Beef Rendang


I had some friends coming round for a catch up – dinner at the weekend and as I hadn’t seen them for a while I wanted to do something special but had no time to prepare. I knew we were going to be out all day so what did I do to solve this problem – I turned to my trusty slow cooker.

The slow cooker is the solver of all ‘no time to cook anything’ problems. Bung something in, in the morning, and come back later to a delicious dinner that has practically cooked itself.

I whipped up this sensational Indonesian beef rendang which took only a few minutes to prep and then left it to simmer away all day while I was out ferrying kids around and buying sofas.

I love curry pastes and use them all the time because you don’t need to mess about trying to source lots of authentic herbs and spices to replicate a traditional dish. You can buy Thai, Jerk, Indian and this Rendang paste. They contain everything you need to get that characteristic flavour with nothing more than some store cupboard stock and a tin of coconut milk. They last for ages too. One jar will make about 3 curries.

I got back with an hour to go until my guests were arriving. So I threw together a simple starter – a Gado Gado (Indonesian mix -mix) salad with some peanut dressing made from a jar of satay sauce and made some yoghurt flatbread (separate post) to serve with a bought coconut dip and some pickles. I serve the curry on a pile of jasmine rice – basmati rice cooked in jasmine tea for a delicate authentic Indonesian taste. It all looked really impressive but was really no trouble at all to do.

What you need:

2 tbsp oil

2 tbsp flour

300ml beef stock

300ml coconut milk

1lb stewing steak

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves peeled and chopped

a knob of ginger peeled and grated

3 tbsp rendang curry paste

a handful of chopped coriander

What to do

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion, garlic and ginger for a few minutes until softened

Add the beef and cook for a few minutes to brown

Add the flour and curry paste. Cook for a minute

Then stir in the stock and coconut milk

It looks a bit beige at this point but that’s alright. Fear not, as it cooks slowly all day it will darken, the flavours will develop and the spices will split the oil in the sauce giving it that lovely authentic curry sauce look.

Add in a handful of coriander (I used frozen) and some freshly chopped spring onions.

Leave to cook on high all day or at least 4 hours.

To make the jasmine rice, follow the recipe for egg fried rice (separate post) but use jasmine tea instead of water to cook the rice in and leave out the egg.

Let me know what you think via the comments and if you make it tag a photo #sixmixtricks on instagram

Love Livs


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Steak bearnaise and chilli cheesy fries


If you are looking a quick and easy recipe for a special celebration with ultimate wow factor, steak bearnaise is the one you need.

Steak frites is a classic French bistro dish. Serve it with a delicious buttery tarragon-flavoured bearnaise sauce and some pan fried greens on the side and you’ve got the makings of a wonderful meal that you can whip up with very little effort. Both the steaks and the sauce take only minutes to cook, side by side on the hob, and the frites can be done in the oven without any hassle at all.

This probably my desert island dish – it’s so good.

What you need

3 egg yolks

150ml butter (150g)

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp dried tarragon

2 steaks (rump or sirloin are good)

2 baking potatoes

2oz grated cheddar cheese

1 red chilli, sliced finely into rings

a handful of fresh oregano


What to do

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Cut the potatoes into thin sticks (skin on) and lay in a single layer in a roasting tin. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Bake for 25 minutes, turning half way until golden and crispy. Sprinkle over the cheese and sliced chilli and bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese has melted. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs

Heat some oil in a pan, season the steaks with salt and pepper and pan fry for 5 minutes on each side until golden. I cut into the end of the steak with a sharp knife to see how well done it is inside (because I can’t stand a bloody steak but you can do it to your liking).

Quarter fill a small saucepan with boiling water, place a heatproof bowl over the top and get the water simmering gently. Add the egg yolks, vinegar, tarragon and butter to the bowl and whisk for a few minutes until the butter has melted and the sauce has thickened. Turn off the heat. The sauce will happily keep warm over the pan of water until the steaks are ready.

Serve the steak with the frites and a drizzle of sauce on top. You can do pan fried greens or a simple green salad to go with it.

Let me know what you think via the comments and if you make it tag a photo #sixmixtricks on instagram.

Love Livs



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This has to be one of my all time favourite dinners. It’s easy to make, it tastes good, it’s very comforting and it can be used for both everyday and entertaining. I often rely on this dish when I’ve got a crowd coming for a get together because you can make a huge amount and it can be prepared advance. It’s also a great recipe for doing a big bulk batch to freeze so that you’ve got something delicious to pull out and re heat on those nights when you’re tired and can’t be bothered cooking.

You can do a quick pan version which is ready in 30 minutes or you can bung it in the slow cooker and let it simmer away all day (my favourite). It’s better slow cooked and even better reheated the next day when all the flavours have had a chance to develop. Chilli is generally made with minced beef but a mix of beef and pork is good and I like to do a turkey mince version because it’s healthier. Sometimes I make my own tomato sauce and sometimes I don’t. You can use tinned beans or you can soak dried beans overnight. It doesn’t matter which beans either: red kidney beans (for a bowl of red), pinto beans (cowboys favourite) or black beans (for black bean chilli. You can do an all-bean chilli and leave out the meat for vegetarians. You can keep it mild with just the taco seasoning or you can add in extra fresh finely chopped chillies at the end.

The point is, this dish is very versatile. It can be dead easy or super special. It’s up to you.

The best bit about chilli for me is all the yummy toppings that go with it. That’s what makes it taste so good. You’ve got to have some creamy guacamole, some cool sour cream, fresh coriander, a squeeze of zesty lime, finely chopped red onion or spring onion, lots of grated cheese and some crushed tortilla chips on top. And you need a big mound of buttery basmati rice to pile it on (see separate post)

What you need:

2 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tbsp cornmeal
300ml tomato sauce
300ml water
1lb minced beef
a tin of beans (red kidney, black or pinto)
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 tsp taco seasoning
a handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped

What to do:

Put the oil in a pan, add the beef, onion, peppers and celery and cook for a few minutes until golden brown.

Add the taco seasoning

Then the cornmeal

Then the tomato sauce and water

Then the beans

Then fresh coriander

Then let it simmer for 30 minutes or slow cook all day.

Serve in a bowl it with a pile of rice and a selection of toppings.

Let me know what you think and if you make it tag a photo #sixmixtricks on instagram

Love Livs


If you like this recipe, please share it with your friends.