Robert Carrier’s Rare Roast Beef

Robert Carrier was a very popular television chef in the 80s. He was famous for ladling on butter, cream and booze onto anything on a plate and in due course fell out of favour with the fat police in the later stages of the 80s and into the 90s. Fortunately one of my flatmates bought me Carrier’s Quick Cook for a Christmas present in 1983 and I’ve used it ever since. As you know, we are not afraid to chuck fat or booze on our food and the lower the carbs in your diet, the more we encourage you to do so.

A few weeks ago I was visiting my son in Leeds and off we went for an outing to Harewood House. This elegant house is in amazing grounds landscaped by Capability Brown. It is a thought that this man laid out many Victorian gardens but never lived to see them attain their full glory.

The grounds include a gem of a second hand bookshop and there I purchased Robert Carrier’s New Great Dishes of the World.  I already have his original Great Dishes of the World and was thrilled to have more boozy, creamy, meaty recipes at my fingertips.

I am now going to describe the late, great, Robert’s method to get perfect, rare roast beef with minimum effort.  He insists that you must have at LEAST 2.5 kg of boned and rolled meat.  I bought  a stunningly expensive rib eye joint of this weight and having never had a disappointment in 34 years of cooking from Carrier’s books entrusted it to his experience.

This is what you do.

Take the meat out of the fridge at least 2 hours before cooking time and hide it from your cats.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees centigrade or 500 Fahrenheit or gas 10 for at least 20 minutes ahead of time. The oven must be roasting hot.

Rub the joint with salt and pepper and spread it with dripping or butter. This could be about 4 tablespoons or so. Don’t skimp.

Put the meat on a rack in a roasting pan in the oven and cook for 5 minutes per 450g/lb and then switch OFF the oven BUT DON’T OPEN THE DOOR.

Leave it all on its own for two hours.

Touch the meat with your fingers. If it is warm take out and serve. If it is cool but the oven back on at 250 /500/10 for ten minutes or so to warm it before serving.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Jovina cooks: Easy fish and vegetable foil parcels

Fish and Veggie Grilled Packets

Until I started cooking fish on the grill with this method, I never realized how delicious and moist the fish would taste.
4 servings
Ingredients
16 oz Mahi Mahi fish fillets, about 1/2 inch thick and cut into 4 equal pieces
8 extra-large shrimp, cleaned and peeled
4 large sea scallops
4 fresh thyme sprigs
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 small red onion, cut into eighths
2 bell peppers, each cut into 12 thin slices
12 grape tomatoes, cut in half
Paprika, salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Extra-virgin olive oil

 

Directions
Preheat grill to medium.
To make the packets: lay two 18-inch sheets of heavy-duty foil on top of each other (the double layers will help protect the contents from burning); generously coat the top piece with olive oil cooking spray. Repeat with six more pieces of foil.
Divide the onions and bell pepper equally on bottom of the 4 pieces of heavy-duty foil.
Place a piece of fish on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, Add 2 shrimp and 1 scallop to each packet.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add tomatoes, garlic and chives to each packet.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Bring the short ends of the foil together, leaving enough room in the packet for steam to gather and cook the food.
Fold the foil over and pinch to seal. Pinch seams together along the sides. Make sure all the seams are tightly sealed to keep steam from escaping.
Grill the packets until the fish is cooked through and the vegetables are just tender, about 15 minutes.
To serve, carefully open both ends of the packets and allow the steam to escape. Use a spatula to slide the contents onto plates. Serve with the lemon sauce.

Lemon Sauce
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Dash or two of hot sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Directions
Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat on the grill or on the stove. Serve with the fish packet.

Jovina cooks: A traditional French feast

Madame Saucourt’s Ratatouille
Hotel Mas des Serres in Saint Paul de Vence.
Source: Mediterranean Grains and Greens by Paula Wolfert

