Did you miss my post for the Daring Bakers’ April Challenge? I thought so. Not that you would have wanted to see my efforts because the April Challenge was not my greatest work. My cheesecake pops look like little decorated meatballs!
It’s hard to believe that it’s time for the latest challenge to be revealed – check out the Daring Bakers' Blogroll to see what everyone has been up to this month.
Despite the challenge only being a once a month event I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t really commit the time required and I bid farewell to the Daring Bakers Group in terms of being a member. Those of you who know me personally will be well aware that I’m deadline challenged. Fortunately, in my professional life I’m a bit more focused.
I enjoyed the challenges (and believe me they were definitely challenges) issued over the past year and a bit; and I'll treasure the friends and acquaintances I've met along the way. Special mention goes to my dear friend Lis of La Mia Cucina and her partner in crime Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice who are the co-founders of the wonderful, creative group of food lovers that make up the Daring Bakers. It's hard to imagine that the group started off with less than 20 people slightly over a year ago and now has close to, if not more than, 1,000 participants. That is absolutely mindblowing.
I look forward to a time when I can join the group again - in the meantime I’m sticking to one off events. Here's a classic example of me missing a deadline. I had the best intentions and a great recipe but did I get around to it? No.
I missed Lisa's WCC No. 26 Pressure Cookers, Dutch Ovens and Crockpots but had I participated this is what I would have made.
Beef and Mushroom Casserole
1 package button mushrooms, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced or crushed
1 can diced tomatoes in juice
1 package dry oxtail soup mix - onion or mushroom soup mix would work well too
1kg/2 lbs or thereabouts of stew meat, diced – I like to use blade steak
2-3 stalks of celery, sliced
1-2 carrots, chopped into chunks or slices
1 onion, peeled and quartered - I do this because my husband doesn't like onions IN things but he doesn't mind the flavour and this way I can pick them out
Red wine - use something that is good enough to drink
Saute mushrooms and garlic in a little olive oil until the mushrooms are soft
Add a good slosh of red wine and cook on medium heat until the mushrooms have absorbed some of the wine
Combine dry soup mix and canned tomatoes in an appropriately sized jug or bowl
Place meat and sliced vegetables in your crockpot
Add mushrooms and any wine "jus" from the pan
Add soup and tomato mix
Stir everything together to combine
Cook on low for about 8 hours
This tastes even better the next day as the flavours develop a little more complexity
Serve with fluffy mashed 'taters and some steamed winter veg. Anyone else for Brussels sprouts? My husband reckons there are only four people in the entire world who like Brussels sprouts. Surely he's wrong!