Friday, 19 October 2012

Smallholding Made Beef Curry.

Sorry the pictures are a bit dark, but we have already ate the meal.  Sorry!
Here's a good beef curry recipe for you.  It's really easy and you can saves yourself a fortune not having to go in a curry house or take away.  You also can eat in in your scruffs without having to get dressed up.  How ever there is no reason why you can't be presentable dining at home.  Shall we begin?

What you need for Smallholding Beef Curry.  I am writing this in pounds and ounces.  Who needs metric eh?

1 lb 4 oz (500g) (go then I will write it in both) of stewing beef.
1 clove of garlic.
10 g (half an ounce) of curry powder.
10 g (half an ounce) tomato purée.
25 g (1 ounce) chopped chutney.
Salt.  (it's up to you how much.)
25 g (1 oz)  dripping.
200g or 8 oz onions.
10 g (half an ounce) flour.
5 g (quarter of an ounce) of dessicated coconut.
10g  (half an ounce) sultanas.
50g (2 ounces) chopped apple.
100g (4 ounces) of rice.
One and a half litres of water.  Or 3 pints if you're not sure.  I thought a litre was what a Scottish person lit their cigarette with - think about it!

Any road.
1.  Trim the meat and get rid of any unwelcome fat and cut with scissors into even pieces.
2.  Throw it in a pan and season and colour it quickly in hot fat.
3.  Throw in the chopped onion and chopped garlic, cover with a lid and let it sweat for a few minutes or so.
4.  Now is the time to drain off any surplus fat.
5.  Get your curry powder and flour and mix it all in and cook it out.
6.  Mix the tomato purée,  gradually add your hot stock, stirring thoroughly, bring to the boil, season and skim.
7.  Let it simmer and add the rest of the ingredients like apple, sultanas and dessicated coconut....?
8.  Cover your pan/skillet with a lid and simmer in the oven or on top of the oven until it's cooked.
9.  Now is the time to correct the seasoning and consistency and skim off any unwanted fat.  If you want to be really posh.  You can can add some cream.
10.  Serve it up on a nice big plate with some rice.

I would also recommend you open a bottle or ten of your home-made real ale or Jeddah Gin.  Did I tell you I can make Jeddah Gin?  The Mead is looking good also.

The only downside is your house will smell like an Indian restaurant.  But it's better than an old folks home smelling of boiled cabbage and potatoes.  Hey that smells like our house.


  1. That looks really good, right colour as well.
    Gonna give that a go, I don't mind the smell, quite like the spicy aromas.
    Our dinner wasn't so adventurous, smoked cod and cheese fish cakes, new potatoes and mushy peas, glass of peach wine.

    Hasn't rained today, bit cool though.

    Raggy cat been out for its afternoon ramblings, back in front of fire now.

  2. Hi there. This week's Food on Friday is all about curry! So it would be great if you linked this in. This is the link . Have a good week.

  3. So sorry – gave you the wrong link. This is the correct link . Have a good week.

  4. Hi Cumbrian,

    Please do give the curry recipe a go. You can tweak it by adding more or less curry powder, but we think it's just right. I don't mind the spicy aromas myself but you can tell you have been making curry. If you open the kitchen door your neighbours will know you have been making curry. I forgot to say that the above recipe is for 2 large plates. However you could easily feed 4 people with it and it's really cheap to make.

    I presume the peach wine is from the Cumbrian wine cellar? Going to make your strawberry wine this week. I have another new new hobby collecting demijohns. Bought 2 more yesterday. The kitchen is turning into a brewery, with two brew bins and 4 demijohns on the go.


  5. Hi Carole, thanks for visiting this site. I will read your blog.


  6. Peach Wine
    2 lbs / 900 grams peaches or nectarines
    2 1/2 lbs / 1,100 grams granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon pectic enzyme
    1/4 teaspoon tannin (or cup of black tea)
    6 pints boiling water
    Wine yeast
    1 teaspoon yeast nutrient / energiser
    1 campden tablet

    Winemaking Method: Peach Wine - Wine Making Guides
    Remove stones from peaches and slice finely, placing in winemaking fermentation bucket. Add boiling water to the chopped peaches, together with the sugar, tannin, wine yeast nutrient and campden table. Mix well to ensure that sugar is completely dissolved and allow to stand, until the peach wine mixture has cooled to room temperature.

