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61 Reviews

Now's your chance to share your home made recipes for your favourite beef dishes and recipes. Please only contribute to this section if you have a totally personal, home made recipe for a beef dish.

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    61 Reviews
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      28.09.2011 15:30
      Very helpful



      A change to the usual mince dishes

      This dish is a brilliant warming comfort food for winter. It's my fiance's favourite tea, which is great for me because it's easy and doesn't take hours to make. It's also a good storecupboard tea as you'll usually have most of the ingredients apart from the meat.

      Basically, the ingredients you'll need for two people are:

      500g minced beef
      2 tablespoons of curry paste (whichever you prefer depending on how hot you like your food, I tend to use Pataks Tikka Masala paste)
      1 teaspoon of mixed spices
      1 tablespoon of mango chutney (not essential but does add something extra taste-wise)
      1 tin chopped tomatoes (can go for one with chilli sauce if you like spicy food)
      Packet of hash browns
      1 onion


      It's really simple to make, just fry the onion and the mince until it's nearly cooked and all the same colour. Drain the fat and then add the curry paste. Cook this for about five minutes before adding anything else to make sure you get all the flavour from the spices, then add the tin of chopped tomatoes. Add the mixed spice and mango chutney (if using) and give it all a big stir and let the tomatoes reduce down a bit. Pile it all into an ovenproof dish, place the hash browns on top and cook in the oven for as long as it takes to cook the hash browns. (I usually do about 20 mins at 200 degrees). This cooks the hash browns so they're nice and soft, and also makes sure the mince is cooked through.

      When it's ready to serve, we usually have it on its own as this is more than enough to feed two (we're just greedy and love our food!). If you have a larger family you can just double up the quantities, or add some mushrooms in to bulk it up a bit. It tastes gorgeous and is a nice change to the usual spaghetti Bolognese or cottage pie that we use mash for. The smell in the house is hard to get rid of but smells divine!


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        26.01.2011 12:08
        Very helpful



        Midweek supper, and a new way to use minced beef.

        I am lucky that my kids are not overly fussy about what they eat as long as it is not too spicy for their palate.

        This is a recipe i cribbed from a pub we used to eat at when we were students back in the late 90s. This was a particular favourite of mine, so when we moved away from the area when we graduated i decided i needed to make it myself using the ingredients list from the menu.

        We were originally served it in a giant Yorkshire pudding which is a real treat, but i mostly serve it with rice nowadays as it is ideal to mop up the lovely tasting sauce.

        At least 250g of mince
        1 white onion
        a tin of oxtail soup
        a tin of baked beans (any brand will do)
        some sweetcorn (tinned or frozen, and about the same quantity as the baked beans.)

        Firstly, saute the onion till it starts to lose its colour and become see through. Then add the mince and cook it through thoroughly.

        Then, add the tin of soup, beans and the sweetcorn, and make sure it is all heated through and mixed together throughly before serving it to your hungry audience.

        I have found that this gets a great reception every time i serve it as it has got a unique taste. (Plus, by using a sneaky Toy Story reference i can con my kids into anything.) Ideal for filling little and not so little tummies, and getting a bit of veg in, and i usually have a little bit left for the freezer for another day


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          15.04.2010 23:15
          Very helpful



          Healthy little beef burgers

          I am not the best of cooks but I really dislike buying cheap frozen beefburgers and much prefer to make my own if I have the time.

          These burgers are pretty healthy and only take 10 minutes to prepare and are quick to cook too. The recipe will make 4 small burgers - perfect sizes for children. My 4 year old loves them with some homemade chips. You could divide the mixture into 2 instead 4 if you want bigger burgers but they may take a little longer to cook.

          6oz lean minced beef
          1oz dry breadcrumbs
          1/2 onion diced
          1 tablespoon fresh parsley
          Black Pepper
          4 teaspoons water
          Sunflower oil

          Mix all ingredients together except the oil together until it combines.

          Divide into 4 balls and shape into burgers.

          Brush each side of the burger with the oil and bake in the oven for 10-15 mins at Gas mark 6/200c/400f. You can fry them if you prefer.

          Serve in burger buns with some salad or chips.

          Can be frozen for up to a month.


