Saturday, 4 June 2016


A recipe I keep coming back to time after time. Delicious – Comforting food – Real good old-fashioned home style cooking at its French traditional best! Served on a bed of mash or with rice and roast potatoes simply with some steamed carrots, peas or green beans including magical recipe for mashed potatoes. Serves: 3 – 4

Natural brown onion gravy made from juices collected from roasting whole chicken pieces – Never throw this away! Always plan your meals around it. The fat is great for roasting veg and for stir-frying and the browned stock is great for making up naturally browned stocks and gravies – Enhances the flavor of dishes without adding gmo’s esp if you have allergies.

You may instead of using soup powders use your leftover chicken juices and fats from grilling chicken pieces. Do not use more than 30 – 60 ml of chicken fat if you are using beef shin but use less if using a fattier cut of meat – This will help to brown the onions bringing them to that rich brown gravy color. It will take you 20 – 40 minutes to brown your onions. The chicken stock will get a bit sticky. Do not allow it to burn and stop before it does. You may then add your wine, herb blend, meat and stock cubes.

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This picture “My own” was made without soup powders but soup powders can be just as divine – Just use a good brand.

Tip: Carrots slice easier when pre-steamed – Microwaved until fork tender in sealed container. There are 2 recipes but the 1st remains my top choice! – Each recipe has its own special herb blend (for beef stews). The difference will be in the cut of meat you use. Slow long cooking will really bring out the best of this dish.

38 g streaky bacon – Partially defrosted dices easily or use bacon bits
3 large onions, chopped
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper (1/2 – 1 tsp whole peppercorns, ground)
580 g beef shin or Beef chuck tender that comes from the shoulder-blade, cut into cubes
1 tsp marjoram, dried or to taste
1 tsp rosemary, dried (crushed – given just 1 quick pulse in a coffee grinder)
1 tsp thyme, dried or to taste
2 bay leaves
125 ml dry red wine ( I used a Tassenberg dry red wine which came out very lovely!)
2 beef stock cubes
1½ cups beef broth – I used 1/2 sachet Royco mushroom soup powder to one whole (55 g) sachet beef and onion soup powder added to taste. Follow instructions on package to make up.
Render the fat from finely diced bacon bits in large wok or pan. When crisp and golden you may add your chopped onions to the melted fat in the pan and saute until light golden brown. Brown beef a few pieces at a time, adding the herbs, wine, and beef broth. Cover and simmer for 1½ hours. Add the onions and cook a further 20 minutes Add the mushrooms and cook a further 10 – 15 minutes. (I skipped the baby – pearl onions).When the onions are fork-tender, the stew is done. Serve and enjoy! – Bon Appétit!

Supreme Beef Stew done in French Bourguignon Style - Recipe 2

This recipe uses a lovely herb blend and is absolutely delish served with veggies added to the pot or on the side with mash, peas and buttered gem squashes.

Serves: 3-4 

1.350 kg (3 lbs) of boneless beef shoulder cubed
4 strips of bacon (38 g) chopped
4 large potatoes, diced
2 onions sliced (2 large or 3 medium onions)
20 oz (566.99 g) of button mushrooms sliced (250 – 500 g is fine)
8 oz (226.80g) carrots thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 green pepper de-seeded and sliced (Can be omitted if don’t have on hand)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pinch of fresh rosemary, chopped or a teaspoon of dried rosemary
1 pinch of fresh basil, chopped or a heaped teaspoon of dried basil
Salt and pepper to season
1 cup (250 ml) of red wine (Tassenberg dry red)

Spray the inside of your slow cooker with oil, add the beef, bacon, potatoes and all vegetables, then pour the wine over the ingredients. Add the herbs and cover and cook for 8-10 hours on low.
The Most Magical Mashed Potatoes
The Miracle way to make the most fluffiest mashed potatoes ever! – Secret is steam and a ricer. I don’t have one so I use a tablespoon to press mine through sieve one at a time but you may use a colander. How to make the fluffiest mashed potatoes ever!Are your mashed potatoes gloppy rather than wonderfully fluffy? The key to the fluffiest one’s begins with using the proper potatoes, keeping them as dry as possible while they cook, and using the best tool for the job – A ricer of course! Use russet or Idaho potatoes – In South Africa they are the very large fat round ugly dirty skinned potatoes. They also have the highest starch content which makes them the perfect for mash. Add NO salt whatsoever to your potatoes or they will NOTsoften up! Season only once potatoes are fluffy soft.

2 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter or cream
2 hefty pinches salt (kosher if you have)
small pinch black or white pepper, whichever you prefer
nutmeg (I love adding freshly grated to taste)

Peel potatoes. Make sure the skins are completely off because they block the holes in your ricer, sieve or colander! Instead of boiling the potatoes which introduces more moisture into them, you are going to steam them. With this technique the water vapours are at the same temperature as if you were boiling them – But the advantage of steaming is you are not introducing an excessive amount of moisture into the potatoes which give you this gloppy kind of mashed potato. So steaming is really the best way to cook your potatoes. Once peeled, cut your potatoes in half and leave in pretty big chunks. Have a steamer basket set over about 2 inches of boiling water. Arrange potatoes in a single layer so that they cook at a uniform rate. The amount of ingredients will probably take anything from 20 – 25 minutes to steam. Using a ricer which looks like a metal sieve or made from stainless steel with little round holes in it with a little like handle like press on it, together with metal flat disk to press down on potatoes, creates the fluffiest mashed potatoes. ( Look out for them in a bakeware shops). With thongs place your softened potatoes into the center of the ricer which is called the hopper, filling it about 2/3rd of the way. Now press down, kind of like a citrus press and the wonderful steamed potatoes are going to rice out at the bottom and sides of the round holes of your ricer. Do not use a food processor, a blender or even a hand-held mixer because they shear through your potatoes and starch granules creating a very gluey and gooey mashed potatoes – Please avoid such machines! Melt butter in milk, adding your seasonings to avoid over mixing your ready riced potatoes.Add seasonings to your heated milk and butter mixture and just gently swirl it around to dissolve the salt and pepper in your milk.You may steep any flavourings you like in your milk as now is the time to do so like rosemary, garlic or any aromatics that you would like in your mashed potatoes. Pour your heated buttermilk mixture over your riced potatoes and give it all a gentle stir so that it is nicely mixed. Now all you have to do is serve in a nice warm bowl so mashed potatoes don’t go cold.There you have it. 3 simple tricks to serve the fluffiest mashed potatoes! – Enjoy!

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