Ingredients
5 pounds eggplant
5 pounds zucchini
5 pounds sweet onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
1 quart extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mixed herbs: rosemary, savory, peppermint, thyme, and celery
1 bay leaf
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups dry yet fruity white wine
2 pounds ripe red tomatoes, cored and seeded
5 pounds red bell peppers
A few drops of red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs for garnish: basil, parsley, thyme
Directions
Stem and peel the eggplant. Cut the flesh into 1″ cubes and place them in a deep kettle filled with very salty water. Keep submerged with a non-corrodible plate for at least 1 hour
Stem and peel the zucchini. Cut the flesh into 1″ cubes and place in a deep colander. Toss the zucchini with salt and let stand 1/2 hour.
In a very large heavy skillet or heavy-bottomed roasting pan cook the chopped onions in 1/2 cup water and 1 cup olive oil until the onions are soft and golden, about 30 minutes. Add the garlic, chopped herbs, bay leaf, sugar, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of the wine. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes.
Coarsely chop the tomatoes with their skins in the work bowl of a food processor. Add to the skillet and continue cooking at a simmer for 11/2 hours. Whenever the onion-tomato mixture starts to stick or burn, “deglaze” with a few tablespoons of water and scrape with a wooden spoon.
Grill the peppers; when cool, peel, stem, seed and cut into small pieces. Set aside.
Rinse and drain the eggplant and zucchini and lightly press dry with toweling.
Slowly heat the remaining 3 cups of olive oil in a wide pan or fryer until medium-hot. Add the zucchini in batches, and fry until golden on all sides. Transfer the zucchini with a slotted spoon to a colander set over a bowl to catch any excess oil. When all the zucchini has been fried, fry the eggplant in the same manner. From time to time return the drained oil in the bowl to the pan.
Spread the zucchini, eggplant, and peppers over the simmering onion-tomato mixture and pour in the remaining wine. Cover and cook at a simmer for 11/2 hours. From time to time remove the cover to help evaporate some of the liquid.
Place a colander over a large bowl and pour the contents of the skillet into it to drain. Stir carefully to avoid crushing the vegetables while trying to encourage any trapped oil and juices to drain. Quickly cool down the captured juices in order to remove as much oil as possible. If there is a lot of juice, boil it down until thick. Reserve all the frying oil and oil from the vegetables for another use. Pour the juices over the vegetables, taste for seasoning, add vinegar, and carefully stir to combine. Serve hot or cold. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.

Coquilles St-Jacques

Serves 6
Ingredients
8 oz. button mushrooms, minced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 small shallots, minced
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoons minced tarragon, plus 6 whole leaves, to garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup dry vermouth
1 bay leaf
6 large sea scallops
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup grated Gruyère
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Directions
Heat mushrooms, 4 tablespoons butter, and 2⁄3 of the shallots in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat; cook until the mixture forms a loose paste, about 25 minutes. Stir the parsley and minced tarragon into the mushroom mixture; season with salt and pepper.
Divide mixture among 6 cleaned scallop shells or shallow gratin dishes. Bring remaining shallots, vermouth, bay leaf, salt, and 3⁄4 cup water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add scallops; cook until barely tender, about 2 minutes.
Remove scallops; place each over mushrooms in shells. Continue boiling cooking liquid until reduced to 1⁄2 cup, about 10 minutes; strain.
Heat broiler to high. Heat remaining butter in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add reduced cooking liquid and cream; cook until thickened, about 8 minutes. Add cheese, juice, salt, and pepper; divide the sauce over scallops.
Broil until browned on top, about 3 minutes; garnish each with a tarragon leaf.

French Cassoulet
This hearty dish from southwestern France, known as a cassoulet, is a one-pot meal. A slow-simmered mix of beans, pork sausages, pork shoulder, pancetta and duck topped with a bread crumb crust , takes its name from the earthenware casserole in which it was traditionally made. My comment:You don’t need to use the breadcrumb crust.
Serves 6-8
Ingredients
1 lb. dried great northern beans
10 tablespoons duck fat or olive oil
16 cloves garlic, smashed
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 large ham hocks
1 lb. pork shoulder, cut into 1″cubes
1⁄2 lb. pancetta, cubed
4 sprigs oregano
4 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
1 cup whole peeled canned tomatoes
1 cup white wine
2 cups chicken broth
4 duck legs
1 lb. pork sausages
2 cups bread crumbs (preferably not on a low carb diet!)
Directions
Soak the beans in a 4-qt. bowl in 7 1⁄2 cups water overnight.
Heat 2 tablespoons of duck fat in a 6-qt. pot over medium-high heat. Add half the garlic, onions, and carrots and cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add ham hocks along with beans and their water and boil. Reduce heat and simmer beans until tender, about 1 1⁄2 hours.
Transfer ham hocks to a plate; let cool. Pull off meat; discard skin, bone, and gristle. Chop meat; add to beans. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons duck fat in a 5-qt. dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown for 8 minutes. Add pancetta; cook for 5 minutes. Add remaining garlic, onions, and carrots; cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Tie together oregano, thyme, and bay leaves with twine; add to pan with tomatoes; cook until liquid thickens, 8–10 minutes. Add wine; reduce by half. Add broth; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, uncovered, until liquid has thickened, about 1 hour. Discard herbs; set dutch oven aside.
Sear the duck legs in 2 tablespoons duck fat in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat for 8 minutes; transfer to a plate. Brown the sausages in the fat, about 8 minutes. Cut sausages into 1⁄2″ slices. Pull duck meat off bones. Discard fat and bones. Stir duck and sausages into pork stew.
Heat the oven to 300˚F. Mix beans and pork stew in a 4-qt. earthenware casserole. Cover with bread crumbs; drizzle with remaining duck fat.
Bake, uncovered, for 3 hours. Raise oven temperature to 500˚; cook the cassoulet until the crust is golden, about 5 minutes.

