Beef & Guinness Pie

When the Irish Foodies decided upon a Winter Warmer theme for the November cookalong I was delighted – one of my favourite things about winter is the comfort food that warms the cockles on cold dark days. It was quite hard for me to pick just one recipe and I must have changed my mind at least ten times but in the end I decided upon a rich, deep, savoury Beef & Guinness Pie, served up with some creamy mash. The great thing about this recipe is that with the addition of extra liquid it can be served as a rich hearty stew. [Read more…]

Cottage Pie

One of the first meals my husband ever cooked for me was Cottage Pie and it (or Shepherds Pie if lamb mince is available) is still a firm favourite in our house.  Over the years we have tried out a few different recipes but the one I favour most is that of Gary Rhodes in New British Classics, which forms the basis for the recipe below.  I don’t feel the need to add wine – I like the mince to be savoury but not too rich.  I serve my pies in small pudding bowls and it is a great one-pot dish with no need for anything else, unless of course you wish to add more veg. [Read more…]

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Tonight for dinner we had one of my sons’ favourite meals – meatballs in tomato sauce.  All kids seem to love meatballs.   I have to say I am quite partial to them too as they are unbelievably quick, very tasty and cheap to make, especially if, like me, you keep breadcrumbs in the freezer and use the dregs of any wine you have knocking about in the fridge.  I know many chefs say you shouldn’t use wine for cooking that you wouldn’t drink but I really think this is a bit OTT.   For drinking I prefer a nice NZ Sauvignon but for cooking I think most bottles on ‘special’ for €5.99 in the local offie are perfectly fine for slugging into a sauce or casserole.  Provided you are not a regular meths drinker or buy stuff that would strip the enamel off your teeth then I think it is fine to use a cheapie bottle of wine for cooking. You can of course leave the wine out entirely if you prefer but I think it does give a richer sauce.  The quantities below serve 3 (if you are feeding my boys) or 4 normal people. [Read more…]

Steak and Creamy Pepper Sauce

Okay, so for my first foray in to recipe blogging I thought I would start with a very simple oldie but goodie.  It took me a long time to actually cook a steak to my liking and after years spent poking and prodding and literally butchering the poor steaks to see if they were done enough, I happened across the marvelous Tamsin Day Lewis who suggests the 10 minute method, which goes something like: [Read more…]