Slow Cooker Classic Beef Bourguignon

I love a beef bourguignon. Have you ever seen the film Julie & Julia? The main character makes a beef bourguignon in that that literally cooks for 24 hours. It’s a bit overkill, but I do believe in giving this dish as long as you possibly have to cook, and using lots and lots of good French wine.

It tastes like luxury but isn’t expensive at all to make. Meat-wise you can use any old cheap stewing steak, as it cooks so long that it will be really tender by the time you’re finished. Don’t invest too hard in the wine as well, just buy the best you can afford. It’s not really a veggie friendly dish, but if you wanted to have a go then you could take out the meat completely and step up with the mushrooms.

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Honey, Soy and Ginger Pork Loins

SHOE HORN ALERT. We bought a house 🙂 I realise that has NOTHING to do with honey, soy and ginger pork loins, but I just needed to get it out there. We’ve been looking for around a year and finally found our dream home back in June, and exchanged contracts a week or so ago. The really important part is that it’s got a ma-hoo-sive kitchen with a RANGEMASTER oven (omg omg), loads of putting down space and beautiful wooden work tops with loads of natural light. If you’ve watched my Insta Stories you’ll know I currently cook in a tiny kitchen maybe 1-2 metres wide so I am extremely excited to the upgrade! I cannot wait to show you all, we should be in by Christmas.

Anyway now thats out of the way, here’s a nice recipe for pork.

For ages I really wasn’t fond of pork, but then eating it in Chinese food as Char Sui really got me into it. Pork loins are pretty cheap in Aldi or Lidl and easy to cook with too! I love this recipe as a nice quick weekend dinner, just make sure you marinate the meat in the morning and it will be delicious by the time you come to cook it!

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Lentils Vertes And Heck! Sausage Casserole

To be perfectly honest I thought lentils vertes were the same thing as green lentils. Who knew they’re actually not? Turns out, me. When I got them home and compared them to my other green lentils. Quel dommage. No harm done though as I’d bought them to go in a sausage stew, after some rapid googling I’ve discovered they’re actually a more PREMIUM lentil ooooh (explains why they were twice the price of the others) and are exceptional in stews so no skin off my nez.

I’ll stop with the French puns now, sorry. Lots of other lentil and sausage casserole / stew (is there a difference?) recipes place the sausages lovingly on top of the lentils but this felt a bit dull to me, so I took the sausages from their casing and rolled them into effectively meatballs, so they could become more part of the stew.

This wasn’t exactly summer food, I should note. But I’m a bit sick of halloumi salads or griddled meats and fancied something a bit more comforting that wasn’t a curry. It’s a bit of a nightmare knowing what to eat in this heatwave, let’s be honest. Depending on your timing you don’t need to put this in the oven if you can’t bear having it on in this heat, you can just bubble it away on the hob for 30-40 mins until the lentils are done.

Recipe after the jump!

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Nasi Goreng with Crispy Shallots

I would never have really thought of making this dish, but when UK Shallots tweeted me asking to create one of their recipes, I couldn’t say no. This was the recipe they sent me and it it was so delicious Gary even said he’d pay for it in a restaurant!

All the ingredients arrived in a delightful little orange cool bag which Nippet now seems to be obsessed with.

Anyway unwrapped, here’s everything that I used. Ooh, Waitrose!

How cute is the shallot with the eyes!! I couldn’t bear cutting him up, so he’s still hanging out in our kitchen.

The original recipe is vegan, but we fancied some meat this weekend so we added in some pork that I’d marinated for a few hours in soy, honey, chilli and a little bit of garlic. You could very easily leave this out though and still have a totally yummy vegan meal.

The only thing I struggled with was getting the shallots crispy, the recipe said to fry until golden brown and they would crisp as they cool. Sadly mine never crisped despite almost burning most of them (maybe I over oiled?) but they were still really nice. Shallots are such a staple in our house, I tend to buy them more than onions as they’re so versatile and also because they’re small they’re great if you’re cooking for one.

Find the recipe here!

Disclosure: I was gifted the ingredients for this post by the lovely UK Shallots.

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Spicy Chicken and Bean Stew

Slow cooking has to be my cooking method of choice at the moment. I love cooking something for hours on a weekend, without having to turn on the oven! Plus the volume of food you can make is excellent for stocking up the fridge for a good week.

This chicken and bean number came about completely from cupboard ingredients (and a couple of chicken breasts). I’d had the tin of mixed spiced beans in the cupboard for ages and had been planning to fajita or taco them originally but never got around to it. Fast forward a few weeks later and they cried out to me when I started perusing the cupboards for things to cook the chicken with. I think beans are so underloved – they’re cheap, delicious, and if you buy them tinned, very easy to cook. Perfect for bulking out a stew.

