Steak Sandwich

Posted on Friday, November 21st, 2014 by Pat Whelan in Beef Recipes | No Comments »

Steak sandwichHanger steak — also known as onglet — has a distinctive flavour that gives a run of the mill steak sandwich a delicious intensity. Ask your butcher to remove the sinew and prepare it for grilling.

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  • 200 g hanger steak per person
  • extra virgin olive or Irish rapeseed oil
  • flaky sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 handful of rocket per person
  • 1/3 baguette per person
  • horseradish mustard crème fraîche dressing
For the dressing:
  • 100 g horseradish root
  • peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 60 g natural yoghurt
  • 60 g crème fraîche
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Serves 1

To Cook

Rub the steak with oil, season well and sear on a very hot pan for 3 minutes on each side, which will bring it to medium rare. Leave to rest for 10 minutes while you make the dressing. Slice the steak and serve in a good baguette with rocket.

Braised Featherblade with Parsley and Horseradish Dumplings

Posted on Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 by Pat Whelan in Beef Recipes | No Comments »

Braised Featherblade with Parsley and Horseradish DumplingsOnce you discover the poor, neglected featherblade you’ll be asking your butcher for it all the time. It braises beautifully, and the marbling of the meat makes for a satisfyingly rich sauce. This is one for a winter evening, or for a weekend lunch after a bracing walk on the beach or up a mountain. You can of course make it without the dumplings, but why on earth would you deprive yourself of that pleasure?

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  • 1.5 kg featherblade steak, cut into six portions
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or Irish rapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 500 ml beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • leaves from 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon English mustard

For the dumplings:

  • 15 g butter
  • ½ onion, very finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 80 g breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 heaped tablespoons creamed horseradish
Serves 6

To Cook

Preheat the oven to 160° C/fan 140° C/gas mark 3. Season the steak with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Heat a tablespoon ofthe oil in a large, heavy-bottomed casserole dish and sear the meat in batches for 2–3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Place the meat to one side. Add a little more oil to the casserole dish and fry the onion, celery, carrots and garlic until softened, about ten minutes. Return the beef to the dish and add the wine, stock, tomato purée, thyme leaves, bay leaf and mustard. Stir and bring to a simmer, then cover with a disc of greaseproof paper and the lid and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Now make the dumplings. Melt the butter in a small frying pan, add the onion and cook over a low heat until soft. Then transfer the onions to a bowl and combine with the parsley, breadcrumbs, egg and horseradish. Form dumplings with the mixture, allowing two per person. Don’t worry if they seem quite liquid — they will firm up as they cook. Remove the beef from the oven and dot the dumplings on top. Cover and return to the oven for 20 minutes. Then remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes. Serve with green vegetables. Buttered kale would be delicious.

Beef Noodle Soup with Pak Choi

Posted on Monday, November 17th, 2014 by Pat Whelan in Beef Recipes | No Comments »

Beef Noodle Soup with Pak ChoiSpeedy and very tasty, this is one of those dishes that makes you realise that cooking at home is so much better (and better for you) than ordering takeout.

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  • 4 tablespoons sake
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 300 g sirloin steak, cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or Irish rapeseed oil
  • 500 ml beef or chicken stock
  • 100 g rice vermicelli noodles
  • 2 heads of pak choi
  • small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
Serves 2

To Cook

Combine the sake, mirin, soy sauce, garlic and chilli. Add the strips of beef and leave to marinate for an hour if you have time. Heat the oil in a frying pan, remove the beef from the marinade with a slotted spoon and fry over a high heat for a couple of minutes, then add the marinade and fry for another minute. Meanwhile, bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan, add the noodles, cook for a minute and then add the white parts of the pak choi and cook for another minute. Then add the beef and the green parts of the pak choi. Deglaze the frying pan with a ladle of the stock, adding the dark liquid to the broth. Serve in deep bowls with the fresh coriander sprinkled on top.


Weeping Tiger Salad

Posted on Friday, November 14th, 2014 by Pat Whelan in Beef Recipes | No Comments »

Weeping Tiger SaladDespite the name, this is not a fiercely hot salad, although you can add more and hotter chillies if that is your preference. You can also make it a more substantial meal by adding rice or egg noodles to the salad.

