Monday, February 26, 2007

Beef in a blanket (using all the wrong ingredients)

THE Prince of Darkness must have been turning in his coffin on Friday. The metrosexual revolution hit the sports desk in a big way, and a competition seemed to develop over who was most in touch with their feminine side. Shutts, the big-girls blouse, started it.
"I've started exfoliating," he pronounced excitedly. He was met with blank stares.
Eventually Roberts piped up: "What! First Rosey, now you."
Rosey took exception to this in his "I'm goin' 'ome" type of voice. "I've never ever exfoliated!" he declared huffily.
"Not what we've heard. You're the original metrosexual," argued Roberts.
"For God's sake, I only use MOISTURISER," exclaimed Rosey, feeling terribly affronted.
Then Shutts dropped a bombshell. "Well, that's what I'M using," he declared brashly.
Rosey's head flipped back and his eyes fluttered. If looks could kill. "That's not exfoliating! Don't you know what exfoliating is?"
At this point Roberts, Owenov and I all looked blank. This was becoming a more heated debate than any discussion on whether Rob Earnshaw or John Hartson should be used to partner Craig Bellamy up front in John Toshack's Wales soccer side.
Shutts, it has to be said, is getting the upper hand in the Metrosexual league table. In his spare time he buys flowers from Tesco and arranges them around the house, and he feels it necessary to SkyPlus Neighbours every night. He also doesn't drink alcohol and there's a rumour he has Coleen's work-out tape at home. I think Rosey may be fighting a losing battle.

Update on the fantastic Habitat soiree. For the Fabulous BB it appears a case of: "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to." Turns out he was the only guest to make an appearance - and I'm still not sure if he obtained the discount on the Mirror he was so desperate to purchase. At least he came away with a doggie bag though how the jelly and ice cream didn't melt before he got it home, I have no idea. Becks, meanwhile, had to dig deep into his coffers to purchase his own brown quilt at cost price. The nerve of it.
It wasn't a completely lost night for the Fab one. He consoled himself with a visit to the Men Dressed As Women night at his local - as most of us suspected he would. Apparently there is no truth in the rumour he bumped into Shutts dressed in a Sarong.

If I ever bump into the head chef at Les Halles in New York he's going to be very upset with me. I tried out another of his superb recipes on Sunday. Unfortunately I hardly had any of the ingredients. Instead of Veaux a la Banquette, or some such thing, I had to make do with a little adaptation I will call Beef in a Blanket. Surprising, then, given the circumstances, that it was absolutely delicious.
What you need:
1/2 lb tenderloin beef cut into large chunks
a cup of button mushrooms
1 leek sliced thick
1 shallot
2 carrots, split in two
1 stick of celery
1 onion, halved, with two cloves inserted into each half
A tub of creme freche
1 egg yolk
4 tbsp flour

What I did:
First put the mushrooms and the leeks/shallot in two seperate pans, just cover with water and add a big dollop of margerine/butter to each. Bring to boil, then boil down so that the water has virtually disappeared, but DON'T BURN the mushrooms and leaks. Make sure you keep paying attention to them then remove from heat and set aside.
Put the meat, carrots, celery, onion in a big saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil then simmer for hour and a half or until the meat is tender.
Remove the meat and set aside, strain the remaining juice through a sieve and discard the veg. Keep the juice warm on the hob.
Heat about 3 tablespoons of marg in a medium saucepan. Heat and when it has melted start adding the flour and stirring it in to mix. Then add the juice from the meat a bit at a time, stirring until you end up with a thick sauce. Now add the meat, leaks and mushrooms together with a sprinkle of salt and white pepper and about three tablespoons of the creme fraiche. Bring to the boil stirring regularly and then leave to simmer for six to eight minutes. At this time I put on some white rice.
Put the egg yolk in a cup and add some of the creamy sauce to it and whisk together. Add this to the meat mixture but DON'T BOIL. Add a dash of lemon juice and season with a bit more pepper.
Put the rice in the middle of the serving dish and present the creamy beef and veg sauce around the outside. It actually works!

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