>Hearty Beef Barley Stew and Spiced Roasted Pumpkin with Panfried Tofu and Aubergine


The past few meals have been graced with a super hearty beef barley stew accompanied by spiced roasted pumpkin and panfried tofu and aubergine. Weird combo I know but I had to find a way of using up food in the fridge.
The hearty stew was a recipe I’ve memorised from one of Jamie Oliver’s cookbook which is definitely no-fail in my experience, having cooked it several times before. The main ingredients of the stew are:
bay leaves
oregano and rosemary
canned chopped tomatoes
tomato puree
worchestireshire sauce
salt and pepper
beef stock

I started off with caramelising and infusing the bay leaves, onions and garlic, then adding in the beef cubes to quickly panfry till brown but not entirely cooked through. Don’t cook through otherwise the meat will be too tough. As I go, I add the hardest vegetable to the softest, cooked barley for texture and volume, the spices, worchestireshire sauce and beef stock and finally cover the stew with the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Make sure you push the meat down into the liquid to cook. Cover and stew for about 2hours on low heat to get the meat tender, stirring every 20min or so. Take off the cover and stew for another 30min. Turn off the heat and let the stew sit for 10-15min to allow the stew to settle and thicken.

To accompany the stew, I roasted half a pumpkin, with the skin on, spiced with rosemary, cumin, nutmeg, salt and pepper and a drizzling of olive oil. Into the oven for 1hour under 150degC heat.

On the side, I panfried some tofu pieces and a humungous eggplant! I had some left over wasabi from our SUMO night and pickled ginger. Don’t worry, they were still ok to eat, I didn’t get a tummyache if you were wondering!

Just a side note, I made savoury vegetarian scones for my husbands lunches for the week; ingredients were:

cream cheese and emmental cheese
roasted seeds and nuts

For the scone mixture, simply mix together:
3cups of flour
2tsp baking powder
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water
salt and pepper

I caramelise the onions and capsicums first, then added them to the scone mixture.
Then I layered the ingredients in a muffin tray with the scone mixture filling half the muffin cup, cream cheese in the middle, then covering the cream cheese with more scone mixture. I finally top the scone with a sliced tomato and covered with emmental cheese. Easy peasy!

Then in the oven for 50min under 180degC heat. It’ll fill your home with a wonderful smell, almost like little pizza scones. He took the scones to work with a side of either boiled egg mayo, tuna mayo and the recently attained Ba Kua (pressed BBQ mince pork) from Malaysia! YUMO!