September 2022 – Steak with Bone Marrow & Garlic Butter
This has to be one of my favourites from Mrs Portly’s Kitchen Sirloin Steaks on this occasion “old cow” but younger steer is just as good, plus a lush garlic butter and roast marrow bones – hold on to your hats this is sensational!!
A steak of this sort is best cooked medium-rare and with a bit of love, if you like your steaks rare or (may you be forgiven) well done, a fillet steak is the bees knees, just adjust the timings accordingly.
Marrowbones can be eaten as a standalone course, in which case roast them as explained below (minus the garlic) and serve with crusty bread and a sharp salsa verde. Alternatively, make the marrow into this luscious butter and let it melt over your steak after cooking. You’ll have more than you need for this recipe but it will freeze, well wrapped, for a month or two.
4 x 5cm beef marrowbones
1 whole head of garlic
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 ‘old cow’ sirloin steaks, about 500g total
Heat the oven to 180C/160 fan/350F/Gas Mark 4. Slice the top off the garlic bulb so the cloves are exposed, rub it with a teaspoon of oil, and wrap it in foil.
Line a roasting tin with more foil, place the garlic in it and cook for 10 minutes. Now add the marrowbones, standing on their ends, and roast for a further 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and once they’re cool enough to handle, scoop out the marrow into a bowl and squeeze in the garlic from the cloves. Add the butter, chopped parsley and season to taste with salt and a good grind of black pepper.
Beat with an electric whisk until the mixture is light in colour and texture. Scrape onto a sheet of cling film, roll into a log and chill until set.
To cook the steak, heat the oven to 170C/150 fan/ 325F/Gas Mark 3. Pat the steaks dry on kitchen paper, season well with salt and pepper and rub with oil. Set a heavy, oven-proof frying pan on the hob and heat until smoking.
Start by crisping and rendering the fat. Stand the steaks on their sides, either propped up or holding them with kitchen tongs, until golden. Now, with the pan still on a high heat, give them an intense sear for about a minute a side.
Place the pan in the oven and cook for a further five minutes, then remove the steaks to a warmed plate and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. Serve with a pat of the marrowbone and roasted garlic butter on top.
February 2022 – Ox Tongue with Celeriac Remoulade and Caperberries (serves 4-6 as a starter)
Belted Galloway Ox tongue is a favourite amongst the restuarant community for good reason with melt in the mouth texture after slow cooking and taste closer to steak than offal, fabulous hot or cold – it’s one of the butchers best kept secrets – another recipe from Mrs Portly’s Kitchen.
1 ox tongue
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
8 black peppercorns
A handful of parsley stalks
1 tsp salt
For the remoulade (serves 4 as part of a starter):
3 tbsp good ready-made mayonnaise
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
Juice of 1 lemon, divided
3 caperberries per person (or use sliced gherkins)
Sea salt crystals
Scrub the tongue and soak it in well-salted water overnight. Next day, drain and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil and skim off any scum. Add the vegetables, herbs and salt, reduce to a simmer and cook for about two and a half to three hours, until the skin turns white and begins to blister and the thickest part of the tongue can be easily pierced with a knife.
Remove from the heat and when the tongue is cool enough to handle but still warm, peel off the skin. If the bony end is still on, remove it and discard.
At this point you can either cool it, refrigerate it and slice it as is, or you can press it in a mould. I used mini bread tins but any container which you can press a weight onto works. Put the tongue in your container, cover it with cling film, lay a board on it and weight it down with something (baked beans tins work a treat). Refrigerate overnight.
Next day, turn the tongue out and slice it neatly before sprinkling with sea salt and serving with the remoulade and caperberries. Any scraps are good cubed, fried and used to garnish soup.
For the remoulade, fill a bowl with cold water and add the juice of half the lemon. Peel the celeriac, cut it into thin slices and cut those into matchsticks. Drop them into the acidulated water as you go, so they don’t brown.
In another bowl, mix the mayo, mustards and the juice of the other half of the lemon.
Drain the celeriac and dry it thoroughly in a clean tea towel. Mix with the dressing and refrigerate until needed – it will keep in the fridge overnight if you want to get ahead.
