Heston Blumental meets Jamie Oliver in a strictly practical, less indulgent but still exquisite take on the iconic Meat Fruit from Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental. No fiddly individual fruits here – just an ineffably smooth and deeply savoury chicken liver parfait, topped with a fresh clementine jelly rather than the traditional clarified butter.
Posted in Budget, Easy, Mass catering (party!), Meat, Poultry
Tagged food, heston, heston blumenthal, liver, meat fruit, pate, recipes
Ribs are my favourite cut of beef, for roasting (US prime rib, UK standing rib/forerib), seared and juicy steaks (ribeye), braising (short rib/thin rib – although I’m also partial to shin and oxtail) and for low-and-slow smoked barbecue, narrowly beating brisket.
Until very recently, the best barbecue in London was available down the road for very reasonable prices at The Horatia, where Texas Joe’s had their residency. Their smoked brisket was a thing of wonder – tender and perfectly pink, with a smoky bark and a richly marbled interior. I can’t pass by the pub without thinking about it. Unfortunately, it’s on my commute, so this occurs at least twice a day.
How to cope, then, with the long winter of our barbecue withdrawal? It is still far too cold to barbecue outside and Joe’s haven’t yet announced their new location.
Marinated ribs cooked low-and-slow, glazed and grilled to finish
Posted in Easy, Make ahead, Meat, Slow cooking
Tagged barbecue, BBQ, beef, beef ribs, food, french onion soup, indoor barbecue, oven, oven barbecue, pho, recipes, ribs, short ribs
As I write this, my husband and I are sharing a Fray Bentos pie, passing the tin (balanced on a plate) between us and sharing the same fork. I tell you this not because I’m proud of us – I’m really not – but just to demonstrate that I am both lazy and economical (he bought the pies upon finding them on sale at Morrison’s for a pound each, bearing them home in triumph. I let him enjoy it for approximately two seconds before observing that they are always available at Poundland). Anyway, this meal easy, inexpensive and gloriously delicious – it’s honestly once of the nicest dishes I can make. We made it recently for dining club with my siblings and my brother has asked me for the recipe almost daily ever since.
Posted in Budget, Celebration, Easy, Leftovers, Main course, Make ahead, Meat, Slow cooking, Sunday lunch
Tagged beef, food, French, recipes
Cost: £12 for 8 people as a main course, very generously
A Malay classic – nuggets of beef slow-cooked to collapsing tenderness, in a fragrant, almost caramelised curry. The shopping list of spices isn’t particularly long – we happened to have almost everything on hand, and the base of the curry is coconut milk, so it’s dairy free but still gorgeously rich. This recipe was originally from a butchery course at the Waitrose cooking school, and overall winner in a family rendang-off that my brother won against my parents.
The only changes I’ve made have been for convenience, as well as using beef shin instead of chuck – shin is my favourite cut for this kind of slow-cooked dish, where the collagen breaks down to give a silky, rich sauce and the meat breaks down without becoming tough into pink-tinged shreds.
Posted in Asian, Budget, Dairy-Free, Easy, Main course, Make ahead, Meat, Slow cooking
Tagged beef, curry, food, malaysian, recipes, rendang
Cost: less than £1, but mostly storecupboard ingredients – ideal Low-Ceilinged food because the restaurant dish that I wanted to copy is around £10, but this is both quick and easy to make.
The sweet-salty combination that works so well in popcorn, pulled pork and salted caramel anything is wonderful here. It feels indulgent, but isn’t as calorific as it sounds – by using whole grains and low-fat yoghurt, the pancake batter is still very light but with an extra flavour dimension, and the addition of bananas, which soften into a fragrant caramel, means that very little sugar is required. Finally, cooking bacon is not only much cheaper than normal bacon, but it is pre-chopped into little nuggets which means a little goes a long way so you don’t need quite as much – it’s more of a seasoning than a main ingredient, but it does its work in providing salty, savoury bass notes of flavour, as well as a meaty, crisp-edged textural contrast to the cloudlike pancake doused in maple syrup.
Cost: about £9, serves 6 with seconds for everyone
Ramen is not just a London trend, and not just a Japanese obsession – although it is both these things, the darling of hipsters and food fans, the subject of consumer quests for the best ramen in London and scientific quests led by patient, meticulous Japanese chefs, it is a food experience that soothes and thrills at the same time, both simple in its innate comfort and complex in the depths of savoury flavour it achieves.
This recipe is a practical way of recreating that experience at home. I say recreating, not replicating, because whilst I believe it is possible to do, it’s really not practical. This recipe for the tonkotsu ramen broth delivers collagen-rich, intensely porky broth which in turn delivers sticky-lipped contentment – but it’s easy. And although it takes many hours to physically cook, the active time for the cook is well under an hour.
Posted in Asian, Budget, Dairy-Free, Healthy, Main course, Make ahead, Meat, Slow cooking
Tagged braised, budget, healthy, Japanese, noodles, pork, soup, stock
Cost: about £1 for a batch that serves 2 as a main dish or up to 6 as a side dish
These little pockets of juicy savouriness have become one of my favourite things to make at home, and by making the filling in advance and freezing it in 400g batches, it can be a weeknight treat as well as a weekend project. This is perfect low-ceilinged kitchen fare – at a restaurant these little beauties will run at about £4 for an order of 6, but at home a batch of about 24 only costs around £1 and nobody judges you for ordering 4 portions. They might seem like a restaurant food but really, they are so easy to make at home – no precision in cooking is required, and even imperfectly wrapped and inexactly seasoned dumplings will be delicious – comfort food for two (or one!) and always a hit with guests.
Pork and Leek Guotie (accompanied by Chicken Summer Rolls…which are very straightforward in case anyone wants the recipe?)
Posted in Asian, Budget, Dairy-Free, Healthy, Main course, Make ahead, Mass catering (party!), Meat, Weeknight dinner
Tagged budget, Chinese, dinner, dumplings, ginger, gyoza, healthy version, Japanese, Korean, mince, pork, vegetarian version, weeknight