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First of all, please let me apologise for the lack of posts over the past few weeks. My Grand Mother passed away and we buried her on Saturday. As the oldest grand daughter it was up to me to do quite a bit of the organising and I haven’t had a chance to even sit down never mind think about the blog.
We had a traditional wake, with an open casket and many friends, neighbours and family members were coming through the door to pay their respects from morning until late at night and so to keep everyone fed I made my grannys recipe for stew. It was actually a real comfort to everyone to be eating something that she made herself every weekend and in a weird way made it feel like she was around, and I thought I’d share the recipe.
600g / 1 lb Lean Steak Mince
300g / 1/2 lb of either pork mince, or lamb mince depending on your preference (you can replace the meat with soya mince or quorn should you choose to, just make sure the mixture stays well hydrated during cooking)
2 grated carrots
1 grated onion
12 good sized potatoes (I prefer waxy varieties in this stew, i think she did too)
4 oxo cubes
salt and pepper
First step, peel and halve the potatoes and leave to sit in a bowl of water while you prepare the other ingredients. Grate the carrots and the onion, and place in a big stew pot. Take the beef mince, and rinse in a sieve or collander – it sounds weird, but it breaks up the texture of the meat and really helps the meat coat the potatoes later on. Do the same with either your pork or lamb mince and add all the meat to the stew pot. Cover the meat and vegetables with enough water to cover all the ingredients, and place on a medium to high heat.
Add the oxo cubes (now, I know purists will be appalled at this addition but Granny lived through the blitz and products like oxo cubes helped people through rationing – it’s her recipe and so it is completely unnecessary to add properly made beef stock!) and season alot with salt and pepper. Stir and wait until you see the first bubbles of a rolling boil, and reduce the heat to the lowest you can. Give the mixture another stir and add the drained potatoes on top of the meat and veg – DO NOT STIR! Put the lid on the pot and leave for 1 1/2 hours at the lowest heat setting.
Come back to it after this time, and take a look at the potatoes. Do they seem soft? If not, give them another ten minutes or until they are. If they are soft, start to use a big spatula or metal spoon to split the potato pieces in half, then half again. Crush some with the back of the spoon, and leave some whole. The idea of this is to thicken the stew with some of the crushed potato, but to leave potato chunks in the stew also, adding to the texture.
Put the lid on again, and let it sit for about twenty minutes, or just heat it up when you want a bowl. The beauty of the stew is that it tastes better the longer you leave it. Everyone ate it with gusto, sometimes adding HP sauce if they wanted too but always making stew sandwiches with thick slices of white bread covered in butter.
A self styled foodie at my grandmothers wake came over as I was making it, screwed her nose up and said “Are you not adding any herbs or wine or something?” That’s not the point of the stew. The stew is subtle in flavour; it’s honest. And it always tasted like it had been made by someone who really loved you.
I’ll miss you granny 🙂
Here’s a recipe for our best seller at the Market in St. Georges – It’s always the first to go 🙂
For the parmesan dough –
300g Strong White Bread Flour
Pinch of Salt and Sugar
10 g or 1 tblspn Grated Parmesan
Dribble of Olive Oil
120 ml Warm Water
For the Rosemary Dough…
3 Fresh Sprigs of Rosemary, pulled off the stalk and chopped
Optional – 5 g / 1 heaped teaspoon of Spinach powder
80 g Strong Bread Flour
Pinch of Salt and Sugar
Dribble of Olive oil
50ml Warm water
For the instructions on how to make and bake, check it out here
This is a recipe for a loaf we’ve been making for the farmers market in Belfast, and has been going down a storm with mostly kids! It’s a chocolate loaf with a vanilla star in the centre. The bread is great to eat with jam, peanut butter, nutella and is great for a treat.
First of all, you need the doodle bread kit some oil, and some extra flour for dusting.
For the chocolate dough –
335g or 1 1/2 cups of Strong White Bread Flour
20g or 1 tablespoon Sugar
20g or 1 tablespoon Good Quality Cocoa Powder
5g or 1 teaspoon Dried Yeast
pinch of Salt
Dribble of oil or a knob of butter
210ml or about 7 fluid ounces of Warm Water
For the Vanilla Dough
80g or 1/2 cup of Strong White Bread Dough
5g or a teaspoon Dried Yeast
pinch of Sugar
pinch of Salt
2g (approx) vanilla seeds or vanilla extract
60ml or 2 fluid ounces Warm Water
Ok, first things first. Make up the chocolate dough by adding the dry ingredients together first, then a dribble of oil and then the water. mix together with your hands or a spoon until you get a ball of dough, put it out onto the table and then knead the dough.
Repeat this with the vanilla dough. For a few more doodle bread pointers in case you aren’t sure by now click here
The loaf needs to be left to prove for roughly an hour and at that time, take the doodle out and bake your loaf in a pre-heated oven at 220 c or gas mark 7 or 425 farenheit.
