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How to cook a steak?

Heat the pan or barbecue until really hot. Make sure the steak is at room temperature.
Drizzle a little olive oil over the steak. Season with salt and black pepper just before placing it on the hot pan or barbecue.

Cook for 2 minutes, then turn the steak to sear the other side. Leave to cook for two minutes before turning again.

Continue to cook, allowing a total of 3-6 minutes on each side depending on how thick the steak is and how you like it cooked.

Best cuts to choose:
Sirloin, Striploin, Ribeye, Fillet – check with the butcher that the beef is well aged to ensure tenderness.

Grilled Steak with Vegetables & Balsamic Dressing
The ideal combination- great taste, easy to prepare and low in fat

Recipe

2 quality steaks, sirloin, striploin or fillet (must be well aged to ensure tenderness)
75-100g green vegetables e.g. green beans, mange-tout, asparagus
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
1 small red onion, peeled and sliced
1-2 tablesp. olive oil
Salt and lots of black pepper
1 tablesp. Balsamic or wine vinegar

Serves 2

Method

Heat the grill/pan to maximum, a cast iron ridged pan gives excellent results. Place the steaks in a shallow dish. Place theprepared vegetables in a bowl.

Mix together the oil, salt, black pepper and balsamic vinegar.

Pour half the mixture over the steaks and the remainder over the vegetables, mix well.

Place the steaks on the grill/pan and cook for 2 minutes, then turn to sear the other side. Leave to cook for two minutes before turning again. Continue to cook, allowing a total of 3-6 minutes on each side, depending on how thick the steak is and how you like it cooked. Remove to a plate and keep warm while you cook the vegetables. Place the vegetables on the hot pan and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Serve with jacket boiled potatoes

Striploin Steaks with Roasted Baby Tomatoes and Vegetable Puree

If you are looking for an impressive dish packed full of flavor, then this is it! The purée can be made well in advance. Use whatever green vegetables are in season; or frozen broad beans or peas, which are readily available also work well.

Recipe

4 x 150g strip-loin steaks, at least 2.5cm thick
12 cherry tomatoes on the vine
2 tablesp. extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
550g prepared green vegetables, such as medium asparagus, green

beans, and fresh or frozen broad beans and peas

2 tablesp. each chopped fresh mint and chives
250g ricotta cheese
Knob of butter
Steamed new potatoes

Serves 4

Method

Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4, 180ºC (350ºF). Cut the cherry tomatoes into four portions of three and place in a small roasting tin. Drizzle over a little olive oil and season to taste. Roast for 12-15 minutes until they are lightly charred.

To make the purée, bring a large pan of salted boiling water to the boil. Add the vegetables (if using frozen, add about 2 minutes before the end of the cooking time) and boil for 4-5 minutes until tender, then drain and cool under cold water. Remove the skins from the broad beans. Take out the asparagus and cut off the tips. Set them aside with about a quarter of the other vegetables.

Tip the remaining ingredients into a food processor with the herbs, ricotta and a tablespoon of olive oil. Season generously, then blend to a rough purée and tip into a heavy-based pan. Fold in the reserved vegetables and set aside.

Heat a little oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over a high heat. Add the steaks and cook for 2 minutes on each side, then reduce the heat, add a knob of butter and cook for another 2-4 minutes, turning once, depending on how rare you like your meat. Transfer to a plate, set aside in a warm place to rest.

Whilst the steaks are resting, gently heat the purée. To serve, divide the purée among warmed plates and arrange the steaks on top. Finish with a pile of roasted tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and some steamed new potatoes.

Steak Kebabs with Ketchup Dressing

Delicious, tangy, easy to prepare

Recipe

450g sirloin steak, diced
4 shallots, cut into quarters
2 courgettes, chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
Salt, black pepper, oil, balsamic or wine vinegar

Dressing

3 tablesp. oil
1 tablesp. wine vinegar
3 tablesp. tomato ketchup
2 tablesp. worcestershire sauce
Few drops tabasco
4 shallots, finely chopped
Handful tarragon, chopped
Salt & black pepper

Method

Thread the meat onto 8 skewers with the shallots, courgettes and red peppers. Season with salt, black pepper, oil and balsamic vinegar.

