20 June 2012

GUEST BLOG: Suet good

By guest blogger TRACEY

No surprises that the guys at the Approved Premises were delighted meat was on the menu on Wednesday 20 June. Stewing steak was used to make some hearty stew with suet and rosemary dumplings, while the rest was put to good use in our suet pastry-topped pie. Both were accompanied with cumin-coated roast potatoes.

The guys began by peeling, chopping, washing and slicing the numerous vegetables: beetroot, pumpkin, onions, celery, turnip, carrots, leeks - to name a few! These were divided into hard and soft veg so the latter wouldn’t turn to mush while cooking. Rob brought in his pressure cooker and highlighted that they reduce cooking time by a third… reducing fuel and cost! The hard veg, steak and fresh aromatic thyme were placed into the cooker and after a short while some lovely tender meat and perfectly cooked veg were ready to have the sautéed soft veg added to them. To my horror, two unnecessarily large tablespoons of Marmite were added to the stew along with tomato puree and bouillon powder. The mixture was then halved and chillies added to the stew mix.  

After a break, the guys got their hands mucky making the suet pastry and suet and rosemary dumplings. It was great as the guys work so well together - it’s not unusual to see one participant pouring water while the other is mixing it in to make the dough… teamwork at its best. The dough was rolled and shaped to form the pie lid, while the dumplings were portioned into ample-sized portions, then added to the stew and left to simmer. Twenty-five minutes passed and the dumplings hadn’t fluffed and neither had the roast potatoes roasted, but we didn’t let the slow hob or oven hinder us; the dumplings were transferred to the oven and the roast potatoes and pie were rotated to give each a chance to cook… some of life’s small challenges when cooking up a hearty feast!

This group don’t let anything go to waste (which we love) and one participant proposed cutting and twisting some strips of leftover pastry and brushing them with oil – a great suggestion. The overall opinion was that it was “a great session with some tasty and wholsesome food… roll on next week”. Personally, I can’t believe I’ve consumed Marmite, but the stew was delicious and I think Rob may have converted me!.

There are more photographs from this session on our Facebook page: click here.

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