Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Enchanting England

Today we begin to taste England, land of Big Ben, Stonehenge, crumpets, Medieval castles and really hot accents. We’ll kick off with an English recipe. Stay tuned for more to come later in the week.

But first…for you readers out there, many wonderful books are set in England and a few of my favorites are written by Linore Rose Burkard, author of Before the Season Ends, The House in Grosvenor Square, and The Country House Courtship. Set in the early 1800s, these regency romances are as beautiful and elegant as their book covers, with plenty of twists and fascinating characters to keep you hooked from cover to cover. All three are rich in detail and historic references that flow seamlessly throughout intriguing plots. You can read my reviews of Season and Country House at
www.faithfulreader.com. For a contemporary novel set in England, try Sisterchicks Go Brit by Robin Jones Gunn. Three women with unfulfilled dreams and wishes take off for England, unaware their little trip will lead them to some life changing decisions. For my review, click on http://www.faithfulreader.com/reviews/9781590527559.asp.

As I researched English food, I ran across several that sounded good and some that, well…didn’t. Mushy Peas were a definite “no.” I’m not posting a recipe with the word “mushy” in it. Steak and Kidney Pie – might be good, but I don’t do kidneys. And Spotted Dick – I won’t even go there. This one sounded rather delish though, so check it out.

Beef with Wild Mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Fresh thyme
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 pounds beef steak
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock
9 ounces red wine
9 ounces wild mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut beef steak into cubes. In a pan combine red wine, onion, garlic, and thyme over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and cook until liquid is reduced by about a quarter. Put aside to cool. Meanwhile, melt butter in a pan cook beef until brown on all sides. Remove beef, and stir into cooled wine mixture. Put aside to prepare sauce. Lower the temperature. Sprinkle flour into pan. Cook slowly until flour is browned. Next, stir in beef stock. Allow the mixture to come to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in beef and wine mixture. Cook for another 40 to 45 minutes. Lay mushrooms on top of beef. Cover, and simmer for about 10 more minutes. Transfer beef and mushrooms to a serving dish. Taste sauce, and adjust seasonings. Simmer until sauce thickens. Finally, pour the sauce over the meat and mushrooms.


  1. The recipe looks great delicious!

  2. I always wonder, when I'm cooking British, what kind of steak they're specifying when they say "beefsteak." I have a couple of Brit cookbooks and I've tried various cuts. For a recipe like this one, that cooks slowly in liquid, I'd probably use stew meat.

    And I don't like mushy peas either.

  3. Actually, mushy peas are quite good! I've been to the UK a couple of times and made it a point to eat the local food. The best place to "dine" are in pubs (pub grub) because it not only tastes good, but is more reasonably priced. My fav by far was the steak pies! Mushy peas were usually a side dish.

    Beans on toast, a breakfast staple, wasn't my "cup-o-tea" however. (think pork and beans on toast)