Mix the dressing ingredients together.

Cook the kebabs on the barbecue or grill for 3-6 minutes on each side. Serve with the dressing and new potatoes.

Steak Sandwiches with Chilli Butter

This is a great idea for your next informal gathering – ideal for watching the game

Recipe

4 x 100g sirloin steaks
2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into thick slices
2 red onions, peeled and cut into thick slices
Salt and lots of black pepper
1 tablesp. Balsamic or wine vinegar
1-2 tablesp. oil
Mixed leaves
Lemon juice
French stick or ciabatta

Chilli Butter

50g butter, softened
1 chilli, chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Parsley, chopped

Serves 4

Method

Combine the Chilli Butter ingredients and store in fridge until ready to serve. Season the steaks, red peppers and onions with salt, black pepper, balsamic vinegar & oil.

Place the vegetables on the hot barbecue or grill, then add the steaks. Cook the steaks for 2 minutes on each side, then reduce the heat and cook for another 2-4 minutes, depending on how you like your steak cooked. Remove from the barbecue or grill and keep warm. Do this in two lots if the barbecue or grill is over-crowded.

Mix the leaves with a little oil, lemon juice and seasoning.

Cut the bread lengthways, fill with the leaves, grilled vegetables, steak and top with butter.

Beef Wellington
A very special way to serve fillet of beef and always a favorite!

Recipe

1kg fillet of beef, well trimmed
1 tablesp. olive oil
75g butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
350g mushrooms, finelychopped
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
A pinch nutmeg
500g store-bought puff pastry, defrosted if frozen
1 egg, beaten

Serves 6

Method

Heat the oil and 50g of the butter in a small pan, add the onion and shallots and cook until transparent. Add the mushrooms, seasoning and nutmeg. Stir over a moderate heat until all moisture from the mushrooms has evaporated. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan. Season the beef then brown it on all sides. This should take about five minutes. Allow to cool while you roll the pastry into an oblong shape, large enough to wrap around the beef. Spread the cold mushroom mixture over the pastry, leaving a 2cm border all around. Moisten the edges with beaten egg. Place the cooled meat in the centre and wrap the pastry around it. Seal the edges and place on a baking tray, with the seal underneath. Use the pasty trimmings to make leaves for decoration, brush with a little egg and place on top of the parcel. Brush the parcel with the rest of the beaten egg.

Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes to allow the pastry to rest before baking. Then place in a preheated oven, Gas Mark 8, 230°C (440°F). After 10 minutes turn the temperature down to Gas Mark 6, 200°C (400°F) for a further 25 minutes. The beef will be medium rare at this stage. Cook for five minutes less is you like it rare.

Serving Suggestions
Serve with roast potatoes and vegetables which you can cook in the oven at the same time as the beef.
See Veg Page.

Pot Roast Meatloaf
The idea for this dish comes from Greece, where oven-roasted beans are served with a roast or good quality sausages. If you don’t fancy the idea of the beans omit them completely and stir the sauce into some pasta or just serve with some jacket potatoes.

Recipe

675g lean minced beef
4 tablesp. olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 celery sticks, peeled and finely chopped
1 teasp. each ground cumin and coriander
1 large egg
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 teasp. chopped fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablesp. chopped fresh sage
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
5 rindless streaky bacon rashers
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Steamed broccoli, to serve

Cooking time
1 hour 10 minutes

Serves 6

Method

Preheat the oven to Gas mark 8, 230ºF (450ºF). Heat half the oil in a frying pan and sauté two-thirds of the onions and celery for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the cumin and coriander and cook for another minute, stirring.

