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Archive for the ‘Potato’ Category

This really is the easiest beef stew ever and can be made successfully by anyone. It’s also very tasty and great for feeding a crowd. Just fling everything together and chuck it in the oven.

The Easiest Ever Beef Stew – to serve 6

  • 1.5g stewing steak, cut into chunks
  • 60g plain flour
  • 2 tsp good-quality paprika
  • 400g tin of tomatoes
  • 1 glass of wine (red or white will do)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 stick celery, finely sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 potatoes, cut into chunks

Heat the oven to 180ºC.

Put the flour and paprika into a large plastic bag. Add the beef and shake to coat.

Put the beef into a cast-iron casserole.

Whizz the tomatoes and their juice in a food processor, or roughly crush with a wooden spoon, and add to the meat.

Add all of the other ingredients and stir.

Press a piece of baking paper over the stew and cover the casserole with a lid.

Cook in the oven for 2 hours. Taste for seasoning. Check if the meet is tender and cook for a bit longer if necessary.

Wine Suggestion: A rustic red is all that’s needed here and you may as well finish the bottle you opened for this recipe. Something from the Languedoc should fit the bill.

(Original recipe from The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander, Penguin Books, 2004.)

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Colcannon

A very Irish side dish but good enough to eat a big bowlful on its own. If you want to restrain yourselves a bit you could balance this with a nicely barbecued sausage. The diet starts after Christmas!

When seasoning make sure you use white pepper as it makes all the difference. The pink pepper mill in the photo is our “white pepper mill”.

Colcannon – to serve 6 as a side

  • 1kg potatoes, scrubbed (cut the bigger ones in half)
  • 100g butter
  • ½ a small Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 150ml double cream

Put the potatoes into a large pan of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer goes through without resistance.

Heat about 25g of the butter in another saucepan and fry half the cabbage for about 5 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and peel while they are hot, then mash until smooth.

Heat the cream with the rest of the butter and, when almost boiling, beat into the potato. Add the cabbage to the potato, mix well and season (with salt and white pepper).

Heaven!

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We’ve made plenty of variations on Spanish potato omelettes or tortilla but it’s hard to know when the centre is cooked. We’ve also found grilling the surface under the grill much less daunting than trying to flip a semi-liquid pan full of hot ingredients! So we were relieved to read that Claudia Roden has had similar issues and this time followed the advice she got from a Spanish friend and recounts in her fabulous book The Food of Spain. The trick is to use a smaller non-stick pan and a slightly concave saucepan lid, larger than the pan, to catch the liquid when you turn the omelette upside down. It worked for us!

Tortilla de patatas – to serve 4

  • 250g new or waxy potatoes, peeled and cut in 1.5cm cubes
  • 300ml olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • salt
  • 6 large eggs
Dry the potatoes with some kitchen roll as soon as you dice them.

Heat the oil in a smallish non-stick frying pan that will hold all the ingredients over a medium heat and add the potatoes and onions. Cook and cook over a low heat for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Give them a gentle shake now and again and don’t let them colour. Drain in a colander and keep the oil which you can use again. Spread the potatoes out on kitchen roll and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Beat the eggs lightly and add a little salt. Add the potatoes and onions and gently mix together.

Pour 1 tbsp of your reserved oil back into the frying pan and heat until almost smoking. Pour in the egg mixture and turn the heat to low. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the eggs set at the bottom, shaking now and then with a circular motion to stop it sticking. Put a slightly concave lid larger than the pan on top and flip the pan over quickly to leave the omelette on the lid of the pan. Pour another tbsp of the reserved oil into the pan and gently slide the omelette back in, uncooked side down, and lower the heat. Cook for 2 minutes more until just set. Run a wooden spoon round the edge of the omelette to make it neat before turning out.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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These are yummy and give a totally different texture to new potatoes. Keep turning them regularly so you get them nice and brown all over.

Stoved potatoes – to serve 6

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 500g baby new potatoes

Melt the butter in a large frying pan with a lid. Wait until it foams before adding the potatoes. Turn the potatoes and make sure they all get coated in butter and are in a single layer. Sprinkle over some salt.

Cover and cook gently for about 30 minutes, shaking the pan regularly, until the potatoes are tender. Leave them in the hot butter until you’re ready to serve them and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

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Wholesome and heart warming lunch when family drop by. We like to only partially blend or soups sometimes as it gives a great smooth consistency and keeps some of the flavoursome lumps.

