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?
Then later when Yul cropped up again in a game of gin rummy…
Mr R: He kept a diary you know.
Mr R: Yes, a Yul log.
When this one cropped up…
Mr R: Laurence Olivier overacting on a playing card.
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!
I have the same snuggie. I’m looking at it right now. I should take a picture of me in it.
Those playing cards are the perfect gift for you!
Happy belated birthday!
Oh Gad yes, I wanna see you in a snuggie – bung it up on Dinner is Served 1972 so all your fans can enjoy it!
I might offer a pack of those cards as my next newsletter competition prize…
Those vintage cards are fabulous, and my mouth is watering at the sound of the shepherds pie with those Indian spices!
Jenn/Rook No. 17
Aren’t they lovely?! The shepherd’s pie really was lovely too and I’ve just found the recipe online if you fancy making it:
Love, love, love your site – so inspiring – Jenny
I feel I may have said this before but I estimate at least 94% if these recipe titles make me chortle like a schoolboy. Burt Lancaster’s Beef Bourguingnon… Fnar!
Well long time no see C. Aubrey! How the devil are you?! I am glad you are amused by the recipe titles. There are some mad ones that is for sure. You may also like the fact that one of my film star recipe books was put together by a woman who goes by the name of Fannie Sniff. I have tried and tried and tried to find out who on earth she was to no avail…
Hi .. I have been doing some idle browsing on the blog and landed on this page, drawn by the Beef Bourguignon ! So if you still have the recipe somewhere ! Also I looked up Yasmin’s Shepherds pie recipe and passed on to the family. My Mum cooked it, but found it a bit too dry, but she made with all powdered spices, no fresh . But she liked it and thought it tasted just as good cold the next day ! Have not cooked it myself yet, but will .
Yayyyy! Great that your mum tried the shepherds pie, mmmm, I fancy some of that right now. I will find the Beef Bourguignon recipe and bung it over to you soon. It’s a good autumn dish for sure. I think there is going to be a lot of slow cooked meat going on here during lockdown #2 xx Oh, by the way, just this very weekend I said the phrase, “overacting on a playing card” about Laurence Olivier when me and Mr R were having a game of Gin Rummy. There are a few new catchphrases involving these cards including “glovey wuvvy” every time anyone puts Rita Hayworth on the table We have to keep ourselves amused right?
You do, but I am so glad the Trump card won’t be played any more ! See what I did there ? I’m sure you do . I cooked this myself on Friday and sort of agree with my Mum . It was tasty, but I bit too dry, perhaps you need a mix of fresh and dried spices as mine were all dry, perhaps fresh coriander and chillies might help as specified in recipe . I might try it again without the garam masala as that was a bit overpowering and don’t see the need with tumeric and the others. And yes was delicious cold too ! But it is never going to replace the classic Shepherds Pie in my affections, my absolute favourite as a kid and to which I am deeply emotionally attached. Look forward to BB recipe . I am getting a new slow cooker this week !
Yay to the slow cooker! You might well be right about the fresh spices. It’s such a while since I made it I can’t remember what I used. You can’t beat a good traditional Shepherd’s Pie though can you? Just sent through the Burt recipe, I do hope you like it – Jx