Issue 3 / Winter 2007
KEEP WARM THIS WINTER
COMFORT FOOD TO BEAT THE CHILL...CASSEROLES, CURRIES, BRAISES, ROASTS AND STEWS
It’s the season for simple, comforting food. Food that not only tastes good, it smells so wonderfully good too! It’s the time of year to take some time…time to roast, time to make heart-warming casseroles and stews. These dishes don’t take long to prepare, but they will take a little time to cook. And there’s your excuse…to linger in the warmth of the kitchen, to enjoy a glass of wine and watch over a stew as it simmers, to play Scrabble with the kids while the roast ‘takes care of itself’. Indulge yourself and the family with these familiar dishes, they’re designed to keep out the cold. For more ideas visit www.themainmeal.com.au 02
Roasting know how - simple steps for all beef and veal roasts 1. If time permits, take the roast from the fridge about 10-15 minutes before cooking - Preheat the oven in line with the type of meat you are roasting (see chart on page 5). - Trim off any fat and weigh the roast. - Boneless roasts like rib eye/scotch ﬁllet beneﬁt from browning before roasting. 2. Use a roasting dish that is close to the size of the roast you are cooking - Place the roast on a rack in a roasting dish, this allows it to brown evenly. - Brush the roast lightly with oil. Season with salt, pepper and any ﬂavourings.
3. Cook for the calculated time, baste the roast occasionally - Use the juices in the roasting dish to baste the roast as it cooks. Add a little stock to the dish if there’s only a small amount of pan juices. - Check for degree of doneness just before the estimated cooking time is up. For ease use a meat thermometer. - Or use tongs to test the roast. Gently prod or squeeze the roast - rare is very soft, medium rare is soft, medium is springy but soft, medium well is ﬁrm and well done is very ﬁrm. 4. Allow the roast to rest before serving Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 10 - 20 minutes before carving. Carve the roast across the grain to ensure tenderness.
Roasts hold a special place with cooks and kids alike… for Mum they’re easy to prepare, and the kids (and Dad) just can’t wait to enjoy it 03
Enhance the flavour of your roast with rubs and bastes Rosemary, thyme and lemon Rub the roast with a mix of salt, pepper and chopped fresh rosemary and thyme leaves before cooking. As the roast cooks, baste it with this easy mix – combine a splash of olive oil, the grated rind and juice from one lemon and a little more chopped rosemary and thyme leaves. Mustard, orange and honey Rub the roast with a mix of salt, pepper and a little seeded mustard before cooking. As the roast cooks baste it with this mix – combine a splash of olive oil, the grated rind and juice from one orange, a small dollop of seeded mustard and a good drizzle of honey. Peppercorn and garlic Make a peppercorn rub; drain a small can of green peppercorns, crush the peppercorns lightly. Combine with 2 cloves crushed garlic and about 60g slightly crushed dried black peppercorns. Rub the roast with oil and spread the peppercorn mix over the meat. Baste with the pan juices.
Butcher’s tips for the best cuts for roasting Beef in, ﬁllet/tenderloin, Rib eye/scotch ﬁllet, rump, sirlo e, standing rib roast eye round, blade, oyster blad and silverside (uncorned). Veal d loin, rack, Leg, shoulder, boned and rolle ﬁllet and rump.
Suggested roasting times for Beef Rib eye/scotch fillet, rump, sirloin, fillet/tenderloin, standing rib roast Silverside, blade, eye round, oyster blade
beef and veal Medium
15-20 min per 500g
20-25 min per 500g
25-30 min per 500g
20-25 min per 500g
25-30 min per 500g
30-35 min per 500g
15-20 min per 500g
20-25 min per 500g
Veal Fillet, rack, leg, rump, shoulder, boned and rolled loin
Do really need a meat thermometer? There are lots of variables involved when roasting meat and judging if it’s ready or not. Variables include size, shape and thickness of the meat. To take out all of the guesswork use a meat thermometer. It’s the easiest and most accurate way to tell if it’s ready. Inexpensive leave-in style thermometers cost around $6-8 from kitchenware shops. Place the thermometer in the roast before cooking. Insert it into the thickest part of the roast away from any bone.
25-30 min per 500g
Cooked to your liking… judge your roasts degree of doneness
The internal tempe rature for: • Rare 60°C • Medium rare 65°C • Medium 70°C • Well done 75°C
It’s cold outside…bring family and friends together BEEF CASSEROLE…A ONE-POT WONDER This is a ‘master’ recipe - it can be the base for many delicious casseroles or stews. You can vary the beef or veal cuts used and ring in the changes with different vegies, herbs and flavourings. Cut 1.5kg of chuck (or other beef or veal cuts) into even sized cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a deep-sided, cook-top to oven pan. Brown beef in two or three batches, set aside. Add a little more oil to pan, add 2 chopped onions, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 2 carrots cut into rounds. Cook for 2 minutes. Add 300g button mushrooms, cook for 1 minute. Add 3 cups beef stock, 1 cup of red wine, a sprig of thyme, a few bay leaves, and 2 wide strips of orange rind. Bring to the boil for a minute. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Return beef to the pan.
