What’s for supper#1?

The ever vexing question. This one takes a bit of planning, unless you buy ready-made pittas. The rest is quick.

Pitta with Greek-style meatballs and tzatziki

The big question for any home cook is what to make tonight. We go and buy groceries weekly based on market specials and having some variety, then work out a rough menu in advance. Sometimes the weather changes and the dish of the day is not ideal, or sometimes work happens and you have no time. So you adapt.

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Pitta Bread

A bit of work, but much better and cheaper than store bought. Cut in half and open the pocket with a table knife.

These can be fiddly to get right, but even if they don’t make pockets, they are delicious flat breads and can be used as a wrap

(You can half or third this)
6 x 250ml cups of flour. Pour the flour into the cup, if you scoop it from the bag, it will compress and your ratio will be wrong.
1 Packet dry yeast
1 Teaspoon sugar
10ml salt
500ml warm – just warmer than your hand- water
1 glug of olive oil

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Summer beef and vegetable pie

Light and easy on a warm summer’s day.

A summer beef and vegetable pie has to be lighter, the meat lean and the vegetables just cooked, but it needs a sauce to bind the filling, but it has to be light. You simmer the beef with soffritto in beer, so there are two layers of veggies in this. As herb I used fresh bay leaves.

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The classic mixture of aromatic vegetables that forms the base of soups, stews, braises and even gravy.

Soffritto is the base mixture of diced vegetables used in many dishes. Called mirepoix in French cooking, this mixture is found under various names around the world, often with regional combinations. I use the Italian version with onion, carrot and celery as my base. When making a bolognaise sauce, I add garlic, chilli and thyme, red wine and some good chicken stock.

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Beef Short Ribs

Choose the right cut of beef short ribs and braise it to perfection

Beef short ribs are perfect for braising. It is a substantial chunk of meat resting on a solid base of bone. The bone will make it keep its shape, even after hours of braising. There is enough marbling in the meat to help baste it, but not so much that the dish is greasy.

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