Tip the onion mixture into a bowl and add the minced beef, egg, breadcrumbs and thyme. Using your hands, mix well to combine and then mould into a rugby ball shape. Place in a small ovenproof dish and put in the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to Gas Mark 6, 200ºC (400ºF), and roast for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the rest of the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the remaining onions and celery with garlic, sage and chilli for about 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Season generously. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened. Fold in the cannellini beans.

Remove the meatloaf from the oven and drain off the excess fat, then spoon around the tomato sauce. Lay the slices of bacon over the top of the meatloaf and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes until the bacon is golden brown and the cannellini beans are bubbling.

Serving Suggestions
Serve straight to the table with a bowl of steamed broccoli and allow everyone to help themselves.

Braised Beef in Irish Stout
The best recipe available using beef and stout.

Recipe

1kg shoulder beef, cut into thin slices
1 onion, chopped
2 leeks, 2 carrots, 2 celery sticks, chopped
2 cloves garlic
250ml well reduced beef stock
125ml stout
Salt and black pepper
50g butter
75g streaky bacon, diced
100g wild mushrooms, if available, sliced
50g small onions, peeled
25g flour

Serves 4-6

Method

Heat the oil in a large pan, brown the meat well. Remove to a pot. Next sauté half an onion, leeks, carrots and celery. Add to the meat plus the garlic. Pour in the stock and stout, season. Simmer gently for approx. 1 ½ hours. Remove the meat from the pot. Strain the liquid. Discard the vegetables.

Place the meat back in a clean pot, plus the liquid. Sauté the bacon, mushrooms and remaining onion in 25g of butter. Add to the pot. Reheat the lot. Blend the flour with remaining butter. Stir it into the sauce, stirring well. Taste for seasoning.

Food for the Gods!

Serving Suggestions
Serve in a deep dish with buttery mash.

Fillet of Beef with Potato Cake & Herby Butter
Great beef and potatoes are old favorites on the Irish table

Recipe

4 fillet steaks
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil
125 ml home-made beef stock
Dash of whiskey
Knob of butter

Potato Cake

½ kg potatoes, peeled and chopped
2-3 tablesp. mixture of milk and cream (½ & ½ )
Knob of butter
2 tablesp. scallions (spring onions), chopped
Salt and black pepper

Herby Butter

50g (2 oz) softened butter, mixed with chopped scallions, chives, parsley, crushed garlic and lemon juice

Serves 4

Method

Potato Cakes: Place the potatoes in a large pot. Cover with water. Season, bring to the boil, then simmer until potatoes are cooked. Drain well, then mash really well with the milk, cream and butter. Whip in the scallions, season well. Divide the mixture into four and shape into four potato cakes. Dust each one with a little flour and fry in hot butter until golden brown on each side – keep warm.

Season the steaks with salt, black pepper and olive oil. Heat the pan and cook the steaks to your liking. Remove from the pan and keep warm. To the juices in the pan, add some beef stock, dash of whiskey, knob of butter and season to taste.

To Serve

Place the warm potato cake on the plate with the steak on top. Spoon on herby butter and drizzle the sauce around the plate.

Beef and Stout Casserole with Herby Dumplings

Recipe

4 tablesp. sunflower oil
500g shallots or button onions, peeled
1 large onion, sliced
4 carrots, cut into 2½cm pieces
1 tablesp. sugar
65g plain flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1½kg chuck or braising steak, cut into 6-7cm chunks
75g butter
1 liter stout
300ml beef stock
The leaves from 3 large sprigs thyme
4 fresh bay leaves
4 tablesp. Worcestershire sauce
250g chestnut mushrooms, wiped clean and left whole
250g field mushrooms, wiped clean and thickly sliced

dumplings (serves 6)

100g self-raising flour
A large pinch baking powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g shredded beef suet
The leaves from 2 sprigs thyme
Approx. 100ml cold water

Serves 12 (freeze half)

Method

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, flameproof casserole. Add the shallots or small onions and fry until they are nicely browned all over. Set aside on a plate. Add the onion, carrots and sugar and fry until nicely browned. Set aside with the shallots.

