Tag Archives: garlic

Garlic and Parmesan Bread Knots

A bread roll, I think, elevates dinner to dinner-party status.  And garlic bread is always a winner here on a Saturday night.  So these slightly more eloquent bread knots are easy to put together and delicious to eat.

Garlic and Parmesan Bread Knots

For the knots
500g flour
10g dried yeast
5 g salt
50g olive oil
300g warm water
5 cloves of garlic
For the garlic butter
100g salted butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried parsley
25g freshly grated parmesan

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Garlic- Ward off those colds

I made some garlic confit oil as part of my hampers before Christmas.  It was a revelation in taste.  Something so simple in it’s parts was truly an explosion of flavour in it’s sum.

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Garlic ready to go

The most important thing is the quality of the ingredients.  The garlic is critical.  Darina drummed into us the dangers of garlic grown in China.  Whatever methods they use to grow- bleaching… with chlorine.  Seriously.   Chinese garlic is gamma irradiated to prevent sprouting and is also sprayed with Maleic Hydrazide to extend shelf life. All imported garlic is fumigated with Methyl Bromide. So let the buyer beware. Garlic is low in calories and very rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Manganese. It also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients.

I’ve also written before about the perils of buying olive oil…see here. It’s very simple.  Break up garlic cloves, (I do about 12 bulbs at a time- gives me 4 jars).  Remove the loose skins.  Add some fresh thyme.  Cover with good quality olive oil.  

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Roast in a low oven 150oC for about 45 minutes.  Leave to cool for a while.  Remove the thyme sprigs. Divide between 4 sterilised jars.  Add a fresh sprig of thyme to each, and 2 dessert spoons of balsamic vinegar.  Shake well.  Top up with some fresh oil if not to the lip.

Jar of Garlic Confit Oil

Jar of Garlic Confit Oil

This is just gorgeous spooned over some parsnip, and roasted in a really hot oven for 30 minutes.  The smell is just DEVINE.


Irish Parsnips

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Parsnips roasting in the garlic confit oil

I added some of the garlic segments and some of the thyme too.  Must try them on roast potatoes….


Or roast chicken, or maybe on some sourdough….




Cheat’s Beef Wellington

I love Beef Wellington.  I mean REALLY love it.  Mind you I like anything wrapped in pastry.

Beef Wellington doesn’t seem to have any connection to the Duke of Wellington.  It’s suggested that it is simply a “re-patriotion” of the well established filet de bœuf en croûte.  In fact the first written reference to Beef Wellington comes from The Los Angeles Times,who published a recipe for “fillet of beef, a la Wellington” in 1903. The Oxford English Dictionary pinpoints a 1939 guide to eating out in New York as the first reliable reference: Tenderloin of Beef Wellington.  In actual fact Theodora Fitzgibbon, the first lady of Irish Cooking, thought the dish originated as Steig Wellington in Ireland, as the Iron Duke was born here.

In a restaurant if you order this dish, you can expect fillet of beef, lathered in a mushoom duxelle or fois gras coating, and wrapped tightly in puff pastry.  This is normally served with a madeira sauce.

Mine isn’t quite the same.  Although with lots of time, it is made from scratch in totality.  But on this occasion, it was really kind of thrown together.

Nigel had got some flank beef, so I used this instead of fillet.  Yes it was going to be a little tougher, so I marinaded it overnight in lots of red wine and crushed garlic.  With a bay leaf thrown in for good measure.


Flank of Beef


The next day I “Roll” the flank, secure with kitchen twine, and brown well on a really hot buttered pan.  This is then wrapped straight away in clingfilm, tightly.  This helps with the shape, and to keep all the goodness in the beef.  Obviously, if you are using fillet of beef (or venison etc) you don’t need to secure it with string, as it is already in the bsic shape you want.  I would, however, still sear and wrap in cling film.  This can now be left until you are ready to prepare the dish.

Beef Flank- seared and rolled

After this it was simply a matter of blitzing the mushrooms and cooking them in a hot pan with lots of olive oil until they were “Dry”.


Mushroom Duxelle

Then, using shop bought puff pastry (I find the Lidl one excellent),  I lay out the pastry, cover this with slices of proscuito (to keep in the moisture).  Spread the duxelle over this.  Then I unwrap the rested beef (snipping off the string, while trying as best as possible to keep it’s shape).  And lay this on top.  All this is wrapped up, and brushed with egg wash. I cook this for 45 mins in a hot oven, for a medium Beef Wellington. If it was just for family, I’d cook it for less.  The most important thing is to leave it rest.  

Beef Wellington

The Finished Beef Wellington

Best served with a rich dark gravy, this dish needs nothing else except maybe some steamed greens.  Delicious.