December 2021 – Hanger Steak with Black Garlic Butter (serves 2-4)
Hanger steak is famously known as the Butcher’s Cut because there’s only one per animal and it’s so good butchers would eat it themselves rather than sell it. Known as onglet in France, it needs to be cooked hot and fast to a maximum of medium-rare and sliced across the grain. Overcooking will make it tough. It’s very tender but has a thick white strip of connective tissue running down the middle which you may need to remove – another recipe in our collaboration with Linda Duffin of Mrs Portly’s Kitchen.
This will make more black garlic butter than you’ll need for the recipe but it keeps in the freezer, well wrapped, for at least three months and can be used on other grilled meats or melted over veg such as broccoli. Black garlic has a sweet, umami depth with undertones of balsamic and tamarind. It is available from some supermarkets and online.
1 whole head of black garlic
250g salted butter softened
1 hanger steak, 500-600g
Salt, pepper, oil
Make the compound butter: peel the garlic cloves and mash them in a bowl. Add the butter and work together with the garlic until amalgamated. Lay it on a sheet of cling film, roll into a sausage shape and wrap tightly. Refrigerate until firm.
Lay the steak on a chopping board and identify the strip of connective tissue running end to end. Take a sharp knife and starting at one end, strike the knife along it to seam it out.
Cut the two sections of meat into manageable lengths. Pat it dry – wet meat won’t sear well. When you’re ready to cook, oil the meat and season with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-based pan until it sizzles when you add a drop of oil.
Cook, turning two or three times, until a golden crust has formed. If it sticks when you try to turn it the first time, give it a minute longer. Once it’s burnished, turn the heat down to medium and add a slice of the black garlic butter to the pan. Baste the steaks with the butter, continuing to turn for a total of six or seven minutes cooking time for medium rare. Remove from the pan, add a round of black garlic butter to eat steak and rest somewhere warm for at least five minutes before carving across the grain to serve
November 2021 – BELTIE BEEF, GUINESS AND ONION PIE (serves 6)
A chunky, succulent pie made from Beltie beef shin, with lashings of onions, a Guinness gravy and an optional surprise under the crust. Winter comfort food at its finest, another recipe in our collaboration with Linda Duffin of Mrs Portly’s Kitchen.
Approx 500g shin of beef, trimmed and cut into 3cm/1.5″ dice
2 or 3 tbsp oil (I used Hill Farm’s cold-pressed rapeseed)
500g red or yellow onions, peeled, halved lengthways and sliced thinly
2 sticks of celery, trimmed, de-stringed and diced small
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
300ml stout (I used Guinness)
700ml beef stock
2 bay leaves
2 sheets of ready-made puff pastry, preferably all-butter
About 140g of waxy potatoes, pre-cooked and cooled (optional)
1 egg, beaten with a splash of water, to glaze
Turn the oven to 180C/160 fan/350F/Gas Mark 4.
Heat the oil in a large, oven-proof casserole and brown the beef all over. Remove to a plate.
Add the onions, celery and garlic, sprinkle with salt and 1/2 tspn sugar, stir, put on a lid and cook gently for 10 minutes until wilted. Remove the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes until the onions are soft and caramelised. Stir occasionally and watch they don’t burn towards the end of the cooking time.
Put the meat back in the pan along with any juices on the plate. Stir in the flour and cook off for a minute or two. Add the stout followed by the beef stock, stirring until the sauce has thickened.
Put on a lid and cook in the oven for 2- 2 1/2 hours. Ovens vary, so check after an hour and a half to two hours and add more stock if it’s drying out. Continue to cook until the beef is tender, by which time the sauce should be very thick, dark and rich. If it isn’t, reduce it by simmering on the stove.
While the meat is in the oven, cook the potatoes, if using, until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
When the meat is done, check the seasoning, spoon into a bowl and cool. Cover and refrigerate, preferably overnight.
Next day (or once the filling is completely cold) remove the puff pastry and pie filling from the fridge. Give them 20 minutes to come to room temperature and heat the oven to 200C/180 fan/400F/Gas Mark 6.
Lay one sheet of puff pastry on a baking sheet and cover with the filling, leaving a 7.5cm/3″ margin. Slice the potatoes fairly thinly, if using, and lay them over the beef. Brush the margin with water and lay the second sheet of pastry on top. Crimp tightly to prevent any leakage.
Score a criss-cross pattern on top without cutting all the way through the pastry and cut a slit in the centre to let steam escape. Brush with egg wash.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden and the filling is piping hot. If the filling needs more time, cover the pie loosely with kitchen foil to prevent the pastry burning.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. I like it with a crisp green salad and/or coleslaw. Any leftovers are just as good, cold (but not fridge cold), with pickles and chutney on the side.
