Main Courses – Meat

Polpetta

Ingredients: 450g minced beef, 1 egg, 80g breadcrumbs, 50g grated parmesan, 2-4 slices of chopped salami, salt and pepper to flavour, 30-50g milk, flour for rolling

Preparation: 15 mins + 15 mins Frying

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and leave to chill in the fridge fo5 5-10 minutes.
  2. Modify the quantity of milk accordingly as different bread crumbs (fresh brad vs shop) can make the mixture differ in moisture. You want it to stick together enough to be able to roll the balls and for them to stay whole.
  3. The addition of salami adds an extra dimension to the flavour and you can vary between normal or a spicier variety if preferred.
  4. Once chilled, roll into small meatballs on a floured chopping board.
  5. Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan and once hot place the polpetta in. Make sure the oil is properly hot so that the polpetta immediately fry and don’t soak up too much oil.
  6. Leave for c. 5 mins and once nicely browned turn them over to cook on the under side.
  7. Once browned on both sides leave to cook for a further few minutes to ensure that the insides are sufficiently cooked and then drain onto a plate with some kitchen towel before serving with lemon halves.
  8. Serve with a fresh leaf salad and tomatoes for a great summer supper.

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Griddled Beef Fillet Strips

Ingredients: (for 4 people) 1 large fillet beef sliced into strips, 1-2 courgettes, 1 red pepper, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper

Preparation: 5 mins + 15 mins cooking

  1. Slice the fillet into strips and leave to cook last. Do not season yet as salt causing a lot of the moisture to leave the meat.
  2. Wash and prepare the vegetables, slicing the courgettes diagonally to create oval slices and cutting the pepper into strips.
  3. Heat the griddle pan and first cook the pepper which needs a good 5-8 mins.
  4. Once cooked, place on serving plate and griddle the courgette, turning part way through to ensure both sides are nicely browned.
  5. Lastly cook the fillet strips for a c.1 minute on each side for medium (less for medium rare and longer for well done).
  6. Place on top of the cooked vegetables and now drizzle with the olive oil and salt to flavour.

ps. no oil is needed on the griddle itself. Cook all ingredients naturally with the heat.

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Beef Chilli con carne Enchiladas

Ingredients: Left over chilli con carne (1 onion, 1 garlic clove, 400g minced beef, 1-2 chopped fresh chilli, 1 tin kidney beans, 500ml beef stock, 2 chopped tomatoes), 2 tortilla wraps per person, 1 pot sour cream, grated cheddar (or hard cheese), 2 spring onions, oil, tabasco sauce. To serve: mixed salad, guacamole, tomato salsa, natural yoghurt

Preparation: 15 mins + 25 mins cooking.

To be brutally honest this recipe has no rules and left over chilli can easily be substituted for left over roast chicken, beef or mixed vegetables according to taste and the contents of your fridge!

  1. Preheat oven to c. 180C and prepare an oven dish (or individual dishes) with a small amount of oil so your enchiladas don’t stick.
  2. Gently reheat your left over chilli so warm but not too hot.
  3. Spoon chilli con carne into the centre of each of the tortilla wraps and roll the tortillas, closing the ends so that the chilli doesn’t spill out.
  4. Place enchiladas into the baking dishes and cover with some sour cream, grated cheese, chopped spring roll and a couple of drops of tabasco sauce.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden and then serve with a mixed salad, guacomole and tomato salsa.

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Braised Beef in Barbaresco (Red) Wine
Ingredients: 4 large pieces of beef each c. 150g  Tip: choose a cut with some fat as helps keep the meat tender, 750ml bottle of Barbaresco, 1 red onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 sticks celery, 1 carrot, herbs; parsley, thyme, oregano, flour to coat meat, salt and pepper to season, water

Preparation: 30 mins + 3-4 hours cooking

1. Heat oil in a large deep casserole dish, roll the beef pieces in flour and fry till golden and fully sealed.

2. Take the meat out and leave to rest and in the same pan fry the onion and garlic in some oil.

3. Stir in a little extra flour before adding in the chopped celery, carrot, wine, parsley, thyme, oregano and seasoning.

4. Bring to the boil slowly and re-introduce the meat, cover and reduce to simmer at lowest heat for 3-4 hours or transfer into a covered casserole dish and oven bake for 3-4 hours at 150-160 degrees.

5. As the wine reduces, add in small amounts of water as necessary and turn the meat every so often.

6. Serve with mashed potatoes, mashed butternut squash or a side of roasted mixed vegetables; carrots, celery, parsnips or anything else that takes your fancy.

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One Pot Pork Chops

Ingredients: 2 good sized pork chops, 1 onion, 1 clove garlic, 2 sticks of celery (optional), sprig of sage leaves, new potatoes, olive oil.

Preparation:10 mins prep + c. 1 hour cooking

  1. In a casserole dish large enough to fit your pork chops, pour in a small slug of olive oil and then place your pork chops in. (Don’t put too much oil as chops tend to be fatty enough)
  2. Chop the onion, celery, garlic and sage and sprinkle on top.
  3. Cover with tin foil and place in a pre-heated oven at a low temperature of 165 degrees.
  4. Take enough new potatoes for 2 people and half them lengthways.
  5. Parboil in salted water for c. 5-10 mins.
  6. Add in around the edges of the casserole dish re-cover with tin foil.
  7. Leave to cook slowly for 1 hour and then remove tin foil for further 10 mins to allow both meat and potatoes to turn golden.

