Tag Archives: wine

Spiced Beef with Chestnuts and Cranberries

This is a tasty winter warmer that I adapted from a recipe that I was given, when I went on a cookery day out in Somerset. It uses seasonal ingredients such as chestnuts and cranberries, cheaper cuts of beef and would be perfect for a New Year’s party, especially after all the turkey consumed at Christmas!

What is really good about this recipe, is that it can be made upto 4 days in advance, being kept in the fridge and also it freezes well, making this handy for busy people at this time of the year.

It is fairly simple to make but looks very impressive served up.

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
9ozs/250g Smoked Back Bacon Cubes
3 tbsp Gluten Free Plain Flour - seasoned with salt, pepper and a pinch of paprika (not smoked or hot)
3 ½ lbs/1.6Kg Lean Beef Cubed – skirt or chuck steak
2-3 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
3 Red Onions – peeled and finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves – peeled and finely chopped
9ozs/250g Chestnut Button Mushrooms
½ Bottle Red Wine
6ozs/170g Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
4ozs/113g Fresh Chestnuts - peeled and chopped in half
1-2 tbsp Soft Light Brown Sugar
1 ½ pints/300ml Beef Stock
2 tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
¼-½ tsp Crushed Chillies
3 Bay Leaves
Fresh Parsley, chopped to garnish

Preheat oven to 180C/350F Gas 4 or 170C Fan Oven.

1 In a large flame-proof casserole dish, cook the bacon over a medium heat until crispy and then remove.

2 Tip the flour into a plastic bag, add the meat and shake to coat.

3 Add half the oil to the casserole dish and brown the meat in batches, adding more oil as necessary.

4 Remove the meat and set aside and add the onions and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until they start to brown.

5 Add the garlic and mushrooms to the onions and cook for a further 5 minutes.

6 Return the meat and bacon to the casserole, add the bay leaves, red wine, beef stock, sweet chilli sauce and crushed chillies, bring to the boil and cook in a pre-heated oven for one hour.

7 While the casserole is cooking, prepare the chestnuts by splitting the skin, then putting them in a covered dish and microwave each chestnut for 10 secs on high power. Once heated, peel off the outer skin and cut in half.

8 After cooking for an hour, add the cranberries, chestnuts and sugar, season with a little black pepper, stir well and return to the oven for another 45 minutes to one hour.

9 Check that the meat is tender, the cranberries are cooked and not tart, adding more sugar if necessay.

10 Re-check the seasoning, scatter with chopped parsley and serve.

Serve with green vegetables, roast or jacket potatoes, or if preferred, rice!

Enjoy!

Cranberries on Foodista

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Farewell Floyd Event – A Winning Recipe: Coq au Vin

FarewellFloyd

Having waited just over a week for the judges, Julia and James, to choose their winning top 3 entries to the Farewell Floyd Food Blogging Event, I received an email from them yesterday morning, letting me know that my blog post Coq au Vin – A Tribute to Keith Floyd had been chosen as one of their Top 3 Winners, therefore winning myself a copy of ‘Floyd’s Food’ from Absolute Press. It was lovely to receive their email and kind words about my dish, first thing on a Monday morning and it made my day!

I had such great fun creating my tribute to Keith Floyd, for me and my family, and several glasses were consumed on his behalf during the cooking and eating, true Floyd style!

I was astounded by the lovely dishes the other winners and entrants had made and realised that there are other big Floyd fans out there that will miss him.

The other 2 winners were:
Going With My Gut: Kenyan Goat Feast — For Farewell Floyd: Food Blogging Event
Foodycat: Farewell Floyd – Jambalaya
both of which are fantastic recipes.

I cant wait to cook up my first dish from Floyds first publication and blog about too.

For the announcements and round-up from the judges please read the following posts:

Farewell Floyd: The Round-up
Farewell Floyd: Round-up and Winners Announced

FloydsFood

FoodCandy Featured Blog Post – Coq Au Vin

FoodCandy

Having had a busy week at work, I have been playing catch up on all my emails, tweets and blog posts. One nice email to receive was from the new Food Social Network – FoodCandy.

They featured my blog post “Coq au Vin – A Tribute to Keith Floyd” on the front page of their site with the following note – ‘Enjoy the celebrity!’

Coq au Vin – A Tribute to Keith Floyd

My version
My version
Keith's version
Keith's version

(See also “Farewell Floyd Event – A Winning Recipe: Coq au Vin”)

After not being able to take part in the ‘Farewell Floyd Food Blogging Event’ last weekend due to feeling ill, I was so happy to read that the deadline for the competition had been extended to the 25th October, meaning I was able to take part after all!

The idea of the event is that we all cook a meal in tribute to this much-loved chef either by cooking up a classic Keith Floyd recipe, an adapted Keith Floyd recipe or a recipe of our own design inspired by, and in tribute to Keith Floyd.

Having been lucky enough to borrow my mum’s original copy of ‘Floyd on France’, I spent an evening trawling all the delicious recipes to find a true classic that I could attempt to cook for this event. I ended up deciding to cook his Coq au Vin recipe which is translated in his book as ‘Cockerel in Red Wine’.

So I set about getting all the ingredients including a decent bottle of red Burgundy as Floyd uses it specifically in his recipe and mentions that “Burgundy is supposed to be famous for Coq au Vin”.