It’s the less expensive cuts of beef that’ll give your slow-simme red dish the best ﬂavour and tenderne ss.
When you cube the me at cut it into even sized pieces of abou t 22mm; any smaller and the meat will shr ink as it cooks.
Partially cover and simmer over a cooktop or cover and cook in the oven (180°C) for about 2½ - 3 hours or until beef is very tender. Stir occasionally and adjust the heat as it cooks if needed. Remove bay leaves, rind and thyme stems. Serve with creamy polenta or mashed potato.
Try these one-pot variations - Replace the wine with canned tomatoes and their juice, add black olives too. - Try parsnips and potatoes in place of carrots. - Omit mushrooms and add green beans, zucchini or peas in the last 20 minutes cooking time. - Add chopped red and green capsicum when you add the carrots. Omit the orange rind and use fresh parsley or basil.
Tips for a no hassle casserole (slow-simmer braise or stew) The ideal pan is heavy-based and deepsided - look for one that you can use on the cook-top as well as in the oven. Brown the meat in small batches. Coat the meat in oil instead of adding it to the pan. Keep the pan at medium-high heat as you cook each batch to help the meat brown evenly rather than stew or burn in the pan. Remove meat and set it aside while you make the flavour base for your casserole. Make good use of the rich residue left from browning the meat. Add your flavourings like onions or diced carrot, cook for a minute or two, and then add
the liquid. Scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, making sure they blend with the liquid. Reduce the heat so that the liquid is simmering before returning meat to the pan. Meat can toughen if returned to boiling liquid. Ensure the dish simmers gently during the long slow cooking time. Stir occasionally and adjust the heat as the dish cooks if needed. When braising meat you may need to add a little water to the pan if it appears to be becoming too dry.
- best slow Butcherâ€™s tip and veal cuts simmer beef Beef iced or risket, skirt (d b , in sh , ck Chu o bucco, asoned) oss rolled and se f, oxtail. ee b or gravy in sh ss le ne bo
Veal , shoulder, /osso bucco Shin bone-in e. neck, knuckl
BRAISED VEAL SHANKS You’ll need one frenched trimmed veal shank for each guest. This quantity serves 6, but the recipe can be doubled to feed a crowd. Dust 6 veal shanks with seasoned flour. Prepare a dice of 2 celery stalks, 1 small, trimmed leek and 1 carrot. Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a deep-sided, cook-top to oven pan. Brown the shanks on all sides. Remove shanks and set aside.
sugar and some chopped parsley. Bring to the boil, boil for a minute or two. Reduce heat so liquid simmers, and return shanks to the pan. Cover and simmer over a cook-top for about 1½ - 2 hours or until shank meat is very tender, (the meat should nearly be falling off the bone). Turn the shanks occasionally and adjust the heat as it cooks if needed. You may need to add a little beef stock or water if it appears too dry.
Add diced vegies to pan, stir for 2 minutes or until just tender. Add 2 tbsp tomato paste, stir To serve remove the shanks, raise the heat to reduce the sauce if needed. Serve shanks with for 1 minute, add 2 cups beef stock, ½ cup white pasta or mashed potato and a spoonful of the wine, a 425g can diced tomatoes, 1 tbsp brown thickened sauce.
Tips to keep the family warm ~ Workout inside - take the kids ice-skating or tenpin bowling. 08
~ Dress in layers - layers of thin clothing are better than one thick garment thin layers trap body heat.
~ You lose a lot of heat through your head - when you’re outdoors wear a warm, yet lightweight hat.
year It’s the perfect time of tes ri for heart-warming favou
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~ Who doesn’t lik
e baked jacket pota toes! Spilt them and top w ith a spoonful of bolognaise sauce, do llop with light sour cr eam and a sprinkle of gr ated cheese or chiv es.
f sausages… n about them? e tt o rg o f u yo d ha e. Dig out the recip
~ Curried bee
rs d sandwich make e st a to nd a ie P ~ own in winter… ir e th to in e m o c ise is just what na g lo o b r ve to T f le iptlsefgorartead mnoozzhaaresllasle casserole lit . A lo you need(s e w -s th im to m d e e d r d brarise or stew) eese a or pizzaThcehid so ie p ea l ur pa yo n is e heavy-based mak and deep-sided bolognaisfoer onweilltha t you can use on – look the cook-top as we y. st ta ra xt ll as in the oven. eown the meat sambos Br in small ba ~ Plan some outdoo rs activities - touc h footy or soccer ar e great fun for ki ds of all ages. If it’s ju st the two of you.. . why not fly a kite. If you’re young (or young at heart) go for a surf.
