Это курам на смех

‘That’s for chickens to laugh at’ — a Russian idiom meaning ‘that’s ridiculous’. Fans of Firefly might be familiar with it in a different context ^^

I chose to use that title because this week’s dish was beef stroganoff and I couldn’t think of any suitable puns XD

The stroganoff itself turned out pretty well, though I think I might have slightly overcooked the beef — it was marginally tougher than I expected from sirloin steak. Still good, though, even though I forgot to add the ground pepper until the end!

I’ve also been thinking a lot about arts-and-crafts pipecleaners lately; I’m a sucker for colourful stuff that makes for good finger-fiddlers ^^ Thankfully, my nearest stationary store has a decent variety ^^

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Boof booginyon

(‘Beef bourguignon’ as pronounced by Arthur Shappey shortly after eating dragonfruit — listen to the Cabin Pressure episode ‘Yverdon-les-Bains’ for the exact context (having first listened to all the preceding episodes in alphabetical order, and following up with ‘Zurich’ parts 1 and 2) or (if you’re not worried about spoilers) read the episode transcript here: http://www.cabinpressurefans.co.uk/cabin-pressure-episode-transcripts/yverdon-les-bains-transcript/)

I did sort of make beef bourguignon this week; at least, it was a beef stew-type recipe (low-calorie, natch) titled ‘beef in red wine’ which the recipe intro described as being a variation of beef bourguignon. It turned out pretty well 🙂 Not as rich or intensely umami as last week’s goulash (owing to the recipe not calling for anything more tomato-y than a couple of tablespoons of tomato purée), but the red wine mingled well with the other ingredients and introduced some very pleasant and subtle notes and layers to the flavour, which was very good ^^

Ghoulish goulash

Well, not really XD I did low-calorie beef goulash this week: http://www.hairybikers.com/recipes/view/beef-goulash#8oIR6yZtFPyutKi9.97

Delicious! I tweaked my working a little so as to make this in my slow cooker (basically, I did the meat-chopping part of step 1, all of step 2, chopped the peppers and then threw everything into my slow cooker, set it to ‘high’ while I watched a movie then turned it down to ‘low’ for the next few hours). I also added most of a head of celery (left over from last week) and the dregs and rinsings of a jar of my dad’s home-made jam and a jar of his chutney, both of which added some lovely subtle edges to the flavour.

It was brilliant 😀 Chuck steak, which is what the recipe calls for, comes from the area around the shoulder of the animal, which means it can be fairly tough — shoulders get a lot of exercise. Long, slow cooking, especially with something acidic like tomatoes, tenderises things brilliantly 😀

I received my copy of the Hairy Bikers’ new book Chicken and Egg a couple of days ago, It looks gorgeous, and there are some recipes there that I’m very interested in trying out — especially the potato croquettes 😀 I’ll put a review up here in due course ^^

Midnight at the Lost and Found

…lost souls in the huntin’ ground!

Ok, no pun this week — it’s just that I made low-cal meatloaf with tomato gravy yesterday (very delicious!), and I like Meat Loaf’s music (especially ‘Midnight at the Lost and Found’) and the Hairy Bikers beat me to the ‘fat out of hell’ pun XD

The meatloaf itself turned out pretty well — I used a 1.5L ceramic ramekin thing, partly because I don’t have a loaf tin of a suitable size and partly because I used slightly more meat than stated in the recipe because I could only get 500g packs of pork and beef mince. I’m not complaining, though! It made things lovely and substantial 🙂 I used panko breadcrumbs instead of white-bread breadcrumbs, and that seems to have worked 🙂

The tomato gravy turned out pretty well as well ^_^ I added a bit of Bisto gravy powder to get it to thicken up a bit, and I actually remembered to stir constantly this time, so the powder was nicely integrated and the gravy was lovely, thick and rich. The recipe made six generous portions, and going by tonight’s supper they reheat very well, so I’m fixed for food for the rest of the week ^^