Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Easiest Slow Cooked Corned Beef Silverside Ever

In Melbourne for the weekend with our son and his family the weather was cold and miserable - and a home cooked comfort food meal was called for. We decided on Corned Beef Silverside served hot with lashings of cheesy white sauce and a medley of hot winter vegetables - cauliflower, carrots and peas.

Cooking the meat in the slow cooker for several hours results in meat that literally falls apart with the touch of a fork - preparation time - 5 minutes! It surely is maximum flavour for minimum effort! This is the recipe that has evolved over years of cooking this tasty meal!

Because of the 5 minute preparation time this dish is fabulous if you are going out for the day and want to come home to a homely hot meal, or, alternatively if you want to spend a lazy day in your PJs reading by the fire rather than slaving over a hot stove! Any leftovers make wonderful sandwiches the next day - just add your favourite chutney or pickle. Yummm!

Slow Cooked Corned Beef Silverside

1.5kg piece of corned beef silverside
1 large onion, sliced
1 length of celery, cut into 4 pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
2 cups low salt beef stock

Place the prepared vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle the peppercorns over and add the bay leaves. Rinse the beef silverside under cold running water. Sit on the vegetables and pour the stock over. Put the lid on and cook on low for 8 hours or until meat falls apart when pulled gently with a fork.

Allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes prior to pulling apart for serving.


Thursday, 6 June 2013

Potato and Leek Soup

The Potato and Leek Soup on the Daily Specials board tempted me! We were lunching at a gorgeous little cafe in the main strip of Halls Gap where we recently enjoyed a wonderful mini vacation.

When it arrived the soup was warming, smooth, creamy, buttery and perfectly seasoned. It was magnificent! In fact I'm going to make a really big call and suggest that it was the best soup I have ever eaten!

Inspired, I couldn't wait to get home to try and re-create my soup experience! Here is the result - it's very close - and I'm very happy with it!

Potato and Leek Soup

3 large leeks - use the white part only - washed and finely sliced
1 large brown onion, diced
2 large sticks of celery, diced
3 large floury potatoes, peeled and diced
500 ml of chicken stock
60 grams best quality butter (this makes a real difference to the flavour of the finished product)
300 ml pouring cream
sea salt and white pepper

Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the finely sliced leeks, diced onion and diced celery. Fry gently until the onions are just beginning to turn golden. Stir constantly to ensure that none of the vegetables over caramelise.

Add the stock and potatoes. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Cool, then blitz the mixture with a blender until smooth.

Before serving reheat the smooth soup base but do not allow to boil. Stir in 250ml of the cream and adjust the seasoning with the salt and pepper.

Ladle into a bowl, drizzle a little of the remaining cream over and serve with your favourite warmed or toasted bread.

Serves 6.

Yum! Enjoy!

*Read more about our fabulous budget friendly mini vacation here at The Living Well in Retirement Challenge blog http://thelivingwellinretirementchallenge.blogspot.com.au/.

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