06 Jan

Cottage Pie Leftovers Recipe

Week 1: Recipe 2

Make Once Eat Twice

Yesterday I made a braised beef with seasonal veg dish and using the leftovers I’ve now made a cottage pie.

I’ll keep it simple, because my recipes have to take little time in the kitchen. The only additional ingredients you will need are about 200g of frozen peas and sweetcorn, plus a small amount of grated cheese.

Shred the remaining beef from the previous meal and stir it into the leftover gravy.

Preheat your fan oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Spoon the gravy and beef mixture into a large baking dish. Top with the frozen vegetables.

Spoon the leftover mashed potatoes on top of the vegetables and gravy mixture. Sprinkle grated cheese on top of the mashed potatoes.

Cook in the oven for 45 minutes, until all the food is warmed through and serve immediately.

If you want to, this meal is also perfect for freezing so once assembled, cover well and put straight into the freezer where it will keep for up to 1 month. Ensure it is completely defrosted before cooking in the oven.

05 Jan

Braised Beef With Seasonal Veg

Week 1: Recipe 1

Make Once Eat Twice

For the first in the recipe series I’ve gone back to a family favourite. Mam used to make this braised beef dish in a heavy casserole dish with a lid. The homely flavours come thanks to the veg that all comes from a local farm. It doesn’t get more Irish than this.

Ingredients
3 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1kg housekeepers cut of beef (note remove any string or elastic before cooking)
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1/2 small turnip (or swede) peeled and chopped
1 litre of vegetable stock (use hot water and 1 vegetable stock cube)
1 heaped tablespoon cornflour

For Serving
Mashed potatoes (make enough for 2 meals)

Method
For the braised flavour you will need to sear the onions and the beef. So first grab your casserole dish, put it on a high heat and fry the onions in a teaspoon of vegetable oil until they turn brown/charred. Remove the onions from the dish and put them on a plate.

With the dish still on high, sear all sides of the beef so that it’s dark brown. Add the onions back to the dish, the rest of the vegetables, and then the stock. Cover the casserole dish and reduce the heat so that the stock is on a slow simmer. Cook for 3-4 hours. Note the stock should reach a maximum of halfway up the piece of beef, it should not be covered in the stock.

Adapted for the slow cooker: Fry the onions and then the beef in a frying pan before putting them into your slow cooker. Add the chopped vegetables, stock, put the lid on top and cook on high for 5-6 hours.

Before serving, remove the beef from the dish/slow cooker. Remember you have to keep half for your second dish tomorrow so it may be easier to cut it in half and cover now before serving dinner.

In a small cup mix 1 heaped tablespoon of cornflour with a splash of cold water until you get a loose paste. With the vegetables and the stock still on the heat, quickly stir this paste into the mixture. It should thicken the mixture to a gravy instantly. Once again, half of this mixture is to be reserved for your second meal.

Serve the beef with the vegetables in gravy with mash on the side. I’ve served ours with buttered cabbage as I got some fresh from the farm yesterday and I love the vibrant colours.

One of the main reasons why I love this recipe so much is because all of the vegetables used here are Irish and in season. It makes it very budget friendly for what is a very frugal time of the year.

Cover the leftover food and chill the food when it reaches room temperature. I’ll have the second recipe for you tomorrow!

01 Oct

Chickpea Stew Recipe – Ad

When Knorr Ireland approached me and asked me if I’d be interested in devising a simple recipe to use their stockpots I was delighted to take on the challenge because I do use stockpots and stockcubes on a regular basis. Even though I do make my own homemade stock in the slow cooker, I don’t always have stock to hand when the freezer is full of other things. It is simply a very handy option to add flavour to a meal.

Let’s talk about fibre for a minute though. I’ve become obsessed with healthy fibre in our diets. Without fibre things become a little bit backed up. One source of fibre I can always persuade the boys to eat is chickpeas. Whatever I make if there’s chickpeas in it then I know I’m onto a winner for a family meal. The boys demolish this chickpea stew anytime I make it. So does the fussy teenager because she loves the ‘curry flavour’. This is a winner on so many levels. It’s the perfect plant-based meal for a Meat Free Monday or a side dish to go with meat if you wish.

Shortly after this picture was taken the cheeky monkey lost that wiggley tooth at the front by the way.

