Food On The Road: Recipe No. 1 – Beef Gulash

So, we had this idea in Autumn last year that we’d each have a little corner of the website where we could let people into our thoughts and experiences a bit more. It was a nice idea I think. Unfortunately, the reality is, it’s March and this is my introduction to my corner. I promise to be a lot more regular and to reply as much as I can if anyone has any words for me.

Food on The Road: An Intro

Since I was a little boy I have been told how important it is to eat well. My parents live in a Barn down in Devon, and are pretty wholesome folk. They grow their own veg and locally source their meat. And that element of sustainability/self-sufficiency has always been a part of their dream. A dream that has rubbed off on me a bit, I guess. And since we started as a band, we’ve done everything we can to stay sustainable and self-sufficient whilst touring. The first couple of tours in Country’s little car, and accommodation was a daily challenge, either sleeping on friends floors or asking at gigs if anyone had a roof for us. And we loved it. We were touring like that last year. On the Snowball Tour, with Pete Roe, Peggy Sue, Alessi’s Ark and Sons of Noel & Adrian. But we did get ill. Exhausted from lack of a good nights sleep and malnourished from Service station food.

We’ve been on the road for about 2 years now and we’ve learnt a couple of things along the way. Sleep well, Eat well, Do good gigs. All 3 things are kind of dependent on each other. So on this tour, not for the first time, I’m cooking a meal for everyone each day. 15 boys including Mick the driver (who is a great lad). We’ve got some hobs, a rice cooker, and an oven. I set up a little station in the venue whilst they’re rigging the stage and get cooking, Glasgow was fajitas, Manchester was pasta with 3 different sauces, Wolverhampton steak and chips, Newcastle sausages and mash and tonight in Liverpool it’ll be a fish paella. I find it a healthy distraction in the day, and so far, touch wood, no-one has fallen ill on this tour.

Feel free to suggest local markets or good places to get fresh produce. We went to a great Butchers in Wolverhampton on Saturday who really hooked us up with some good steaks and gave us an earful about northern soul. Which was awesome. We’re on a tight budget, so nothing too fancy. And if you fancy helping out, either with the shopping or the cooking, let me know, I could really do with some help some days.

I’ll be posting up the occasional recipe of a dish that has been a success on the road. Please try it out and let me know if it works. This is actually the first recipe I’ve ever written so I don’t know how well I’ve explained myself…

Beef Gulash

1kg Beef
1 large Eggplant
1 bag of baby carrots
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 whole tomatoes
1 red onion
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
A glass of red wine
200g rice
1 tbsp Vegetable bouillion
Salt Pepper
25g of butter

Step One

Chop up the onions loosely. Most sharp edged things cut onions with enough force. When knives haven’t been around I’ve used my house key or even a bank card once! Same with the garlic, chop that stuff up. A little knob of butter in the cooker. As soon as it melts, throw in the onions and garlic. They’ll sizzle away a bit. Once they’ve gone a bit transparent chuck in the Beef

Step Two

Move the beef around so that it cooks evenly. Keep an eye on it but realistically it’ll be cooking away for about 10 mins which is the perfect amount of time to prepare everything else. Sprinkle the Veg Bouillion over the beef and hydrate with some of the wine, keeping everything moist

Step Three

Wash and chop the tomatoes into 8 segments. This is easy, just half half then half again. Take the skin off the Eggplant and chop into similar size chunks as the tomoatoes. Wash the carrots and half. Throw the tin tomatoes into the cooker until it’s simmering

Step Four

Throw the vegetables into the cooker and give it a good stir. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper along with whatever’s left of the wine. Stir. Then leave the lid off the cooker and let the moisture escape

Step Five

Wash the rice. This gets the starch out. Easiest to do this by using a mug if you don’t have a strainer. Fill a mug ¾ full with rice, then fill with water. Put your hand over the top and shake it over a sink. Turn it upside down, letting the white starchy water drain out without losing any rice. Once washed put it into the litttle pot ready to go inside the main pot. Repeat the process until all the rice is washed then cover the rice in the little pot with water. So it’s all submerged but not too much

