Friday, 28 August 2009

Birthday Boeuf

The countdown begins; I turn nineteen on Monday and the festivities have already begun. The birthday cards have started arriving through the letterbox, a lovely girl went through great pains to get my first present to me and I cooked my family a pretend-birthday dinner (seeing as I leave for Edinburgh tomorrow).

Medallions of beef in a red wine reduction with roasted vegetables and new potatoes (also known as posh food for amateurs)
This entire recipe was just played by ear as I'm anything but an expert chef - everything was estimated and the numbers aren't exact so use it as a guideline, mess around with it and see what feels best when you're cooking.

for the beef...
- Six medallions of beef
- one red onion
- two cloves of garlic
- a handful of mushrooms
- butter
- a cup or so of vegetable stock
- half a bottle of red wine
- a splash of Martini
- ditto balsamic vinegar
for the vegetables...
- six carrots
- six leeks
- a butternut squash
- two white and two red onions
- two bunches of asparagus
- a medium bag of new potatoes
- thyme
- basil
- a head of garlic
- olive oil
- salt and pepper

  • Turn the oven on at 180 degrees and prepare the vegetables. Peel the butternut squash CAREFULLY, cut the gourd part from the long part, cut in half and scoop out the seeds; take off the tough outer layers of the leeks, and top and tail them; bend the aspargus near the base so the woody part at the bottom snaps off; cut the carrots in half, and parboil for five minutes; peel the onions and several cloves of garlic. Don't forget to put the peelings into the compost bin if you have one.
  • Cut all the veg into similar sized pieces and put them into a roasting pan or a flat heatproof dish (you might need two). Cover with olive oil, throw in the garlic, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, basil and thyme - shake the dish around so all the veggies get seasoned properly. Put them in the oven.
  • Look over the new potatoes, throw away any bad ones and cut in half any that are too big. Put in a pan with some salt, cover with boiling water and a pan lid, and leave on a medium heat.
  • Get your beef medallions and put them on a chopping board. Cover them with clingfilm and hit them hard with a rolling pin (note: this is not only a good stress reliever but it tenderises the meat). Beef medallions don't have much fat on them so you shouldn't have to trim them, hurray! Check on the potatoes - stab a few with a fork to see if they're soft yet. If so, drain them and put them somewhere to keep warm.
  • Make the sauce. Peel and dice the red onion and the garlic cloves and fry them in a heated pan with melted butter. Let them sweat; slice the mushrooms and add them as well. Put half the wine into another pan and heat until it reduces by half (have a glass of it too because you're cooking off the alcohol and no cook should be deprived...) - then add the stock, and the onions, garlic and mushrooms (but keep the pan they were cooked in). Let it simmer on a low heat, and gradually pour in the rest of the wine, the martini and the balsamic vinegar.
  • Have a look at the vegetables - they should be crispy around the edges but soft. If they're ready, take them out and let them keep the potatoes company. Melt some more butter in the frying pan with a little olive oil as well to keep it from burning. When your pan is sizzling hot, put the medallions in. I like mine medium rare, and cook them for three or four minutes each side. When the meat is browned and ready, take it out and put it in a dish. Then pour the sauce into the frying pan and stir until it's absorbed all the leftover beef juices. Pour over the medallions and serve.

Best eaten with garlic bread and salad, and followed by cream cakes and a big cup of tea.


kerri nĂ­ dochartaigh said...

petal! i am so glad you're back tomorrow! what ru doin on your i'm off mon so if you fancy a wee slice of cake on me somewhere lovely like the fruitmarket let me know! i'm in work 2m and sunday. yayyyy


nookie said...

happy late birthday dear!wish you all the best!

Jordan said...

Happy birthday for Monday!

Lyla said...

i love you xxxthankyou