Thursday 15 April 2010

melty melty oxtail

a very kind butcher put an extra half kilo of oxtail in the bag, so we stewed mega mega piles of oxtail slowwwwly in the oven, and it was super super yum. Using my grandmother's recipe from her sweetly handwritten recipe book (needs rebinding, donations towards this gratefully received!) I trimmed and seared the chunks of meat, then removed them (I always place them on the lid of the dish, so I don't lose any of the juices) and then put chunkily cut leeks, carrots and celery in the hot pan, with a few black peppercorns and a bay leaf and a couple of sprigs of my beloved garden rosemary.  Once those were taking some colour, I browned a couple of tablespoons of flour in with them, put the meat back in and then poured in a glug of wine, and some good beef stock. Brought it all to the boil with a little added seasoning and popped it in the oven mark 4, for an hour, and then lowered to mark 2 for a further 2 hours.
Right at the end, I always pour in some frozen green beans and sweetcorn, and then serve with rice.
I also always dig in and eat with my fingers and Littl'Un LOVES gnawing on the bones...

Wednesday 7 April 2010

using coupons

so Sainsburys sent me 2 coupons for £16 off an £80 shop, week one was up til 10th April, week 2 was up til 17th April. I usually shop on a Saturday, and the efficiency of the post meant I had an extra Saturday (3rd) so I decided to try to do a fortnight shop at a time, and use the coupons without breaking budget. Clever eh?
Ok, so it was a bit of a challenge to think up 2 weeks' meals in one go, and Big'Un is on Easter Hols, and I'd said I wanted to do a bit of a use up, and I was also worried I'd either not be able to fit all the meat in the freezer, or I'd not spend enough to use the coupon.  So I decided I could use the freezer at my mum's empty flat if I needed to, and I'd add on the Easter pressies I needed for some extra buffering.  And then Godpapa needed a few extra pressies, so we added what he needed to my trolley (and he paid me back of course!) and I did it!

So (slightly belatedly) we have 2 weeks of menu plans.

Saturday 3rd April - creamy chicken with celeriac monster mash (peas cooked in with the squds etc and mashed in)
Sunday 4th April - Easter lamb, see previous post.

Monday 5th April - quinoa veg pilaff/overlefts

Tuesday 6th April - gammon steaks & slow cooked butery leeks (organic sausages for the kids)

Wednesday 7th April - sausages and baked beans (see previous post)

Thursday 8th April - bacon noodle pots.

Friday 9th April - fish fingers for kids, prawn pilau for us

Saturday 10th April - tinned pies (they were on offer a couple of weeks ago in Asda, so we stocked up) + veg and chips/wedges

Sunday 11th April - slow cooked meat, perhaps oxtail

Monday 12th April - Bengali channa daal with fresh coconut + luchi (like puris, but made with white flour and a little milk)

Tuesday 13th April - spicy almond chicken. (like satay but with almonds not peanuts!)

Wednesday 14th April - macaroni mince bake with green lentils and grated courgettes

Thursday 15th April - oven baked risotto

Friday 16th April - coconut & tamarind fish curry & rice.

So I managed to get almost all I need and it all fit in my freezer, just need Godpapa number 2 to pick up some nice oxtail at the butcher next door to him for the weekend. Quite pleased with myself. And so far, we didn't do the quinoa, so I've still got that in hand for a future menu plan.  So far, it's all working well, no one's going hungry, and everything is going down well.
We went away to Hatfield Forest on Tuesday (6th) so we took sandwiches for lunch, and the few left over were toasted for lunch today. The gorgeous seeded bread I made has lasted well, very filling so thin slices needed for sandwiches, the kids love it, and it's tasty for grownups who are often not keen on brown bread either. 
The only blip has been that I forgot that Big'Un was due to spend a couple of days with her Dad so I slightly overplanned the food for 2 dinners, and it was very weird sitting to have dinner with just Litl'Un, but Godpapa 2 came home just as we were finishing, so sat and ate too. Well, beans and sos for lunch tomorrow too I guess! LOL.  Let's see if we can keep this blog rolling, comments welcome, any recipes required can be provided on request!

nursery dinner today

Take a pack of cooked cocktail sausages and place some into a small casserole dish. Branston Baked Beans are 4 for £1 in Morrisons, so open 2 tins & pour into casserole dish. Squirt in some brown sauce if desired, mix then pop in oven - say 20 mins @ gas 6/200deg - and serve. Classy.

-- I sent this from my 3 mobile --

Easter Lamb

I wanted to do something a little bit different for the special guests I was expecting for Easter lunch, and Sainsbury's had a half price offer on lamb joints, so I went ahead and got a nice leg and then searched out a recipe that gave me the basis for what I already knew I wanted to do.
I found this and tweaked it to give the flavours I was aiming for, so I used cumin instead of saffron, and a little cinnamon too.  I served it up with a pilaff with raisins, pine nuts and cinnamon, and a salad with grated carrot and kohlrabi, and liberally bejeweled with fresh sour pomegranate seeds.  The meat was so tender i shredded it with 2 spoons, and there was plenty to go round, and leftovers too.

My lovely "sister" brought some scrumptious profiteroles (white choc to accommodate Big'Un's choc issues) which we enjoyed for pudding. It was a feast.