bloody mary beef, discuss

Tonight’s recipe comes from a friend who recommended it to me with such gusto and fervency that I couldn’t refuse. She’s one of the three who hold the keys to my chains at work, so I couldn’t really say no – but as it happens, we had a chunk of beef the size of a Volkswagen Golf parked in our freezer that kept tumbling onto Paul’s toes whenever he reached for the frozen peas, so it was a decent opportunity to use that up. Right? It’s a Jamie Oliver recipe made suitable for Slimming World and it pretty much cooks itself overnight in a slow-cooker, so even you can do it. A lot of people don’t care for Jamie Oliver but I rather like the man – he’s got a good heart and seems to mean well. Fair enough, he might have a face not unlike an over-inflated tyre, but still. Nobody’s perfect.

I still feel rotten (worse!) – my head feels like someone has sucked out my brain and piped in a load of cotton wool. My joints ache and my jaw is throbbing, though that’s possibly from telling Paul over and over and over again how manky I’m feeling. So you’ll forgive me if I’m not here long. That said, I wanted to mention the most ridiculous argument I had last night with some absolute stream of arse-gravy who was trying to have a pop at me for explaining how to cook an omelette. Her ‘proposal’ was to find a zippable (?) sandwich bag, pour in four eggs, seal the bag, break the eggs up, open the bag, add all the toppings, seal it again, boil the bag in a pan full of water and then after a few minutes, out slides the “omelette’ like a bright orange poo full of undigested tomato. Apparently, this saves time.

For goodness sake. An omelette is one of the quickest meals you can make as long as you’re not so mentally deficient you don’t know how to crack an egg, and if that’s the case, you’d perhaps be better served colouring in and eating lead. Crack eggs into jug, beat the eggs, pour into pan, allow to stiffen, add toppings, fold over, finish under grill. If James Martin and some random bag of hormones from Hollyoaks can do it on Saturday Kitchen then so can anyone. I mentioned this and got “well we can’t all be fucking mastercheffs‘, followed by lots of huffing and unbecoming puffing and argument style which felt like I was getting sassed by Dizzee Rascal, which doesn’t quite suit a “full time mammy” from Surbiton. Ignoring the fact that she’d quite semi-literally over-egged the pudding with her ‘recipe’, I’d hardly call being able to make an omelette ‘highly-skilled’. I chose a decent deal in Subway this morning and saved £1.35, that doesn’t make me Lord bloody Sugar. Thank Christ, his earlobes terrify me. Why must we revel in ignorance? I exited the “conversation” when I realised she looked the double of H from Steps and I couldn’t write anything without shoehorning in a Steps reference. 

OK, I sneaked two in. I said it was a Tragedy that she was getting so upset, and that the conversation was Better Best Forgotten. What AM I like.

The recipe, then. You don’t need to use the vodka, but really, it evaporates off during cooking and anyway, it’s so few syns it’s not worth stressing about. Also, this makes so much (serves eight, easily) that you can save some of the meat and sauce and mix with spaghetti the day after for lunch.

bloody mary beef

so to make bloody mary beef, you’ll need:

  • 1kg beef – we used a roasting joint from Tesco
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped into chunks
  • 4 small red onions, peeled and quartered
  • 700g passata
  • 1x bouquet garni bag
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3cm piece of horseradish, finely grated OR 1 tbsp from a jar (1 syn)
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • few drops of Tabasco sauce
  • 3 tbsp vodka (6 syns, barely)
  • juice of half a lemon

so to make bloody mary beef, you should:

  • juice of half a lemon
  • instructions:
  • preheat the oven to 130 degrees celsius (gas mark 1/2)
  • heat a large casserole dish (we bought one of these a while back (click) and although expensive, we use it almost daily – well worth the money – also, reduced by £40!) on the hob over a medium heat and add a splash of oil
  • season the beef with salt and pepper and add to the hot pan and cook for about ten minutes, until it’s browned all over
  • add the chopped celery and onions to the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5-10 minutes until he veg has softened slightly
  • mix together the passata, horseradish, worcestershire and tabasco sauce, vodka and lemon juice in a jug with 250ml water, and pour into the pan. stir to mix
  • lob in the bouquet garni bag 
  • cut out some greaseproof paper to just larger than the casserole dish and place over the top, pushing the middle of the paper down onto the surface of the food – this helps create a better ‘seal’
  • cover with the lid and cook in the oven for five hours
  • when cooked, pull the beef apart with two forks and serve – in our case, we served with horseradish mash (make mash, add horseradish and boiled cabbage) and tenderstem broccoli