Mixed Grill (Meshwi)

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (August 2017) and taken from Syria: Recipes from Home by Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi.

Syrians love a barbecue and it can occur anywhere; in a park or even by the side of the road!  Place a metal grilling rack over two stones with charcoal underneath and that’s all you need to start making the juiciest meat dishes you can imagine.

Beef or veal ribs is one of the most popular cuts.  You can grill any cut of chicken and, for lamb, the neck or shoulder is the best.  These grilled meats and chicken are usually eaten with flatbread brushed with pepper paste and thinly sliced onion mixed with parsley and sumac.

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Serves : 4

Ingredients for the 7 spices (Baharat Mix)
1 tblsp each ground cardamom, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground black pepper
½ tblsp each ground cloves and ground nutmeg

Ingredients for the beef kebabs
½ onion, quartered
Handful of parsley
250g minced fatty beef
½ tsp 7 spices (Baharat Mix)
¼ tsp Pomegranate Molasses
1 tsp salt

Ingredients for the Lamb Skewers
250g diced leg or shoulder of lamb
5 small green peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
2 small onions, quartered
4 tomatoes, quartered

For the chicken skewers
3 tsp oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp 7 spices (Baharat Mix)
¼ tsp cardamom
2 chicken breasts, diced
1 small onion, quartered
1 tomato, quartered
5 baby green peppers

Step One : Heat the oven to 200oC / 400oF / Gas Mark 6. First make the beef kebabs. In a food processor, mix the onion with the parsley. Tip out into a bowl with the minced meat, add the other ingredients and mix together well with your hands. Wrap the beef around metal skewers, then roast in the oven for 4-10 minutes or grill for 4 minutes on each side.

Step Two : For the lamb skewers, thread the lamb pieces onto the skewer, alternating with pieces of pepper, onion and tomatoes. Season, then cook under a preheat grill for 4 minutes on each side.

Step Three : For the chicken skewers, mix the oil, garlic and spices in a bowl. Season, add the chicken and vegetables and combine. Thread the chicken and vegetables onto the skewer, then grill for 4 minutes on each side.

Chocolate Beef Chilli with Jalapeno And Cheese Scones

Recipe taken from Clodagh’s Suppers: Suppers to celebrate the seasons by Clodagh McKenna published in Psychologies Magazine (February 2019)chocolate beef chilli with jalapeno and cheese scones

Ingredients for the Chilli :
50g salted butter
300g minced beef
1 small white onion or shallot, finely chopped
2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 small dried chillies, chopped
100g smoked bacon lardons
100g fully cured, ready-to-eat chorizo, diced
150ml red wine
400g can cherry tomatoes
300ml water
1 tblsp brown sugar
2 tsp finely chopped fresh or dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tblsp tomato ketchup
50g dark chocolate, grated
400g can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

For the scones :
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tblsp baking powder
Pinch of fine sea salt
50g salted butter, chilled and cubed
125g Dubliner cheese, grated
2 jalapeno chillies, finely chopped
125-150ml milk or buttermilk

Serves : 6

Step One : Place a flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat and add half the butter. Once melted, add the minced beef and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned. Transfer to a plate.

Step Two : Add the remaining butter to the casserole dish, stir in the onion or shallot, ginger and garlic and cook for two minutes, then stir in the cumin, cinnamon and dried chillies and cook for a further minute. Add the bacon lardons and chorizo and cook, stirring for about three minutes until lovely and crispy.

Step Three : Return the beef to the pan and stir well. Pour in the red wine and cook for two minutes more. Then add the tomatoes, measured water, sugar, oregano, bay leaves and ketchup. Season with salt and pepper, stir well, then cover the pan with a lid and simmer over a low heat for two hours.

Step Four : While the chilli is cooking, make the jalapeno and cheese scones. Preheat the oven to 200oC , gas mark 6, and dust a baking tray with flour. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in half the grated cheese, followed by half the jalapenos, then gradually mix in enough milk with a fork to make a soft dough.