Put the flour into a large bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Add the beef and toss together well. Heat another 2 tablespoons of oil in the casserole and fry the beef in batches until nicely browned on all sides. Set each batch aside with the vegetables as it browns.

Add 25g of the butter to the casserole and stir in the remaining seasoned flour from the bowl. Gradually stir in the stout, rubbing the base of the pan to release all the caramelised juices. Stir in the stock, followed by the beef and vegetables, thyme leaves, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce and
seasoning. Bring to the boil, part-cover and leave to simmer very slowly on the top of the stove for 1½ hours.

Melt the remaining butter in a large frying pan, add the mushrooms and fry briskly for 2 minutes. Stir them into the casserole, part-cover, and simmer for another 1 hour until the beef is tender.

Herby dumplings

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and a little pepper into a bowl and stir in the suet and thyme leaves. Stir in enough cold water to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Using a spoon, divide the dough roughly into 6 pieces and drop onto the top of the simmering stew 25 minutes before the end of cooking. Recover and leave to cook until fluffed up and cooked through. A fine skewer, pushed into centre of a dumpling, should come out clean.

Beef Burgers with Sweet & Sour Aubergine
Makes a very special burger for any occasion

Recipe

450g lean minced beef
1 onion, finely chopped, sautéed in a little oil
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablesp. basil, chopped
Salt & black pepper

Sweet & Sour Aubergine

2 tablespoons oil
2-3 shallots/1 onion, chopped
1 aubergine, diced
1 red pepper, deseeded, diced
1 tablesp. soy sauce
1 tablesp. balsamic vinegar
1 tablesp. lemon juice
125ml tomato juice
1 teasp. sugar
Handful basil, chopped

Serves 4

Method

Combine burger ingredients and shape into 4 burgers. Barbecue or grill until fully cooked – 8-10 mins.

Meanwhile make up the Aubergine Sauce – heat the oil, sauté the shallots, aubergine and pepper until just soft. Add the soy, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, tomato juice, sugar and basil. Simmer for 4-5 mins. Taste for seasoning.

Serving Suggestions
Serve with the burgers with rice or baked potatoes.

Thai Red Curry with Beef
If you like Thai green chicken curry, then you are going to like this dish. Make it as hot or as mild as you wish by adjusting the quantity of curry paste.

Recipe

750g stewing beef – rib or chuck preferably, cut into 1cm cubes
1 bunch fresh coriander
2 tablesp. Thai red curry paste
2cm piece root ginger, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled
400g can cocunut milk
300ml beef or chicken stock
1 tablesp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablesp. Thai fish sauce
4 spring onions, finely chopped

Preparation time
2 hours

Serves 4

Method

Reserve some coriander sprigs for garnish and roughly chop the remaining stalks and place in a mini-blender. Add the thai red curry paste, ginger and garlic with four tablespoons of cocunut milk. Blend to a smooth paste

Place the beef in a non-metallic bowl and stir in two tablespoons of the curry paste mixture; cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, if possible, or up to 24 hourse is great. Place the rest of the curry paste mixture in a small bowl and cover with clingfilm, then chill until needed.

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 2, 150°C (300°F). Heat a wok until smoking hot. Add the curry paste and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Tip in the beef and fry for another 8-10 minutes until well sealed and golden brown. Pour in the rest of the cocunut milk with the stock. Bring to a gentle boil, then transfer to a casserole dish with a lid.

Place in the oven and bake for 1-1½ hours until the beef is meltingly tender but still holding its shape. Stir in the lime juice and the fish sauce. Ladle into deep bowls with a sprinkling of spring onions and coriander sprigs.

Serving Suggestions
Serve with separate bowls of the Thai fragrant rice and green salad.