Leek and potato soup – serves 6-8

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 medium onions
  • 400g leeks
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 400g potatoes
  • olive oil
  • 2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes

Peel and roughly chop the carrots and onions and slice the celery and garlic. Quarter the leeks lengthways and cut into 1cm slices.

Put a large pot over a high heat and add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add all the chopped and sliced ingredients and mix well, then cook for 10 to 15 minutes, partially covered, until the carrots have softened and the onions have started to turn golden.

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 cm dice. Add 1.8 litres of boiling water to the stock cubes, then add to the vegetables along with the potatoes.

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.

Season and serve or blend until smooth, or give it a half-hearted whizz like we did.

(Original recipe from Jamie’s Ministry of Food by Jamie Oliver, Penguin 2008.)

 

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We’ve made many a dauphinoise but we particularly like this one as the potatoes are cooked in the milk and cream before they go in the oven. This not only ensures that the potatoes are cooked through but also gives it a nice thick sauce as the starch from the potatoes is released into the liquid. You can make this up to the point of baking the day before, cool, cover and keep in the fridge then reheat covered with foil for 15 minutes at 170ºC, fan 150ºC, gas 3. Increase the oven to 190ºC, fan 170ºC, gas 5, remove the foil and bake for another 20-25 minutes.

Gratin Dauphinois – serves 6 as a side dish

  • 340ml whole milk
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 284ml double cream
  • whole nutmeg, for grating (optional)
  • 1.25kg potatoes, peeled, washed and well-drained
  • 175g Gruyère, grated
You also need a 28 x 20 cm ovenproof dish, 6 cm deep.
Preheat the oven to 190ºC, fan 170ºC, gas 5. In a large shallow saucepan bring the milk to the boil with the garlic, add the double cream, stir well and season with salt, pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg (if you like).

Cut the potatoes into 5mm thick slices, season and add to the liquid. Simmer gently, uncovered, for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are just cooked. Turn (rather than stir) the potatoes every 5 minutes or so to ensure they don’t catch on the bottom. Gently fold in half the cheese. Pour the mixture into your gratin dish and sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top. Bake on the middle oven shelf for about 20-25 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

Great match for roast lamb or beef.

Wine Suggestion: If like us you’re serving this with something meaty, you could go for a Pinot Noir which should have enough acidity to balance the richness or a good Syrah from the northern Rhône.

(Original recipe by Alex Mackay for Sainsbury’s Magazine, March 2006.)

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It’s another Irish Food Bloggers Association Cookalong and this time the theme is Irish. We were tempted to do an Irish stew but thought that was a bit obvious, we thought about beef and Guinness but that’s not all that original either and then to make things more difficult we invited a vegetarian for dinner.  It was then that we thought about using some Irish cheese as the base for a dish and after eating many variations of cheese and pastry all week we came up with this. Irish potatoes, leeks and a west Cork Cheddar all baked up in a pie. Delicious!!

Serves 4-6

  • 650g waxy potatoes
  • 750g leeks
  • 50g butter
  • 200ml creme fraiche
  • 180g Bandon Vale Vintage Cheddar, grated
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 500g puff pastry
  • beaten egg for glazing

Heat the oven to 200C.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into slices. Boil in plenty of salted water until tender (it’s ok if they go a bit mushy).

Meanwhile, throw away the very green bit of the leeks and slice the rest into rings. Wash really well in cold water to get rid of any grit.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the leeks. Cover and cook over low-medium heat until tender – about 20 minutes.

Mix the  leeks, potatoes, creme fraiche and cheddar and season well with salt, pepper and a little bit of nutmeg.

Roll the pastry into two rectangles (about the size of your baking sheet).

Pile the potato mixture into the middle  of one sheet and leave a good rim around the edge. Brush the edges with beaten egg and lay second piece of pastry over the top and press the edges down, pinching firmly to seal. Trim off any excess.

Brush all over with the egg and cut 3 or 4 slits along the width of the top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden.

(Original recipe from Nigel Slater Tender Vol 1 – A tart of leeks and cheese)

Wine suggestion: A full-bodied white was nice with this. We had a Santenay Blanc followed by an oaked Semillon from the Clare Valley.

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