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            27.03.2010 18:33
            Very helpful



            Hearty homemade beef casserole

            Beef Casserole was one of the first dishes I actually managed to master from scratch when I was at university. Having experimented more in the kitchen since I moved into my own place, I have found a few additional touches make the perfect dish. So I thought I would share. As casserole is really easy to make this shouldn't take me too long.

            You will need a good size casserole dish which being a casserole dish will be ovenproof. I usually manage to make enough for 4 meals plus maybe one for the freezer with the following ingredients.

            3 Carrots
            1/2 Turnip/Swede
            Handful of peas (sorry I don't actually measure them)
            350g or 450g of diced beef (depending on how much you like your meat)
            6 good sized potatoes
            1 large onion
            2 beef 2 vegetable oxo cube (vary quantity to your personal taste)
            1 baguette or loaf of crusty bread

            First thinly slice the carrots, cube the swede/turnip or both depending on what you like, dice or cube the potatoes into small slices or chunks; add the peas and cut the onion in half and then half again. Break the onion up into strips. Add all of the vegetables into the casserole dish along with the beef and add water. I tend to fill the dish with water until it just covers the ingredients. Add the beef Oxo cubes into the water and gently stir until the Oxo is dissolved; Season with salt and pepper.

            Place in the oven at 160 degrees or 140 in a fan assisted oven (check your manual). Leave to stew for one hour and a half. Remove the dish from the oven and add the two vegetable Oxo cubes. Stir into the mix and place back in the oven for a further hour. Once the casserole has been in the oven for two and a half hours remove and check on the beef/potatoes.

            At this stage I tend to add a tablespoon of instant beef gravy granule so that the stock thickens. I place the dish back in the oven after stirring, for a further 30minutes before removing and serving.

            Serve the beef casserole with slices of crusty bread. I have found that the above method serves four adult portions. I personally tend to serve two and freeze two.

            Tips: When freezing allow the casserole to cool and place in a freezable container. When needed defrost and place on the hob for 10minutes before serving.

            You will find that the aroma of your beef casserole will fill you kitchen/apartment. I find this really comforting and my casserole is always received well by others which is lovely.

            Do not add mixed vegetables from the tin if you intend on freezing the casserole. I used to do this but the tinned peas were always hard when I later defrosted my meal. This isn't nice. However, if you want to add tinned vegetables they make a lovely addition (providing you are eating immediately after cooking).

            Depending on the offers in your local supermarket you can make this dish to serve for four approximately £5.


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              31.01.2010 12:05
              Very helpful



              It may take a while to cook but can be made in batches for 'ready meals' later

              I'm not sure whether this review should really belong in theis section or the pasta section but as it contains mince beef i'll add it here.

              I'm a massive fan of italian foods and Spag Bol is no exception. However, I used to make this from tinned mince beef and sauce from a jar. But now i've started making it from scratch the results are much nicer, so here's my recipe -

              Ingredients -
              Mince beef
              Tinned Tomatoes
              Pasta (or spahetti)

              Method -
              * Very finely chop your onions, mushrooms, carrotts and garlic so they are in very small pices and then add to a pan with a little oil and a low heat
              * Stir the above every minute or two for about 8 minutes
              * Add the mince from the pack to your pan
              * Add your chopped tinned tomatoes (I usually use 2 tins which makes enough for 4-6 people)
              * Then fill the empty tins with water add pour this into your pan
              * Add salt and pepper to taste
              * Bring the pan to the boil and then allow to simmer for around 90 minutes (stir occasionally to stop it from sticking)
              * Add a handful of grated cheese
              * If the sauce is not thick enough for your liking you can add some cornflour if you wish
              * Either serve with cooked pasta or freeze for later

              I'm a big fan of this and I hope you give it a try!


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                09.11.2009 21:13
                Very helpful



                I like a bit of meat

                I'm far from the worlds greatest cook, although I love having people round for dinner, a natter and a drink.

                I have often had friends round for an indoor BBQ. Although I buy all the other meat ready to cook, I do like to make my own beef burgers as they are dead easy to make, tasty and it shows that I have made some effort.

