Our Head Chef – Francis

I am Francis the Kitchen Team Leader at the Purfleet Trust, and I was brought in to ensure that all the food generously donated by the food partners is used in the best way possible to provide valuable nutrition for our clients. Six weeks into the job we have produced some wonderful recipes from donated food to feed vulnerable and homeless people. This is food donated by local supermarkets that would otherwise have ended up being wastes. It is certainly an exciting challenge to produce nutritious meals without a shopping list. Everyday is like ready steady cook, with an array of ingredients coming in on a daily basis that has to be either cooked, prepared for freezing or  for preserving.

I am so lucky to work with an amazing and very capable team of volunteers, and we have produced a variety of meals that have been very well received by the clients of the Purfleet Trust and on many occasions they are getting a three course meal and we can supply food parcels. We have a Roast Dinner every Thursday, but we have gave them Goulash, Frittatas, Quiches, Curries and we make soups out of ingredients that are approaching their best before. But for this newsletter I have given the recipe for Beef Goulash which is a firm favourite and made using goods that would otherwise be put out as waste by shops.



Hungarian Beef Goulash


·         * 2 tbsp Olive oil

·         * 700g stewing steak, cut into chunks

·         * 30g plain flour

·         * 1 large Onion, thinly sliced

·         * 2 clove Garlic, finely chopped

·         * 1 green pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced

·         * 1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced

·         * 2 tbsp tomato puree

·         * 2 tbsp Paprika

·         * 2 large Tomatoes, diced

·         * 300ml beef stock, home-made or shop-bought

·         * 2 tbsp flat leaf Parsley, chopped

·         * black pepper

·         * 150ml Soured cream


1.    Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3.

2.    Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a casserole dish or heavy-based saucepan.

3.    Sprinkle the steak with the flour and brown well, in batches, in the hot casserole dish. Set the browned meat aside.

4.    Add in the remaining olive oil. Add in the onion, garlic, green pepper and red pepper to the casserole dish and fry until softened, around 5 minutes.

5.    Return the beef to the pan with the tomato puree and paprika. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

6.    Add in the tomatoes, white wine and beef stock. Cover and bake in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes. Alternatively, cover and cook it on the hob on a gentle heat for about an hour, removing the lid after 45 minutes.

7.    Sprinkle over the parsley and season well with salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir in the soured cream and serve.