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Beef Wellington

Ingredients: Good Beef Fillet (Ideally Aberdeen Angus) – 1kg / 2lb 4oz, Olive Oil, 2 x packs of shop bought puff pastry (rectangular), 200-250g mushrooms, thyme, 12 slices of prosciutto crudo (parma ham), 1 beaten egg for glazing, flour, Cling film.

Preparation: 30 mins + c. 60 mins roasting (in 2 seperate occassions)

  • Preheat the oven to 200 C and roast the fillet of beef in a little olive oil for c. 20 mins for medium rare and 30 mins for medium and then chill the meat in the fridge whilst you prepare the mushroom pate’.
  • Chop the mushrooms as finely as possible (you can also use a blender but be careful not to liquidise them) and then fry them in a pan with no added liquid so that you cook off any excess liquid from the mushrooms themselves. Throw in some thyme to flavour them. The mixture should stick together once cooked sufficiently without being too dry.
  • Lay 2 large sheets of cling film on a work surface and place the 12 slices of prosciutto in two slighly overlapping rows. They need to cover the length of the fillet. Spread the mushroom pate along the centre of the prosciutto and take your fillet from the fridge and place it on top. Now use the cling film to help wrap the prosciutto around the fillet and draw both ends to a close like a sausage. Chill in the fridge (with the cling film still wrapping it) whilst you prepare the pastry.
  • Unroll both packs of pastry and place on a lightly floured board or if using home-made pastry roll it out to two pieces of c. 18x30cm and 28x36cm. Once your fillet has rested, remove the cling film and place on the smaller piece of pastry. Drape the larger piece of pastry over the top of the fillet and seal the edges with a little of the beaten egg. Make sure to seal the edges well and then trim off any excess pastry.
  • To decorate use the back of a knife to mark diagonal lines along the length of the wellington taking care not to cut through the pastry. Brush the entire wellington with the beaten egg to give a nice golden colour and place into the centre of a hot oven 200C for c. 25-35 mins for medium rare and 35-45 for medium. Leave it to rest for 10 mins before slicing.

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Pot Roasted Pork in Milk

Ingredients: olive oil, 1 joint of pork loin (minimal fat), 1 – 1 & 1/2 pint milk, rosemary, sage, salt and pepper

Sage & Onion Stuffing, 3 onions, 100g bread crumbs, 6-8 sage leaves, 25g melted butter, 100ml fresh milk

Preparation; 2-3 hours

  • Take a large casserole pan and heat some oil. Add the pork loin and brown all over to seal.
  • Pour over the milk and add in a sprig of fresh rosemary, a few sage leaves and some salt and pepper.
  • Bring the milk virtually to the boil and then cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 hours.
  • Add in more milk if needed. Just enough to reduce down to create a sauce.
  • Stuffing: Boil the onions until soft and then combinme with the breadcrumbs, melted butter, milk, sage and seasoning. Bake in oven at 180 degrees for 30 mins.
  • Serve with sage & onion stuffing and oven roasted mixed vegetables with pancetta and pine nuts.

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Guiness Roast beef & Yorkshire puddings

Ingredients: Oil or lard, 1 large piece of roast beef, 1 can Guiness, rock salt

Preparation: 5 mins + 30-60 mins roasting (depending on weight)

Follow the timings from your butcher or on pack for the weight of meat you are preparing. As a rough guide consider 20 mins for every 1lb / 450g plus an additional 20 mins for rare, 25 mins for medium and 30 mins well.

  • Pre-heat your oven to 230 degrees.
  • Whilst the oven is heating prepare the beef by placing it in a roasting tray with either lard or oil and rubbing it down with some rock salt.
  • Place your roasting tray into a hot oven and seal meat, turning after 5 mins to ensure you seal both sides.
  • After 10 mins reduce heat down to 180 degrees and pour over 1/3 of the can of guiness.
  • Add the rest of the guiness on two more occassions, roughly 10 mins apart (or if cooking a small piece of meat stop at 1/2 -3/4 of a can) so as not to flood the meat.
  • Continue to cook for rest of desired time.
  • The guiness should give a sweet,dark crust to the meat whilst the centre will remain rare, medium, well as per the cooking time.

Yorkshire Puddings

Ingredients: 100g white flour, pinch of salt, 1 egg, 300ml fresh milk, 40g butter

Preparation: 5 mins + 40 mins baking

  • Sift flour and salt together into a bowl and add in the egg.
  • Gradually add half the milk and beat to a smooth batter.
  • Pour in the remaining milk and beat until quite smooth.
  • Preheat the oven to 220 degrees and prepare your baking tin with butter. For individual yorkshire puddings use a 12 hole cake tray or for an individual large pudding use a rectangular baking tray. Put butter in each baking tray section and pop into the oven to melt (for 30 seconds).
  • Pour in the batter and baken for 40-45 minutes.
  • Serve hot with the Guiness roasted beef or alternatively cold as mini canapes with roast beef and horseradish.

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Steak alla griglia with rosemary

Ingredients: 1 steak per person, rock salt, sprig fresh rosemary

Preparation: 10-15 mins

If you can’t BBQ or Grill over embers than a griddle pan is the next best thing for getting that smokey flavour. You can cook any cut of steak in this way but if it has some fat on it it tends to be more flavoursome and stay tender.

  • Pre-heat your griddle pan until it is very hot and sprinkle with a small amount of rock salt.
  • Once hot, place your steaks and the rosemary sprig on the griddle. The steak will initially stick to the pan but can be turned as soon as it moves freely when you touch it with a fork.
  • Turn your steaks and griddle the second side.
  • Serve as desired rare, medium rare, medium, well with a side salad or grilled vegetables.

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