By guest blogger TRACEY
It’s not surprising the guys at the Approved Premises left with full bellies on Monday 19 November - they cooked up a right feast of beef and vegetable bean stew, roast potatoes, and beef and seasonal vegetable pie. The production line commenced with the peeling and chopping of the beef shoulder, turnips, beetroots, butternut squash, onions, garlic, swede, parsnips and carrots. A large baking tray was used for the ‘roast potatoes in jackets’ and sprinkled with salt and lightly covered with oil. The guys then sweated the diced onions, while the meat, carrots, beetroot and herbs were put in the pressure cooker to tenderise and be infused with the flavours and fragrance of the thyme and rosemary. The remaining ‘softer’ veg were put on a low heat in the casserole. The veg and meat were mixed together and the black eyed peas and bay leaves were added, then left to simmer for around an hour. Once cooked, the veg and meat mix was split, and a tin of tomatoes was added to the half which was being used for the pie. Rob then shared the magical formula to get perfect pastry - half the amount of butter to flour - so the required amounts of flour, butter, suet, baking powder and water were measured out to make the dumplings and crust pastry lid. Two types of dumplings were made, herby and plain, and the dough was perfect so with the formula proved, both types of dumplings were placed in the stew to cook. The pie lid was rolled out and thumbed into the pie dish, then slit twice for the air to be released. Both the pie and stew had a lovely rustic appearance and a warm and hearty fill perfect for the cold and blustery weather we had to face in the afternoon.
There are more photographs from this event on the official Cracking Good Food Facebook page.