A recipe in the Guardian caught my eye recently and I made a note to myself to try making it in the New Year. Nigel Slater – who quite frankly is a culinary genius, came up with a dish ‘beef okra soup recipe for Stormzy’. Now beef is a meat I rarely eat if I’m honest. Large slabs of any meat – particularly steak – don’t really float my boat, but if the meat is slow cooked and falling off the bone, with spices, then that is exciting. The recipe ingredients sung to me: ginger, garlic, plum tomatoes, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick, okra, Scotch bonnet chillies. It sounded the perfect meal to make you feel alive and well in the cold bleak month of January. Don’t you agree?
It’s very straightforward but does take time, so if you have things to do in the house one morning then it is the perfect dish to cook. Nigel states that “the dish is even better if refrigerated overnight and reheated the following day”, so would be perfect for feeding a crowd as you can do all the preparations and cooking a day in advance. I’m too excited to dig in so shall be having it for my supper, I can hardly wait.
I’ve made a few changes to the recipe but you can find the original recipe here.
Nigel Slater’s Beef and Okra Soup for Stormzy
1.6kg beef short ribs (get your butcher to cut the ribs into short lengths)
3 large onions, roughly chopped
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
60g ginger, skin removed sliced and then cut again into thin batons
1.6kg plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthways
3 tbsp beef dripping/oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
12 black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 scotch bonnet, seeds removed (unless you want it super hot) and finely diced (wear gloves)
3 bay leaves
1 litre hot beef stock
350g okra, sliced lengthways
salt and pepper
- Heat your oven to 220 degrees centigrade/gas mark 9 and place the ribs in a casserole pan in the oven for 20 mins.
- After 20 mins remove from the oven and add the dripping or oil and then add the garlic and onions and return to the oven for 15 minutes, lowering it to 180 degrees/gas mark 4.
- Remove from the oven again and this time stir in the ginger, spices, chillies, bay leaves and half of the halved tomatoes (reserve the rest for later).
- Return to the oven for 40 minutes and then remove from the oven and pour in the hot stock, cover and return to the oven for an hour.
- After the hour place the casserole pot onto the hob and add the okra and remaining tomatoes. Season well with salt and pepper and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes, by which time the okra will have softened.
- Before serving cut the beef from the bones and place in a deep bowl and ladle in the broth and vegetables.