Ach, the wind! The wind! Spring is always the worst time of the year for The Wind to hit.

Today I had to do a mad dash outside to save all of the taller seedlings (tomatoes and capsicums, mostly) in the nursery section of the garden which, unusually for it, was really being buffeted. The Roaring Forties have been screaming today, and still are. The window in my office is only open a fraction but there is wind swirling all about in here.

Anyway, now the tomatoes and the capsicums are hiding in the potting shed. 🙂

Most of the beans are now up, save the last two rows, which I planted ten minutes later than the rest, so I guess they’re sulking. I also denuded the bean patch of stray pumpkins.

Here is the adapted Guinness Beef recipe from Young Jamie Oliver. It is really nice, especially with dumplings!

500 gram diced beef
2 bay leaves
250 ml Guinness or stout
250 ml vegie stock (or chicken, or whatever) or white wine
2 sticks celery diced
2 medium onions (or leeks) sliced
2 carrots chopped
salt and pepper to taste
goodly pinches of mixed herbs and/or thyme

Saute onions and vegetables for 5 minutes in your casserole pot.

Add stock/stout/wine

Coat beef in seasoned plain flour and add to pot.

Stir it all about, make sure it is simmering, cover, then transfer to warmed oven.

Cook slowly in oven for 2 hours at about 170 C.

Add dumplings if you’re going to and cook another hour.

Altogether it needs a long slow cook of 3 hours, so only add dumplings for the last hour.

Dumpling addition if you wish. Rub together self-raising flour and butter, salt and pepper. Ratio of flour & butter is half as much butter as self-raising flour. Add just enough water to make a dough. Divide into separate dumplings and pop into the top of the casserole. 200 grams of flour/100 grams of butter makes 4 big dumplings or 8 small ones. Perhaps increase liquid in casserole if using dumplings.