Monday, 3 January 2011

Jamie's Beef Stew with Herb Dumplings

On the 4th January 2010, Sainsbury's ran an ad on TV featuring Jamie Oliver using the Sainsbury's Basics Casserole Beef and promoting it to the general public, touting its price ("£2.50.. what you pay for a burger of chips", he said). On the eve of the ad's anniversary I decided to try to recreate it for dinner. I could do with a good stew to keep me warm, and the idea of herb dumplings for staple with stew was certainly enticing, or at least worth learning for future stew recipes.

One of the problems I came across while trying to prepare this though was the lack of availability of the Sainsbury's Basics Vegetable Selection, which consists of a parsnip, a carrot, a potato and an onion. I remembered seeing it on the racks of vegetables at my local Sainsbury's just before I left for my holiday, so I was surprised that I wasn't able to find it this time. To compensate, I decided to use the Basics Casserole Vegetables. Thought priced similarly (£1.00 for the selection vs 90p for the Casserole Vegetables), the packet contains a different range of vegetables (namely suede, carrot, leek and onion), and is about a third of the weight. On the upside however, I get to save time on chopping things up, though I have to use an onion from my own larder to complete the ingredient list.

The full recipe can be found here (those of you with an affinity to Facebook can find it here). Due to copyright concerns and to avoid duplicating unnecessary information I shall just stick to showing pictures of the meal preparation as I went along.

Since I didn't really want to get my fingers too dirty grating butter or rubbing it in the flour to form breadcrumbs, I used a knife to chip bits off the butter before using it to mix everything in.

I'm happy to verify that the casserole vegetables can be used to substitute the relevant ingredients in Jamie's recipe, and have settled down to a very enjoyable dinner tonight. However, since I didn't have a weighing scale, I didn't measure out enough flour for the dumplings, and so they turned out to be a gloopy mess sticking to the casserole contents. They were still edible however, and lent a nice bread-like fragrance.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Casserole Vegetables£0.90450g+£1.10 for 700gNot known, probably not much.

Those of you interested in seeing the ad can find it below. Enjoy.

[This post is dedicated to my brother and his coursemates who will be here in the UK for six months on exchange. Enjoy your time here guys.]

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