October 2021 – BELTIE BORSCHT (serves 4 as a main, 6+ as a starter)
This is a chunky, nourishing, main course soup, a sort of East Anglian borscht with oxtail and pearl barley, another recipe in a new collaboration with Linda Duffin of Mrs Portly’s Kitchen.
It is best begun the day before to allow the flavours to develop.
Although the quantity of stock seems large, you’ll need it as the pearl barley will soak up a considerable amount as it swells. Use a big pan!
Serve with crusty rye bread and a bowl of sour cream for diners to dollop into their soup.
750-800g oxtail, jointed
1 tbsp oil (I use cold-pressed rapeseed oil)
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and diced
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
150ml red wine
1.5 litres of beef stock
Bouquet garni of bay leaves, thyme sprigs and parsley stalks
2 small to medium beetroot, peeled and chunkily diced
2 carrots, peeled and chunkily diced
50g-75g pearl barley (check it doesn’t need pre-soaking)
2 tbsp cider vinegar
Parsley leaves (or dill), roughly chopped
To garnish: sour cream
Add the oil to a large, heavy-based pan and brown the oxtail on all sides. You won’t need much oil as more fat will render as the meat browns. Remove the oxtail and set aside, then cook the onions and celery, sprinkled with a little salt, until soft and golden.
Scrape a space in the bottom of the pan and add the tomato paste, cooking it off for a minute. Now pour in the red wine and let it sizzle up. Put the beef back in the pan, add the stock and bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, cover the pan and cook for one and a half to two hours or until the meat is tender and easily comes off the bone.
Remove the oxtail and when it’s cool enough, take the meat off the bones. Place in a bowl, cover and cool. Discard the bones. Refrigerate the beef and soup separately.
Next day, skim off the fat that’s risen to the surface of the soup. Add the beef back into the pan with the pearl barley, carrots and beetroot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes, or until the barley, beets and carrots are tender. Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as necessary. Stir in the cider vinegar and parsley (or dill) and serve, with sour cream on the side so everyone can add a dollop to their bowls.
September 2021 – Carr Farm Beltie Stew with Blue Cheese Dumplings (serves 4)
Beef, red wine and Stilton – the perfect autumn/winter combination and the first recipe in a new collaboration with Linda Duffin of Mrs Portly’s Kitchen.
The casserole is best made a day ahead but don’t make the dumplings until just before serving.
Ingredients for the stew:
- 2-3 tbsp oil
- 2 rashers of streaky bacon, diced
- 1kg Carr Farm chuck steak or shin, cut into large bite-sized pieces
- 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, trimmed, de-stringed and chopped
- 1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 150ml red wine
- 350-400ml beef stock (a stock cube is fine)
- 2 bay leaves
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 150g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
- 1 tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper
For the dumplings (makes 8)
- 100g self-raising flour
- Pinch each of salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp suet (veggie or otherwise)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 40g crumbled Stilton
- Enough milk to make a stiffish but malleable dough
If you’d like to cook the stew in the oven rather than on the stove top (less stirring), heat the oven to 180C/160fan/360F/Gas Mark 4.
Heat the oil in a deep pan and brown the beef in batches. Scoop out and set aside. Add more oil if necessary and add the onions and celery, sprinkled with a little salt. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more.
Put the beef back in the pan with any meat juices and stir in the flour. Cook gently for a few minutes before adding the red wine. Let it sizzle up, stirring to mix and thicken.
Add the stock and herbs, stir, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Put on a lid and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours (shin will take a bit longer than chuck) either on top of the stove, stirring occasionally, or in the pre-heated oven. Check the liquid levels halfway through and top up with stock or water if necessary.
While it’s cooking, fry the mushrooms in the butter and add to the stew when it’s done. Check the seasoning, cool and refrigerate the casserole overnight if you have time. It will improve the flavours. Remove from the fridge at least half an hour before you want to eat, then put it back on the stove and bring up to heat.
To make the dumplings, put the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk gently to mix. Add the suet and chopped parsley and gradually stir in just enough milk to form a stiff but malleable dough. Mix through the crumbled cheese and using floured hands, form into eight balls.
Drop the dumplings into the stew, put the lid back on and cook for around 20 minutes, either at a gentle simmer on the stove or in the oven at the same temperature as before.