Beef

Cowboy Chilli (Serves 6-8)

This Chilli is the real deal, a proper American chilli from a favourite cookbook of mine, ‘Five Marys Ranch Raised’ by Mary Heffernan. I recommend you serve it with ‘Cornbread & Honey Butter’ (recipe below) plus toppings of sour cream, grated cheddar and sliced spring onions…and perhaps some guacamole! The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it makes a large portion (enough for 6-8), so there are leftovers which can be frozen for another day or, even better, used to make another authentic American recipe – ‘Chilli Mac and Cheese’ (recipe below!)…

(I use a mild chilli powder as I prefer a milder flavour, but if you like more heat use a hotter chilli powder!)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 red pepper, diced

1 green pepper, diced

900g beef mince

25g chilli powder (see note above)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon cayenne

400g tin pinto beans, rinsed and drained

800g passata

400g tin chopped tomatoes

Sea salt and black pepper

To Serve:

Mild cheddar cheese, grated

Sour cream

A few spring onions, sliced

Cornbread with Honey Butter (recipe here)

Guacamole (recipe here)

  1. In a large casserole pot heat the oil. Add the onion, peppers and a pinch of salt, cook over a medium heat, stirring until the vegetables soften and start to brown – about 8 minutes.
  2. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the beef and cook stirring until it is just browned – about 5 minutes.
  3. Add all the spices, plus a teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper and stir until well combined.
  4. Add the beans, passata and chopped tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then reduce the temperature to low and cook, stirring occasionally until the chilli is thick and rich – about 1 hour (if it gets too thick you can add a little water).
  5. Serve bowlfuls of chilli topped with sour cream, grated cheddar and spring onions plus, on the side, cornbread (recipe here) and/or guacamole (recipe here).

Leftover Chilli Mac & Cheese (Serves 4-6)

Another favourite recipe from Mary Heffernan’s cookbook ‘Five Mary’s Ranch Raised’. It’s worth making the ‘Cowboy Chilli’ (recipe above) just so that you have the leftovers to make this recipe! It’s a real crowd-pleaser, feel free to add some sautéed mushrooms, peas or blanched broccoli into the mac and cheese before baking if you want a more veggie-based version.

450g macaroni or penne pasta (gluten free if required)

75g unsalted butter

40g plain flour (gluten free if required)

700ml whole milk

225g mild cheddar

About 900g leftover ‘Cowboy Chilli’, warmed (recipe above)

Sea salt and black pepper

*9×13 inch (or similar size) baking dish, greased

  1. Cook the macaroni or penne according to the packet instructions until just al dente (it will continue to cook in the oven, so it is best to have it slightly underdone). Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium-low heat. Sprinkle over the flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly until smooth. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes until it is slightly thickened, then slowly add the cheese, whisking until smooth. Season with salt and pepper
  3. Add the cooked macaroni to the sauce, stir until well combined.
  4. Spread the warm chilli in an even layer over the baking dish, then top with the mac and cheese. Bake in a preheated oven, 200’c fan, for about 20 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned around the edges. Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Bloody Mary Steak & Avocado (Serves 4)

In this recipe from Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall’s cookbook ‘Light & Easy’, the flavours of a ‘Bloody Mary’ cocktail are used to inspire a delicious sauce for steaks. The tangy flavour of the piquant, tomatoey dressing complements the meaty steaks wonderfully. I have used sirloin steaks here but rump steaks would work just as well. This recipe is particularly good with Homemade Oven Chips (recipe here!)

 *If you are gluten free note that Worcestershire sauce may contain traces of gluten from barley.

2 large, ripe avocados

300g cherry tomatoes, quartered

Large bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves chopped

4 sirloin steaks at room temperature

A little olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

For the Bloody Mary Dressing:

100ml tomato juice

4 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon celery salt

10-15 drops Tabasco sauce to taste

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (see note above)

A good squeeze of lemon juice to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Firstly make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined – tasting to adjust the seasonings, the lemon juice will temper the heat.
  2. Halve and stone the avocadoes and cut into 3cm chunks. Place them in a bowl with the tomatoes and parsley, add about two tablespoons of the dressing and mix lightly.
  1. Lightly brush the steaks with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and a little black pepper.
  2. Heat a frying pan until very hot. Place the steaks in the pan and cook for about 1½ minutes of each side for rare or a little longer depending on your taste. I also like to turn the steaks on their ‘fat’ edge, for 30 seconds to crisp it up.
  3. Remove the steaks to a plate to rest for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Arrange the avocado salad on plates. Slice the steak thickly over or alongside the salad and trickle over any of its juices from resting. Serve with the remaining dressing spooned over.

