Enticing Winter Meals, Something To Impress Her

| January 23, 2016 | Reply

winter mealsAs a guy, its important to be able to cook enough to look after yourself.  But If you are dating its even better if you can cook well enough to impress your day.  When its winter time, there is nothing better then cooking a nice meal for you and your partner then curling up in front of a fire, on a cold winters night.

All things beef this winter

There’s no better way to warm up your winter and keep the cold weather at bay, than with some hearty, wholesome beef dishes, with that in mind we’d like to share with you, our go to winter meals.

Below is the answer to those craving for classic comfort food, the simmering beef stews, the hearty beef curies, the tasty beef stir fries and more,  For some tasty ideas and beef recipes,  After all  nothing warms like beef in winter.

Our guide to cooking the perfect beef roast

  1. Preheat the oven, use our guide below
  2. Brush your beef roast lightly with oil and season. Please the roast on a rack in the roasting dish.
  3. Check if its ready just before the estimated time is up (so it doesn’t overcook). Use tongs to test the roast’s done-ness.  Gently prod or squeeze it, rare is soft when pressed, medium is springy and well done is very firm.
  4. Allow your roast to rest before serving (this is as important as the cooking itself). Cover it loosely with foil and stand it in a warm place for 15 minutes before carving.

Ribeye Eye/Scotch Fillet                                                                                                                            Standing Rib Roast

Rump                                                                                                                                                               Bolar Blade

Fillet/Tenderloin

Temp – 200oC                                                                                                                                                         Temp – 160oC

Rare:     20 mins                                                                                                                                                      Rare: 25mins

Medium: 25mins                                                                                                                                                    Medium: 30 mins

Well Done: 30 Mins                                                                                                                                               Well Done: 35 Mins

Now our mouth-watering slow cooked beef dishes

TUSCAN BEEF STEW

 Serves – 4 to 6  / Prep time : 20 mins  /  Cooking time: 2 – 2.5 hours

Ingredients

1 kgs Chuck Beef

2-3 Tbsp Olive oil

1 Large Onion Diced

3 Gloves Garlic, Thinly Sliced

2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tbsp Plain Flour

1 Tbsp Tomato Paster

1 Cup Red wine

1.5 Cups beef stock

2-3 Medium Sized sized sprigs of fresh rosemary

400g can diced tomatoes

2/3 cup  black or green olives

2 small zucchini, cut into 1.5cm thick slices

Salt and Pepper, to season

Creamy Polenta & Braised baby carrots to serve.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180oC, Cut beef into 3cm cubes, season with salt and pepper, add 2 tbsp oil, and mix well. Hea a large frypan over a medium high heat, brown the beef in 2 or 3 batches, Remove each batch and place in a casserole dish.
  2. Reduce heat, add a little oil, and the onion to the frypan. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and stir for 1 more monute, Add the vinegar , stir to scrape up any browned bits from the base of the pan.
  3. Add the flour and tomato paste, stir until the onion is coated. Gradually pour in the wine and stock, stirring until the mixture boils.  Pour over the Beef in the casserole dish and add the rosemary.  Stir to combine.
  4. Cover the casserole dish, place in oven, and cook until the Beef is just tender. Add the tomatoes, olives and zucchini, cook 20 minutes more, Stir casserole every 40 minutes or so, adding water if needed to keep the ingredients, just covered.  Serve with creamy polenta and braised baby carrots.

Switch to Make

A mildly spice beef curry

Omit the wine vinegar , wine, olives, and rosemary

Add 2 tsp each of ground cumin, garam masla, turmeric and cinnamon t the garlic as it cooks.

Increase the beef stock to 2.5 cups

Serve with rice, Indian pickles and warm naan bread.

A chilli beef & bean stew

Omit the wine vinegar, wine, olives and rosemary.

Add 2 tsp each of sweet paprika and ground cumin

And 1 tbsp dried oregano to the garlic as it cooks.

Add 1 tbsp chopped jalpeno chilli as well, if you like it spicy.

Increase the beef stock to 2.5 Cups

Add a 400g can of drained and rinsed red kidney beans with the tomatoes.

Serve with herb flecked rice or warm tortillas, shredded lettuce and sour cream.

Here are some tips

Brown the meat

Browning is crucial.  Don’t rush the initial stage of browning the beef.  Its important to brown in small batches to maximise colour and taste.  The better the meat browns, the better the flavour.

