Recipe: Slow-Cooked Short Rib with Caramelised Garlic Mashed Potatoes

This comforting hug of a dish was a real hit! Both to cook and, of course, to eat. Cooking wise the oven does most of the work for you; tenderising those short ribs so that they completely fall off the bone when you try to pick them up. Together with the caramelised garlic for the mash, also cooking in the oven at the same time, the scents in the kitchen were a pure delight, and a good indicator of how nice our supper would be.

And indeed it was! Is there anything more joyful than a comforting plate of food that just fits together like peas in a pod?! Soft succulent umami full short ribs marriages so perfectly with the velvety and fluffy mashed potatoes with a lovely hint of earthy and sweet caramelised garlic.

The short rib recipe is courtesy of the brilliant What’s Gaby Cookinghttps://whatsgabycooking.com/garlic-red-wine-braised-short-ribs/, although a bit modified, but the caramelised garlic mashed potato recipe is all my own.

Red wine braised short ribs, serves 2-3

Adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking’s recipe.

900 g bone-in short rib of beef

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

1/2 celery stalk, chopped

1 tbsp plain flour

1/2 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 -1 bottle red wine

a few sprigs each of parsley, thyme, oregano and rosemary

1 bay leaf

2 cloves of garlic, sliced

400 ml beef stock

Preheat oven to 180C. Season short ribs liberally with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a casserole dish on medium-high heat. Brown short ribs on all side and transfer to a plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from pot.

Add onions, carrots, and celery to pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until onions are browned, about 5 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until well combined and deep red, 2-3 minutes. Stir in wine, then add the short ribs back in. Bring to a boil; lower heat to medium and simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 25 minutes. Add all herbs to pot along with garlic. Stir in stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to oven.

Cook until short ribs are tender, approx 2 hours. Transfer short ribs to a plate. Strain sauce from pot and spoon fat from surface of sauce and discard; season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on a pillow of caramelised garlic mashed potatoes.

Caramelised garlic mashed potatoes, serves 2-3

2 heads of garlic

650 g King Edward or Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into similar sized pieces

3 tbsp salted butter

approx 50 ml whole milk

salt and pepper

While the short ribs are cooking, cut the top off the garlic heads and wrap in tin foil. Place them in the oven until soft, approx 40-60 minutes. Remove until needed for the mashed potatoes.

Boil the potatoes just about covered with salted water on medium-low heat until soft, approx 15-20 pieces, depending on the size of the potato pieces. Drain water and let them sit uncovered for a minute. Add butter and some of the milk and either mash with a masher or beat with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add more milk as you go. Take the foil off the garlic heads and squeeze out the caramelised garlic into the mashed potatoes. Stir well and add more as you taste. Season well and serve with the short rib.

Recipe: Fillet of Beef, Pommes Anna, Mushroom Sauce with Cognac and Charred Spring Onions

New Year’s Eve feels so far away. Was it only three months ago?! But I still remember the lovely evening we had, and the food I cooked of course.

After plenty of bubbly and nibbles we had lobster with beurre blanc, and after that we had fillet of beef with pommes Anna, mushroom sauce with cognac, broccoli and charred spring onions. So yummy!

I cooked the fillet of beef whole, giving the end bits to Emma who prefers her more cooked, the medium pieces for the boys and the rarest for me. My guess work worked out well but I suggest you use a thermometer to get it just right.

I made the sauce the day before and heated it up while the rest was cooking but the rest I did the same evening. Luckily my friends have an open plan kitchen dining room so it’s easy to cook and be sociable at the same time.

Fillet of beef, Pommes Anna, mushroom sauce with cognac, broccoli and charred spring onions, serves 4

800-1000 g fillet of beef

butter and oil for frying

salt and pepper

1 kg maris piper (or similar firm potatoes), peeled and thinly sliced

150 g salted butter, melted

salt and peppar

300 g tenderstem broccoli

1 bunch spring onions, washed and trimmed

Mushroom sauce:

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp neutral oil for frying

100 g fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced

30 g dried black trumpet mushrooms (porcini works too but then you probably need a bit less)

400 ml double cream

1/4 vegetable stock cube

1-2 tsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp cognac

salt and pepper

Start with the potatoes as they need the longest time to prepare (and can be kept warm if needed). Add some melted butter to a cast iron (or oven proof – if you haven’t got one, use a springform) frying pan and cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of potato slices. Add more melted butter, salt and pepper and continue to layer (each slice overlapping others) until it’s full. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top and add something heavy and oven proof as a weight on top. Place in 200C oven for approx 15 minutes, then remove the weight and the paper and cooked until golden on top and soft in the middle (pierce with a pairing knife), approx 45 minutes all together. If it’s getting too brown cover with tin foil. Can be kept warm until needed covered in foil on a 150 C heat.

