Beef and mushroom casserole, poached rhubarb custard fool

This week’s recipes are two very quick and simple crowd pleasers and perfect at this time of year to warm up the family after a long day at work and school.

Beef and Mushroom Casserole is a firm favourite as a one pot wonder and Poached Rhubarb and Custard fool is the perfect comforting flavour combination to round off. 

As part of the Taste the Island initiative, we are holding demos at our cookery school and showing off how to cook the best of land and sea from the island of Ireland. We are always adding more cookery classes to our calendar as well, with something for budding and experienced chefs. For more information and to book your cookery class visit cookinbelfast.co.uk/classes–events.


Beef and mushroom casserole (Serves 2)

400g braising steak, diced

½ tbsp plain flour

1 tbsp mushroom paste

350ml beef stock

½ tbsp balsamic vinegar

75g mixed mushrooms, chopped

4 sprigs of thyme

200g cavolo nero



Pre–heat your oven to 190C. Fry off the steak in a heavy–bottomed casserole dish (which has a lid), on the hob on a medium heat, ensuring all sides are browned. 

Stir in the flour and porcini paste and cook for 30 seconds, then gradually add in the stock and vinegar. Bring the liquid to the boil, put the lid on and then move to the oven for two hours.

Then add in the mushrooms and thyme. Place the lid back on and return to the oven for 20 minutes. 

In a pot of boiling water cook the cavolo nero; drain once al dente. 

Remove the thyme from the pot and serve the casserole with the cavolo nero.


Poached rhubarb custard fool (Serves 4)

20g butter

100g caster sugar

200g rhubarb

For the custard:

235ml double cream

235ml milk

1 vanilla pod

½ tbsp cornflour

pinch turmeric

50g caster sugar

6 egg yolks

For the syrup:

50ml grenadine

50g caster sugar

¼ tsp vanilla seed paste

6 plain digestive biscuits, crumbled



Place the butter, sugar and rhubarb in a pan and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes until it becomes soft and forms into a compote. In a separate pan bring the cream and milk to the boil, with the vanilla pod. 

Place the egg yolks in a bowl with the cornflour, turmeric and sugar and whisk in the hot milk and cream. Place in a clean pan and cook gently until it thickens to a custard–like consistency. Add in half of the rhubarb compote and leave it to the side to cool.

For the syrup on top, place the grenadine, sugar and vanilla paste in a pan and bring to the boil. Once boiled remove from the heat and leave to cool. 

To serve, spoon the compote into a clean glass – I love to serve desserts, especially ones like this, in glasses as it means it can be pre–made and left in the fridge until needed. Add on a layer of the custard, leave to set and top off with one more layer of rhubarb. Top with syrup and the crumbled digestives when ready to serve.

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