Archive for the ‘Beef’ Category

Hmm, delicious steak and kidney pudding – after 3 hours of cooking without fuel!

This steak and kidney pudding recipe is easy, but always a show stopper when I am demonstrating Mr D’s Thermal Cooker. This one we made at the weekend and is large enough for six servings.


For suet dough:

  • 2 cups self-raising flour (250 gm)
  • 1 cup shredded suet (125 gm)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup cold water (180 ml)

For steak and kidney filling:

  • 500 gm steak, cubed
  • 1 pig’s kidney (or 250 gm calf’s kidney if preferred)
  • 2 tbsp flour seasoned with ½ tsp salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce


Suet dough

  1. Put 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of suet and ½ teaspoon salt in a mixing bowl and mix together.
  2. Make a hollow in the middle of the mixture, pour ¼ cup of water into the hollow and spoon the dry ingredients into the water until it is absorbed. Repeat with two further ¼ cups of water. The mixture should now be bound into a ball of soft dough. If there is still some loose flour and suet, add a little more water to unite with the dough.
  3. Use 2/3 of the dough to line a 1 litre pudding basin, making sure there are no holes in the dough wall.
  4. Keep the remaining 1/3 of the suet dough for the pudding lid.
  5. Put a 30mm high trivet into the inner pot of Mr D’s Thermal Cooker and add enough water (cold or warm) to come 45 cm above the trivet. Put the inner pot on the hob and bring the water to the boil.
  6. Toss the cubed steak and kidney in the seasoned flour.
  7. Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a cooking pan, add the meat and turn it to seal. Add half the quantity of meat at a time so that the pan keeps hot enough to seal the meat quickly. When sealed it will be light brown.
  8. Take the pan off the hob. Add 3 tablespoons of cold water and 1 tablespoon of Worcester sauce. Stir so that the flour absorbs the water and Worcester sauce and mixes into a gravy.
  9. Put the meat and gravy into the dough-lined pudding basin.
  10. Shape the remaining 1/3 of suet dough to make a lid for the pudding, position it on top of the meat filling and press the dough edges together to form a seal.
  11. Place a circle of greaseproof or baking paper on top of the pudding.
  12. Place a piece of eco-friendly foil over the pudding and tie firmly in place with string. Remember to leave a loop of string to help pull the pudding basin out when cooked.
  13. Place the pudding basin into the inner pot to rest on the trivet. The boiling hot water should reach about ¾ up the side of the pudding bowl.
  14. Make sure the water is lightly boiling, put the lid on the inner pot and maintain on the hob at boiling point for 35 minutes.
  15. Put the inner pot into the vacuum-insulated outer Thermal pot, close the outer pot lid and leave to thermal cook without power for 2 ½ hours.
  16. If Mr D’s Thermal Cooker is left unopened you can serve this dish up to 6½ hours after starting the thermal cooking.
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Tonights dish is a simple to prepare Japanese meal.

Nikujaga is a home-cooked dish, of meat potatoes and onion stew cooked in sweetened soy sauce. It is served with a bowl of rice and miso soup. It was invented by chefs of the Imperial Japanese Navyin the late 19th Century. The story that Tōgō Heihachirō ordered naval cooks to create a version of the beef stews served in the British Royal Navy was devised as part of an ongoing campaign beginning in 1895 to promote the city of Maizuru, Kyoto, as the birthplace of nikujaga.

The meat used in Japan for this dish varies from region to region. Beef is usually used in western Japan, while pork tends to be more popular in the east. You can use which ever meat you prefer but avoid meat that is too lean. When using lean meat, slice to a medium thickness or cut into cubes.

I have incorporated the miso soup into the main dish using it instead of dashi. Dashi forms the base of miso soup.


  • 250g sirloin beef, cut into thin strips
  • 750ml of miso soup
  • 100ml Japanese soy sauce
  • 1½ tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 400g small new potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 onion, cut into 8 wedges and separated
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 15mm thick pieces


  1. Add everything except the beef to the inner pot.
  2. Bring to the boil.
  3. Add the beef and bring back to the boil and skim off any scum that forms on the surface.
  4. Turn off the heat and put the inner pot, with its lid on, into the insulated outer container.
  5. Shut the lid and leave to thermal slow cook without power for 2-3 hours.
  6. Serve with rice cooked in the top pot if you have one. If you don’t have a top pot cook the rice separately.

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This pot roast beef in economical, filling and is an oh-so-satisfying meal.

By cooking beef this way you not only save money but the meat becomes so tender. The cooking needs no attention, cannot over cook and makes its own gravy.

It is delicious the next day for leftovers, as the flavours mature with time.





  • 1.5kg beef sirloin, rolled and tied
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • sea salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 125g lardons
  • 4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small celeriac, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 400g tin, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • water
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Mix the flour with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and roll the beef in the seasoned flour to coat, shaking or patting off any excess. Set aside.
  2. Put the inner pot onto a medium heat and pour in the olive oil.
  3. Once hot add the lardons and cook until starting to crisp.
  4. Carefully place the beef into the pot turning it to brown it all over.
  5. Once brown remove to a plate and set aside.
  6. Add the carrots, celeriac and garlic. Crumble over the stock cube and fry gently stirring until starting to brown.
  7. Pour in a little water and stir to deglaze the inner pot.
  8. Put the beef back in and pour over the tin of tomatoes.
  9. Top up with water until just covering the meat.
  10. Bring to the boil then put on the lid and turn down to a simmer.
  11. Simmer for 10 minutes before turning off the heat and placing the inner pot into the insulated outer container.
  12. Shut the lid and leave to thermal slow cook without power for a minimum of 4 hours.
  13. Once cooked remove the beef and bring the inner pot back to the boil.
  14. To serve thinly slice the beef. Add the vegetables that were cooked with beef and mashed potatoes and cabbage. If you prefer instead of the cabbage and mash serve with some rustic bread and a side salad.

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