Come for the beef and broccoli, stay for the stories. And there’s a sock to wipe up the first bit of that sentence, you filthy cow. Fans of my rotation will note that this should be a retrorecipe post but the thing is, my Fanny has been shut away for a few days and I haven’t had time to slap it out and give it an airing. The retro recipes will be back, we promise, as they’re as much fun to write as they are to cook, but for now, just a recipe reacharound to tide you over.
As of today, our new cookbook DINNER TIME is at the printers getting turned into hundreds of thousands of copies. It’s a super exciting point of the process for us – we can’t change what has gone in: the i’s are dotted, the t’s are delicious. Now begins the two months or so where we spend it fretting that you’ll all hate it and send us angry letters or we’ve made some massive faux-pas that’ll set our windows put through and Paul crying on a ten minute long apology video. But fingers crossed that doesn’t happen. Of course, to alleviate our imposter syndrome, feel free to buy the book and make us feel more secure about putting down a deposit on a holiday. You can order it here
The good news is my arm is better and I can go back to typing one handed purely in incognito mode as opposed to having to wince my way through doing blog entries. I’m sure I used to laugh off such aches and pains (after spending four hours googling symptoms and demanding an MRI) but I’m taking it as yet another sign of my advancing years. Actually, on that googling thing, I broke my own health-anxiety rule and was busy googling whether or not my arm was anything to worry about when it suggested blood poisoning as a result of muscle tearing and had to stop.
Speaking of advancing years though, it’s my birthday next week and quite frankly I thoroughly intend to mark it because for the last two years, I’ve ‘cancelled’ it – we were in lockdown in 2020 and in that awful semi-lockdown in 2021 so it didn’t feel worth celebrating but I’m 37 and let’s be honest, pretty unlikely to stumble my way anywhere near to living past 74. So I’m treating this as my mid-life point and I won’t be told otherwise. Historically I’ve always been a bit down in the mouth about my birthday, seeing it as a personal affront when the numbers on the left side of my age tick higher than the right, but I’ve been listening to a podcast by Derren Brown of all people which touches on how we mustn’t be fazed by the passage of time nor the advancement of age because there will come a time when you’d give anything to be right back here in this moment with the people and health and tchotchkes you have around you right now. Unusually for me, that actually sunk in, presumably because I was concentrating hard listening to him in the vain hope he was trying to put me under and lead me to some evil bidding.
He also promotes the concept of philocaly – finding beauty in the small things you tend to overlook – and I happen to think that’s a charming way to live. For my part, I’ve stopped swearing and throwing my arms around like I’m conducting an orchestra when I’m stuck behind some old dear doing 25mph on a 60mph road – they might be a nervous driver, they may have things on their mind – plus they’ll be dead soon enough. It’s really quite easy when you tune in to your feelings.
Anyway: just a short blog entry today because I want to take Goo out now that it’s getting light at night. It’s just so much easier chasing after his poo-walking with a bag thin enough to see through when the sun is shining. This recipe was originally on the blog from 2015 and comes with a very sweet, very innocent trip report from our last visit to Berlin. Heavens.
but in the end he needs a little more than me, beeeeeeeeeeef and broccoliiiiiiiiiiii
Is it even a plate of beef and broccoli if you don’t over-saturate the picture so it looks as though you’re serving it up on a nuclear moon and spill gravy all over the place?
recipe reacharound: beef and broccoli (300 calories)
Yield 4 servings
This little fakeaway dish might not exactly scream excitement and flavour, but listen here slick - it's one that we keep coming back to when we can't be arsed with anything flash. So check your attitude at the door and crack on.
Calories (300 of them), as ever, are approximate. Don't be tempted to skip on the cornflour, it's needed for the sauce to thicken, and if you have a dodgy ticker or high blood pressure, and yes Susan, I do mean you, perhaps switch to low-sodium soy sauce. Because the thing is, well, close up, he was almost purple.
- 500g of diced beef - now we just buy the ready diced stuff from the supermarket, but feel free to get steak and chop it up, you heartless monster
- 75ml of light soy sauce
- 1 tsp of cornflour
- one large onion, diced finely
- two tsps of garlic paste
- same again of ginger paste
- look, we know you can use fresh, and that's fine if you prefer, but this is a lazy dinner
- 250g of broccoli, chopped into tiny little trees
- pinch of chilli flakes if you like your arse all-a-tingle
- 250ml of good beef stock
- over a high heat and with a little bit of oil, fry off the beef for a minute or so with two tablespoons of soy sauce until browned on all sides, then set aside
- in the same pan, add a little more oil if needed and saute, on a medium heat, the onion until golden, adding the ginger and garlic towards the end
- add the broccoli and chilli flakes and keep frying off for a minute or two more
- mix together the cornflour, beef stock and remainder of the soy sauce, making sure there's no lumps or so help me god
- add the beef and the liquid above into the pan and bubble away on a high heat until cooked and thickened and what have you
- serve with rice
- we prefer our broccoli with a bit of crunch but if you're of the generation that believes a vegetable ready for tea should be set away boiling seven months before because you'd take rickets over vitamins, then parboil the broccoli before hand
- but seriously, get out of that habit, enjoy some flavour
- add peppers into this to bulk it out - chopped into fat strips and thrown in with the onion
- buy your broccoli pre-chopped by all means, but it's easier to just cut your own. Well no easier no, but certainly less bougie
- 100 dinner time favourites for your perusal in our newest cookbook DINNER TIME, launching in May - you can pre-order here!
- perhaps you prefer things fast and filling - well there's over 100 speedy recipes in cookbook two: order yours here!
- let's go back to where it all began - cookbook one: click here to order
- you want somewhere to track your successes - try our diet planner: here
Disclosure: the links above are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Which is handy, because Paul seemingly needs a new set of clothes every time he leaves a room and he's costing us a tonne in fabric conditioner
Now listen: Paul and I are taking a short break – only a couple of weeks, and then we’ll be back with more content. Until then, look after the place, feed the cats, blast the skidders off the netty. Back April 5.
Every time I shut my eyes, it’s always the same.