One of the great things about doing a casserole or stew is its versatility with carbs. You can have it with toast if you’re lazy, pasta if you don’t mind the effort and even mashed potatoes if you can be bothered. So the limelight of this entry really is the casserole, as opposed to being a pasta dish.
Not sure if it’s the best way to do a casserole, but here’s my way:
- Pre-heat your oven to 180ªC.
- In a cast iron or pyrex pot, get a knob of small butter in, heating till the foaming subsides.
- Add in garlic slices and the sausage chunks, pork or beef is up to you. I usually squeeze out the meat from the sausage skins into thumb-sized chunks. Fry till fragrant and golden brown.
- Splash in coke and alcohol. This time I used rum ‘cos rum & cola always goes.
- Reduce the liquid till the alcohol has burned off.
- Toss in the diced vegetables of your choice – carrots, peppers, onions, celery, etc. Also, add chilli if you want the heat.
- Fill the pot with chicken or vegetable stock, till just before submerging the ingredients.
- Flavour and season with coriander powder and bay leaves, worschester sauce, salt and pepper.
- Bring to the boil and put it in the oven for 30-45 minutes, lid on.
- Serve with long pasta, and fresh salad leaves.
Okay, I went a little ballistic with the ingredients in this one, but making a stew really is a good way to use up all those nearly-dead vegetables in your fridge. No prizes for guessing how fresh my veggies were.
- In a pot, toss together a knob of butter, smashed garlic, chopped fennel, diced carrots and potatoes, minced ginger, sliced chilli and a small stick of cinnamon. Fry everything till fragrant.
- Add in water to barely cover and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, marinate diced beef chunks with a bit of cornflour, red wine and balsamic vinegar and chopped chives. Then add to the pot as well.
- Dump in a dollop of cranberry sauce if you’ve got some, if not, a pinch of sugar will do.
- Crush in a small bunch of dried sage leaves and add a teaspoon of dark soy sauce.
- When beef is almost done, add about 2-3 mugs of meat or vegetable stock.
- Season well with salt and pepper and put the lid on. Turn the heat down to a simmer and leave it for 20-30 minutes.
- After 20-30 minutes, add in a splash of red wine.
- Make a mixture of cornflour and cold water. Then stir in the cornflour mixture a tablespoon at a time till it’s reached your desired thickness. Alternatively, you could blitz a quarter of the stew to thicken it.
- Have it with a toasty crusty bread roll.
- 200g pork belly, thinly sliced,
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 dash white pepper powder
- half a bulb garlic, minced
- 2 inches of a large carrot, cut into small inch-long pieces
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 300ml water
- a pinch of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Preparation and Cooking
- Marinade the pork belly and prepare the carrot and garlic.
- In a hot wok with the vegetable oil, fry the garlic till fragrant.
- Toss in the carrot and fry till almost done.
- Put in the marinaded pork belly and stir about, adding water in small quantities, adding each time the wok gets dry.
- When the meat is about done, add all the remaining water at a go to form a gravy.
- Add dark soy sauce, and salt to taste.
- When it starts to boil, turn down the heat to a simmer for approximately 15 minutes, longer if you want the pork to be even more tender, and if your stomach can wait.
- Serve with fresh coriander.
You can have this with steamed rice or Mini Yorkshire Puddings. Delish.
Mummy was out at work today so I had to make lunch for the family. Here’s a great one-dish meal to have with fresh bread or rice.
Red Wine & Oregano Beef Stew
- 250g minced beef, prepared with:
- 1 tbsp of corn flour
- 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 knob of butter
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 potato, peeled and diced
- half a green pepper, chopped
- 1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- half mug of beef or vegetable stock
- quarter mug of red wine
- 2 tbsp of dark soy sauce
- a pinch of dried oregano
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- a pinch of fresh coriander leaves
- Put the oil and knob of butter into a hot wok. TIP! This is to prevent the butter from burning to brown.
- Add the onion and green pepper, and fry till they start to shrivel a little.
- Toss in the carrot and potato.
- Together with the garlic and chilli, wine and stock, get the minced beef in.
- Add the dark soy sauce too.
- Season generously with freshly ground black pepper, and just a little salt, according to taste.
- Don’t forget the pinch of dried oregano.
- Bring to a boil, place a lid on top and lower the heat to a simmer.
- Let it stay on the stove for 15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes or so that it doesn’t dry up. If it’s too dry for your liking, add water in small quantities till you get the consistency you want. Be sure to add salt if necessary.
- Serve with fresh coriander leaves on top.