This month I continue on the theme of attitudes and limitations. What we will eat and how much we are prepared to spend on food. I am reminded of a few years ago when I was treated to a Sunday Luncheon Roast, Poulet de Bresse (Bresse Chicken) was proudly presented onto the table. This much prized French Chicken retailed at a cool 29 Euros or the then equivalent of £26.00. By comparison a bag of Skinless Frozen Chicken Fillets, 6 in number retailed at £3.30 for six only the other day. I don’t intend to debate this comparison but leave you to draw your own conclusions and attitudes.

We now slide into the Autumn Season when our eating habits turn to warming foods. I see with interest how roasting joints like topside, brisket and silverside are often on ‘special’. They are not the best joints for roasting but can be adequate. Ideally slow pot roasting is best suited especially if you prefer your beef ‘well done’. I would however venture to remind you that if you check the price and Kilo rate this meat often retails cheaper than braising steak or stewing steak, is leaner and can be cut up into slices or cubes for use in stews or braised recipes.

With consideration, thought and if you are being budget conscious, then do look at the retail weight charge per kilo and compare. My neighbour the other day found whole legs of NZ Lamb – frozen for £10.00. Nice slow roasting made a perfect Family Sunday Luncheon with all the usual trimmings. It could also have been boned out and marinated and then BBQ’d or roasted on a trivet and adequately provide enough meat for a family of 8 – 10 people. Now, that’s cost effective. Leftovers could be minced to make a Shepherd’s Pie or Moussaka for later in the week.

There are not really any new methods of cooking and most recipes are not new. The basics remain a firm foundation on which to build and tickle your palate. Being adventurous with ingredients can be rewarding and interesting. Remember – “If we’re growing we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone”

Braised Beef with Red Wine & Cranberry

1 kg of Braising Steaks (6 Steaks)                     3 Onions – prepared and sliced

Red Wine                                                       Stock Cubes

Grated Rind of a Large Orange and Juice             Flour for dusting

3 tbsp Cranberry Sauce                                   Oil

Dust the steaks in the flour. Pan fry until golden brown and place into an oven proof lidded dish

Now brown the onions, Do not burn them. Add the beef. Add the Orange Rind, Juice Wine and stock cubes. Top up with water to cover. Add Salt and Pepper. Return to oven dish. Cover and cook slowly in the oven about 140C Gas 4 for about 2 hours or more till Beef is tender. (Use the slow cooker if you prefer)

Then stir in the Cranberry Sauce – add Fresh Cranberry’s if you like. Check the Seasoning and serve.

Try a Crusted Potato and Parsnip Mash