Year Zero: Day 12 part 2. Dragging isn’t it?

In this unprecedented part 2 of the daily Year Zero series, much populated across the airwaves, rumoured to be Michael Gove’s favourite blog about the rural apocalypse, I have decided to give you a recipe for “Boeuf en Daube” or “Peasant’s Beef”. So called because the cook uses what ever they have in their larder. I have an issue with this as it doesn’t use the 5 year old vanilla pod I have in mine. And why  write a recipe if you just throw everything you have in, there’s an infinite amount of Peasant’s Beef out there, many without Beef. But enough of the digressions and down to business.


I’ve now been watching my weight drop for 5 days and have spent 5 days under 80kg, I only just started using Kg, so I’m pretty impressed with myself. I wasn’t losing weight using Stones and pounds, then a friend suggested trying metric and the timber is dropping off. My regime is to walk the dog, with Mrs T or just Benny the dog, or both. Then a 2 egg omelette, with 1/4 onion, a chilli, 3 cherry tomatoes cut into segments, season with the 3 condiments Salt, Pepper and Chilli Flakes, and enjoy with sriracha sauce. Miss lunch, avoid crisps and wine, until supper time, cook something the kids will hate, eat a bit and freeze the rest. I’ve been doing mid week roasts as well as the traditional Sunday roast for a couple of weeks, it’s driving the kids mad!

So today’s meal for Mrs T and my self is Peasant’s Beef (remember that) and carbonara for the kids, I used to moan about all the different meals i’d have to cook, now it seems I’ve plenty of time on my hands.

  • Get a hunk of beef, the recipe says rump, I took 1.5kg of topside as it’s what I had, remember this is a recipe you can use whatever the hell you want.
  • Marinade this in a bottle of white wine, A whole bottle! Season with salt and pepper, chilli flakes and some curry leaves (I didn’t have Bay leaves, thieves stole the bush outside my house. They didn’t really but they did steal Mum and Dad’s a few years back, cheeky fuckers) Leave it over night.
  • A day later, gently sauté 2 onions and a few cloves of garlic until softened and turning translucent, then add a couple of spoons of plain flower, mixing the onions, garlic and flour like a mentalist.
  • Whilst all this is going on, take the beef out of the marinade and put it onto a plate, then add the marinade bit by bit into the onions and garlic mixture stirring as you go, smoothing it out and thickening up the sauce. bring this to a slow simmer and add…
  • A tin of tomatoes, some olives, I added about 20 green, but you can add what you want, remember it’s peasants beef. Add a few spoonfuls of capers, not too many, not too few, the choice is yours. Then shave an orange, and dump in the zest.
  • I know its weird, but it works.
  • Then keep this mixture bubbling away, slowly, and dry the beef with kitchen roll, not toilet roll, as ours is coconut flavoured, and not too much as you may run out of toilet roll, strange times indeed.. Dust the beef with flour, then fry the fuck out of it, browning the outsides to seal the meat, then put it into the bubbling mixture, get the nice beefy meaty bits from the frying pan by putting some wine in and scraping it off into the pan.
  • Into the oven for 2 hours at 140’c or gas mark 1. Then relax for two hours, have a bath, smoke a fag, open a can of stella, do a jigsaw, pester your wife/husband.
  • After 2 hours, take a few carrots, some leeks and chop them, shave the carrots remember dirt kills, unless you cook it in which case it does no harm. Put these vegetables in the pot, stir and put back in the oven.
  • After an hour take the Boeuf en Daube out, and eat, carve the beef on a separate plate, pour over the sauce and eat until you feel sick and have to lie down, with potatoes or lentils.
  • Thats it, in the morning you will have added a few Kg and all the hard work concerning weight loss will be a distant memory.

There you go kids, enjoy.

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