Tag: casserole

Remoska Sunday

Started with Sunday breakfast – put a stack of chopped mushrooms, black pudding and bacon in the shallow Remoska pan and turned it on; to be frank, I had little expectation of it working well, but I beat some eggs and cream for scrambly egg and hoped for the best.

And in fifteen minutes, we had … perfectly cooked bacon, black pudding and mushrooms! No grease all over the kitchen, no smell through the house. I quickly scrambled the eggs, and we thought “we’ll do that again!’. And we will.

Flushed with success, I prepared a casserole. I peeled lots and lots of tiny onions (if you’re doing this, soak them in boiling water for a bit – makes the peeling much easier, and gives you oniony water, which I have saved for the soup pot!), chopped some carrots into batons, and hurled them into the breakfast Remoska pan – no need to waste that nice bacon flavour, I thought! They sat in there to start cooking while I cut up the shin of beef, and browned it off in a big wok. Into the big Remoska pan it went, along with some white beans which I soaked and boiled the day before, and I added ginger wine, all spice, juniper berries, seasoning, and two tangerines which were boiled for about 10 minutes then whizzed up in the food processor, skin and all.

Everything was put in the big Remoska pan and set to cook. Oh dear. I don’t quite know what I did wrong, but it started to burn on the top rather too quickly. I put a layer of foil between lid and contents, and I think I should have done that a lot sooner. After about another half hour, I got cold feet, and transferred everything to a big cast iron casserole, and set it on a diffuser over a low gas setting for a couple more hours.

Must do some more reading up on Remoska cooking!

beef in ginger and orange

How to turn 500g of stewing beef into six portions? Add 100g of bacon bits, a stack of butter (lima) beans, and a load of veg, thus.

I used shallots in this – if you’re going to do this, they are much easier to peel if you soak them in boiling water for 10 minutes, and you get lovely shallotty water to add either to your casserole, or to your soup pot (the latter for me yesterday).

Cooked off the bacon bits, put them in the slow cooker. Browned the beef in batches, added them too. Fried off the whole shallots until they were caramelising a bit, the into the pan went four chopped carrots, half a courgette and some garlic. They were lobbed into the slow cooker, and then the pan was deglazed with …

Horror! No Stones Ginger Wine! And only 9 in the morning, so offy not open, and I bet the local mini Sainsburys wouldn’t have it, and besides – it was pouring with rain. I improvised.

Deglazed the pan with about 3/4 pint of fiery ginger beer. Added a slosh of brandy for good measure, and the zest and juice of an orange. Added a teaspoon of grain mustard and some season. Brought to the boil, bung in the slow cooker, switched it on.  Went back and added the beans (which had been soaked and boiled the day before), and some herbs from the garden.* Waited for six hours while the smell drove us crazy.

We are having some for tonight’s supper, with dumplings, and the rest will go into the freezer.

* Somewhere – no idea where – I found some reuseable cloth bouquet garni bags, which are dead handy for such occasions, because you don’t have to bother stripping the leaves from woody herbs, or finding the bay leaves afterwards. But do remember to fish it out before someone accidentally tries to eat it.

I also made the Christmas cake yesterday – 1 kg of random assorted dried fruits and a load of Cointreau. I always base it on this Nigel Slater recipe.  What with that, the stew, and the soda bread, the kitchen was an olfactory no-go area yesterday!

a sort of goulash

goulash-ishWe had friends coming for supper on Sunday evening – lovely, as I love cooking for people, and don’t do nearly enough of it since we moved! I wasn’t sure what I wanted to cook, but I went to the butcher and bought some beautiful lean pork, and there was a big bag of mixed peppers in the fridge, so that was a start. I wanted to use some beans too, to pad it out, so found some dried butter beans on the pantry shelf on Saturday morning, stuck them in to soak, then cooked them in the slow cooker overnight.

I started off by deseeding and slicing thinly four peppers, red and yellow, and a huge spanish onion, and cooking them down in some olive oil. I added some cumin seeds and a splash of honey and some garlic, and it was heading towards Middle Eastern. Then in went some paprika, and we were off with goulash. More paprika followed, some fennel seeds, some caraway and then a jar of roasted peppers, sliced up. These give a lovely depth to a dish, and when cooked in the slow cooker, they sort of melt into the sauce. A carton of chopped tomatoes, some rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and seasoning, and the sauce was done.

This all went in the slow cooker (now devoid of its butter beans), and I diced and browned the pork, hurled it in the cooker, and then we just left it completely alone apart from the odd stir for about seven hours. The butter beans must have been very old – I know they accompanied us from Somerset – because they needed another 40 minutes on the boil, so they were added a bit later.

The dish was gorgeous – it made six servings, and four have gone in the freezer, as unfortunately our friends had to cry off due to illness.

supper 5 sept 2010We followed it with Molten chocolate cakes with raspberries and cream. There’s two of them left too. <parp>.

venison stew

I found a pound of chopped venison in the freezer, and decided to cook it up for Sunday lunch.

