Like everybody I am cooking a lot more family meals at home than I usually do and I cooked this beef chilli last week and served it with rice.
I was talking to Brendan O’Connor on his Saturday show last week and we discussed how popular slow cooking has become.
You don’t need a slow cooker for this recipe. A large pan is fine. The rump steak will have great flavour and will melt in your mouth.
It is full of vegetables, and you can use a can of black beans which you will easily find in any supermarket.
I like the San Merzano tomatoes which you can get from Dunnes Store Simply Better. They are sweet and grown in volcanic soil and have the coveted PGI status. If you like this hotter use some harissa or fresh chilli.
For the shepherd’s pie, Irish lamb mince is delicious. The streaky bacon adds taste and the vegetables give some crunch.
You can try with any of the many varieties of lentils available now. Always keep some Worcestershire sauce in you cupboard. I think of this meal as a great tasty nutritious meal for all the family.
Neven Maguire’s Seafood Trails is on RTÉ1 on Wednesdays and The Award winning Neven Maguire’s Midweek Meals is out now, published by Gill
Family-style beef chilli
Family-style beef chilli. \ Photography: Claire Nash. Food styling: Janine Kennedy
225g (8oz) dried black turtle beans
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 large green pepper, finely diced
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
500g (1lb 2oz) rump steak, trimmed and diced into 1cm (½in) cubes
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
600ml (1 pint) beef or chicken stock (from a cube is fine)
2 × 400g (14oz) tins of Italian chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper1 Soak the beans in plenty of cold water overnight, then drain. Preheat your slow cooker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If your slow cooker has a sauté option, you can use it. If not, use a large sauté pan on the hob over a medium heat. 2 Heat the oil, then add the onions, celery, green pepper and sugar. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring from time to time, until golden and well caramelised. Don’t be tempted to decrease the amount of time this takes, as this is very important for the flavour. Add the beef and mix until well combined, then sauté for another few minutes, until well browned. 3 Stir in the garlic and Cajun seasoning. Deglaze the pan with a little of the stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Pour in the remaining stock along with the tomatoes and tomato purée and break up using a wooden spoon. 4 Place in the slow cooker (if you have used a separate pan), including the juices. Season well with salt and pepper and stir in the black beans. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours, until the meat and beans are meltingly tender. 5 Serve bowls of the beef chilli with tortilla chips, lime wedges and fresh coriander leaves. Pass around the soured cream, guacamole and chilli sauce separately so that everyone can help themselves.
Shepherd’s pie with green lentils
Serves four to six
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
450g (1lb) minced lamb
2 rindless smoked streaky bacon
rashers, finely chopped
4 carrots, diced
2 leeks, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
225g (8oz) green lentils, well rinsed
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, plus extra to garnish
1 heaped tbsp plain flour
900ml (1½ pints) chicken stock (from a cube is fine)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1kg (2¼lb) potatoes, cut into cubes
100ml (3½fl oz) milk
25g (1oz) butter
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper1 Preheat your slow cooker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If your slow cooker has a sauté option, you can use it. If not, use a non-stick large sauté pan on the hob over a medium heat. 2 Heat the oil, then tip in the lamb and bacon and sauté for about 5 minutes to brown, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Add the carrots, leeks and celery and cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened. 3 Stir in the lentils, tomato purée and thyme, then sprinkle over the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Pour in the stock and Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper. Place in the slow cooker (if you have used a separate pan). 4 Meanwhile, steam the potatoes for 12–14 minutes, until tender. Mash well, then beat in the milk and butter. Season to taste. Gently spoon the potatoes on top of the mince and lentil mixture. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, until the lentils are completely tender and the lamb mixture is bubbling up the sides. Crisp up the potato topping under the grill if you like. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves to serve.