Beef Wellington #easyaspie

Beef Wellington is one of those dishes that looks really impressive but is easy as pie to make.

This recipe can be prepared in just over an hour including making veggies on the side.

You can choose to also put a layer of pate between the beef and mushroom mixture but I don’t always include it as it does make it much richer.

Preparation time: 25 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 500g piece of good quality beef fillet , tied at intervals with string
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 10 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 6 large mushrooms diced very finely
  • 1 small onion diced very finely
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed to a paste
  • handful of thyme leaves stripped from the stem
  • 2 tablespoons butter and a dash of olive oil
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry defrosted
  • 2-3 potatoes peeled and chopped into quarters
  • Broccoli florets or green beans

1. Defrost puff pastry. Heat non-stick frying pan until hot. Sear beef for 2-3 minutes to brown and seal all sides.

2. Place beef on plate and put in the freezer for 15 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

3. While beef is cooling, Place peeled and chopped potatoes rubbed with olive oil on a baking tray and place on lower shelf of oven.

4. Then the mushroom mixture. Heat pan again and add olive oil and butter to melt, then add onion and cook until transparent, add garlic paste and thyme leaves and mix through, then add chopped mushrooms, season with black pepper until just cooked through and moisture evaporates. Mixture should be dry. Put on a flat plate and place in the freezer to cool for 5 minutes.

5. Remove beef from freezer, remove string, rub all over with mustard.

6. Lie prosciutto slices flat on a sheet of plastic wrap, overlapping the prosciutto to form a base to wrap the beef in. Place beef at one edge of the sheet of prosciutto and roll over using the plastic wrap to help create a neat parcel.

7. Place on piece of the puff pastry sheets with a slight overlap, sealing the two pieces together to create one large base sheet. Place beef on the pastry to encase it and seal the ends using a fork. Use excess pastry to create strips and pastry leaves to decorate the parcel. Brush with beaten egg.

8. Place parcel carefully on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake in oven for 30 minutes until puff pastry is puffed and golden. Check potatoes and turn. While beef is cooking, microwave broccoli or green beans pieces until just cooked.

9. Rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing in thickish and serving with roast potatoes and broccoli. Dinner for 4.

Pink in the middle….

Marvellous Mudbrick Vineyard #waiheke #aukland #nz

Had a delicious lunch at Mudbrick Vineyard on Boxing Day after catching the ferry from Auckland on a beautiful day. Scenery and views from Mudbrick Vineyard across the harbour to Auckland are divine as are the vegetable and herb gardens and landscaping in general.

All makes for a stunning setting for lunch.

The menu has a really interesting selection of food with a focus on fresh, local ingredients and the NZ wine is lovely. Servings are very generous ..we tried the charcuterie board, shared antipasto, beef shin, steak, whole flounder and roasted octupus…but there were ten of us! Take a group so you can try more. See photos below.

Loved our visit and highly recommend you try it if in NZ anytime soon.

Kingfish with orange chilli and sesame seeds

Shared antipasto plate – enough for 3 people

Charcuterie board with fillets and terrines
Whole flounder
Delicious roasted octupus

Annie’s Festive #Duck Roll Recipe

My friend Annie has made this beautiful duck roll for a number of years as part of our family Christmas feast and this year I noted down the recipe and took photos as we went.

It is stunning addition to the table and can of course be enjoyed at anytime of the year. The combination of duck, chicken mince, pistachios, cranberries and sour cherries is delicious and looks festive and is quite delicious.

Ingredients

1 duck skin-on deboned by your butcher

450g chicken mince

250g unsalted peeled pistachio nuts

100g cranberries chopped

1 can (400g) sour cherries drained

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Skewers and kitchen twine

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius

Lay duck flat on a board skin-side down, season skin with slat and pepper

Mix chicken mince with oregano, pistachios, chopped cranberries, season with salt and pepper

Spread chicken over inside (middle part) of duck in an even layer

Stud chicken with sour cherries, about four across, laying evenly in rows “down” the duck.

Roll the duck and secure pulling “skin” across the duck and through the wing holes on the other side

Tie the duck together with kitchen string.

Rub duck sparingly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a dusting of dried oregano.

Put duck roll in roasting tin, along with wings and leftover chicken mixture formed into a patty.

Roast for an hour (about 40 minutes a kilogram) and until duck is golden brown.

Allow to rest for 20 minutes then slice into thin slices and place on a serving tray.

Serve with glazed carrots and a green salad for a lovely summer meal.

The best Turkey is a brined Turkey

Our Xmas turkey will enjoy a brining tonight before stuffing and cooking in the bbq tomorrow.

Here’s a link to Nigella Lawson’s Turkey brine recipe….use what spices you have on hand, anything is better than nothing!

https://www.nigella.com/recipes/spiced-and-superjuicy-roast-turkey

O’ Surf and Turf #timeoutmarkets #lisbon

There are mixed reviews of O’Surf and Turf, Famous Portuguese chef Kiko Martins’ Time Out Market restaurant in Lisbon, where he combines meat and seafood in innovative recipes.

However, we thought the opportunity to try his food without the fuss of organising a booking or the expense of his most famous restaurant A Cevercheria at this informal restaurant was a good one and it certainly worked out that way. It was also fun to soak in the busy, buzzy atmosphere of the markets and watch the chefs at work by sitting inside at the bar for lunch.

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Whilst I admittedly have had better prawns in garlic sauce that we shared as a starter, the other dishes and the bread and snacks were excellent.

The toasted corn kernels and the dips served with the bread, including the soft egg with Paprika was interesting to kick off the meal.

The cod served on a bed of chestnut purée was a fabulous combination of sweet and salty, and the roasted octopus with a smoky paprika sauce and sago flavoured with black squid ink was delicious.

Probably not the place for those looking for more traditional Portuguese fare but definitely a great place to sample some of the emerging and exciting foodie scene in Lisbon.

#Garlic #Pepper encrusted #steak with brandy cream sauce

On a gloomy, wet evening in Sydney our home cooked steak dinner was warming and delicious!