Step Five : Roll out the dough on a floured work surface into a round, 1 cm deep. Cut into six wedges, place on the floured baking tray and sprinkle the remaining cheese and jalapenos on top. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the scones to a wire rack and leave to cook for 10 minutes.

Step Six : Remove the lid of the casserole and stir in the chocolate and kidney beans, then simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Serve with the jalapeno and cheese scones.

Simple Beef Casserole

Simple Beef Casserole

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living

If you’ve never made a casserole before, this is the place to start.  This one couldn’t be simpler, as most of the cooking takes place slowly in the oven.  It has a lovely flavour and plenty of juice – don’t leave out the orange zest as it really lifts the flavour of the meat.

Serves:  6-8      Prep time: 35 mins      Cook time:  3 hours    Cals per serving: 619    Fat: 28g

Ingredients:  2 tblsp olive oil; 4 rashers streaky bacon, roughly chopped; 6 small brown onions or shallots, peeled and quartered; 2 cloves garlic, crushed; 3 carrots, sliced; 1 ½ kg (3 lb) chuck steak or braising / stewing beef, cut into 3 cm (1 ¼ in) cubes; 2 tblsp plain flour; 500ml (16fl oz) beef stock; 250ml (8 fl oz) red wine; grated zest of ½ an orange; 4 sprigs thyme; 2 bay leaves; 2 tblsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Step One: Heat the oven to 160oC (gas mark 2-3).  Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook the bacon for 2 minutes.  Add the onion, garlic and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-7 minutes, or until the onion is tender.  Transfer to the casserole dish.  Add the beef to the casserole dish and sprinkle with the flour.  Mix well.

Step Two: Stir the stock, wine, orange zest, thyme and bay leaves into the casserole and bring to the boil over the medium heat.  Cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 3 hours. Stir the meat occasionally as it cooks.

Step Three: Remove from the oven.  Stir in the parsley and season to taste. Serve with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles and plenty of crusty bread.

Banana Bread

This recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Banana BreadThis cake needs no more than a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon.  If you’re unable to find buttermilk, you can replace it with a combination of half yoghurt and half skimmed milk.  Day-old banana bread is delicious cut into slices and toasted.

Prep time : 15 mins  –  Cook time : 55-60 mins

Ingredients:  210g (7oz) plain flour; 1 tsp baking powder; 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda; ¼ tsp salt; 125g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened (take out of fridge a few hours before you start); 250g (8oz) granulated sugar; 2 eggs, lightly beaten; 3 large, very ripe bananas; 120ml (3 ½ fl oz) buttermilk; icing sugar, to serve

  1. Heat the oven to 170oC (gas mark 3).  Grease a loaf tin and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Put the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, butter, sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or hand-held electric beaters until just combined.  It’s important not to beat the batter to much – just long enough to make it smooth.
  3. Mash the bananas with a fork and add to the mixture bit by bit, alternating with the buttermilk, mixing until combined.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the top of the bread is firm and deep brown colour.  A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.  Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
  4. Serve dusted with icing sugar.  The flavour improved on keeping.  It will store for up to 3 days if covered with cling film.

Lobscouse

Lobscouse, or Scouse as it’s commonly known, was originally a sailor’s stew of meat, vegetables and hardtack – a hard, salt-less biscuit. These days, it’s usually a stew made from stewing beef or lamb and leftover vegetables.

Daisy-Anne Borge says of her version of Lobscouse “I used to make this dish when times were lean. But my family still enjoy the recipe as it is cheap, quick and easy – and very satisfying too.” You could also add a little extra flavour by beating in some freshly grated nutmeg, the juice of a lemon or even a little chilli or curry powder.

Serves 4

Ingredients: 1 1/2-2lb (675-900g) potatoes; 1 onion, diced; 5 fl oz (150ml) milk; 13oz (340g) tin corned beef, diced; any cooking vegetables, chopped; 1 oz (25g) butter; salt and black pepper

  •  Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas Mark 6. Boil potatoes until tender, then drain thoroughly and mash.
  • Boil onion in milk until soft, drain and add to the mash with corned beef, vegetables and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn the mixture into a buttered ovenproof dish and cook for 20-25 mins. Serve with fried eggs on top.