    Add activated wine yeast and pectic enzyme, stir twice daily for around three days. At this stage the fermenting peach wine 'must' can be thoroughly strained and poured into a sterilised demijohn, with a wine airlock. Rack after one month, and then again two more times over the next six months. At one year old the peach wine should be clear, stable and taste delightful. Bottle the peach wine and allow the wine to stand for a further six months before drinking, if possible.

    Yes, recipe above, came out excellent, slight blush of colour and delicate taste, I think good with fish.

    Yes, that's my production equipment; 2 big plastic buckets and lids with air-locks; 2 big stainless stock-pots, 4 djs, a few air-locks, siphoning tube, filter cloth on wire frame and a plastic jug.
    Cellar (garage) is a lot of random wine bottles with Wilkos re-usable plastic tops and 2 cornelius kegs.
    I think these items will last for ever, always on the look-out for djs at car boots and charity shops though.

    Yes I will try the curry, not today, got some gammon to serve with new potatoes, cauliflower and cheese sauce.

    Rain's back this morning, overcast and breezy, cool.
    Raggy cat waiting as usual, milk and biccies then Mrs armchair; it soon gets back into its routine.

  7. Thanks Cumbrian for the Peach wine recipe. I will make that when I get some more demijohns. We have got 4 demijohns and two big plastic buckets on the go at the moment. Made the Bitter Brew 'Northern Brown' yesterday. It should start bubbling next to the Jeddah Gin today. I must be sad but they make me smile when the bubbles rise in the airlock. It's got to be better than watching the X Factor. What do you think about today's television Cumbrian? Is it time for smallholding, allotment and self supporting telly?

    Thanks again for typing me the peach recipe. We have quite a few good wine and food recipes on here, don't we?

  8. Television? We lived without one for 4 years, neither of us saw the necessity of paying the licence fee to watch an endless parade of meaningless rubbish.

    Only reason we got one this year is that Mrs can't get about very much and likes to watch some of the nature programmes, so there's now a 42" idiots lantern on the wall opposite her chair with about 50-60 channels to choose from; why anybody should want even more is beyond my comprehension.
    To be fair though, she's actually found a couple of programmes I enjoy, I saw snatches of the Victorian Farm series, and there's an hour called Country File (or Life) once a week I can't remember which channel or what day, think it's Sunday. And some of the "Fly on ther Wall" series are quite interesting, following police, customs or immigration officers on their daily grind fighting the battle against villans, smugglers and illegal immigrants.
    And I know some of the sporting events are hugely popular.

    I think there'd be a lot of interest in thr type of programmes you mention, showing "The Good Life" as it really is, warts and all. Might put a few people off, but I'm sure it would be an eye-opener for a lot of viewers.

  9. I must admit Cumbrian I am a bit of a telly addict. Mainly because I like to watch Manchester United and because I live at least 5 miles from a pub, with no public transport. The joys of rural living hey?

    I also like to watch the television programmes about farming, rock music, smallholding, allotments, England (Julia Bradbury Wainwright Walks, Country File, Hear to the Ground (irish farming programme) and programmes like a Place in the Sun and Escape to the country.... I even watch the X FActor. I am sorry to say.

    Used to love the Goodlife and the Jack Hargreaves porogramme was it called 'Out of Town' series?

    Sad also to say I am a digital satellite (mortgage)/monthly subscriber. Sky have even taken off all the gardening programmes. I complained but it fell on death ears I think.

    Think your warts and all 'Good Life' would be excellent Cumbrian. We can film it on my smallholding if they want and you can be the wine and real ale and hunting/fishing expert. I will show them how 'not' to run a smallholding and to make sure you never calculate (write down) how much anything costs. Great ideas Cumbrian.

    The newky brown real ales just started bubbling in the airlock.


