Monday, February 18, 2008

Rhubarb and Beef Mince

The first time that someone left their thoughts in the comment box I was elated. Freddie and Alex were intrigued that out of the ether, visitors had appeared on the blog. When people leave their cooking tips and recipes it is even more exciting. Rhubarb has brought out the best in you all. A lady known only as 'Schmoof' left a recipe for Rhubarb and Mince. This is all she wrote:- "I've never had rhubarb in a sweet dish (I'm not much of a pudding lover) but my dad makes a great rhubard and mince dish. He frys some beef mince with onions, garlic, celery and carrot, and then adds spices like cumin, paprika and a touch of tumeric. He then adds roughly chopped rhubarb, some beef stock, and a touch of sugar. Simmer it gently for about an hour, sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve over rice."

I printed the comment and took it downstairs to show Freddie. He thought that as it contained beef it was probably worth trying. Like a magic spell, Schmoof's recipe came alive in my kitchen. If there is one rhubarb dish you should all try, this is the one. It was delicious. I cooked it for over an hour and served it with baked sweet potatoes. Freddie was impressed and awarded this rhubarb dish an impressive 9 out of 10. And, Schmoof, if you are reading this, tell your Dad that because of his dish, rhubarb has been nudged into the "I like" category - a meteoric rise given its disappointing show with the compote. Thank you!

With the rest of our rhubarb, Alex made a cake using a recipe card picked up in Waitrose supermarket. For the Rhubarb and Soured Cream Cake recipe click here. This is an easy recipe to make but it is slow cooking, taking nearly two hours to bake in the oven. The house smelt wonderful at the end of the day. And not surprisingly this was given the maximum 10 out of 10 by Freddie and Alex. Which means that we can move on to our next R vegetable... rocket or aragula as its known in America. Any ideas?
If you want to know how to start your own Great Big Vegetable Challenge, watch this flipbook.

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  1. Schmoof12:36 PM

    Woohoo! I felt a slight glimmer of fear when you said that you would try the recipe in case you all hated it, so I'm really glad you all enjoyed the dish. I'll let Pops know too. :)

    As for rocket... I recently had a great tuna tartare marinated in Fino sherry and sesame seeds, with a great pile of rocket on top. The rocket really added to the dish but it may be a bit tricky to convince the kids to eat raw tuna?

  2. Oh yum!!! both those rhubarb dishes look wonderful. When I read Schmoof's dad's recipe I made a note to try it. Now it has the GBVC 9 star rating it's at the top of my list of recipes to try! Thank you Freddie, Chralotte and Schmoof (and her Dad).


    PS the cake looks divine too :)

  3. Schmoof.
    What I really liked about this whole thing - was the fact that you sketched out the recipe so well I was able to follow it and it tasted fantastic. Thanks for leaving the comment.

    Magic Cochin - Do try it. You wont be disappointed. The slow cooking is what makes it taste right - with the addition of a little sugar at the end. Are you growing rhubarb in your garden?

  4. So, arugula (rocket) is somewhat bitter, right? That's why I love it so, but I read somewhere that your palate doesn't appreciate the bitterness until you are older. So good luck with rocket -- aside from putting it in sandwiches (what about with some turkey, brie, and baked apple slices to cut the bitterness?) we also have it occasionally as pesto (make standard pesto but use arugula instead of basil, ie chop up 4 cloves of garlic for a bunch of arugula, put it in the food processor or chop by hand, mix with olive oil (lots!) and some parmesan cheese. You can put pine nuts in if you don't have any allergies and you like the crunch.

  5. You have done rhubarb proud and found some excellent recipes in both sweet and savory. On to the next challenge :D

  6. In South Parade in Oxford, there's a very good pizzeria called Pizzeria Mama Mia. You almost always have to book, it's a good value neighbourhood restaurant that is particularly friendly to children, and they make the best pizzas I can think of.
    One of them is fairly plain, apart from a little pile of rocket wilting on the top. It's very good. Not too much, mind, less is more with a pizza, whatever you're putting on it. (I like it very best with a pizza bianca with anchovy, pinenuts, raisins and capers, but that really is a grown-up taste, so don't take Freddie there.)


