Tag Archives: beef

Mini Yorkshire Puddings with Roast Beef and Horseradish and Mustard Creme Fraiche

December is here and ’tis the season for cocktails and canapé at every turn!  I thought I’d take the opportunity to share one of my favourite canapé from last year’s Christmas festivities, Mini Yorkshire Puddings!

Mini Yorkshire Puddings with Roast Beef and Horseradish

These are a fabulous little morsel that are quick and easy to prepare, you can even cook the Yorkshire puddings in advance and then reheat them but I do recommend using an oven to reheat rather than a microwave as you get a much better texture.  You can even serve these at room temperature if there’s too much pressure on the oven space.  Keep it simple and enjoy your party!

Mini Yorkshire Puddings with Roast Beef and Horseradish

Makes ~24

100g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
300ml milk
1 egg
oil/lard/trex for cooking (I favour Lard unless I have a vegetarian about in which case I switch to trex)
200ml creme fraiche
2 tsp horseradish sauce
1 tsp dijon mustard
~6 thin slices of roast beef
parsley sprigs for decoration

  • Put the flour, salt, milk and egg into a tall jug.
  • Blitz with a stick blender to combine (Keeping a good grip on the jug!)
  • Leave to sit for around 20 minutes, half an hour, or longer if necessary.
  • Get the oven nice and hot (Gas 6 / 200C or above)
  • Put a small knob of Trex, lard or a dash of vegetable oil (just enough to cover the base of the tin) in each hole of a 24 mini muffin tin (if yours is smaller do this in batches) and place in the oven to get piping hot.  (10 minutes or so)
  • Pour the batter in to just fill each hole of the tin.  (Careful of the hot oil!!)
  • Place carefully in the oven and close the oven door.
  • Leave to cook for 15-20 minutes until all poofed up and golden brown.  DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN WHILE THEY ARE COOKING!
  • Mix the creme fraiche, horse radish and mustard together in a bowl.  Test to see if its got enough bite to it (or too much!) and alter to suit your tastes.
  • Roll the roast beef up and slice into sections about 1″ long.
  • Carefully spoon a little of the horseradish mixture into the centre of each Yorkshire Pudding, insert a roll of beef and decorate with a sprig of parsley.
  • Grab and bottle of bubbly and go mingle with your guests!

Mini Yorkshire Puddings with Roast Beef and Horseradish

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Filed under Canapés, Christmas, Easy

Roast Beef

I have eaten many many roast dinners in my time but it is actually quite rare that I get to cook one myself.  So it was with great joy that an alignment of a bargain joint of beef and a free Sunday evening coincided to allow me to do my own roast beef for the first time!

Roast Beef

Now the roasting of a joint of meat is pretty simple.  It just involves a bit of maths!

You heat the oven to gas mark 5 / 190C and you work out how much your joint weighs in lbs.  (Take the kg weight and times it by 2.2)

Basic rules for cooking:

Rare: 20 minutes per lb + 20 minutes extra
Medium: 25 minutes per lb + 25 minutes extra
Well Done: 30 minutes per lb + 30 minutes extra

So, say you have a 1.5kg joint and you want it done medium.

1.5 x 2.2= 3.3 x 25 minute = 82.5 minutes + 25 minutes extra = 107.5 minutes

Therefore you cook your beef for 1 hour 45-50 minutes and Boom! Roast Beef!

Let your beef rest for 15 minutes or so before carving.

If you use a roasting dish that you can then apply direct heat to you can add boiling water, a beef stock cube and a few tsp cornflour mixed with a tiny splash of water and mix it all together on the heat for gravy. Stir it well scraping up all the meaty juices and allow to thicken over a medium heat.

Roast Beef


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Filed under Basic, Easy, Mains

Gyudon (Beef Bowl)

I’m going through a bit of a Japanese phase at the moment. A lot of people, who haven’t had the joy of visiting Japan, would be forgiven for thinking that the Japanese only eat fish and rice. Not true! (Well, the rice bit may as well be true, noodles be damned!) However, Japanese cuisine does contain lots of meat dishes to complement the bountiful supply of fish that their island has blessed them with. This week I’m going to be posting two delicious Japanese recipes, one using beef, one using chicken, to introduce you to another side of Japanese cooking that is accessible to everyone.

A lot of people can be put off by the fact that you have to buy special ingredients but these are rarely something you can’t find in the supermarket (if you want a sure fire hit in one place head for Waitrose, they stock an excellent range, including decent sake). If you have a local Chinese supermarket then they almost always stock Japanese ingredients too.


Of the essential ingredients I shall start with the hardest to track down, dashi powder. The box above is usually what you’re looking for. I always find it in the Chinese supermarket, although I think I saw a different brand in Sainsburys once. It is a fish stock made from bonito flakes (dried tuna) and konbu (dried seaweed). Unfortunately, I have yet to come up with with a half decent substitute so there’s legwork needed here.

Happily, the other essentials are easy to find. Kikkoman soy sauce is the authentic Japanese one but can be rather pricey. You can substitute with light soy sauce but the flavour is a bit stronger, however, I don’t think a Western palate will object. Mirin is a sweet cooking sake and can be found in any supermarket. Sake is the final piece in the jigsaw and luckily it is much more available now than it was even a few years ago. If you fancy drinking it then, as with most alcohol, it pays to spend as much as you can. If you’re simply going to cook with it then I wouldn’t bother. A dry sherry can be used as an emergency substitute… But only in an emergency!

Armed with these essentials (and some granulated sugar) whole new avenues of Japanese cooking are at your fingertips! At first you may think that all recipes look the same from the ingredients list but Japanese food is all about subtlety and the slightest alteration of ratios makes such a difference to the finished product.


Now let’s start with Gyudon. Gyu means beef and -don is a bowl of rice with something on it. This dish is the specialty of Yoshinoya, a chain of eateries found all over Asia. It’s cheap, filling and delicious. A sort of beans on toast type meal, nothing fancy but very satisfying!


Serves 4

~400g beef thinly sliced (I just use very cheap steaks for convenience)
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
300ml hot dashi stock
5 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp mirin
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sake
Sticky rice to serve

– Put the dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and sake in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer.
– Add the onions and simmer for 10-15 mins until the onions are soft.
– Add the beef and cook for 3-4 minutes until the beef is cooked through.
– Serve on a bowl of sticky rice, with a little pickled ginger if you like it.

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Filed under Easy, Japanese, Mains

Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

Serves 4 hungry people

1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g minced beef
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 beef stock cube
3 tbsp herbes de provence
good pinch pepper

– Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil with a pinch of salt in a large pan for a few minutes until soft. 
– Add the beef and cook until browned.
– Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly so all the ingredients are evenly combined. 
– Simmer for 45 minutes with a lid on stiring periodically to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. 
– Serve with spaghetti and grated parmesan.  

Variations – I like to have mushrooms in this, I think it’s a hang over from school dinners.  Just add a few sliced ones along with the tomatoes.

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Filed under Easy, Mains