May 14, 2009

Beef and capsicum casserole

Do you ever get the feeling your meals are getting boring, never anything new? I do. I go on fads where I eat the same ingredient 2-3 times a week and never get sick of it, then all of a sudden I couldn't possibly eat it again for months at a time. I was pouring over old cookbooks, notes I had written to myself regarding recipes and anything else that looked inspiring the other day. Wondering what we could have for dinner, and could I make that with our crazy sporting schedule along with everything else we cram in after school. I came across a recipe Nic use to make when we lived in Edinburgh years ago.
Just after we were married, Nic and I fled Australia to see the delights of Europe (as most 20 something Aussies do these days), find work in the UK and try to stay on that side of the world for as long as we could stretch a pound. We moved up to Edinburgh from London to save a few bob so we could travel-I think Italy and Ireland were on our agenda. 
Scotland is a beautiful place and we had a lot of fun exploring the city of Edinburgh, we also took on jobs that we would of otherwise never come into contact with- for example I worked on the railways cleaning trains for a  while and Nic (now Uni lecturer) was a store man and packer for a few months. It was a time when work wasn't easy to find and you had to grab what was thrown at you. I guess I remember it so well now because these are the times we are falling into as a country. Some of us are in jobs we would otherwise not know existed.
 Being that we were saving for the next cheap flight and working low paying jobs we were always trying to save. We would go and buy whatever veggies were cheap and see what we could produce, the same went for meat. When we did buy meat it was usually of the stewing variety! I found this recipe in one of my many travel journals and thought I'd pull it out, tweak it a bit and see how it went. To my surprise it was a very easy and really tasty. 
When I served it to the kids I didn't put the parsley on top, however I did throw in the lemon zest and that was well received. The other aspect of this was I could pop it in the oven and forget about it, I didn't even have a fight on my hands with the capsicums as they break down beautifully and all you have left is the flavour throughout the dish.
I am going to revisit this dish and play with it a little more seeing as the nights are cooler and my afternoons are busier and I never have to worry about getting tired of beef......we don't eat enough of it for it to get boring!

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