                Serves : 4
                Preparation time: 10 mins
                Cooking time: 15 mins


                400g lean mince beef
                4 tbsp tomato puree
                1 tbsp tomato kechup
                Half a large onion, very finely chopped
                4 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
                2 tsp mustard
                a few dashes of Worcester sauce
                pepper (I don't personally cook with salt)
                1 egg yolk

                Chop the onion finely. Mix all of the ingredients together. I always make sure that mine are rather peppery because that's how I personally like them best. Squidge (technical chef term) the mixture into circular burger shapes.

                My mum always tells me that it is best to chill them in the fridge before cooking them but I'm always running late so never do this!

                I always grill the burgers, as it's the healthy option.

                I like to serve my burges with lots of choices of relish, sauces, cheese, onions, mushrooms, bacon etc etc so that people can sort of build their own.

                I also like to make a warm curried salad to go with it which I make by preparing a salad. Then I fry some par boiled potatoes in patax rogan josh curry paste and mix the warmed potatoes in with the salad.



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                  27.10.2009 12:32
                  Very helpful



                  easy to make quick meal

                  The following is an extremely simple recipe for home made hamburgers. Strangely there is no ham involved...

                  Ingredients that will make two large hamburgers:

                  400 grams of lean steak or beef mince
                  1 egg
                  1 small onion/some dried onion
                  Sprinkling of mixed herbs
                  sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season


                  Start by beating the egg in a bowl. Add in the beef mince and mix in the bowl, trying to coat as much of the mince as possible with the egg. Slice an onion into small pieces and add to the bowl, together with a generous sprinkling of mixed herbs. Mix the onion and herbs with the mince and egg so that it is evenly distributed throughout.

                  Once the mixture is well mixed, put it out on a chopping board and shape into two circles, or 'patties' as McDonalds would call them!

                  Put a very small amount of oil in a frying pan and heat to a medium heat. Put the hamburgers into the pan and cook on both sides at a medium to low heat. ENSURE that the mince is cooked throughout as you cannot eat raw mince, it must be cooked totally through. Depending on variables such as quality of frying pan, heat of hob/cooker, I would recommend approximately 7/8 minutes on each side.

                  Serve in a bun and enjoy. You can serve with a variety of accompaniments, such as cheese, lettuce, bacon, burger sauce, salsa, tomato sauce, barbeque sauce etc.

                  I think that home made hamburgers are much nicer than the supermarket bought ones and also better and tastier than the butcher bought hamburgers.

                  This is a realtively inexpensive meal. The mince should cost between £1.00 - £1.50, the burger buns £0.70 - £1.00, a bag of onions are about £1.00 and mixed herbs is roughly £0.79.

                  I also believe that home made hamburgers are healthiers than bought hamburgers, as you dictate what you put into the burger and if as advised you use lean beef mince, then this is added healthy eating!


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                    10.10.2009 17:44
                    Very helpful



                    A simplified moussaka with ready-made bolognese sauce

                    Difficulty: Relatively easy
                    Cost: Approx. £2 / person
                    Time to prepare: 45 - 55mins

                    Calories: Approximately 400kCal / serving


                    Of all Mediterranean vegetables, aubergines are possible my favourite. They are meaty, full of flavour and go well with meat and other vegetables. Moussaka is an eggplant dish, made throughout the Balkans and the Middle East in a variety of ways. The one I usually cook is the Greek 'classic', which is layered, baked then served hot. To reduce calories and cut down on cooking time, I often substitute minced lamb with ready-made Bolognese sauce, or omit it altogether and make vegetarian moussaka by adding potatoes and tomatoes to it.


                    Serves: 3 - 4 people

                    2 large aubergines
                    1 large onion chopped
                    1 jar of bolognese sauce
                    1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
                    1 tablespoon of chopped mint
                    1 teaspoon of grounded white pepper and allspice mix (or cinnamon and nutmeg)

                    Bechamel (White Sauce)

                    40g butter
                    2 tablespoons of flour
                    2 eggs lightly beaten
                    1/2 pint of milk (250ml)
                    100g grated cheese



                    1. Wash the aubergines and cut them into 1cm slices. Ligthly salt them on both sides and place them in a colander on top of a bowl.
                    They'll release some water while you prepare the onions.
                    2. Take a large frying pan and saute the onions with the herbs / spices until brown on some olive oil then remove the onions from the pan.
                    3. Add a little olive oil to the pan and brown the aubergines on both sides. This will take about 10 - 15 minutes. Set aside.


