Tag Archives: Organic Beef

Great Stew Recipes from Jamie Oliver’s Post. Perfect for this fall season!

perfect stew

Stewing is autumn and winter. Stew everything! Fruit, meat, vegetables, fish, grains…

When it’s starting to get chilly outside, get in the kitchen and turn it into the warm heart of your home. As you approach the front door with frosty rosy cheeks and with a lack of feeling in your toes, the joy and warmth of a homemade stew wafting around your home is second to none.

Everyone has a favourite stew that has seen them through the colder months, and you can see mine beneath the tips below – it’s so easy and so enjoyable to make.

As far as general stewing rules go, however, there can be some confusion – do you brown the meat? Which vegetables work best? Roots or pulses? Thick or thin sauce? What to serve it with? Believe it or not, there are no right or wrong ways to make stew, so however you like it, have a look at a few tips to give your stew a bit more stew-pendous (I make no apologies).

Base flavours

Investing in the base layer will pay dividends at the end. Do you want it spicy, earthy or rich? You can experiment with store cupboard ingredients and fresh herbs, but here are my tips.

  • Pork loves apples, onions and juniper berries.
  • Beef loves bay, rosemary and olives.
  • Lamb works brilliantly with ground cumin and coriander, dried apricots and fresh ginger.
  • Fish loves fennel, tomato and chilli.
  • Beans and green vegetables work beautifully with fresh soft herbs like basil, parsley and mint.
  • Cook your onions until golden first to make for a sweeter caramelised flavour.
  • Try big-hitting flavours like a smoked ancho or chipotle chilli in with beef or a pinch of saffron in with fish.

The main ingredient

Whether you’re going vegetarian or all-out meat, there are things consider when looking for the best flavour.

  • Root vegetables could be roasted first to help them keep a bit of body and take on a sweet flavour. Celeriac, swede and squash take on wonderful flavour when coated and roasted with herbs and spices.
  • Try using a cheaper cuts of meat like neck, leg and shin or chicken thighs and legs, oxtail, livers or kidneys – you’ll probably get lots more flavour if you give them time in the oven. Rabbit, pheasant and Italian sausages all make for an even stronger taste.
  • Mix more expensive fish like monkfish and prawns with cheaper mussels and clams – it doesn’t just save money, it mixes up flavours and textures.

Fillers and bulkers

Here are some cheap, healthy and tasty ways to bulk stews and make them go a little further.

  • Grains like pearl barley, rice and bashed-up pasta give extra body
  • Beans and lentils add extra protein and keep you fuller for longer
  • Potatoes are a cheap and easy way to bulk up a stew – they act like a sponge to suck up cooking liquid.


To thicken a sauce

There’s nothing sadder than a thin stew. If you don’t fancy cooking it for hours and hours until it reduces, here are a few things you can do to get that gorgeous rich texture.

  • If you’re browning meat or frying onions, coat it in seasoned flour first.
  • If you’re making a spicy stew, add a spoon of smooth peanut butter to the stew– it thickens slightly and add a wicked depth of flavour.
  • If you need to thicken the sauce later on in the recipe mix a spoon of flour with a little stock to make a paste and stir a little at a time into the stew.

Finishing touches

Once it’s out the oven there is still lots you can do to make your stew look, smell and taste even better.

  • Dumplings are a great addition to a hearty winter stew. Suet or potato, little or large.
  • Herby breadcrumbs or croutons are a lovely crunchy texture.
  • A flavoured chilli oil or pesto works really well with a light chicken or fish stew.
  • Simply top with a few chopped fresh herb leaves.

Pip’s hearty beef stew recipe

Serves 4-6

hearty beef stew

  • 1kg diced shin of beef
  • plain flour
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • olive oil
  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced on an angle
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced with any leaves kept to one side
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 litre fresh beef stock
  • handful cherry tomatoes
  • 1 handful pearl barley
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • few sprigs fresh parsley

Place the beef in a large mixing bowl. Mix 2 tbsp plain flour with a good pinch of salt, pepper and the fennel seeds. Toss the meat in the flour and place to one side.

Place a large lidded casserole pan on a medium heat and add a good lug of olive oil. Add the beef to the pan and brown all over. You may need to do this in batches to avoid steaming the meat. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.

