CLOTHILDE’S BEEF WITH WINE, BAY AND THYME
Salt and pepper
1kg. / 2lbs. 4ozs. silverside or topside of beef
2 onions, halved and cut into crescent moons
3 garlic cloves, chopped
150mls. dry white or red wine
4 carrots halved lengthways
2 large tomatoes, quartered
3 thyme sprigs
3 bay leaves
300mls. / 10fl. ozs. chicken or beef stock
- Preheat the oven to 140C / gas mark 1. Season the beef and heat the oil in a large casserole. Brown the joint all over. Remove and put the onions in the pan and cook until golden. Add the garlic for another couple of minutes, then add the wine and bring to the boil. Return the beef to the casserole along with all the other vegetables and the herbs.
- Pour the hot stock over. Season well, cover and cook in the oven for 2½ hours.
I cook this meal an awful lot and add other vegetables. Yesterday it was leeks and parsnips as well as the carrots. I serve it with mashed potato. I also allow the meat to rest once it is cooked for a good 15 minutes. I thicken the cooking juices by adding cornflour (do mix with cold water first) and bring to the boil.
The cookery writer had this dish in France where they serve it with either bread or a gratin of macaroni. The macaroni was either moistened with juices from the pot roast or with cream, then topped with Parmesan or Gruyere cheese and baked or grilled. I haven’t tried that version yet.
CHILLED BRAMLEY APPLE AND RICE PUDDING
150g. / 5 ½ ozs. short grain rice
700mls. / 1¼ pints full fat milk
30g. / 1¼ ozs. caster sugar
75ml. / 2 ½fl. ozs. double cream
grated nutmeg or cinnamon
For the apple:
3 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and sliced
100mls. 3½fl. ozs. cider
caster sugar to taste
For the syrup:
150g. / 5½ ozs. caster sugar
The remainder of your carton of cream
- Cover the rice with water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for 4 minutes, drain and rinse. Return the rice to the pan and add the milk and sugar. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring from time to time. You may need more milk. You should end up with a sloppy mixture that still holds its shape. Remember it will firm up as it cools. Leave until cold.
- Put the apples in a pan with the cider and set over a medium heat. Cover and cook until completely soft, stirring to break them down every so often. Once cooked add sugar to taste.
- To make the syrup put the sugar into a pan with 100mls. / 3½ fl.ozs. water. Heat slowly until the sugar has dissolved. Then bring to the boil and watch until the syrup turns to caramel. Swish the pan a bit. Once it becomes caramel, you will know by the smell and colour, immediately add about 8 tbsps. water and wish around. Stir so the caramel dissolves in the water.
- Layer the components up in glasses. Start with some apple, then caramel, then rice pudding, then caramel. Repeat. Spoon whipped cream on top and drizzle with caramel. Refrigerate until serving.
Do watch when adding the water to the caramel as it will spit and is very hot!! You need to watch caramel very carefully as you do not want it to burn. Stand by the saucepan and don’t answer the ‘phone.
If making caramel is a step too far for you you could just have a thin layer of chopped nuts or crushed ginger biscuits, which would add a contrast colour wise. I think ginger biscuits would be rather nice in fact.