Sunday Roast

IMG_4132Every time I’m in a new country I try to adjust to their habits in order to properly experience the country. Being food a big part of a country’s identity, and something I love, I usually start there!

In the UK there are a couple of things I became addicted to: English breakfast, scones with clotted cream and jam, and Sunday roast!

Last Sunday I decided to give it a go on a beef Sunday roast. Typically I’m not a big fan of gravy because it tends to cover the whole food and just “hide” the different flavours. So, I decided to do a mild gravy, almost fat free, with white wine and kale stock. It was really good!

Sunday Roast (serves 6)

Roasted Beef:

  • 1350 g of boned joint beef with a limited amount of fat
  • 2 big carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch of fresh rosemary
  • 6-10 tbsp of olive oil
  • fresh sage, salt and pepper

Gravy:

  • juices from roasting the meat
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 100 ml of white wine
  • 1 l of stock from boiling the kale

Vegetables:

  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 swede
  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • fresh thyme, rosemary and sage
  • salt and pepper
  • kale

Extra:

  • 6  Yorkshire puddings (I used frozen ones that you cook on the oven for some minutes before serving)
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 240ºC.
  2. Start by preparing the Roasted Beef.
  3. Peel the carrots and the onions. Slice the carrots in thick slices and cut the onions in halves and then each half in 6 pieces.
  4. Place the carrots and the onions on a large oven tray. Season with the washed thyme, rosemary and sage. Add the garlic cloves unpeeled and slightly smashed. Sprinkle with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
  5. Place the piece of beef on a chopping board and, using your hands, cover it with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place it on top of the vegetables.IMG_4092
  6. Reduce the oven heat to 200ºC. Place the oven tray with the carrots, onions and meat on the oven and let it cook between 50 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes. The time of cooking will depend on how well done you want the meat and on your oven potency. I cooked mine for approximately 50 minutes in order to get it quite raw.
  7. You should baste the meat halfway the cooking and, in case the vegetables get too dry, add a bit of water.
  8. When the meat is in the oven start preparing the vegetables.
  9. Wash the potatoes and peel the suede, the butternut squash and the onion. Cut the vegetables in big pieces and wash them thoroughly.
  10. Place the vegetables in an oven tray. Season with some fresh thyme, rosemary and sage, salt and pepper. Add the 3 unpeeled and smashed garlic cloves, the olive oil and a splash of water.
  11. Cook the vegetables in the oven for approximately 35-45 minutes. Initially, this will cook at the same time as the meat. You can simply place the vegetables in the oven bottom.
  12.  When the meat is cooked, remove the tray from the oven and place the piece of meat on a chopping board. Let it rest for 15 minutes. After this time, cover it with some metal foil and a cloth to keep the temperature.IMG_4106
  13. After removing the meat to the chopping board, put a big pan on the hob and cook the washed kale on boiling salted water until the kale is tender.
  14. While the meat rests and the vegetables cook, start working on the gravy. Remove the carrots and the onions from the oven tray. Keep them in a warm place to be served with the roast.
  15. Keep around 5 slices of carrot on the tray. Place the tray on top of the hob on low fire. Mash the carrots and add the flour to this mixture. Add the wine and stir well. Then, add the stock and let it cook until it boils for a couple of minutes. IMG_4113
  16. Pour the mixture into a pan, making sure you scrap any remaining cooking juices from the tray, and add any other juices that the meat might have released while resting. Let it cook until the gravy gets the wanted consistency. Sieve the gravy into a bowl.
  17. By now, the meat will be cooked, rested and kept under the foil and the cloth; the carrots and onions will be ready to serve; the vegetables will be roasted and resting; the kale will be cooked; and the gravy finished. IMG_4111
  18. In case any of the ingredients is a bit cold just put it in the oven to heat for some minutes, while you cook or heat the Yorkshire puddings.
  19. Slice the meat thinly and serve the Sunday roast on the plates by placing 2 or 3 slices of meat in each plate, 1 Yorkshire pudding, roasted vegetables, carrots and kale. Pour the gravy on top.

