Monday, September 13, 2010

Slow Cooker Beef Curry

I would like to introduce my first guest blogger...exciting!! My BFF has kindly produced this recipe for us all to enjoy. I have only recently got my slow cooker, and it seems there are few tricks to that trade, so I am loving getting everyones' secret recipes to play around with. This recipe looks fabulous because you need very few ingredients, and is perfect for feeding a crowd on a budget. So to hand it over to my lovely BFF....

Let me just say from the very beginning that unlike my BFF, I am not much of a chef. I am lucky to have very capable friends who can whip things up with very little effort, whereas I am not so gifted in the cooking department. I am particularly bad at anything which requires a recipe - generally baking. The last Brownie effort I made, I doubled the recipe and forgot to add the sugar to the second batch - therefore a slow cooker has proved to suit my style.

To further elaborate on my technique, I am not one for tasting anything while I cook. I really like surprises and therefore to experience how good or bad the food is, as everyone else does. It is a hit and miss technique obviously and not ideal if I am cooking for anyone other than my endlessly loving and supportive husband.

Anyway, enough about me and moving onto the recipe that I thought I would submit as Jo has recently acquired a slow cooker...


aprox 500g BEEF suitable for stewing (chuck, gravy beef etc), cut into small chunks.
2 tbspn cooking OIL
3tbspn FLOUR, I used gluten free cornflour which was fine
2 cloves of GARLIC, finely chopped
Veges of your choice, I used carrots, potatoes, courgettes and some spinach thrown in at the end.
2 rashers of BACON, chopped into cubes.
about 2 cups of BEEF STOCK (chicken would probably be OK too)

Combine flour and curry powder and toss to coat the meat.

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic, and then the meat to brown. Do this in batches if your pan is small.

Set beef aside and chop the veges into large chunks.

Fry the bacon in the unwashed pan. This will allow the bacon to pick up all the delicious left overs from browning the beef.

Add beef, bacon, veges and stock to the slow cooker. Make sure the stock just covers everything.

Serve with rice and a sprinkling of coriander. This should serve a crowd of about 4-5, so down size if there is less of you, or pop in the freezer for another night.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sticky Lemon Slice

I can not believe how much of a slacker I have been with this blog, I am not even remotely sticking to my self proclaimed 'rough guide'...hopeless! I don't even know what I have been doing that keeps me so very busy. I am now counting down the days to my return to work, The little Boss is going to be looked after by someone new for three whole days a week, I am stressing out! I keep thinking how lucky I am that I can do part time, and I know it will become easier over time, but right now I can not imagine being apart from our wee man for more then a few hours, let alone a few days. On a positive note, Spring is finally here, One Tree Hill is full of the related joys, lambs, calves and daffodils. Unfortunately we don't yet have the sunshine as proof, in fact we have had the opposite, rain and gail strength wind...ripped off!

In honour of the first day of spring I made a delicious Lemon slice, thanks to Alison Holst. She totally knows here stuff when it comes to old school slices and biscuits...and her recipes are always super easy and absolute crowd pleasers. The base has a short bread flavour and texture and the topping is like a lemon custard with a slightly caramelised top...oh so good!


You will need a food processor for this recipe.

2 cups plain FLOUR
150g cold BUTTER, cut into cubes

1 1/2 cups SUGAR
thinly peeled rind of half a LEMON (use a vegetable peeler for best results)
3 large EGGS (or 4 medium)
1/4 cup of LEMON JUICE (you'll need about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup self-raising FLOUR (or 1/4 cup plain flour with 1/4 tspn baking powder well mixed)

Turn oven to 160C. Line a 23cm square tin with baking paper, ensuring the sides are covered and corners are sealed (fold the paper rather then cutting) so the liquid topping will not run off.

Measure the flour, icing sugar and butter into the food processor and blend until the butter is finely blended through the dry ingredients. It will look quite dry and powdery, but don't fret. Tip the mixture into the tin and press down using the back of a fish slice or something similar. Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 mins, or until firm and straw-coloured.

While the base is cooking...Without cleaning the blender add the sugar and lemon rind, blend until the rind is finely chopped through the sugar. Add the eggs, lemon juice and flour. Process until smooth.

Pour onto the partly cooked base and put back into the oven for about 30mins. The top should be lightly browned and there should not be any wobble when the tray is jiggled.

Once cooled slice into squares with a heavy oiled knife. If you are serving to guests you could sprinkle with some icing sugar just before you put it on the plate.

Dont you think the yellowness just screams spring!