Boozy Pulled Beef Burgers

I just bought some still cider to marinate some ribs in. But then I decided to hell with that, the ribs can marinate themselves, I will marinate myself with the cider.

But then I noticed something. The back of the bottle detailed the recommended daily alcohol intake for a man. 3-4 units. Whats that then, 3 to 4 bottles of wine? A pint of vodka maybe? My eye was drawn to the right of this information; a small picture of a bottle with a 3 in it. The bottle of cider I was holding contained 3 units of alcohol.

So basically I could drink that bottle of cider, not even a pint, and according to government scientists, that’s would be it. No more. Risk of death or liver damage or some horrendous mental breakdown would follow if I cracked open another.

Well come off it. They don’t make bottles of cider on the presumption that you are going to buy four in a pack and then drink one. There is a disconnect between what we see and what we are told. Maybe its the Scientologists trying to mess with our minds. Or maybe its the people who run the country being as stupid as we hope they aren’t.

Anywho this caused a small flurry of debate. Secretly everyone is sloshed. The wife pointed out a friend who posted a picture of a gin and tonic cupcake. A new government survey claims that everyone who is over 40 drinks 3 bottles of wine a day and will be dead by the time they retire. So good, that means in 20 year time we won’t have to worry about an ageing population.

It won’t be a problem for me though. I incorporate alcohol into many recipes. Its helping me develop a super-enhanced tolerance which will actually prolong my lifespan.

Here’s a classic example. These Pulled Beef Burgers contain Guinness, red wine and Jack Daniels. But fear not, the alcohol boils off so its absolutely not a problem to stick four, i mean one, bottle of cider down your neck while you stuff them.

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Beef Cheek Chilli with Essential Sides

First some things I noticed this week:

  1. Twitter is irritating. For every person that starts following you, 2 stop following you. Actually I think that every time I write a rude word, or controversial statement, like ‘Americans are crap at cricket’ then I lose loads of followers (-1)
  2. The opinion poll industry is a load of crap too (-1), in my opinion. We just had an election and all the polls said it was a neck-and-neck race. But it wasn’t – the Tories (right wing) won it by a mile and Labour (left wing) ended up looking a bit silly (-2)
  3. I am stupid. I have been haranguing my internet provider for the last week telling them their service is shit (-2). After ranting on the phone for hours over several days I finally booked an engineer. Then I checked the back of the modem, tightened the cable and now everything is fine

These are my top three observations of the week and I just realised they all related to communications, media, online; i.e. irrelevant twaddle and no one cares.

What people do care about is food:

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Oxtail Braised in Guinness

What has happened to Autumn? It’s balmy out there. Warm even. The nights are gettting cold but the daytime is positively pleasant. Okay we got the back-end of Hurriance Whatnot but generally speaking the weather is not going to plan. And that’s great except for two things.

First it means we are heading for a vicious winter (the law of Happiness Stan states that pleasant weather is inevitably followed by a spell of unpleasant weather times ten). Second it means that I cannot plunge into a heady mix of ‘winter warmers’, ‘comfort food’ and even ‘unctuous’ creations without them seeming as out of place as fois gras at a vegan convention.

But that won’t stop me. As if. So I decided to get a head start on winter and revert to an old favourite. Oxtail. This time braised in stout (or Guinness by any other name).

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The green stuff is a nod to the five-a-day brigade.

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Slow Cooker Beef and Dumplings

Last week we had a family get together. Four generations, variously meat eating and vegetarian, to celebrate a birthday or two. The House of Happiness (for that is us) were tasked with bringing the meat-eaters’ dish.

Naturally I wanted to make something that was unambiguously meaty – no messing with foul or game – and nothing that could end up being tough or gristly. And absolutely no over-the-top spices or exotic additions that could surprise or horrify the more conservative palete.

So I plumbed for slow-cooker beef with dumplings served with a side of mashed potatoes – and lots and lots of it. In fact I had so many ingredients I had to go and get a great big massive pot to cook it in:

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