                    4. Take a small frying pan and melt the butter. Gradually dissolve the flour into the butter while stirring it on a gentle heat for about 2 minutes.
                    5. Gradually add the milk, stir it until it becomes thick which is only 1 minute.
                    6. Take off the hob and stir in the eggs and the grated cheese.


                    7. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
                    8. Layer half of the aubergine and onion mix at the bottom of a baking tray.
                    9. Spread the ready-made bolognes sauce over it.
                    10. Add the rest of the aubergine and onion.
                    11. Cover with the bechamel.
                    12. Bake it in the oven until the sauce on top is golden brown. (about 15 minutes)

                    SERVING SUGGESTIONS

                    Lovely with a dash of Greek Salad or pickled pepper.

                    ALLERGY ADVICE

                    The dish contains gluten and flour.

                    Thanks for reading and enjoy!

                    ©powered by lillybee also posted on Ciao UK


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                      24.08.2009 22:40
                      Very helpful




                      One of the scariest things I have ever done in my life was to cook for the Italian grandmother of an ex boyfriend. I think it was a test of how well I could look after her beloved grandson and I had no idea what to cook. But the decision of what to cook was made for me - she wanted spaghetti bolognese. I was devastated. How could I make this for a genuine Italian?

                      So I did my beef, onions, tomatoes, garlic and basil sauce - which in fairness she ate and said was pleasant - and the next day I had a phonecall from her to thank me for my hospitality and to give me her mother's recipe. I guess I could have been offended but this was the first of many recipes that she gave me to make sure that I fed her grandson properly (and because she said she liked me - seemingly! Shame I kicked her grandson into touch a few months later). It was also his grandmother who taught me the trick of putting the garlic in at the end of the cooking rather than at the beginning because you need less but it tastes really fresh and there is no danger of burning it.

                      Anyway I digress!

                      I have to admit that over the years I have adapted the recipe a bit - added a few extra ingredients which probably will offend the Italian's among us but we love it now.

                      Grandma's original

                      Minced beef - I use 500g of extra lean beef
                      Good olive oil - 4 tablespoons (I don't use this much now)
                      Half a pint of water
                      Half a pint of milk
                      2 shallots or small onions
                      large carrot diced
                      stick of celery chopped and diced
                      tin of whole plum tomatoes
                      2 bay leaves
                      handful of torn basil
                      Salt & plenty of black pepper.


                      1. Heat a large pan and add the oil.
                      2. Add the carrot and celery and bay leaves and sautee until they begin to soften.
                      3. Add the shallots / onions and sautee until they begin to soften but not brown.
                      4. Remove the vegetables from the pan and add the mince. Fry until brown and separated - there should be no large lumps of mince.
                      Add the vegetables back into the pan with the mince and add the tomatoes together with the water and milk
                      5. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the vegetables are soft but still have bite.
                      6. Add the crushed garlic 10 minutes before the end and add torn basil leaves right at the end. Add salt to taste and plenty of black pepper.

                      Serve with any pasta. You don't just have to reserve this bolognese for spaghetti. I use this with all sorts of pasta including canneloni and lasagne. It's also quite lovely with mashed potato or rice.

                      Now for my adaptation which is now a firm family favourite. Essentially it follows the same ingredients and method as the above recipe but I add the following and I don't use as much oil or salt:
                      Celery leaves
                      Worcestershire sauce
                      Glass of Good red wine
                      2 teaspoons vegetable bouillon
                      2 teaspoons of gravy granules
                      flat leaf parsley


                      1. Heat a large pan and add one tablespoon of oil.
                      2. Add the carrot and celery, bay leaves and vegetable bouillon and sautee until they begin to soften.
                      3. Add the shallots / onions and celery leaves (these can be found mainly on the inside of any head of celery sticks on the younger stems) sautee until they begin to soften but not brown.
                      4. Remove the vegetables from the pan and add the mince. Fry until brown and separated - there should be no large lumps of mince.
                      5. Add the vegetables back into the pan with the mince and then add the red wine and the worcestershire sauce. Reduce this liquid down by a third and then add the tomatoes together with the water and milk
                      Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the vegetables are soft but still have bite.
                      6. Add the crushed garlic 10 minutes before the end and add the gravy granules.
                      7. Add the torn basil leaves and chopped flat leaf parsley right at the end.
                      8. Add plenty of black pepper.