Step Six

Let the rice simmer, until the water has evaporated. Should only take about 10-15 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and a bit of butter and mix together

Step Seven

Dish Up. Warm the Tortillas. Lay them down on a plate, spoon a portion of rice as a bed, then the Meat and Veg, then garnish with a green salad

Step Eight

Enjoy. Preferably with friends, family or lovers and always with laughter and good times

B. x

Leave a Reply

One comment

  1. charlyWP says:

    Hi there, I’m from Bavaria, Germany, and I love you liking Pretzels as these are also one of my favorites. One nice thing to go along with pretzels is what we call “Obazda” (cheese paste). Sounds strange, ain’t it? But nonetheless it tastes much better than it reads, haha. Here’s what you need for 4 persons (sorry for using “gramms”):
    – 200 gramms soft cheese Camembert
    – 30 gramms Butter
    – 1 onion
    – 2 soup spoons of sour creme
    – 1 tea spoon paprika powder sweet
    – 1/4 tea spoon paprika powder hot
    – 1/4 tea spoon salt
    – a bit of black pepper powder
    – a bit of caraway
    – a bit of lager beer (the rest goes later with the pretzels and the Obazda ;-)
    Take the cheese and the butter out of the fridge long enough so both become warm and soft. Then cut the onion in half but in a way that you can cut one half later into rings. The other half will be diced nicely into very small pieces. Get everything together (except the first half of the onion) and mix it thoroughly. Then put a bit of the beer into it to make it creamy (but not too much, otherwise you’ll lack the beer later). Taste it and make it more spicy, just how you like it. Then cut the first half of the onion into rings. Finally decorate the paste with the onion rings and, if you have it available, with parsley and chive. This is a very quick recipe (w/o the warming time), needs about 10 to 15 minutes (depends how quick you are cutting the onion). Enjoy it with pretzels and a good beer.
    Whenever you get to Bavaria go and visit one of our Beergardens or a typical bavarian restaurant. I bet you’ll like it.
    Cheers, Charly

  2. peefie.98.mas says:

    Ben.Oh Benji.If you ever need a shopper to help you,I am literally the worst person to go with. I havent a clue where anything is in a supermarket.HOWEVER, if I had known about you guys back when this was written,I mightve invited ye to come and have a shop in Superquinn. You dont have a clue what SQ is but it’s an Irish supermarket chain.Hear that, IRISH. We need you here in Ireland,preferably in the South(I.e.waterford/clonmel)and we need you quick sharpish. :)thanks for everything,Aoife x

  3. WhitneyKnowless says:

    … (cont) villages around Newark. Loads more great places, if you are ever around and need some help give me a shout!

  4. Anonymous says:

    If you ever come to somewhere around the East Midlands (nottinghamshire,derbyshire etc) then I would be happy to help Ben. My dad is a chef and the whole family are foodies! Bit crazy really, but anyway- we have lots of great local produce around us. Gonalston farm shop is a great one for Meat, Cheese, Veg and bread! Most of it is produced by them or locally. Another similar one is Welbeck, similar but a bit smaller, all produced on their estate. There are many historic cheese making villages around Newark. Loads more, need any help, give me a shout!

  5. Henson04 says:

    Extensive collection of recipes organized into appetizers, desserts and many more. You can choose various recipes here. Most of the dishes here at have recipe videos.

  6. OrkneyBarbs says:

    Hello! Are you still cooking these days, Ben? How about when you were here in Orkney? Or was the Highland Park all that you sampled of local goods ;) heehee!
    Barbs x

  7. SharonAndRandy says:

    Love this! We are a family of 6 and this is a nice, easy, and not an expensive meal.
    We love garlic! This is something hearty on a cold day! Thanks!

  8. deirdre.schwartz says:

    ben. you are just way too awesome. stir the beef around a bit…. next time you guys come to montreal you can use my kitchen/ingredients. no problems.

