Showing posts with label casserole. Show all posts
Showing posts with label casserole. Show all posts

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Slow Cooker Sausage, Tomato and Rosemary Casserole

Operation Dry Rot is finally progressing with construction rather than destruction now the order of the day.  However, I am still cooking without my stove, so Slow Cooker recipes are featuring heavily.  I like them because you can cook everything in one pot and there is less fussing around with the single electric ring and the microwave.

This is a simple casserole using everyday ingredients which make it tasty, thrifty and convenient.

Sausage, Tomato and Rosemary Slow Cooker Casserole
Serves 3-4
 6 pork sausages
1 seasonal root vegetable pack containing 3 carrots, 1 parsnip, 1 small turnip (swede), 1 onion.
2 large potatoes
1 400g can chopped tinned tomatoes
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 stock cube (I used beef)
1 tbsp vegetable oil 
salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Heat the oil in a pan and brown the sausages all over (I have a Sear and Stew Slow Cooker so brown mine in the cooking pot on the hob), slice the onion and add to the pan, turn down the heat and cook slowly for about 10 minutes.

2. While the sausage and onion are sauteing in the pan, peel the other vegetables and chop into small even sized pieces. You can cut the potatoes slightly larger as they will soften more quickly than the carrot and swede.

3.  Put all the other ingredients in the slow cooking pot and mix the stock cube with 200ml of boiling water, add this to the pot.
4. Cook for 6-8 hours on Low until all the vegetables are tender.  You can serve it with a green vegetable, like broccoli, or simply serve it as it is, which is what we did.  It's particularly good with some crusty bread to mop up the juices.  

Tip: If you want to make this stretch to feed more, take the sausages out and cut them into pieces.  There are loads of vegetables so you could probably make this dish feed six.

The theme for Cooking with Herbs this month is 'Rosemary' my favourite herb, which is included in this dish.  Cooking with Herbs is run by Karen at Lavender and Lovage

As this recipe used inexpensive recipes, I will be adding it to Credit Crunch Munch which is run jointly by Camilla at Fab Food 4 All and Helen at Fuss Free Flavours
Bloggers Around the World has landed in GB and this sort of sausages are very much a British tradition, so I'm sharing this recipe at Chris's site Cooking Around the World.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Braised Scotch Lamb Shanks in Red Wine

I don't know why, but I've never cooked Lamb Shanks.  I do like lamb and have cooked it in different ways, but never lamb shanks.

I was invited to a cookery demonstration for the Wham Bam Thank You Lamb campaign being run by Scotch Lamb at the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School.  I was absolutely gutted to have to withdraw at the last minute as I was ill with bronchitis.   However, I am delighted to tell you that I am still able to take part,  as I was provided  with voucher to buy some lamb at a local butcher who was a member of the Scotch Butcher's Club, in my case this was J.B Houston in Dumfries.

I had a lovely chat with the butcher who recommended that I cook these lamb shanks with some red wine, he definitely knew what he was talking about, as the flavours of the lamb and the gravy were superb.  My top tip when cooking lamb?  Ask your butcher!

Lamb Shanks in Red Wine

Most recipes suggest one lamb shank per person, but I managed to get 6 portions out of two lamb shanks, you do have to strip the meat off the bone but it's worth it if you are trying to be thrifty. 

1 tbsp olive oil
2 lamb shanks
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
a sprig of rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp tomato puree
350ml red wine
200ml lamb stock

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
2. Heat the oil in a casserole dish or roasting tin and brown the lamb shanks.
3. Remove the lamb, turn the heat down a little and add the onion, carrot and garlic and cook for about 8 minutes until beginning to soften and brown slightly.
4. Add the rosemary and bay leaves and cook for another minute.
5. Add the flour and tomato puree, then pour in the wine and stock, stirring all the time to blend.
6. Put the lamb shanks back into the dish, cover and place in the oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until the lamb is tender.
7. Remove the lamb from the dish, let it cool slightly and then strip the meat from the bones.

8. Put the pan back on the heat and simmer to reduce the sauce, then sieve into a jug.
9. Serve with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.

This is a slow cooked  dish but if you are in a hurry,  there are loads of great quick cook recipes on the Wham Bam Thank you Lamb website some of them cook in 10 minutes!

Many thanks to Scotch Lamb for the opportunity to cook with such a premium product, I was notpaid for this post and all opinions are my own. 

Monday, 30 January 2012

More 'Bilbao' than Boston Baked Beans!

I seem to have established a bit of a reputation for comfort food. Until I started blogging I don't think I realised just how much I like warming stews and casseroles, bakes, crumbles and pies.  Not wanting to disappoint my followers, here is another one!  It started out as Boston Baked Beans but as I had no belly pork as per the recipe, I subsituted the spicy chorizo sausage which was in my fridge, so the dish moved continent and ended up in sunny Spain.

