We Whittle women are well-known for our skills in the kitchen.
Unfortunately, we’re not known for those skills actually being any good.
So you’ll understand I was a little nervous when I found out that my client Booths had decided to pitch me against Chrissie at Mediocre Mum in a cookery competition as part of the weekly BoothsCheers Twitter party.
For the non-Tweeters among my readers, every Wednesday Booths hosts a live Twitter chat about some wines and beers – and invites Twitter users to share their views on the drinks, and to suggest what foods would go well with each drink.
This week, the drink at hand (literally in my case) is a St Emilion Grand Cru – one of my all-time favourite reds, as it happens. And Booths wanted me to COOK something that would be a match for the wine.
Here’s what I came up with:
Beef and Wild Mushroom Casserole with Dauphinoise Potatoes
For the casserole you will need:
- 750g beef, cubed
- Packet of mixed wild mushrooms
- Good quality beef stock
- 1 glass of red wine (approx 250ml)
- 1 onion
- 175g ready diced squash
- 1tbsp plain flour
- 100g self-raising flour
- 50g suet
- Thyme, paprika, garlic, sage, rosemary
- Water (75ml)
For the dauphinoise you will need:
- Half a dozen medium white potatoes
- 3 cloves garlic
- Large tub double cream
- Salt and pepper
Begin by slicing the potatoes into 5mm slices and mixing in a bowl with the cream, crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Layer into a dish and top up with cream if needed – the liquid should sit just below the top layer of potato.
Next, start the casserole by browning the beef in a saucepan, in batches, over a medium heat. This will take around 5 minutes. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Put the onion and squash plus 1tsp of crushed garlic into the pan where you browned the beef and cook for 5 mins, until the onions are golden.
Return the beef to the pan and add the plain flour, stir this through.
Add the red wine, beef stock, paprika and sage. Stir through, cover and put in the oven at 160/gas mark 2 for 90 minutes. Put the potatoes into the oven at the same time.
Next, mix the suet with the thyme and rosemary, and the self-raising flour. Add the water and mix to a firm dough. Roll into 8 evenly sized balls and set aside.
Wash and rinse the wild mushrooms and chop, if needed. Fry in olive oil for 5 minutes and dry on kitchen paper.
After 90 minutes, remove the casserole and add the wild mushrooms. Then place the dumpling balls on top of the casserole, replace the lid and cook for 10 minutes.
Finally, remove the casserole dish lid and cook for a further 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, both the potatoes and the casserole should be cooked perfectly.