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I added some chorizo in at the end too for extra spice, I’ve found it’s better not to slow cook chorizo as you lose the flavours and the texture can go a bit weird. Better to add in right before serving, and throw in all that lovely red oil too. Yum.

Recipe after the jump!

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Warming Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie

I made this on a very, very snowy weekend and it was the ultimate comfort food cuddle. Crispy flaky pastry, oozy creamy sauce and slow cooked chicken. Heaven. It’s actually a bit of an adaptation on previous recipe you can find here for my Wintery Chicken Casserole – I just omitted the pasta (y’know, double carbs) and used the stock to make a thick sauce. I wish I could make my own flaky pastry but sadly, I’m really not gifted in the baking department, so this recipe features ready-made puff pastry. You could also use shortcrust, but puff is my favourite.

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I hate my worktop btw.

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I put a heart on it, obvs, because I REALLY heart pie. Also yup, that’s my pjs in the background.

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I served this with winter greens (purple sprouting broccoli and kale) but you could easily up the stodge with some mash, which would be really good with that creamy sauce. This is such a good cold weather dish I feel warm even writing about it! Recipe after the jump 🙂

 

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72 Mighty Meatballs

You can’t just make A FEW meatballs. They’re one of those foods where if you’re making them, you should be making a LOT of them. This happens especially if you’re mixing your meats – mine are pork and beef – because you can’t buy a tiny pack of beef mince and a tiny pack of pork mince. You might as well go whole hog, buy 1kg meat and spending your afternoon well… Ballin’. That’s exactly what I did, and we ended up with 72 meatballs in the house.*

I’ve been making this recipe as long as I can remember, as taught by my dad (author of other delicious creations such as The Best Bolognese Sauce and Tuna, Rice ‘And All Things Nice’) As my tastes have changed I’ve started adding more spice but the basic recipe remains untouched. Spend a couple of hours bulk balling, and you’ll have a freezer full of meaty delights that you can pop on pasta, serve in pittas as per my little packed lunches, or just eat (obviously defrosted and cooked through).

Recipe after the jump!

*Update – there’s like 20 left now

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Pressure Cooker Spicy Chickpea and Chorizo Stew

This is such an easy, cupboard essential meal. You don’t necessarily need a pressure cooker to make it either but it does cut down the cooking time and makes the chickpeas nice and soft. You could easily whack this in the oven for an hour or two or do it in a slow cooker.

I absolutely love chickpeas at the moment, they’re so cheap and bulk out any recipe, as well as being all good for you and stuff. I keep trying to find new ways to cook them and this is a brilliant way as they’re almost star of the show.

You can make a big batch of this and freeze it too, imagine coming home to a big steaming bowl of spicy, tomatoey goodness on a cold autumn night. And it will be autumn soon so that dream isn’t very far away!

Note I put kale in this which just kind of turned to green mulch in the pressure cooker. Spinach might be better, or if you really want kale, leave it out until five minutes before the end.

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Lamb Kofta Kebabs with Balsamic Courgette Salad

These lamb koftas are suprisingly easy to make, I wondered for most of yesterday why I’d not attempted them before. Seeing as we’re not going to Greece on holiday this summer I decided to bring a bit of Greece to us, in the form of food.

I have to admit, small crimes were committed for the sake of this recipe. We don’t grow any fresh herbs and this dish was crying out for some fresh rosemary. I chucked a hoodie on and roamed the streets, looking for a nearby garden with easy access fresh rosemary. I felt (and probably looked) a bit dodgy but needs must – and luckily I found some growing over a garden hedge. A few sprigs later, I was back in the kitchen, giddy AF.

So, make sure you either own, buy, or steal some rosemary for this recipe. It really needs it. The secret is to really chop it very small using scissors, anything any bigger than 1mm or so will be too big and stick out of your mince mixture and it won’t compact against the skewer. Mint is also a great shout but I couldn’t find any to forage (or ahem, steal).

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Butternut Squash, Cauliflower and Chorizo Salad with Wild Garlic

Another recipe using wild garlic! Well, when in Rome (or Roundhay Park). I’ve been trying to think outside of the box and look at different ways of using wild garlic instead of in the standard pesto. This recipe uses wild garlic torn into small pieces and it adds a really nice soft flavour to the dish. If it’s not in season or you can’t get any, spinach would work fine or you could omit it completely.

This is one of those elusive delicious desk lunches that don’t need warming up. Make a big batch at home and enjoy at room temperature or from the fridge, no fuss, no muss!

You do need some harissa for this recipe to give it an extra punch – cauliflower roasted by itself tends not to hold much flavour but whack some harissa in there and you’ve got yourself something really delicious! The beans and cheese add some extra protein and you can take out the chorizo if you’re veggie.

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