Wednesday 2 March 2016

RECIPE: Winter Beef Stew and Ginger & Marmalade Sponge from A Taste of Gracewell

Today, I'm bringing you two more fabulous recipes - three recipes in a week...I'm really spoiling you! 

Today's recipes are by Gracewell Healthcare as part of their Taste of Gracewell campaign. I tested the recipes last night and couldn't wait to share them with you all...

For those of you who haven't heard of Gracewell Healthcare, they create warm, luxurious and comfortable care homes all over the UK, staffed by highly professional and motivated teams who pay attention to the smallest detail to deliver the very best, personalised care.

Gracewell champion the lives of elderly people through excellent care and delicious food – many of their residents have specific dietary requirements so it’s essential that all residents are presented with tantalising meals to keep them interested in food.

Gracewell have just released their care home residents’ all-time favourite recipes cook book and they kindly sent me a copy. I couldn't wait to get stuck in and try a few of the recipes for myself. It is also worth noting that all of the recipes featured in this cook book have been created my Michelin star chefs - no pressure then!

Between 5 – 13th of March, Gracewell will be hosting their annual Taste of Gracewell campaign where they'll open up their care homes across the UK to allow the public to come in and try their delicious food...what a great way to get a genuine taster for the type of care you could expect if moving into their residential care homes, or if you're moving a loved one into their residential care. 

 My local Gracewell nursing home in Chingford is also taking part in this event. 

Okay, so on to the recipes! I decided to try making their Winter Beef Stew, followed by their Ginger & Marmalade Sponge. These recipes appealed to me as they seemed like really hearty winter comfort food, just the sort of thing hubby and I enjoy, plus they used ingredients I absolutely adore like rump steak, bacon, red wine, ginger and marmalade - yummy! 

Winter Beef Stew by Gracewell Healthcare

Having tested this recipe last night, I can 100% vouch for how wonderful it is. The whole house fills with the most incredible aroma and the flavour is insane considering its fairly humble ingredients list. I was new to using rump steak for a stew, but now I've tried it, I'm not likely to go back to braising steak in a hurry - by using a rich cut like rump you get an intense beefiness that you just can't get with a tougher cut of meat. The chunks were like butter after two hours in the oven, and you could eat the stew with just a spoon. 

I will add that I decided to halve the amount of bacon to 250g, which helped to reduce the calories a little (which is helpful when you're planning to tuck into a sticky pudding afterwards), and it still tasted amazing! I also upped the amount of button mushrooms to 100g, rather than 70g as that's the amount I had in the fridge! 

It made plenty for four people (we've frozen two portions for a quick dinner next week) and I would happily now use this recipe as my 'go to' beef stew from now on. 

I love the unctuousness of this warming dish! And the gorgeous claret colour the wine gives! 

A very civilised dinner thanks to Gracewell - Winter Beef Stew and a cheeky glass of red! 

Ginger and Marmalade Sponge (served with custard) by Gracewell Healthcare

To follow the hearty stew I made this beautifully easy sponge, served it warm, with the heated marmalade poured over the top and smothered it in custard! 

What is not to love?

Again, it turned out totally delicious thanks to a foolproof recipe by Gracewell. It made four great sized portions - we're even having the second half for our pudding again tonight (totally worth every single calorie!) and I can't wait. 

Simple store cupboard ingredients create this ultimate comfort sponge!

The sponge incredible does the glistening warm marmalade look?

If you could resist this tempting sponge pudding then you're a stronger person than me! 

Ready to dive in...

The day is always brighter when there's pudding involved. 

If you're a fan of marmalade and tart desserts then you'll love the sharpness of this pudding - if however, you've got rather a sweet tooth then I suggest pairing it with ice cream, or Chantilly cream for extra sweetness. We had ours slathered in custard which was equally good!

If marmalade and ginger aren't your thing then you could add lemon zest and juice to the sponge mix instead of stem ginger and top with warm lemon curd instead of marmalade  - I'm totally trying this variation soon! 

Overall, I was so chuffed with the outcome when testing these two recipes - if these are anything to go by then the other recipes in the book will be just as great! I'm looking forward to trying more of them soon. 

What are you having for dinner tonight?

Mrs B