Posted in Food, tagged bacon, easy, Food, frugal, healthy, hungry, pork, quick, recipe, root veg, vegetables, Vicarage Recipes on 21 March, 2012 |
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This recipe is a Vicarage favourite that crosses the seasons – it’s hearty enough for winter, but the light sauce means that it suits a chilly day in June aswell. It’s also speedy, cooking in about 20 minutes. So if you can pre-prepare most of the veg, you can get it on the table within half an hour of getting in from work, or the swimming lesson or whatever. It was swimming for us yesterday – and the Queen and the Joker had to get to Kids Club, fed, in less than an hour after our return.
- Pork steaks (I chopped the ones I had in half and so fed six of us, with seconds, from a pack of four) or chops
- Bacon, about 4 rashers, chopped
- Large onion, roughly chopped
- Potatoes and vegetables – select from carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, leeks – all chunked. I use a smallish potato per person plus a couple of each of about 4 other vegetables to feed six of us.
- Cabbage, sliced – I used about half a Savoy
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 tbspn vegetable (or chicken) bouillion powder or a stock cube
- 200ml cider
Using a large pan or cast iron casserole dish, fry the pork in butter to brown and then set aside. Then add the bacon and fry until a little crispy. Then fry the onion until soft and add the vegetables and fry them a little too. Then add cider and enough water to almost cover the veg. Add your bouillion powder and bay leaves and bring the liquid to the boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Pop the pork steaks back on top, cover the pan and set your pinger to 15 mins. After 15 minutes, pop in the shredded cabbage and leave for another 5 minutes or so, until the vegetables are all tender. Serve in soup plates if you can, with spoons handy to slurp up the lovely broth or chunky bread to mop it up if you’re very hungry.
If you’re lucky, there may be some leftover veg to have with hunks of bread for lunch tomorrow…
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Posted in Food, tagged budget, casserole, cooking, family meals, Food, frugal, hotpot, lentils, main course, recipe, sausages, slow oven, value, Vicarage Recipes on 3 January, 2012 |
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One of the things I love about my Vicarage cooker (my treat when we moved here) is its small slow oven. The slow oven is a bit titchy – only big enough for one large pot or only a single baking sheet of meringues, but I am using it more and more for winter casseroles. Tonight I cooked sausage casserole – one of our top favourites which has a few variations but is always very popular with the kids (and grown ups too).
I make this using Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference chipolatas. I’d recommend using good quality ones as cheap ones can come out rather spongey. And you only need to use a single packet to feed a family and can get that for about £2 if there’s an offer on.
The Vicar's dinner
- 1-2 onions, finely sliced
- Pack of sausages
- 2 cups (500ml) lentilles vertes or green lentils
- Bay leaves, mixed herbs
- Red wine (about a glassful) and stock
- Optional – tin of tomatoes, chunked carrots
Brown the sausages in your casserole dish and then remove them to a plate or bowl whilst you pop in a little oil or butter and the onions. Leave the onions to get nice and soft then return the sausages, chopped up into bite sized chunks, to the pan. Tonight I chopped the sausages with a spatula before I removed them and fried the onions, otherwise you can slice them with a knife once removed – I recommend pinning them to the chopping board with a fork rather than fingers (I speak from experience of burnt fingers and escaping sausages).
To the onions and sausages add the lentils, bay leaves and herbs and wine and stock (I use hot water and vegetable stock powder). This evening’s casserole also included a tin of chopped tomatoes. The liquid needs to be added to a generous level above the lentils and sausages – say 5cm/2″ in your pan. This gives space for the lentils to swell and liquid to evaporate.
Bring to the boil and then simmer for at least 1/2hr on the hob, or pop in a slow oven at about 140ºC (Gas Mark 1) for a couple of hours or more. The slow cooking method has the advantage of keeping the Vicarage kitchen warm, so this is obviously my preferred option.
I tend to check the casserole every hour or so if it’s in the oven, just to make sure that there is still enough liquid. If you’re adding carrots it’s best to do so about half an hour before the end of the cooking time, otherwise they can get a bit soggy. Add salt and pepper to taste before serving and add a little extra liquid if needed to ensure a bit of sauce to soak into the essential accompaniment of mash.
As you can see, I served the casserole with mashed sweet and normal potatoes, and some braised red cabbage. This is a great winter warmer and excellent value for money. We had leftovers that will do well with a bit of chunky bread for lunches whilst the kids are at shcool.
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Posted in Food, tagged carol service, drink, gluwein, mulled wine, non-alcoholic, recipe, spiced cranapple, Vicarage, Vicarage Recipes on 14 December, 2009 |
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This Thursday evening we are hosting the staff and governors of our church school here at the Vicarage for ‘mulled wine and mince pies’. That’s what our invite said, anyway. But as many of the staff have to drive home, we will also be serving a wonderful non-alcoholic alternative, given to me by another Vicar’s-wife-in-training, when the Vicar was at theological college. Her original name for it was spiced cider, but that is not very helpful, as it really is non-alcoholic, so I’ve renamed it Spiced Cranapple. It is mulled winey in flavour and not too sweet, as some non-alcoholic punches can be. Serve it at your carol service or at the Vicarage and enjoy!
Enjoy the warmth
1l cranberry juice
1l apple juice
250ml (1 cup) orange juice
3-4 cinnamon sticks
2 tbspns sugar
1 orange, halved and sliced into rounds
Combine all the ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes to allow spices to infuse. Can also bring to boil and transfer straight to thermos pots and leave to infuse that way for church events (and keep leftovers warm for Vicarage use the rest of the week…mmmmm).
Anyway. Best get on with the pastry now. Not sure how many mince pies I’ll need for Thursday but I definitely need to start making them today.
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