                      Again this is great with all manner of pasta dishes and is a much denser, richer dish to the more authentic one. I would say that I tend to do this dish in the autumn / winter months but I do the original version more in the summer as it is lighter. The original is still delicious and always impresses but so does my version so you can't miss whichever version you do.

                      I hope you enjoy!


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                        05.08.2009 10:45
                        Very helpful



                        Steak sandwich on tiger bread with fried and fresh onions

                        This is a really simple but beautiful sandwich that I make for my mom and me at least once a month as she really loves it. It is worth noting that I buy all of the ingredients from Tesco.


                        - 1 ribeye steak (approx 350g)
                        - 2 onions
                        - 1 tiger bread baton
                        - vegetable oil
                        - salt and pepper for seasoning
                        - Lurpak butter


                        Peel the onions, chop them in half and then cut 3 of the 4 onion halves into thick wedges, leaving 1 half for later in the procedure. Season your steak with a little salt and pepper. Then get a medium sized frying pan and place it on a medium heat for about 15 seconds until it is nicely warmed up.


                        Add the seasoned steak to the now warm pan and let it sizzle for 10 seconds on either side. Now drizzle a few tablespoons of vegetable oil over the steak until such time as you have a very thin layer in your pan. Now add the thickly chopped onions. It is always best to add steak to hot pan and then add oil in that order, it just cooks better.

                        Now comes the part which is all about personal choice - how long to cook the steak for. I am a complete philistine and cook it until it is really well done. This means it spends at least 20 minutes in the pan, which is useful because this allows the onions to caramelise nicely. If you only want to have the steak in the pan for a few minutes then I would suggest you fry your onions in a couple of tablespoons of oil in a separate small pan for 5 minutes beforehand and add them to the bigger pan when the steak goes on.

                        The steak will create extra oil in the pan from it's own juices so at some point it is likely you may need to drain a little excess from the pan. I don't like greasiness so I always keep on top of this. If done properly this will not be a greasy sandwich.

                        While the steak is cooking you should then finely chop the remaining half an onion and cut the tiger bread baton in half. Then prepare your 2 plates and slice the tiger bread halves ready for buttering. You actually may not want to butter the bread which is fine as this will work without it but if you do then you know it has to be Lurpak, which is the best butter on the market.

                        When the steak is nearly cooked I then take it out of the pan and cut it into small pieces. Then it goes back into the pan and is mixed in with the onions for 20 seconds on a high heat to finish it off.

                        Now all you need to do is spoon the steak and onions into the tiger bread batons and top with some of the finely chopped fresh onion.

                        THE EATING

                        The best part. All of the ingredients are fresh and of a high quality so the taste should be superb. The meaty steak mixed with sweet caramelised fried onions and the zing of the fresh onions is wonderful on the fresh, crispy, moreish tiger bread. Even a mug like me cannot ruin this.


                        The tiger bread from Tesco is sublime, and cheap at 39p per baton. It is the key ingredient of the sandwich for me. The smell and taste of it are heavenly and if I can't get tiger bread then I don't bother making the sarnie.

                        I always use ribeye steak as it is a good cut that is not gristly like rump steak and at a reasonable £6.34 per pound a 350g piece should come in at a touch under £5. Although it may seem decadent it does feed 2 as part of the sandwich.

                        This is a lovely sandwich that is actually a really filling meal in itself. I only have it as a treat maybe once a month as it is a bit on the decadent side.


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                          01.04.2009 11:18
                          Very helpful



                          Worth trying - see for yourself!

                          Home Made Beefburgers.

                          You no longer need to deprive yourself of a good beefburger/hamburger, as it is quite easy to make your own.

