Braised Beef

This is an old Yorkshire recipe in which the beef is cooked slightly differently to a gulasz (goulash).  It is cooked with the minimum amount of liquid and the meat is sort of semi-steamed.


  • 500g braising steak – try and buy in big pieces – not cubed.
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 100g of mushrooms
  • 3 carrots
  • ¼ of a celeriac
  • 1 parsnip
  • 4 cloves
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • 150 ml of dry Vermouth or Sherry
  • Salt and pepper
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • Oil for frying


  • You need a large oven proof dish with a lid.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM3 – 325°C.
  • Remove the skin from the onion but keep it whole.
  • Stick the cloves into the onion and place it in the dish.
  • Chop the mushrooms into quarters and add to the dish.
  • Peel and chop the carrots, celeriac and parsnip and add to the dish.
  • Peel and chop the garlic and add to the dish.
  • Add the bay leaves to the dish.
  • Pour the vermouth or sherry over the vegetables.
  • Cut the steak into strips.
  • Mix the flour with lots of freshly grated nutmeg, salt and ground pepper.
  • Roll the beef strips in the flour mixture.
  • Fry the beef strips on all sides and put them on top of the vegetables.
  • Put on the lid and place in the oven for around 2- 2 ½ hours.
  • Check on the progress, you may find you need to add some more vermouth or sherry.

Pork & Prunes

This recipe is in an old Polish style  –  po staropolsku  with its use of prunes and caraway seeds.

I  prefer to use prunes with the stones in and  I usually buy then from a Nut & Dried Fruit stall in Leeds Kirkgate Market. However in January 2017 there were no prunes with stones on the market. The lady on the stall said this was because of a very poor harvest – so I  used stoned prunes to try out this recipe for the photographs for this post.

This recipe uses a method of cooking which is called duszone – that translates from Polish as suffocated but also when used in cooking as braised  however I think suffocated is much more evocative.

You will need a roasting tin with a lid.

A joint of pork  is first sealed by browning it on all sides and then it is placed in a roasting dish with a little liquid and then a lid is placed over the contents and the dish is cooked in an oven.  Meat cooked this way is very succulent.


800g boneless pork loin joint

Note  You can always scale up this recipe for a larger piece of pork.

100g prunes

2 onions – finely chopped

1 tablespoon of plain flour

2 tablespoons of butter

1 tablespoon of olive oil

salt & ground black pepper

1 teaspoon caraway seeds


At least an hour before you want to cook the pork, put the prunes in a small bowl and pour boiling water over the prunes to cover them.

Leave them to plump up and then remove the stones from the prunes. (I left mine for 4 hours).

Retain the liquid from the soaking as this will be needed.

Pre heat the oven to Gas Mark 3 – 1600C

Coat the joint with the flour, salt and pepper.

In a frying pan, melt the butter, add the oil and on a high heat, brown all the sides of the joint.

Put the meat and the frying juices into the roasting tin.

Put the prunes and onions around the pork and add the liquid from the soaking of the prunes, put on the lid and place the dish into the oven.

About 1 ¼ hours should be enough for this weight.









Take out the pork and place it on a warm serving dish, cover with foil,  and leave in a warm place whilst you finish the prunes.

Stir the caraway seeds into the onion and prune mixture and heat this up on the top of the stove to thicken for 2 to 3 minutes.


Cut the pork into thick slices and place them on a platter or serving dish and put the prune & onion mixture around them.

Serve with boiled potatoes.



Here served on a bone china platter, Josephine Yellow

by Wedgwood, 1941 – 1964