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  • 800 g sirloin steak
  • extra virgin olive oil or Irish rapeseed oil
  • flaky sea salt

For the dressing:

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 finely chopped red chilli

For the salad:

  • 335 g beansprouts
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into ribbons
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and deseeded, cut into chunks
  • 200 g mixed salad leaves
  • 1 large bunch coriander, leaves only
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 100 g chopped roasted cashews
Serves 4

To Cook

Heat a cast iron griddle pan over a high heat until smoking. Lightly oil the steak on both sides and season with flaky sea salt. Sear for 3 minutes on each side. Leave to rest for 5 minutes. Combine all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and stir. In another bowl, combine the beansprouts, carrots, chilli, cucumber, salad and coriander leaves, and drizzle with the sesame oil. Mix well and add the dressing. Arrange the salad on a platter and top with the roasted cashews. Slice the steak and arrange on top of the salad.

Beef Tataki

Posted on Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 by Pat Whelan in Beef Recipes | No Comments »

Beef tatakiA truly fresh and vibrant salad that takes next to no time to prepare. This works well as either a starter or a main course.

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500 g beef fillet
30 ml extra virgin olive oil or Irish rapeseed oil
For the marinade:

  • 75 ml soy sauce
  • 50 ml rice vinegar
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soft dark brown sugar
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 10 g fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced

For the salad dressing:

  • 50 ml soy sauce
  • 50 ml rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest only
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped

For the salad:

  • a handful of beansprouts
  • a handful of watercress
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons pickled ginger
Serves 6 as a starter

To Cook

Rub the beef with oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a heavy-based frying pan and fry the beef for one minute on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl until well combined. Place the meat in the bowl and massage the marinade into it. Transfer the meat and marinade to a Ziploc bag and leave in the fridge to chill for at least two hours. Make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Arrange the salad on a large platter and spoon over the dressing. When the meat has been chilled, slice it very thinly and arrange on top of the salad.

Pomegranate-Marinated Hanger Steak with a Warm Farro Salad

Posted on Monday, November 10th, 2014 by Pat Whelan in Beef Recipes | No Comments »

Pomegranate-Marinated Hanger Steak with a Warm Farro SaladAsk your butcher to prepare the hanger steak for grilling; it will probably be in a few pieces once the sinew has been removed. This recipe will work equally well with sirloin or skirt steak, but adjust the timing accordingly. Farro is a nutty-tasting whole grain from Italy; you could use brown basmati rice or a barley couscous instead.

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  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or Irish rapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 500 g hanger steak
  • 200 g farro
  • 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds only
  • 100 g walnuts, toasted
  • sea salt

For the dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or Irish rapeseed oil
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • pinch of ground coriander
  • pinch of ground allspice
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of sea salt
Serves 4

To Cook

Mix the rapeseed oil, pomegranate molasses and sherry vinegar in a bowl. Put the steak in a flat dish and cover with the marinade. Leave for an hour or two, turning a couple of times. Meanwhile, simmer the farro in a litre of water for about 35 minutes or until tender. Make the dressing: blend or mix the ingredients together and check the seasoning. When the farro has been simmering for about 15 minutes, heat a griddle pan until smoking, season the steak with sea salt and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until nicely charred. This will bring the steak to medium- rare/medium — cook it any longer and it will be tough. Cover with foil and leave to rest. When the farro is tender, drain it and dress it while still warm. Add the pomegranate seeds, parsley and walnuts. Slice the steak in strips against the grain. Divide the farro salad between four plates and serve with the slices of steak on top.

Multi-tasking Rich Beef Cheek Ragù

Posted on Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 by Pat Whelan in Beef Recipes, Recipes | No Comments »

Multi-tasking Rich Beef Cheek RagùYou could use this sauce with pasta, on top of a baked potato, with pasta dishes , soft cheesy polenta or simply with mashed potatoes and green vegetables. It is rich, unctuous and entirely wonderful. It also freezes beautifully, so if you get your hands on a quantity of beef cheeks, make a big batch, use some for supper and then sit back and gloat. Did someone say smug? This quantity is enough for two lasagne recipes.