I cut two large carrots in batons, and fried them off with a dozen peeled shallots, in olive oil with a splash of maple syrup, using my wonderful decades old Le Creuset cast iron pot.  I added a pack of cubed pancetta part way through.

Set these aside, put a tablespoon or so of flour in the pan, and hurled in the venison and stirred it about.  Then in a fit of experimentation, I added about 1/2 pint of banana beer (well, it was all we had), together with juniper berries, peppercorns, a tablespoon each of grain mustard and redcurrant jelly, and some salt.

Returned the veg and pancetta to the casserole, and put it in a very low oven for 3 hours.  Will finish it off today, and eat with dumplings and red cabbage.

beef with clementines and ginger wine

There was a 3.75lb hunk of silverside in the freezer, and a tub of clementine mush (clementines that have been boiled and liquidised – I normally use them to make a cake with ground almonds).

So diced and sautéed two big carrots, a courgette and two sticks of celery, together with a red onion cut into big chunks. Chopped up the silverside and browned it off. Sliced some mushrooms and fried them gently. About four cloves of garlic were finely chopped and softened in some olive oil, then I added the clementines and about the same again in cold water, stirred it round until it came to the boil, then added a good sloosh of ginger wine.

Dumped everything in the slow cooker and left it on low overnight – it made 8 portions, and we consumed two last night with dumplings, accompanied by broccoli and cauliflower. Fit for a king.

beef, orange and ginger casserole

beef, orange and ginger casserole

Not reactive as such, but worth recording.  This recipe came to me originally on a Waitrose card – I enhance and improve it every time I make it.  This was about 1.25 – 1.5kg of good quality stewing steak, which was turned into 10 generous portions (4 x 2 servings in boxes for the freezer, the rest in, er, us :).

Take 6 or so clementines, small oranges, satsumas, whatever you have.  Sometimes I boil them first, sometimes I don’t, but either way, whizz them up in a food processor.  No need to peel, thankfully.

Take a large number of shallots – I used loads, cos we love them.  Put them in a bowl, and cover with boiling water; this makes them easier to peel.  I always keep the water and put it in the soup pot, as it is nicely flavoured.  After about 5 minutes, or when your fingers can cope, fish them out and peel them.

Cut up some carrots into batons, or thick slices – whatever you like, really.

Cut the steak into mouth size bits, and brown it in batches in olive oil,  in a big casserole.  Set it aside as it’s done.

Then into the oil put the shallots and carrots, and stir them about for a bit, until the shallots start to brown. Add the meat back into the pan, and add the orange mush, a glass of ginger wine, a tablespoon or so of balsamic vinegar, and some water – the shalloy water would do nicely here!  You don’t want it swimming in liquid, obviously.  Season with salt and pepper, and add two or three star anise.

The recipe suggests an hour in the oven – I much prefer to do it slowly, so gas mark 2 for about 3-4 hours.

It goes awfully well with mashed potato and cabbage – trust me on this.

beef and borlotti bean stew

beef and borlotti bean stew

Using up: ribeye steak, tin of borlotti beans, 2/3 jar roast yellow peppers

As previously mentioned, we brought back some meat from our Wales camping trip.  Neither Pete nor I are that fond of steak in its natural form these days – we are too old and badgery to digest it properly 🙂 But we still had three left (P stirfried one a couple of nights ago, and it was delicious).  However, we do like a nice casserole.

So … rummaged in the cupboards and this is what I concocted.

Chopped up 2 sticks of celery, 2 carrots, 1 large courgette into small dice.  Sautéd these down with a chopped onion, several cloves of minced garlic, and a sloosh of olive oil.  I just stuck a lid on the pan and let it get on with it for 20 minutes or so.

Found two tired mushrooms in the fridge and chopped them very small – more for flavour than appearance. Retrieved the jar of roast yellow peppers that I opened last week and had forgottten (oops), and sliced up the remaining contents. Sliced the steaks into chunks and put all these in a big cast iron casserole dish.

I added a tin of borlotti beans that was so old it was going rusty (!), a tin of chopped tomatoes, half a glass or so of red wine, the sautéd veg, seasoning, and sage / thyme / rosemary from the garden.

This sat on a very low light at the back of the cooker while I cooked our supper (we always try to leave casseroles till the next day, they taste so much better), then it was put in a very slow oven to cook overnight.

Bada innaboxAt about 2.30 a.m. the smell was driving me mad, so I came down and switched it off.  I found Liessa sitting on the worktop beside the cooker, basking in the heat from the oven 🙂

This morning, I decanted most of it into three tubs for the freezer, while leaving enough for our supper tonight (nom nom nom).  So three steaks have made eight servings – not bad 🙂

p.s. Photograph taken before it went into the oven, as the “after” pic didn’t come out very well.