Aberdeen Angus Beef Stew with Mushrooms and Shallotts

Product Review*: Aberdeen Angus Diced Casserole Steak

Cooked into Aberdeen Angus Beef Stew

A few weeks ago, I was sent some products for review by Damn Delicious.  Tonight, I cooked the last of the products I was sent for review by Damn Delicious: The Aberdeen Angus Casserole Steak.

You can view my reviews of their other products at the following links: Aberdeen Angus Steak Pie, Aberdeen Angus Steak Mince & Aberdeen Angus Steak (plus Pork Chops).

 

Aberdeen Angus Beef Stew

Ingredients (for 4 people):

  • 460g (1 pack) Aberdeen Angus diced casserole steak
  • 4 carrots, scraped & sliced
  • 10 echalion shallots, peeled & kept whole
  • 240g shitake mushrooms, cleaned (halve or quarter the larger ones, leave smaller ones whole)
  • 500ml beef stock (I used 1x Knorr Rich Beef Stockpot with 500ml water, but you can use any good quality stock cube, too)
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • 100ml red wine
  • olive oil (enough for shallow-frying in a good non-stick pan)
  • fine sea salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper

Method:

Tip: I used a slow cooker for this and set it onto ‘Auto’.  If you wish to cook this recipe in the oven, reduce the cooking time (approx 2-3 hours) and cook in a casserole dish in a low temperature (approx. 150°C) oven. You may have to experiment with this as an oven is less forgiving than a slow-cooker.

Place the sliced carrots in the slow-cooker.

Shallow-fry the mushrooms in a little olive oil, then add them to the carrots in the slow-cooker, retaining any juices/oil in the pan.  Do the same with the shallotts – don’t fry them for long, just enough for the skins to start browning and blistering.

Brown the meat in the frying pan (add a little oil if needed) and season generously with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper while you do this.   Once the meat is browned, add the flour and stir, then pour in the wine.  The flour will start thickening the wine into a sauce fairly quickly, so once it’s stirred and lump free, transfer everything into the slow-cooker.

Use the beef stock to ‘clean’ any residual flour/wine sauce from the frying pan and add this to the slow-cooker.

Stir, cover & cook on ‘Auto’ for approximately 5 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes.  YUM!

Aberdeen Angus Beef Stew – Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!

 

THE REVIEW:

The casserole steak was very, very tasty and beautifully tender.  It melted in our mouths and was just packed full of rich flavour.

We are big meat eaters in our family, so for a stew/casserole, I would generally buy shin of beef and buy a bigger quantity than the 460g you get for £5.99, BUT it does feel deliciously indulgent and luxurious to make a stew with such high quality meat as this Aberdeen Angus Casserole Steak!  Also, whilst I tend to prefer slightly fattier meat in my stew, this Aberdeen Angus was very lean, which half of my family prefers.  It IS healthier and you get more meat (rather than fat!) for your money.

The packaging was simple and effective, minimising waste.  The quantity easily served 4 hungry people.  I did find that the ‘chunks’ were rather large, so before I used them, I cut some of them into half and some even into three.  This didn’t exactly take long as the meat was so tender that the knife glided through it effortlessly!

Overall, this was another fantastic meat product from Damn Delicious and if you can afford the indulgence and like lean steak in your casserole, I definitely recommend it.  Enjoy!

 

*About my reviews:

I received these products free of charge with a request to review them on my blog.  This is an honest product review and reflects my opinion (and those of my family members, who have also sampled the products).  I did not receive any payment in exchange for the review.  If you would like me to review your products, please contact me via Twitter, Facebook or E-mail in the first instance. Thank you 🙂

Advertisements

Pork Scratchings

Pork Scratchings: The Ultimate Pub Snack

Enjoy with a beer or two, or even with a glass of Pimms & Lemonade…

Pork Scratchings

I first discovered the delight of pork scratchings in pubs in the Midlands (in fact, I think it was in my friend Gaynor’s parents’ pub in the summer of 1991) and, at the time, I struggled to find them anywhere else and even in the Midlands, only a few butchers and pubs sold them.  Since then, I’ve noticed more and more factory-produced brands of pork scratchings appear on supermarket shelves, and while those are ok, nothing tastes like the pork scratchings you can buy from your local butcher (I’ve had some in recent years from various butchers at Doncaster Market and they were lovely).

To me, one of the best parts of eating roast pork is a perfectly crackled skin, but there never seems to be enough of it!  And what about those times when you just fancy a few pork scratchings to nibble on with a drink, rather than a roast dinner? Morrisons sell cheap packs of pork skin you can use for crackling or pork scratchings.  Also, your local butcher is likely to let you have a load of pork skin if you ask while you’re buying other meat.

