There are many kinds of BBQ found across the American South, and Carolina BBQ is unique and different from them all. Some love their BBQ to be extra saucy, some crave it deep and smoky, and others want it cooked ‘low and slow’ for days at a time, but Eastern North Carolina BBQ is all about vinegar and cayenne.
These mini Meatloaf Muffins are perfect for a family meal served alongside some creamy mash and vegetables. Any leftovers could even be eaten cold in lunch-boxes the next day, or frozen for another time.
My mini Meatloaf Muffins are a fun way to serve a classic recipe to your family. Meatloaf Muffins may well appeal to children more than a slice, or even a chunk, of the regular shaped meatloaf would too. By making them in a muffin tray, you automatically get individual portions ready to serve to your family.
How to make the perfect Christmas dinner with Crisp ‘n Dry (a collaboration)
Making Christmas Dinner can be very daunting. I remember very clearly the first time I made one and I was scared. Having always had my Mum’s delicious Christmas dinners on Christmas Day, which quite honestly is the best one, I probably put too much pressure on myself. I was worried that I would not cook the turkey properly and I was concerned that I would not get everything ready at the same time. I attempted my first Christmas dinner in my first (bought) house which I shared with an ex boyfriend so we are talking about 15 years ago probably. I think I did it twice over two consecutive years and then I did not cook another one until I was pregnant with Burton in 2008. That Christmas dinner was a vast improvement on my earlier attempts and I did not feel quite so nervous about it. I think watching lots of Nigella and Jamie Oliver Christmas cooking shows, and owning some festive cookbooks in the years in-between helped me, and gave me some confidence to really push the boat out and enjoy cooking Christmas dinner instead of dreading it!
Remember, remember – yes it is the 5th of November! The boys are very excited about going to see some fireworks tonight, I am just hoping that the wet weather, that only started yesterday, which is just typical for this time of year after a couple of weeks of perfect dry weather, will stay away so at least we can watch them in the dry!
I love roast beef with all the trimmings for a Sunday lunch. There is something so comforting about it, aswell as it being so delicious due to the flavours of the meat and the fact that it make for the best gravy of all the meats (in my personal opinion).
However, as much as my family and I enjoy eating it, I have to admit that it never occurs to me to cook a mini roast beef during the week. I would consider roasting a chicken mid week however, and indeed I have done this several times, but not a small piece of beef. So when I was approached by Red Tractor to showcase a recipe using a good quality piece of British beef to use as a midweek roast supper, I was very happy to accept and try out a new way of cooking beef. I think also that because I cook my Sunday lunch joints of beef in a slow cooker, I forget how quick and easy it is to prepare a mini roast.
I bought a medium sized mini roast joint, as I was cooking for all four of us but of course mini roasts are also the perfect size for two to share.
I do not know about you, but it is important to me to know that I am purchasing farm assured quality meat that is produced by British farmers here in the UK. The Red Tractor logo means that any beef (or lamb) that carries this on its packaging can be traced back to the farms the livestock came from. Therefore, I can buy it safe in the knowledge that the farmers and suppliers who produce beef (and lamb) for both schemes meet comprehensive standards covering safety, hygiene, environmental protection and animal welfare at every stage from farm to fork.
I am probably bit boring when it comes to adding flavour to my beef, as I always use the same method because I know it works and taste great, so it was nice to be a bit adventurous and try something new and different. Red Tractor have some delicious recipes on their website, because Mini Roasts are very versatile and can be used for a huge variety of recipes such as, Teriyaki beef with noodles, or lamb with a delicious pistachio crust. I decided to showcase their Portuguese inspired Piri Piri Beef . It was very easy to prepare – about 5 minutes in total, which can be done while the oven is preheating. You simply make a marinade , slash the meat with a knife, coat the beef with the marinade and then roast it for 40-60 minutes depending on how you prefer your meat.
One tip I have for this, is that to save some time you could marinade the mini roast the night before or even in the morning in between breakfast and leaving the house, and then that would save a little time and help the flavours soak into the meat, making it more flavoursome and tender.
I decided to add some potato wedges to my beef while it roasted, to allow the potatoes to take on the delicious flavours of the beef juices and the marinade. I par boiled the potatoes, and then added them to the roasting pan once the beef had been cooking for ten minutes. Then 25 minutes later, I gave the pan a shake and stirred the potatoes to ensure all sides were covered.
I also roasted some carrots, onions and cauliflower in a separate pan and in the same marinade as the beef, which I hoped would work ok!!! We prefer our beef medium to well done so the mini roast was given 50 minutes to cook, and then while the broccoli was cooking, the beef rested while I turned the oven up a notch to give the potato wedges a quick blast off heat to crisp them up a tad. Look at the beef – the sticky glaze running down it with the patchy gnarly tasty parts over it. It smelt divine!
To serve the Piri Piri Mini Roast to my hungry family, I sliced it
and sat it on a serving platter with the roasted wedges, veg and broccoli around it and poured over the sticky juices.
Then everyone got their forks and spoons and stuck in and helped themselves!
I did actually buy some ingredients to make a yogurt dip to accompany the beef dish, but I forgot to make it! Still, the meal was delicious enough so it was not missed at all. I wish this post has smell-o’vision because it was amazing and all the sticky juices made everything so tasty, and no one minded the subtle heat from the chilli.
Mini roasts are a great way to serve your family a quick, tasty and easy mid week meal and by serving alongside roasted veg, I saved myself a lot of hassle as everything was taken care of by my oven and there were less pans involved too! Win win I say! My mini roast cost £8 which for a family of four, or even for two is very reasonable , especially as there was leftover beef to use again for another meal. I often buy minced beef, and this can cost almost £5, so for another £3 this makes a mini roast mid week meal even more appealing!
For everything you need to know about beef and lamb, more recipe ideas and information about Red Tractor beef and lamb, please visit www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk
This post was written in collaboration with Red Tractor.