Veggies Next

Saute the vegetable, after the beef has been browned.  Adding the veggies to the pan after the meat makes good use of all the rich, meaty flavours.  Scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the frypan to ensure they blend with the stock, wine or tomatoes.

Nice & slow

Let the dish cook slowly.  Slow cooking draws out the flavour and produces the most succulent, tender meat. The dish is simmering gently when small clusters of tiny bubbles ripple across the surface as it cooks.

If you really want to impress when you cook, you can always try something a little different Greek Comfort Food.

One of the easiest crowd – pleasing dishes you can prepare for your next family gathering is Pastitsio.  Similar to lasagne, but made with macaroni or other tubular pasta instead of pasta sheets, this is greek comfort food at its best.

PASTITSIO

Serves – 6 to 8

Prep time : 1 hour 45 mins

Baking time : 50 mins

Beef sauce

Ingredients

700G Beef Mince

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Medium onion, finely chopped

2 sticks celery, finely chopped

½ Cup red wine

700G bottle tomato Passata

1 cup beef stock

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp dried oregano leaves

1 fresh bay leaf

Salt and pepper to seaons

Pinch of sugar

Cheese Sauce

90g Butter

½ Cup Plain Flour

3 cups Milk

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 cup grated  kefalotyri cheese (or Pecorino)

2 Eggs yolks lightly beaten

To assemble

400g Long tubular macaroni cooked

2/3 Cup grated Kefaloytyri cheese (or pecorino)

2 eggs whites, lightly beaten

1 cup fresh  breadcrumbs

30 g butter melted

Method

1. For the beef sauce, heat a large, deep sided no-stick fry pan over medium- high heat, crumble in 1/3 of the mince, cook until browned, letting liquid evaporate.  Remove, reheat pan and repeat with remaining two batched, then set aside.

  1. Reduce heat to medium. Add oil, onion and celery, and cook until onion is soft. Return the mince, add wine and stir occasionally until mince has absorbed the wine.
  2. Add tomato, pasta, stock, cinnamon, oregano and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, partly cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes. Add a little water if needed. Completed sauce should be slightly runny. Remove bay leaf.
  3. For the cheese sauce, heat butter in a saucepan, medium heat. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook for 30 seconds. Add Milk gradually, stir until smooth. Add nutmeg and season. Stir constantly until mixture boils and thickens.  Cool Slightly, then stir in cheese and egg yolk..
  4. To assemble, preheat oven to 180oc. Grease a deep, rectangular ovenproof dish with a little melted butter. Mix cooked macaroni with egg white and grated cheese. Add half macaroni to baking disc and top with meat sauce.  Repeat with macaroni, then cheese sauce.  Cooked covered for 20 minutes.  Uncover and sprinkle breadcrumbs and butter.  Cook for another 20-30 minutes or until thoroughly hot and golden .  Remove from oven and stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Some tips

For a great beef mince sauce try not to hurry the process.  Reducing the sauce gives it more flavor.  The mixture should simmer uncovered between 30 to 45 minutes.  If you speed up the process and the sauce reduces to much add ½ to 1 cup of water.  The completed sauce shouldn’t be too runny.

Beef & pumpkin Curry

Serves 4

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cooking time – 20 mins

Ingredients

500g Beef stir fry heart smart

2 tbsp oil

1 – 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste

1 cup coconut cream

1.2 cup beef stock

2 tsp brown sugar

400g butternut pumpkin peeled, cut into small cubes.

1.2 cup small fresh basil leaves

1-2 tbsp thai fried shallots (optional )

Steamed rice to serve.

  1. Add half the oil to the beef and mix well. Heat the wok, ensure it is hot.  Stir fry the beef in three batches, and set aside.  Reheat wok between each batch.
  2. Add remaining oil and the curry paste, stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the cream, stock, sugar and pumpkin.  Stir to combine . Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.
  3. Return the beef to the wok and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil. Sprinkle with basil leaves and fried shallots to serve.  Accompany with rice.

Switches to make

Replace the pumpkin with sweet potato or potato.  Add green beans towards the end of the cooking time.

Handy Tips

  • Always coat the meat in oil instead of adding oil to the wok.
  • Ensure the wok is hot before you begin to cook meat or veggies., it should be hot enough to evaporate a bread of water on contact.
  • Cook the beef in small batches (about 250g) When you add it to the wok, work from the outer side tot eh centre, where it will be hottest.

