Just before I published this I realised I had made a schoolgirl error. I did a brain-leap and accidentally renamed this recipe Jack Webb’s Friday Night Beef and Tomatoes and now I look at it PROPERLY, I see it is actually Joe Friday’s Beef and Tomatoes. For Jack Webb played the legendary Joe Friday in Dragnet.
So forgive me for the first line of this post. I shall forever think of this recipe as Friday Night Beef and Tomatoes!
I made this on Friday night – of course – and it was delicious! I do so love a movie star recipe that includes a day of the week in the title. Vincent Price’s Friday Chicken and George Kennedy’s Sunday Caesar Salad spring to mind. Plus the post previous to this one featured Michael Douglas’ Saturday Night Special Veal Stew.
But this week is all about Dragnet! I’ve been talking to my writer, chum VT Dorchester, about cop shows on the radio, and of course, this is where Dragnet started. I’ve been watching lots of Dragnet to choose the “taster episode” for the Cooking the Detectives book and have settled on one where Officer Bill Gannon pulls a stupendous sandwich from his inside pocket. It’s a brilliant scene.
I will, of course, at some point be trying out Bill Gannon’s delightful-sounding garlic nut butter sandwich which he constructs in a subsequent episode,
But for now, here’s Jack’s simple but delicious recipe for something quick to rustle up on a Friday night. I had lots of Brussels sprouts to use up after making Andy Clyde’s Baked Ham Casserole, and a few green beans, so I had those alongside instead of rice. It was such a good combo, I had the same the next night too. I would say this serves 3 or maybe even 4 people if they have dainty appetites.
I think part of the reason this was so delicious is that I used “winter tomatoes” – I had no idea such a thing existed but I spotted them on the tomatoes list of my grocery delivery company and although they were pricy, they were worth every penny. Unlike a lot of tomatoes at this time of year in the UK, these were lovely and tomato-y!
I cannot see or hear the word Dragnet without having the opening DA-DA-DA-DAAA sound in my head. This has special resonance for me because when I was DJing with The Shellac Sisters
I usually had the Ray Anthony version of Dragnet in my record box. One of the sisters (I am not saying which one) would be FURIOUS if I played it because it takes FOREVER to get going. If we had people up on the floor dancing like lunatics and I put Dragnet on, it would be the opposite of a floor filler. Dancers would look a bit puzzled, then disperse. It’s not easy to dance to, but I can’t help it. I love it! Play this as you are getting all your ingredients chopped for Jack’s dish–, and you will feel like a boss, ready for anything!
I can only imagine what would have happened if I had played St George & The Dragonet, I have heard this loads of times but it still makes me laugh.
Pink, with polkadots! What a treat!