Next brown the beef on all sides in butter and oil on high heat. Add salt and pepper and place on an oven tray covered in oil. Add garlic and maybe some herbs and place in a 200 C oven until a few degrees shy of the temperature you want. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting it into 1cm though slices. If you want your beef really rare, brown it early but don’t put it in the oven until the potatoes and the sauce are well on their way. You can cook the vegetables as the meat is resting.

For the sauce, cover the dried mushrooms with boiling water in a bowl for a few minutes. Fry the onions and garlic until soft in butter and oil. Remove from pan, add more butter and oil if needed and fry the fresh mushrooms. Season and add it to the fried onions. Lastly, fry the rehydrated dried mushrooms and season. Add the other mushrooms and the onions back to the pan and lower the heat. Add the cream and stock cube and bring to a gentle boil. Add the dijon mustard and cognac and season to taste. If it’s too thick add a little water or fresh cream to make it thinner. Keep warm or reheat just before serving.

Boil the broccoli for approx 3 minutes, until it’s softened a bit but is still a bit crunchy. Drain and cover with kitchen towel. Fry the spring onions in a fry frying pan on high heat until charred.

To plate, cut the Pommes Anna into wedges, add the sauce, vegetables and the meat on top. Add some extra salt and pepper and enjoy!

Recipe: Beef Rydberg (a Swedish classic)

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Typically when I buy fillet of beef to make a steak sandwich or a pizza with steak and bearnaise sauce, I get some steak leftover. A first world problem I know, but this is the best way I know to use up those bits of steak. (Please note that only fillet of steak will do here as you want small tender uniform pieces.)

Beef Rydberg is a real classic Swedish restaurant dish served with fried onions and potatoes, a dijon crème and plenty of grated horseradish. It’s both hearty and sophisticated somehow and very comforting during the colder months.

Beef Rydberg, serves 2

ca 300 g fillet of beef, cut into (not too small) cubes

1 yellow onion or banana shallot, finely chopped 

400 g firm potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

butter for frying (and a little oil) 

salt and black pepper

Dijon crème:

100 ml thick creme fraiche

2-3 tsp dijon mustard (to taste)

1 tsp runny honey

salt, white pepper

To serve:

fresh grated horseradish 

chopped parsley

Mix the dijon crème and keep it cold. Bring water to the boil in a saucepan, add salt and the potato cubes and boil for about 5 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, fry the onions until soft in plenty of butter on a low-medium heat, without browning. Remove the onions and fry the drained potatoes in butter. Add salt, pepper and a little sugar abd fry until golden on the outside and soft inside (pierce with a knife to check). 

Pour the sauce into a little bowl or an empty egg shell, chop the parsley and keep the the onions and potatoes warm in separate pans while you fry the steak on high heat in butter and oil for approx 2 minutes (you don’t want the meat well done and it cooks quickly when it’s cut up like this). Rest the meat for a few minutes, then plate up. Scatter with parsley and serve with plenty of grated horseradish. 

Delia’s potato salad with vinaigrette

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This simple, yet quite sophisticated potato salad is one of Delia’s creations, and as I trust her ability I didn’t actually test this recipe before I made it for a dinner party; I just knew it would be nice. And of course it was. One can always trust Delia.

The only change I made was to cut down a bit on the shallots, as chopping onions really makes me cry. I think I gave up after having chopped eight shallots for double the amount of potatoes below.

Potato salad with vinaigrette, serves 8

Adapted from Delia Smith’s recipe.

900 g washed new potatoes

6 shallots, finely chopped

4 tbsp finely chopped (ot cut with scissors) chives

salt

Vinaigrette:

1 dessertspoon sea salt 

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 dessertspoon mustard powder

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

150 ml olive oil

black pepper

Steam or boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, for approx 20 minutes. Leave to cool a little and cut into smaller pieces if needed. 

