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

Beef Cobbler

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I’m sharing a tasty meal for you to enjoy. It’s relatively quick and easy to make, so perfect for a midweek meal, and will feed a family when combined with fresh vegetables.

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10ml vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

500g minced beef

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 beef stock cube

1 Knorr herb flavour pot

15ml Bisto gravy powder

175g self raising flour

15ml cornflour

175g self raising flour

0.25ml Colemans mustard powder

Pinch salt

25g butter, cubed

25g Parmesan cheese, grated

50g Cheddar cheese, grated

2 eggs, beaten

Oven temperature: 200°C

1. In a saucepan, heat the oil gently and add the onion. Cook until starting to soften, but not brown.

2. Add the minced beef and cook until browned.

3. Add the chopped carrot and stir through.

4. Dissolve the stock cube in 100ml boiling water and add to the saucepan along with the Knorr flavour pot.

5. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes until the carrots are softened.

6. To make the cobbler (scone) topping, in a large bowl place the flour and mustard powder and stir together to combine.

7. Add the cubed butter and, using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.

8. Stir in the cheeses.

9. Beat the eggs and add approx 2/3 of these to the flour and butter mixture. Combine with a fork until it starts to bind together, then knead gently until it forms a ball, adding more egg as required.

10. Turn the cobbler mix out onto a floured surface and gently roll out to a thickness of about 1cm.

11. Using a 5cm circular cutter, cut out as many rounds as you able to get from the mixture, re-forming and rolling as required.  Set aside briefly whilst you thicken the minced beef.

12. Mix the Bisto and cornflour together and add cold water to mix to a runny paste, the consistency of single cream.

13. Increase the heat under the mince and return to the boil.

14. Add the Bisto and cornflour mixture and stir constantly until thickened. It is essential that you continue to stir this whilst it thickens or you will get a lumpy gravy!

15. Season to taste.

16. Transfer the mince to a heatproof dish and top with the cobbler rounds, overlapping as required.

17. Brush the top of the cobblers with the remaining beaten egg and transfer the dish to the oven.

18. Bake for 20 minutes, until the cobblers are browned.

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19. Serve with plenty of freshly steamed vegetables.

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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.


Yorkshire Pudding the Rosie Way

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For as long as I remember, mum always lovingly made us a Sunday roast dinner with home made Yorkshire puddings.  Though I always make mine by eye and estimate my quantities, just the way mum taught me all those years ago, in order to publish a recipe for you, I’ve had to translate my ‘eye’ into measurable quantities, so here goes!

30ml Oil (vegetable, rapeseed or olive oil – you choose your favourite)
125g Plain flour
2 Eggs
150ml Milk
Pinch salt
½ medium Onion, chopped

1. Heat your oven to 240˚C.
2. Pour your oil into a 25cm/10″ square Pyrex dish and put it into your oven to heat up.
3. In a bowl, add the flour, eggs, milk and salt.
4. Beat or whisk until smooth and lump free.  The consistency you’re looking for is that of single cream.
5. Stir in your chopped onion and set to one side to rest.
6. When the surface of your oil is shimmering, but not smoking, reduce the oven temperature to 220˚C and give your batter a quick stir.
7. Quickly remove the dish from the oven, but keep the oven door open for as short a time as possible.  It’s ESSENTIAL to keep as much heat into the oven as is possible.
8. Pour the batter into the dish. It should sizzle as it hits the hot oil.
9. Swirl the batter around and up all sides of the dish. This will help it start to rise up the dish as it cooks.
10.  Quickly open the oven and place your dish straight back in, closing the door before the heat escapes, then DO NOT open the door until it’s cooked.
11. Stand back and watch your Yorkshire Pudding cook. You can see when it’s cooked as it’ll be risen into golden crowns and be an amazing golden brown colour.

* I always cook my Yorkshire Pudding in a Pyrex dish as you can guarantee that it’ll get wonderfully hot ready for your batter to go straight in and then it also won’t stick.
* Have your oven door open for the shortest time possible.  Don’t open it, take out your dish and leave it open whilst you pour your batter into it and then return it to the oven.  It’s essential that you keep that oven HOT so it starts to cook the instant that it goes in.
* Reserve a couple of tablespoons of your Yorkshire Pudding batter to transform your meat juices into the most incredible tasting gravy by following yesterday’s recipe.