  7. I love rocket! One thing to do is to chop it well, mix with crème fraiche, a bit of minced garlic and grated parmesan (and some black pepper). Dollop onto toast, and top with a slice of ham and some red or yellow pepper strips. Absolutely delicious as a starter! (I have it on my blog, too: )

  8. Alex did a beautiful job on her cake! Well done. Somethings are worth the wait.

  9. ARUGULA! Love it's crunchy 'bite', yum! For kids though, hmmmm...I use it in pesto (which I make without cheese since I'm vegan, but you could add some parmesan or romano) and top pasta and asparagus with it:

    Pistachio Arugula Pesto:
    handful or two roasted, unsalted Pistachios
    1 spoonful mild white miso
    1 clove garlic (or if you're using freshly oven roasted garlic, use three or so!)
    pinch of salt
    2 cups chopped arugula/rocket
    4-5 tbspoons Olive Oil
    fresh ground pepper

    Place pistachios in the bowl of a food processor with salt, garlic and miso and until JUST broken up and starting to be blended. Roughly chop arugula and add it to the top. Drizzle in olive oil. Do not finish processing until pasta and asparagus is cooked. Blend the pesto until well combined, but you should still be able to see chunks of pistachios and arugula.

    Cook pasta and when just about done, add a cup of 1-inch long chopped asparagus stalks. Cook another minute and drain. Splash with some walnut oil (or olive if that's what you have) and a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar.

    Top with freshly made pesto. Yum.

  10. Hi Charlotte and Freddie! I can't wait to tell EGirl that *Freddie* wants to know about her ratings! She loves your website, and scrutinized your 'variety' poster carefully. So exciting, the veggie challenge. We went to the farmer's market this weekend so now we have some truly wonderful C's coming up (but are still working through As and Bs -- the master chef is not such a rule-follower). New ratings: revised rating of 16 for beets, up from 10. Renewed love of spinach, previously banned altogether, directly related to the GBVC although not chronological, up from zero to a 7! but only on pizza and in enchiladas, hmmm. But seriously, for Cs we got a delightful little red cabbage and some squat adorable carrots. Carrots went in the lunchbag today and we're going to make pink coleslaw tonight! My daughter loves this. Just chop up the cabbage and add mayonnaise and lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon), salt and pepper if your child will tolerate it. We are fond of the purple cabbage for its unusual slaw tint. Also, we'll be roasting some brussels sprouts in olive oil in a high heat oven (400F) for 20 mins. Keep an eye on them -- you want the outsides really crispy and crunchy but, obvsly, not burned. Cheers to Freddie! Hope the rocket/arugula experiments are going well.

  11. Rhubarb and mince...I hadn't seen that comment in the box and I'm impressed by the rave reviews. I love rocket but I mostly have it in salads, or wilted with some nice gnocchi and pesto. You have to embrace the peppery side of rocket...

  12. Rocket and beetroot are a very good mix. I once made a lukewarm potato and beetroot salad with rocket, apple, walnuts and a honey mustard dressing with some lemon juice. It tasted fantastic. But I don't know how beetroot is on Freddie's "food i like" list ;)

  13. Ooh, I make an easy pizza with arugula. Get a mediterranean flat bread or pita of sorts, and top it with olive oil, prosciutto, arugula and fresh mozzarella cheese. Bake in the oven at 400 F for about 10 minutes until the cheese melts. Add some pepper and salt to taste. This gets *inhaled* in my house!

  14. The cake looks delicious and rhubarb and mince is certainly intriguing. sara from farmingfriends

  15. That is a gorgeous rhubarb cake!

  16. I have just updated my blog and was browsing through looking for a recipe for chicken funnily enough which I know is not a vegetable unless it's grown green leaves? But I am linking your blog to mine which btw has nothing to do with food however I need to check out your ideas!

    I have two kidlets, the eldest is pretty good and eats every vegetable going but the youngest I have to bribe. I 'accidently' drop peas or brocolli on his plate. I shall be looking for a brocolli recipe in a moment. Don't think my son cares if George Bush likes it or not?!!! lol

    Well done.

  17. Wiglet - thank you. I like the idea of the accidental dropping of vegetables on a plate - interesting approach.
    I am not sure if that would work with Freddie. There is the surprise element there I suppose!

  18. Rhubarb is one of the few things I am not keen on, but as I shall have to have some on my newly acquired allotment (isn't it illeagal to have an allotment without rhubarb?!) I am definitely going to give the micne and rhubarb recipe a go - at first thought it sounded too odd, but reading it through it is just irresistable!

  19. Now that rhubarb is finally coming back into season I got to give this recipe a try. I added some peas (my daughter's favourite believe it or not) served it over noodles and we all really enjoyed it. Definitely making this again.


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