Sunday, 10 January 2016

Saturday 9th January: Stuffat tal-Laham and Apple & Mincemeat Crumble

Yesterday my in-laws came over for dinner. I quite often like to cook Maltese dishes for visitors, and I decided to do Stuffat tal-Laham (or meat stew) for the main, as it's a rather good dish to eat during colder weather, and the mixed spice and red wine give it a little something extra special, I think. I think I might have blogged about this dish before, but my recipe has evolved somewhat over the years, so here's roughly where it stands now.

Serves 4

knob of butter
500g stewing beef/steak
2 onions, sliced
3 large potatoes, cut into chunks
3 large carrots, cut into chunks
2 sticks of celery, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp mixed spice
500ml beef stock
250ml red wine
handful or two frozen peas

Melt the butter, add the beef, and cook over a medium-high heat until the meat is nice and brown. Add all the vegetables, give it a good stir and let the veg cook for a few minutes. Add the tomato puree and mixed spice, stir and cook for another few minutes. Add the stock and wine, bring briefly to the boil, then turn the heat down and cover and simmer for about an hour. Remove the lid and simmer gently for another 45 minutes to an hour until the beef is tender and the sauce has reduced to a nice, think consistency (feel free to add more water or cover again if it starts to dry out too much though). Add the peas for the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Serve with sourdough bread.


We don't often have desserts at home, but as we had guests coming over, I thought it would be nice. I have a load of leftover homemade mincemeat from Christmas (this is my go-to mincemeat recipe), so wanted to use that somehow. I decided an apple and mincemeat crumble might be a good idea, and I based it on this recipe from Frugal Feeding. I used a lot more mincemeat than it said (I had a lot to use up and still do...) - about 8 tablespoons, rather than 3. I used slightly less sugar in the filling because my mincemeat is really quite sweet - I used about 40g of demerara and I left out the cinnamon and ginger in the crumble topping. The result was very good - perhaps a little too good, as the four of us managed to polish off the whole lot, along with some vanilla ice-cream. There goes the healthy-eating plan...