You will notice that I’ve not put any added salt into this recipe. There is plenty of flavour from the garam masala powder and the stockpot so there’s no need for additional salt. Something I’m very happy about as I do try to be careful about the salt in our diets.

Chickpea Stew

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala powder
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tin of chickpeas, do not drain
  • 1 Knorr Vegetable Stockpot

Method

Place a large saucepan on a medium heat. Pour in the sunflower oil, onion, and pepper. Stir well for about 3 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add the garam masala powder and stir once again so that the spices coat the vegetables and warm through in the heat.

Pour the chopped carrot and full tin of chickpeas (including the water) into the saucepan. Stir until the liquid begins to gently bubble.

Stir in the vegetable stockpot until it dissolves in the sauce.

Cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to low for 30 minutes before serving with crusty bread or a bowl of brown rice.

Disclosure: This blogpost was sponsored by Knorr Ireland. If you want to learn more about my policies around disclosure and sponsorship, please click this link.

11 Apr

Lovely Lemon Curd

A couple of weeks ago the folks at Margaret’s Happily Free Range Eggs contacted me and asked me if I’d like to try out their produce. Free range is something that is very important to me, obviously it’s why we made the decision to rear our own pigs, so I was delighted to accept. Then, on a day where I managed to snag some beautiful organic unwaxed lemons, there was little else I could do other than make my tried and tested lovely lemon curd. If you’re interested in finding out more about Margaret, the woman who has names for every single one of her flock, and is passionate about rearing free range poultry then click here.

To make this recipe easier to follow, and so that you can see just how easy it is to convert 4 simple ingredients into the most delectable lemon spread, I also recorded a video to go along with the recipe! You need to trust me on this, once you make your own lemon curd you will never buy it from a shop again. There is simply no comparison between the two! Read More

16 Mar

Rare Aul’ Irish Recipes for 2017

In October 2016, my grandfather, Jim, turned 100. Jim Shortall was born in Dublin’s North Inner City in 1916, a time of great turmoil for the Irish state. Last year, as we commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the 1916 rising, my family was celebrating a joyous milestone for an incredible gentleman who once cycled internationally for Ireland.

Food that would have been common at the turn of the century in working class Dublin might be viewed as unhealthy or unappealing in modern Ireland. Many of the dishes include offal, which is much loved by the newer Irish immigrants from across Eastern Europe, Asia, and beyond.

I live in an area which has a multitude of different ethnic backgrounds. There are region-specific food stores nearby, indeed my estate alone boasts more than 40 nationalities.

When I think about the food that my grandfather grew up with, and still loves to this day, I can see how it should still appeal to us all now. We have a rich culinary heritage that sometimes gets lost in the ‘corned beef and cabbage’ or ‘green food’ associated with St Patrick’s Day.

There’s no reason why we can’t continue to cook our traditional recipes, but tweak them to include newer ingredients and flavours to reflect how diverse our country is today. Read More

27 Feb

4 Flipping Delicious Pancake Recipes

It’s Pancake Tuesday tomorrow, or as the boys call it; Lá Féile Pancóga. When I was growing up there was a rule that we had to eat our dinner before we got pancakes which was clearly a clever ruse to stop us from having our parents at the stovetop for hours on end churning out the pancakes. There were 6 of us in the house (4 girls, my poor Dad), plus if we were lucky, Ma (my Grandmother) and my Aunt. Pancakes were always dredged with sugar and fresh lemon juice and sometimes with a drizzle of runny golden syrup from the Lyle’s tin. They were cooked in a little bit of oil with a knob of butter and our bellies would ache for hours afterward. Oh wow, the memories! Read More

13 Oct

Courgetti With Pesto

Some days amazing things happen. Like getting a phone call asking me to demonstrate healthy recipes as part of the Navan #MyHealthyTown initiative. I had to pinch myself!

This was one of the most popular dishes I demonstrated in Navan for Morphy Richards last weekend. Everytime I heated the pan, it was like an advertisement for certain gravy granules and attracted a crowd. It seriously only takes about 7 minutes to put together. Thanks to popular request I’m sharing the recipe on the blog so it’s easy to find. I also shared it on my Instagram yesterday if you’re interested. Read More

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