Beef & Beer Casserole

Serves 4

Ingredients: 1 lb (450g) lean stewing steak; 1 jar Marks & Spencer Beer and Onion Casserole Sauce; 1 dsp horseradish sauce

Preheat the oven to 150-180oC/300-350oF, gas mark 2-4. Place steak in a casserole dish. Add Sauce, cook in oven for 3-4 hours. Just before serving, stir in the horseradish sauce. Serve with unlimited potatoes and other vegetables.

Beef and Bean Stir-fry

To keep this dish crisp, be sure to cook over a constant high heat. It works just as well with veal or pork.

Serves : 4

Ingredients: 1 tblsp sunflower oil; 3 garlic cloves, sliced; 2 red chillies, sliced; ½ tsp finely chopped ginger; 14oz (400g) beef, cut into strips; 14oz (400g) green beans, cut into 1 in (2.5cm) pieces; juice of ½ lemon; 4 tblsp stock; ½ tsp sugar; salt and black pepper; freshly chopped basil, to garnish.

  • Heat oil in a wok or a large frying pan. Add garlic, chillies and ginger, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add beef, stir-fry for 1 minute. Add beans, stir-fry for 1 minute.
  • Add remaining ingredients, except basil, and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes. Garnish with basil and serve with Chinese noodles.

Beef and Bacon Olives with Lemon & Thyme

A Gary Rhodes recipe

This slowly braised beef, stuffed with bacon then served in its own sauce, is a real rich classic and a meal from one pot. The texture of the meat in this dish becomes really moist and tender, while the bacon and lemon flavours go together so well. I like to use rashers of back bacon (smoked or unsmoked) at least ¼ in (5mm) thick. This will give you plenty of meat content in the rolled olives. Incidentally, to avoid confusion, anything rolled up and secured with a cocktail stick is an “olive”.

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 4 x 4-6oz (100g – 175g) slices beef topside or rump; 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme; finely grated zest of 1-2 lemons; 4 x ¼ in thick (5mm) rashers back bacon; oil; 1 ½ – 2 pints (900ml – 1.2 litres) beef or chicken stock; 1 garlic clove; 1 small thyme sprig; 2-3 carrots; 2 onions; 1 large swede; 3 celery sticks; 2-3 large potatoes; 1 leek; 2oz (50g) butter

  • Place the beef slices between 2 sheets of cling-film and flatten with a rolling pin, to give escalopes ¼ in (5mm) thick. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix together the chopped thyme and grated lemon zest and sprinkle over each beef escalope. Then lay a rasher of bacon on top of each escalope and roll up to make an olive. Secure each with two cocktail sticks and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a little oil in a frying pan, add the olives and brown evenly. Then remove them from the frying pan and place in a saucepan with the stock. Add the garlic and thyme sprig. Then bring the stock to the simmer and cook for 1 – 1 ½ hours, skimming any impurities from the surface of the stock.
  • Prepare all the vegetables and chop them into ¾ in (2cm) dice. Then add them – except the leek – to the stock for the last 20-25 minutes of cooking time. Add the leek to the pan for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
  • Strain 10fl oz (300ml) stock into a saucepan, boil to reduce by half. Whisk in butter. To serve, remove thyme sprig and garlic, spoon veg into centre of plates or bowls. Sit olives on top, remove cocktail sticks, spoon the sauce over.

For braising the beef olives:

A Gary Rhodes recipe book:

Banana Corned Beef Hash

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 1 tblsp sunflower oil; 1 onion, peeled and chopped; 225g corned beef; 3 tomatoes, quartered; 2 bananas, cut into chunks; 1 large potato, cooked and mashed

  • Heat oil in a frying pan and fry onion until soft. Cut corned beef into cubes and add to the pan with tomatoes, banana and potato. Cook for about 10 mins. Serve with a green salad.