Jenny Hammerton at Silver Screen Suppers celebrates the launch of Vincent Price Ale and the BFI’s screening of the 1960s western The Jackals with a tasty classic from Vincent and Mary’s Price’s Come into the Kitchen Cookbook.
When I heard there was a Vincent Price Ale my first thought was: “what can I cook with it?!” I went directly to The Treasury of Great Recipes, and then Cooking Price-Wise, and then the Come Into the Kitchen Cookbook to see in which of his recipes Vincent used the best of all cooking ingredients – beer!
A conversation with Vic Pratt, Curator of Fiction at the BFI got me to thinking about The Jackals. Have you got your tickets yet? It’s a very rare chance indeed to see this film on the big screen here in London, and what’s more, Vincent’s daughter Victoria will be there presenting a talk about her father after the screening. Here’s a link to the box office – it’s on Tuesday 20th September at the BFI Southbank. I am super excited.
Vic and I had a brainstorm about what Vincent’s character in the film would eat. The film is set in South Africa and Vincent plays a gold prospector. To us Brits, a gold prospector who wears a hat like this:
is effectively a cowboy. So we thought Chilli? Beans? Sausages? I decided that a recipe from the Come Into the Kitchen Cookbook would be most appropriate as it’s a kind of look back into ye olden days of American cooking.
So there in the “Young Republic” section, I found a recipe for Beef Ragout. I think if Oupa Decker or his daughter Wilhemina made this, they would be more likely to call it beef stew. It’s a very solid, meaty, meaty, meaty dish which might not be to modern taste. I can definitely imagine it being scraped up from metal plates with metal spoons around a camp fire with great vigour though…
The Vincent Price Ale has only just been launched at FrightFest and I have a crate on order, so alas, I couldn’t use the “Black Cat” for this particular dish. But if I’d had some, I definitely would have. As soon as my delivery arrives I’ll be trying Vincent’s recipe for Carbonnade of Beef from Cooking Price-Wise. Oh yes!
Until then, here’s the Ragout recipe, with my suggestions for making it a little less “Wild West” and a little more foodie friendly.
Beef Ragout from the Come Into the Kitchen Cookbook
by Mary and Vincent Price
4 to 4.5 pounds rump of beef, cut in 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup flour
2 to 3 tablespoons salad oil
1 cup hot water
7 ounces beer (about 1 cup) [200ml]
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon each parsley flakes and rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon each savory, marjoram, and basil
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 strip lemon peel 3 inches by 1 inch
1 onion, peeled
8 to 10 whole cloves
2 tablespoons catsup [ketchup]
Coat the beef cubes in flour; brown in hot oil in a Dutch oven [casserole dish]. Pour in the water, beer, seasonings, carrots, celery, lemon and the onion studded with the cloves. Cover and cook gently 1 and 1/4 hours, stirring occasionally, or until the meat is tender. Remove the onion and stir in catsup. Correct the seasonings. You may add sliced mushrooms, artichoke bottoms boiled and quartered or hard-cooked [hard boiled] egg yolks.
Makes 6 servings.
I tried my best to take an appetising photo of the Ragout before I fiddled around with it, I think I failed.
Here’s how I pimped it.
I browned the flour coated beef in a frying pan, then put that and all the other ingredients except the ketchup into my slow cooker and left it to do its thing overnight. The beef was really lovely and tender, but the flavours weren’t very pronounced and there wasn’t much liquid. As I was hoping for more of a stew, when I got home from work, I popped in a tin of tomatoes, a bit of homemade spicy barbecue sauce and lashings of Worcestershire sauce and black pepper to joosh it up. Yum.
As there was just me, myself and I, there are now two big portions of this are in my freezer and I am planning to use one for Lasagna and one for Shepherd’s Pie.
I will report back on the Carbonnade of Beef soon!