Monday, October 26, 2015
Broadcast October 21st 2015 and featuring music from Mercury Rev, Richard Dawson, Vetiver, Jeffrey Lewis, Beach House, Dan Mangan, Natural Information Society & Bitchin Bajas, Kogumaza, Washed Out, Cavern of Anti-Matter, Four Tet and more ...
Saturday, October 3, 2015
I love my pressure cooker. It saves time and means you can make all those brilliant long cook stews and casseroles in a fraction of the time and it makes the best stocks and soups.
This is slightly more complicated that my usual "bung it all in the pan and pressure it for 15 minutes", but it's well worth it.
2lb stewing steak
2 smallish red onions
Half a Dozen small carrots
1 large stick of celery
4 medium potatoes thinly sliced
2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
Half a bottle of red wine
Half a pint of good meat stock
3 bay leaves
2 large sprigs of thyme
some rape seed oil or similar for frying.
A knob of butter
A rounded teaspoon of potato flour
Scrub and trim the carrots. Cut the tops off the onion(s) but leave the bottoms on removing any root strands. Cut them into 4 wedges (8 if you’re using one large one) and remove the outer peel.
Chop the celery and finely dice the bacon.
Dry the the steak on kitchen towel and season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. In a heavy bottomed oven proof casserole, over a medium heat, brown the steak in batches so there’s only a single layer in the dish. Take your time doing this - you will probably get liquid coming out of the meat keep going until it has all evaporated and the meat is really well browned. Transfer the meat to your pressure cooker as it’s done. When it’s all well browned pour half a bottle of red wine over it and add the stock. Add the bay and thyme and bring to the boil and cook until the liquid is reduced by about a quarter. Put the lid with its weight on the pressure cooker and bring up to pressure and then turn down so it is hissing contentedly and leave it like this for about ten minutes.
In the mean time brown the vegetables (except the potatoes) with the bacon in the casserole dish, adding some more of the oil and scraping the meat residue from the pan as you go. When they are browned add a splash of wine to the pan and stir well to de-glaze it.
Take the pressure cooker off the heat and reduce the pressure quickly by running it under a cold tap (be careful when you’re moving it not to dislodge the weight).
Heat the oven to about 200C
Put the browned vegetables, bacon and deglazing liquid in the pressure cooker with the meat.
Put the potatoes in the steamer basket that came with your pressure cooker and put that on top of the meat and vegetables. Replace the lid of the cooker, bring it back up to pressure and cook for 10 minutes.
While that’s doing melt the butter in the casserole and add the potato flour and cook gently for a minute or two.
Reduce the pressure in the cooker as before. Carefully remove the basket with the potatoes in. Put the meat and veg in the casserole dish and give it a good stir. Take the potatoes out of the basket and put them on top of the meat and put the whole lot in the oven for about 20 minutes or half an hour until the potatoes start to brown...
Sunday, June 21, 2015
Thursday, May 21, 2015
My bit of the Perfumed Garden on Cowbell Radio Show from May 19th, featuring tunes by Sophe Cooper, James Toth, Follakzoid, Death & Vanilla, Fat Mattress, Lothar and the Hand People, The Blue Oyster Cult and lots more ...
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Mary Gauthier was brilliant last night at Bury Met.
I'm not keen on Bury, mind you. I went to school there and have fond memories of the market and the record shops. We had to run the gauntlaet of the soul-less precinct that's taken over the town centre, populated by groups of slightly intimidating young men with identical hair cuts, on our way to the Met.
The Met itself seemed OK - a bit upmarket compared with our usual gig venue, we got greeted at the door by a hipster with an id card who asked us if we were for Mary or something else I didn't catch (it's those weird Lancs accents).
We decided to sit out the support in the bar and have a drink, we were rewarded with a wave from Mary as she emerged from a door marked "no entry" to check her merch' stall.
We were slightly puzzled by the audience who emerged into the bar at the interval and decided they were definitely Radio 2 listeners. We'd expected a more "Hebden Bridge" like crowd (if you know what I mean), but there were more sensible anoraks than sensible shoes.
The hall itself was a nice intimate size, with all teired seating, and the sound was spot on. Mary came on looking slightly nervous but promptly delivered two songs without talking t to the audience, visibly exhaled with relief and relaxed into the rest of the performance.
It'd be nice to give a set list but I didn't go prepared to do a review and Mary didn't actually identify most of the songs. Mind you if I'd listened more attentively to the anorak clad bloke sat behind us, who announced all the songs before they started and occasionally sang along ....
Anyway, she did Trouble and Love, I Drink, Another Train, Christmas In Paradise ... and a really moving song co-written with a woman Marine who'd served in Afghanistan ... she dueted on some tracks with the support act, Ben Glover, including Oh Soul which was stunning. The inevitable encore, also with Ben, included Mercy - the worlds 20th best sad country song according to that "fromerly great" publication, Rolling Stone. The lines "I love my chcurch and country ... but they need a little mercy now" gaining added poignancy sung by a bloke from Belfast.
If you get the chance, you should go and see her.