Chef Theo Michaels shares three beefy favourites for
Great British Beef Week: 23rdApril to 1stMay
Theo Michaels is passionate about British produce and supports initiatives such as Great British Beef Week (next week), which encourage people to try new ingredients and/or cooking methods to spice up their home cooking repertoire.
Theo was born in London, lived in America for five years and has eaten his way around most of the globe with a backpack. He is now married with three children, living just outside of London, and no way will his wife backpack again. After reaching the semi-finals of Masterchef 2014, Theo boldly quit his city job of 15 years to follow his passion and work "full-time in food". Besides becoming an accomplished private chef (always booked six months in advance), he also runs a successful pop-up restaurant (700+ on the waiting list) where he creates 5-8 course tasting menus with the theme ‘elegant village food'. Theo has publicly become well known for his fun, relaxed personality and for creating easy, delicious food that can also be described as ‘fast, family favourites'. Theo's inspiration for food originates from his family heritage, his travels to cooking for his young children, and his love of almost anything cooked over charcoal.
Theo's Beef Stifado
"Beef Stifado is famous the world over for its fragrant and unique flavours, one bite of this traditional Greek dish will send your tastebuds to a Greek taverna quicker than you can smash a plate!"
Recipe - serves four people
500g stewing beef (chopped into 2inch cubes)
500g baby onions or shallots - peeled, left whole
Handful halved new potatoes (optional)
1/3 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 cinnamon sticks (about 2 inches long)
Few good grates of nutmeg
Dozen black pepper corns
3 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic roughly sliced
5 whole cloves
1/3 glass red wine vinegar
1/2 glass red wine
500ml stock (or water)
Teaspoon of sugar
Salt and pepper
Fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a hot pan add a decent drizzle of olive oil and sear the stewing beef to give some colour (do it in batches so not to overcrowd the pan). Once browned set aside.
Then, in the same pan add enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the base of the pan (part of this dish is about enjoying the flavour of the extra virgin olive oil so don't hold back!). On a medium/high heat add your onions and fry for 5-10 minutes until they start to caramelise, then add the sugar.
Quickly after adding the sugar add all the dry ingredients (except the parsley) and fry for a minute before adding the vinegar and wine. Keep on a high heat and reduce by about half.
Now add the beef and pour any juices back into the pan, pour in enough stock to cover three-quarters of the ingredients (you might not use all 500ml of stock), cover and pop into your oven at 160c for 3 hours or into a slow cooker on a low setting for 6/8 hours (or as instructed for stewing steak by the manufacturer).
Check the stifado hasn't dried out halfway through cooking and once more near the end.
Once cooked, remove from the oven - this isn't meant to be a sloppy stew, so if the sauce is too thin simmer on hob to reduce or remove lid 20 minutes before the end of cooking.
Once ready add the chopped parsley, season and serve! Stifado goes well with rice or if you've added lots of new potatoes just put it straight in a bowl!
Tips & shortcuts:
Easily peel whole baby onions by topping and tailing each onion (leaving the skin on), score a cross in the stalk end (this will help you peel the skin off and they'll stay whole when cooked!). Put onions in a bowl cover with boiling water and leave for 10 minutes. The skin will easily peel off leaving you with delicious whole baby onions.
If you haven't got all the spices don't panic! If you add the cinnamon and vinegar you'll get a similar (and still delicious) stew.
I've added a handful of new potatoes, this isn't tradition but if making for the family and you want a one pot dish the potatoes can replace making rice.
If you want to use more beef simply increase the amount of onions by the same - the meat and onions should be of equal portions.
Delicious served with some rustic bread and a nice bottle of light red wine while dreaming of Greek island life...
Slow Cooked Beef Short Ribs
"Eating a pile of barbecued slow cooked beef short ribs is almost carnal in its execution and will satisfy the most carnivorous of diners wanting to gnaw on a prehistoric looking bone. Beef ribs are tough as old boots and need slow cooking to transform them into something exceptional. These can be cooked a day or two in advance and then reheated."
Recipe - serves four people
Rack of beef short ribs - about two ribs per person cut into pairs
Few cloves of garlic lightly cracked
1 orange sliced into 1 cm rings
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
Pinch of smoked paprika and cumin
Pre-heat oven to 120c (for fan ovens).
Prepare the meat - trim most of the fat from the ribs leaving just a thin layer and season heavily.
Place the ribs on a roasting rack inside a roasting tray. Fill the roasting tray with water - as much as you can without touching the ribs - this will steam the ribs and keep them incredibly juicy. Drop the garlic in the water and a couple of the orange slices, this is to add some flavour to the steam.
Place a couple of orange slices on top of the ribs to impart some flavour and to stop the foil you use to cover the ribs being in direct contact with the meat.
Now cover the ribs in foil tightening it around the edges of the roasting tray to ensure it is airtight. I usually use a few sheets of foil going the length and width of the roasting tray to be on the safe side - if it isn't airtight this dish won't work!
Now pop the tray into the oven at 120c degrees for five hours. Don't be tempted to check them - just stick them in, go out and come back in five hours to remove.
After five hours remove the tray from the oven and rest for half an hour before unwrapping. While resting turn the oven up to 220c and make the BBQ sauce by mixing all the BBQ sauce ingredients together.
When the ribs have rested, unwrap the foil, slather over the BBQ sauce and pop back into the oven for 5 minutes to help glaze the ribs.
Churrasco with Chimichurri Dressing
"Welcome to my homemade churrasco with chimichurri sauce recipe. Think large cubes of succulent steak on a skewer, cooked fast over searing hot charcoal then dressed with the zesty sharp freshness of the famous Argentinian sauce; chimichurri."
Top three tips for the perfect churrasco:
Top quality meat steak (ideally sirloin from your butcher)
Thick cut (at least 2 inches thick)
Hot coals - you want to cook these fast to sear the outside and keep the centre pink
Quick Chimichurri Marinade:
1 clove garlic crushed
100g parsley finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Pinch dried chilli flakes
3 cherry tomatoes finely chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Couple pinches of sea salt and pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Steak Kebabs (churrasco)
500g of thick cut sirloin or fillet steak at room temperature - cut into large 2-3 inch cubes
Stick all the ingredients for the Chimichurri into a food processor (or finely chop by hand) and pulse a few times - you don't want a puree. Taste for balance of flavours and ensure the chimichurri is a little loose.
Cut the steak and then marinade the steak in about a third of the chimichurri mixture (ideally for a few hours in the fridge - but no worries if not).
Place the meat onto skewers leaving some space between each piece of meat.
Cook the meat over the hottest part of the charcoal for about 5-7 minutes, turning every couple of minutes as soon as you see it has started to char.
Remove and rest for a few minutes before serving and placing a drizzle of chimichurri sauce over the top.
About Theo Michaels:
Theo is a regular chef on ITV's This Morning and the BBC 3CR Weekend Kitchen show, appeared on The Food Network and BBC Breakfast News, Sky TV and Simply GoodFood TV. Theo has been featured in The Metro, MSN, The Sun, MailOnline, Daily Mail, Mirror, The Independent, The Huffington Post, Evening Standard, FT, Look, Reveal, Best, MojoMums, The Mummy Pages, Fathers Quarterly, and many more. He's also frequently spotted cooking and compèring at food festivals and events.
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