The traditional Bohemian diet was full of hearty meaty casseroles and bakes, accompanied by assortments of potatoes, pasta, rice and dumplings. It was delicious fare for meat eaters, but I doubt that any of those recipes would have received the Heart Foundation’s Tick of Approval.
I rarely make those sorts of meals now, and when I do I squeeze in extra vegetables and serve with salad. But this has been a cold wet and windy winter, and sometimes an old fashioned hearty baked meal like this is just the thing.
- 2 T olive oil
- 800 g chuck steak
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 lg carrot, diced
- 1 lg red capsicum, diced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 T sweet paprika
- 1/4 t carawayseeds
- 400 g can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 c chicken stock
- 1 lg potato
- 2 T butter
- 2 T milk
- 1/4 c self-raising flour
- 2 T parmesan
- 2 T finely chopped flat parsley
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Brown the steak in batches and place in slow cooker. Set cooker to low while preparing remaining ingredients. Saute onion, carraway seeds, paprika and garlic in saucepan for 2 minutes, and add to slow cooker. Add carrot, capsicum, celery, tomatoes and stock to cooker. Put the lid on the cooker and leave to cook for about 2 hours or until beef is tender.
Remove lid from cooker but leave the heat on. Preheat oven to 180C.
Peel and chop potato. Boil until soft and drain. Mash with butter and milk. Season to taste, and stir in flour, parmesan and parsley.
Divide beef mixture into 4 or 5 individual baking dishes. Top with spoonfuls of potato dumplings. Spray with oil and bake for 20 minutes or until dumplings are golden.
Adapted from Australian Good Taste July 2012.
For many people the idea of boiled meat is completely unappetising. Particularly if you boil that meat with onion, carrots, potatoes and cabbage. For those of us with Eastern European heritage it can be quite an acceptable thing to eat for dinner as long as the vegetables (especially the cabbage) haven’t turned to sludge due to excessive cooking. In fact I remember loving the corned beef dinners my dad, Prof, used to make when we were kids, but I realise it just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
However, the much maligned corned beef can also be a fabulous option for lunches.
Wal has a physical job and doesn’t have access to shops where he works, so he needs to take a substantial lunch with him every day, and the sprogs, especially the soccer mad son, need something filling enough to get them to the end of a school day. And they all demand variety. Vegemite sandwiches every day just won’t do.
So every few months I will do corned beef. One brisket will make 3 to 4 days worth of lunches and Wal and the sprogs love it.
- 3-4 kg corned beef brisket
- 1 t peppercorns
- 1 t mixed dried herbs
- 1 star anise
- 4 bay leaves
Place brisket in heavy based pot, and just cover with water. Add herbs.
Simmer for 3 to 4 hours (needs about an hour per kg). Strain.
Let’s face it, it still isn’t looking super appetising but it does taste good.
Slice finely when ready to make fabulous packed lunches, and remember, if this lunch is going to sit in a wrapper for hours until lunchtime, go easy on the tomatoes!
There is nothing like a hot beef stroganoff on a cold miserable night – you just shouldn’t feel the need of one in February in Sydney… however, it is cold and windy and generally horrid out there, and so the strog seemed like an excellent option. We had a lot of this kind of food when I was a kid – being in a place with snow and blizzards in the winter stews and casseroles were just a part of life. This recipe is one of my grandmother’s, although I am sure stroganoff isn’t her original name for it. My grandmother used to bake this one in her oven, but these days I use my slow cooker. The strog can be served with rice or pasta or bread. I have used home made pasta this time, but I will talk about that on another day.
- 750 g chuck steak, cubed
- 1 onion, diced finely
- 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1/2 red capsicum, diced
- 1 1/2 c beef stock
- 1 c water
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- 2 T tomato sauce
- 1 t sweet paprika
- 1 t salt
- cracked pepper
- 2 c sliced mushrooms
- 3/4 c sour cream
Preheat slow cooker on low. Brown beef, onion and garlic place in slow cooker. Stir in remaining incredients except mushrooms and sour cream. Turn slow cooker up to high and cook for 1 hour. Turn back down to low and add the mushrooms. Leave to cook until meat is tender and barley is plump and soft. Stir in sour cream if planning to serve immediately, otherwise turn off slow cooker and leave to cool overnight and add sour cream when reheating.