Topside comes from innermost cattle thigh muscle. It is quite tender and lean, which makes it a good cut of beef for roasting. Butchers often leave a layer of fat on top which will baste the beef while it cooks. You can cut this off and discard it after cooking if you do not want to eat it. You can get topside in small or large cuts depending how much you need. Along with the beef you just need olive oil, salt and pepper. The topside is roasted in a hot and then warm oven until done to your liking, and you can serve it with potatoes, vegetables and gravy. This makes a wonderful family meal for Sunday lunchtime.
Topside can be carved into lean slices, another reason it is so good for roasting. It can also be used to make a pot roast or you can braise it on a bed of vegetables and beef bouillon. However you cook this cut of beef, you should let it rest for 20 minutes before serving so the juices can redistribute and settle. Silverside beef is similar but it needs to be braised else it will dry out in the oven.
Consider a topside mini-joint which is ideal for a 2 or 3-person household. Such a small cut of beef will be cooked in less than an hour. You will often get extra fat with these mini-joints which you can take off before you serve the meat. A joint is the British word for a meat roast. Enjoy this with Yorkshire puddings and perhaps roasted potatoes and vegetables. Mashed potatoes is also wonderful with beef topside, and do not forget the homemade gravy. Continue reading
Haggis is world-famous as a Scottish delicacy. A lot of people talk about it but not everyone knows exactly what it is or how much work goes into making the perfect haggis. This famed dish is made with offal, oats, onion and spices. The mixture is stuffed into a sheep’s stomach and then served with ‘neeps and tatties’ (translated from the Scottish, that means swede, turnip or rutabaga and mashed potatoes). This is a traditional Burn’s Night supper. Burn’s Night falls on January 25 – Robert Burns’ birthday. He was Scotland’s bard and wrote a poem ‘Address to a Haggis’ because he loved this unusual dish.
Depending where you live, some of the ingredients might be hard to find. Not everyone has access to offal, so you might have to visit an ethnic shop and buy a readymade haggis if you cannot find the pieces needed to make this homemade version. The idea of haggis might not be immediately appealing, but if you like meat, you will probably enjoy its nutty texture and hearty, meaty flavour.
Haggis is believed to date back to ancient times, when as many parts of the animal as possible would be used after the hunt to make a meal. Today, a ‘dram’ (of Scotch whisky) is the traditional accompaniment to haggis, neeps and tatties, whether you are making it for Burn’s Night, another special occasion, or just to see what all the fuss is about and enjoy something unusual for your dinner. ‘Vegetarian haggis’ has been sold since the 1960, using pulses, vegetables and nuts instead of meat, but we suggest making the authentic kind at least once. After all, can over 5 million Scotsmen be so wrong? Continue reading
Have you cooked beef shin before? This is a flavourful cut of meat which comes out wonderfully tender when cooked slowly. Beef shin is sometimes known as beef foreshank in other places. Beef shin makes a really good beef bourguignon and because it is lean it is sometimes used to make beef mince (ground beef). We are braising the beef in stout, so you can use Guinness or something similar. This recipe also uses beef stock, brown sauce, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and shallots, to get that lovely rich flavour just right and showcase the delicious flavour of the beef shin steaks.
Brown sauce is a British condiment. HP Sauce is a spicy, tangy variety of brown sauce, and the bestselling brand of it. Along with the other ingredients we are using here, you can expect a rich and gutsy flavour in the finished dish. Serve this with mashed potatoes and vegetables or perhaps consider mashed swede (rutabaga) to make a change. It would also go with chips (fries) or boiled potatoes if you prefer to make those.
Beef shin always takes a long time to become tender because it comes from a sinewy, muscular part of the animal which is always in use, so braising it in the oven or cooking it in a crockpot are the best preparation methods if you want a tender result. You will find beef shin boasts plenty of flavour. Just be patient while it cooks and your reward will be this amazing, hearty beef stew recipe. Continue reading
Colcannon is a favourite for St Patrick’s Day, made with potatoes and greens, usually cabbage but you could use kale, chard or another leafy green if you prefer. You can swap half the potatoes for parsnips if you like, or add some leeks, bacon and/or chives perhaps. We are roasting the corned beef until it is falling-apart tender, then letting it rest while we work on the colcannon – a buttery mixture of potatoes, onion and cabbage. Corned beef and cabbage is found on Irish bar and restaurant menus all over the world, although it might surprise you to learn this is not such a popular dish in Ireland!
Beef was considered a luxury in Ireland for a long time, with bacon and ham being far more popular. Irish immigrants in the US could get corned beef cheaply and easily (unlike bacon or ham) which is why it became a staple for Irish-Americans. Corned beef was considered a Jewish meat during the times of immigration, but the Irish found the texture similar to their beloved pork, which is probably why they made the change.
Bars in the early 20th century would offer free corned beef and cabbage to Irish workers who would come for drinks after working on building sites all day long (well, as long as they purchased a few drinks too!) You can buy corned beef in Ireland (usually the canned version) but it does not make a huge appearance around St Patrick’s Day as you might think. However, this dish is too good to miss out on, so give our corned beef and colcannon recipe a try and see what you think. Northern Ireland is technically part of Britain (although the ingredients in this dish are equally popular in the North and South of the country). Continue reading
Stew is a popular main dish in Britain, and beef is one of the most popular meats to use, although pork and lamb are also well-loved. The following recipe is really simple. We are just using beef, canned tomatoes and onion to make it, along with some salt and black pepper. If you want to add other vegetables to bulk the dish up, that is also fine. Consider adding chopped celery, carrots or bell pepper (raw and chopped) to the mixture before you start cooking the stew. You will need a large crockpot to make this dish. Start it at lunchtime and it will be ready by dinner time for the family to enjoy.
If you have too much for one meal, you can prepare a pie using the leftovers; simply put them in a casserole dish, top with mashed potatoes and some grated cheddar cheese, then bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 20 to 30 minutes, or until piping hot in the centre. This stew can also be frozen. This is one of the simplest stew recipes since you need so few ingredients, and most of the flavour comes from the beef itself, since no other flavours in there overpower it.
It is common in British main dishes to keep the seasoning to salt and black pepper only, but do not expect a bland result because this stew is anything but bland! You will need stewing beef or braising beef to make this, which is economical but comes out really tender when braised and slow-cooked. Serve this garnished with fresh basil or thyme sprigs if you like. This British beef stew goes nicely with mashed potatoes and one or two different vegetables. It is something the whole family will find delicious. If you want to try lamb or pork rather than the beef, go ahead, since those would be delicious too. Continue reading
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