There seems to be a great rediscovery of cheaper cuts of meat. The great thing about this is that these cuts have a lot more flavour when cooked the right way - even more than the more expensive cuts. Your butcher will be only too happy to advise you on the cut that’s right for whatever dish you want to do.
BRAISED STEAK AND ONIONS
2tbsp Olive Oil
4 Braising Steaks, 8oz/225g each
2tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
4 Onion, chopped small
3 crushed cloves of Garlic
4fl oz/110ml Red Wine
425g can Chopped Tomatoes
1tbsp Tomato Puree
tsp Paprika, smoked if you like it
To make a Roux
Heat the oven to 150, fry the steaks in 1 tbsp oil in a casserole or wide saucepan suitable for the oven on each side for about 3 minutes, get them nice and brown, and remove the steaks to a plate.
Add in a tbsp of olive oil to the pan followed by the vinegar and the onion, fry for 10 minutes then add in the garlic and paprika, cook for a minute, add in the wine, followed by the tomatoes, tomato puree along with the bouquet garni. Season with salt & pepper, then add in the sealed steaks, cover with a lid and place in the oven for about 2 hours until the meat is very tender.
Remove the casserole from the oven, remove some of the liquid from the casserole, place in a saucepan and whisk in the roux to thicken the sauce (if when you remove the casserole from the oven and it is not very saucy add pt/280ml of water). Pour the thickened sauce over the steaks, give a good stir and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with creamed potato and vegetables or salad of your choice. Ask your butcher to cut you the steaks the way you need them and tell him they are for braising so you need rump (cut from the hind leg of the animal).
PASTA WITH BRIE AND TOMATO SALSA
8oz Brie, with the rind removed and cubed
2 crushed cloves of Garlic
6tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
12oz/336g Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
Handful of Basil, chopped
Rind and Juice of Lemon
1lb/450g Pasta, Penne or Fettuccini or Spaghetti
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and give a good stir, leave to infuse for at least 20 minutes. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, drain and toss the hot pasta in the brie mixture then serve.
GOOD TOMATO SAUCE
4tbsp Olive Oil
2 Onions, chopped small
2 Carrots, chopped small
2 crushed cloves of Garlic
2 sticks of Celery, chopped small
Salt & Pepper
2 x 450g cans Chopped Tomatoes
1 Bouquet Garni
Place the oil in a large saucepan, add in the chopped carrot, onion and celery along with the bouquet garni, cook on a moderate heat for about 15 minutes until all the vegetables are soft. Then add in the tomatoes and the pt/284ml water along with some salt and pepper and maybe a tablespoon of sugar to cut the acid in the tomatoes. Allow to simmer until the sauce has reduced by about half, this can take up to 30 minutes; if the sauce is too thick add a little more water. This sauce can be used for so many things like sauce for penne or a base sauce for lasagne (just fry off some minced beef and add to the sauce for a quick bolognese), you can place the sauce in plastic containers and freeze.