  9. says:

    this recipe was SUPER yummy! :D hahahaa, and I like the comment about using your house key and bank card for a knife. Clever. ;D Love you guys and can’t wait for your next album to come out! xx

  10. danspeed says:

    Looks like the USA is beginning to understand why we voted “Little Lion Man” the best song of 2009 in Australia.
    Hope the tour is awesome.
    Make sure you get into the diner culture lads. Breakfast and dessert – Americans they it good!
    Short film made in Tasmania.

  11. andiew says:

    Don’t really know if you lot actually read these comments n shit. But you really seriously need to know that you are in actual fact totally unutterably; genius’ !
    I can’t believe how much you have managed to merge musical excellence & poetic profoundness and still not be a household name (but I guess that just adds to your uniqueness & makes you so much more awe inspiring). You remind me a little of “the band” only so much more astute.
    I can only say two words you beautiful boys;

  12. jrs83 says:

    you guys rocked webster hall! please come back to nyc soon

  13. keenaross says:

    Saw you at Webster – ‘Primal’ is the word – that’s why you get everyone in the ‘gut’.
    Come back very soon – we need more of your ‘awesome’ interpretation of the human experience.

  14. julia.h says:

    you guys are unbelievable!! tonight at webster hall was undoubtedly the best concert i have ever been to. please, please, please come back to the us/new york/philadelphia again next year for another round, we’ll be there loving it!

  15. eszterlaura says:

    Wow Beef Gulash! I thing you don’t know, but it’s a traditional Hungarian food. If you come to Budapest you should try it. It’s delicious. You can eat it every restaurant, or you can cook it at home…it’s a cheap dish. So cook much tasty food and enjoy them! Have a nice day! :D

  16. Anonymous says:

    When you guys come to Washington, DC on May 20th you should check out one of our farmers markets. The White House Market, opened by Michelle Obama last year. It’s on Thursdays from 3-7pm. There is also a market in Penn Quarter near Gallery Place at the same time. And if you get here on Wednesday there are a couple that afternoon – one in Foggy Bottom from 3-7pm and one at the Health & Human Services building from 2:30-6:30pm. Check them all out at:

  17. jonquille says:

    If it helps, the next time you’re in New York you MUST try the Union Square green market. All the food is locally grown, and it’s open from 8 to 6 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Trader Joes and Whole Foods are nearby and both pretty great too, but crowded as hell. Good luck with the cooking and travel in the meantime Ben!

  18. Treloni says:

    PS: When you’re in Dallas, try Whole Foods. There’s one not far from the venue where you’re playing.

  19. Treloni says:

    If you’re cooking’s as good as your music…

    Whenever you’re in Texas, if you need a kitchen…

  20. TheBird says:

    My guitarist has hippy parents, they always feed the band amazing food. But if you ever come to bristol (and you should) then St Nicholas’s market is amazing, real proper food. Can’t wait until glasto, your harmonies rock.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Lovely! As far as eating easy to prepare sustaining meals, here in Portland is the best butchers ever! They are a small shop, The meat is from free range animals, killed humanely. The steaks are to die for, and the ground buffalo makes some great burgers. But, what is truly to die for is the corned roast. Maybe I am a bit biased, being Irish and all, But it is so filling! If you starving boys are ever in Portland, and in need of a good meal you have at least one person willing to stuff you all!

  22. MissHoney says:

    Come to think of it, for your concert in Brussels on April 27, if you want a break as resident chef: I’d be honored to cook for you guys! I haven’t cooked for 15 people very often, but I think I can manage it… Just let me know well in advance! ;)

  23. MissHoney says:

    First of all: respect for feeding 15 people! I just tried the recipe and it’s yummy! I love cooking, but goulash isn’t something I’ve made very often, so I wasn’t confident about the cooking time, but it turned out great, so thanks a million, looking forward to your next recipe! If you’re in Belgium, I’d love to help out with shopping (I know a good place for organic food) and cooking, just let me know. April 20th, we’re coming to Tourcoing, so we can help out there with the cooking as well! ;)

  24. Benannie says:

    So – completely of the subject of beef – what is the deal Mumford band? I finally haul myself to the UK from Melbourne and you leave to Canada the day I arrive. Saddest thing I ever heard….

