Catching my breath…

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It has been a strange and hectic couple of weeks as the end of term approached. Busy wasn’t even close. Anyway, my feet are now just touching the floor and I have spent the last few days trying to be lazy – but it takes me a while to throw off work mode – still, I have enjoyed some very nice glasses of various wines and some simple but delicious meals including the cold rare roast beef sliced from the previous days topside joint cooked Brazilian style – see recipe from a few blog posts ago…and this time I had it with some simple home made pan fried chips, pepper sauce and a light salad.

The day before we had enjoyed the beef off the barbecue with lots of salads and a simple ratatouille I cooked up – using just pan fried cubed aubergine, home grown cubed courgette, shallots, san marzano tomatoes pan fried and lots of fresh basil and oregano – a dash of red wine vinegar and a splash of olive oil with seasoning.

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And it is unctuous cold the next day too!

I had to have several drinks to get per the shock of watching Brazil get trounced by Germany 7-1. I thought it was something I’d eaten!

I also have sent a few hours with a guy who is hot into SEO stuff and I think I learnt something We will see! I now have time to focus on writing some posts inspired by Bonnie Lalley‘s art work and on our proposed book. A week to relax now, several folk round for lunches and sleep overs and then on the 20th we are off to Valencia…can’t wait!

A stunning French red to start the holidays...

A stunning French red to start the holidays…

An Italian fizz to fire me into the festivities of July!

An Italian fizz to fire me into the festivities of July!

Home made ratatouille

Home made ratatouille

A Catalan beauty that saw me through the despondency of Germany beating brazil.

A Catalan beauty that saw me through the despondency of Germany beating brazil.

Beef at its best...

Beef at its best…

Brazilian Barbecued Beef….

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Brazilian Barbecued Beef....

This is one of the best ways there is to cook and eat beef…believe me. It is easy to do, saves on washing up and it is quick! Well, relatively! Perfect for a barbecue on a World Cup night. In Brazil this is a typical way to cook beef.

Get a good piece of silverside of beef (perfect for this dish as it is inexpensive and takes the heat perfectly – ending up as tender as can be) with no fat on. Rub it all over in salt. Put your barbecue on and let the coals get to white heat. Put the beef onto the grill and treat like a large sausage! Keep turning it over for half an hour. You will get a few flames at first but it will soon calm down. After 30 minutes of turning you will end up with a wonderfully dark crusted piece of meat. Take it to one side on a board and carve off the crispy bits and serve straight away.

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Pop the joint that remains back on to the barbecue and continue turning as it cooks. This is a meal to savour and not rush – eating in a series of stages.

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The next round the pieces sliced off after about 10 minutes will be beautifully medium rare. Then cut the remaining joint into steak size slices and place back on the barbecue for a further 10 minutes whilst you enjoy the meat you’ve just carved.

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I served it with buttered coriander new potatoes and lamb’s lettuce (mâché).

This is such an economical and gloriously tasty way to eat beef. The Brazilians have got it wrapped. Perfect. My son, the steak aficionado in our house, announced that this was probably the best way he has ever eaten beef.

I have to agree with him. Magical.