Paprika Beef Stew

This twist on a great British classic winter’s dish is wholesome, filling and quite delicious that promises to kiss your taste buds with sheer delight!

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Ingredients

Serves 4

1 tbsp oil

4 onions, peeled and roughly chopped

500g stewing steak/cubed beef

700g beef stock

350g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

2 tbsp flour (any type)

1tbsp tomato puree

1 garlic clove, peeled and and mashed

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp thyme

2 bay leaves (optional)

Salt and pepper

Optional Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

1 tsp oil

1 tbsp parika

Method

  • Put the oil into a deep, large saucepan and heat. When hot, add the beef and cooked for a few minutes until all the cubes are brown in appearance. The beef is then ‘sealed’.
  • With a large spatula, remove the beef from the saucepan adding the onions, carrots and sweet potatoes. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are covered in the remaining oil, adding a splash of water if they begin to stick to the saucepan.
  • Next, with the large spatula remove the lightly cooked vegetables from the saucepan and set aside with the beef.
  • Lightly sprinkle the flour into the remain oil and stir over a low heat until the flour is blended with the oil and has formed a smooth paste.

Dawn: The combining of the oil or any fat – in other recipes it might be butter, for example – with the addition of roughly an equal amount of flour is called a “roux”. This is used as a base for thickening sauces such as a white wine sauce. With this stew the roux will help create a delicious, thick sauce for the ingredients to marinate in while cooking. Simply delicious!

  • Add the tomato puree and mix with the roux. To this mixture, slowly add the beef stock and mix well until all ingredients are combined to form a smooth consistency. Drop in the bay leaves.
  • Now add the beef and vegetables, stirring all the ingredients to ensure they are coated in the sauce.
  • Add the garlic, paprika and thyme next, stirring them into the beefy ingredients.
  • Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a low setting and gently simmer for about 2 hours or until the beef is tender and the vegetables are cooked.

Dawn: You’ll know when the vegetables are cooked by taking a fork and gently poking its prongs into the vegetables. If the fork goes in easily and the vegetables are soft, then they are cooked. If they are hard when you attempt to insert the fork, then they are yet to finish cooking and you will need to allow extra cooking time.

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  • Approximately 30 minutes before the stew is due to be thoroughly cooked, peeled and quarter the potatoes then part boil for 5-10 minutes. Remove them from the saucepan, pat dry and lightly brush the potatoes with a little oil. Then sprinkle with a dusting of paprika. Place on an ovenproof and non-stick tray in the centre of the oven. Cook until soft when pricked with a fork. Remove from the baking tray and add to the stew.

Dawn: I absolutely adore a steaming warm bowl of stew served with warm crusty bread on a winter’s day. Sets the old cockles alight!

For more recipes from the Cooking Dynamo aka The Domestic Goddess, follow @Love_Food_UK on Twitter and follow this blog www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com. You’ll also find us on Mumsnet Bloggers Network and Foodies100…oh, and did I mention Facebook at www.facebook.com/lovefood.forfoodlovers? See you there for more fab recipes and food chat!

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Chicken Drumsticks in Mustard and Honey Marinade

Chicken, a member of the poultry family that includes turkey, duckling and goose, is one of Britain’s most bought meat products with an estimated 2.2 million birds eaten every day! That’s nearly half of all the meat consumed in the UK according to The British Poultry Council. So, once known as a predominantly red meat eating country, chicken looks set to have become the nation’s firm favourite for sandwiches, salads, starters and main meals.

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Ingredients

Serves 4

900g chicken drumsticks

1-2 tsp crunchy coarse mustard

3 tbsp runny honey

Method

  • In a medium sized bowl, mix the honey and mustard together. Add the chicken drumsticks and swish the honey mustard mixture about so that the entire drumsticks are coated in the googey goodness. Set aside in the fridge to allow the marinade to work its magic into the chicken, preferably overnight if time permits.
  • Grease a 2 litres ovenproof dish and place the prepared chicken drumsticks in it, cover with either foil or the dish’s lid if it has one and put in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 4, 180°C electric.
  • Cook for about 45-50 minutes until the meat is tender. Take the dish from the oven and remove the foil or lid, putting the uncovered dish back into the oven and cook until the chicken drumsticks’ skins become golden and caramelised in appearance.

Dawn: You can check the drumsticks are cooked by sticking a fork into the meatiest, thickest part of one or two and if the juices run clear, then they are cooked. 

For more recipes from the Cooking Dynamo, follow @Love_Food_UK on Twitter and follow this blog www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.comYou’ll also find us on Mumsnet Bloggers Network and Foodies100…oh, and did I mention Facebook at www.facebook.com/lovefood.forfoodlovers? See you there for more fab recipes and food chat!

Sunshine Smiles Chicken Casserole

Now that Autumn has turned her come-hither look upon all she surveys, turning Summer’s once lush and green glories to tantalising burnt umbers, ravishing reds, vivid vermilions, opulent oranges and golden yellows, we start to think about warming evening meals to fill our hearts with joy. This chicken casserole dish is an excellent heartening meal that accompanied with seasonal vegetables makes for a wonderful comfort food experience that’s guaranteed to bring sunshine smiles to your home.

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Ingredients

Serves 4

4 chicken breasts

2 tsp cooking oil

25g flour (any kind)

400g can of tomatoes or fresh ones, washed and roughly chopped

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

300ml stock (chicken or vegetable will be fine)

200g mushrooms, washed and sliced

1 tbsp mixed herbs

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 190°C electric.
  • Put half the cooking oil in a frying pan and warm, then add the chicken breasts, skin side down and gently brown. Turn the chicken breasts over once brown and brown the other side. Set aside in a casserole dish.
  • Add the remaining cooking oil and warm. Once warmed, add the onion and garlic, and gently cook until the onion becomes transparent and soft. Add the flour and cook for a minute. This helps create a thickened stock later on in the cooking.
  • Slowly add the stock and stir until the flour and stock are combined. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms and mixed herbs, and stir.

Dawn: As a wee optional flavour enhancer you may decide to add at this point a splash of brandy and then simply cook the alcohol off for a few minutes. 

  • Add this mixture to the chicken breasts in the casserole dish making sure they are covered.
  • Cover the casserole dish and place in the oven.

Dawn: I like to season with salt and pepper a wee way into the actual cooking so that the real, true flavours of the food are realised first.

  • Cook for about 1.5-2 hours. Test at about 1.5 hours to determine if the chicken is tender. If not, return to the oven and cook until mouthwateringly tender and to your preference.
  • You may decide that the sauce the chicken is cooking in is too thick in which case simply add a drop or two of hot water and mix well.
  • Serve with boiled potatoes, carrots and green vegetables.

For more economical and tasty food recipes, follow this blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com and scoot over to Twitter @Love_Food_UK for regular food chat as well as finding the Cooking Sensation over on Facebook (come ‘Like’, please). Oh, not forgetting the fab MumsNet Bloggers Network, too!