BBC Good Food Show Winter 2016

Once again, in what seems to be the blink of an eye, Christmas is almost upon us and an amazing time is to be had at the BBC Good Food Show Winter 2016, being held at the NEC between 24th and 27th November 2016.

From Celebrity Chefs, demonstrating their talents in the Supertheater this year sponsored by Aldi UK and other demonstration stages around the show, to artisan food and drink producers, as well as kitchen appliance and gadget & gizmo manufacturers; there’s always so much to see (just make sure you wear your comfy shoes!). Once again there are plenty of Good Food Show Champions who have won the coveted chance to exhibit they winning products, which were judged, against tough competition, to win their place at the show.

There’s plenty to get involved with at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham this year. Learn new skills and get closer to the action in a Discover and Learn with Lexus session including a Yo! Sushi Masterclass and Knife Skills with Zwilling. YO! Sushi will walk you through the steps to become a sushi expert in this specially tailored masterclass where you will create three types of sushi to take away and enjoy. Or learn a range of knife skills from the Zwilling professionals – discover different sharpening techniques, which type of knife should be used for the right job, and how to master the pinch grip.

It’s a place where you can pick up plenty of hints and tips of the trade.  Grab something incredibly tasty to eat and drink whilst catching up with friends and stocking up on Christmas presents galore (not to mention the odd treat for yourself, of course!)

Once again this year, I’ll be there on Thursday 24th November as one of the BBC Good Food Show official Bloggers from where I’ll be Tweeting throughout the day, letting you know what’s in my shopping basket, what I’ve enjoyed and who I’ve caught up with amongst my favourite exhibitors and chefs.

To get you in the festive mood, join the Renshaw Academy Experts in a Christmas At: Renshaw Academy workshop. Learn how to create a festive cake topper, or discover confidence-boosting cake decorating hints and tips, plus take your own Christmas cake home. Plus, don’t miss tutored beer tastings as the Great British Beer Experience, sponsored by CAMRA and BeerHawk, returns to the Show. Explore new tastes, learn about the art of brewing and gain an insight into the diversity of real ale with industry experts Beer Hawk, Sally Lavender and Des de Moor.

Tickets are available from the BBC Good Food Show website online and also to purchase on the day. Why not treat yourself and be a VIP for the day by booking yourself a special ticket, which includes lots of other treats such as VIP parking, entrance to the VIP lounge with talks and demonstrations, a glass of fizz, tea, coffee & pastries, exclusive use of the VIP restrooms, and a fab goodie bag including a recipe book to take home.

Slow Cooked Shin of Beef

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I’d originally wanted to cook Ox cheek, however neither of my two local butchers had any, and only one had some British shin of beef as an alternative, so that’s what I’ve used for today’s dinner.  I’ve cooked this in 2/3 bottle of Aldi UK Fleurie red wine, from the Beaujolais region of France, but you could use an ale if you prefer.

30ml Rapeseed oil

2 medium onions, chopped

3 medium carrots, chopped

3 sticks of celery, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, bruised

2tbs Plain flour

Salt & pepper

2kg Shin of beef, diced

500ml red wine (or ale)

300ml beef stock

Handful of thyme, roughly chopped

2 Bay leaves

Stick of cinnamon

 

1. Preheat your oven to 180℃ (160℃ fan).

Slow cooked beef shin in Aldi Fleurie red wine

Slow cooked beef shin in Aldi Fleurie red wine

2. In a large casserole dish, heat 15ml of oil.

3. Fry the onions, carrots, celery and garlic until transparent, but not coloured.

Slow cooked beef shin in Aldi Fleurie red wine

4. Remove the vegetables to a bowl whilst you prepare the beef.

5. In a plastic bag, put the flour and season with salt and pepper.

Slow cooked beef shin in Aldi Fleurie red wine

6. Place the beef into the bag and toss to coat evenly. Shake off the excess.

7. Heat 15ml of oil in the casserole dish and fry the beef in batches until brown on all sides.

8. Remove the beef with the vegetables.

Slow cooked beef shin in Aldi Fleurie red wine

9. Add 100ml of the wine to the casserole dish and scrape the bottom of the dish to release all the flavours.

10. Add the rest of the wine, the beef stock, thyme, bay leaves and cinnamon stick, along with the browned beef and vegetables.

Slow cooked beef shin in Aldi Fleurie red wine

11. Give it a good stir to mix, put the lid on and put the casserole dish into the oven to cook.

12. Cook for 3-4 hours until the beef is tender and falls apart.

13. Remove the bay leaves, cinnamon stick and the garlic cloves.

14. Serve on a bed of chive mashed potatoes with some steamed savoy cabbage.

Slow cooked beef shin in Aldi Fleurie red wine

Aldi’s best budget bake – Tiramisu cupcakes

Having been invited to take part in a food blogger challenge to celebrate Aldi Specialbuys Home Baking range which are on sale from Sunday 15th March 2015, we each received a hamper containing some of the range of kitchenware that would be on sale in store, along with a voucher with which to buy our ingredients.

