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Slow Cooker Red Curry Beef Pot Roast – Teaching Old Meat New Tricks

When shopping, I like to take a quick peek at the end of the
meat case where they sometimes have marked-down cuts that are past their prime.
I usually stay away from the smaller, thinner pieces, as they tend to go bad
faster, but once in a while I’ll find a big roast, like the one that inspired
this delicious red beef curry; and as the old saying goes, the only thing
better than a 3-pound chuck roast, is a half-priced, 3-pound chuck roast.


By the way, this “Reduced for Quick Sale” meat is generally
fine taste and texture-wise, but the surface of the meat has oxidized, so it
doesn’t look very appetizing. Other than that, it’s perfectly fine to use,
especially in a slow-braised recipe like this.

I cooked mine on low, for about 7 or 8 hours, until it was
fork tender, but if you’re in a hurry, you can do it on a higher setting.
Conventional wisdom is that the longer slower method is superior, but in all
honesty, I don’t think theres a huge difference, so suit yourself. No matter
what setting you use, simply do not stop until the meat is tender.

Some of the most frustrating emails I get, are the ones that
say, “I followed your braised-whatever recipe exactly, but the meat came out
hard.” Actually, no you didn’t. Every time I give an approximate cooking time
for something like this, I’ll always say, “or until fork tender.” So why would
anyone stop cooking it while the meat is still hard? I find it as mystifying as
I do annoying.


Anyway, assuming you don’t stop, won’t stop, until the meat
is succulent, you are in for a real treat. Feel free to add any vegetables you
like, and if you want, you can cook them separately and just add to the
finished dish. I generally don’t serve this over rice if I use potatoes, but
that’s just my personal hang up, so don’t feel like you need to deny yourself that
particular pleasure. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 giant or 6 regular portions:
2 1/2 or 3 pound beef chuck roast
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 chopped onion
1 or 2 tsp red curry paste, or to taste
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 cups chicken broth
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
1 can (10-oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies (or any diced tomato product)
3 tbsp Asian fish sauce, or to taste
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 cloves minced garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced
juice of one lime
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 pound small potatoes, halved
4 or 5 baby bok choy, sliced
1 rounded teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon
cold water
To garnish:
chopped roasted peanuts
chopped fresh cilantro leaves

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Pot-roast partridge with savoy cabbage

I felt so guilty all of yesterday for the carpet disaster that I set about making a very elaborate partridge thing for my husband’s dinner, using the two partridge he had bought on an impulse at the Farmer’s Market the previous Saturday.

This was a slightly over the top thing to have on a cold November weeknight but I think my husband liked it – though I had a sudden and unexpected massive attack of nausea at 7.45pm so couldn’t eat a thing.

This would be very good for a dinner party – everyone gets their own partridge and the sides are straightforward and easy to do in bulk. I’m sure you could do this with quail, as well. Or pheasant? Or are pheasant huge?

Pot-roast partridge with Savoy cabbage

For the partridge

2 partridge
1 small savoy cabbage
2 carrots
1 medium onion
2 bay leaves
4 sage leaves
4 sticks thyme, leaves picked off
2 sticks celery
1 glass white wine
1 pint chicken stock

For the cabbage
(you do not have to have cabbage with this. Maybe some lovely mash instead, or a cauliflower cheese?)

1 cabbage
1 small onion
4 rashers streaky bacon
1 tbsp cream if you have it

1 In a casserole pan with a lid, melt some oil and butter and then brown the partridge all over. Do this quite thoroughly – I’d say for about 6 minutes in total. Once browned, remove the birds to a plate and take the casserole pan off the heat.

2 Now make your mirepoix. Don’t panic! I will explain what this is.

A mirepoix is a mound of very finely-chopped onion, celery and carrot, (although there are variations on this), which makes up the base of a lot of French sauces and soups. This is one of the reasons to own an incredibly expensive, very sharp knife from the likes of Global. Ask for one for Christmas! (I am not on commission)

Chopping up carrot and celery very small is easy enough, but I always struggle with onion. What I tend to do is try my best and then when it all starts going to piss and slipping about everywhere, I just go over it with my knife in a levering motion to get the rest really small. Not what Jamie would do BUT HE’S NOT HERE :(

Anyway so that is a mirepoix. Make one of these and then add to it your bay leaves, thyme leave and torn sage leaves.

