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67 Reviews
  • Easy to make
  • Last well in the fridge or can be frozen
  • unless you don't like chilli
  • Takes a little time to make
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    67 Reviews
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    • More +
      18.10.2014 19:10
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Last well in the fridge or can be frozen"
      • "Feeds a number of people"
      • Delicious

      Disadvantages

      • "Takes a little time to make"

      My Lasagne Recipe - Perfect For Feeding a Tribe!

      My Lasagne Recipe

      This is very well received by all of my loved ones and this recipes serves eight. I use a lot of vegetables in my recipe to cut down on the meat cost.

      Ingredients
      12 Sheets of Fresh Lasagne
      250g Lean Beef Mince
      3 Large White Onions diced
      3 Large Red Onions diced
      200g Button Mushrooms quartered
      Two Tins of Peeled Chopped Tomatoes
      Half a Tube of Tomato Purée
      Two Cloves of Garlic
      Garlic Salt/Granulated Garlic
      40g Strong Cheddar Cheese
      Mixed Herbs
      Bisto Best Beef Gravy (around one dessert spoon)
      Salt and Pepper

      White Sauce
      85g Butter
      85g Flour
      150ml Milk
      70g Strong Cheddar Cheese



      Method
      White Sauce
      • Add the butter to a saucepan, until melted – do not allow to burn.
      • Add flour slowly and mix, until a paste is formed, allow to cook for about three minutes.
      • Start by adding milk slowly whisking as you go along. When the sauce and hit the consistency you would like take it off the heat.
      • Add the cheese and stir in.
      Mince Mix
      • Add the mushrooms and onions to the pan and add a generous sprinkle of garlic salt with a clove of fresh garlic.
      • When these have cooked for two minutes add the mince and stir.
      • Once the mince has cooked add both tins of tomatoes, the rest of the garlic and the tomatoes puree.
      • Once this is all mixed in and you are happy with the consistency add a couple of teaspoons of the instant gravy. This brings out the flavour in the beef, without being overbearing.
      • Keep adding the garlic, herbs and salt and pepper, until you are happy with the taste.
      • Layer mince, pasta, white sauce, pasta, mince, white sauce, pasta etc and then sprinkle the top with cheese.
      • Cook for 40 minutes at 180 Degreees/Gas Mark 6

      Enjoy - this will be ok in the fridge for around three days or can be frozen!

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      06.10.2014 21:29
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      Advantages

      • "Suitable for freezing "
      • "Easy to make "
      • "Tasty "

      Disadvantages

      • "Nothing "

      Cool Beef!

      There are so many beef recipes out there but one of mine and my husbands favourite meals is a beef chilli con carne made with minced beef. I have been making this recipe for years and although there are so many variations out there this is by far my favourite.

      Ingredients
      500g minced beef
      2 tins chopped tomatoes
      2 tablepoons tomato puree
      1 tin red kidney beans
      2 onions
      1 green pepper
      4 cloves garlic
      4 red chilies
      1 teaspoon smoked paprika
      1 teaspoon salt
      2 bay leaves
      Olive oil

      Method
      1. Chop the onions, pepper, chilli and garlic and add to a pan with a tablespoon of oil. Add in the smoked paprika and salt and stir. Place the lid on the pan and sweat the vegetables and spices for 10 minutes on a low heat stiring occasionally to prevent sticking.
      2. In a separate pan brown the minced beef.
      3. Drain of any excess fat from the beef and add into the pan with the vegetable mixture.
      4. Add the chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, bay leaves and tomato puree to the pan and stir to mix all ingredients together. Bring to the boil then turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for 2 hours stirring occasionally to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pan. The chilli is done once the mixture has thickened if there is still quite a lot of liquid then continue to simmer without the lid on the pan until it does.

      I normally serve this chilli con carne with rice, nachos or on a jacket potato with sour cream, guacamole, salsa and cheese. Once cooled it can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days or frozen then defrosted and used as desired.

