Monday, 9 July 2012

Gruffalo crumble

I'm not sure my 2 year old fully believed me when I told him his dinner was Gruffalo crumble, but I do fancy he polished it off faster than usual!  Something a bit different from a beef pie, and probably not your usual summer fayre, but then again, we've not been having your usual summer weather!

You could add any veg you have lying around looking sad and lonely, or use a mix of frozen vegetables instead.

Beef Crumble

splash of olive oil
500g diced stewing beef
1 onion, sliced
5-6 carrots, chopped
3 sticks of celery, thinly sliced
1 courgette, cut into chunks
3 tbsp worcestershire sauce
200ml boiling water
3 tbsp gravy granules
half a pot of Quark (I use Sainsburys own brand)
50g butter or spread
150g plain flour
1tsp dried mixed herbs
50g dried grated hard cheese (eg Parmesan, though I use the Sainsburys Basics dried hard cheese)

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the beef.  Saute until browned then scoop out, pop in a bowl and set aside.  Add the onion, carrot, celery, courgette and any other veg you want to use and saute for a few minutes until slightly softened.  Add the beef back to the pan, add the worcestershire sauce and cook for a minute or two.  Tip in the boiling water and simmer the ingredients for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the butter into cubes and put into a large bowl.  Add the flour and rub together until they resemble breadcrumbs.  If it seems a bit dry, add a tsp or two of olive oil.  Mix in the herbs and dried cheese.

Returning to your simmering pan, add the gravy granules and stir until a thick gravy forms around the beef and veg.  Add your Quark and stir well to combine.  If it seems too runny, add a few more granules, if too thick, add a splash of water and stir well.  Tip the mixture into a large ovenproof dish, top with the cheesy herby crumble mix, and bake at approx 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned and bubbling.

I outlined my feelings on using low fat or fat free dairy products when cooking for small children in this blog post - as always, do what you think is best.  If you prefer not to use a low fat product like Quark you can substitute any full fat soft cheese product that will withstand cooking - creme fraiche, marscapone or even something like Philadelphia.  For very small children, the combination of gravy granules and Parmesanalike does pack a bit too much salt, so either reduce/remove the cheese or make the filling with a low salt stock cube (like Kallo) and thicken with cornflour or thickening granules.

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