Fillet Steak with Tarragon (Serves 4)

I do love meat, so can never say no to a piece of steak, I also adore tarragon, so the combination of the two in this recipe is, in my opinion, heaven!…This recipe is delicious served with steamed asparagus and homemade oven chips (recipe here).

25g butter

4 large open flat mushrooms

Olive oil

3 shallots, diced

120ml white wine

60ml double cream

1 tablespoon grainy mustard

1 clove garlic, crushed

A bunch of tarragon, leaves chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

4 fillet steaks (about 150g each)

  1. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the mushrooms on both sides until golden. Keep warm until needed.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat and fry the shallots until soft and golden. Add the wine and simmer for 3 minutes, then reduce the heat and add the cream, mustard, garlic, tarragon and seasoning – do not allow to boil. Remove to one side and keep warm whilst you cook the steaks.
  3. Lightly brush the steaks with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and a little black pepper. Heat a frying pan until very hot. Place the steaks in the pan and cook for about 1½ minutes of each side for rare or a little longer depending on your taste.
  4. Serve the steaks on the cooked mushrooms topped with the sauce. They are delicious served with steamed asparagus and some homemade oven chips (recipe here).

Five Marys Spiced Fillet of Beef with Caramelised Onion Sauce & Bay Leaf Baby Roast Potatoes (Serves 4)

This wonderful recipe for beef is one which I have taken from the ‘Five Marys Ranch Raised Cookbook’. I bought this book recently and have enjoyed reading it, not only for it’s wonderful meaty recipes, but also for the wonderful photos which take the reader on a tour of the authors Californian ranch. It all looks wonderfully idyllic, with the mountains in the background, cattle in the fields, lots of checked shirts and cowboy boots! This recipe uses a lovely ‘five spice’ mix to flavour the meat which is then simply cooked in the oven for about 30 minutes – you may notice that this is a slightly longer cooking time than my recipe for Beef Fillet & Port Sauce, this is because the beef is not seared beforehand, in order to avoid burning the garlic marinade. The Caramelised Onion & Red Wine sauce which accompanies the beef is the ‘icing on the cake‘, complementing the meat with its richness. I like to serve the beef with Bay Leaf Baby Roast Potatoes (recipe here); together they make a deliciously easy meal. You could also serve some greens or a salad on the side.

Five Marys Spice Rub

This is a wonderful spice rub to make and keep in your cupboard – it can be kept in a jar for up to 6 months. It is a good seasoning for steaks or chops, it will also give a kick to soups or stews and is wonderful sprinkled over eggs or avocado toast!…

3 tablespoons rock salt

2 tablespoons chilli flakes

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

1 tablespoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons salt flakes

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Simply mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight jar!

Five Spice Roast Fillet of Beef with Caramelised Onion & Red Wine Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon M5 Spice Rub (recipe above)

2 teaspoons thyme leaves, chopped

2 x fillets of beef, 450g each – nice even pieces

For the sauce:

90 g butter

2 onions, sliced

480ml red wine

240ml beef stock

3 sprigs of thyme

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Combine the olive oil, garlic, spice rub and thyme. Rub it over the fillets of beef, cover and leave at room temperature for an hour or refrigerate if longer – bring to room temperature before cooking if refrigerated.
  2. Place the beef in a preheated oven, 180’c fan, for 25 -30 minutes for medium rare (a meat thermometer will read 55’c). Move to a plate to rest for about 15-30 minutes, loosely covered with foil.
  3. Meanwhile make the sauce. In a large pan melt 30g of butter, fry the onions with a big pinch of salt, until golden and caramelised  – about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Add the wine, stock and thyme, increase the heat and boil for about 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced by half.
  5. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and sugar, continue to cook for 1 minute longer.
  6. When ready to serve, remove the thyme sprigs from the sauce, reheat gently and add the remaining 60g butter – a little at a time to allow it to emulsify. Finally add any juices from the rested meat.
  7. Cut the beef into thick slices, serve topped with the warm sauce.

Steak with Peppercorn Sauce (Serves 4)

This is a super simple way to take a steak dinner to an even higher level! The sauce is quickly cooked in the pan after frying the steaks. You could serve this simply with Homemade Oven Chips or for pure indulgence, serve French style, with Aligot potatoes (recipes here), I also like a green salad with a little torn parsley on the side, dressed with a classic vinaigrette (recipe here).

