In this week’s Organic September blog, I have been chatting to Manfred; the head chef at Helen Browning’s Royal Oak. He has worked for the company for 3 years as he was previously the head chef at Helen Browning’s Chop House. Manfred has 32 years of experience under his belt, as he has been working as a chef since he was just 15. He now has many qualifications in the cooking industry, so with all his tips and tricks, you’re in for a real treat! 

“My food and my cooking are influenced by the great number of different cultures I have experienced; I grew up in Germany and have also spent many years travelling.  I fell in love with India and have been there 9 times including the closed state of Manipur … I even met my wife there!”

Not surprisingly India has had a big (and delicious) influence on his cooking.

“My favourite thing to cook is a spicy tandoori curry with homemade flatbread, it’s absolutely delicious, I love spicy food!”

Mm so tasty! Why not take some inspiration from Manfred and his love for Indian cuisine with his tasty beef curry? This beef curry is called North Eastern Beef Curry and is one of his favourites. This can be made using our good beef stir fry strips, made from our grass-fed and dairy-bred beef. Soil Association standards mean that cows must be fed a rich grass diet that is free of all GM ingredients. Learn more about our excellent new good beef range here.

Purchase our good beef stir fry strips here.

Manfred’s Dahl Makani Recipe (insanely tasty and as spicy as you’d like!)

Ingredients: 

  • 400 grams of Helen Browning’s organic diced beef or stir fry beef strips
  • 2 tbsp of cooking oil (mustard oil works best)
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp of garam masala 
  • 1 or 2 thin chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp of cumin 
  • As much coconut milk as required 

Method: 

  1. Use a large pan to heat up the oil (mustard oil tends to work best but other cooking oil will suffice). Once the oil is hot, add the beef and heat this until all the liquid from the beef has been removed. 
  2. Once you have done this, you must drain the liquid from the pan. But make sure you keep this liquid to one side, as you will need this for later. 
  3. The add more of the oil to the same pan and fry the beef until it is dry and fried.
  4. Add the turmeric powder, garam masala, and chilli to the pan and fry the meat for the spices to allow the flavour to mellow. 
  5. Now, add the chopped garlic, chopped ginger, and onions and carry on frying all the ingredients before adding the curry leaves and a bit of cumin. 
  6. You can then add the coconut milk if this is desired, a lot of coconut milk will help to balance out the chilli, so if you have added too much chilli then do not fear!
  7. You will then need to leave the curry to simmer slowly until the meat is tender before seasoning to taste. 
  8. The curry is then ready to serve (it is best with rice and flatbread). And enjoy!

In addition, Manfred also loves to cook steak, especially in the Royal Oak for all our lovely customers. If you wish to cook your own steak, then we have some tips and tricks for you! 

“I suggest that you fry your steak first until it is cooked as desired, then leave the steak to rest for 10 minutes on a warm plate in a 60 degree oven to allow the juices within the steak to rest so the meat is more tender, as there is a reduced rate of blood loss. This will make your steak insanely moist!”

Purchase our good beef sirloin steaks here. Alternatively, if you wish to sample Manfred and his teams amazing cooking, please see more details for the Helen Browning’s Royal Oak here

One of the best things about eating organic food is the amazing taste, it really is exceptional! In the wise words of Helen ‘if you give livestock freedom in every sense, they deliver great tasting Food’ and that really is true at Eastbrook Farm! One aspect of organic farming that really interests Manfred is the supply chain element, as he loves to organise brilliant high-quality ingredients. At the Royal Oak, the number of food miles is fantastically low. As a significant amount of our produce is from Eastbrook Farm (about a mile down the road!) or from other local farms. Reducing your food miles is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint in food production. So, go on, treat yourself and the planet and come and visit the Royal Oak!

Over the period of the covid-19 lockdown, the kitchen of the Royal Oak was still extremely busy. Rita and PJ (the chefs from the Royal Oak) worked tirelessly around the clock to make thousands of delicious organic meals for the Great Western Hospital in Swindon. This was greatly appreciated by all of hospital staff and we have even been shortlisted for the Great British Pub Awards for our front-line support. This is a brilliant achievement for all the chefs and philanthropists involved and an excellent level of recognition.