Meanwhile make the vinaigrette using a pestle and mortar: crush the salt coarsely, then add the garlic. Crush it, mixing it with the salt, creating a purée. Add the mustard powder and really work it in, after that add some black pepper. 

Then add the vinegars and really work them in. Then add the oil, but switch to a small whisk and give everything a really good whisking. 

Stir in the vinagrette while the potatoes are still warm and add the shallots. Add the chives just before serving. Can be served still warm or cold.

Seafood feast at home

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Me coming home to visit is usually a good enough reason in my family to break out the bubbly and have a seafood feast! It’s important to celebrate the times we’re all together and make them special so we take every opportunity we get.

It may not be seafood every time we have a feast, but it’s quite often the case. We had this fabulous meal in December when I last visited and it was just wonderful, and the type of food we enjoy cooking, and eating, together.

We started with oysters, that were quite difficult to shuck without an oyster knife (we’d left it in the summer house), so we all did a few each. Good team effort, they’re quite strong the little molluscs. We had the oysters in the most simple, and our preferred, way with just lemon juice and Tabasco. What a treat!

 

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Our second course (although that sounds too fancy for peeling prawns) was smoked Atlantic prawns with home-made mayonnaise (a team effort by dad and me), which I just love. The taste is much more complex than fresh prawns and although it may sound strange to smoke prawns, it really works.

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We had a really nice bottle of bubbly, to drink, a Marquis de Haux Cremant de Bordeaux. It’s not readily available in Sweden, but shouldn’t be hard to find in the UK or the rest of Europe.

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For the main event, we had lobster. Something we usually only have as a starter, but I love it as a main course too. Again it was a team effort getting the food ready. I made the skin-on oven fries (that turned out great by the way), and was also in charge of picking the lobsters apart while mum made the lovely sauce. Good effort, team!

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This is our family version of lobster Thermidor with mushrooms, mustard. cognac and matured cheese and we all find it divine. When we think of something special to eat at home, this is always a contender. Most often we have it as a starter, rather than as a main, but after this meal I find it quite likely we’ll have it as a main-course more often than not.

As these were fresh lobster it was almost (but only almost) a sacrilege to coat them in a creamy sauce, so we all had a claw au natural with a dollop of mayonnaise to really taste the lobster.

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We had a lot of lovely food over the Christmas break, but this was my absolute favourite meal. We just had such a good time cooking together and dining together.

Homemade mayonnaise, serves 3-4

1 egg yolk, at room temperature 

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp white wine vinegar

approx 200 ml vegetable oil

1/2 lemon

salt, white pepper

Most important when making your own mayonnaise: 

  1. All ingredients (especially the egg and the oil) should be at room temperature 
  2. Whisk by hand, usng a balloon whisk (gives a better texture)
  3. Season to taste

Mix egg yolk, dijon and vinegar in a bowl. Whisk it together using a balloon whisk and add the oil drop by drop while whisking. Once the mixture has thickened you can add the oil in a little trickle, whisking continuously. Whisk until you have a thick and pale mayonnaise. Season to taste with lemon, white pepper and plenty of salt. Sprinkle a little paprika on top (to decorate) before serving. 

Skin-on oven fries, serves 4

800 g firm potatoes (Maris Piper is great)

2-3 tbsp vegetable oil

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180-200C, with the fan on. Wash the potatoes and then cut into sticks. Rinse away the starch. Pour the oil into a large oven-proof tray and add the potato sticks. Add plenty of salt and pepper. Massage the oil into the potato sticks using your hands and spread them out on the tray. Bake in the oven for approx 35 minutes or until crispy, golden and blistery on the outside and cooked through. 

New potato salad with girolles and bacon

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This wonderful potato salad is an old favourite. I saw a Swedish chef make it on TV many years ago and then made it myself a few times in Sweden and loved it. But moving to London girolles were no longer a staple mushroom in the supermarket so I forgot all about this dish until this summer when I cooked it for my parents. Luckily it was just as nice as I remembered it!

New potato salad with girolles and bacon, serves 4

Adapted from Gert Klötzke’s recipe.