                          I started making these burgers after ditching the shop bought ones which are often full of junk.
                          Due to my son's health problems I thought that the days of eating burgers were no more, that is until his consultant told me that it would be fine for him to eat any that I'd made myself (as I would know exactly what was in them). After a little research I found a good recipe which I adapted slightly. The kids love their new burgers and although they would not be classed as a low fat healthy meal, they are certainly better for them than the rubbish they were eating before.

                          This particular recipe makes 4 large burgers, which can either be served in a bun as a hamburger or as part of a main meal. Don't be fooled by thinking that 4 burgers is not a lot, as each burger is quite large and thick, and thus quite filling.


                          1lb minced beef.
                          1 onion.
                          1 large carrot.
                          1 egg.
                          4 teaspoons of plain flour.
                          Olive oil.
                          1 teaspoon of parsley.
                          Ground black pepper to taste.


                          1. Place the uncooked beef mince in a large bowl.

                          2. Add the chopped onion, grated raw carrot, beaten egg and ground black pepper. Mix well.

                          3. Gradually add the flour, adding as much as necessary to bind the mixture firmly. Continue to mix well - you may find it easier to use your hands at this stage.

                          4. Divide the mixture with your hands into 4 sections and pat into burger shapes.

                          5. Place some olive oil into a large frying pan and heat on low to moderate.

                          6. Pan fry the burgers for approximately 7-10 minutes on each side.

                          7. Turn the heat down onto a very low setting, cover the frying pan over and heat gently for another 5-10 minutes (until the burgers are thoroughly cooked).

                          Serve up and enjoy!

                          Like I mentioned previously the burgers are quite filling. They taste delicious as you can really taste the meat in them (unlike some of the cheap shop bought ones). You just need to be careful that you don't fry them on too high a setting so that they burn on the outside. Also it is worth sticking a fork in them once cooked, to check that they are properly cooked inside.

                          Overall, a great home made recipe - ideal for the forthcoming summer months!


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                            24.03.2009 18:26
                            Very helpful



                            A great weekend dish to serve to friends or family

                            Like most people, when I come home from work I do not want to spend the rest of the evening in the kitchen, so my weeknight meals are alwasy quite speedy. I do try however, to cook something more interesting at the weekend.

                            I adore pasta and my all time favourite has to be lasagne. This recipe is one for canelloni, which I always say to friends 'it's a bit like lasagne', and it is except for the pasta itself, tubes rather than sheets.

                            This recipe serves 6, and I always spread it over two dishes, so I can freeze one.

                            4tbsp butter
                            2 crushed garlic cloves
                            1 large onion chopped
                            2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
                            500g mince beef
                            1 yellow pepper (optional)
                            2tsp dried basil
                            18 cannelloni tubes
                            2 x 500g tub four cheese sauce (if I can't get this, I opt for a couple of jars of white/cheese sauce)

                            1. Preheat the oven to 200C (fan)
                            2. Heat oil and butter in a pan, and then fry onion and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes.
                            3. Add mince and brown. Then add tomatoes, pepper (optional), basil and season.
                            4. Cover with a lid, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occassionally.
                            5. Remove lid and cook for a further 5 minutes to thicken. Leave to cool.
                            6. Fill cannelloni tubes with mince mixture by spooning it in carefully (this is by far the hardest part of an easy recipe)
                            7.Place filled tubes side by side in lightly greased ovenproof dishes.
                            8.Gently heat through the four cheese sauce and then pour over the cannelloni.
                            9.Place in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes.

                            This dish is great with chips, potato wedges or simply a side salad. It is a great extension of the basic lasagne dish, and tastes terrific.


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                              24.03.2009 17:40
                              Very helpful



                              a good winter warmer

                              Classic Casserole

                              I've put this in the beef recipes section as it is the meat I tend to use the most often when making one.

                              A classic winter dish. When the language assistants I live with who work at the same school as I work at saw me making a casserole they all thought it was a bit odd. Since then they make them more often than I do as they are easy to do and it gives you a lot of time on your hands whilst it is cooking.

