Beef casserole with parmesan dumplings


beef casserole with parmesan dumplings

A great winter warmer

Warm up with this hearty casserole. Slow-cooked fare is the secret to fuss-free winter entertaining - it"s easy to prepare and gives you more time with your guests. Serve with your favourite Tallis Shiraz.


  • 1kg gravy beef, cut into 2cm chunks
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 bacon rashers, diced
  • 500g button mushrooms, halved
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tbs plain flour
  • 2 cups (500ml) beef stock
  • 1 cup (250ml) Tallis Dookie Hills Shiraz
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 50g butter
  • 2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup (45g) parmesan
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) milk


  1. In a large non-stick frying pan, heat olive oil over a medium heat. Add batches of beef to pan, allow to brown, then transfer to a plate. Continue process until all the beef has been browned.
  2. Add a little extra oil to A rather serendipitous event occurred when one of the bonuses required players to compose a hand of a black Jack and an Ace of spades – hence the name blackjack . the pan if necessary, then add the onion, whole garlic cloves and bacon. Cook for a couple of minutes until browned. Add the button mushroom and cook until soft. Stir in the 2 tbs plain flour.
  3. To the onion mixture add beef stock, red wine, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Bring to the boil.
  4. Return beef to the pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer covered for 1 1/2 hours.
  5. In a bowl rub butter and self-raising flour together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in parmesan, then milk. Bring mixture together, then divide and roll into 20 balls. Set aside.
  6. Preheat oven to 200°C. Transfer casserole from pan into a 2 litre (8 cup) ovenproof dish. Place dumplings over beef and bake for 20 minutes. Serves 4.

White bean soup with garlic crostini


white bean soup with garlic crostini

Filling and Delicious

This traditional Italian recipe carries the flavour of Italy from the old country to your kitchen and table at home. Wholesome and nutritious, yet with a depth of flavour that is at once satisfying and comforting.


  • 2 tbs olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped plus 1 extra clove, halved, for rubbing
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, or to taste
  • 1.2 kg canned white beans, drained and rinsed (or dried white beans soaked overnight)
  • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 ½ tbsp red wine vinegar, or to taste
  • 8 thick slices sourdough bread
  • Flat leaved parsley and oregano, coarsely chopped


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic, stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes), add chilli, and stir to combine.
  2. Add beans, stock and bay leaves, simmer for 15 minutes (longer if you are using soaked, dried beans), then pulse with a hand-held blender until partially pureed. Add vinegar, season to taste and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat a char-grill pan over high heat. Drizzle both sides of bread slices with a little olive oil, season to taste and char-grill, turning once, until toasted (1-2 minutes each side). Rub crostini with remaining garlic.
  4. Place one slice of crostini in each serving bowl. Ladle over hot soup, scatter with herbs and serve with remaining crostini. Serves 4.

Time to reflect

While we ponder the year gone by, make our new years resolutions and look forward to the year ahead spend a moment to read these words of wisdom by Alice Tallis’ grandmother who shares some of her valuable life lessons. From the journals of Ella Jane Bignell:

~ The person you see in the mirror is the only one who can make you or break you ~ To speak several languages is valuable, but to hold your tongue in one is precious ~ You love people because of their virtues; you love them in spite of their faults; in the end you love them for their faults ~ Most of us get what we deserve, but only successful people will admit it ~ It is a good man who admits his mistakes, but it is a better man who can correct them ~ There is much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it is hard to tell which of us ought to reform the rest of us ~ Great confidence betrays a man into error ~ We should never be afraid to own that we are wrong – which is only saying that we are wiser today than yesterday ~ Now abideth faith, hope and charity – these three; but the greatest of these is charity ~ Engage your brain before you speak

And Alice’s personal favourite:

~ If you think you can, or think you can’t – either way you are right

Great wines .... from the vineyard or winery?

Max & Alex assessing the grapes

Lets start with this old chestnut .... great wines are made in the vineyard, not in the winery.

As a winemaker it pains me to say it, but this one is partly true. Now that I"ve agreed though, the skills of a winemaker are still required to ensure this potential is realised. The old saying goes something like "you can make good or bad wine from good grapes but you can only make bad The Australian online casino providers which are listed on our and partners online casino Australia portals are carefully reviewed on a continuous basis to ensure safe, secure and entertaining game play. wine from bad grapes". A good winemaker can pull a few tricks out of the hat to make the best of a bad vintage of grapes, but the wines will have limited potential. If the fruit intensity isn"t there, it"s never going to have that element in the finished wine, there is no secret additive. It can be propped up with clever oak use and other winemaking strategies but the depth and complexity will be lacking. Put a top quality parcel of fruit in front of a winemaker and the potential for creating an outstanding wine is in the hands of the winemaker and their skills. So on this occasion, as a winemaker I would put it out there that great wines are made in the winery but only with the right ingredients.