10-12 baby new potatoes, cooked

1 packet rocket

1 litre girolles, cleaned

4 slices smoked bacon (at least)

1 chopped onion 

2 garlic cloves, chopped 

50 g thinly sliced cheddar 

butter for frying

salt, pepper

50 ml mustard vinaigrette (mix 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 3 tbsp olive oil)

Dice the potatoes and add to a large bowl. Fry the bacon until crisp, dice and mix with the potato. Fry the onion and garlic in butter until softened, add the mushrooms and fry until golden. Season. Add the mushroom to the bowl and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Mix well and lastly add the rocket and cheese. Mix again and serve. 

New potato salad with asparagus and wild garlic pesto

IMG_1431It’s not peak season for wild garlic anymore (sob) but I have been slightly too busy lately to be able to post on the blog regularly. I’m hoping to redeem myself with this delicious (and super easy) recipe and higher posting frequency going forward.

If you don’t happen to stumble on some fresh wild garlic in an usually shady part of the woods you can use blanched frozen wild garlic too, or bookmark the recipe for next year.

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New potato salad with grilled asparagus and wild garlic pesto, serves 4

450 g new potatoes

200 g asparagus

1 batch wild garlic pesto

salt, black pepper

Make the pesto. Boil the new potatoes in salted water. Drain and leave while you fry the asparagus on a griddle pan until semi-soft. Cut each stalk into 3-4 pieces and cut the potatoes into chunks. Toss with pesto in a bowl and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve with various barbecued meats or this lovely pork fillet.  

Rösti with Kalix roe, creme fraiche and red onions

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The combination of caviar, red onions and creme fraiche is a real classic for us Scandis, so much so it features in two subsequent posts here on the blog. The cheaper lumpfish roe or salmon roe can be found in most supermarkets in the UK but my favourite roe is the bleak roe from Kalix in Sweden. It’s just delicious and I import a few packs to keep in the freezer on most trips to Sweden.

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It’s best served in a simple way to enjoy the produce the most, like with rösti, red onions and creme fraiche. Last time I had this was just a regular Friday when I was staying in and felt like treating myself both to the roe and a glass of bubbly (since it’s such a wonderful combination).

Happy Friday all!

Fried halloumi with new potatoes, spinach and fried egg

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Maybe you’re beginning to sense a theme on the blog?! Food that’s quick to make when one’s busy, perhaps? Well that’s what my life looks like right now. If I cook at all at the moment it’s either for friends or a quick supper.

Work will hopefully slow down a little this week, but June is still horrendously packed (albeit with fun things). Last weekend I had Maria, Daniel and Otto visiting and this weekend I’m going to Sweden for a flying visit as one of my dear friends is getting married. And so it continues…

That’s why sometimes I cook food that’s ridiculously simple. One you don’t even need a recipe for. But it is still very tasty, filling and satisfying and definitely fresher than a takeaway.

How to (just in case):

Boil the new potatoes. Melt butter in a frying pan and fry the (drained) potatoes golden brown. Add spinach and let it wilt. Season. In a separate frying pan, fry an egg, remove and then fry a few slices of halloumi on high heat until golden brown. Serve. 

 

Halloumi salad with new potatoes, watercress, tomatoes and lime vinaigrette

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I can really crave certain foods, like sushi for example. Or a blue sirloin with bearnaise sauce. And most recently; fried halloumi. There is something utterly satisfying with the chewy, salty Cypriot cheese.

Last time I craved halloumi I also wanted a salad and potatoes and it resulted in this great salad based on this delicious Delia recipe for a starter with halloumi. I really loved this salad and although I was (very) happy to eat it on its own it would also work really well with say barbecued chicken skewers.

Halloumi salas with new potatoes, watercress, tomatoes and lime vinaigrette, serves 2

250 g new potatoes, cooked and cut in half

1 bag watercress

1 halloumi

a handful cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 red onion, sliced and marinated in lime juice

Vinaigrette:

1 lime, zest and juice

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 tbsp chopped coriander

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and black pepper

Mix the vinaigrette. Slice the halloumi and dry each piece with kitchen roll. Fry on high heat in a little oil until golden brown on both sides. 

Distribute water cress, new potatoes and cherry tomatoes on two plates. Remove the onion from the lime juice and divide between the plates. Drizzle with vinaigrette and place the fried halloumi on top.