Coq au Vin

IMG_1105This is a simplified version of the classic coq au vin. I used only chicken leg quarters cleaned of most fat, but besides that I tried to be as accurate as possible and I even seasoned the meat one day in advance which I typically skip!

My mum does this dish all the time and it is amazingly yummi with some smashed boiled potatoes.

 

Coq au Vin (serves 4)

  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 bottle of red wine (375 ml)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 bacon strips
  • 1/2 cup of water (optional)
  • 100 g of button mushrooms
  • salt and pepper
  1. Peel the chicken by pulling the skin from the tight to the legs. It should peel off easily and you can help by cutting any fat that might be holding the skin to the chicken meat. IMG_1041
  2. With a butcher knife cut off the bone in the top of the leg and discard it. Cut the leg away from the tight getting two pieces from each leg quarter.IMG_1043
  3. Peel the garlic and cut each clove into two or four pieces, depending on their size.IMG_1047
  4. Peel the onion and cut it in quarters. Save a quarter for later. Cut the remaining onion into chunks.
  5. Peel the carrots and slice them.
  6. Place the chicken, the onions, the garlic and the carrots on a big bowl. Fill with the red wine and season with salt, pepper and half of the parsley.IMG_1061
  7. Keep this mixture in the fridge until the next day. I kept it there for over 24 hours.
  8. On the next day, slice the remaining onion thinly. Cut the bacon strips into pieces. Cook the onion and the bacon in a large pan with the olive oil until it gets golden.IMG_1072
  9. Add the pieces of chicken with no sauce and let it cook for approximately 5 minutes. The idea is to give a first frying cook to the meat.
  10. Add the sauce where the meat was seasoning over night. Add the water in case you wish to dilute a bit the wine.IMG_1074
  11. Cook until it starts boiling and, after that, keep cooking in very low fire for approximately 1 hour and a half. Stir gently every now and again.
  12. Wash the mushrooms and cut them in half. Add to the chicken, with the remaining parsley, and let it cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and correct the seasoning if needed.IMG_1086
  13. Serve the chicken with the sauce and plain boiled potatoes.IMG_1088

4 garlic cloves

Colourful Beef Stew

IMG_9027I’ve been cooking stews since ever… It was a lovely surprise to get to the UK and see that most people here also love a good stew!

I usually make simple stews with natural and healthy ingredients with a water and wine base. I have been trying new amazing vegetables that I usually don’t find in Portugal and having a lot of fun! Today, however, I went with a simple beef stew with some familiar vegetables.

 

Colourful Beef Stew (serves 3)

  • 225 g of potatoes
  • 225 g of courgette (zucchini)
  • 150 g of butternut squash
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 250 g of diced beef
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley
  • 150 ml of white wine
  • 250 ml of water
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 200ºC.
  2. Peel the potatoes and dice them in large cubes.
  3. Cut the courgette in large pieces, approximately the same size as the potato cubes. IMG_8997
  4. Peel the butternut squash and cut into large pieces, approximately the same size as the potato cubes.
  5. Wash these vegetables and the tomatoes well.
  6. Peel the onion, cut it in half and then cut each half into six large pieces.IMG_9011
  7. Wash the garlic cloves. Smash them slightly without removing the skin. I usually do it by placing the blade of a knife on top of the garlic clove and pressing the knife with my hand (see the photograph under). In order to be safe, I advise you to use a blunt knife or a metal spatula.IMG_9007
  8. Use a casserole, a pyrex, or a large oven dish. Fill it with the potatoes, the courgette, the butternut squash, the cherry tomatoes, the onion, the garlic cloves, the diced beef and the washed parsley.
  9. Cover with the wine, the water, and the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir in order for all the ingredients to mix.IMG_9014
  10. Cook in the oven for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Make sure you check the stew approximately every 20 minutes and stir it in order to make sure that the top ingredients don’t burn.IMG_9022
  11. Serve in soup dishes or bowls with a generous portion of the sauce and some bread.