The days are warm already this year with the garden thinking that spring has arrived. However, the nights are still cool – time to enjoy my hearty homemade soup one last time before the warm spring evenings are upon us. This recipe is cobbled together from watching my mother and grandmother making soups with leftovers from the pantry and the fridge. It tastes wholesome with friends and neighbours always asking for some – it’s one of those dishes that never finishes as each day you add a little more water to top up what you ate the previous day !!!
2 pieces veal osso buco
1 cup dried Italian Soup mix – you want the mixed beans and lentils with no barley
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
3 sticks celery, sliced
3 large carrots, sliced
3 medium desiree or kestrel potatoes, peeled and sliced
mixed herbs – whatever you can find; Bay leaves, Rosemary, parsley stalks, thyme, and the light green celery leaves from the heart of the bunch of celery
1/4 cabbage, shredded
800g(2lb) can diced tomatoes
2 Beef stock cubes
4 cups water
miscellaneous vegetables from fridge to add at the end; I like sliced zuchinni and green beans
- Brown the Osso Buco in a little olive oil and butter in a large pot; Remove.
- Now saute the onions and garlic. When soft add the herbs to bloom – sautéing in oil releases far more flavour than adding the herbs to the liquid at the end.
- Add celery and carrots and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Now add the soup mix, beef stock cubes, canned tomatoes, water and the browned so buck. Bring to the boil. Turn to a low simmer. Simmer for 60 minutes.
- After 60 minutes, add the potatoes and shredded cabbage. Continue cooking for another 60 to 90minutes until the soup mix is cooked.
- Remove the osso buco. Add marrow from bones to the soup. Remove fat from the meat and shred it. Return shredded meat to the pot. The soup should be thick but if u think it needs more liquid add some now – add half cup water at a time so that you don’t end up diluting soup too much. Bring back to boil. Taste and add seasoning as required. It is best left for a day at this stage to improve flavour but of course can be eaten immediately.
- Just before serving add miscellaneous vegetables on hand; Green Beans, sliced zucchini, etc and heat. Boil for no more than one minute to keep vegetables crunchy.
- This soup can keep for up to a week if you reheat it every day. Reheat slowly so as not to burn. Add additional water if it gets to thick BUT add water when soup is hot. The soup thins up as it heats so you cannot be sure how much water is required.
- Enjoy with crusty bread.
A hearty and delicious soup for even the diehard anti-soup individual. As a child my son, Sven, refused to eat soup – it was all those vegetables he abhorred. One day I found this meat based soup to convert him. It’s seriously good – try it. If you’re wanting a few more vegetables add cubed carrots at the same time as the potatoes. This soup does NOT freeze well.
Serves 6 as a meal.
1kg(2lbs) gravy beef or blade steak, trimmed and cut into 1cm(1/2 inch) cubes
2 Tablespoons paprika + 2Tablespoons extra
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 Tablespoons plain flour
1 cup dry red wine
3 onions, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
2x400g (1lb) cans tomatoes
4 cups beef stock
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1 cup sour cream or plain yoghurt
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
- Marinade beef cubes in 2 tablespoons of the paprika and wine in the fridge overnight.
- Heat butter in large saucepan, add onions, garlic, caraway seeds and additional 2 tablespoons paprika and salute until onions are soft.
- Add beef. Cook stirring for 5 minutes. Then add undrained crushed tomatoes and beef stock. Mix well. Bring to the boil. Reduce temperature and simmer for an hour.
- Add cubed potatoes and cook a further 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked and meat is soft.
- Just before serving blend flour into sour cream or yoghurt, and stir into soup. Cook around 5minutes till soup has thickened.
- Servie sprinkled with parsley. Yum.
This is a popular family casserole that we nicknamed Ding dong do. Whilst it is a curry of Asian origin this recipe is mild with only a pinch of chilli powder and ideal for all children. The lemon rind, almonds and jam give it a rich dark colour and beautiful flavour. If you like it hot serve some chopped chilli on the side.
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1kg topside or chuck steak, cubed
3 Tablespoons whole almonds
1 Tablespoon grated lemon rind
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons plum jam or any dark jam
1ml chilli powder
1 cup beef stock
- Place beef cubes in a plastic bag. Add a little flour and toss cubes in the bag till coated with a fine layer of flour.
- Brown meat in batches in a large pot, removing when golden.
- Then sauté onions and garlic in the same pot.
- Add meat to onions after a few minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 2½ hours or till meat is tender
- Serve with steamed rice
It tastes so much better homemade despite the fact that there is some work and so many dishes. My son, Sven, always loved the crispy topping – finishing the top with the lasagne sheets instead of the cheese sauce makes it extra crispy. Sven and his Dad were always in there fighting for that last helping.
Serves 6-8 (In our family it was only enough for 4 !!!!!)
1 tablespoon oil
500g (1 lb) minced steak
2 x 470g (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon rosemary
½ teaspoon sugar
- Saute onion and garlic.
- Add mince and brown over a high heat.
- Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 30 minutes.
60 g (2 oz) butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
125 g (4 oz) grated cheddar cheese
- Melt butter in saucepan, stir in flour; cook gently, stirring, 1 minute.
- Gradually add the milk, stir until sauce boils and thickens.
- Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg. Finally add cheese.
Assembling the Lasagna
250 g (8 oz) lasagne noodles
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup cream
- Layers 1/3 of the meat sauce in the base of a 33cmx22cm (9x12inch) ovenproof dish.
- Cover with 1/3 of the cheese sauce; Then layer lasagne pasta sheets to cover top completely.
