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.

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.

Portuguese Clams

IMG_1349Arrived in Portugal to the sad news that the temperature is dropping… to 39ºC!!! After almost 10 months of British weather left me unprepared to such high temperatures. I feel like I’m melting, but it feels so good!

Happy to see my family again and to see my pregnant sister. Felt my nephew kicking for the first time!

As any family gathering in Portugal, we ended up the day having a nice family dinner! Fresh clams with some cold white wine… Yummy!!!

 

Clams à Bulhão Pato (serves 4 as a starter)

  • 1 kg of fresh clams (you may also use frozen ones in case you don’t find fresh ones easily)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 to 2 lemons, depending on their size
  • 1 bag of fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp of white wine (optional)
  • salt
  • 1/2 lemon to decorate
  1. Place the fresh clams in a large bowl covered with water, add some salt, and leave for 3 hours in order for the clams to release any remaining sand they may have. After that time wash them thoroughly and drain all water.
  2. Mince the garlic. In a large pan saute the garlic with the olive oil without letting it burn. Make sure you use a pan that has a cover.IMG_1196
  3. Add the washed clams into the pan. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and the wine (optional) and season with salt. Wash the coriander well and separate it in two. Break one of the halves with your hands in big pieces and add to the clams.
  4. Turn the burner to high, stir well and put the cover on. The sauce will start to simmer and, as the clams start to open, stir well in order to assure that all clams cook and open. The clams will cook in approximately 5 to 10 minutes.IMG_1268
  5. Serve the clams sprinkled with the remaining minced coriander and the half lemon sliced in quarters. IMG_1292

Clams à Bulhão Pato is a traditional Portuguese dish that you can find in most Portuguese beach restaurants during summer time.