I’ve come up with another one of my notions ( Anyone who knows me, knows I suffer from too many ideas, and feet and legs would protest with too many actions!!).Once a month, I will be cooking a dish that you can taste in Grogan & Brown Artisan Butchers in Smithlands, and then, if you like the result, you can find the recipe for it here. I think it makes a refreshing change from reading recipes and wondering if you’d like them or not. Tomorrow, there will be a bain-marie in their wonderful shop in Smithlands (from 10.30am) with this heartwarming casserole in it for you to taste. Don’t leave it too long to go and visit the shop, or it might all be gone ;-). They’re doing amazing work out there and , in case you haven’t heard, have ranked 6th Best Butcher Shop in Ireland at the ACBI Craft Butchers ‘Shop of the Year’ awards. Congratulations Dermot and John! Well deserved, and impressive after just 1 year in business.
Goulnoff’ is also another ‘Danetteism’ for a recipe I concocted one cold evening when I couldn’t decide whether to cook a pot of goulash or a pot of stroganoff (see previous blog for reference to my cold season cravings)…so I thought, “why not have both?”. The following recipe is my take on combining the two recipes. Plenty of sweet and smoked paprika, chilli, garlic, peppers, and smoked rasher for the ‘Goul’ and then the mushrooms, the beef and the soured cream for the ‘noff’. I do vary it according to which way I’m leaning strongest (i.e. I might add a teaspoon or 2 of caraway seeds if I felt more Goulashy, or hold back on the chilli if I felt more stroganoffy). This language is getting a bit silly now, so I’ll carry on!
If you are a carnivore and the temperature drops, I think it’s pretty well accepted that one goes for the heartwarming, meaty casserole-type dishes and no matter what we call this, it is definitely heartwarming. It sates like a plate/bowl of Irish Stew, Coq au vin or Boeuf Bourguignon, and here’s how you make it.
John and Dermot sell a cut of meat I was unfamiliar with until meeting them, called featherblade. It works well marinated on the barbeque if the inner sinew is removed, but is really ideal if left intact for slow-cooking which is what I did in this instance. Incidentally, if you want a really tender and flavourful meal, it’s great if you can plan ahead when slow-cooking . A reheated bowl of stew of any sort is always better than when it was made on the day.
Start by cutting your meat into 1″ cubes–2lbs. of meat will feed 6-8 people after adding the vegetables and saucey bits. (They will gladly cut it for you in the shop). DON’T remove all the fat. You can easily skim any fat off the top when it’s finished, and fat is where the flavour is….so LEAVE it ALONE. Season well with black pepper. Sauté the meat( in small batches) in Rapeseed oil over a medium high heat until brown and set aside into a dutch oven or casserole dish. When all the meat is browned, fry 1 large chopped onion and 2-3 slices smoked back rasher , sliced into strips until the onions are soft and the bacon is cooked. Either finely chop, or grate (I use a micro-plane), 6-8 large cloves of garlic and add to the pan. If you’re used to using 1 or 2 cloves of garlic in these type of dishes, hang around for the ride with me!! You won’t be disappointed, just go for it and see ;-)..There’s a whole world waiting for you out there! Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn’t burn. To the pan add 3 heaped teaspoons smoked paprika, 4 teaspoons sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed (You can do this yourself in a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder designated for spices only), 2 teaspoons ground coriander, and 1 or 2 finely chopped fresh chillies (optional, but a good idea!), and stir well. (It will become pasty.) Immediately add a glass of red wine….hmmm, how much is a glass of wine? It depends on if you’re an optimist or a pessimist!! Mine are between 5 and 6 fl. ounces, and by the way if you only have white wine…use that. Don’t panic, they’re both lovely. Stir to deglaze the pan. Then add this mixture to the meat in the casserole pan and place that pan over the heat. Add to this pan, 800 grams of tinned chopped tomatoes, (2 standard sized tins, or thereabouts), and 500 grams of tomato passatta. I like a lot of sauce (No, really?…for those of you that don’t know, I make and sell sauces!!), I think it’s actually the end resulting sauce that really sates me. It takes on the wonderful flavours of ALL the ingredients and warms the cockles, so to speak. I also like to add about 8 fl. oz beef stock at this point too. Use a good stock cube if you like, but make sure it’s a good stock cube, about a teaspoon of dried thyme or a few sprigs of fresh thyme,and 3 bay leaves. To season at this point, add 2 teaspoons of sea salt and 2 dessertspoons of sugar. Bring the contents up to the boil , then simmer very, very gently (You can put the casserole into a low oven at this point at approx. 160 C ) for at least 2 hours. Check it occasionally if it’s on top of the cooker just to make sure it’s gently bubbling, and not cooking too fast. It should look a bit like that last picture (except more in focus!)after the 2 hours. If you like your meat to totally fall apart, then cook it a bit longer…try it and see. The seasoning at this point is crucial as to how your dish is going to turn out and it’s a matter of preference. I must do a blog solely on this topic, as I have had many a debate over it. Ingredients differ, we as people differ, and it’s NEVER going to be the same. So taste and adjust with more salt, black pepper and or sugar, and paprika for that matter.
While the meat was simmering, cut a mixture of fresh peppers into thick strips (about 2 large or 3 small peppers). Add them to the casserole and return the pan to simmer point. While the peppers are simmering in the Goulnoff, slice a pound of mushrooms, thickly. Place 2 Tablespoons of Rapeseed oil along with 2 ounces of butter over a fairly high heat in a skillet or frying pan that will comfortably hold the mushrooms and add the same to the pan. Stir regularly until they start to carmelise and brown. When they do, season with sea salt , black pepper and about 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic. Stir or toss frequently for a couple of minutes, minding that the garlic doesn’t burn, then add these to the casserole too.Let it all simmer together for another half an hour so they can properly marry, then serve with either crusty bread, boiled or roasted potatoes, noodles or rice. When I blogged it, I served it with noodles as I felt the stroganoff side of Goulnoff was losing out a bit. Whatever you choose, place a large dollop of soured cream on top and stir it into the mix as you eat it. Heartwarming, it definitely is ;-).
Ingredients: 2-lb. featherblade beef, black pepper, rapeseed oil for frying, 1 large (Spanish) onion, 6-8 cloves garlic, 3 heaped teaspoons smoked paprika, 4 teaspoons sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon ground fennel, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1-2 fresh chillies, 6 oz. red or white wine, 800 grams chopped tinned tomatoes, 500 grams tomato passatta, 8 fl. oz. beef stock, thyme, 3 bay leaves, sea salt, sugar, 2-3 sweet peppers, 1-lb. mushrooms, oil and butter for frying , 3 more cloves garlic., soured cream = heartwarmth.