- Repeat these three layers twice more finishing with the pasta sheets on top – not the cheese sauce.
- Sprinkle top of lasagne sheets with 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese.
- Bake in moderate oven 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven, gently pour or spoon cream over the top of cheese. Bake for further 10 to 15 minutes.
Smoked beef is something my grandmother always used to buy when I was a child. I didn’t discover it in Sydney until the kids were teenagers and we loved it for Saturday lunch dressed up like this. It also makes great finger food when using small rounds of baguette. In many countries smoked beef is also known as Bresaola.
Very thinly sliced smoked beef(bresaola)
Quality olive oil
French stick or woodfired bread
- Layer rocket on sliced bread – no need for butter.
- Top with smoked beef. Drizzle with a little olive oil.
- Serve as an open sandwich. Yum.
Everyone loves savoury mince so it’s a great backup when you are too tired or busy to plan anything. Serve it with rice and a salad. I used to make double quantities as it’s great on sandwiches and a favourite addition to school lunch boxes.
500g topside mince
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder or vindaloo curry paste
2 Tablespoons tomato puree
1 cup frozen peas
1 large potato, peeled and cubed into 1cm cubes. If the cubes are too large they won’t cook in time.
- Sauté onion in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
- Add garlic and curry paste and stir till fragrant.
- Turn up the heat and add the mince ensuring that the onions end up on top of the mince so that they don’t burn.
- Brown mince for a few minutes, stirring to keep it loose.
- Add tomato puree and potatoes. If necessary add a 1/2 cup of water so that there is enough liquid for the potatoes to cook BUT you want the finished result to be dry so only a LITTLE water.
- Put lid on. Lower the heat and simmer about 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
- Add peas and after they have defrosted, about 3 minutes, serve with rice, sambals and a green or tomato salad. if I don’t have frozen peas, I often use green beans.
Do yourself a favour and make this just once. It’s not difficult – there are just a lot of ingredients to throw together – and it makes a whopping 750ml. Of course you will use it more generously than the bought variety because it is so good you will want to smother everything in it BUT there will be plenty leftover for future barbecues. Refrigerate in an old jam jar or freeze in 150ml containers for up to 4 weeks.. It is best warmed up so put the jam jar in the microwave for a few mins before eating. Once you have tasted this barbecue sauce with steak and sausages, you will never use the bought variety again. It’s also great with baked potatoes or sweet potatoes for vegetarians.
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup oil
1 cup tomato sauce
½ cup water
1 vegetable stock cube
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup soya sauce
¼ cup vinegar
2T(30ml) honey or sugar
- Brown onion and garlic for a few minutes in the oil over a medium heat.
- Add remaining ingredients.
- Bring to boil and simmer 12-15 minutes.
- Serve warm with steak, sausages or baked vegetables.
I always struggled to make a good curry that would live up to my husband, Neil’s, expectations of how his mother used to do it. He was from Natal with a large Indian population who made the most wonderful curries. One day I discovered Patak’s vindaloo paste and this did the trick – so easy, none of the fiddling around with spices that I could never get to work. I never told husband, Neil, about Pataks – just basked in the glory of his belief that I had finally learned how to make a good curry. This Beef Vindaloo was also my daughter, Bianca’s, favourite dish for many years. Of course, like all curries it tastes better the next day so make a day ahead. Use the tins of Patak paste which have an excellent depth and combination of flavour – not the simmer sauce. In addition use quality beef. Pataks is a British company that exports to Commonwealth and English speaking countries and should be available in most places.
1x285g tin Pataks Vindaloo Paste
1x440g tin coconut milk
1 onion, chopped
4 potatoes, cubed
1kg cubed topside beef
- Sauté onion in deep 23cm diameter pot over moderate heat till soft.
- Add vindaloo paste. Fry over low heat a few minutes until fragrant.
- Turn up heat, add beef and mix for a minute.
- Add coconut milk and ¼ cup of water.
- Bring to boil and simmer over a low heat for 90 minutes.
- Add cubed potatoes and simmer for another hour. The meat should almost be falling apart and the potatoes firm.
- Serve with steamed basmati rice accompanied by Mrs Balls chutney and pappadums.
- Don’t feel guilty when everyone compliments you on an authentic curry.
The mince is tasty and the macaroni is crispy – everyone loves this wholesome dish. It’s the ideal way to end the week on a Sunday Evening.
1 large onion, chopped
2T(30ml) tomato paste
1t(5ml) mixed dried herbs or any available fresh herbs
- Sauté onions in butter in a large frying pan over low heat until golden.
- Increase heat to high. Add mince and brown for a few minutes.
- Then cook over a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- In the mean time cook macaroni until al denté according to packet instructions.
- Mix the tomato paste and herbs into the mince mixture and cook for a few more minutes.
- Stir cooked macaroni into mince mixture and leave to cook for a bit longer so that macaroni goes a bit crispy and browns.
- Add lots of black pepper and serve with a tomato or green salad.
Make this one just as it is. The result will be a rich, tasty casserole to serve with rice or fettucine. I never did have success when trying to increase the quantities.
750g cubed beef topside
2 onions, sliced
1 clove garlic
1T (15ml) tomato puree
¾ cup beef stock
parsley, bay leaf and thyme
- Brown the meat a few pieces at a time over a high heat, removing when brown.
- Lower the heat and sauté the sliced onions for a few minutes.
- Add garlic, paprika, and after a minute the flour, tomato puree and finally the stock.
- Stir until boiling and thick.
- Replace the meat and add the herbs.
- Cover and simmer gently for about 2 hours until the meat is tender.
- Delicious with fettucine or steamed rice.