In my case, I was buying a load of pork belly and pork shoulder to make Sardinian Sausages and Lincolnshire Sausages.  The butcher kindly took off all the skin (far better than you could ever do at home, as I wanted most of the fat left on the meat for the sausages!), so I asked him to put the skin in a bag for me as I’d use it to make scratchings.

Here’s how I made the pork scratchings:

Cut the pieces of pork skin (rind) into rough pieces approx 2cm x 2cm in size.  Pat them dry with a clean tea towel.

Heat some sunflower oil in a pan (make sure you use a pan with lots of spare space above the oil as it will get quite ‘active’ when you put the skins in!) on a high heat.  You’ll know it’s hot enough if it starts boiling and spitting quite violently when you place a piece of pork skin into it.

Put a few pieces of pork skin in (about 6-7 per batch, maximum, depending on the size of your pan), one after the other, being very careful to stand back and keep your face away as the oil will spit furiously! Make sure the pieces of pork skin have plenty of room.  They have a tendency to want to stick together, so once the spitting has calmed down a little, move them around with a long-handled slotted metal spoon (always making sure you don’t get splashed!).

Once they have curled up a bit and gone golden brown (after about 2-4 minutes), remove them with the slotted spoon and place them on a plate or tray covered in ample kitchen paper to absorb the oil.

Repeat the process with the remainder of the pieces of pork skin until they’re all fried, then leave to cool and drain for a few minutes.

Now re-immerse the already fried pieces of skin into the hot oil (they won’t spit quite as much this time so you can put a few more in at once) and fry for a further 2-3 minutes until they look crispier and a little darker.

Remove with the long-handled metal slotted spoon and place to drain on fresh kitchen paper.  While still hot and oily, sprinkle liberally with fine sea salt (or seasalt flakes if you prefer) and as the pieces start cooling, roll them around in the salt that’s landed on the tissue so they each have a good amount of salt.

Leave to cool completely, then serve as crispy snacks.

Pork scratchings are delicious washed down with a cold beer! 😉

Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!

Lincolnshire Sausages | Lincolnshire Sausage Recipe

Lincolnshire sausages are a firm Sunday breakfast favourite in our house!

Naturally, therefore, after the Sardinian Sausages, our next foray into sausage-making had to be Lincolnshire Sausages…

After a bit of playing around to get the quantities right on the herbs and seasoning, hubby and I are delighted that we’ve cracked it and made bangers to be proud of! 🙂

Lincolnshire Sausages

The quantities indicated here will make approximately 25-30 sausages, depending on how long & thick you make yours.  Ours were very chunky indeed! You can use collagen casings but we’ve opted for natural ones.  The large ones you use for making Lincolnshire Sausages are quite easy to use even if you buy them as hank, as we did on this occasion, but in future we will buy them spooled as they should be even easier to handle.  I found a site that sells them HERE.  A huge ‘thank you’, on this occasion though, to Ben Marshall Butchers at Doncaster Market, for supplying us with the casings and for the outstanding quality of the meat they sold us 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1.7kg pork (mixture of shoulder & belly) – ask your butcher to remove the rind, leaving as much fat as possible on and then cut into chunks you can put through your mincer/grinder
  • 360g breadcrumbs (use fresh soft bread – not with hard crusts – and put through a food processor to make crumbs)
  • 3tsp fine sea salt
  • 1.5tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 16 large fresh sage leaves (either finely-chop by hand or, ideally, put through the grinder/mincer with the meat)
  • 2tsp freshly-grated nutmeg (use a very fine grater)
  • 2tsp cornflour
  • 400ml cold water
  • Natural Hog Casings (casings for thick sausages)

Lincolnshire Sausage Recipe

Method:

Add the salt, pepper, coriander, sage leaves and nutmeg to the meat and mix together (you can leave to marinate/infuse for a couple of hours if you like).

Put through a meat grinder/mincer on a wide/chunky setting.

Make the breadcrumbs in a food processor, then add to the meat, herb & seasoning mixture and add the water and cornflour.  Mix well by hand to ensure the flavours and all ingredients are evenly spread.  The breadcrumbs and meat will absorb the water and you’ll end up with a pasty/sticky mixture.

Thread the natural casings over your sausage maker nozzle and feed the mixture through.  Do this slowly and let the sausages get as thick as you’d like them to.  Work on a long continuous length for each 10-12 sausages, twisting to separate each time you’ve reached the desired length for one sausage.

You can then either refrigerate/freeze them linked as they are, or separate by cutting through at the twisting points with scissors and freezing them individually.

These Lincolnshire sausages are very cost-effective (ours worked out at about £0.50 per sausage to make) and you know exactly what’s in them!  Food doesn’t get much better 🙂

Update 9th November 2015

Emma Simkiss and her husband chose this recipe to use for Emma’s first video on her brand new YouTube channel…it’s a fab video! Take a look:

Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!