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  • 1.8 kg beef cheeks, trimmed
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of extra vigin olive oil or Irish rapeseed oil
  • 120 g smoked bacon, chopped into cubes
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 4 sticks celery, chopped
  • 3 x 400 g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 375 ml red wine
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic or saba vinegar, or vino cotto
Serves 8

To Cook

Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 3½. Cut the beef cheeks in half and season with sea salt and black pepper. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a heavy frying pan and fry the beef cheeks in batches, allowing them to brown and caramelise. Do not overcrowd the pan, or the meat will steam rather than brown. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy-bottomed casserole dish, fry the bacon until golden, add the chopped vegetables and fry until softened. Add the tomatoes and then the beef cheeks. Pour the red wine into the frying pan and scrape away any crispy bits, then add to the casserole dish. Add the chicken stock, cover and cook in the oven for about 3 hours, by which time the beef cheeks should be falling apart. Remove the lid and cook for about a further 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until some of the liquid has evaporated and you have a rich, thick sauce. Break up the meat with a wooden spoon. When the sauce has cooled slightly, add the balsamic or saba vinegar or vino cotto, which adds richness, and check the seasoning. This will be even better if you allow it to cool, refrigerate it overnight and use it the following day.

What Came First?

Posted on Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 by Pat Whelan in Foodie Articles | No Comments »

An egg is among the most nutritious foods that we have access to with many believing that the egg is ‘nature’s multivitamin.’  Eggs contain unique antioxidants and powerful brain nutrients that many people are deficient in.  Eggs are loaded with vitamins, minerals, high quality proteins, good fats and various other lesser-known nutrients. An average large egg contains Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Vitamin A, Vitamin B5 and Selenium along with small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body such as calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, Vitamin E and many more.  A large egg contains 77 calories, with 6 grams of quality protein, 5 grams of fat and trace amounts of carbohydrates.  Almost all the nutrients are contained in the yolk, the white contains only protein.  So what we really need to take away from the above is that for 77 calories you are getting an incredibly nutritious food; serious bang for your calorie intake buck!

Now I have to add the caveat that not all eggs are created equal.  Eggs that come from hens raised in cages and fed an inadequate diet will naturally be less nutritious than a hen that has had a healthier life.  However, to be fair Ireland has a very good reputation for chickens and eggs so if you stick with an Irish egg then you can’t go too far wrong.  If you can get your hands on farm fresh eggs then that would be the ideal choice, but be warned, if you get used to eggs with those wonderfully plump yellow yokes, you could be spoiled for the future.

In the kitchen the egg is a cook’s treasure indeed.  It could be argued that it is probably one of nature’s most perfect creations when it comes to cooking.  The variety of uses is astounding and the fact that it can be eaten raw or cooked makes it highly versatile while the savoury and sweet aspects combine to make it an undeniably brilliant food in itself or as an ingredient. Pat Whelan's Healthier Fry Up

A few years ago in this column I wrote about the simplicity of a boiled egg with soldiers for breakfast.  My personal method of boiling the egg to the consistency that I like is to put cold water in a pot, place the eggs in and once it has reached boiling point only then do I start the three minute count.  Some people think that you shouldn’t put the eggs into the water until it is boiling; each to their own.  I always thought that frying an egg was a lot less contentious until I came across “The Perfect Egg and Other Secrets” by Aldo Buzzi.  In the book he describes how to cook the perfect fried egg.  First of all you cook it on a low heat and you certainly don’t crack the egg directly onto the pan.  You crack the egg into a cup and from the cup pour just the white onto the pan reserving the yoke for a few moments longer.  When the white begins to set you sprinkle it with salt and pepper and only then do you pour the yolk on top of it, right in the middle of the circle of white.  The theory behind this is that you don’t want the underside of the delicate yolk to come into direct contact with the heat from the bottom of the pan.  You then put a lid on the pan to complete the cooking.  It is imperative that the fried egg is transferred to a warm plate to avoid over cooking in the heat of a pan.