How to Pot Roast/Braise

Cuts to Use: top rib/housekeepers cut, silverside, eye of the round, brisket

Pot Roast/Braising is a slow, moist heat cooking method which makes a succulent, flavoursome meal from the less expensive beef cuts. Meat is usually braised in serving-size portions. Pot Roast involves the whole joint. First seal well in hot oil for extra taste. Place in a deep casserole/braising dish. Add a selection of vegetabes, garlic, herbs and liquid – stock, water, wine or stout. Cover and cook slowly.

Traditional Beef Pot Roast

Ingredients

1 tablesp. oil
2 kg joint of beef
4 small whole onions or shallots, peeled
Selection of chopped vegetables
2 heads of garlic
Bunch of fresh herbs
250 ml liquid i.e. stock, water, wine, stout>
Salt and pepper

Serves 6-8

Method

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 2, 150°C (300°F). Heat the oil in a heavy casserole dish and brown the meat on all sides. Add the vegetables, garlic, herbs and liquid. Season and cover. Place in the oven and cook for 21/2 – 3 hours or until tender.

Serving Suggestions
Slice the meat and serve with the vegetables and cooking juices. Very good served with champ

Beef Pot Roast
This makes the ideal leisurely week-end dinner. Great flavor and tenderness. Slow cooking but very little work time for the cook!

Ingredients

2 kg eye of the round or silverside beef joint
Salt and black pepper
2-3 tablesp. oil
2 onions, chopped
Glass of wine
Can of tomatoes, chopped
250ml water
A few bay leaves and sprigs of thyme
Selection of chopped vegetables i.e carrots, leeks, shallots, broad beans

Serves 6-8

Method

Set oven to Gas Mark 2, 150ºC (300ºF)

Season the beef well, heat half the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish, brown the meat really well – to a deep brown crust on all sides. This ensures that the natural sugars have caramelised for that extra flavour. Remove the joint from the casserole and set aside. Add the remaining oil and sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, tomatoes, water and herbs. Bring to the boil and season. Return the meat to the casserole dish, cover and place in the oven. Cook for 2 hours.

Remove the meat from the casserole dish, set aside. Strain the cooking juice, then return the strained liquid and meat to the casserole dish. Sauté the chopped vegetables, season well and add to the casserole dish. Return to the oven to complete the cooking for another ¾ hour approx, until the meat and vegetables are tender.

Serving Suggestions
Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Carve the meat and serve with the vegetables, sauce and lots of creamy mashed potato.

How to Casserole

Cuts to Use: neck, chuck, shoulder, shin

Casseroling is suitable for the least tender cuts of beef. In this slow, moist cooking method, cubes of meat are cooked gently in liquid, on the stove top, or in the oven. Shoulder cuts are best for casseroling – they add more flavour and are preferable to round cuts which tend to dry out during cooking. Browning beef in oil for a casserole will seal in the meat juices, therefore improving the final flavor and color.

Mexican Beef Casserole

Ingredients

1 kg beef, trimmed & diced
1-2 tablesp. oil
1 large onion, diced
1 teasp. ground cumin
1 teasp. ground coriander
1/2 teasp. chilli powder
1-2 fresh chillies, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teasp. fresh ginger, grated
1 can tomatoes, chopped
125ml stock or water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and black pepper

Serves 4-6

Method

Set oven Gas Mark 4, 180°C (350°). In a large pan heat the oil and brown the beef. Then brown the onions. Transfer to a casserole. Add the spices to the pan and heat, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, tomatoes, stock, lemon juice and seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and onions. Place in the oven for 11/2 hours or until the meat is tender. This dish will taste even better 2-3 days later. Serve with rice, some soured cream and extra chopped chillies, if you like it hot! The Red Pepper Salsa is also good with this dish.

Beef Tagine
This is a simplified version of a traditional Moroccan tagine. Tastes great with either beef or lamb.

