Thursday, 24 May 2012

Mum's Kitchen

When I first moved out of home, I did it with a heavy heart. I knew that I'd miss home before I even left. I'd miss having things paid for me, I'd miss having someone always there when I walked in, I'd miss having someone clean for me, my washing done, but most of all I'd miss  my mum's cooking.

Mum's kitchen is small, but organised. It has benches that are a bit scratched and worn, but she has great chopping boards. She complains about her hotplates never being at the right temperature, but manages to serve perfectly cooked food. She hates her small fridge (dad picked it out without consulting her years ago and she's never let him forget it), but there is always enough food to go around and still be lunch for the next day. But the best part of Mum's kitchen is the pass-over-window-thingy. I will get a picture to illustrate what I mean next time I'm there, but for now, the diagram will have to do. 

I stood outside the kitchen, and just chatted to Mum while she cooked. I didn't realise it, but doing that, I observed a lot of what and how she she cooks. Every Friday, we go over to Mum and Dad's house and she will be in the kitchen, and I'll be at the pass-over thingy.

Doing up the monthly meal planner made me realise how much I really value the techniques and meals that Mum has passed down to me. Two dinner meals are passed down from Chris's Mum. She makes a great Chicken and Veggie Soup, and taught me how to make my own stock.  But a huge twenty-two meals on the list are basically exactly what Mum cooks. It's the food I grew up loving. It's going to be the food our kids grow up loving.

So, in that spirit, I'm going to share a recipe that my Mum makes. It's what we're having for dinner tonight.

French Parcel Steaks 

2-4 Steaks (I have no idea about cuts of meat, but... nice ones)
1 pkt salt reduced French onion soup mix (the dry stuff) 

3 Tablespoons tomato sauce 
2 Tablespoons of whole grain mustard 

Pre-heat your oven to 180degrees Celsius 
1. You will one sheet of aluminium foil per steak, big enough to put your steak on and wrap it in a bag/parcel.
2. Spread butter in the centre of the sheet where you're going to place your steak.
3. Put steak on butter. Season with pepper only. 

4. In a bowl, mix soup mix, tomato sauce and mustard and stir to make a thick paste. 
5. Spread over the steaks. 

6. Wrap steaks in the foil. Take the longer sides up and over the steak. fold the sides down a few times. Bring the shorter side into the fold and squeeze the corners together. 

7. Place bags onto a tray and put into the oven for about 40 mins. Generally this is the perfect time for it to cook to medium well. If you like your steak rare, this recipe probably isn't for you. However, the steak is tender and juicy. Similar to the texture of braised steak. 

This steak is perfect accompanied with potato and greens. Be careful when you open the parcel not to lose your sauce!!!