      Obviously you can adapt this recipe to your own tastes by adding more or less chilli. My husband likes his quite hot so I will sometimes add some chilli powder too to spice it up a little more. You can also substitute the minced beef for quorn mince to make it vegetarian.

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      04.10.2014 12:12
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      Advantages

      • Tasty
      • Easy

      Disadvantages

      • "Need to plan in advance"

      Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

      I recently bought a new slow cooker and was thinking of things to make in it and thought of doing a beef stroganoff. This is an easy recipe that you can tweak a bit if you like. It makes a generous portion for four.

      -Ingredients-

      Medium packet of stewing steak
      Mushrooms (as many as you like), halved
      Tin of mushroom soup
      100ml boiling water
      Packet of garlic and herb cream cheese
      Salt
      Black peppercorns (again, as many as you like)

      -To Make-

      This is a really easy recipe because you don't need to seal the meat first. Simply throw the beef, mushrooms, soup and water into your slow cooker, mix it well and put on a low heat for about 6 to 8 hours. Two hours from the end of the cooking time, you need to add the cream cheese and the peppercorns and stir well. I'd recommend adding just a few peppercorns at this point and then tasting it in another hour to see if you need or want anymore. Throw the salt in then as well. Keep an eye on it towards the end of the cooking time to make sure that it is not curdling and you do need to stir it a couple of times.

      -Other Hints-

      I love mushrooms so I put loads in, but obviously you can add as many as you like. I would say at least 200 grams though to get the flavour.

      You can make this slightly healthier by going for low fat cream cheese - it makes no difference to the taste I have found.

      We served ours with jacket potatoes and it was delicious although it does work just as well with rice if you prefer.

      Enjoy!

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      27.09.2014 00:35
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      Advantages

      • spicy
      • "will warm you up"
      • "Good hearty food"

      Disadvantages

      • " unless you don't like chilli"
      • none

      It doesn't have to be chilli to enjoy chilli

      I like spicy foods, enjoying just things as hot curry and the like. But I also like to make my own meals and as I don't like to be stuck in the kitchen for too long I like to make meals that are simple to make and taste as good as they should. Plus, with the weather seeming to be going colder than a penguins foot. This leads me to a fine dish that takes no time to prepare really and once done it cooks itself with me having to stand in the kitchen all day. Although it does need to be stirred once or twice as it simmers away on the hob.
      This dish I am talking about is a beef and bean chilli....


      Preparation time: 15 minutes
      Cooking time: 1 hours 10 minutes

      You will need to get hold of a few things, such as..........
      * 200g minced beef
      * 3 peppers, (1 red/1 green/1 yellow), deseeded and sliced
      * 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
      * 1 Tbsp of chilli powder
      * 200ml of boiling water
      * A 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
      * A 420g tin of baked beans in tomato sauce

      Now you've got the ingredients you can start throwing it together ….
      Grab a good size none stick pan and heat it up on the hob, medium heat. You don't need to use any oil as long as the pan is none stick.

      When the pan is hot enough drop in the mince, dry frying it until it is brown. Stir it gently so that it breaks up but doesn't mash up.

      When the mince beef has brown add the sliced peppers, chopped onion and chilli powder and give the lot a good stirring so that everything is covered.

      Once evenly coated pour in the tomatoes and the water, bringing it to the boil, the, once boiling, cover the pan with a lid, (or tin foil if you don't have a lid for the pan), turn down the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.

      After 40 minutes of simmering, take of the lid, pour the beans into the mix, stir it well and put the lid back on. Then, simmer for another 20 minutes...

      And you're done.

      Once the simmering time is up it's a matter of serving it. You can server it on a bed of rice simply eat it on its own....

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      26.09.2014 23:43
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      • "They taste very nice"

      Disadvantages

      • "These are not very authentic"

      Meatballs in tomato sauce

      NOT VERY ITALIAN MEATBALLS!

      Meatballs are very popular in Italian cooking but I think when they are made in my home country they are very rich and too compacted and meaty for the way I like to eat. When I first came to England my husband asked for me to make him meatballs and I think he still doesn't know that this is not an Italian recipe and it is one that I have made up to stop the meatballs from being too rich.