As for my own take on this recipe, I decided to use free-range chicken from Somerset as well as local cider brandy.

Now for my gluten free twist, I used cornflour to make my Beurre Manié and gluten free bread for my Garlic Croutons. This meant that my whole family could enjoy this fantastic dish, as I cooked it in Somerset on a weekend visit home.

I hope everyone that had taken part in this event has had as much fun creating their dishes as I have with mine and I hope that others try this fantastic Coq au Vin recipe. I also hope the late, great Keith Floyd would appreciate my twist of his recipe, as he was born and raised in Somerset too!

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
4lb (2kg) Free-range chicken joints (from Somerset preferably)
5ozs (150g) Green streaky bacon, cut in cubes
20 Small Onions
4ozs (125g) Butter
1/2 Glass Brandy (Somerset Cider Brandy)
2 pints (1ltr) Red Burgundy
1 Bouquet Garni (made with fresh Thyme, Parsley and Bay Leaves)
2 Cloves Garlic
Salt and Pepper
1tbsp Sugar
7ozs (200g) Button Mushrooms
1tbsp Cornflour
Garlic Croutons (Gluten Free)

1 Fry the chicken, bacon and onions in about 2.5ozs (65g) of butter in a large pan.

2 When they have started to brown, chuck in the brandy and flame.

3 Pour on the red wine and add in your bouquet garni, garlic, salt and pepper.

4 Bring to the boil, add the sugar, cover and simmer for approximately 2 to 3 hours or until the chicken is cooked.

5 At the end of the cooking time, heat the mushrooms in some butter.

6 Remove the chicken from the pan when it is done, putting it into a deep platter to keep warm.

7 Discard the garlic and bouquet garni, then add the mushrooms to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.

8 Make a Beurre Manié with the remaining butter and cornflour and add it to the sauce little by little.

9 Stir it well until the sauce had thickened.

10 Arrange the chicken pieces in the platter and pour the sauce over, garnishing with the garlic croutons.

Serve with potatoes of your choice, or crusty bread, green vegetables and/or a green salad.

Enjoy!

Competition Links:
Back to the Chopping Board: Farewell Floyd: Food Blogging Event

A Slice of Cherry Pie: Farewell Floyd: Food Blogging Event

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Wine Tasting Afternoon

Tasting Date: 03/10/09

I had been looking forward to this tasting afternoon since The Romsey Show a month ago, especially as it was going to be wines from the Rhone region which are my personal favourites.

Rather than the 15 minute walk to the train station, we bumped into our neighbour while coming back from walking his dog and he offered to take us up to the station, which was real a bonus, especially as it was starting to look very gloomy overhead.

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An hour later and we arrived at the Wine shop and were greeted by Mrs Dawkins one of the owners of Heaton Wines. We were warmly welcomed in and asked if we were there for the wine tasting. Once we had an empty glass in hand, the pouring started and we began trying and enjoying the wines on offer.

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We started with a Domaine Bressy Masson Rasteau White Cotes Du Rhone Villages that came straight from the fridge. Not having had too many white rhones before, I did not know what to expect. I was pleasantly suprised as I am not a huge white wine drinker. However it did taste a whole lot better once the wine had warmed in our hands.

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Next we moved onto the Reds and the ones we had on offer to try were:

Domaine Bressy Masson Cotes Du Rhone 2008
Chateau de Montmirail Gigondas 2007
Domain Du Pourra Seguret Cotes Du Rhone Villages 2004
ending up with the chilled sweet Red Vin Doux’s.

Having had a bottle of Domaine Bressy Masson Cotes Du Rhone 2007 from The Romsey Show, I wanted to try the 2008 version. After a sip or two I realised it was so different, only being a year newer. It was so much lighter than the 2007 and didnt have the same depth. However it still tasted great and would make a fantastic supping wine, so we bought a bottle to bring home and enjoy.

Quickly moving on, we tried the other two reds and they were fantastic, going down very easily. I think I will be back for some of the Seguret for dinner parties and possibly christmas too!

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Once we had spent at least an hour trying the wines on offer, we were advised to pay a visit to the Art Portfolio Gallery down the road, where an Irish artist, Philip Gray, was displaying his paintings and where the rest of the Heaton Wine staff were in attendance with champagnes, and more wines, including a Rose Cotes Du Rhone.

We were welcomed in by Paul Dawkins from Heaton Wines and promptly given a glass of champers, at which point I had lost how many glasses we had tried!! The most bizzare thing then to happen, was to see Charlie Dimmock entering the small gallery, as the guest visitor for the opening. She seemed very nice when I briefly spoke to her at the bar area.

I enjoyed my time in the gallery, viewing all the paintings and meeting many new people like Lyn Ebdan who I discovered is in-charge of The Romsey Show.

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Just before we left to catch our train home, there was a presentation made to Charlie, by Philip, of one of his paintings, so I decided to take a couple of snaps before leaving. The gallery then asked if I could email the pictures I had taken to them once I got home, as they wanted to try and get a piece in the next edition of Hampshire Life Magazine (wonder if I will get the credit?).

Sat on the train home and then actually having to do the 15 minute walk home in the much cooler evening, it allowed the wines to wear off and let me reflect on what had been a fun and bizarre day all in one!

I’m looking forward to my next wine tasting trip to Heaton Wines already!