Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Extremely Simple Beef and Ale Casserole with Dumplings & Prawn, Almond and Basmati Salad

I Haven’t Forgotten Jo Pratt! I’m managing to cook from other book as well, bit still this book has something here and there to lure you in. Many of the recipes are just so do-able for weeknight suppers. Here are two totally different dishes.

Extremely Simple Beef and Ale Casserole with Dumplings
From Jo Pratt’s In the Mood for Food. Comfort chapter.

This is unlike any other beef stew that I have made before, because the beef was not sealed first. I was a little sceptical, but I am sure it made no difference. Now this is a big bonus to me because I don’t like the sealing meat smell at all!

It’s basically beef with onions, carrots, celery and seasonings of demerara sugar, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar, plus the ale. I changed the dumplings from horseradish dumplings to parsley dumplings, because I am not so keen on horseradish and I thought little one would like the dumplings best. The gravy (sauce?) had a great consistency, the beef was so tender and all the vegetables were good, but I don’t think I like ale! I gave what was left to my Mother, and warned her it was quite strong with the ale. She left it in the fridge a day or two and said it had mellowed and was great! Still, I am going to add something different in place of the ale next time, either beef stock or wine.

Prawn, Almond and Basmati Salad

This was a really unusual salad. It’s from Jo Pratt’s In the Mood for Food, healthy chapter. It really does feel healthy when you are eating it, by which I mean light and fresh (as opposed to rabbit food!). It’s rice, sultanas, toasted flaked almonds, cumin, prawns, carrots, coriander and onion, with a light lemony dressing. The only thing I thought was a little odd was that the sultanas were cooked in with the rice (before everything else was added) and I thought it made them taste a bit weird. Next time I’ll just add them in with everything else. I thought it was quite pretty too.


Freya and Paul said...

I love the words 'Extremely' and 'Simple' - it looks rich and comforting! Yum!

Kathryn said...

I haven't tried either of those dishes! I may need to return to Jo's book (I'd put it away...). They look delicious!

Kathryn x

Kelly-Jane said...

Freya and Kathryn

It's nice to do more involved things too, but during the busy week easy and fast is a good thing :)


pistachio said...

That casserole sounds very warming and the dumplings look so good. I would have liked them with horseradish :)

Love those kinds of salads too.

pi xxx