Monday, March 06, 2006


Just 1 short hour after my friend Frances and I had recovered from lunch, I started on dinner.


288. Beef Stew with Anchovies and Thyme
289. Fresh Horseradish Sauce
290. Treacle Tart

I chose to make this stew for dinner because it includes thyme, and there always seems to be a supermarket packet of thyme in my fridge which is going borderline feral. I wanted to make use of it before it crossed over.

The method for the stew is the standard one – brown the beef shin cubes (Frances chopped it up, thank-you very much), fry up vegetables and herbs, re-add the meat to the pan, then add stock and wine, and cook in a low oven for a few hours.

Frances had to leave around 6:30pm to go visit some family friends, by which stage the kitchen was (relatively) clean, and the beef stew was in the oven. I then put potatoes on to boil and made up the horseradish sauce. The sauce is meant to have fromage frais in it (whatever that is), but we don’t have it in Australia, so I took Nigella’s substitution of half crème fraiche, half yogurt. And to this crème-yogurt mixture, I added creamed horseradish (again, I couldn’t find fresh), and chives.

The next stage was to make the treacle tart. I’d never had treacle tart before, but much like Niki, had read all about them in Enid Blyton’s books. The filling for treacle tart is golden syrup, breadcrumbs, lemon juice and cream.

treacle tart – raw

Nigella says to eat it hot, so I assembled the pie and put it in the oven as we were sitting down to dinner.

beef stew

mash, raita

The stew was very delicious, and mash is always good. The most memorable part of the dinner, however, was the horseradish sauce. Nigella was right, it is “staggeringly good”, and a refreshing contrast to the warm and heavy stew.

While we were eating dinner, I got a phone call from Frances again, saying that she’d accidentally left her cardigan at my house and could she come over to pick it up? Of course, as the good Doctor Freud says, there are no “accidents”, and I chose to interpret Frances’ “forgetting” of her cardigan as a subconscious desire to return and sample some of the beef stew. And this time, she brought her lovely mother with her.

Frances did indeed try some beef stew, as did her mother. Her mum really, really liked the horseradish sauce. She’s Polish, you see, and apparently horseradish is really big over there.

And then we all (Mum, Dad, Daniel, Frances, Frances’ mother and myself), shared the treacle tart. It was very, very sweet, crisp on top and chewy within. I thought it was only ok, but everyone else seemed to love it.

treacle tart on rack

pie slice


Anonymous said...

Welcome back ! I also went looking for fromage frais and was unable to find it in Perth however I did find at my local something called Quark which apparently is very similar :)
PS The chocolate sauce looks divine

Anonymous said...

Hi. Where did u find quark in Perth. I cant even find that.