I'm entering this for Slow Sunday on Karen's blog 'Lavender and Lovage'

Bilbao Baked Beans with roasted roots
350g dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight and drained
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
4 sticks celery, sliced
200g chorizo sausage, cut into chunks OR 200g Quorn Meatballs
1 x 200g can tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp molasses or  black treacle
1 tsp mustard powder
600ml chicken stock

Roasted Roots
4 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small swede, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tbsp 'Do me a Flavour'  Roast Parsnip Seasoning (optional)
2 tbsp sunflower oil

1. Bring the beans to the boil in a pan of fresh unsalted water.  Cook them for an hour until tender but not mushy.

2. Put 2 tbsp sunflower oil in a roasting tin add the chopped veg and the seasoning, if using.  Mix together and roast in the oven at 200C for 40 - 50 minutes.  The swede I had was using wasn't cooking very well, so after about 30 minutes, I covered the tin with foil and cooked it for about 20 more minutes, then uncovered to finish it off for 5 minutes.

3. While the roots are roasting, make the bean dish, put 1 tbsp of sunflower oil in a pan and add the onion and celery, cook gently until starting to soften then add the chorizo chunks, or quorn meatballs (you might want to add half a teaspoon of smoked paprika if you are using the quorn) and stir around until the onion and celery start to take on the colour of the chorizo.

4. Add the beans, the tomatoes, tomato puree, molasses or treacle, mustard and stock.
5. Cover the casserole and cook in a preheated oven (160C) for 1hr 30 minutes.  Add the roasted root vegetables to the casserole and cook for another 30 minutes.

This dish is quite a long way from either Boston or Bilbao but was inspired by both, and also by what I needed to use up from the fridge!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Bacon or Ham Stewpot

There is something about a really messy casserole dish that appeals to me.  Of course, what really happened is that I tried to stuff too much food into my Le Creuset and it leaked out!

If you don't eat meat you could leave it out and it would still be a tasty stewpot.

However I had this gammon joint from the lovely Kilnford Barns Farm Shop and I thought it would be ideal to get at least half the week's dinners out of it.  As I already had Pamela Westland's Casserole Cooking out of the bookcase for Random Recipes last week, I noticed that there was a 'bookmarked' recipe for Bacon Stewpot.

750g (1.5lb) unsmoked bacon, collar or slipper
25g (1oz) butter
225g (8oz) small onions, peeled
4 medium leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tbsp plain flour
450ml (3/4 pint) stock, hot
2 medium carrots, sliced (I used about 10 small/medium carrots)
225g (8oz) haricot beans (soaked overnight and drained)
225g (8oz) potatoes peeled and sliced (I probably used about 2lb, no wonder if spilled over!)
freshly ground black pepper

The recipe states that you should remove the rind and cut up your ham into cubes, but as I wanted to use it for other things,  I cooked it, covered in water, for 20 minutes in the pressure cooker until it was just tender.  I kept the ham stock to make soup later.

1. Melt the butter in a casserole dish and gently fry the onions and leeks until they are soft.
2. Stir in the flour, and add the hot stock stirring constantly.  Simmer to cook out the flour for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the bacon, carrots beans and potatoes (to be honest you could use any root veggies here, add a bit of celery or some butternut squash, whatever you've got, bung it in)
4. Season well with pepper and bring to the boil for 3 minutes.
5. Cover the casserole and cook in a pre-heated oven for 1 1/2 hours.  Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
6. Serve with a green vegetable.

As I wasn't using the cubed bacon but had the whole joint in the pot, so once it was cooked I took out the bacon joint, halved it and cut half into cubes then stirred them back into the vegetable mixture.

This makes a huge pot of delicious, filling and warming food, which would feed 6-8 people.  It would be ideal for a Halloween or Bonfire Party and, even better,  I still have half the ham which I'm making into a pie and will feature in another post soon!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Cracked Wheat Pilaff and Vegetable Curry

It's Random Recipes time again!  This month Dom decided to stir things up a bit and make us connect with other participants in the challenge.  My partner was  Alice of Italian Inspiration and we had to pick recipes for each other!

Random Recipes #9

It was all done with Random Number Generation, and the book that I got was Casserole Cooking by Pamela Westland I was rather pleased about that as I know that there are lots of nice recipes in this book and I love to make casseroles, they are so easy to make and also often better when reheated.

Back to Alice to tell her how many pages there were in the book and she returned with my number, now the page had two recipes on it, but I thought they would actually go rather well together so decided to make both.

