Sunday 30 December 2012

Rump Steak and Jenga Chips

You can't beat a good steak and chips and this thick rump steak was tremendous! We bought it from The Farmers Cart in York and can totally recommend them.


1 Big rump steak
1x Garlic clove
Double cream
Big potatoes
Fresh flat leaf parsley
Half a lemon, or bottled juice if easier.


For the celeriac mash:
1. Just like mashed spuds, peel, chop and boil the celeriac.
2. Mash with a fork with some butter, cream and salt and pepper. If you want fancy puree push the celeriac through a fine meshed sieve before adding butter and cream.

For the Chips:
1. Peel and cut the potatoes into chunky chips all the same length and thickness.
2. Pour a good glug of oil in a roasting tin and put in the oven on gas 7
3. Parboil the chips for 10 minutes or as I do microwave on high for 7 minutes.
4. Plunge into cold water to cool and rinse the starch.
5. Dry the chips on jolly roll (kitchen paper).
6. Gently place chips into the hot oil in he roasting tin, baste them on pop back in the oven on top shelf.
7. Regularly turn the chip so all 4 sides brown as much as you like. We like our chips crunchy.
8. When done turn the oven down and move to bottom shelf.

For the steak:
1. Make sure the steak is at room temperature and not straight from the fridge.
2. Brush oil over one side of the steak and season.
3. Get a frying pan hot and smoking and drop the steak in oil side down.
4. Oil and season the upturned side.
5. After 2 minutes add a big knob of butter and turn the steak over.
6. Fry the other side for 2 minutes whilst continuously basting with the buttery juice.
7. Remove from the pan and put to one side, cover with foil and allow to rest.

For the mushrooms:
1. Slice mushroom into chunky slices.
2. Chop or crush a clove of garlic.
3. Chuck it all in a frying pan with a big knob of butter.
4. Keep turning and when done add a good squirt of lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped parsley leaves.

For the tomatoes:
1. Cut tomatoes in half and either fry them or roast in the oven.

Cooking order:
I cant quite remember how I did this but it would have been something like.

1. Make chips and put in microwave.
2. Peel and chop celeriac.
3. Put chips in oven, and tomatoes on bottom shelf.
4. Get celeriac on the boil.
5. Chop mushrooms.
6. Chips on bottom shelf.
7. Mash celeriac.
8. Fry steak.
9. While steak resting do mushrooms in steak pan.
10. Serve on a sharing board and tuck in, yum!

Saturday 12 May 2012


This was my first foody post to twitter - a simple homemade paella on the Cadac! What we like about paella is that's it is so versatile, you can bung almost anything in. We give everyone a choice of one or two items before heading off to buy them and in this paella one of the kids picked octopus, luckily Morrisons had some! Its a great way of involving children in cooking and eating, they never fail to clean their plate of paella.

Base Ingredients:
1 large onion diced
1/2 chorizo ring diced
1 packet of bacon lardons
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 jug of hot chicken stock with a big glass of wine in it (about 1 - 1.5 litres)
1 bag of paella rice, or risotto rice, or simple short grain will do
3 cloves of garlic chopped
Olive oil, or rapeseed
Smoked paprika
Saffron if you are a traditionalist, Turmeric if not (I use turmeric)
Flat-leaf parsley

Optional Ingredients:
Choose as many as you like. We tend to pick one protein and one veg each.

Chicken (we use thighs)
Peeled prawns
Head on prawns
Squid rings

French beans
Broad beans

1. Get everything chopped up in bowls ready in advance. Put saffron or turmeric in the stock -  I also put chopped parsley stalks in the stock too.
2. Crank up the Cadac and brown any meat. Remove the meat, put to one side and cover.
3. In goes the diced onion and sweat it off a bit.
4. Add the garlic, lardons and chorizo, render out that lovely fatty paprika for a few minutes.
5. Sprinkle in the bag of rice, turning it and making sure it is all evenly coated in the fat.
6. Add enough stock to cover the rice and allow to simmer. Keep adding more stock if needed.

Traditional paella would now be allowed to simmer away and scorch the rice on the bottom to make it crunchy. This is called socarrat and to the Spanish it is the best bit. I prefer to agitate gently (not too much though otherwise the rice will go all starchy) to stop the rice burning, but the choice is up to you. My kids wouldn't eat burnt rice but I will try it on them when they're a bit older.

7. Add any meat browned at the beginning by pushing in gently until covered by the rice.
8. Add the vegetables.
9. Place any seafood on the top and steam for a few minutes.
10. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
11. Turn off the heat, squeeze in half a lemon or more and sprinkle over loads of lovely fresh chopped parsley.