Welcome to Muntons Moments, I am Richard Platt, and have recently joined the Muntons Family Business as part of the product development team. This essentially means, I “experiment” in the kitchen and bakery, coming up with wild and whacky ideas (and some serious ones!) of how Malt can be used in a host of different food and drink applications, that are used across the world! Malt is a fascinating, natural and versatile product. Would you like to know more?
Muntons make a wide variety of malt and malted ingredients which are used in the commercial food and drinks industries across the globe. Malt is made by growing barley just enough to allow the natural enzymes to be developed in the barley that can convert starch into sugar. Sounds complicated? Well it’s been made for thousands of years and is a really useful and versatile food ingredient. How often though have you thought of using malt in your cooking at home?
Malt is a bit of a hidden gem. Used more in the food industry, it is seldom found in the kitchen cupboards and pantry at home. My mission? I am going to try and convince you to fall in love with Malt, by introducing you to the delights and improvements it can bring to your home cooking. Let’s start with Malt Extract. Malt is a grain, normally grown from barley (although it can be made from wheat rye and other cereals). Malt extract is simply made by using heat and water, to get a lovely, glossy, sticky syrup. You can buy jars of malt extract from chemists or health food shops.
We are in the middle of winter and although it’s been a mild, if wet and windy one, so far, we are expecting it to get colder. So, what better time to cook up a delicious beef and root vegetable casserole with dumplings? Time is precious, so I have designed this dish to be as simple as possible. It is based on a pack of pre-prepared root vegetables available from most supermarkets (you could buy them fresh and prepare them yourself if you prefer). The key to the recipe is the good tablespoon of malt extract. This will really improve your dish. Not only will it make your carrots more “carroty,” onions more ‘oniony’ and so on but as malt extract is a natural flavour enhancer it will give your sauce a richer, smoother and well, an incredibly better taste. The recipe is below, I hope you enjoy it!
One 500g packet of pre-prepared root vegetables, 500g braising steak – cubed, 750ml water, two beef stock cubes, one tablespoon Muntons malt extract.
For the dumplings:
55g (2oz) Shredded beef or vegetable suet, 110g (4oz) self-raising flour, pinch of salt and water (around 50ml) to bind, 1 teaspoon Malt Extract
Heat a large non-stick frying pan and spray it with low fat cooking spray (olive oil may be used instead). Lightly coat the cubed braising steak in plain flour and fry gently, turning regularly, for five minutes. Transfer the braising steak to a casserole dish and add the root vegetables, water, crumbled stock cube and malt extract. Place the lid on the casserole dish and cook in the oven on a low heat (140 degrees C) for 2 hours, remove lid and cook for 1 hour.
Prepare the dumplings in a large bowl; add the flour, malt extract, suet and a pinch of salt and the water – work the mixture with your hands, bringing together to a firm ball. Break this into four equal portions and roll into ball shapes. Remove the casserole from the oven and stir. Add the dumplings pushing them just below the surface and return the casserole to the oven. Leave for 30 minutes until the dumplings are cooked and serve.