                              There are many variations of this you can have, changing the meat, changing the veg etc. Better still if you make more than you really need to make the first day then put what is left in the fridge and then the next day reheat it until it is piping hot it tastes even better. However, this is fine with beef, chicken and lamb but I personally would never re-heat cooked pork. A casserole is also a good way of using mutton and cheaper cuts of beef. Mutton needs a longer cooking time and can be fairly cheep as it isn't all that popular. Vegetarians can replace the beef with chunks of potato or just increase the amount of other veg.

                              This casserole also includes barley which is high in fibre and is an often overlooked grain. I think many people are put off by the smell of cooking barley but in this dish it won't give that smell. The reason for its inclusion is that not only is it good for you but as it cooks it will absorb some of the juices etc and help to thicken the casserole without it becoming like wallpaper paste.

                              When it comes to the stock fresh is best and it can be bought from most supermarkets or you could make your own but this can take a long time. Concentrated liquid stock and stock cubes contain far too much salt along with a concoction of other chemicals. Naturally the stock you use will depend on the meat. For a twist on this you could use the same amount of stout or other dark beer in place of the stock or half stock and half beer.

                              For the veg try to use ones which won't turn to a sloppy mush during cooking. As this is cooked for 2 hours things like carrots, Swede, turnip, parsnips etc are all good. Broccoli and cabbage are not advisable.

                              This serves two people or does two days dinners for one


                              9oz/250g beef steak (really any cut will do as it is being cooked for a long time)
                              2-3 Carrots
                              1/3 of a medium Swede
                              1-2 parsnips
                              1 medium sized leek
                              1-2 onions (depending on size)
                              400 ml beef stock (fresh is best)
                              1 tsp mustard powder (omit if using chicken)
                              3oz/80g barley
                              2 bay leaves
                              1 tsp dried thyme or a couple of sprigs of fresh.


                              pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F, Gas mark 4)

                              Chop one of the onions fairly fine but cut the other(s) into eight wedges. Peal and chop the other veg into fairly large bite size chunks.

                              Cut the meat into bite sized pieces.

                              In a deep frying pan or a sauce pan add about 1 tbsp of olive oil and fry off the finely chopped onions but don't brown them. Add the beef and allow the meat to get a bit of colour.

                              Transfer this to a casserole dish and add all the other ingredients. Stir to mix together and then put the lid on and put into the oven for 2 hours. I tend to give it a stir about half way through the cooking.

                              After the 2 hours serve, it is ideal with crusty bread.


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                                23.03.2009 00:50
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                                A tasty meal for those of you who are trying to cut some fat from your diet.

                                I love a Chow Mein and was recently given this recipe at a Weight Watchers meeting for a delicious beef chow mein, it has all the taste of proper Chinese food only without the excess grease and high amounts of calories. This recipe will serve four people, or provide three large potions for greedy people.

                                The Weight Watchers points for this meal are just 5 1/2 and the meal is very filling in my opinion. I can taste that it's not the full fat version but don't really care as it's such a tasty meal and the noodles go nice and greasy while stir frying so it feels like a much naughtier meal than it actually is. If you want to sprinkle a teaspoon of sesame oil over your meal then just add an extra 1 point, I personally don't but can see that it would enhance the meal although you can get much the same taste effect with a dash of Soy sauce which contains zero Weight Watchers points.

                                You could also add a handful of sliced oriental mushrooms at the same time as the beef, I did this once and they were lovely but do make sure you cook them through well as they sometimes take longer to go tender than you think.

                                BEEF CHOW MEIN

                                450g fresh egg noodles, try to use fresh if possible but if using dried noodles then you only need to use half this amount
                                3 teaspoons peanut oil
                                225g good quality beef steak or fillet, cooked to a medium rare finish
                                115g fresh green beans
                                115g fresh beansprouts
                                2 spring onions, roughly shredded
                                1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine, available from Sainsbury's
                                1 teaspoon salt
                                1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
                                2 tablespoons light Soy sauce
                                Stock made with one chicken Oxo
                                Drizzle of sesame oil, this isn't essential just a garnish so if you want to cut the calories further just leave it out or sprinkle with a little Soy sauce before serving

                                WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

                                Cook the noodles in salted boiling water, just follow the instructions on the packet for the best results. Drain into a sieve and rinse the noodles under cold water before adding half a teaspoon of the peanut oil.

