I don’t pretend to be a ‘cook’ – but I have a couple of recipes up my sleeve which should be shared more broadly. They don’t tend to be very fancy – there are few fashionable middle class ingredients like butternut squash or pancetta, but I think sometimes its nice to go back to basics. There is nothing which does this more than a decent casserole. My Mum has always made this for me and I have enjoyed making over and over again . It is great for days when you don’t want to go outside but want to feel like you have done something (‘I made a casserole and it took 3 hours…’). Its also brilliant when you feel in need a bit of easy, tasty nourishment. While some friends have joked this is ‘peasant food’ (I’ve often been mocked for my simple northern palette) this recipe has seen me through hangovers and bad colds, tiredness and winter. And it can still be lovely to share with friends on a windy Sunday night in Spring.
The recipe is simple:
- Brown 2-3 breasts of diced chicken (or similar quantity of diced braising beef) in a pan over heat with 1tbsp corn flour
- Add half an onion (diced) and one clove of garlic (finely chopped)
- Remove from heat and combine in a deep bottomed casserole dish
- Add chopped vegetables (I tend to go for 2-3 chopped carrots and handful of green beans – but sweetcorn, leaks or frozen peas also go well)
- Pour boiling water over the top of the ingredients so they are all covered and add 2 stock cubes and stir and season as you like – I often go for a dash of pepper and Worcester sauce. But you can play around with flavour – add a dash of tomato puree or passata to a beef casserole for example
- Then you whack in the over for 2.5-3hours until the mixture reduces down to a silky consistency
- The magic ingredient to serve with very crispy jacket potatoes – these need to be cooked for 1-1.5hrs, until you basically crack them open with a knife to reveal the lovely sweetness of potato inside
- Serve with lots of butter and sour cream on the potatoes
As I said, I’m no cook and not professing to be a cookery blogger. So if you are reading and feeling cheated by the lack of sophistication, I’d highly recommend following Smitten Kitchen and Food52 for some great inspiration.
Nom nom nom x