I tried this as an exercise.  I put away my plebeian methods of cracking three eggs into the pan at a time, always congratulating myself on not breaking the yokes.  Aldo Buzzi would surely hang me over a bridge head first if he knew about my flagrant disregard for the intricacies of egg frying.   I followed the rules precisely and it was a great egg.

Eggs in pots or, as the French like to say, ‘Eggs en Cocotte’ are another favourite.  All you need are eggs and crème fraîche and after that you can throw in anything savoury that’s lurking around the fridge.  I like them with plenty of crusty bread.   Season some crème fraiche with pepper and a little nutmeg.  Place a tablespoon of the seasoned crème fraiche in the bottom of a ramekin.  Then some recipes call for a little dill on top of that but I often use coriander or whatever fresh herb is to hand – just a little. Crack an egg on the top and then finish with another tablespoon of crème fraiche and a tiny sliver of butter.  Top with a pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Place the ramekin on a baking dish and fill with water to come half way up the ramekin then bake in the oven at about 180 for about 15 minutes or until the yolk is the consistency that you like.

Colcannon Cakes with Poached Eggs and Hollandaise SauceFrom eggs in pots to omelettes of all flavours, quiches or even as a binding ingredient, eggs are fantastic.  What I really want you to take away from this is that eggs are inexpensive, hugely versatile, go with almost any food and are one of the superfoods.  All the bad press that eggs have received over the years should be ignored.  Embrace the egg, it’s hard to find such a nutritious and versatile food.  It is indeed natures multivitamin. I welcome your feedback to

We hope you enjoyed reading this post by Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers. Pat is a 5th generation butcher, cook book author and the director of  James Whelan Butchers with shops in Clonmel, the Avoca Food Market Monkstown, Rathcoole & Kilmacanogue. Sign up to our newsletter for more updates from James Whelan Butchers






James Whelan Butchers: Beef Larb with Lettuce Wraps

Posted on Monday, November 3rd, 2014 by Pat Whelan in Good Food | No Comments »

Beef Larb with Lettuce WrapsThis is the national dish of Laos but it appears in various incarnations throughout Southeast Asia. Often made with pork or chicken, it’s equally good with beef. Play around with the proportions to get the balance of sharpness and heat that you like best. This is a super-speedy starter that’s fun to eat, or a quick supper that you can have on the table in minutes.

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  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil or Irish rapeseed oil
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped (use bird’s eye chillies if you can take the heat)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 400 g minced beef
  • 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 4 tablespoons coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 heads of iceberg lettuce

To garnish:

  • finely sliced shallots
  • 100 g toasted peanuts, chopped
Serves 6 as a starter, 2 as a main


To Cook

Put the oil in a frying pan on medium heat, add the finely chopped chillies and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beef, turn up the heat and cook for 3–4 minutes or until no trace of pink remains, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Add the fish sauce and cook until the liquid evaporates. Off the heat, stir in the spring onions, the zest and juice of the lime and the coriander. Taste and add more lime juice if you like. Fill the iceberg lettuce leaves with scoops of the meat and serve with shallots and peanuts on the side. Eat with your fingers.

Corned Beef with Parsley Sauce

Posted on Thursday, October 30th, 2014 by Pat Whelan in Beef Recipes | No Comments »

Corned Beef with Parsley SauceIt’s easy to forget how wonderful corned beef can be. This is a favourite recipe that makes a very popular family dinner. It’s worth making extra for sandwiches or corned beef hash the next day.

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  • 1 kg silverside corned beef
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 200 ml milk
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon English mustard
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
Serves 4 (with leftovers)


To Cook

Put the corned beef, carrots, and all but one tablespoon of the chopped onion into a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and skim off the foam that accumulates on the surface of the water. Cover and simmer for about 2½ hours, or until the corned beef is tender. Remove from the liquid, wrap in foil, and set aside. Reserve about 200ml of the cooking liquid. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Mince the reserved onion and add to the butter. Cook for about 1 minute, then stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute more. Add the reserved cooking liquid, milk, parsley, mustard, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste, whisking the ingredients together until smooth. Cook for another 4–5 minutes, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens. To serve, slice the corned beef against the grain and spoon the sauce over it. Delicious with buttered cabbage and floury boiled potatoes or colcannon.

