Beef and mushroom daube

A daube is a casserole or stew, basically. The word is French and covers all manner of different dishes that all share a few basic ideas. They involve cooking meat, usually beef, for a longish period of time over a low heat, together with wine, vegetables, aromatics and other seasonings and herbs.

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Crespelle with beef, parmesan and spinach stuffing

Crespelle are the Italian equivalent of the French crêpes, pancakes basically.

Mine were made with two large eggs, plain flour, a pinch of salt and milk, all whisked up to produce a batter as thick as double cream. I can’t give accurate measures, I judge it by eye. After this had stood for a while, the crespelle were cooked normally in a non-stick crêpe pan and set aside. Continue reading

Barbecue-style brisket

This was inspired by watching the Adam Richman TV series, Man v Food.

Obviously, I don’t have access to those huge barbecue ovens that all the restaurants on the show have, but I thought that pot-roasting a piece of brisket would work after a fashion.

I started this off on Friday morning by making a dry rub from the following; soft brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, smoked sweet and picante pimenton, chipotle powder, dried oregano, dried thyme and powdered cinnamon which I rubbed all over the meat in a large plastic freezer bag.

This was then left in the fridge for 24 hours.

On Saturday morning I sliced up a couple of carrots and onions (skin included) and put them in an enamelled iron oven pot. I added a couple oof dried chillies, a few bay leaves and a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary. I put the brisket on top and poured in most of a bottle of cheap white wine that would make up a gravy and provide steam while the meat was cooking. I sealed the pot with tin foil and put on the lid and then put this in a low (120C) oven for about four and a half hours. After that. I turned off the oven but left the pot in the oven, to get the benefit of the remaining heat.

On Saturday evening, I poured off the rick stock and reduced it down in a saucepan.

The meat was wrapped in foil and warmed through in the oven while some jacket potatoes were cooking.

To serve, I made a kind of coleslaw with red and white cabbage, grated carrots and sliced red onions in a mustardy vinaigrette made with olive oil and cider vinegar.

The spuds were topped with butter and grated cheese and the reduced gravy poured over the incredibly tender meat.

Delicious.