“Rich Beef and Mushroom Stew” from “Mary Berry Cooks”

Anna: Dinner time!

Louis: Mummy has beef stew, Daddy and Louis have beef stew… what is Isabella eating?

Anna: Beef stew, all whizzed up! I think the porcini mushrooms are a bit lost….

Louis: More mushrooms Mummy!

Anna: Here, have some of mine.

Peter: Isabella can’t get enough of this.

Anna: It’s the first time she’s had beef and she’s clearly loving it. Must have been all those burgers I ate while I was pregnant.

Peter: I think I can guess who is going to get the leftovers.


“Rich Beef and Mushroom Stew” from “Mary Berry Cooks”

“Fish Stew” from “Notes From My Kitchen Table”

Want to make your own fish stew, maybe because you’re starting your own Fish Friday? Click through this link for the recipe.

Maureen: It’s a new year. We’re going to try to keep to Fish Friday in 2013.

Tim: I think it’s a good idea. There’s no reason not to, given that we have a great fishmonger, called conveniently The Fishmonger— just up the hill.

Maureen: We just need to form the habit of doing it, and then we’ll do it and not even think about it. Like Pizza Night on Saturday, which we’ve been doing since 1995. Or Meat Free Monday, which we started in earnest last year.

Tim: Meat Free Monday didn’t go so brilliantly this week, since we decided to have the Sausage of the Month from Dring’s for dinner on Monday.

Maureen: Well, that’s true. But we just moved Meat Free Monday to Tuesday this week. No biggie. So what do we think of the fish stew?


Sorry for the foggy lens. That was due to the steam rising up from the dish. At least you know it was hot!

Tim: I love it. Though you know I love stuff like this.

Maureen: What about you boys? Please bear in mind that I made it nice and easy for you to eat– I took all of the fish that were in shells out of them. So all you have to do is eat.

Continue reading ““Fish Stew” from “Notes From My Kitchen Table””

“Fish Stew” from “Notes From My Kitchen Table”

“Venetian Stew” from “Nigellissima”

Anna: I knew this was going to be yummy.

Peter: Why?

Anna: Because it is beany and pancetta-y, salty and a bit sweet. What I didn’t realise was how quick and easy it was going to be.

Peter: You did russle it up pretty quickly. It’s perfect for a cold autumn night.

Anna: Monster portions though! You will have plenty for lunch tomorrow while I’m out.

Peter: I’m happy with that. How did you manage to stop the polenta from going hard immediately?

Anna: Another Nigella tip. She increases the normal proportions of water to polenta in this recipe to ensure it stays soft and creamy. Genius. I would like this again.

Peter: That’s good, as so would I.

“Venetian Stew” from “Nigellissima”

“Goulash with Gnocchi and Soured Cream” from “Easy”

Anna: Mmm. Goulash. I haven’t had goulash since I was working in Prague nearly 2 years ago. And I ate it about five times in 9 days. This actually tastes relatively authentic.

Peter: Is it unusual to have gnocchi with it? You know me, I love a gnocchi.

Anna: Well I think it’s Bill’s nod towards dumplings which goulash would traditionally be served with. And I really think it works.

Peter: This was a very easy second day supper. And there’s more in the freezer too isn’t there?

Anna: Yes. That’s my only criticism of the recipe. The book says it serves 4, but with 1.5kg of beef even four giants would have leftovers. A proof-reading error there I think.

Peter: I don’t mind. I like leftovers.

Anna: And leftovers ye shall have.

“Goulash with Gnocchi and Soured Cream” from “Easy”

“Butter Bean Gravy Stew” from “Food”

Anna: This is a bit dirty. If you can count a vegetarian dish as dirty.

Peter: The stuffed jalepenos that you love so much are dirty and they don’t have any meat in them.

Anna: You’re right! Of course you wouldn’t find this meal in Iceland, though it does feel a bit reminiscent of a Spar ready-meal circa. 1981. It feels wrong but it tastes very nice.

Peter: It’s certainly stewy. And the butterbeans are a bit like dumplings. But it would be improved enormously by the addition of some meat.

Anna: It has a veggie burger in it. Did you notice?

Peter: No. That explains the mystery of the Quorn burgers arriving in the shop.

Anna: Well I would consider having this again. And I didn’t think I’d say that.

“Butter Bean Gravy Stew” from “Food”

“Bouef en daube” from “Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter”

Anna: This is described as a hearty dish perfect for cold evenings. I know it’s July but it feels like the right supper for today. For this whole month actually.

Peter: It does feel like a wintery dish, but it’s very nice.

Anna: It’s been cooking away in the oven all afternoon making the house smell lovely. Julie, was it easy to make?

Julie: Very easy, yes.

Peter: You can definitely taste the orange peel. It makes it a bit different from your normal beef stew.

Anna: En daube apparently means from Provence. So we are eating this in honour of Kirstin who is in Provence right now. Enjoying beautiful summer weather, not eating stew because it’s cold and wintery.

Peter: Can I have that last bit? The bit you made me put back before because I’d taken more than my share?

Anna: You may.

“Bouef en daube” from “Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter”

“Mackerel & Potato Stew” from “The Family Meal”

Maureen (looking over at the plate of Andrew, 12): Gold star for Andrew! He ate all the fish.

(Andrew puts his arms in the air, triumphantly.)

Tim: Did you like it, Andrew?

Andrew: Meh. I thought there were too many small irritating bones.

Where did our bodies go? Oh, wait, I know. Into the stew.

Maureen: That comment is fair enough. I agree.

Tim: Well, I like it.

Maureen: What do you like about it?

Tim: I like that it is good for me.

Continue reading ““Mackerel & Potato Stew” from “The Family Meal””

“Mackerel & Potato Stew” from “The Family Meal”