Monday, November 19, 2007

Carbonade Flamande

After a fantastic trip to Lille, i was inspired to try this typical Lillois dish. I googled various recipes and came up from this one.

It is my first Clothilde recipe, so i was intrigued to see how I liked her style. The answer is, very much! I just used standard jamaican ginger cake that is very easy to get here in the UK, and I cooked it in the oven at 130C for the first two hours before reducing on the hob for the last hour. I served it with jacket potatoes, and I must admit to adding so carrotso the casserole, along with everything else at the beginning.

1.6 kg beef for stew, cut in chunks
3 large carrots
1 Tbsp (20 g) butter
5 Tbsp flour
4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1.5 L amber beer (There are choice of several french amber beers in most big supermarkets)0.75 L boiling water
4 Tbsp brown sugar
- 6 slices (130 g) Jamaica ginger cake
400 g onions (5 small ones), finely chopped
a few leaves of bay and a few sprigs of thyme 3 cloves
Melt butter in large cooking pan or casserole dish. Brown meat on all sides for 8 minutes over medium heat. Sprinkle with a little salt, add in the flour and onions, stir, and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in vinegar and scrape at the bottom of the pan to detach any bit that may have stuck. Pour in the beer and water, stir again.
At the first simmer add in the sugar, pain d'├ępice torn in small pieces, chopped carrots, thyme, bay and cloves. Lower the heat and cook in the oven for 2 hours at 130C, the simmer on the hob on a low heat for an hour..
Serve directly from pan

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Leek and Potato Soup

This a soup that I made to use up excess vegetables from the box.

2 tablespoons Butter or margarine
1 clove grated Garlic

two good sized Leeks( about 500g)
Potatoes (about 500g)
900 mls hot water with two chicken stock cubes
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon black Pepper
1/2 pint Milk or cream

1. First, clean and chop the leeks. Melt the butter / margarine in a pan and add the chopped leeks and garlic. Fry them over a low to medium heat until the leeks are soft. This will take about ten minutes. Stir frequently so that none of the ingredients brown.
2. Peel the potatoes and chop them into cubes. Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan with the exception of the milk / cream.
3. Bring the soup to the boil and then let it simmer (just barely boiling) for the remaining cooking time.
4. If you want the potato to stay chunky, cook for 15 to 17 minutes until the potato is soft. If you want to blend the soup, cook for about 20 minutes.
5. Blend the soup till smooth if thats the way you like it.
Just before serving, pour the milk / cream into the soup and stir well. If you plan to freeze some of the soup, don't add the milk / cream to the pan, instead add three tablespoons of milk / cream to each soup bowl.