  10. I know I'm in the minority, most people love their TV, I've even heard programmes being discussed in the pub. It's just I've never really become interesred in any of it. I think the last film I watched was "Guns of Naverone" at a local cinema, probably late 60s; sport has never fascinated me; the soaps and chat shows are just mind-numbing; I fail to understand most of the game shows; some of the adverts I can't fathom what they're trying to sell; there's not much else apart from childrens TV and the News, most of which depressing.

    Yes, a real-life documentary type look at the ways and people of the countryside without the gory bits being omitted or glossed over.
    Some I've seen have wonderful men with brand new Barbour jackets, pristine green wellies, freshly ironed checked shirt with Field Sports logo, deer-stalker hat with impossible fishing flies in the head-band, and brown cord trousers, explaining the workings of a gleaming new Holland & Holland or Purdy and discussing the relative merits of No 4 or No 5 shot for pheasants or grouse, whilst standing in an immaculate field under a blue sky and warm sunshine.
    Or the farmhouse cookerey lessons, in a pristine kitchen with gleaming pans, brand new Saboteur knives, immaculate worktops, and delivered by a chef in whiter-than-whites.
    One programme I did see years ago was Hugh Fairly Witless living in a battered Land Rover and cooking things from the fields, woods and sea-shore such as squirrel and woodlice on a pedal-powered BBQ. He had, in those days, long unkempt hair and worn clothes. Bit of reality though.

    I think a look at the down-side (if that's what you might call reality) of rural life would be a good idea if only to show people with no understanding what it's actually like.

    Raggy cat still sleeping in front of fire, hedonistic little sod.

  11. I think your right about quantity more than quality with today's television. Even music programmes try (probably succeed?) telling us what music to listen to or even how to dress. I call this: Cultural Fascism.

    Our hero John Seymour, used to love going in the pubs and folk clubs and having a good dance, drink and a sing song. Suppose that's why folk must appeal to so many because it doesn't matter what age you are or what clothes you wear?

    Think there is a definite rose tinted, chocolate box fascination with rural living in a lot of the media and specialist magazines. In reality it's not easy one bit and you are always struggling against the weather, nature and financial problems. I like your idea of a 'warts and all' programme idea, approach to rural living
    Cumbrian. It's not working at the coalface but it's not for the faint hearted either. Anybody who thinks they can make a living from a smallholding is dreaming in my opinion.


  12. Lovely dish. Thanks for linking it in to Food on Friday: Curries. I have just signed up to follow you. A follow back to Carole's Chatter would be wonderful – or are you already following? Cheers

  13. Cultural Fascism, a good way of putting it, I think you've got a valid point, the TV seems to dictate our taste in everything from food to fashion, or tries to.

    Think you're right, nobody can make a decent living out of a smallholding now, despite all the rose-tinted specs. JS got it right, why produce something to sell at a loss then buy other stuff at inflated prices? But nobody can produce everything they need, so we'll always be tied to the global monetary system.
    I often wonder how things can be produced then flown halfway round the world and still compete with something produced a couple of miles down the road (New Zealand lamb is one example). I'm sure there's a reason, but the logic eludes me.

    Just noticed today yet another well-established old town centre pub closed, and 2 more up for sale in Workington, there's not many left now for a town of 40,000, and most of them are "fun" pubs on the town centre circuit. My village also has one recently empty, the For Sale signs have gone up, we're down to 2 now for a population of about 5,000, and none of them really busy. So it's not just small village pubs suffering.
    JS would turn in his grave if he knew, he'd have nowhere left to go, doubt if he'd like the town centre establishments with flashing lights, big TVs, loud "music" and no dart board. Wetherspoons try, but they're big soul-less impersonal places.
    Just thinking back, an area known as the Marsh & Quay in Workington, between the railway line, docks and steelworks, streets of 800 terraced houses, about 60 allotments and had 9 pubs:- Prince of Wales, Lifeboat, Coastgaurd, Hope & Anchor, Steam Packet, George IV, Kings Head, Wheatsheaf, Stewarts Club, all well-supported. They dropped 95% of the houses in the 70s, but left 8 of the pubs standing; sadly they're all converted to houses now.

    Managed to keep dry today but cool, bit of wind making up, feels for rain.
    Raggy cat gone out early.