  25. ellie85 says:

    Bristol’s got some great places to get local food – if only it were another time of year then you could have had freshly grown veggies from our garden…try the Gloucester Road for lots of veggie shops and a couple of really good butchers (along with some cracking cafes for a spot of afternoon tea and cake while you buy your ingredients!). If you need a helping hand then i’m a pretty nifty su-chef!

  26. ArifromAus says:

    Damn, I see Ms ‘elenaA’ may have beaten me to it, but if next time you’re in Melbourne you want a market tour, a look at some of the best clothes and music haunts and a spare pair of hands it would be a pleasure to play tour guide and show you the town from a local’s perspective! Please come back soon and do enjoy touring with the Middle East – gotta love that Aussie talent ;)

  27. Laura_J says:

    Well, having exhausted all friends, family and lovers, I’m always looking for new people to cook for. My door is always open for you guys, whenever you’re in London next…

  28. Jacqueline says:

    I adore you guys. I look forward to trying out this recipe while simultaneously dancing around my kitchen to your phenomenal tunes. If you’re ever in Little Rock… I gotchya hooked up- that’s a promise from the very center of my soul.

  29. Tennie says:

    well if you ever need help baking, you’ve got yourself a pastry chef very willing to lend a hand here in toronto! :)

  30. LaneyAnne says:

    My husband is a musician and I know how bad eating on the road can be. I think it’s great that you guys find time to cook and eat healthy. I’ll have to try this recipe…sounds really good. Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to see you guys in Dallas :)

  31. mattysmummy says:

    Hi boys. As a mum I whole-heartedly endorse this recipe… and the idea that if you’re healthy you have a chance at performing well… wish you were my kids (and it’s possible you know, my kid is only 5 but I was a late bloomer ;-) ) Come play in Aus again soon. I have loads of recipes for ya! ;-)

  32. andym says:

    What would ‘Helping out’ entail? I saw you in Glasgow, was awesome, only problem was my wife loves ‘After the Storm’ and you didn’t play it. I told her you didn’t do it just to tease her so I said I’d get a written apology from, you (ie a signature). I’d be willing to help you with the cooking in Edinburgh next week for the forestated apology!

  33. tiana says:

    Please come play in Australia again soon! :)

  34. ejburk89 says:

    I’ll buy the food you’ll need for either St. Louis or Kansas City… not the greatest of cooks but I know how it is to feed a boat ton of people on tour so I’ll help with what I can!

  35. aldavewebbs says:

    Sounds scrumptious Ben! I’m an English boy living in San Francisco, CA for a year and a half now and can’t wait to see you play at Slim’s – such a cool/intimate venue. Whilst you’re here and perhaps in need of some wholesome grub you should come to the Mission District (1-2miles south of where Slim’s is) to a farmers market called “Bi-Rite”, which’ll cater for your every culinary need! Hope you get some time to appreciate the wonderful city whilst your here too!?! See you in June :D Ax

  36. locuststreet says:

    wow! a lot more interesting then the bland goulash I grew up on–macaroni noodles, onion, beef, mushrooms and tomatoes. I enjoy cooking but have never had eggplant! I will give it a try sometime. If you can manage to make it on the road than I shouldn’t have a problem in a fully set up kitchen! thanks!

  37. Smithy1997 says:

    mmm…I Tried This And It Is Absolutely Lush! :) ♥

  38. lana says:

    Wow that’s going to make a lot of beef gulash.
    And surely it is not terribly hygienic to cut food with a bank card (that has been sitting at the bottom of your wallet and been touched by numerous hands).

