frugal cooking


Rick Steins Sporki Macaroni

Great Pasta Casserole from Dubrovnik

It's been some time since we revisited Mr Stein's wonderful book based on his 'Venice to Istanbul' voyage.

We have quite a few favourites from the book, some of which have even made it on to this blog, (see Circassian Chicken ) but I was a bit surprised to discover that I have never shared this dish, an error which I plan to put right, right now.

The first thing worth noting is that the quantities for this dish serve 6-8.  The Beef/pasta sauce takes an hour to cook down and so it seems only sensible to cook 400g as per the recipe and then half the quantity and put half in the freezer for another day.

I also believe that at some point I am going to try making this in a slow cooker.  Rick states that it should cook through in 550-60 minutes, but I put it in a large pot and left it on the hob, on a low heat for three hours, turning the heat back up slightly for the last hour to reduce the sauce.  This way the meat literally melts in the mouth.

Heating 30ml of Olive Oil in a large pan over a high heat, brown 400g of cubed lean beef (approximately 1cm x 2cm).

Meanwhile, chop three red onions and slice three carrots (I went for a mixture of brown onions and shallots as I had just picked up some at a vastly reduced price from Tesco)

When the beef is browned tip in the onions and carrots and stir well.

When the Onions and Carrots are brown, add a bay leaf, and season with salt and lots of pepper.
Stir in two tablespoons of tomato puree, 1/2tsp of ground cinnamon and two sliced garlic cloves,

Fry gently before adding 300ml of Chicken Stock and 300ml Good Red Wine.  Bring to a simmer and cook covered for 50-60 minutes.

15 minutes before serving cook up 600g of pasta penne, Macaroni or similar. (approx 75g per person)

After cooking and draining add the pasta to the beef and cook over a low heat for a further 10 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

Serve with chopped parsley - and if you really must, some Garlic Bread! 

Posted in Frugal Foods

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