Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Creamy garlic mashed potato and ...

Braised steak and onions.

What a combination. The dense creaminess of mash, laced with butter or cream, and the homely, honest flavour of beef and onions in steaming gravy which has been cooking away for hours on end, filling the house with an aroma so tantalising it is impossible to resist.

If you're salivating already, as I am writing this, here's a quick and easy way to make this all-time favourite dish.

Seal your beef, cubed, in oil after dusting it in plenty of flour.

Place it in a heavy ovenproof lidded baking dish, place your quartered onions (about the same in weight as the beef) over the beef and cover with beef stock, salt and pepper. Dash of paprika if you wish.

Cook away for as long as you like, but at least a couple of good long hours.

Prepare your potatoes. Cook them (with garlic if you wish, just toss a clove or two in the water with the spuds) then place them in a big mashing bowl, add copious amounts of cream or butter or both, garlic if you wish, a few flecks of parsley, whatever; then mash like crazy until they go silky smooth. Or not, if you prefer 'lumpy' mashed potatoes. To each his or her own.

Slap a massive great wallop of mash on a big plate, beef and onions on top, then drown it all in some of the gravy which will run in rivulets through the mash to the edges of the plate like rivers running home to the sea. That means plenty of gravy to mop up with fresh, white crusty bread.

Glass of red and you're in heaven, bro.

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