I don't know about all you other food bloggers out there on the internet, but I for one love gadgets!!! If my kitchen were bigger and it is probably a good thing that it isn't I would have it filled with all sorts of gadgets and they would be out in the open not tucked away out of sight. I sometimes forget which gadgets I have and where they are hidden in the kitchen. This is one of my favs and I only bought it a few years ago and why it took me all this time to get one I have no idea. It is a potato ricer....
Great for making the smoothest mashed potatoes ever!!! I know lumps are okay sometimes too. Sometimes I like just smashed potatoes, but alot of time I love nice and smooth mash.
It is very easy to use and once you use it wash it otherwise the starch from the potatoes dries on it and it is a bear to clean. It comes with a couple of plates with different sized holes for different sized mash I guess. This is the one I usually use.
First boil your potatoes and when tender (you can add some onion, garlic, or other ingredients, such as carrots or celeriac while boiling the potatoes depends on the flavour you are after). And with a slotted spoon load the ricer with the cooked potaotes
And then clamp down and squeeze!!
That is all there is to it. But like I said make sure to wash it off after use.
This is the potatoes after being riced. Now add your milk, butter or whatever and proceed with your mash. I added a knob of butter, greek yogurt, salt and pepper....
Now for the recipe........
One of my fav dishes when we would go out to eat in the US was Beef Manhattans. You can also have turkey or chicken too. But my fav was always beef.... Well since moving here to Britain you can't find this dish so I have learnt to make it myself. And I have converted my hubby to enjoying it too.
First off you need to make the mash which we did above. Oh and you will need some bread....But that comes after the sauce.... My sauce will vary to the mood and ingredients that I happen to have on hand. But it tastes yummy which ever variety I choose. This is comfort food and not good for the waistline.
Anyway start the sauce off by frying a bit of onion and mushrooms until slightly golden. (you can add garlic if you like or herbs such as rosemary or thyme)
Now you remember we used a slotted spoon for the potatoes. Our potatoe water was left over and not thrown down the sink.... Once the onions and mushrooms are ready then I add in some sherry or brandy and you can flame if you like for a bit of drama. Or you can use red wine. Either is fine or if you are a teetotaller just skip it. Next I use the potato water and some beef stock made from hot water and a stock cube. If you have homemade beef stock even better.
And now to thicken.... I used to use beef gravy mix in the US, and here it is bisto which is a gravy mix. You can use cornstarch or flour as the thickening agent. The flour method takes a bit longer to do. (There is a trick to that though, take a jar with a lid and put your flour, salt and pepper in and add your beef stock to the jar leaving about 1 inch. Put on lid and shake like mad. Then you can strain this mixture into your sauce and it should thicken when you boil it.)
Next add some sliced beef from the deli or if you happen to have cold roast beef leftover from Sunday's roast all the better.
Put slices into the gravy ...
and gently simmer till heated through.
Now for the bread part of this dish....
You can use any bread you like and in the US it is usually on the white stuff.... just traditional I guess. But here I am using Brians homemade bread.(this is the only thing Brian cooks other than rolls and it is only since getting the bread machine that he has started baking.)
And this is gadget number 2. A bread slice and keeper. I use a serrated knife and slice between the posts.
Once it is sliced then you can store the leftover bread in the little clear box. Homemade bread doesn't keep long so being clear you can tell when it is time to ditch the old loaf and make a fresh one.
Take your slices and make triangles and place on the plate like so.
Now take your mash and put in the middle of the bread and make a well in the centre of the mash.
Take the slices of beef from the sauce and lay over one layer of triangles.
Top with the other layer of bread....
And then cover the bread and the mash with the remaining gravy!
And there you have it, Beef Manhattans!!!
Serve with some healthy veg so you don't feel over guilty and enjoy.
And this is a clean plate from a man that said he had no appetite because he wasn't feeling well....
Like I said it is comfort food!!!!