Sunday, 15 July 2012


The sourdough that I talked about last time is rising very slowly,



and just for a change it’s raining again. It’s really starting to get us down now, in winter you expect a bit of rain, but usually it warms up and is Sunny in July. Its so cool and wet here on the English Riviera, it must have something to do with “Climate Change” as Global warming is now known.

Later that day……………………….

Lunch found me wondering what to do that was quick and simple. An omelette would be nice. I fried Chorizo cubes and some potato gnocchi, meanwhile whisking up eggs and grated cheese. I think you can guess the rest.

The bread came out nicely, maybe I could have let it rise for a little longer, but it has that sour taste that I love, and is moist and chewy. I have been making the mistake of thinking that my bread should come out like shop brought, and searching for a large rise every time, when I should have been concentrating on the flavour. I have asked the birthday gift fairy for a lame (or a grignette) to help me slash the loaves as my current knife is not up to the job.

Whilst I was preparing our Sunday roast ( 2.5 Kilo Beef Rump since you asked), I remembered a traumatic experience I had several years ago. It’s stayed with me as a reminder that good food doesn’t just happen. I’m referring to GRAVY. Probably the most important part of a meal for me, and if it’s worth doing, it needs doing properly.

Anyway, the story, well before we had our daughters, we stayed for the weekend with some friends (no names or they will be ex-friends) who coked roast chicken for our Sunday lunch. The lady of the house was preparing to serve the food when she realised that she hadn’t made gravy. Quickly she poured the meat juices away whilst putting the kettle on and reaching for the CHICKEN GRAVY GRANULES (Made by a well known supermarket chain) I thought I was going to have a seizure.

I come from a family of gravyaholics, and I have instilled it into my daughters, so that, when we get invited for a meal, it’s up to standard, gravy-wise.  So here is a list of what’s in my beef gravy today.

The water I used to boil the potatoes, parsnips and onions.
Some of the last beef gravy, defrosted. Gravy is like sourdough, you can keep a starter, just as long as you ensure that it’s boiled before use, you can keep adding to it, and/or freezing a particularly good one.
Good quality tomato puree, or some pasta sauce, but not too much,
Sea salt and black pepper,
Meat juices – minus the fat,
A little cornflour to thicken. How thick is a matter for you, as long as you can’t carve it!

Not much to say about the photo, it’s brown and opaque, I do hate see-through gravy.

Incidentally, you may wonder why I am cooking 2.5 kilo’s of meat when there are only two of us. Well….. the meat was on special, half price, ( £12.50) and if I slice it all, I will probably get about 14 servings. That’s seven meals at less than a pound a portion.  And the cooked meat is versatile, we will have braised beef in gravy, chop the slices and stir fry in black bean sauce, just warm for an instant roast etc etc.

Don’t get me started about roast potatoes. That’s another story.

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