Here’s some Asian Inspirations

Here’s the perfect way to add some fire to your belly this winter – with a taste of Asia.  The secret to a great stir fry is to prepare everything you need before you start cooking. Slice the beef , cut the veggies and have sauces at the ready.  If your serving with rice or noodles you can cook them in advance as well.

Beef & Lemongrass stir-fry

Serves 4

Prep time – 10 mins

Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients

500g beef stir fry heart smart

2 tbsp oil

2 tsp grated ginger

2 tsp finely chopped lemongrass (white part only)

3 spring onions, cut into 3 cm lengths

1 large red capsicum, thinly sliced

200 g green beans, diagonally sliced

1 small red chilli, finely chopped (optional)

¼ cup sherry or rice wine

¼ cup recap mains or soy sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce

Rice noodles or steamed rice, to serve.

  1. Slice beef into thin strips and drizzle with a little oil. Heat the wok and stir-fry the beef in two batches.
  2. Reheat wok, add 1 tbsp oil, 2 tsp each grated ginger and chopped lemongrass and 3 sprint onions cut into 3 cm pieces, stir-fry for 1 minute. Add 1 thickly sliced red capsicum and 1 chopped red chilli, if your like, stir-fry for 1 minute more.
  3. Return beef to wok,, add ¼ cup each of sherry and kecap manis, and 1 tbsp fish sauce. Toss to warm through.
  4. Serve tossed with fresh rice noodles or steam rice.

Switches to make

For variation, add different veggies with the capsicum.  Suggestions include shredded carrot, snow peas, Chinese broccoli or baby bok-choy.  Or add baby spinach leaves to the stir-fry when you add the sauces.  Stir-fry for 1 minute and serve.

So even slow cookers can be rocked for beef dishes for even more flavor.

Here’s three  easy steps to a  great dinner.

  • The night before, brown the beef, assemble the mix and refrigerate.
  • Before work, place beef in slow cooker, choose the timing and flick the switch
  • Come home to a delicious dinner.

Slow Cooked Beef Ragu

Serves : 6

Prep time : 15 mins

Cooking time: 4-5 hours or 6- 8 hours

Ingredients

1.2 kgs chuck beef

Salt and pepper to season

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion diced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 tbsp plain flour

1 2/2 cups beef stock

400g punnet cherry tomatoes

3 sprigs fresh thyme

Pinch of sugar

2 small char-grilled capsicums, thinly sliced (optional)

½ cup small fresh basil leaves

Pasta and grated Parmesan to serve

Method

  1. Cut beef into four or five large pieces. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Heat a large fry pan over a medium-high heat.  Brown the pieces of beef well on all sides.  Remove and place in slow cooker bowl.
  2. Reduce heart, add a little oil to the fry pan and onion and garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the flour and stir to scrape up residue from the flour. Gradually pour in the stock and stir until the mixture boils.  Pour over the beef n slow cooker dish.  Add the tomatoes and thyme and a small pinch of sugar.
  3. Cover the slow cooked with its lid, cook on low setting for 6-8 hours and then 1 hour of high setting (if you have time) alternatively, cook on the high setting for 4-5 hours. To serve, shred the beef with two forks, stir in the roasted capsicum and basil leaves.  Serve over pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Some slow cooker tips

Using a slow cooker

  • Always brown the meat well – It adds color and extra flavor.
  • Saute any onion and garlic so their flavor develops
  • Ensure the ingredients only fill the slow cooker to half or three quarters full to ensure even cooking.
  • Little or no stirring is needed when using the low setting, Stir the beef occasionally when using the high setting for good flavor distribution.
  • Keep the lid on during cooking to maintain the cooking temperature
  • If you have time, turn the slow cooker to high for the last hour to intensify the flavor and thicken the sauce a little.

No slow cooker

No problems, simply cook in a casserole dish in a moderate oven for 21/1 – 3 hours stir from time to time and add a little beef stock if needed to keep the beef just covered.

 

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Category: Food & Drink

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Blokeworks wants to provide the most relevant advice for helping the everyday, average male navigate his way through this crazy modern world. Its simple, we give you the best tips, tricks and information we can, to be a Modern Man.

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