      WHAT YOU NEED FOR THESE MEATBALLS

      500g minced beef
      100ml milk
      1 slice of white bread
      1 clove of garlic
      1/4 of a Spanish onion
      Egg
      A sprig of parsley

      4 tbsp olive oil
      4 cloves of garlic
      1 carrot
      3/4 Spanish onion
      1 sprig of thyme and 1 sprig of rosemary also
      1 tsp sugar
      Medium glass of red wine
      Can of chopped tomatoes

      HOW TO MAKE THIS DISH

      Soak the bread in the milk and leave it for a few minutes while you chop up fine one clove of garlic, the parsley and the quarter of a Spanish onion. Put all of those plus the minced beef into a bowl, whisk the egg and add that.

      Mix all of it together with your hands but do not be too rough with it because that will spoil the texture of the meatballs.

      Roll them into balls and put them on a baking tray then cook for about 10 minutes in the oven after you have drizzled a bit of olive oil over the top.

      To make the tomato sauce you have to heat up some olive oil in a frying pan and fry the 4 cloves of garlic that you have chopped fine, add the carrot and the rest of the Spanish onion and cook them until just as they are going to change colour. Add the herbs that you have chopped and the sugar, heat for a few seconds and then pour in the wine.

      Cook this until the wine has gone down and when it has add the canned tomatoes. Cook it then for 5 minutes then add the meatballs in and cook it again for another 10 minutes then serve with pasta.

      5 Dooyoo Stars.

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      26.09.2014 12:13
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      • "Easy to make "
      • "healthy and low fat "

      Disadvantages

      • None

      Healthy low fat spaghetti bolognaise

      Spaghetti bolognaise is one of those stand by meals that I always end up making because it is so simple and can be made in bulk and froze for a speedy supper whenever the mood takes me. I make a low fat version packed with vegetables as it not only makes it healthier but it also bulks it out making a huge portion that can be divided and froze for later.

      Ingredients:
      Mince
      Onions
      Mushrooms
      Carrots
      Bell pepper
      Tinned tomatoes
      Tomato puree
      Garlic
      Dried herbs

      Method:
      This is such an easy meal to make. Just brown the mince in a non-stick pan. I don’t even use oil for this as even lean mince has enough fat in it that you don’t need to add any more. If you have a lot of mince brown it in batches.
      Once browned add it to a pan and then use some fry light or a little olive oil to soften some onions and then add them to the pan with the mince. Depending on what veg you are using add this to the mince and onions too. I like to grate some carrot into my spag bol because although I don’t really like carrot I can’t taste it in the spag bol and it also helps to thicken the sauce. Mushrooms are a must for me as they are one of the few vegetables that I actually really like the taste of. I also like to slice a pepper up really thinly and add that too.

      When all the ingredients are in the pan add the tinned tomatoes and a couple of tablespoons of the tomato puree and then simmer it for at least an hour to thicken the sauce and intensify the flavours. Once it is cooked just pour some on top of some spaghetti and you have a filling, low fat and tasty meal.
      It freezes fantastically and you don’t even need to have it with pasta all the time as it also goes really well on baked potato.

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      28.09.2011 15:30
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      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

      ==Method==

      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
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        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.

        Ingredients:
        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
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          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
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            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
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              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
              Water
              Mushrooms
              Garlic
              Onions
              Carrotts
              Salt
              Pepper
              Cheese
              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
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                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

                Ingredients:

                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

                Recipe:
                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.

                Yum!

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                  27.10.2009 12:32
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                  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

                  Method:

                  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
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                    A simplified moussaka with ready-made bolognese sauce

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

                    Calories: Approximately 400kCal / serving

                    INTRODUCTION

                    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.

                    INGREDIENTS

                    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

                    PREPARATION

                    Vegetables

                    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.

                    Bechamel

                    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.

                    Baking

                    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
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                      Yummy!

                      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.

                      Method:

                      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

                      Method:

                      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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                    • 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."