Tag Archives: beef

A glass of red wine and some birthday beef :)


41...where did the time go???

41…where did the time go???

Arrghh..it is so long since I have blogged I am now another year older. Time is flying faster than ever, but cooking is still a priority.

I love quiet parties..so it was just the 6 of us. Myself and my 5 favourite loved ones.

It is easy to overcomplicate celebration, so I was gentle with myself..(sort of.)

There was wine..obviously…and beef, which I never thought I could cook well. But I liked the idea of hot sandwiches and cold sides and plenty of chips 🙂 (all hail the Actifry.)

It must of being a birthday blessing, I managed to cook 3 pieces to cater for all, one well done, one medium, one rare. More luck than practice, but easy and care free….the cake was provided by my Love and I think we all ate well. We took photos..Never let teenage boys be incharge of a camera lol.) and made more memories.

Simple things make me smile.

Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy day..it was.

And now well pjs, a beef salad, the last glass of wine and an early night….I am getting old after all 🙂

love and hugs

Sky @www.thesideplate.com

It’s a Boeuf Bourguignonne kind of day…


It’s a Boeuf Bourguignonne kind of day…

I will be honest I absolutely love food, but one of my rules in life is always to admit when I don’t know how to pronounce, spell or understand a word…so I confess although I eat Boeuf Bourguignonne at least once a month. I seldom write about it, because I have to get the damn dictionary out…

I would rename it, but I cannot think of a new name worthy of this dish. It seems too rich to call a casserole. But then maybe it’s just all the casseroles I have eaten have been poor, Beef in wine doesn’t do it justice either. And a delicious mouth watering confection of tender beef, melting shallots, savoury mushrooms and pancetta…well its just too damn long.

Either way, it is truly a dish for today. In fact make that tomorrow too. It just gets better day-by-day, and freezes beautifully. If you haven’t made this wonderful pot of deeply flavoursome heaven, give it a go. I promise its easy, its filling, even the kids eat it, and above all…It’s a show stopper.

Serve on a pillow of creamy mash or a hot baked potato 😀

Warmest Wishes Sky @ thesideplate.com

1kg braising steak, cubed
150g of diced pancetta or bacon
400 ml red white
150ml beef stock
12 shallots or baby onions
175g button mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
1tsp mixed herbs
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp plain flour

Add a knob of butter to a hot pan and fry the pancetta or bacon until crisp
Remove with a slotted spoon.
Use the fat still in the pan and quickly fry the beef, just to brown the outside. (You may have to do this in 3 batches depending on how big your pan is)

Place all the beef and bacon back in the pan and add the garlic, herbs and flour, stir well. Add half the wine, bubble for a minute then transfer it all to an ovenproof dish.
Tip the rest of the wine in the pan and scrap up all the tasty bits that are still in the pan, then add this and the stock and bay leaves to your oven proof dish.

Give it a good stir and place in an oven for 2 ½ hours at 170c /gas 3

Whilst this is cooking melt some butter and oil in a pan and cook the onions for about 10 mins until golden, chuck in the mushrooms and maybe a bit more butter and cook for about 3 minutes more.

Once the casserole has been in the oven for the 2 ½ hours add the cooked mushrooms and onions, give it a good stir and cook for a further 30 mins.

Yum it is now ready..Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley if you are feeling fancy 😀

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Food & passion…


It is a long time since I attended school, where the careers officer suggested I went into nursing or be an office junior. If only we had been taught the wonders of proper cooking, and how much pleasure could arise from eating a well-prepared dish.

I wish I had been cheeky enough to send this letter, instead of a list of qualifications. Surely passion is a far better tool than an ability to pass exams?

Now I am older, and maybe a touch wiser, ( and too old to be an office junior.)I actually posted this piece to a prospective employer…

Is it a CV you are requesting? Or can I invite you to enjoy a moment recalling an unforgettable delight?

What is more fantastic? A recollection of the dance between tender beef, voluptuous fungi and a cheeky piece of pancetta, can we rejoice in remembering their collusion, as they swam in a sea of perfect gravy, accompanied by silky smooth shallots…their only aim to reach an island of creamy potatoes and soothe your soul. Are you wishing that I tantalise your taste puds with my flawless recipe for the dessert that followed…and made a wonderful meal feel that it was concluded by heaven itself. My crème Brulee sporting a glorious golden halo…or are you longing to hear that I have 8 gcses, which I sat so long ago I can hardly remember what MC squared equals?

And on that note..I better go make dinner. I suddenly feel hungry 😀

Follow your dreams and eat well,
Best wishes
Sky @ thesideplate.com