Thursday 17 January 2013

A Random Recipe from my Mum's bookshelf

 This month at Belleau Kitchen, Dom has challenged us to make a random recipe from a borrowed book.  I borrowed this Kenneth Lo book from my Mother. Published in 1979, it cost £2.50 when it was new. Actually it only has 80 pages and few of the recipes are illustrated, the photo plates being scattered rather sparsely through the book, so I think recipe books now represent better value for money!

The recipe the book fell open at was one I know she has cooked several times (but never for me!) - Red Cooked Beef with Star Anise. I love the combination of beef and star anise so was  very happy with this choice.

The recipe used  a whopping 4lb of braising steak - as there are only two of us, I used less  than a quarter of that amount, but just halved the  quantities of carrots and sauce ingredients or the slow cooking could have left it dry. The only other change I made was out of necessity - I was shopping on a Monday when the local butcher is closed,  so instead of buying my beef in a single piece I  had to get diced beef from the supermarket.

It's a very simple dish and can be prepared well in advance and left to cook slowly. That's  quite unfamiliar territory for me when it comes to Chinese cooking. Having lived in Hong Kong, I'm used to a  frenzy of last minute activity as I stir fry everything. I did introduce a bit of stir frying though, as I made a side dish of stir fried Chinese leaves with onion and ginger, with a few peanuts added for crunch.

The verdict? The recipe may be an Oldie, but it's definitely a Goodie. Fragrant, delicious and simple enough for a midweek supper. And I hope my Mum isn't in  a hurry to get her book back, I have lots more dishes to try first! 


Unknown said...

MAN that looks good... a proper hearty and healthy dish, rammed with flavour and those onions look incredible... you cannot imagine how much I want to fly over and swoop up a bowl of this for myself right now Jane... PLEASE!!!!???... thanks so much for entering this month xx

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful dish. The flavors sound divine!

Ruth Ellis said...

That looks delicious - and I remember reading all my Mum's old cookbooks when I was a kid that also had the double sets of measurements in. Beef and star anise is a great pairing, and it looks really warming - perfect for the cold miserable weather there seems to be so much of in Scotland at the moment!