 

Jovina cooks: Spinach stuffed salmon

spinach

Stuffed Roasted Salmon Rolls
For 2 servings – this recipe is easily doubled.
Ingredients
12 oz center-cut boneless, skinless salmon fillet, cut lengthwise into 2 strips
4 cups fresh raw spinach leaves, stems removed, cooked and squeezed dry
1/4 cup cream cheese with onion and chives, if available, or regular cream cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil
Directions
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking dish with olive oil.
Mix together the cream cheese, garlic and spinach until well blended then season with salt and pepper.
The mixture will be firm.

Season the salmon strips with salt and pepper and spread each fillet strip with the spinach filling.
Starting at one end, roll the salmon up tightly, tucking in any loose filling as you go.

Insert a toothpick through the end to keep the pinwheel from unrolling. Place the rolls in the prepared dish.

Repeat with the remaining salmon strip. Sprinkle the rolls with the lemon juice.
Bake the salmon rolls until just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the toothpicks before serving.

 

Jovina cooks: a magnificent Mexican feast

Planning a Mexican themed party is a great way to entertain. Much of the organization can be done in advance and guests can serve themselves. Offer options for toppings and sides that you think will appeal to your guests. If you know someone is vegetarian, then plan a vegetable filling along with fish and meat fillings. Don’t forget the margaritas and ice cream is great as a dessert for this type of meal.  You can provide tacos and tortillas for friends and family who are not low carbers. Plan on 2-3 tacos or tortillas per person. The beans are also a high carb item so eat sparingly or not at all if you are low carbing. As you can see there are some great options for you in this selection.
For the lime-cilantro sour cream sauce
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 scallion, minced
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Grated zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

pico de gallo.jpg
For the Pico de Gallo
2 large plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 small clove garlic, grated
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
For the shrimp marinade
2 teaspoons ground Ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound large shrimp (about 24), shelled and deveined
For the swordfish marinade
1 teaspoon Ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon Chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 oz swordfish fillet
For the steak marinade
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Kosher salt to taste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoons Chipotle chili powder
Two 12-ounce, 1-inch thick, boneless Ribeye or New York strip steaks
For the tacos (optional) 
12 6-inch corn tortillas or more depending on the number of guests

if not using tacos put these items out on the buffet table:
2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
Grated Cheddar cheese
4 limes, quartered
Directions
To make the lime-cilantro sour cream sauce:
Combine all the ingredients in a 2-cup serving bowl and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate, covered, up to 4 hours until ready to use.
To make the Pico de Gallo:
In a medium bowl, mix together tomatoes, scallions, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, oregano and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature, covered, until serving time.
To prepare the shrimp:
In a small bowl, combine the Ancho powder, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper and stir to mix. Add the oil and whisk until a loose paste is formed. Add the shrimp and mix well to cover the shrimp in the spices. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
To prepare the swordfish:
In a small bowl, combine the chili powders, oregano, coriander and garlic. Stir in the oil to make a paste. Rub on all sides of the swordfish and set on a plate. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
To prepare the steak:
Combine all the ingredients for the steak rub in a small bowl and rub over the steaks. Place the steaks on a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
To grill the shrimp, swordfish and steak:
Light a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill on high. Oil the grill’s cooking surface. Let the coals burn down to a medium-hot fire or adjust the gas grill burners to medium.
Place the swordfish on a section of the grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning the fish half way through the cooking time. Let rest on a plate.
Place the steaks on another section of the grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning the steaks half way through the cooking time. Let rest on a plate.
Thread the shrimp on skewers. Grill over direct heat, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the skewers and transfer to a serving platter.
Cut the swordfish and steak into thin slices. Transfer to the serving platter with the shrimp.
Divide the tortillas into 2 stacks and wrap each in aluminum foil. Place on the grill until heated through, about 5 minutes.
To assemble the tacos:
In each tortilla place 3 grilled shrimp or swordfish slices or steak slices, a tablespoon of the sour cream sauce, a tablespoon of the Pico de Gallo and some of the cabbage and cheese. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the filling and fold the tortilla.
Guacamole Salad
Ingredients
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
Salt and pepper
4 scallions, sliced thin
1 small garlic clove, minced
½ tablespoon grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and finely minced
1 ripe avocados, pitted, skinned, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
Lettuce leaves
Directions
Mix together the tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheet and let drain 15 minutes.
Combine the scallions, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in large bowl. Let sit 5 minutes, then slowly whisk in oil.
Add the jalapeno chilies, avocados, cilantro and drained tomatoes to the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in lettuce cups.

