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Beef tips from the expert chef - your foolproof guide to cooking it well

We talked to Kevin Dundon about beef…and now we know EVERYTHING.

EATING OUT IS all well and good, but it tots up after a while.

So, if you’re looking for a way to be more economical with your grocery bill may we suggest casting a fresh eye over beef?

It’s a truly versatile ingredient and we showed you just how many different cuts there are and ways to cook it here.

To follow on from that we had a chat with with celebrity chef Kevin Dundon about the best beef tips, recipes and suggestions about what to do with leftovers and now we have the low-down on everything you ever need to know.

Source: Flickr/kudomomo

Make friends with your butcher

For Kevin, butchers are a great resource for consumers and the place to go when looking for tips on how to cook beef. Pick their brains, tell them what you’re cooking or thinking about cooking for dinner, and they’ll sort you out. They’re the fountain of beef knowledge, so make friends with your butcher.

Kevin is fronting the Better Beef campaign and he tells us how the beef is, in fact, better:

What we’ve actually done is aged it longer, and it’s a different hanging process so the beef is more tender and more juicy.

And now for what you’ve all been waiting for…

Amazing roast dinner

Source: Flickr/galant

Now we did a little piece on roast dinners here, and more on the perfect roast potatoes here, but we think Kevin’s recipe might have us trumped.

He says when cooking a joint of beef for a roast dinner, get a pan on the stove and add a bit of goosefat to it when it’s very hot. Then take your joint, put loads of salt and pepper on it, and pop it into the pan. This will seal the beef all they way round and keep all the juices inside of it.

Put that into the oven for approx an hour and a half at 180 degrees.

Then for fantastic roast potatoes, about an hour into cooking the roast you want to peel your potatoes and get a pan of cold water with lots of salt in it. Bring it to the boil and parboil for 7 minutes and then drain them and pop them around your roast. They’ll take about 45 min to cook.

And for the pièce de résistance of roast beef tips:

When you take your joint out of the oven, you want to cover it with tinfoil shiny side down and leave it to rest for 15-20 min. This lets the muscles relax and keeps all the juices inside. If you carve it now, it will release all the juices and won’t be as tender.

Leftovers

We don’t think there’ll be any of course, but just in case you don’t finish that roast on a Sunday and are worried about waste, we grabbed a few of Kevin’s go-to leftovers recipes.

There are many meals you can make from leftover beef. To name but a few we have -

  • Stirfry
  • Curry
  • Stew

We’ll get to those recipes in a second but first you must -

Stock your pantry

It has to be said that a well stocked pantry is the busy person’s friend. With a few staples in there you can cobble together a meal in a flash, without having to head to the supermarket every couple of days.

We asked Kevin what was good to have in your pantry at all times and he listed these ingredients -

Tins of tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, green curry paste, soy sauce, honey, plain flour.

May we add rice, pasta, chickpeas and stock cubes? You’ll be sorted.

And with those on hand, and whatever veg are lurking in your fridge, you can throw together a curry or stirfry in no time at all.

Stirfry

Source: Flickr/stevendepolo

Stirfry is a great dish to have at the back of your ‘mental cookbook’ as it can be on the table in as little as 10 mins.

Slice up your leftover roast and throw into a very hot wok and sauté for a couple of minutes, then add in your sliced (and peeled if necessary) veg – carrots, broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, whatever you’ve got. After that, it’s a splash of soy sauce and a tablespoon of honey and some sesame oil to create a perfect Asian influenced glaze. Serve with rice.

Stew

Source: Flickr/vauvau

This is a recipe for stew cooked from scratch with a cheaper cut (ask your butcher for ‘stewing beef’) which is great for a long slow cook, but it can also be made the same way with the leftover roast beef chopped up and added to it.

Kevin says to put a large pot on the stove, and heat some oil to very hot. Add your stewing beef (approx 900g) and sauté that until it’s browned, then take it of that pot and put it aside for a minute. (If you’re using leftover roast beef, sauté it in the same way, just for less time.) Add some more oil to the pot and pop in your chopped garlic (2 cloves) and veg (3 carrots, 2 sticks of celery) and sauté them for a couple of minutes also.

Add the meat back in and pour in a glass of red wine. Reduce this by half and then add about 500ml of beef stock. Let that simmer for an hour and a half. In the final 10 mins, have some peeled bite-sized potatoes ready to throw in and then they’ll cook nicely in the last few minutes and thicken up the broth without the need for flour – perfect for coeliacs.

I think it’s one of the nicest things you can ever have, is to walk into a house and smell this fantastic smell happening in the background.

Cook from the heart

Kevin says the best tip he can give to any cook is -

The best tip I can tell people about cooking is to enjoy it and cook from the heart. To buy the very best ingredients you can and do very little with them. That’s my belief in food in a nutshell.

And on that note… Let us know your own best recipes and ideas for beef in the comments below.

Check out how to cook a perfect steak with Kevin here.

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About the author:

Edel Corrigan

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