  39. JLambertmusic says:

    When touring in the U.S. look for Trader Joe’s stores.. great organic foods, reasonable prices… and usually a very nice wine selection. There are three locations in Portland, OR. :)

  40. andyjean says:

    Ben, I always make this recipe with dumplings instead of rice – my mum’s classic! Try it out it’s great. Also when you’re in Brighton tomorrow you should stock up at Infinity Foods in the north laines, it’s got a great selection of local produce. Also grab lunch at the farm shop on north road or bill’s which are next door to each other, awesome stuff! x

  41. drcharles says:

    I agree with prior commenter – the Reading Terminal Market will hook you up with local tastiness in Philly. I recommend the Pot Pie at the Amish Food Counter, just walk around and you’ll find it :)
    In the summer we have great farmer’s markets, but I think April will be too early.

    Addicted to your new album!

  42. pamela1977 says:

    I think I could be a good chefs assistant if you require one in Glasgow the next time you play. Good hygiene, good at stirring, chopping, washing and chatting etc, etc. xxxx

  43. elenaA says:

    Thanks Ben! Nice recipe, a bay leaf in with the wine makes it lovelier still. 15 hungry boys…what have you gotten yourself in for? I’d be happy to help with shopping, cooking etc. next time you visit Australia. Pretty good food down here, we’re lucky. Also, I’ll give you my Swiss-Army knife. Red. Barely used. Love’n’peace, Elena (in Melbourne) xx

  44. Anonymous says:

    i just want to say how heart breaking it was knowing you were preforming in newcastle university on sunday night and not being able to see yous because youre sold out :'( so please come back to newcastle soon and if (or should that be when) you do i would be happy to help you guys ou with shopping and shizzle xxx

  45. clariknittist says:

    Very far ahead, maybe too far, but you should have some luck in Bloomington:
    Just one of many foodie places. Very practical recipe, and you’re so right that there’s nothing quite so preserving as home-cooked meals – please take care

  46. Anonymous says:

    When you are around the Sussex area on Friday, you may want to check out this collection of shops It’s a bit of a treck from Brighton, but a lovely little seaside town. Looking forward to seeing you at the Corn Exchange!

  47. Anonymous says:

    the dietetic studnet says hurray!

  48. Alice4Hatter says:

    Wow, my lack of keyboarding skills never cease to amaze me…please forgive the errors. Anyway, I posted a new thread in the forum for you. It lists places to check out within the Philadelphia area. :)

  49. little_lainey says:

    i had beef gulash at a hospital once… dont ask. but your recipe doesnt seem too bad, i’ll give it a whirl =)

  50. Alice4Hatter says:

    If you want helping with cooking some quick and awesome meals, or finding some cool local farmer’s markets in the Philadelphia area, let me know. There is a lot in Bucks County. Mainly in the Lahaska/New Hope, PA areas.

  51. Anonymous says:

    First off, this sounds fantastic, and I’ll have to try this out on my friends during spring break. When you come to Philadelphia you need to check out Reading Terminal Market.

    If you’re willing to drive outside of the city you should check out Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, Bucks County. They have this darling little kitchen shop. There you’ll find a small little travel knives set, perfect for road trips, tours, camping, etc.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Great to see you guys in wolverhapton at the weekend, without doubt the best gig we’ve been to, desparately trying to get tickets for cambridge tomorrow night as gift for our soon to be bridesmaids and best man. love the recepies too remember you talking at the gig about going to the butchers. definately going to attempt beef goulash now and look forward to the next recipe. I would give anything to have you guys play one song at our wedding as a surprise for my fiance, money, charity you name it

  53. beatbox93 says:

    hey if you need help in the way of an assistant chef id love to help when your in belfast :)

  54. x_microbe_eizzie_x says:

    “When knives haven’t been around I’ve used my house key or even a bank card once!”
    Nice! For your first recipe it’s pretty good. x

  55. pamela1977 says:

    people always say “you are what you eat”. You need to stay nice and healthy so that you can continue touring and fingers crossed that it wont be too long before you come back to Glasgow. Nice recipe too x