Tag Archives: Meat

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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Get Yourself Some Balls!


Get yourself some balls!

I will eat most things. But I do like to know what it is that I am putting into my mouth. I am not a lover of mystery meats or processed foods. However I do love meatballs, burgers and sausages.
They can be wonderful delights. Ultimate comfort foods.
A well-constructed sausage in a soft roll topped with fried onions and a splosh of ketchup, is a simple feast that is guaranteed to please everyone in our household.
A moist burger made from rump steak or chicken thighs, or pork or lamb for that matter, is such a simple thing to prepare if you are lucky enough to own a food processor. (If not ask a friendly butcher to mince it for you.) Simply mixed with seasonings, possibly an egg and some breadcrumbs to make our mixture go even further. Cooked in a hot pan or under the grill and served on a toasted bun.maybe with melted cheese or good quality mayo is another favourite tea. And if we make these things ourselves they are actually massively healthier than the pre made often frozen offerings.
And Meatballs…a dish of succulent meaty balls, drowning in a delicious sauce or gravy then nestled on a bed of pasta or mashed potato…if that is not foodie heaven. I don’t know what is.

Check out the new recipe, which is hopefully on the recipe page. (I’m still getting to grips with all this technology :S )

Happy Munching

Love Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

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It was one of those nights…


Last night was one of those nights when we had food in the fridge, but after a day of writing about food and cooking, there was no imagination left in my head.

Turns out I create some of my best recipes that way 😀

We started with some cubed pork loin, which had been marinated in vinegar. (It was for a different recipe, but we had some left.)
There was a bottle of cider on the shelf; a couple of apples in the fruit bowl…a lonesome carrot and sweet potato lingering in the bottom of the fridge. The cupboard contained onions. It always does…as a cook I panic if I am onionless.

We chopped the onions and sautéed them, adding half a teaspoon of Bicarbonate of soda to them, to speed up the cooking time. (It was another of those evenings when dinner was meant to be at 9, but was served at 10 oops.)

The pork was then added and cooked quickly to brown the outside. The chopped sweet potato and carrot were quick to follow, then we simply poured in the cider and left to bubble. After half an hour I thickened the sauce with some cornflour and left it to simmer for five minutes more.

My wonderful partner provided his speciality of very mashed, mashed potato.
I may be biased, but it was divine. (The potato was pretty damned good too) I shall make more next time so I can test its freezability.

Dinner by Sky
Mash by Pod

Happy Friday from all @ thesideplate.com

A Monday Happy Meal…side plate style


My Monday happy meal

Happy Monday…gosh another day nearly gone..Another dinner to make.

I find Mondays tough…I love relaxed weekends, where we go at our own leisurely pace…we never plan much as its our down time. But all too soon we return to Monday, the day of hustle and bustle. Clearing up the general trail of toys and discarded mugs..Back to shipshape and the weekly shop.

Today I bought some lovely mince at the butchers and some freshly baked bread cakes …so tonight it will be Happy Meal night. Not much cooking, a homemade burger containing only real food. And some tasty chips, made from nothing but potatoes, a splash of oil and a sprinkle of salt. Our free toy is a spanking brand new book each, to read at bedtime. After that all we need is a bath and PJs, a mug of hot chocolate and a square of home baked shortbread.

Thanks for reading
Happy Monday

Sky @ thesideplate.com

everyone should have a burger press

hot chocloate for a cold evening

Christmas dinner for two


Christmas Dinner for two

No pressure…but took just as long J

I could not abandon my traditional prawn cocktail. This year it was just some good prawns. Proper cherry tomatoes. Mixed leaf salad and sauce…eaten wearing a silly hat…to be honest it was delicious. I should have stopped there; with a slice of granary bread it would have been enough. But I’m stubborn so a feast followed.

One of the luxuries of spending Christmas without company is you can make just what you want. So this year I broke with tradition and bought a turkey thigh. For the princely sum of £3.95 (I wont lie I have a fully turkey waiting for when the kids come home…Christmas x2, as seems to be the case for a lots of us nowadays) I stuffed it with paxo, butter and cranberry sauce…wrapped it snugly in pancetta and roasted it in white wine. It was awesome even If I do say so myself. We had slow cooked pork in cider too. I have to say from now on my Christmas dinner will feature crackling…the veggies were roast….my partner mashed thespuds for me because he is so much better at it then I ….Brussels with chestnuts..Bacon rolls and sausages, sauce and stuffing. And very lovely gravy made with the juices of the pork.

My only advice on making a Sunday and Christmas dinner is..Buy one of those jugs that’s separates the meat juices (and cider) from the fat, worth every penny for the best gravy.


However you are spending this festive season..Love hugs and good eating.

Sky xx

So…what do a piece of steak, an onion and a tomato have in common?


The answer is my kids would never eat them…

To be fair, my daughter would eat a small morsel of steak but my son who has aspergers and is a very fussy eater would not touch any of them.

Today is not a recipe…as I am still perfecting it and I enjoy messing around with ingredients. But just a general idea… I turned a couple of slices of bread into breadcrumbs…one handful I put in the burgers…the rest I put in the bottom of the oven to crisp for another day.

I bought two pieces of rump steak …about 300g in total. And put them in my food processor with a handful of onion a shake of salt and pepper and a shake of granulated garlic (I am learning and it must be good for their immune system surely 😀 ) I gave them a ride around the blade until it was minced. Once blitzed I took it out and rolled it into 6 burgers.

I baked them rather than grilled, simply because they tend to stay together.

After 20 mins I put them in a bun, topped with an in progress homemade ketchup and called dinner.

They are a bit soft and mushy for my taste, but the kids had 2 each with sliced peppers and cucumber and a side of chips. I personally consider that an ok dinner.

Once I am happy with the recipe I will make 20 and stick them in the freezer, and have a new page for my book.

Happy dining…….its been a long day…but its nearly bedtime yay

Thanks for reading

Sky xx