(The second chapter of my previous post -"The Art of Growing Up...One Step at a Time" will probably be posted next week)
I’ve got a quite a few beefs, but I won’t bore you with them. I won’t be a beast of burden and off-load them onto you. I’m sure you have more than enough of your own to deal with than to listen to my tripe. When I have a bone to pick I try to iron things out privately, in private, by telling myself to just get on with things. I give myself a virtual slap on the cheek, telling myself to get over it; to stop wasting energy on things over which mostly I have absolutely no control. Sometimes I miss the mark, and I whack myself on the flank; and that hurts! There really is no point stewing over things. Doing so just makes matters worse; but, of course, like with many things, it’s easier said than done.
However, when we realise the only person we’re stressing out is one’s own true self, it’s time to wake up and smell the roses...not the manure.
When I discover I’ve by-passed the roses for the manure I chuck a wobbly, and then give myself a good roasting.
Once I’ve got all the beefs out of my system I don my favourite skirt and head out in the hope I’ll run into Sir Loin who has his lion share of fans, by the way.
Sir Loin lives above the Porter House, around the T-Bone bend on the top side of the road. I love to rib him by pulling his leg. Often I teasingly call him “Sweetbreads”. In retaliation he calls me “Sweet Cheeks”. It’s all in the name of fun; I’d stake my life on that.
Our ribbing beefs things up in what often is a dreary world.
He tells me – “I’ve got my eye on you, young lady!” (He generously uses “young”. I don’t have the heart to contradict him).
Laughingly, although sometimes tinged with a hint of ire, he gives me a tongue-lashing. However, within seconds, like kidney stones, the slightest sign of annoyance passes.
Sir Loin never wakes up with, as my Nana used to say when my Mum woke up in a grumpy mood – “Your mother woke up with S-O-L this morning!” (In other words - “blank” on the liver! You can fill in the blank)!
I wonder if anyone uses that descriptive term these days, or like many other things, has it gone out of fashion?
Although his hair is a little on the silver side these days, Sir Loin’s wit is still as sharp as a blade. “The world is your oyster” is one of his sayings.
He sometimes sternly states; “Knuckle down! Get your rump into gear!”
He and his brother “Short” Loin are similar in tastes as well as other things. They’re cut from the same beast, so to speak.
“Short” is a good sport. Whichever way you look at it both are tender Loins.
I enjoy tearing strips off them. I pretend to kick them in the shin, or dig them in the ribs. It matters not – they have spare ribs.
Rather than being a stiff neck and having a beef I prefer to have fun and a belly laugh.
If you give me the cold shoulder I’ll rack off.
Relax! I won’t get on a roll and list all my beefs; just a couple...
To round off - the other day I did have a beef as big as a grass-fed Santa Gertrudis. I had a problem with a service and was forced to talk with someone in the Philippines, Timbuktu or Uzbekistan who spoke quietly at a rapid rate of knots. Her accent was difficult to decipher, and, annoyingly, the line (on her end) also kept breaking up.
Grinding my teeth, I tried not to get hot under the collar. I failed...not miserably...I just failed and I was miserable. I did my best to disguise my mood. I needed the problem fixed so figured going with the approach....a little oil helps fix squeaky wheels (and it soothes cranky beasts, too, I think).
Secondly, I’ve a constant beef about those who’ve forgotten the two simple words in the English language (or in any other language, for that matter – I’m not here to split hairs or to be pedantic) – “Thank you”. So simple, and yet, so hard for some to say....
Thirdly...I’ve no beef with folk who don’t mince their words, unless they’re unnecessarily frank, thoughtlessly hurting the feelings of others. There’s no stock in doing so.
That’s enough beefs for one day....
Braised Beef Cheeks: Heat 2tbs olive oil in a heavy pan; sear 1.5kg trimmed beef cheeks in batches over med-heat on all sides, until a nice crust. Remove beef; add 2tbs olive oil, 200g thickly sliced speck, 2 trimmed, chopped leeks, 4 sliced carrots, 4 sliced celery stalks and 4 garlic cloves; toss well; cook 5mins. Add 500ml red wine; simmer 5mins; add 400ml chicken stock, 2tbs tomato paste, 4 anchovy fillets, 2 bay leaves, 4 thyme sprigs, 2 rosemary sprigs; season. Return beef cheeks; simmer 5mins. Tightly cover; cook in 150C oven 4-1/2hrs or until tender. To serve, pick out herbs; strain half cooking liquid in to pan; boil until glossy; serve cheeks with mashed potato, pasta or polenta; ladle reduced sauce over top.
Beef Olives: Heat 1tbs olive oil in pan; add 3tbs pine nuts and 1tbs cumin seeds; stir over med-heat until nuts are golden and seeds start to pop. Soak 1/4c currants in boiling water, 1min. Steam 1 bunch spinach until just wilted; drain; chop. Combine pine nuts, cumin, currants, spinach, 1/4c chopped coriander, grated rind of 1 lemon and 1c cooked couscous; season; then firmly press into sausage shape. Cut 1kg topside steak into 8 thin pieces; flatten with meat mallet. Place the stuffing in centre of beef pieces; fold beef over to enclose; tuck ends in; secure firmly with string. Heat 2tbs olive oil in large casserole; brown beef rolls on all sides; remove from casserole. Add 2 chopped onions; cook until golden. Add 500ml red wine, 2c beef stock and2tbs tomato paste; bring to boil; add beef; cover; cook at l170C, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Remove string. Serve beef olives with sauce poured over top, along with roasted kumara mash and fresh spinach and rocket tossed salad. ** This is a variation on one of the first recipes I cooked during my Home Science course taken when I was going to High School. I still have the original recipe written and illustrated in the original book I'd put together for school.
Beef Mince Wellington: Chop 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk and 1 med-potato into 1cm cubes. Put 2tbs olive oil in pan; add vegetables, sprinkling beef stock powder and mixed herbs. On med-heat, fry 9mins; add 2 minced garlic cloves. Cool; add 500g beef mince; season. Lightly beat 1 egg; add half to mince; mix together. Place mince along one long side of puff pastry sheet in sausage shape; brush edges with egg; roll pastry over mince; seal. Put on baking tray; brush with egg; bake 1hr in 175C oven.