Chicken, red wine casserole with parmentier potatoes and local king cabbage

 

 

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Even with how many recipes I develop on a day to day basis, it still begins to amaze me when a dish turns out fantastically especially when you were just using the odd thing up in your cupboards and fridge.

It was last month on a Sunday and I said to my partner I was going to do a bit of a fridge/cupboard raid for dinner. I called it a chasseur at the time just because it was cooked in red wine but I’ve decided to call it a casserole as it was cooked the same way.

This recipe blew my mind with how the red wine tasted in it. The wine I use isn’t too expensive but one of which we love in our house. A South African Stellenbosch.

Earlier on in the day we had been to our local garden centre to actually look for another blueberry plant to help with pollination. We did get one. However when we first turned up, they had these huge King cabbages for sale at only 40p! As you can see by the picture below, it had these vivid green and purple tones that were just mesmerising. I knew it would taste nice and would stretch to lots of meals for us.

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This was the sort of meal that for an occasion, date night maybe or a Sunday that you are fed up of the same roast, this a great alternative and so easy to cook. It somehow feels a little extra special but still comforting and warming at its best.

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts ( Or 1 per person )
  • 4-5 chestnut mushrooms sliced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1-2 tbsp of rapeseed oil
  • a knob of unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped/sliced however you like
  • 1 large leek sliced
  • 1/2 celery stick chopped
  • 3/4 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • a sprig of thyme
  • a good handful of chervil, if you can’t get use a little parsley and tarragon
  • 250ml red wine ( I used a South African Stellenbosch )
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree, may need to use a little more
  • Chicken stock, Use a 1/4 gel pot or homemade. You need enough to create a lovely sauce. I used about 300ml of water. Add more if need be.
  • salt and cracked black pepper to season

Parmentier Potatoes:

  • 6/7 medium sized potatoes, I use marfona Peeled and chopped into squares
  • A handful of rosemary
  • 3-4 garlic cloves crushed
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper to season
  • 1-2 tbsp of rapeseed oil

 

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Method:

  •  Preheat your oven to 190c

 

  • In a heavy bottomed casserole dish, seal off the chicken breasts in some rapeseed oil.

 

  •  Take out your chicken once starting to colour and pop aside. Then in the same pan add a little more oil and a knob of unsalted butter and fry off your onions until starting to soften.

 

  •  Add in your carrots and celery and stir. Then add all other ingredients . Pop the lid on and place in the oven for about 45 mins-hour.

 

  • In the mean time you can prepare and cook your potatoes. Blanch the potatoes in boiling water for 3-4 mins.

 

  •  Drain and sprinkle your flour over the potatoes coating them.

 

  •  Place a baking/roasting tray in the oven with a little rapeseed oil in it. Once hot pop the potatoes onto it ( it should sizzle ) with the herbs and garlic and place in the oven for about 15 minutes or when crispy, golden brown.

 

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  • Once the casserole and potatoes are done. Best way to cook this cabbage is boil your water first and then once rapidly boiling plunge into the hot water. It will only need about 4-5 minutes cooking maximum and will stay vivid green.

 

  •  Once the cabbage is cooked, serve all together and enjoy.

 

 

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Sausage, veg & mashed potato pie

 

 

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Crispy mash top

 

I have just come in from being in the garden ( yes, sowing already )!  And even though we had glorious sunshine this morning in Leicestershire, it now has turned somewhat dull, and cloudy with a nip in the air still, due to the changing of seasons.

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Looking “Spring – like” in my garden. That is my rocket that has gone to flower in the background.

 

I’m starting off the week with a recipe that I have made twice now in our household and both times we have gone back for seconds, in fact one house guest actually had thirds!

We had this yesterday for our Sunday dinner as I had currently bought some reduced pork sausages and my leeks were only 21p too, bargain. The first time I made it was on a Friday night when a friend of ours stayed for the weekend. I wouldn’t have normally cooked something like this on a Friday but I’m glad I didn’t do my first choice, which was a fish pie…as it turns out, he wasn’t keen on fish! I was meant to write about it then, but it went down so good that muggins here forgot to take photographs.

This dish is great for a family midweek meal. By all means, if you don’t want the wine in it, take it out. It’s such a frugal recipe that will stretch far for portions and has lots of hidden veg inside too. I have used frozen peas and sweetcorn in this so for families who have the frozen mixture with carrots in also, use that if you like.

