For my second cooking challenge of the month I decided on a recipe I found through Pinterest from a cute little mumsy food blog called Does Not Cook Well With Others. I picked this recipe purely because I thought my finance would absolutely love it and I thought I’d probably love it too. I mean it’s cheese, beef and pastry, what’s not to like!
So the recipe is pretty simple, it calls for cheddar cheese, red onion beef mince, worcestershire sauce, egg roll wrappers (I used filo pastry) and sesame seeds.
I’m proud to announce that my second September Cooking Challenge was not a disaster or a disappointment (like the last), it was really, really tasty! Making the filling was easy enough, it consisted of frying the mince and onion then combining that together with the grated cheddar, sauce and some herbs such as oregano and basil (my own addition to the recipe).
The only fiddly part was actually making the rolls. I imagine egg roll wrappers are a little thicker and sturdier than filo pastry so I eventually realised I had to be very gentle with the pastry in order to avoid it splitting and ripping. It look a while to get both the proportions right as well as the shape of the actual roll, I think maybe 2 of the 15 I made actually looked like they should. One thing I would say is that I overloaded the rolls with sesame seeds, which resulted in them falling off the rolls into the oven and creating a lot of smoke! I think next time I’ll put a tray underneath to catch the stray sesame seeds and potentially not use as many.
I’m so glad that this recipe worked out much better than my last cooking challenge as I chose both recipes because of their simplicity. It just goes to show that sometimes simplicity is the key! I served the cheeseburger rolls with a variety of dips and made a salad to go along side them to turn this into a main meal. Here are the dips I’d suggest go best with the rolls:
- Barbeque sauce (plain and simple)
- New Zealand’s Rocket Fuel Sauce
- Burger sauce (basically french mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise mixed together)
I’m so so glad that this was a success, the crispy pastry worked so well with the juicy, tangy, cheesy filling and dipped in the sauces it made the perfect alternative to a spring roll! Next time I have a dinner party I’m going to serve these up to see what the larger public think, but go, spread your wings – make baked cheeseburger egg rolls!
Please give me a shout if you give this recipe a go and if you found different things that didn’t work or worked better! Thanks.
Game mix in the marinade
Sundays are my favourite day of the week, even though you know you’ve got to get up for work the next morning. I always feel so well rested on a Sunday and it’s my favourite day to do some cooking.
I have the advantage of living in Stockbridge and every morning there is a Stockbridge Market. It sells meats, fish, fresh vegetables and bread, sushi, coffee, vegan nibbles and lots of crafty stuff. We usually do a quick visit before walking the pup. Today I fancied something hearty and rich to start my week on a high. The meat counter had some delicious looking game mix and diced venison – that’ll do. A game stew & dumplings it is.
- Game & venison mix
- Bouquet garnet
- Fresh thyme
- Bottle of (good) red wine
- Bay Leaves
- Juniper berries (can used dry ones)
Marinate all these together in a casserole bowl for at least half an hour (24 hours is ideal if you have the time)
- Plain flour
- Diced onion, carrots and celery
- Tomato puree
- Beef stock
Separate the game mix and the marinade and lightly flour the meat. Cook on a high heat until golden brown. Take it out and put it on a plate then add a spoonful of butter to the pan and fry the onions for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat right down and add 2 tablespoons of flour and a dollop of tomato puree. Stir into a kind of paste for a minute. Then this is the nice smelling, yummy fun part – slowly add in the marinade, stirring constantly so there are no lumps. Bring this to the boil and let the mixture reduce by half. Then add 500ml of beef stock, the meat and the chopped vegetables.
Leave to slowly cook for an hour and a half, stirring occasionally.
Whilst your stew is simmering, make the dumplings.
- Plain flour
- Baking powder
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Horseradish paste or freshly grated horseradish (both work well)
- Salt & pepper
- Water to mix
Dumplings are so easy to make and taste great in a stew. They go especially well with game stews because the doughy, floury dumplings mix so well with the rich, deep flavours of the game meat. I’ve added some fresh parsley and horseradish to give the dumplings a bit of an edge and to brighten up the dish. Plus, like I said, they are just so easy to make.
Firstly mix the flour, baking powder and a large pince of salt. Then mix in the chopped parsley, horseradish and enough water to create a lovely sticky dough. Spread some flour on a surface and your hands and roll the dough into about 10 circular balls (depending on how thick and doughy you want each dumpling to be). Then all you have to do is poach them in water for about 15 minutes. I roll them in a bit of melted butter straight after poaching them, the dumplings absorb the butter making them shiny and giving them added richness.
Lastly, add the dumplings to the still simmering stew, stir a couple of times to coat the dumplings in the sauce and plate up. Sprinkle over some chopped parsley if you are feeling fancy dancy.
The finished article
There you have it, game stew with horseradish dumplings, yum yum yum. I promise you this will win over any meat eater (and maybe a few vegetarians). Also trust me, make a big portion, I made enough for 4 people, I had one portion, my boyfriend had 3. Serve the rest of red wine or a dark ale, a stout preferably.