First a joke.
A woman walks into a bar and asks for a double entendre, so the barman gave her one.
Next an observation. It’s the General Election in the UK next week. The General Election is like voting for a new President in the US, except the difference is that no one cares.
Now a dilemma. After much research I’ve realised I don’t need iCloud. I have 7,500 photographs and I just loaded all of them into iCloud. But they are nearly all pictures of me making food. That’s the problem with digital photography and wine. You end up just taking hundreds of pictures of a bowl of chilli which turn out all to look not quite right. I don’t need to keep them all but I cannot quite bring myself to delete them. I mean I could just leave them on the laptop but I…well I’m conflicted about the whole thing. I am starting to think that the ‘Cloud’ is a big red herring, it isn’t the future…maybe.
Finally a recipe. A nice, simple, straightforward hotpot.
Now a Beef Hotpot is a sure-fire thing. Everyone will eat a nice Beef Hotpot (except the wife of course, she being of the non-meateating persuasion). About the only thing you need to consider with some consideration…is the type of beef. You shouldn’t use something too tender, like sirloin, because it will just fall apart. Mmm falling-apart-beef. No you need something a little tougher. Some muscle thats done a bit of work.
Something like skirt. Or flank. (Actually these two might be the same thing with different names. That’s the problem with food generally; everyone uses different names for the same thing and it all gets terribly confusing).
You will need:
- a couple of pounds of stewing beef
- 12 or so shallots
- 2 or 4 carrots
- a tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 bottle Guinness
- 1/2 pint beef stock
- small pack bacon bits (I found these after I took the photo above so they don’t appear)
- big knob of butter
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp of flour
- some herbage for decoration
- 2 or 3 big potatoes, depending on how much you like potato
First dice the beef and coat in seasoned flour. Fry in some oil in batches and set aside.
Now get a wooden spoon and lovingly scrape the delicious bits off the bottom. Add some butter and get it foaming. Add the shallots and fry to brown a bit.
Add the bacon and continue to fry to melt off the bacon fat. Everyone likes melting off a bit of bacon fat. Even the wife, although she can’t eat said melted off bacon fat. Make sure you mix up the bacon and shallots with all those lovely bits of sticky stuff from the bottom of the pot.
Add the carrot and the beef.
Add the beef stock and Guinness…
Finally add the mustard, tinned tomatoes and tomato paste.
Now cover and pop in the oven at 150 centigrade for 2 to 3 hours depending on…a whole bunch of stuff, just make sure its good and tender.
Slice the potatoes really thin (another chance to deploy the mandolin. Or should that be mandoline. Don’t care).
Take the pot out the oven and lovingly layer the potatoes over the meaty goodness.
Return to the oven, covered for half an hour, or until the potatoes are cooked through (Remove the lid for the last tenmins to let the whole thing brown off a bit).
Now we need to dig in.
Look at all those layers of meaty, potatoey goodness. Might look better on a plate?
Give it a go. Let me know…