My lovely neighbours popped round last night for supper. I do like a theme and as it was St.Andrew’s Day, the food was inspired by Scottish produce.
I had picked up some goodies in Edinburgh earlier in the week. Waitrose and Hartley Dyke provided the rest. I bought the beautiful tartan fabric in Bell House Fabrics in Cranbrook. I bought it to be a runner along the middle of the dining table but having got it home and considered how to cut it, it was much too nice for that purpose. I hope I can manage to make something with it. Don’t hold your breath though as Zoe and sewing are not a match made in heaven!
On my menu was:
Smoked salmon on thinly cut French Bread rounds when people arrived
Haggis with a whisky and mushroom sauce
Neeps and Tatties (I actually served 3 separately mashed root vegetables; parsnip, potato and turnip and carrot).
Beef and venison casserole
Potato and Celeriac dauphionoise
Cheese and oat biscuits
I couldn’t bring myself to make a dessert. It would have been too tempting to taste it and I would have had to go and buy sugary ingredients so I bought some fudge and chocolates wrapped in Scottish themed wrappers in Edinburgh and bought the Scottie Dogs (very popular!) and raspberries in Hartley Dyke. Plus Scottish spring water, whisky and Drambuie (a whisky lacquer). Time flew by as I was cooking and once my friends arrived I forgot to take any photos. So this is not my typical blog post. I do want to share the beef and venison casserole recipe as it was delicious. A small and gorgeous boy helped cook it which made it even more special.
The original recipe was from ‘One Year At Books For Cooks No.1’. Books For Cooks is one of my favourite shops in the world and I must go and visit again soon. It is a bookshop full of cookery books from around the world and is located in Notting Hill in London. There is also a tiny little cafe in there. What could be more wonderful if you like books and food? I highly recommend you visit if you have never been before.
Every year Books For Cooks publishes a rather dull looking paperback containing their favourite recipes from a multitude of cook books and that is what I used. The recipe in the book was one of Marco Pierre White’s from his book ‘Wild Food From Land & Sea’ and was called ‘Beef Daube with Bourgogne Garnish and Parsnip Puree’. The recipe is a combination of 2 French classics; Beef en Daube and a boeuf Bourgignon. I added the venison because I found some in Hartley Dyke and I think of it as being Scottish. So here is my recipe, very much copied from Books For Cooks, which reproduced a Marco Pierre White recipe. I doubled up the recipe but I am giving the quantities from the book.
Beef and Venison Casserole (serves 4-6)
- 1 kg stewing beef cut in to bite sized cubes
- 2 venison shanks
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 leek, chopped
- 3 celery stems, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 whole head of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 bottles of red wine
- salt and pepper
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 240g button mushrooms, sliced
- 30 g butter
- 240 g smoked bacon, cut in to strips
- 240 g baby onions, peeled
- Cut off as much meat as you can from the venison shanks
- Place all the meat and the venison bones in a large bowl with the vegetables, herbs and wine. Leave overnight.
- Strain the wine through a sieve and boil vigorously to reduce by half
- Dry the meat and vegetables well
- Heat half the oil and fry the meat on all sides until well browned
- Add the remaining oil and colour the vegetables
- Place the meat and vegetables (and bones) in a heavy casserole dish
- Add the reduced wine and add sufficient beef stock to just cover the meat
- Simmer very gently for 2 hours until tender
- Prepare the garnish by frying the chopped up bacon in a non stick pan until crisp
- Add the onions and cook until golden
- Transfer the bacon and onions to to the casserole
- Fry the mushrooms and add to the casserole
- Simmer the casserole with the garnish for 15 minutes before serving.
One of my favourite magazines is Food and Travel. How it could it not be since it is about 2 of my favourite things? In the November 2012 edition I found this recipe.
Potato and Celeriac Dauphinoise (serves 4-6)
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
- 1 branch of thyme plus some extra for sprinkling
- 200 ml full fat milk
- 200ml double cream
- 725 g celeriac (you need 450g once peeled)
- 600g King Edward potatoes (I used red skinned ones)
- 40 g butter plus extra for greasing the dish
25 cm x 6 cm deep round oven proof dish
- Rub the garlic around the base and sides of the cooking dish
- Smear the dish with a little butter
- Put the garlic clove, milk, cream and thyme branch in a saucepan and heat gently
- When just hot, remove from the heat and set aside to infuse
- Trim and peel the celeriac and potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 200 ° C
- Thinly slice the celeriac (I used a mandoline), season with salt and pepper and steam for 6 minutes, turning over half way through
- Thinly slice the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and steam for 3 minutes
- Layer alternate layers of celeriac and potato in the dish
- Pour the strained milk and cream over the vegetables
- Dot the top with butter and a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- Cover with foil and cook for 15 minutes
- Lower the heat to 170 ° C and cook for another 1 hour
- Test with a skewer – if tender it is cooked. If not, keep checking each 10-15 minutes
- Increase the heat to 200 ° C, remove foil and cook for another 10 minutes until the top is browned.
We ended our meal with a selection of Scottie dog biscuits, chocolates and fudge, washed down with a wee dram.It was a lovely evening. We ate well, probably drank more than we should have done and enjoyed another evening in truly splendid company. Cheers to my wonderful neighbours and friends.