Sometimes you see a recipe on TV and you have to do it immediately. And so it was with Jamie Cooks Summer, where Jamie Oliver cruises around a festival and cooks a bit. He made a chilli with a big slab of brisket as opposed to mince, rubbed it with spices and then braised it in tomatoes for hours. Watching the tender meat pull apart with a spoon is guaranteed mouth-watering.
I couldn’t find reasonably priced brisket (what’s happened to the price of brisket?!) so I used a large chunk of casserole steak instead, which still gave the same loose texture and great taste. I also added peppers and kidney beans to mine to round it out a bit. I left out the absurd amount of chillies that Jamie puts in every recipe, but still left plenty of tongue-tickling heat in there. It’s a great fun recipe though and a big hit for a party.
Beef chilli (serves 6):
800g casserole steak, scored
2 tins of tomatoes
2 large onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 red peppers, sliced
1 tin kidney beans, drained
- Get a large lidded casserole dish on a low hob, and a large frying pan on a high heat with a splash of oil.
- Rub a dusting each of oregano, paprika, cumin and chill into the meat with a sprinkle of salt. Make sure it’s well massaged in and sear the meat all over in the frying pan to get a lovely spicy crust on it.
- While this is searing, add the tomatoes to the casserole and half as much water again. Remove the meat to the side for a minute while you fry the onions and garlic until softened, then chuck the onions, garlic, meat and peppers into the pan. Stick the lid on, turn the heat down and simmer for 2 hours.
- Add the beans and cook out for another hour, or until the beef just falls apart. Serve with wraps, guacamole, salsa and rice.
As previously mentioned, I love Simon Hopkinson’s Good Cook series. And I love lamb breast recipes. So my only reservation is seeing Simon do this brilliant recipe is fretting that the price of lamb breast would go up. Lamb breast is dirt cheap, seriously cheap, so what we don’t need is a primetime BBC programme showing how amazing lamb breast can be.
And amazing it is. Rich, heady, falling-apart lamb with luscious, sharp onions is an absolute dream. Try it now.
Simon Hopkinson’s original recipe can be found here.
Lamb breast baked with onions (serves 4):
1.5kg lamb breast
1.5kg onions, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 anchovy, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 150°C.
- Season the lamb in a hot, lidded casserole pan until browned all over. Remove from the pan and put to one side. Add half the onions to the pan, lay the lamb back on top then cover with the remaining onions and the bay leaf. Top with a circle of greaseproof paper and bake for three hours, until the lamb is tender.
- Turn off the oven heat and remove the casserole dish. Discard the bay leaf and put the lamb in a roasting tray. Cover with foil and leave in the oven while you finish the onions.
- Put the casserole dish over a low heat and add the anchovy and vinegar. Stir through and season to taste, so it’s sweet, salty and sharp at the same time. When it’s ready turn off the heat and add the parsley. Serve the lamb with a nice pile of juicy onions alongside.
I love pizza me. In all shapes and sizes, the deep-pan Chicago, the bubbly and charred Napoli and even the humble takeaway. When the stuffed crust appeared some years ago I thought it was a stroke of genius; someone saw all those crusts littering otherwise empty plates and found a way to get them eaten – for a price of course.
I always thought one chain had the monopoly but suddenly everyone is offering stuffed crust pizza online. I was offered a free takeaway by Domino’s so couldn’t resist giving it a go. I tried the ridiculously OTT-sounding Bacon Double Cheeseburger – combining all your favourite junk foods in one. And yeah, it was greasy, but a hell of a lot of fun.
I will say one thing though – if you don’t take advantage of one of their dozens of offers it sure is pricey. A Large Stuffed Crust Bacon Double Cheeseburger from my local costs £16.99, so make sure you sniff out a coupon to get the best deal before you buy.
I was recently sent some recipes by Ocado written by Sophie Michell. Apparently they’re under the banner of “Tweet Yourself Thin”. I’m not entirely sure I got the concept of being tweeted recipes every day but I had halloumi, courgette and aubergine to use up so it hit me at the right time. And it’s refreshing, zingy and tasty. It’s intended to be a lunch dish but I added a wedge of baked polenta to pad it out a bit.
Halloumi, courgette and aubergine with tomato vinaigrette (serves 2):
2 medium aubergines
For the dressing:
2 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled
2 cloves garlic, minced
75ml extra virgin olive oil
25ml balsamic vinegar
1 pinch of caster sugar
1 tsbp of chopped fresh basil
- Slice the halloumi, aubergine and courgette into even slices. Heat a large griddle pan and griddle the veg on both sides until nicely charred.
- Blitz the dressing ingredients together and season to taste.
- When the veg is done, add the halloumi for 30 secs each side until slightly charred and warm. Serve immediately dressed with the vinaigrette and a splash more balsamic.
I’ve eyed up a panzanella for ages, spotting a particularly nice one in Tony & Giorgio. Yet I’ve not got round to it, until Simon Hopkinson chided me from the couch to give it a go. I have no idea why I’ve left it so long, it’s exactly the sort of food I love and the food I love the Italians for. It’s a Tuscan bread salad with onions, tomato and cucumber, mixed together with vinegar and oil left to marinate.
I’ve added my own tweak by roasting the bread first; I think you get more interesting flavours and the bread doesn’t completely break down. Sharp and fresh, yet rounded and satisfying at the same time. I can’t recommend it enough. Not bad for a peasant dish.
Simon Hopkinson’s original recipe can be found here.
Panzanella (serves 4):
5 slices stale sourdough bread
6 ripe tomatoes, peeled
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 cucumber, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon capers
Extra virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Handful chopped basil
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Cut the bread into large croutons, drizzle with a little oil, toss over some seas salt and pepper and roast on a baking tray for 10 minutes until just starting to colour.
- Add the toasted bread to a large bowl with the remaining ingredients. Stir well and add more oil, vinegar, salt and pepper until you’re happy with it. You can eat straight away but it loves to sit around and let the flavours mingle, so eat it the next day if you like.