Friday, 28 December 2012

Hot Spicy Beef and Tomato Naan Bread Sandwich with Homemade Fries

Spicy beef and tomato stew is folded in a  naan bread and served with fries

This hot and spicy dish is the perfect warming meal for a cold night in the depths of Winter. It also provides a welcome change at this time of year from the possible monotony of leftover turkey, goose or ham. Although the stew takes a few hours to prepare in total, the good news is that it can very easily be prepared one night, cooled and refrigerated to be heated through the following night. The quantities in this recipe are for two people.

Shin of beef


3/4lb shin of beef (or other suitable stewing beef)
1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
1 green bell pepper
2 small shallots
1 large clove of garlic
14oz can of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
1 tbsp tomato puree/paste
1 pint fresh beef stock
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
Few drops of Tabasco sauce (be very careful not to add too much!)
Salt and black pepper
2 naan breads
2oz sweetfire chilli and jalapeno cheddar cheese (or similar spicy cheese)
Homemade fries or chips to serve

Vegetables and spices for beef and tomato stew


It's worth pointing out that although the naan breads used on this occasion were bought from the supermarket in a vacuum pack, homemade naan breads are a lot easier to prepare than you may think. If you have the time, of course, and are feeling a little bit adventurous, why not give them a go?

Prepared vegetables for stew

Begin by chopping the shin of beef in to one inch chunks. Deseed the bell pepper and slice in to strips. Peel and finely slice the shallots and garlic.

Shin of beef is browned in a little oil

Put the oil in to a large stew pot and add the beef. Season with black pepper. Brown and seal the beef over a medium heat, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon.

Vegetables are briefly sauteed with the beef

When the beef is sealed, add the green pepper, shallots, garlic and chilli flakes and saute for a further couple of minutes.

Spicy beef and tomato stew

Pour the tomatoes and beef stock in to the pot. Add the tomato puree or paste and stir well. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for two and a half to three hours, until the beef is mouth-wateringly tender, stirring occasionally. If necessary, add a little boiling water if the stew is becoming too thick or dry. Taste for seasoning and adjust as required. It's a good idea to leave the addition of the Tabasco sauce to this point and stir well and taste after the addition of each few drops.

Sweetfire chilli and jalapeno pepper cheddar cheese

This cheese is one I found in my local Morrisons supermarket and was deliciously spicy. If you can't find this particular variety, try to get one that contains some form of peppers or chillies but it's not of course essential.

Beef and tomato stew is spooned on to the wider half of the naan bread

If using premade naan breads, reheat them per the instructions on the pack. These ones required to be sprinkled with cold water and heated for one minute each side under a hot grill/broiler. Lay the broad end of the naan breads on the edge of your serving plates and spoon on the stew. Crumble the cheese and scatter over the stew before carefully folding over the second half of the naan and adding the fries to the plate.

Spicy cheddar cheese is crumbled over beef and tomato stew

Monday, 17 December 2012

Scottish Roll and Sausage Club Sandwich

Scottish roll and sausage club sandwich with crisps and pickled onions

What is a club sandwich? There is no doubt that many reading this will think that a strange question - but the truth is, I was under a complete misapprehension until (very!) recently. Although I have heard club sandwiches referred to countless times in American TV shows or movies and read about them in American novels, for years I didn't understand the meaning. I was honestly under the impression that they referred to the particular restaurant's speciality sandwich, a bit like, "Dish of the day," or the, "House red." Via the wonders of Google and Wikipedia, I now know that it is essentially a sandwich comprised of at least three slices of toasted bread and two layers of filling.

I got to thinking therefore about how I could create a slightly different club sandwich that would be fairly quick to make, at least partly true to the original concept yet have its own distinct identity and could be made to form a reasonably substantial dinner. I finally decided to blend the fabulous concept that is the Scottish roll and sausage with the American club sandwich and see how it turned out. A Scottish roll and sausage is comprised of a morning roll, filled with a Lorne sausage (sometimes called sliced sausage or square sausage). There are frequently many other components added to the combination but in this instance, I of course used recognised club sandwich ingredients. Instead of using both turkey and bacon, I improvised and used turkey bacon. I also used delicious peashoots instead of the frequently bland (especially at this time of year) lettuce.

If you're not in Scotland and don't have ready access to Lorne sausages, you do actually still have quite a few viable options. You can buy them online from many different suppliers, you can buy the spice mix from Amazon UK (see below) and make them yourself with a combination of minced/ground beef and pork, or you can simply substitute them for burger patties as a last resort. 

Principal Scottish club sandwich ingredients

Ingredients per Serving

1 bread/morning roll
1 Lorne sausage
2 rashers/slices of turkey bacon
Small handful of peashoots
1 medium slice of tomato
1 tsp mayonnaise
Little vegetable oil for frying
Sea salt and black pepper (or flavour of choice) crisps/potato chips to serve
2 large pickled onions (optional)

Scottish morning roll is sliced in to three sections


It's a good idea to begin by doing the few small bits of necessary prep before you start cooking. Very carefully, slice the bread roll in to three equally thick pieces. Slice the tomato. A good point to note with the peashoots and other vacuum packed supermarket greens is to always wash them well in a colander under running cold water. Sometimes, the pack will say that they are washed and ready to eat but never take that for granted. You may also want to roughly chop the peashoots to make the club sandwich easier to assemble.

Lorne sausage and turkey rashers are gently fried in oil

Put a little oil in to a frying pan and bring it up to a medium heat. Add the sausage only and fry gently on the first side for four or five minutes. Turn the sausage before adding the turkey rashers, which will take a couple of minutes each side.

Scottish club sandwich fillings are ready

Lift the cooked sausage and turkey rashers to a plate with the prepared peashoots and tomato. Toast the three roll slices lightly under the grill or broiler.

Peashoots form the first layer of the Scottish club sandwich

Begin assembling the club sandwich by laying the peashoots on top of the bottom section of the roll.

Lorne sausage and mayo are added on top of the peashoots

Put the sausage on top of the peashoots, followed by the mayo and the middle section of the bread roll.

Turkey rashers and tomato form the second layer of the Scottish club sandwich

Lay the bacon rashers on next with the slice of tomato on top.

Fully assembled roll and sausage club sandwich

Crown the club sandwich with the last piece of the bread roll.

Roll and sausage club sandwich is carefully cut in half

Press down lightly and cut the sandwich in half with a very sharp knife.

Cocktail sticks are used to hold the Scottish club sandwich halves together

Club sandwiches are often served with a cocktail/hors d'oeuvres stick to hold them together. This is optional - but if using them, do remember to remove them before taking a large bite! Plate the club sandwich halves, add the crisps/potato chips and the pickled onions if required.

Scottish roll and sausage club sandwich with crisps