Category Archives: Beef

Beef Stew with Gnocchi

This is a variation of a stew recipe that I found in a nondescript magazine while waiting for Rosette in the orthodontist’s office.  The original recipe was lacking in spices and interest, but the potential was there.  I chose to cook this in the oven, but it would be well-suited to a crock pot or slow cooker on busy days.

Please let me know what you think, if decide to try it.

Beef Stew with Gnocchi (via Creative Commons search)

Ingredients

1.25  pounds chuck steak, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
12 ounces Portobello mushrooms
4 cloves of garlic, minced (or more)
8 oz frozen pearl onions
2 cups  99% fat free beef broth
3/4 cup dry red wine

3 bay leaves

(All spices listed below are to be added to your taste – I honestly did not measure them.)

dried thyme
oregano
garam masala
cayenne pepper
red pepper flakes

17.5 ounces gnocchi
fresh Italian parsley – chopped

In a large bowl toss together steak, flour, salt and pepper.  Place steak in enameled cast iron french oven (4 or 5 qt).  Add chopped vegetables, garlic, onions, broth, wine, and seasoning.

Cook in 350 degree (convection, if you have it)  oven for 2.5 hours.

Meanwhile cook gnocchi according to package directions.  If this is done early in the process, drain, add olive oil and set aside until stew has cooked.

Remove stew from oven.  Gently stir gnocchi into the stew.

I suggest that you plate in large bowls and garnish with the fresh Italian parsley and fleur de sel.

Hope you enjoy!

Eva

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Beef, Difficulty - Dishwasher Easy, Dinner

Yes, even YOU can make haggis


As we prepare to celebrate Robert Burns in the Steamlands of Second Life™ on January 22, 2011 (as noted in my personal blog), I wanted to share with you both a traditional Scottish haggis recipe as well as a modern haggis recipe in the event that you would enjoy celebrating the Bard of Scotland in your own real life home.  Perhaps you have always wanted to try haggis, but were put-off by the sheep organs that must be used as part of the traditional recipe.

It is a shame that the “Great chieftain o’ the puddin’ race” should be regarded (by some) with such a mixture of horror and humor. The vision of sheep’s stomachs and other intestines seems to send people running the other direction, but it has long been a traditional way of using up parts of the animal which otherwise might go to waste. Made properly, it is a tasty, wholesome dish, with every chef creating his or her own recipe to get the flavor and texture that suits them. Personally, I like a haggis which is spicy from pepper and herbs, with a lingering flavor on the palate after it has been consumed.

Finding a butcher who can supply sheep’s heart, lungs and liver may not be easy although nowadays beef bung (intestine) is often used instead of sheep’s stomach.

Enjoy!

Traditional Scottish Haggis

Ingredients:

  • Set of sheep’s heart, lungs and liver (cleaned by a butcher)
  • One beef bung
  • 3 cups finely chopped suet
  • One cup medium ground oatmeal
  • Two medium onions, finely chopped
  • One cup beef stock
  • One teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • One teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon mace

Method:

Trim off any excess fat and sinew from the sheep’s intestine and, if present, discard the windpipe. Place in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for an hour or possibly longer to ensure that they are all tender. Drain and cool.

Some chefs toast the oatmeal in an oven until it is thoroughly dried out (but not browned or burnt!)

Finely chop the meat and combine in a large bowl with the suet, oatmeal, finely chopped onions, beef stock, salt, pepper, nutmeg and mace. Make sure the ingredients are mixed well. Stuff the meat and spices mixture into the beef bung which should be over half full. Then press out the air and tie the open ends tightly with string. Make sure that you leave room for the mixture to expand or else it may burst while cooking. If it looks as though it may do that, prick with a sharp needle to reduce the pressure.

Place in a pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and immediately reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for three hours. Avoid boiling vigorously to avoid bursting the skin.

Serve hot (and removed from casing) with “champit tatties and bashit neeps” (mashed/creamed potato and turnip). Some people like to pour a little whisky over their haggis – Drambuie is even better! Don’t go overboard on this or you’ll make the haggis cold.

Modern Haggis

*I located this recipe online at Suite101.  It seems quite a nice version of the traditional entree.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. liver (almost any kind)
  • 3 onions
  • 1/4 lb beef suet
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Grains of Cayenne Pepper or Drops of Tabasco Sauce
  • 2 cups stock or broth

Instructions:

  1. Cook 2 pounds of liver with peeled onions for about 20 minutes
  2. Put the liver and onion through a chopper
  3. Chop suet
  4. Put oatmeal into a heavy frying pan and stir over fire until lightly toasted
  5. Add chopped liver, onions and suet
  6. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  7. Add few grains of cayenne pepper or couple of drops of Tabasco as desired
  8. Moisten with liquid in which liver and onions were cooked
  9. Put into a large heat-proof buttered bowl, filling a little more than half full
  10. Cover with greased paper, waxed paper or buttered aluminum foil
  11. Tie or press down foil securely
  12. Steam for about two hours or cook in pressure cooker under 15 pounds pressure for about 30 minutes

Serves eight. Takes between 90 minutes to three hours to prepare and cook depending upon method of cooking.

Source (Modern Haggis)

A Cook’s Tour of the Bayou Country, Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana (Southwest Deanery) including Trinity Episcopal Church in Morgan City, Louisiana. The cookbook includes Creole, Cajun, Southern, Wild Game and other regional food in addition to occasional international selections such as Haggis and Hungarian Goulash reflecting the diversity of the Gulf Coast.

Enjoy,

Eva

Editor’s Note: I’ve been living in Scotland going on 5 years, and I’m here to tell you that haggis is DELICIOUS. If you enjoy any kind of sausage, you’ve no business thumbing your nose at it – the meat (offal) in it is the same as your favourite salami! It is seasoned with pepper and barley, and cooked traditionally in the lining of a sheep’s stomach (again, a step above the intestine that most sausage is cooked in), but more often today you find them plastic casing. Either way, they are steamed, and the meat is scooped out and served on your plate – the casing is not consumed. So GET OVER IT and tuck in to some haggis!! – Rowan

1 Comment

Filed under Beef, Dinner, Grains, Lamb, Meat, Scottish