Today’s dishes are both crowd pleasers friends and family will love. Beef striploin is a lovely tender cut and I like the Mexican twist. The beef [chicken also works very well in fajitas if you prefer] can be marinated well in advance, leaving very little to do at the last minute. This recipe has a nice balances of spices and it is not too spicy. You could use just cajun spice instead of the cumin, coriander and paprika. I like this nice fresh zingy salsa and often use it with prawns or monkfish.

There are two options for the meatballs in coconut curry. You can make your own meatballs but nowadays you can get Bord Bia Quality Assured meatballs in your supermarket or from your butcher. First of all you seal them on the pan and that gives good colour. Then you poach them in the curry sauce and they stay nice and moist. In most supermarkets you will find great organic mild curry spice, organic turmeric, and italian chopped tomatoes. I think it is hard to beat serving this with rice.

Happy cooking.


Beef meatballs in coconut curry

Serves six to eight


4 tbsp rapeseed oil

25g butter

12 large beef meatballs

1 onion, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 red pepper, cut into strips (roughly size of your thumb)

1 green pepper, cut into strips (roughly size of your thumb)

2 tbsp mild curry spice

1 tbsp turmeric

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

3 tbsp mango chutney

1 x 400g can Thai Gold coconut milk

Juice of 1 lime

4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

4 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steamed basmati rice, to serve

25g (1oz) toasted flaked almonds, to serve

1. Heat a large non-stick frying pan with two tablespoons of rapeseed oil. Gently add in the meatballs and toss in the oil. Turn to a medium heat and turn occasionally until sealed and golden brown. Once golden, switch off the heat.

2. Heat a large heavy-base pot over a medium heat with the remaining rapeseed oil and butter. Add in the onion, garlic and ginger, stirring well.

3. Stir in the red and green peppers and place a cover on the pot. Cook for one to two minutes.

4. Then add in the curry spice and turmeric, followed by the chopped tomatoes. Stir well to combine everything together.

5. Add in the mango chutney, coconut milk and lime juice and stir well.

6. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and add in the sealed meatballs.

7. Stir through to combine the meatballs into the sauce and place on a low heat for 25 to 30 minutes.

8. Season with salt and pepper and stir through the freshly chopped flat leaf parsley and coriander.

9. Arrange the steamed rice on plates followed by the meatballs. Scatter over flaked almonds and serve.

Sizzling steak fajitas with tomato salsa and guacamole

Serves four


2 garlic cloves, crushed

finely grated rind and juice of 1 lime

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

good pinch of paprika

3 tbsp olive oil

450g (1lb) beef striploin or sirloin, trimmed and cut into strips

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips

1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips

8 soft flour tortillas

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

6 tbsp sour cream, to serve

Tomato salsa:

2 spring onions, finely chopped

1 large ripe tomato, diced

1 mild red chilli, seeded and finely chopped


2 ripe Hass avocados

Juice of 1 lime

1. Place the garlic in a non-metallic dish with the lime rind and juice, cumin, coriander and paprika. Stir in 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil. Add in the beef strips, cover with clingfilm and marinate for up to two hours, or overnight is best.

2. To make the salsa, place the spring onions, tomato and chilli in a bowl and mix well to combine. Season lightly and set aside at room temperature to allow the flavours to combine.

3. To make the guacamole, cut the avocados in half and remove the stones. Scoop out the flesh and roughly mash with a fork. Stir in the lime juice and season to taste.

4. To make the fajitas, heat the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over a low heat and gently fry the onion and peppers for six to eight minutes, until softened, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and keep warm. Raise the heat to high and add the marinated beef mixture and sauté for four to five minutes, until cooked through and lightly golden. Return the onion and peppers to the pan and stir-fry for another two to three minutes, until well combined and heated through. Season to taste.

5. Heat a frying or griddle pan. Add a soft flour tortilla and heat for 30 seconds, turning once, until soft and pliable. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and stack them up on a warmed plate.

6. To serve, transfer the sizzling beef mixture into a warmed serving bowl or platter and garnish with the fresh coriander. Hand around the warmed tortillas, tomato salsa, guacamole and sour cream, allowing each person to assemble the fajitas themselves.

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