My Mum’s Beef Stew

STEW This is the beef stew I cooked for Ireland’s Best Home Cook competition. Lots of you have been asking for this recipe so here you go, as promised 😉

I was actually planning on having lots of salads this week, but then met eireann went and issued a weather warning, hey ho, back to the winter dinners!


1 lb diced beef

1 onion

5 carrots

3 sticks celery

10 button mushrooms

1 tbsp port

25g tomato puree

25g  plain flour

1/2 beef stock cube (I use Kallo organic)

1/2 mushroom stock cube (as above)

1 pint of water

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp tomato ketchup (yes, tomato ketchup!)




Fry the onion in a large saucepan until soft. Add the beef and fry until browned on all sides. Add the chopped veggies and and turn the heat right down. I usually move mine over to the stove top at this stage…

Add the puree and stir through. Add the flour and stir, making sure it is cooked out – otherwise you will have a lumpy stew 😛

The port goes in at this stage, stir and gradually add the stock.


Simmer for about 3 hours. The meat should be really tender and the stew will have thickened.


I usually serve this with some really buttery, creamy mashed potato.

This stew like any tastes better the next day. You could pop a pastry case on top and bake it in the oven for a variation on the day before… 

STEW Enjoy 😉


raw macadamia, cashew and date energy balls

Macadamia nut treats Fancy a tasty treat without all that guilt? These little treats taste so good, you would imagine they’d be bad, but they’re not! Practically guilt free – I promise 😉


100 g honeyed macadamia nuts

100 g cashews

25 g dessicated coconut


Throw everything into the blender and blizz for about 20 seconds. You may need to do this twice and scrape around the sides of the bowl in between. Roll the mix into even sized balls then roll in a little extra dessicated coconut.

I usually cannot wait to eat these and start munching immediately, but if you can, leave them to stand for about an hour or two at room temperature. They will have firmed up by then and will taste less like nut butter! If you feel that they need a little more starch, maybe add some cooked sweet brown rice to the mix…. I may do this myself next time to see how it works out 😉

Yummy goodness!

Enjoy 🙂Macadamia nut treats

sun-dried tomato, pine-nut, basil and rocket pesto

TOMATO TAPENADE My blog has been a little neglected again people, apologies for my absence. Busy Mommy, busy student. Cannot wait for the Summer months when the pressure eases off a little. Speaking of  Summer, this recipe just screams sunshine!

It couldn’t be more simple to make. It makes a delicious topping for fish or chicken.

Today we ate it with sea bass, rocket and garlic potato gratin.


1/2 jar organic sun dried tomatoes in olive oil

1 clove garlic

1 handful basil leaves

1 handful rocket

25 g pine nuts

a good glug of olive oil…maybe 3 tablespoons


Whizz together in a blender and serve on top of your chosen fish or chicken!

Taste the sunshine and enjoy 🙂