Vegetable Curry
225g (8oz) carrots, trimmed and diced
225g (8oz) shelled broad beans
225g (8oz) shelled peas
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp curry paste
1 tbsp wholewheat flour
5 tbsp double cream
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
4 tbsp cashew nuts, toasted

 1. Steam the carrots, broad beans, peas and cauliflower over boiling salted water until they are barely tender - they will cook a little more in the sauce.  Reserve 300ml (1/2 pint) of the liquid.
2. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole and fry the onion and garlic, over moderate heat for 3 minutes, stirring once or twice.
3. Stir in the paprika  cook for a minute.  Stir in the curry paste and the flour.
4. Slowly pour the reserved liquid into the casserole, stirring until the sauce thickens. Stir in the cream and lemon juice.
5. Add all the vegetables to the sauce, stir gently, cover and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
6. Stir in 1 tbsp of the chopped herb and 2 tbsp of the cashews.
7. Sprinkle the remaining herb over the vegetables and catter on the remaining nuts.  Serve with brown rice and tomato salad.

The second recipe is for Cracked Wheat and Spinach Pilaf, this is not a way I've used Bulgar Wheat before, so I was interested to see what it would be like.

Cracked Wheat and Spinach Pilaff
3 tbsp oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
225g (8oz) cracked wheat (bulgar), washed and drained
450ml (3/4 pint) vegetable stock
4 tbsp seedless raisins
1/2 small cauliflower, cut into florets
175g (6oz) spinach leaves, stalks removed 
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp snipped chives
4 tbsp blanched almonds, toasted
tomato wedges, to garnish

1. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole and fry the onion over moderate heat for 3 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Stir in the garlic and fry for 1 minute.
2. Stir in the cracked wheat, cook for 1 minute, then pour on the vegetable stock. Stir in the raisins and cauliflower florets, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
3. Cover the casserole and simmer for 20 minutes, until the wheat and cauliflower is almost tender.
4. Add the spinach leaves, increase the heat and stir to distribute them well.  Serve as soon as the spinach is just tender and the liquid evaporated.  The dish should be just moist.
5. Stir in the chives and almonds, and turn the pilaff on to a warmed serving dish and garnish with tomato wedges, if wished.

This was a fun challenge and the two dishes worked really well together.  The curry was lovely and creamy and the firm texture of the cracked wheat worked well as a substitute for rice.   Both dishes also reheated really well.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Casserole Queen

I'm a bit of a casserole queen, I love to cook everything in one pot if I can and I like to make a couple of casseroles on a Sunday so that I have something in the fridge that just needs heated up when you get home. Casseroles often taste better reheated anyway. I always go for fresh green veg and Savoy Cabbage is really nice just now, just a couple of minutes in boiling water and it keeps it lovely fresh greenness and a little bit of bite, lots of black pepper and the meal is made.
Here is the recipe for this tasty casserole:
Chicken, Leek and Barley Stew
Serves 4
Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hour
25g/1oz pearl barley
2tbsp vegetable oil
2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
1 medium leek, trimmed rinsed and sliced.
100g/40z closed-cap mushrooms, wiped clean
4 (250g/9oz) chicken leg quarters (I actually used de-boned chicken thighs for this)
2 tsp tomato puree
1tbsp chicken gravy granules disolved in a jug of 600ml/1pt hot chicken stock
sprig of fresh thyme
fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs to garish
Crusty Granary bread to serve
1. Place the pearl barley ina large saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to the boil; drain; rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Return the pearl barley to the pan; cover with fresh water. Gently simmer for 20 minutes; drain.
2. Preheat oven to 170C/Fan 150C/Gas Mark 3. Whilst the barley is simmering, heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan; add the carrots, fry for 4-5 mins until browned. Transfer to a casserole dish using a slotted spoon. Add the leek and mushrooms to the frying pan; fry for 3-4 mintues. Transfer to the casserole dish.
3. Add the remaining oil to the frying pan. Add the chicken quarters; fry for 8 mins, turning once until golden all over. Transfer to the casserole. Stir the tomato puree into the chicken stock. Pour over the chiken and vegtables. Stir in the barley and thyme. Season.
4. Cover the casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Bake for 1 hour until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Garnish with parsley. Serve with Granary Bread.
Bella Cookbook, March/April 2004
So that is the recipe, however, to reduce the fat I actually browned the chicken in a non-stick pan with no extra oil, then cooked the carrots, leeks and mushrooms in the juices from the chicken - and it was delicious, less oily and less fat.
You may have noticed that a previous recipe came from the same magazine. I have a large collection of Bella Cookbook magazines. It had great family food, basics and challenging recipes, I was very sorry when it was discontinued.
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