Ingredients

1 kg well trimmed shoulder/chuck beef or shoulder of lamb, cubed
1 tablesp. ground ginger
1 teasp. ground black pepper
1 teasp. ground cinnamon
1 tablesp. turmeric
1½ tablesp. paprika
½ teasp. chilli powder
1-2 tablesp. olive oil
2 large onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
100g dried apricots, chopped
50g sultanas or raisins
250ml tomato juice
125ml beef or lamb stock
1 tablsp. honey
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt to taste

Topping: (optional)
Mix together:

1-2 tablesp. fresh coriander, chopped
Grated rind of 1 lemon
50g almonds, chopped
Salt and black pepper

Serves 4

Method

Set oven Gas Mark 4, 180ºC (350ºF).

Place the meat in a large bowl.

Mix the spices together and coat the meat with the spices.

Heat half the oil in a large pan and brown the onions well and place in a flameproof casserole, then brown the meat in the remaining hot oil (do this in batches to get the meat a good colour).

Transfer to the casserole with the onions.

Add all remaining ingredients. Stir well, bring to the boil.

Place in the oven for approx. 1½ hours or until the meat is very tender.

Serving Suggestions
Sprinkle on the topping and serve with rice or cous cous.

Indonesian Beef

Different from the usual curry, well worth trying. Best made a day ahead, good for large numbers.

Ingredients

1kg (2 lbs) chuck steak, trimmed and diced
3 cloves garlic
2 teasp. root ginger, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
A little oil
1 large onion, sliced
Juice of ½ lemon
2 teasp. turmeric
250ml (½) pt water
3 tablesp soy sauce and 1 tablesp. brown sugar
1 bay leaf
A little salt
50g (2 oz) creamed coconut, cut into small pieces
50g (2oz) unsalted peanuts, or cashew nuts, roughly chopped
2-3 tablesp.coriander chopped
Finely grated lemon rind

Cooking time
1.5 Hours

Preparation time
20 minutes

Serves 4-6

Method

Place the diced meat in a flameproof casserole. Put the garlic, ginger and chilli into a food processor and grind finely. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and brown well. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli mixture to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Add to the meat plus the lemon juice, turmeric, water, soy sauce, brown sugar, bay leaf and seasoning. Cover and cook over a gently heat until tender, approx. 1½ hours. Towards the end of cooking time, add the creamed coconut.

Serving Suggestions
Mix the nuts, corriander, and lemon rind together. Sprinkle over the casserole. Delicious served with basmati rice.

Corned Beef & Parsnip Mash with Mustard and Cider Sauce
This is a traditional favorite and much enjoyed on St. Patrick’s Day.

Ingredients

1½ kg silverside or brisket corned beef
1 carrot
2 celery sticks
2 leeks
1 teasp. peppercorns
250ml dry cider

Parsnip Mash

½ kg potatoes, peeled and chopped
½ kg parsnips, peeled and chopped
125ml mixture of milk and cream
Knob of butter
Salt and black pepper

Irish Mustard and Cider Sauce

50g butter
25g flour
1 tablesp. mustard
250ml mixture cooking liquid and dry cider
Dash of cream
2 tablesp. scallions (spring onions), chopped

Serves 6

Method

Place the joint in a large saucepan. Add the chopped vegetables, peppercorns and cider. Add enough water to cover the joint. Bring to the boil, then simmer for approx. 40 mins per ½ kg or until the meat is tender. Leave in the liquid until ready to serve.

While the meat is cooking, place the potatoes and parsnips in a large pot. Cover with water. Season, bring to the boil, then simmer until both parsnips and potatoes are cooked. Drain well, then mash really well with the milk, cream and butter. Whip in the scallions, season well. Keep warm.
To make the sauce

Melt the butter, stir in flour. Cook for a minute or two. Add mustard, whisk in the cooking liquid and cider. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the cream and scallions and taste for seasoning.

Serve the corned beef sliced with the parsnip mash, sauce and buttery cabbage.