Spurred on by the contents of my hamper, I chose to make some Italian Tiramisu inspired cupcakes and duly nipped out to Aldi to buy my ingredients: Eggs, self raising flour, caster sugar, butter, ground almonds, icing sugar, soft cheese, Amaretto, chocolate sprinkles and cupcake cakes. From my store cupboard I added almond extract and a splash of milk along with some coffee.  Here is how I made them:

For the Cakes (Makes 12):
4 Large free range eggs
140g Self raising flour
200g Caster sugar
200g Butter, softened to room temperature
80g Ground almonds
5ml almond extract
30ml milk
For the icing:
50g Butter, softened to room temperature
50g Soft cheese
250g Icing sugar
20ml Espresso (or very strong) coffee
15ml Amaretto
1 tub Chocolate sprinkles

1. Preheat the oven to 190℃.
2. Line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases.

3. Place a large bowl onto your scales and add your eggs, reset the display to zero, then weigh in the flour, caster sugar, butter, ground almonds, almond extract and milk.

4. Using an electric mixer, thoroughly mix your ingredients together until light and fluffy.
5. Divide the mixture between your cupcake cases, making sure not to overfill the cases more than ¾ full.
6. Bake on the centre shelf of your oven for 15-18 minutes until lightly brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean.
7. Remove the cupcakes to a cooling rack and leave until cold.

To make the icing:
8. Place a large bowl on to your scales and weigh in the butter and soft cheese.
9. Remove the bowl from the scales, and using your electric mixer, beat these two ingredients together until fully combined.
10. Place the bowl back on your kitchen scales (reset the display to zero) and weigh in the icing sugar.
11. Measure in the espresso coffee and the Amaretto.

12. Starting slowly to prevent a huge dust storm of icing sugar, combine the icing ingredients together.
13. When the icing sugar is fully combined into the butter, soft cheese, coffee and Amaretto mixture, increase the speed then beat for 5 minutes until pale in colour, and light and airy in texture.

14. Spoon this into a disposable icing bag fitted with a star shaped nozzle (I used a Wilton 1M nozzle).
15. Pipe the icing onto the top in spiral pattern.
16. Sprinkle generously with the chocolate sprinkles.

17. Put the kettle on. Make yourself a coffee. Grab yourself a cupcake and enjoy your creations!

From my hamper I chose to use:
12 hole cupcake tin £1.99 This is a lovely and deep, teflon coated, non stick tin. What makes it even better is that you can put it in the dishwasher after you’ve used it! Always a bonus in my eyes being someone who hates washing up and tries to avoid it/delegate the task at all costs!

Slimline Electronic Kitchen Scales £6.99 These have an easy clean, stainless steel finish, are lightweight, slim and have an LED display.  They’re powered by an easily available CR2032 battery (which is included). Not only do they weigh in both imperial and metric weights, but they have the added feature of being able to weigh fluid ounces or millilitres of both milk or water at the touch of a button; truly functional and cook friendly.  With the added ‘tare’ function, you simply weigh your ingredient out, press the button to return the scales to zero and weigh out each additional ingredient in the same way.  Again, this really does appeal to me as I can weigh all my ingredients out in one go and into one bowl; saving washing up!

Double Oven Gloves £2.99 Part of a co-ordinated range of matching products, these are 100% cotton with a 100% polyester filling.  They’re a generous 18x92cm in size and more than big enough for the largest of hands whilst not being too large for little hands like mine. The hanging hook allows you to keep them handy near you oven and they’re washable too.

Party Butler cake container £4.99 The ideal solution to storing and transporting your cakes, snacks or pizzas.  It’s make from temperature resistant plastic which means you can easily clean this in the dishwasher (bonus!) It’s the perfect size to store 24 decorated cupcakes, whilst the two integrated, fold down handles, mean that you can easily carry your bakes to share with friends and family.

I also received but haven’t yet used:
Train silicone baking case £3.49
Measuring Jug Digital Kitchen Scale £6.99

The hamper and contents were provided to me free of charge from Aldi UK.  I was also provided with a gift voucher with which to purchase my ingredients to create my #BestBudgetBake recipe.


Aldi Wines

Thanks to Aldi’s PR company, I was recently sent a box of wines and beers to review.  The box included:

Grapevine Tempranillo Ganache Rosé fron Spain.
Toro Loco (‘Crazy Bull’) red from the Tempranillo grapes.
Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere from Chile.
Freeman’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
Bavaria Beer from Holland.
Having now turned 18, my son was able to help review the drinks this time and poured himself one of the well chilled bottles of the Bavaria Beer, whilst pouring the other bottle for his dad.  They both enjoyed the drink while sitting in the garden on a sunny Saturday afternoon. My husband says it’s got a lovely clean and fresh hoppy taste which he’d certainly go out and buy more of ready for warmer days to come!  Hopefully we’ll we haven’t quite seen the last of those days and may get a couple more before the season is out!

I went for a glass from the chilled bottle of Rosé.  A perfect drink for a lady, don’t you think?  So cool, calm and collected and such a pretty colour too!! It’s a crisp, clean tasting wine that’s light and fruity on flavouring.  A thoroughly refreshing glass of wine, in my opinion.
The red Toro Loco is a full bodied, fruity red with loads of body.  Perfect to enjoy with a meal or just on its’ own. Totally enjoyed by himself as he’s my red wine drinker in this house.  A glass, poured and savoured whilst chilling listening to music is his idea of a relaxing end to the working day.
Cheers!  Here’s to opening the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Sauvingnon Blanc.
The wines and beers were sent to me free of charge by the PR company representing Aldi.  I was not under any obligation to review the products sent to me, favourably or otherwise.  All opinions are those of my husband and myself.