korean beef bowl

This recipe is quick and easy to make, and really good for you – packed with plenty of protein, it’ll fill you up perfectly after a long day at the office. We also heated up leftovers for lunch the next day, minus the egg.

I would recommend paying a visit to your local Asian supermarket or to buy gochujang paste – Waitrose sell it too but you get a lot less for your money! Gochujang is made up of red chillies and fermented bean curd blended with glutinous rice, and you’ll have to trust me when I say it tastes a lot better than it sounds. It’s sweet and tangy, and unlike anything you’ve had before. If you can’t get your hands on it, make a substitute paste of 2 tbsp of red chilli pepper flakes moistened with soy sauce and a sprinkling of brown sugar.

Grated carrot is a great addition to this dish – it’s a fantastic way of adding vegetables in a way that you simply just don’t notice when eating it. If you want to add more veg, spring onions and tenderstem broccoli work really well.

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bavette steak with salsa verde, twice-fried chips, artichoke salad and ciabatta bread

Bavette steak is such a treasure. High-end restaurants have begun featuring cheaper cuts of beef on their menus, including bavette alongside flank, blade and hanger steaks, for approximately £15 and turning over a tidy profit. A decent sized piece of this meat, otherwise known as beef skirt by butchers, will only set you back approx. £6-7 for a portion large enough to serve 4 people. You can also slow cook beef skirt in stews, so it’s an extremely versatile and cost effective meat.

I love to use beef skirt as a centre piece and really champion this cheap and tasty cut, as it makes a great sharing plate – check out my Korean bulgogi recipe for another take on this meat: korean bulgogi-style beef

On this occasion, I decide to take it down an Italian route. Salsa verde is tangy and herby, and undeniably Italian – the sharpness of the red wine vinegar, capers and gherkin cut through the freshness of fragrant parsley, mint and basil. It’s also surprisingly delicious to dunk your chips into! This dish was also be great with polenta chips – I’ll be trying this next time!

I served the ciabatta bread alongside this dish to dunk into the left over salsa verde, but it would also make a great starter alongside dipping oils. It’s surprisingly easy to make – just don’t be alarmed by how wet the dough is! And be careful not to know too much air out of it when shaping it – one of the beauties of ciabatta is the air pockets inside.

A side note regarding the salad – if you live in the UK like I do, you’ll realise how difficult it can be to get your hands on fresh artichokes. If you can’t, take a look at the jarred antipasti goods as you can often buy marinated artichokes in olive oil. Alternatively, most supermarkets also sell tinned artichokes in water, which work surprisingly well.

I’ve split the recipe up for you, so if you want to just give one part a try then you can!

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beef massaman curry

I really love cooking Thai food. We visited Bangkok and Chiang Mai earlier in the year, and the variety was a real eye opener. I think a lot of us who cook Thai food become accustomed to making just green or red curry with shop-bought pastes (personally, my favourite is yellow curry and I add extra chillies!) but I wanted to try something a little more adventurous.

Massaman curry is traditionally served using beef, and is cooked slowly to keep the meat tender. As (nearly) always, I bought the meat from my local butcher, and using this recipe it completely fell apart. I always take beef out of the fridge an hour before cooking, to allow it to reach room temperature. It stops the meat seizing up when cooking and keeps it soft and tender.

You can easily buy Massaman curry paste from the supermarket, but making myself was so rewarding. Curry paste recipes always look intimidating due to the extensive ingredient list, but it’s surprising how many you’ll already have in your cupboards. I stocked up on the additional ingredients at my local Asian supermarket – authentic ingredients for a low price, it’s a win-win situation.

I like to top my curry with a sprinkling of toasted peanuts, birds-eye chillies, and fresh coriander and Thai basil. It adds extra freshness and texture.

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braised ox cheek with potato dauphinoise, roasted bone marrow, malted onions, baby carrots, parsley oil and red wine and shallot glaze

Ox cheeks are an ingredient I’ve seen in cook books and on cooking programmes, but they’re not something you see on sale at your local supermarket. I had mentally put this dish together and was desperate to get started, so I gave my local butchers a call (sorry to keep banging on about it, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to buy your meat from the butchers. Not only is it generally a better quality than supermarket meat, it’s very often cheaper or at least better value for money!). They keep some in their freezer as demand isn’t particularly high, despite ox cheeks becoming something of a trendy ingredient. They sell them in packs of 2, so I bought 2 x packs. 4 ox cheeks is a lot of meat, and let me tell you what I didn’t know at the time – 4 ox cheeks is not 4 servings. This amount of meat would easily stretch to 6-8 meals.

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