discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Monday, 2 September 2013

Fathers day weekend cook up

SO BLESSED - handmade recycled wood sign - you choose the color - home wall decor wedding gift family birthday vintage antique distressed
It was fathers day here in Australia yesterday. Which also coincided with the first day of spring and we were treated to a gorgeous weekend of long overdue sunshine. Was great to get the arms out for some much needed Vitamin D.  I don't go much for Valentines day and any made up marketers 'days' but to me Mothers day and Fathers day are special. I always feel very blessed to have had wonderful parents. We aren't shy with the I love you's and hugs and kisses, we're a touchy feely bunch, but I always get them a card and write some special words just to let them know they are appreciated.  I'm instilling this tradition with my girl too, it doesn't take much to let people know you love them.

Ok, kleenex moment over, onto the serious stuff. Tomatoes!!!! Yay, I always know summer is well and truly on its way when they appear at the nursery.  We grow them from seed so its not exciting yet as they haven't poked there heads out of the soil, but I was thrilled to see these babies yesterday, get planting people!!

In between lawn mowing and gurnying, my new obsession, I popped on beef with red wine and mushrooms into the slow cooker for dinner tomorrow night.
I got some cheap stewing steak, a tough cut but perfect for slow cooking.
I popped it all, around 500g, into a freezer bag with 2 tbspns of plain flour, salt and pepper and gave it a good shake.  The flour will help thicken up the sauce.

Used my little barmix whizzer to blitz up a red onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 carrot, 1/2 a zucchini as I needed to hide some vegies in there. They will break down into the sauce and won't be seen.
Seal the meat in a pan with some oil, do it in batches as you want it to fry not stew, you are browning the meat to lock in the juices.
Into the slow cooker goes 2 x 430g jars of tomato passata, the blitzed vegies, and the browned meat.  Fry up some bacon cut into strips and halved mushies and brown them all too. I use swiss browns as they have loads more flavour than the bland button mushrooms.  Pop that in too, and deglaze the pan with 1 cup of good red wine and reduce it for a few minutes then add it too the slow cooker too.  Add a couple of bay leaves and turn onto high for 3 hours.

I leave it a bit runnier than a normal stew or casserole as when it cools in the fridge it will firm up but if you are eating it the same day, whack it on low a few hours longer will do the trick.

I also made some wicked lamb koftas with hummus and garlic pizza bread, but that recipe can wait til tomorrow.

Hope you all had a wonderful fathers day and let your loved ones know they are appreciated and loved!!

Ciao, Jan

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