Freezer diving for inspiration yesterday reminded me of the box of goodies I was asked to review from Heggies of Hereford.
I pulled out a pack of diced Hereford beef, and rustled up this rich, simple & elegant slow cooker dish. The meat was lightly marbled, which is perfect for this style of cooking, as it creates a deeply rich gravy.
I have used a whole head of garlic cloves but don’t panic, when garlic is cooked in this way it softens beautifully and mellows dramatically.
The meat is juicy and fall apart tender, whilst the gravy is good enough to be drunk by the mug-full!
Slow Cooker Beef & Garlic
- 700g diced beef
- 4 slices thick bacon
- 2 large onions
- 1 head of garlic
- Cornflour or gravy granules
- In a large pan, melt a little butter or oil until it is shimmering. Add the beef in batches, and as it browns, move it over into the slow cooker.
- Roughly chop the bacon and brown that too.
- When all the meat is nestled in the slow cooker, boil the kettle & add a good splosh of hot water to deglaze the pan. Scrape & stir well to get all the lovely gooey, caramelised bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour this liquid to the slow cooker too.
- Peel each garlic clove (leaving them whole) and chop the onions into large chunks. Add them both to the meat mixture and stir well.
- Add more water if necessary - you want the meat to be just covered.
- Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours. There is no trick to the timing, that's the beauty of the slow cooker, plan it around your day. It won't burn or dry out.
- Twenty minutes before you're ready to eat, stir in some beef gravy powder or a heaped teaspoon of cornflour mixed with cold water to thicken the sauce.
- Serve it with a big pile of buttery mash and some fresh, steamed spinach or beans.
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When Dotcomgiftshop sent me a cute little set of school milk bottles in a crate to review, I made the mistake of opening the parcel in my Mum’s house.
I was planning on using them in a little photo-shoot with fresh home-made lemonade. All zingy and fresh, and with pictures that made your mouth water.
However, they haven’t even made it to my house as Mum squealed with glee when she saw them, and immediately ran out into the garden to pick flowers!
Who am I to spoil her fun?
When I came back to photograph them, she’d done 3 different displays. One with bright colourful flowers, one with fresh herbs and one with Magnolias which (apparently) would be perfect for a wedding. Mum, you’re gorgeous!
So, not so much a review as a Homes & Gardens spread. Sorry Dotcomgiftshop!
Home-made lemonade recipe (hopefully!) coming soon :)
Posted in Reviews
The sweet juiciness of the humble strawberry works brilliantly with the tart mouth-watering sourness of rhubarb.
I’ve had a can of strawberries lingering in the back of a cupboard for a long time which I really wanted to use up. However, please feel free to use a punnet of fresh strawberries in their place. I’m sure they will taste far nicer!
But the most absolutely genius part of this dish (if I do say so myself) is the addition of flaked almonds to the crumble topping. Be still my beating heart… <3
Rhubarb, Strawberry & Almond Crumble
- 500g fresh rhubarb, chopped (this doesn't need to be exact - use whatever you have)
- 1 tin or 1 punnet of strawberries, halved
- 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
- 110g plain flour
- 175g butter
- 50g oats
- 110g sugar
- 50g flaked almonds
- Pop the rhubarb pieces in a baking dish. Add the strawberries & sprinkle over the sugar evenly. I also added the juice from the tin of strawberries, but you don't need this extra liquid if you are using fresh.
- In another bowl soften the butter a little and, using a blunt knife, cut the flour into the butter. You want the 2 to form little balls that look like breadcrumbs, so don't squish it together with your hands as it'll turn into a greasy dough (don't ask me know I know :)
- When it kinda resembles breadcrumbs, add in the oats, sugar and almonds, mixing well.
- Layer this mix over the fruit and bake for around half an hour, or until the top looks golden and the fruit juices are bubbling.
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I couldn’t resist sharing these pics of this evenings wander through the orchard to feed the birds.
This is my newest girl, Brayo finding out what’s keeping me. She is the noisiest Muscovy I have ever met! Good job she’s so cute :)
Next time you have a glut of bananas in need of using up, try this muffin recipe out.
The riper the bananas are, the better. Yep, even those gooey brown ones that you’d normally throw out.
The muffins freeze perfectly. Just take one out of the freezer in the morning, and pop in the lunch box still frozen. By lunch time it will be defrosted, and it’ll keep everything else in the box cool too.
Packed Lunch Recipes ~ Banana Choc Chip Muffins
- 280g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda (baking soda)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large, ripe bananas
- 75g sugar
- 1 egg
- 90ml water
- 90ml vegetable oil
- 110g plain choc chips or chunks (I chopped up a bar of dark chocolate)
- Preheat oven to 190/170fan/375/gas 5. Line a muffin tray with paper or silicone muffin cases.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt into a large mixing bowl and add the chocolate.
- In a jug, measure out the oil and water, then crack an egg in and beat well.
- Peel the 3 bananas and 'mush' into the jug. I squeeze them through my hands but you could use a fork or potato masher.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and quickly combine the two. Spoon into the waiting cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until they are browned on top and spring back when pressed.
- Let cool before storing in tubs or freezer bags and freezing.
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