4 sirloin steaks (or a steak cut of your choice)

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

For the Sauce:

170ml brandy

370ml beef stock

250ml double cream

4-6 teaspoons whole black peppercorns, coarsely crushed

  1. Lightly brush the steaks with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and a little black pepper.
  2. Heat a frying pan until very hot. Place the steaks in the pan and cook for about 1½ minutes of each side for rare or a little longer depending on your taste. I also like to turn the steaks on their ‘fat’ edge, for 30 seconds to crisp it up.
  3. Remove the steaks to a plate to rest whilst you make the sauce.
  4. Add the brandy to the pan and let it simmer rapidly, scraping the bottom of the pan, when most of it has reduced (and lost its harsh alcohol smell), add the stock and simmer to reduce by half.
  5. Lower the heat. Add the cream, peppercorns and any juices from the resting steaks, stir, then simmer for about 2 minutes until it thickens (do not let it boil). Season with salt.
  6. Transfer the steaks to plates and spoon over the sauce.

Peppered Fillet of Beef & Port Sauce (Serves 4)

This fillet of beef recipe, is one that I have been doing for years. I particularly like that the sauce can be made in advance, so there is no last minute rush. I like to serve it with Dauphinoise Potatoes, I rather like the cheese version for this dish, but you could also serve it with my simpler recipe without cheese (recipes here). In addition, a great accompaniment is Green Beans with Shallots & Sherry Vinegar or simply Sautéed Spinach (recipes here).

2 x fillets of beef, 450g each – nice even pieces

2 teaspoons black peppercorns, lightly crushed

Olive oil

400ml port

2 sprigs of thyme

2 cloves of garlic, halved

300ml beef stock

2 teaspoons cornflour made into a paste with 2 tablespoons of the port

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Season the beef with salt and evenly coat it with the crushed peppercorns.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and brown the beef all over, then transfer to a roasting tray.
  3. Place the beef in a preheated oven, 180’c fan, for about 20 minutes for medium rare (a meat thermometer will read 55’c). Move to a plate to rest.
  4. Meanwhile put the port, thyme and garlic in a small saucepan and boil to reduce by half, then whisk in the beef stock and the cornflour paste. Cook, whisking for about 1 minute until the sauce has thickened.
  5. Check the sauce for seasoning, adding any juices from the resting beef.
  6. Slice the beef into thick slices and serve with the sauce, Dauphinoise Potatoes and Green Beans with Shallots & Sherry Vinegar (recipes here).

Beef Stroganoff (Serves 4-6)

This recipe for Beef Stroganoff is very quick, it just requires the beef to be flash fried, therefore it is important to use good fillet steak. With the addition of soured cream, dill and lemon juice this simple recipe is extremely special! I like to serve it with white long grain rice and a green salad.

4 medium onions, 400g

6 tablespoons groundnut oil

700g fillet steak, cut into thin strips, about 1cm thick

80g butter

500g button or small mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons paprika

300ml soured cream

1 lemon

Large bunch of dill, finely chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Peel, half and thinly slice the onions.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the groundnut oil in a frying pan. Pat the meat dry, season generously with salt and pepper. Add half the meat to the pan and stir-fry briskly for 30 seconds to brown and remove to one side. Repeat with the remaining oil and meat.
  3. Add half the butter to the pan and stir in the onions. Cook slowly until golden, sticky and softened. Tip on to a plate.
  4. Add the remaining butter to the pan and stir-fry the mushrooms with the paprika for about 4 minutes until dark and soft.
  5. Return the onions to the pan and add the soured cream. Warm through.
  6. Add the meat, return to simmer, season with salt and pepper and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
  7. Finely stir through the chopped dill.
  8. Serve with rice and a green salad.

Thai Steak Salad with Ginger (Serves 4)

This salad has a lot of ingredients but is very simple to make and ready in 10 minutes! It is a recipe I found in the cookbook ‘Tom Aikens Cooking’, a book which I bought many years ago when he had his Michelin starred restaurant, ‘Tom Aikens’. Nick and I were lucky to eat there a few times and I must admit that the food was outstanding. The cookbook, as you can imagine from a chef of this calibre, has quite a few complicated recipes, however amongst them, it is possible to find a couple which are easy to cook on a midweek evening, such as this steak salad. The flavours of this salad are great; fresh and light, with a sweet ginger taste rather than a hot fiery one! If you are gluten free use gluten free soy sauce and oyster sauce.

