10 minutes. Serve with some steamed greens.

 

Recipes, Savoury

Slow Cooked Red Wine Beef Cheeks

red wine beef cheeksServes:2

I absolutely love beef cheeks! These are my new go to slow cooked stew meat for winter for sure. So melt in your mouth tender. I serve this with creamy polenta and a fresh gremolata. If you want to make this recipe for a family of 4, just use 2 more beef cheeks and add a little more stock to just cover the beef cheeks in the crock pot.

Ingredients:

  • 2 beef/ox cheek
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks finely diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1.5 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried is fine

For the Polenta:

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups stock (beef, chicken or vegetable is fine)
  • Salt
  • 40g butter
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

For the Gremolata

  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
  • 1 clove garlic minced

Method:

  1. In a pan add about 1 tablespoon of oil and heat over a medium heat and add the onion, celery and carrot and cook until softened and then add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Then add about 2 tablespoons of flour and mix well and cook for a further minute or so and add to a slow cooker.
  2. Season about 1 cup of flour with salt and pepper and coat the beef cheeks and in the same pan over a high heat add a little more oil and brown both sides of the beef cheeks about 2-3 minutes each side and add them to the slow cooker.
  3. In the same pan again add beef stock, red wine, tomato paste and rosemary and bring to the boil while scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the bits off. Add the red wine mixture to the slow cooker with the bay leaves and give it a gentle mix. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.

Creamy Polenta

  1. Bring the stock and the milk to a boil and then season with about 2 tsp of salt. Pour the polenta in a steady stream while whisking and continue to whisk until thickened slightly. Once thickened turn the heat down to low and simmer covered for 30-40 minutes, stirring really well every 10 minutes. If mixture begins to look too thick just add more stock.
  2. Once cooked, add the butter and parmesan and mix well. Serve immediately.

 

Gremolata

  1. Chop the parsley on a chopping board and then put the lemon zest on top with the garlic and continue to chop together until you get a nice fine chop from all ingredients. You can serve this with any red meat.