Skirt Steak with Green Herb Sauce

Posted on Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 by Pat Whelan in Beef Recipes | No Comments »

Skirt Steak with Green herb sauceFat-phobes love this cut of steak as no trimming is required. Don’t skip the marinating stage, though — that’s what keeps the meat juicy and tender.

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  • a whole skirt steak
  • 8 sprigs rosemary
  • 8 cloves garlic, unpeeled and smashed
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or Irish rapeseed oil
  • flaky sea salt

for the herb sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 75 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 (in total) large handfuls of mint, coriander and flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 250 ml extra virgin olive or Irish rapeseed oil
  • 1 whole red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
Serves 4-6


To Cook

Put the steak in a bowl with the rosemary, garlic, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and the oil. Cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate for at least a couple of hours, preferably overnight, turning a couple of times if possible. Take the steak out of the fridge about an hour before you are ready to cook. To make the herb sauce, blend together the garlic, vinegar, cumin and salt in a food processor. Add the herbs and blend to a purée. With the motor running, gradually add the oil until you have a loose sauce. Stir in the chopped chilli. You can make this ahead of time — just stir before serving. Cut the steak into two large pieces. Heat a large, ridged, cast iron pan — or two if you have them – on a high heat until you can barely hold your hand over it. Remove the steak from the marinade and season well with sea salt flakes. Cook for 2–3 minutes each side, without moving the meat, depending on how you like your steak cooked. Two and a half minutes is bang on for medium rare, so adjust accordingly, but any longer than 3 minutes will result in tough steak. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for 5–10 minutes, covered with foil. Repeat with the second piece of meat (if you are only using one ridged pan). Slice the meat across the grain and serve on a board, dressed with any juices that have run out during resting and a little of the sauce, with the rest of the sauce on the side. This is very good with the red slaw and sweet potato wedges.

Daube with Macaroni St Gall Gratin

Posted on Friday, October 24th, 2014 by Pat Whelan in Beef Recipes | No Comments »

Daube with Macaroni St Gall GratinAs with beef Bourguignon, there are as many variations on the theme of daube as there are cooks in Provence. You can cook a daube with chunks of meat — shin would be good — or in the piece, pot-roast style. Here we have used the so-called housekeeper’s cut, which is taken from the shoulder of the animal and is ideally suited to a long, slow braise in the oven while you get on with something else. The gratin is delicious.

Daube with Macaroni St Gall Gratin – Printer Friendly Download


  • 1.5 kg housekeeper’s cut, rolled and tied
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or Irish rapeseed oil
  • 1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 500 ml beef or chicken stock
  • 250 g macaroni
  • 150 g St Gall cheese, grated

for the marinade:

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 100 ml brandy
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or Irish rapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 onions, halved and sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 stick celery, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 orange, juice and zest, in strips
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Serves 6

To Cook

Put the beef in a large bowl with all the marinade ingredients. Leave to marinate overnight. Preheat the oven to 140° C/fan 120° C/gas mark 1. Lift the marinated meat from the bowl and pat dry with kitchen paper. Dust it thoroughly with the flour. Heat the oil in a casserole and brown the meat all over, turning it a couple of times. Add the tomatoes and stock and stir well. Add the marinade with the vegetables. Bring to a simmer, cover and transfer to the oven. Cook slowly for about three hours, after which it will be beautifully tender. Remove the meat from the cooking liquid, cover it with foil and keep warm. Strain the liquid, skim the fat from the surface and boil to reduce by half. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni until just short of al dente. Add the macaroni and half the cheese to the cooking liquid and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, turn the oven up to 180° C/fan 160° C/gas mark 4 and reheat for 10–15 minutes. Heat under the grill for a few minutes to brown the top of the gratin. Slice the meat and serve with the macaroni, making sure that everyone gets some of the crisp topping.