~ Warm yourself in the winter sun ~ despite chilly winter temperatures enjoy the winter sun when it shines ~ read a book or take a walk.
tches. Coat the instead of adding meat in oil it to the pan. Keep the pan at medium heat as you cook -high each batch to he lp the meat brow rather than stew n evenly or burn in the pa n. Remove meat aside while you and set it make the ﬂavour base for your ca ss erole. Make good us e of the rich re sidue left from browning the meat. Add your ﬂavourings like on or diced carrot, ions cook for a minute or two, and then ad liquid. Scrape up d the the browned bits from the bottom making sure they of the pan, blend with the liq uid. Reduce the he at so that the liquid is simm before returnin ering g meat to the pan. Meat can returned to boilin toughen if g liquid. Ensure the dish simmers gently during the long cooking time. slow Stir occasionally and adjust the he dish cooks if need at as the ed. When braisin g meat you may add a little water need to to the pan if it ap pears to becoming too dr y.
Butcher’s tip - best quick braise beef cuts
~ Spice up your meals - Indian, Mexican or Thai style relishes, pickles and pastes give a powerful flavour boost, and a burst of warmth to your dishes.
ckle), round Round (also called knu k and oyster blade. medallions, round stea ue for money These cuts offer great val ickly. qu m and you can cook the
~ Enjoy hot drinks but don’t over indulge in tea and coffee - try soup, the best start with good beef stock.
Warm ‘em up quickly…cook a curry in less than 30 minutes! Thai or Indian style beef curries needn’t take long to cook. Using the right beef cuts and following our ‘quick braise’ tips will have a rich, warming meal on the table in around half an hour.
How to ‘quick braise’ – Use your wok for the best result, sauté style pans with their wider sloping sides are also good. – Make sure the meat is trimmed of as much visible silverskin as possible. – Cut the meat into stir-fry style strips (or slightly thicker), cut the meat across the grain. – Brown the meat in small batches as you do a stir-fry. Ensure the pan is hot when you add the meat, it should sizzle when it goes into the pan.
– Once the meat has been browned and removed from the pan add flavourings like curry pastes, stock, or coconut milk. Bring the cooking liquid to the boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. – Return the meat to the pan only when the cooking liquid is at simmering point. Once the meat has been added to the liquid it must not be allowed to boil vigorously, or the result will be tough, chewy meat.
Turn up the heat with a little spice Ready-made curry pastes make an instant ﬂavour base. There are many curry pastes available, match the paste to the style of dish you’d like. Start out by choosing mild varieties, which are still quite spicy, as the hot ones can be very hot. Cook the curry paste in a little oil over a medium to low heat, and stir it often. This slow cooking will allow the ﬂavours of the paste to fully develop.
A QUICK MUSSAMAN BEEF CURRY Serves 4 Trim 500g of round steak, slice it across the grain into thin strips. Drizzle beef strips with a little oil. Heat a wok, ensure it is hot. Stir-fry the beef in two batches, reserving each batch. Add 1 tbsp oil to the wok, reduce heat and then add cup mussaman curry paste. Stir for 2 minutes. Add a 400ml can coconut milk, ½ cup beef stock and 2 tsp brown sugar. Raise the heat to bring the mixture to the boil. Stir for 1 minute, reduce heat and add 2 large peeled, cubed potatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes, stir occasionally. Return beef to wok, stir and simmer for 5 minutes more. Do not let the mixture boil. Stir in 2 tsp ﬁsh sauce and a small handful of fresh basil leaves. Serve sprinkled with roasted peanuts and extra basil leaves.
~ Waiting for the roast to cook or the stew to simmer? Make some fun inside - challenge the kids to a game of cards, get the Monopo ly board out, or enjoy a family movie.
n’t ~ Keep warm, keep well - do mp overheat your home - best te o is about 21 C.
As the weather
gets cooler work up everyone’s appetite with deliciously good food. Winter’s the perfect time of year to indulge in your favourite meals, food the whole family will love. Roasts, casseroles, stews…the irresistible aromas and the comforting tastes of these wonderful winter dishes will entice everyone to the table.
For more delicious recipes, cooking tips and to contact us visit www.themainmeal.com.au Additional lifestyle photography on pages 4 – 12 courtesy of David Leahy and Steve Lee
Keep warm this Winter