Once the loaf is baked, tap the top and you should hear a hollow noise. Let the loaf cool a bit before slicing!
So I finally got to work on the orange slice loaf – the kiwi loaf seemed to stir up quite a bit of interest and so I thought this might be a nice complimentary loaf – (and healthy too!)
I used a circle doodle to keep the shape in order and my doodle tin from the doodle bread kit – (have you got yours yet? lol).
The bread was made with standard white dough and some bread dough made with pure orange and mango juice, and a sprinkle of pure beetroot powder for colour – here’s the recipe –
For the white bread mix
315 g or 1 and 1/3 cups or 11 ounces Strong Bread Flour
2.5 g or 1/2 teaspoon salt
2.5 g or 1/2 teaspoon sugar
5 g or 1 heaped teaspoon dried yeast
about 1 dessert spoon of vegetable oil, or a knob of butter
about 200ml of warm water
and for the orange juice dough –
90 g or (just under) 1/2 cup or 3 1/2 ounces Strong Bread Flour
pinch of Pure Beetroot Powder (which can be hard to find – instead a good dose of grated orange zest might work? not sure, i’ll think of an alternative..)
2.5 g or half teaspoon of dry yeast
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
dribble of vegetable oil or a wee knob of butter
roughly 80ml of Orange Juice or Orange and Mango Juice
So, the first step is to mix your dry ingredients for the white dough, add the oil/butter and water, and mix together until you get the dough. Now turn out onto a floured surface and knead. Repeat this for the orange juice dough.
Chop about a third off the orange juice dough and set aside. Roll the rest of the orange juice dough into a really long sausage. Now take a rolling pin, and a lump of white dough (about as big as a golf ball) and roll it into a really long strip the same length as your OJ dough. Wrap the white dough around the OJ sausage. Chop the big sausage into 5,6 or 7 smaller equal sausages – about 10cm in length. Flatten the sausages at one end, so they look like orange segments – and put them together in a circle with the flatter sides of the sausage pointing towards the centre. This makes one big sausage – the pictures hopefully illustrate this better and make sense. It should look like orange segments when you cut into an orange!
Now, take your last piece of OJ dough, and roll it out to cover your big orange segments – wrap it around the segments. Take your circle doodle that has been oiled, place it into the doodle tin and drop your big segment into the centre. Now put the rest of the white dough between the doodle and tin. Leave the whole thing to prove (double in size) and then take your doodle out using the squisher.
Bake in a hot oven for 25 – 35 minutes and let it cool before slicing… more photos of the finished loaf to come!
Here’s the finished loaf in all it’s glory. Well, that’s the thing about the chocolate, I have to say I much prefer the bright colours of fruit and vegetables to the brown sticky chocolate. The sourdough tastes delicious and the bubbliness of the loaf is really good – see the bottom picture for how it looks. Also, the taste of the chocolate hearts are way too rich for me.. though most people love sweet sweet stuff. I kind of feel a bit sore that I didn’t make tom ‘heart’ o bread (with tomatoes!) instead but then, I will next time!
I was doing a little market fair last week with my purple beetroot and green spinach star doodle loaves and making the dough during a demonstration when two women came up to me to berate me for the vegetable flavours. “Can you not put some chocolate or somethin in them? I hate beetroot.” So, even though the point of doodle bread was to use healthier ingredients instead of the normal sugary stuff, I thought I’d give the choco stuff a go, even if only to satisfy my own curiosity.
I’ve been feeding my sourdough starter for about a week or so and thought it was time to give it a try, so I separated off about a quarter of the starter into another bowl (this is the choco doodle dough bit) added about two cups of bread flour to the bigger portion of starter to make the white dough, then a big lump of nutella into the smaller portion and about a cup of bread flour to make the choco dough.
Once I had the doughs in a workable ball, I gave each of the dough balls a good knead – check out this video for some kneading tips oiled my doodle, and squished the dough into place using my squisher. Then everything was left to rise for about an hour or so this time – for some reason, the sourdough rose at a slower pace than the normal dough I make. The oven was heated to about 220 c and I baked it for 25 mins.. more photos to follow in the next post about how the bread turned out!
I was giving doodle bread demonstrations on Monday and afterwards, packed away some left over unbaked dough, only to find a dough explosion after it proofed open the lid of the container it was in yesterday LOL. So, instead of throwing it out I thought I’d try something. We were having a bbq in the back garden last night, and after the food had cooked, I wrapped the left over doodle dough (which I’d kneaded together) in alot of foil, dashed over some olive oil and sea salt and let it bake in the embers of the bbq while we ate our meal. It tasted tangy because it had been proofing for a day, had the air knocked out, and proofed again which made it taste a little sourdough-y (though I know sourdough purists would call me blasphemous for even suggesting that, but that’s what it tasted like to me!) and was a bit burnt on the bottom but was still overall not bad for impromptu fresh bread.. lovely and marbled with spinach green and white on the inside. It was turned into a nice cob sandwich today.