Archive for potatoes

Lamb Neck and Cabbage Potjie

Posted in Cooking, Family, Friends, Life, People, Personal, Random, Recipe with tags , , , , , on July 12, 2010 by buttercup600

I would like to share a bit of my culture with you….the theme is African…..Today, cooking up a “potjie” has evolved into a unique South African social happening, a tradition almost as popular as the legendary “Braai” (barbecue). Family and friends are invited and they all settle around the fire with the softly bubbling “Potjie”, chatting, enjoying a drink and having a great time, while the aroma escaping from the “potjie”, does its work. 

The range of different recipes is as wide as the imagination stretches and every “potjie” expert has his or her own secrets and special recipes. The best meat to use for “potjiekos” is what is known as stewing beef, sinewy and gelatinous cuts of beef which become deliciously tender when simmered for a long time, developing a strong meaty flavour. Other meat such as  mutton, chicken and even fish make ideal “potjies”. 

The fire is an important part of creating a culinary “potjie” masterpiece. Unlike a “braai”, the choice of wood or charcoal does not make much difference, as long as you can regulate the heat. That is done by adding or removing coals once the “potjie” is heated up. You only need a few to keep the “potjie” simmering. A good idea is to keep a separate fire going to provide the necessary coals. Keep in mind to season or “cook-in” a new “potjie” to get rid of any iron filings and other unwanted residue. 

The packing of the food in layers is the other important part. The meat usually comes first. Add a dash of cooking oil or some fat in the pot, add meat the meat and brown thoroughly. This is essential to seal-in the flavour and improve the appearance of the meat. Cook the meat till nearly done. Add onions, garlic, herbs and spices and sauté. Finally add a little red wine or some meat stock, only a small amount of liquid is needed and stir. Most important, do not stir again until the food is ready to be served.

Lamb Neck and Cabbage Potjie

2 tbs cooking oil
2 large onions, chopped
14 lamb neck chops
250g bacon, diced
16 small potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 small cabbage, cut in 8 pieces
dash of lemon juice with 500ml water
4 Carrots, thickly sliced
salt and black pepper to taste

METHOD

1. Heat the oil in a medium-size potjie, then fry the onions, bacon and lamb chops for about ½ hour, stirring from time to time. Cover with lid and leave to cook for about 45 minutes.
2. Open pot, stir, then add layer of potatoes, finishing off with the cabbage. Add the water/lemon juice mixture, herbs and spices. (Don’t stir yet)
3. Cover with lid and cook for about another 2 hours slowly over medium coals ; check if there’s enough water after a while, and add more if necessary.
4. Stir through  ; the meat should fall off the bones.
5. Serve with brown rice and sweet mashed cinnamon pumpkin.

 “Potjie” is a 3 legged round-bottomed cast iron pot where you put your ingredients in, and it simmers merrily over coals while everyone sits around it chatting away. and sipping you know what.. It’s much more sociable than a BBQ and everyone usually gather round the fire and having a great time.  I am not sure if you can buy “Potjies” outside of South Africa, but any large pot with a thick base and a lid should do.

BEEF WELLINGTON

Posted in Cooking, Family, Friends, Life, Random, Recipe with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2010 by buttercup600

Sometimes, when dinner rolls around, we all experiment and try to put together something new. Other times, we resort to the classics, maybe not comfort food, but definitely something “established,” and this is one such dish: Beef Wellington. This is timeless: a juicy, tender cut of fillet mignon cooked inside a tight, buttery, flaky package of puff pastry.

 

INGREDIENTS

– 450 grams of beef fillet
– 450 grams of flat mushrooms
– 5 slices Parma ham
– English mustard (for brushing the meat)
– 225 grams of puff pastry
– 2 egg yolks
– Approximately 10 new potatoes
– 1 clove of garlic (crushed)
– 1 Sprig of thyme
– 1 baby gem lettuce
– Salt and pepper
– Olive oil
– Mustard vinaigrette

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200c.

2. Heat a couple of table spoons of olive oil in a large pan before searing the beef all over until brown. Once seared, allow the meat to cool to ensure you keep the flavours and juices in the meat. Brush generously with English mustard once the meat has cooled down.

3. Dice the flat mushrooms and add them to a food blender to form a puree. Add the puree mixture to a hot, dry pan and allow the water to evaporate from the mushrooms. As soon as the mushroom puree starts to stick together removing from the heat and leave to cool in a bowl.

4. Cut a long piece of cling film and stack the slices of Parma ham ensuring they are slightly overlapping one another. Spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the ham once the slices are laid out.

5. Place the beef fillet in the middle of the sliced ham and keeping a tight hold of the cling film from the outside edge, neatly roll the Parma ham and mushrooms over the beef into a tight barrel shape. Twist the ends to secure the Clingfilm. Keep this refrigerated for 10 -15 minutes to allow the beef Wellington to set, helping keep its shape.

6. Take the pastry and roll it out fairly thinly to a size which will cover the beef fillet. Unwrap the meat from the cling film. Egg wash the edge of the pastry and place the beef in the middle. Roll up the pastry, cut any excess off the ends and fold neatly to the ‘underside’. Turnover and egg wash over the top. Chill again to let the pastry cool for approximately 5 minutes. Egg wash again before baking at 200c for 35 – 40 minutes. Rest 8 -10 minutes before slicing.

7. Part boil the potatoes in salted water. Quarter them and leave the skin on. Sauté in olive oil and butter with the garlic and thyme, until browned and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and remove the thyme and garlic before serving.

8. Separate the outside leaves of the baby gem (leaving the smaller inner ones for salads) and very quickly sauté them in a pan of olive oil with a little salt and pepper – just enough to wilt them.

9. Serve hearty slices of the Wellington alongside the sautéed potatoes and wilted baby gems. A classic mustard vinaigrette makes a great dressing for this dish too… Enjoy!

SHEPARD’S PIE

Posted in Cooking, Daily Life, Family, Friends, People, Recipe with tags , , , , on June 18, 2010 by buttercup600

This is an easy and fast recipe….I have added vegetables for a bit of variation but it is entirely up to your own taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 bacon strips, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 can (4-1/4 ounces) chopped ripe olives, drained
  • 5-1/2 cups hot mashed potatoes (prepared without milk and butter)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Additional butter, melted

Directions

  • In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In the same skillet, cook bacon, onion, garlic and oregano until bacon is crisp; drain. Stir in the tomato sauce, olives and beef. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until heated through.
  • Meanwhile, combine the mashed potatoes, eggs, butter, coriander and salt. Spread half of the potato mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-in. pie plate. Layer with beef mixture and remaining potato mixture.
  • Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Brush the pie with melted butter. Bake 10 minutes longer or until top is golden brown. 

ENJOY!!

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