Beans On The Side (optional as also high in carbs)
The beans taste better if made the day before serving.
Ingredients
To cook the beans:
1 ½ cups orca beans (white and black colorings), washed
1 onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
To finish the bean dish:
½ cup finely diced onion
½ cup finely diced celery
½ cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon chili powder
Directions
Place the beans in a medium-sized saucepan and cover with cold water by two inches high. Cover and soak overnight.
The next day, add the onion, garlic and salt to the soaking liquid and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 1 ½ hours until tender.
Chill the beans overnight in the refrigerator in their cooking liquid.
The next day, drain the beans. Stir in the cilantro and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic and chili powder. Saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the beans and heat. Serve as a side dish.

 

Courtney Pine: My pizza substitute frittata

Originally published in The Observer 3.9.17

Courtney_Pine_by_Augustas_Didzgalvis.jpg

” I just found this recipe and it’s unbelievable.

You take six eggs, garlic, onions, parmesan and sun-dried tomato paste and put them in a blender. Then fry in olive oil till slightly solid. Fry peppers and sliced Portobello mushrooms until caramelised. Add these to the top, add grated cheese and place in the oven for 15 minutes.

It’s so simple. I must admit to improvising a bit when I cook. This is usually billed as a pizza replacement meal. Now nothing really replaces pizza, but this comes close.”

Jovina cooks from the Med: Versatile vegetable dips

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Marinated Olives

Ingredients

1½ cups mixed black and green olives, a combination of Sicilian green olives, Greek Kalamata olives and Spanish green olives
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 sprig fresh rosemary,
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 pinch crushed red pepper
1 clove garlic, sliced thin

Directions

Remove the needles from the rosemary sprig. Discard the stem and chop the needles.

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, stirring occasionally.

Remove the olives from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving to allow them to come to room temperature. Store any leftover olives in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a week.

Red Pepper Hummus

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup water
15 oz canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)—rinsed and drained
½ cup tahini
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup jarred or homemade roasted red peppers, chopped
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (chili)
Extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth, scraping the sides occasionally. Pour into a serving bowl and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil.

Tzatziki

Ingredients

1 cucumber, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
2 cups Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill or mint
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Scrape the seeds out of the cucumber halves using the pointy end of a teaspoon and discard.

Grate the cucumber flesh into a bowl then squeeze out any excess moisture using your hands,(a small handful at a time.

Place the grated cucumber into a large bowl and add the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, dill, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

Place the tzatziki in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (and preferably overnight) to let the flavors blend.

All-Purpose Dressing

Ingredients

2½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
½ clove garlic, grated
¼ teaspoon each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Shake together all the ingredients in a jar until well combined.

Tapenade

Tapenade can be used to season grilled fish or chicken. It is also delicious spread on toasted baguette slices and topped with chopped tomatoes or simply serve it with crackers or crusty bread and vegetable crudités for dipping.

Ingredients

1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup pitted black olives
1 tablespoon capers
2 anchovy fillets
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Serve at room temperature.

Peppers and Onions

Ingredients

6 bell peppers, a variety of colors
2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
1 thinly sliced medium onion
1 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for cooking
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions

To blister the peppers, place them on a hot grill or under the broiler. Turn on all sides until the skins are completely blackened.

Immediately transfer to a large resealable plastic bag or place in a large bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap to seal. Let sit for 30 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.

Working with one pepper at a time, transfer to a work surface. Remove the skin, stem, and seeds.

Cut the peppers into 2-inch strips.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan (over medium-high heat).

Add the sliced onions and sauté until the onions soften. Reduce heat to low heat and add the garlic and the sliced peppers. Add the salt and black pepper

Cover the pan and let the mixture stew together for about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into a storage bowl.

Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours to allow the flavors to develop.

Toss with the olive oil, vinegar and parsley just before serving.

Sautéed Greens

Ingredients

3 lbs fresh greens, stems removed and washed in several changes of water
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (chili)
Sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.

Directions

Place the greens with the washing water still clinging to the leaves in a large pot.Cook on low until completely wilted and tender, depending on the type of greens used.

Drain and cut the leaves into smaller pieces.

Place the olive oil, garlic and chili in the empty pot and heat over low until the garlic is tender but not brown.

Add the drained greens and cook just until hot. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in salt to taste and the lemon juice.