So we are constantly thinking about quick, healthy and tasty meals that make the most of fresh British produce. We like to have a mixture of classic dishes with other new ideas. There are trends in food just as in fashion – it’s Middle Eastern at the moment, which means delicious slow-cooked tagines and couscous salads. We also get ideas when we eat out or go on holiday. The inspiration for our recipe this week came from our editor Lucy, who returned from a holiday in South Africa raving about a delicious meat dish that she had eaten there and saying our readers would love it. We hope you do!
We’ll be adding new recipes to this page every week so stay in touch. And if you need any more recipe inspiration, you’ll find plenty on our Pinterest page. Happy Eating and see you soon!
Minced beef is such a versatile meat and so family-friendly. It can be used for burgers, cottage pie, chilli con carne, spag bol – and this unusual and tasty dish from South Africa. It’s a delicious fusion of sweet and savoury tastes as the mince is cooked with curry powder, dried fruit and chutney. And then, rather than pastry or potato, it is topped with egg and milk to form a rich crust as it bakes. It’s unusual but I am sure if you try it, you’ll find it will become a family favourite. It’s also a great dish to do if you want to show off a bit for a dinner with friends – you can prepare the mixture up to step 3 the night before and then add the topping when you are ready to cook it. Because British beef is so good this month, we’ve added a video for another way to cook it – braising, really easy and economical as you can use cheaper cuts of meat. Enjoy!
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4.
Break the bread into pieces and put in a bowl, spoon over 3 tbsp of the milk and leave to soak.
Meanwhile, heat the oil and fry the onion for 5 minutes. Add the mince and curry powder, and cook until the meat browns. Then add the bread, raisins or sultanas and chutney and, if you have time, leave to chill before you spoon
the mixture into an ovenproof dish.
Whisk the eggs with the remaining milk and season. Pour over the meat mixture and bake for 35-40 minutes.
If you've got a special occasion coming up, this is a knock-out dish that never fails to please. The enjoyment starts when you assemble the marinade the night before and the heady aroma of red wine, bay leaf and thyme fills the kitchen with a kind of Fragrance of French Farmhouse. Then it takes just 20 minutes to assemble the next day, whack it in the oven for 3 hours and you have a delicious dinner. Even better, it’s one of those dishes that tastes just as good if it’s made the day before and gently reheated. Or even frozen and thawed overnight before heating through. I hope you enjoy it! Our video shows you how to get perfectly browned meat to add colour and richness to any casserole.
To serve, mash and French beans (optional)
Put the beef into a large bowl and season with black pepper. Add the red wine, garlic, bay leaf, if using, and half the thyme. Cover and refrigerate.
Preheat oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/Gas 3. Heat the oil in a large pan or casserole. Fry the bacon then add the shallots and fry until golden. Set aside.
Add the beef to the pan, reserving the marinade, and fry until golden. Sprinkle the flour over and cook for a minute or two. Add the butter and fry the mushrooms for a few minutes.
Return the bacon and shallots to the pan with the marinade, stock, tomato purée and remaining thyme and cover tightly. Cook in the oven for 3 hours.
This indulgent breakfast is ready in minutes, and it’s a lovely way to make the most of a day when you don’t have to leap out of bed and start rushing around immediately. You can top it with any kind of fruit that’s in store or even defrost some frozen berries or use canned peaches or apricots. Yum – if only every day could begin like this! And while we’re in the mood for breakfast, we thought we’d show you our How To video for perfect scrambled eggs. As you’ll see, the cook’s secret is not to overcook them so they stay creamy and don’t become too dry.
Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the milk and mix with a fork. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan. Dip a slice of fruit loaf into the egg mixture and put it straight into the pan, you should fit 3 or 4 slices in the pan at one time. Cook for 2 -3 minutes on each side or until cooked and golden.
Repeat with the rest of the bread and egg mixture. Cut each slice of eggy bread in half, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and serve with fresh berries or other fruit.