Put the pan back on a medium heat and add another lug of olive oil. Add the onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves and rosemary.  Cook for 5 minutes with lid askew, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the tomato purée, then add the beef stock, cherry tomatoes and the beef back to the pan. Stir everything together well. Place the lid on askew. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 90 minutes or until the meat is tender stirring occasionally. 30 minutes before the end of cooking, throw in the pearl barley.

When it’s ready, season to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve with a little extra virgin olive oil, chopped parsley and lemon zest on top. Crusty croutons are lovely with this too.

The Farmer’s Table dinner at Manchester-Farms with Left Bower Farm

1 of our gardens in the front lawn 2013-06-14 22.30.07 2013-06-15 00.45.33 2013-06-15 00.46.02 2013-06-15 00.55.35 2013-06-15 05.44.29 2013-06-15 05.44.35 2013-06-15 05.44.40 2013-06-15 05.44.44 2013-06-15 05.47.49 2013-06-15 05.48.08 2013-06-15 05.48.40 2013-06-15 17.55.32 2013-06-15 17.58.06 2013-06-15 18.10.36 2013-06-15 18.10.41 2013-06-15 18.30.59 2013-06-15 18.57.51 2013-06-15 19.11.40 2013-06-15 19.11.51 2013-06-15 19.26.56 What an amazingly fun evening we had to night!  Thanks to Chef Jacob Mains and his crew from The Farmer’s Table!  The dinner was exceptional, guests wonderful and the day and setting spectacular!  Thank you to all that participated!  

The photos show the set-up through the dinner.






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Chef Jacob Mains is hosting dinner at Manchester-Farms, June 15, 2013

This is a very exciting event that is happening on our farm on June 15, 2013!

The Farmer’s Table, LLC is a farm dinner series in the Pittsburgh region focusing on local sustainable cuisine. Each event will be held on a different farm showcasing the diverse agriculture of the area. We hope to see you at the farm!

Chef Jacob Mains is taking locavorism to a whole new level this summer by offering a series of farm dinners served right in the fields where the food is grown!

He is going to be on our farm using some of our Manchester-Farms organic beef, Berkshire pork, Milk and Left Bower Farms veggies, along with neighboring farms goodies!

Any one interested should go to the bottom of this post to get tickets.  Hope to see lots of you on the farm!

Click the event below to view an example of our vegan gluten-free menu. The menu may change slightly due to availability. Vegetarian and meat menu soon to come! We hope to see you on the farm!https://www.facebook.com/events/153545788143537/

Annie Manchester Feb. 8, 1875

Love this!  c. 1895 LtoR,Anna,Cora,Farncena, Alice Manchester & Lee M. Wilson                  Aunt Annie Manchester wrote about cooking in 1875.  She is on the far left in the photo!

Miss Annie Manchester


Washington County, Pennsylvania

February 8th 1875


It has been said that cooking is an art and, to be proficient in that art is an accomplishment through it is the fewest number of persons who consider it an accomplishment to be a good cook.  To be what is called a good cook is to know how to cook all kinds of plain food, and to make it palatable for all.  Cooking is not one of the easiest things that there is to do.  Every person can not cook well.  Some men think they can cook with out even learning how.   Without going through the slow, tedious process of learning how much soda is required to make the biscuits-lightly, or any of those matters which seem almost trivial in themselves, yet are so very important.  Cooking is generally considered the work of woman, and, the kitchen her proper sphere.  Some persons think that woman never can accomplish anything worthy of note, and think their highest aims in life should be to excel in cooking and to have a thorough knowledge of housekeeping   I admit both of these are essential to the happiness of all.  But are they the only thing?   I think not.  I read of a man once whole told his wife- that he could do the cooking and manage the house hold matters much better than she was doing.  She told him she would give a chance to manage the house hold if he wished it.  She left the house to his care and went visiting.  But ok: how different it was from what he anticipated.   The first thing he did was to prepare dinner for himself.  He found it – different work from what he thought it was he got the dinner after having foiled the potatoes in the teakettle.  Cooking a quart of rice, and making some biscuits without salt, soda, or shortening.  And doing other things in a like ridiculous manner.   He found somehow that his dinner was not what he expected it to be.   It wasn’t even good as good as his wife’s would have been.  I have no doubt that most men if left to do the cooking themselves would do something like that man did unless they were professional cooks.  We have all read no doubt Prof. Blot the celebrated teacher and writer on all matters relating to the culinary department,   Of course I doubt say but that there are men who can cook.  But it is the fewest number of them that can cook well unless they have learned how or have been pupils of Prof. Blot or someone else.  It is women who have the cooking to do. Is women who have to see to the household and it is they who have to see that the food is properly cooked and served at the appointed time the “Lords of creation”.  It is women who are contantly – busy and ever watchful to see that every thing is properly done.  And is it any wonder that women should say “Woman’s Work” is from sun to sun.   But woman’s work is never done.   There is real poetry in cooking if we only know how to find it.  Real poetry in preparing the various dainty dishes for the table.  Life would not be half so pleasant and so enjoyable if it were not for the cooks.