3 – 4 sirloin steaks (depending on how hungry you are)

Olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

1 red onion, thinly sliced

150g mixed salad leaves

For the Sauce:

2 tablespoons of bottled stem ginger in syrup, chopped

6g piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped

2  fresh red chilles, finely chopped (or less according to your taste)

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 small bunch fresh mint, leaves picked

1 small bunch fresh Thai basil or regular basil, leaves picked

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

2½ tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds

1 teaspoon caster sugar

50ml sesame oil

  1. For the sauce, grind together the gingers, the chilli, the garlic and half of the mint and basil leaves. Mix in the remaining sauce ingredients including the remaining whole herb leaves.
  2. Brush the steaks with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a griddle pan (or frying pan) until very hot and cook each steak for 1½-2 minutes on each side.
  3. Remove the steaks from the pan and whilst they are resting put the red onion in the pan to cook for a few minutes until caramelised.
  4. Slice the steaks into thin slices, trimming any excess fat.
  5. Finally toss the meat, onions, salad leaves and sauce together in a large bowl and serve straightaway.

Tagliata Steak with a Herb Dressing (Serves 4)

The Italian word ‘tagliata’ means sliced and this is exactly what ‘Tagliata’ is – sliced steak. Often in Italy they use the T-bone cut for this recipe, so that you get both the fillet and sirloin. However I find that it is easier and quicker to cook sirloin steaks at home, and to slice these before serving. The dressing is one which I have taken from Nina Parker’s ‘Nina’s St Tropez’ cookbook, it is quite light so does not overpower the steak. I would serve this dish with baby roast potatoes or the oven chips from my ‘staple side dishes’ and a salad of your choice dressed with a tarragon vinaigrette.

3-4 sirloin steaks (depending on how hungry you are)

Olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

Herb Dressing

1 anchovy fillet, chopped

60ml olive oil

Large bunch of tarragon, chopped

Handful parsley, chopped

Juice of ½ lemon

½ teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

20g unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Remove steaks from fridge to bring to room temperature
  2. Meanwhile make the sauce – put the chopped anchovy in a bowl with all but 1 tablespoon of the oil, add the herbs, lemon juice, sugar and vinegar. Then, in a small saucepan heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil with the butter, when hot add the garlic, cook for a moment before adding the mixture to the bowl with the herbs. Give everything a good stir and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm whilst you deal with the steaks.
  3. Lightly brush the steaks with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and a little black pepper.
  4. Heat a frying pan until very hot. Place the steaks in the pan and cook for about 1½ minutes of each side for rare or a little longer depending on your taste. I also like to turn the steaks on their ‘fat’ edge, for 30 seconds to crisp it up.
  5. Remove the steaks to a plate to rest for about 10 minutes in a warm place.
  6. Pour the juices which will have seeped from the resting steaks into the bowl with the dressing. Slice each steak.
  7. Serve the slices on a large plate with a little of the dressing sprinkled over and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to the table so that everyone can help themselves, with the remaining dressing in a bowl.

Spiced Steaks with a Whisky Sauce (Serves 4)

Whisky and spices may sound a strange combination with steak, but believe me they really work and add an extra special dimension to a simple steak. I urge you to try this recipe!…The quality of the whisky does make a difference, so use the best you have, the smokier the better. I would serve the steaks with homemade oven chips and a salad with a honey-mustard vinaigrette, you can find these recipes on my side dishes and salad dressings pages. Start by making the chips and the salad/vinaigrette; cook the steaks about 5 – 10 minutes before the chips have finished cooking .

2 teaspoons Schwartz Jamaican Jerk seasoning (or mix one teaspoon each of allspice and chilli powder, plus a generous pinch of sugar)

2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

2 tablespoons mixed peppercorns

4 beef fillet or sirloin steaks

4 tablespoons olive oil

10 tablespoons whisky

15g butter

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

150 ml beef stock

2 level tablespoons redcurrant jelly

6 tablespoons double cream

  1. Crush together the salt and peppercorns with a pestle and mortar (or the end of a rolling pin), mix with the jerk seasoning (or spice and sugar mixture).
  2. Use 1 tablespoon of the oil to lightly coat the steaks and press each side into the spice mix. Leave for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Heat a frying pan with the remaining olive oil and add the steaks (normally I don’t add oil to the pan when I’m frying steaks, I just oil them, but this recipe needs extra oil in the pan otherwise the spices will burn). I like my steak on the rare side, so I cook them for 1½ minutes on each side depending on the thickness. Cook for longer, depending on your taste.
  4. Remove the steaks to rest on a plate whilst you make the sauce. Add the knob of butter to the pan, along with the chopped garlic and the whisky.
  5. When the whisky has warmed through, very carefully light the sauce using a long kitchen match. When the flames have died down add the stock, redcurrant jelly and double cream.
  6. Lightly whisk, so that the redcurrant jelly melts into the sauce. Continue to heat through gently, until it is reduced and slightly thickened.
  7. Serve the sauce straightaway with the steaks and their juices, the oven chips and a salad with honey-mustard dressing.