                                Shred the beef and prepare the green beans by chopping the heads and tails off and slice vertically from corner to corner.

                                Heat one and a half tablespoons of the peanut oil in a non-stick wok until it's hot, add the beans, beansprouts and beef and stir fry for 2 or 3 minutes.

                                Now add the soft brown sugar, salt, rice wine, half the Soy sauce and half the spring onions. Stir well and add a little stock, not too much and you will really have to use your own common sense as to how much you need to add and when. Leave this over a very low heat while you prepare the noodles.

                                In a frying pan heat the rest of the peanut oil until hot then add your now cold noodles and stir fry for 2 - 3 minutes until they look just like the kind of noodles you'd get in the Chinese restaurant. My tip is to stop stir frying when they begin to glisten as this means they have soaked up all the oil needed to get the taste right but they will still be soft and supple.

                                Pour your noodles into one large serving dish or individual plates and top with the beef and vegetable mixture. If you're using sesame oil then now is the time to drizzle it over the meal before garnishing with the rest of the spring onions. Serve straight away, perhaps with a few prawn crackers.


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                                  16.03.2009 12:09
                                  Very helpful



                                  A Quick and Tasty Bolognaise sauce

                                  I wrote this for a fellow reviewing friend ... horrified he used jars to make Spaghetti Bolognaise sauce instead of creating the 'real thing'. Several months down he line and he still recreates this recipe and enjoys it very much!.... give it a try, it's simple!

                                  Serves 1 Or a Few
                                  Put your pinny on, pour yourself a drop of your favourite tipple and play your favourite tune (Bananarama's 'Robert De Niro's Waiting... Talking Italian' is always a good choice...) Wash your hands so as not to poison yourself or fellow diners and arrange your ingredients....

                                  1 standard pack minced beef (chop with a sharp knife to create smaller pieces.....which don't represent worms )

                                  1 large onion, chopped (if this usually makes you cry try sucking a spoon whilst you're chopping... it does work)
                                  2 cloves of garlic but preferably 4 finely chopped.... or if you're posh use a pessel & mortar

                                  A large handful of mushrooms (wiped clean) and sliced quite chunky
                                  Tube of Tomato Puree

                                  Tin chopped Tomatoes (break up a bit more by bashing with a fork or potato masher)
                                  2 tbsp olive oil

                                  good pinch of dried oregano
                                  Salt to taste

                                  Glug of Red Wine (a small glass) .... (if you like it!)

                                  What to do!...

                                  Heat up the oil and on a medium heat soften the mushrooms, onions and garlic in a saucepan for (2-4 minutes), stirring from time to time so it doesn't burn!... do not let the onions go black!
                                  Then add the minced beef and cook until it doesn't look raw anymore.... i.e it's brown all over (another few minutes), then add the wine if you're using it and allow it to 'soak' into the mince for a minute or so.

                                  Throw in the tinned tomatoes then add the tube of tomato puree (squeeze it out of the tube first)!. Add salt to taste and a good pinch of oregano.
                                  Bring to the boil then immediately turn down to the lowest heat and allow to simmer, stirring it occasionally so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan, for about 45 minutes.

                                  Meanwhile find a better tune to listen to.... Measure out your spaghetti (don't throw in the whole pack that's just wasteful and the way a packet full expands in the pan will just scare you) place in a pan of boiling water with a dash of oil to stop it sticking together and cook until Al Dente (follow instructions on the pack if unsure).

                                  Once spaghetti is cooked drain and attempt to arrange nicely on a plate and pile high with your Bolognaise sauce. Enjoy with a nice glass of wine!!! xx


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                                • Product Details

                                  Beef can be cut into steaks, pot roasts or short ribs, or it can be ground. Several Asian and European nationalities include the blood in their cuisine as well—it is used in some varieties of blood sausage. Other beef variety meats include the tongue, which is usually sliced for sandwiches in Western cooking; tripe from the stomach; various glands—particularly the pancreas and thymus—referred to as sweetbreads; the heart, the brain, the liver, the kidneys; and the tender testicles of the bull commonly known as "calf fries", "prairie oysters", or "Rocky Mountain oysters."