“We can live without poetry, music, and art

We can live without consistence and live without heart

We can live without friends you can live without books.

But civilized man can not live without cooks”

London Broil with Cherry Balsamic Sauce

I find London Broil to be a tough steak to cook.  This is one recipe that I have found, that really does work and the cherry balsamic sauce is delis!

(From Cooking Well Magazine)



  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cherry preserve
  • 2 cloves garlic, mince
  • 1/2 tsp. salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds Manchester-Farms Organic Grass-Fed London Broil
  • 3 tbsp shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter softened


In a small bowl, whisk together wine, balsamic vinegar, cherry preserve, garlic, salt and pepper.  Place meat in a shallow glass dish. Pour the marinade over the meat and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator, turning several times, for at least 20 minutes or up to 8 hours.

Remove the meat from the marinade.

Pour the marinade into a small saucepan; add shallot and set aside.

Heat the grill to medium high.   Grill London broil for 10 to 12 minutes per side for medium-rare, depending on the thickness.

Transfer the meat to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes.

While the meat is cooking, bring the marinade to a boil, cook over medium-high heat for 5 – 7 minutes, or until it is reduced to about 1/2 cup.

Remove from heat; add butter and whisk until melted.

Slice the meat thinly against the grain. Add any juices on the cutting board to the sauce.

Serve the meat with the sauce.

Manchester-Farms Organic Grass-Fed Sirloin Steak with Parsley Sauce

devil frank
This is our devil goat Frank, he gets into everything!

(I love to serve this steak when we can be outside at the picnic table. Serve with a rice pilaf and roasted red peppers.)

Servings: 6

Prep time: 15 Minutes


  • 3 pounds Manchester-Farms Organic Grass-Fed Sirloin Steak
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups parsley chopped
  • 2 anchovy fillets, mashed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil

Season Manchester-Farms Sirloin with sea salt and black pepper, Let sit.

For the sauce, mix together parsley, mashed anchovies, garlic, capers and red wine vinegar. Drizzle olive oil in while whisking all ingredients.

Grill Steak on medium high heat, until 125-130 degrees on a meat thermometer for medium rare.

Let rest 15 minutes and then carve.

Serve with parsley sauce on top of slices.

Steak Florentine

I had this for the first time in Florence, Italy…I was amazed!

Serve with roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes or as a second course after pasta!

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes


  • Marinate:
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. freshly chopped rosemary
  • 4 (8) oz Manchester-Farms Organic Grass-Fed Delmonico
  • 2 Bunches Arugula, washed & coarsely chopped
  • 1 Lemon, cut into wedge

For marinate, whisk together lemon juice,  olive oil, garlic, Dijon, rosemary, salt & pepper to taste in a medium size bowl.

Use 1/2 marinate and add the  steaks to it.  I put it into a zip lock bag.  Let it sit for 1 hour. (You do not want to go longer, because the citrus will start to cook the meat.)

Heat your grill to medium high.

Grill the steaks 4 minutes a side for medium rare.

Add the arugula to the remaining marinate and toss.

To serve arrange the arugula on each plate.  Place the whole steak, or sliced steak on top of the arugula.  Serve with lemon wedge on the side.