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Food For Thought - page 3

Jamie's Beef Stew

Serves 4


- olive oil

- 1 knob butter

- 1 onion, peeled and chopped

- 1 handful fresh sage leaves

- 800 g quality stewing steak

 or beef skirt, cut into 5cm pieces

- sea salt

- freshly ground black pepper

- flour, to dust

- 2 parsnips, peeled and quartered

- 4 carrots, peeled and halved

- ½ butternut squash, halved,

 deseeded and roughly diced

- 1 handful Jerusalem artichokes, peeled

 and halved, optional

- 500 g small potatoes

- 2 tablespoons tomato purée

- ½ bottle red wine

- 285 ml organic beef or vegetable stock

- finely grated zest of 1 lemon

- 1 handful rosemary, leaves picked

-1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped



Preheat the oven to 160ºC/300ºF/gas 2. Put a little oil and your knob of butter into an appropriately sized pot or casserole pan. Add your onion and all the sage leaves and fry for 3 or 4 minutes. Toss the meat in a little seasoned flour, then add it to the pan with all the vegetables, the tomato purée, wine and stock, and gently stir together.


Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and just a little salt. Bring to the boil, place a lid on top, then cook in the preheated oven until the meat is tender. Sometimes this takes 3 hours, sometimes 4 – it depends on what cut of meat you're using and how fresh it is. The only way to test is to mash up a piece of meat and if it falls apart easily it's ready. Once it's cooked, you can turn the oven down to about 110°C/225°F/gas ¼ and just hold it there until you're ready to eat.


The best way to serve this is by ladling big spoonfuls into bowls, accompanied by a glass of French red wine and some really fresh, warmed bread. Mix the lemon zest, chopped rosemary and garlic together and sprinkle over the stew before eating. Just the smallest amount will make a world of difference – as soon as it hits the hot stew it will release an amazing fragrance.


For more recipes from Jamie click here

beef stew2

Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Makes 16-20



200g/7oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

150g/5½oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the tin

100g/3½oz milk or white chocolate, or a mix of both

125g/4½oz dark muscovado sugar

125g/4½oz golden caster sugar

4 free-range eggs, at room temperature

85g/3oz plain flour

2 tbsp cocoa powder, plus a little extra for dusting, if you like

¼ tsp fine salt



Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Place a medium saucepan containing an inch of boiling water from the kettle onto the hob and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, use a little butter to grease the inside of a 23cm/9in square baking tin. Cut a square of baking parchment a bit bigger than your tin (roughly 27cm/11in). Snip a 5cm/2in cut diagonally from the corners toward the centre. Push the paper into the tin and ease the paper into the corners neatly - they will overlap slightly. Trim if needed.

Using a large sharp knife, chop the dark chocolate into small pieces (the smaller the pieces, the quicker it will melt). Place the chopped dark chocolate with the butter into a large mixing bowl that will sit on top of your pan of simmering water.

Set the bowl over the pan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Keep the heat low - the water should not be boiling furiously underneath, but quietly bubbling. After a few minutes the chocolate and butter will start to melt. Stir occasionally, until the chocolate is mostly melted. Remove the bowl from the pan and set aside. The residual heat in the chocolate will finish off the melting process.

While the chocolate is melting, chop the white (or white and milk) chocolate into bigger pieces - about the size of a penny. Set these aside.

Whisk the sugar into the melted chocolate, then add the eggs and whisk together well until the mix is slightly bubbly.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder and the salt into a separate bowl. Using a large metal spoon, add the flour mix into the chocolate mixture a third at a time, and gently fold into the chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined.

Gently pour the batter into the prepared tin, and scatter the remaining chunks of chocolate on top. Bake the brownies for 20-25 minutes. The brownies should still wobble slightly in the middle, as they will continue to cook for a little while when removed from the oven. An over-baked brownie is dry and crumbly, rather than moist and fudgy, so keep an eye on them.

Let the brownies cool completely in their tin. Lift them out of the tin onto a board, using the baking paper to help, then cut into squares. Sift over a little icing sugar or cocoa powder. Store in an airtight tin or just stuff your face!

fudge brownie

Serves: 4

395 calories per portion

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes



2 tsp olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced into thin wedges

500g pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1cm slices

50g chorizo sausage, skinned and cut into 5mm slices

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 red and 1 orange pepper, deseeded and sliced

100g green beans, trimmed and cut into short lengths

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp hot chilli powder

150g easy-cook long-grain rice

750ml chicken stock, made with 1 stock cube

flaked sea salt

freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oil in a large, non-stick deep frying pan or sauté pan. Fry the onion wedges over a medium-high heat for 3 minutes until they’re softened and lightly browned, stirring regularly.


Season the pork with salt and black pepper, then add it to the pan and stir-fry with the onion for 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add the chorizo, garlic, peppers and beans and stir-fry together for 2 minutes more. Sprinkle with the spices and stir in the rice, then pour over the stock and bring to the boil.


Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice and pork are both lovely and tender.

spicy pork recipe

All-in-one Spicy Pork and Rice

Recipe by the Hairy Bikers

Rosemary roast chicken thighs, new potatoes, asparagus & garlic

Serves: 4

509 calories per portion

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes



750g new potatoes halved

2 large bunches asparagus, woody ends discarded

1 whole garlic bulb, cloves separated

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lemon, halved

Small handful rosemary sprigs

8 chicken thighs


Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the potatoes, asparagus, garlic cloves, oil and lots of seasoning in a large roasting dish (about 30 x 20cm).


Squeeze over all the juice from the lemon halves, then cut them into chunks and add them to the dish. Toss everything together, cover the dish with foil, and roast for about 15 mins.


Remove the foil and mix through the rosemary. Season the chicken thighs and arrange evenly in the dish.


Roast for another 25-30 mins until the potatoes are tender, and the chicken is crisp and cooked through. Serve the dish in the middle of the table for everyone to share.