This is a mirepoix. The veg could stand to be even smaller but I am a bit ham-fisted.

3 Add the mirepoix to the recently-vacated casserole pan and cook this over a medium flame for 4 minutes. I chose to stir this a lot to stop the onions from catching and it was a good idea. After this time, add your glass of white wine and turn the heat up so that it all bubbles down to just a thin pool of liquid at the bottom of your casserole. This takes a few minutes.

Now add your stock – it really must be decent stock, not from a cube – and put the partridge back in. Put the casserole with a lid on in a 180C oven.

The recipe I followed, although good, left the partidge rather scarily underdone as it only specified a 15 min cooking time. So if I were to do this again I would do 15 min with the lid on and then 10 mins with the lid off. Another benefit of this is that partridge can have an unfortunate greyish tinge to the skin and taking the lid off allows the top to brown, which is so important for presentation. And, because this is a pot-roast, you don’t have to worry about the partridge drying out because it is protected by the surrounding liquid.

4 While the partridge is cooking, shred the savoy cabbage and chop up the onion and bacon. Sweat the onion for a few minutes in some butter and oil and then add the bacon. Cook this for about four minutes and then add the cabbage. Put a lid on and leave for another four minutes. I was not happy about leaving this with so little liquid so added a ladleful from the partridge cooking sauce. In all I reckon I cooked the cabbage for about 10 minutes. The recommended 4 minutes just left it raw and crunchy. I finished the cabbage with some cream I had knocking about.

4 Once the partridge is done, remove and put somewhere to rest and keep warm. Put the casserole pan back on the hob and give it a good boil to reduce the sauce. Season generously with salt and pepper after it has reduced.

5 Serve with a pile of cabbage, a partridge (on or off the bone, up to you) and the cooking sauce.

 

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Mushroom Stroganoff


A quick and easy meal, perfect for Meatless Mondays! A combination of Shiitake, Baby Portabella and Cremini mushrooms with noodles in a light creamy sauce.

I played around with Mushroom Stroganoff a few times last week (until we were sick of it) for a Meatless Monday option. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Beef Stroganoff, so for me it was a challenge to get the flavor of the beef without using any meat as well as keeping it creamy yet light. The bonus of making it without the beef is that you can eat more for less calories and fat.

Using a variety of mushrooms gave nice textures and flavor and the Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste helped give me some of that beef flavor I was looking for. I love Ronzoni Smart Taste noodles, I think they have the best taste but No-yolk and Healthy Harvest are also good options.

As a kid, I always topped my Stroganoff with grated Parmesan cheese. This is completely optional, but I personally think it makes any noodle dish go from good to great. Hope you enjoy!

Mushroom Stroganoff
gordon-ramsay-recipe.com
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 268 • Fat: 3.5 g • Carbs: 52.5 g • Fiber: 7 g • Protein: 12.5 g • Sugar: 4.5 g
Sodium: 312 (without salt)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth (or beef if you’re a carnivore)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 5 oz sliced Cremini mushrooms
  • 8 oz sliced baby Bella mushrooms
  • 3.5 oz Shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp white wine or sherry
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 8 oz uncooked noodles (Ronzoni Smart Taste, Healthy Harvest or No-Yolk)
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:

Cook noodles in a pot of salted water according to package directions, I like to under-cook them a bit so I can mix it with the sauce and let it finish cooking.

Meanwhile, while the water starts to boil for the noodles, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt butter over medium heat and add onions to the pan. Cook 2 – 3 minutes over medium-low heat.

Add flour; stir with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds. Gradually add broth, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste, stirring constantly. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper; stir and cook 4-5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.

Add wine; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 30 seconds. Stir in sour cream; add noodles, mix well and garnish with parsley if desired.

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