It was a miserable rainy day here in London on Saturday and perfect for spending all afternoon in the kitchen.  Burt’s beef bubbled away on the stove and I made a fancy shepherd’s pie too. 

When I went to Suffolk to my folks for Christmas I was in dire need of a new book to read on the train, luckily there is a great second hand bookshop near my office and I picked up a copy of Yasmin Alibhai-Brown’s “The Settler’s Cookbook”. I love it. 

I did her mum’s take on Shepherd’s Pie which has garam masala, coriander, chilli and all sorts added.  Mmmm.  It was delicious.

For my birthday my lovely new man bought me all kinds of fabulous presents.  My favourite of which was a set of playing cards with film stars on.  Behold the splendour! 

On the big day itself we went to London Zoo.  Because we’d been lazing around in the morning with champagne, Mr R’s famous Croque Monsieur and birthday present opening we didn’t actually rock up to the entrance until just gone three.  Imagine my disappointment to find it CLOSED. 

Last entry is 3pm in the winter-time – who knew?  No matter, we repaired to the nearest pub to play cards and much discussion about the stars on the cards ensued. 

Me: Yul Brynner wrote a cook book you know.

Mr R: Is it all boiled eggs?

Ha ha.

Then later when Yul cropped up again in a game of gin rummy…

Mr R: He kept a diary you know.

Me: Really?

Mr R: Yes, a Yul log.


When this one cropped up…

Mr R: Laurence Olivier overacting on a playing card.

and this…

Me: Look at his HAIR.

Mr R: Red Brando.

For this little cherub…

Mr R: Heather’s auntie.

(my friend Heather’s surname is Temple).

I have just done a little tour of the internet and have been amazed by the amount of playing cards that feature Shirley Temple – my goodness.  I also stumbled upon this recipe for Shirley Temple Kisses – I like the look of those…

In the pub I had a brainwave about Recipe of the Month (the pub is definitely the place for the best ideas).  As I am so ridiculously bad about making decisions it takes me AGES to decide what recipe to propose each month.  Why not let fate decide?  So for the foreseeable future I will invite someone to pick a card from the deck and for whoever is selected, I will see if I have a recipe for them.  First up, Mr R drew Burt Lancaster. 

I have two of Burt’s favourite recipe, one for curry and one for Beef Bourguignon.  As we had a curry for the last Recipe of the Month, the BB it is…

The recipe is here if you are looking in January 2014 – they change every month.  If you landed here sometime in the future and would like the recipe (as with any other recipe mentioned on the blog) just drop me an email via the “Contact Me” page and I’ll send it over.

It’s something you need to do on a day where you have plenty of time as it has to cook for a couple of hours once you’ve done all the prep.  I’m sure you could do it in a slow cooker too, so I might try that another time.  It sure filled my flat with a really deliciously comforting beefy smell on a STINKER of a day.  Thank goodness for the Snuggie my sister bought me for Christmas to keep me cosy…

Update – it was GORGEOUS and Mr R said “I liked it very much”.  A winner.  I cooked mine for longer than Burt suggested, I reckon it was perfect at 2 and a half hours.  Thanks Burt!

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