Sunday, 20 October 2013

Sumptuous Sunday Dinner

It's been a busy weekend so I didn't get a chance to post the lamb dish yet. I'll get that sorted out later in the week.

Having had rather a late night last night today was a slow starter. We were a little fed up with the weather. Thunder storms over night and heavy rain on and off through the day left us sitting indoors trying to entertain ourselves. We had a late Sunday breakfast, bacon and eggs, very traditional. The main reason was that in the inspiring shopping trip on Friday I picked up some vanilla cured bacon (Waitrose Heston Blumenthal range). This proved a delicious alternative to the traditional salt or sweet cure and one I would recommend.

After such a large breakfast we decided to miss lunch and so Sunday dinner became a focus as stomachs grumbled later in the day. Around 4 pm I started to prepare the beef shin. I put a large cast iron casserole pan on the stove and started to soften 2 chopped celery sticks, a chopped onion and 3 good sized chopped carrots. In a very hot skillet I started to brown the shin that had been marinading in 250ml of red wine since Friday. Once this was well browned I placed it on top of the softened vegetables in the casserole.

The red wine marinade was now added to the hot skillet to deglaze it. As it came to the boil I removed the scum from the top and then added this to the casserole along with 500 ml of beef stock and water to cover the meat and vegetables. I added 4 fresh bay leaves, white peppercorns, grated root ginger and a small bunch of thyme. Once this had come to the boil I popped the lid on and placed it in a preheated oven at 170 C for 2.5 hours. I did check on it from time to time and topped up the liquid when necessary with boiling water.

After 2.5 hours I strained the casserole and put the liquor into a small pan. The meat and vegetables were returned to the cast iron pan and the lid replaced to keep it warm but resting. I placed the marrow bone pieces into the liquor and brought it to a rapid boil to reduce it. in the meantime I cooked 5 sliced purple carrots in 200 ml of water with 3 star anise, a teaspoon of sugar, 10 grams of butter and a pinch of salt over a medium heat until they were tender. I then increased the heat and reduced the sauce that was forming until it coated the carrots. I heated up the wok and fried off some shredded green cabbage with a little butter and a few caraway seeds. I plated the meal up. placed the marrow bone on top of the meat and drizzled it with the rich, beefy sauce. A perfect Autumn Sunday supper thanks to a slightly modified recipe I found on the BBC website by Tom Kerridge ( )

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