  14. Hi Carole, thanks for coming back to my blog and thanks for signing up to be a follower. I will join your site and look forward to reading your posts. Thanks!!

  15. Thanks for that Cumbrian.

    Glad you like my: Cultural Fascism phrase. I often go to high streets looking for clothes and find that you have to be under thirty to wear them. Perhaps we should be like Tom and Barbara in the Good Life and weave and dye our own clothes? May be not.

    You're right we are all connected to the global monetary system. I even notice 'organic' food wrapped in 'real plastic' in our supermarkets, flown in from Israel. So much for carbon footprints. I am told (have read) that New Zealand farmers get no subsidies. Yet they can sell lamb cheaper than farmers in the EEC.

    It's a very sad picture that you paint of your area Cumbrian. It sounds similar to West Cork in many ways. The big pub chains seem to think (probably correct) that only young people throw their money about and older people don't drink or spend enough. Here in West Cork most people don't go in a pub until at least ten at night. Then they have to pay for a taxi because there is no public transport. It's not safe too walk on the country roads (no lights) and it's too expensive. I saw a cheese and onion toasty on offer in a local pub for SIX Euros. Thinks its cheaper to stay at home and sup your home brew. The only thing is you never get to meet anybody.

    Ninety pubs closed in county Cork last year. Makes you wonder if there will be anything left soon. You should send your latest comment to your local newspaper Cumbrian. Its a frightening read.

  16. Yes, it's not only rural West Cork, or any other rural area, the pubs are closing at an alarming rate everywhere. Similar story here, pubs seem to open about 7 and are empty till late on, then they never seem to get full like they used to. Some only open at weekends.
    And 6 Euros for a cheese & onion toasty, that's what I pay for fish & chips.

    Just got me thinking about how many pubs we had in Workington, it seemed like there was one on every corner. Church Street, now long demolished, had 9; Sailors Return, Solway, Ancient Mariner, Victoria, Pie Shop (can't remember its proper name, thats what it was known as), Mermaid, Sportsman, Nags Head, La'al Gerry (see Pie Shop). All thriving. None at all now, the last survivor (Ancient Mariner, the only Vaux pub in town it was, a.k.a. The Honky-Tonk or just Honky, it was popular with the sailors who crewed the boats that used to visit regularly) burned down about 10 years ago, they never re-built it.
    There were 4 within 50 yards of the railway station; Station Inn, (demolished) Railway club, (still there but looking derelict) Cumberland Arms, (still there as a hotel with bar) The Viaduct (still there as a hotel no bar)
    So out of 22 in just 2 small areas, there's 2 bars left, one's a club and the other's a hotel.

    Same story with the chip shops, there seemed to be one on every corner, I think there's 2 left now, not counting Chinese, Indian, Kebabs and Pizzas which seem to have replaced our traditional chippy. Then again, if it's only the younger generation walking home after a night out, perhaps they prefer the ethnic foods.
    We've got a chippy in Seaton, it was built early 60s in a block of 5 units, and it's the only one that's still the same as when it opened, but it's Chinese now, seems to be very busy; I've had 2 meals from it and enjoyed neither. (The other 4 units are now a pharmacy and 3 of them an Eight till Late store incorporating the Post Office)

    Bright sunny day, blue sky, very nice if a bit cool.
    Raggy cat curled up in front of fire, if it gets any nearer it'll catch fire.

  17. A lot of the pub owners are blaming the smoking ban and the police being really keen on stopping any drinking and driving for the decline in the pub trade. I think that pubs have got to drop their prices and also they should get together and provides transport for rural dwellers. Governments spend nothing on rural infrastructure.

    Also think that everything is becoming too dear for most people. A lot of people have thirty five year mortgages, credit cards, 2 cars, 2 holidays, Sky TV...? People live above their means and they just can not afford it any more.

    Think the ethnic takeaways are successful because they seem to be the only ones that are open when the night clubs close. Never understood why we don't have cafe culture like in France. I believe every Sunday, families sit down and eat a meal together. Why can't pubs provide entertainment in the afternoon at weekends? I would love to go and watch a band with my family on a weekend afternoon and not have to go out in the dark on a cold Winter's night.

    Nice weather here also today.


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