What a  great way to make sausage and mash that little bit more special. A real, rustic bake that you will have your family wanting more.

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Not the greatest photo, I admit, but I can assure you, this is comfort at its best.

Ingredients:

( Serves up to 6 people or 4 very generous portions )

  •  1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  •  1 pack of 8 British pork sausages ( not with a lot of herbs )
  •  2 onions sliced
  •  1 leek sliced
  •  A good splash of red wine ( I used a French full bodied ) about 125ml * Optional *
  •  1 tbsp tomato puree
  •  dash of Worcester sauce
  •  1/2 tbsp of Damson jam or any thing such as red current jelly to a similar taste
  •  Fresh herbs ( small sprig of each ) rosemary, thyme and sage
  •  handful of frozen peas and sweetcorn ( defrosted and drained )
  •  1/2 pork stock cube
  •  2 tbsp of chicken gravy or pork ( good quality )
  •  Salt and cracked black pepper to season ( may not need salt )

Mashed potato topping 

  • 8 good sized potatoes ( I use Marfona from a local farm )
  •  2 good knobs of unsalted butter
  •  1 tsp of Dijon mustard
  •  dash of double cream ( 100 ml )
  •  Salt and cracked black pepper to season if needed.

 

Method:

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Pretty self explanatory really…some sausages cut up!

 

  •  Boil your potatoes. Mash with the other ingredients or use a potato ricer like I did, then add in the ingredients.

 

  • Preheat your oven to 180c

 

  • Fry off your sausages until starting to turn golden brown.

 

  • Cut your sausages into 3 and place into your chosen oven proof dish.

 

  • Fry your onion until starting to soften and turn colour. Add in the red wine, tomato puree, Worcester sauce, Jam or jelly, stock and gravy and stir together. Add 300ml of water or until consistency is correct for a thick sauce. Taste to see if you need anything else more.

 

  • Add in your leeks and herbs. Cook for about 5 more minutes. Adding water if need be. Pour the gravy mixture over the sausages.

 

  • Scatter your peas and sweetcorn over. Cover with the mash and fork the top to create lots of crispy bits.

 

  • Pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Serve with green veg such as cabbage, Spring greens or broccoli.

 

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Layering up

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That crispy top again. You’ll fight for this corner/ end bits! 

Rich Beef Casserole (East Meets West)


Normally, at this time of year, this is this food I am always wanting and cooking, but as I begin to write this post apparently here in the Uk tomorrow for Halloween, it is going to be 20c! Well, I am going to post this anyway as soon enough, it will turn chilly! 

 
I still cannot believe, in some tiny way that this Casserole that I came up with months ago was the best I had ever made.  Yes, it was! I am hesitant to admit it as it involves the contents of Chinese sauces. But by the by, it still was the best I had ever made. 

   It was one of the first recipes I thought about doing when I was first produced with this Recipe development project for Lee Kum Kee.  I suppose it is because I remember Chef’s pairing Oysters with fillet steak and creating rich sauces with those oysters.  It was an acquired taste, but one that was around for a while.  Shockingly, years ago I worked with a chef who still thought he was in that era and was trying to recreate a recipe by using tinned Oysters to create a sauce for steak! Yak! 

    Anyway, I set to making this Beef Casserole and am pleased to say that it worked the first time. The lovely flavour of the Oyster sauce pairs beautifully with the Beef and along with that earthy taste of the Chestnut mushrooms and Soy bouncing off that, this was a delightful, rich Bowl of Beef casserole which I will always make now. It’s my little “rule breaking” dish that Im quite fond of! Sometimes maybe rules have to be broken, well… just a little.




Rich Beef Casserole:



Ingredients:

(Serves 4) Takes Approximately 3 hours

–  2 Tbsp of Rapeseed or Olive oil
–  Knob of Unsalted Butter–  400g Shin Beef/Casserole steak cut to 1 1/2 inch cubes
–  2 Tbsp of Plain flour to coat the Beef
–  Salt and cracked black pepper to season
–  1 onion sliced
–  2 Garlic Cloves bashed not chopped
–  1 Celery stick diced fine
–  2 Carrots Chopped Roughly into 1/2 inch pieces
–  1/2 Swede Chopped Roughly into 1/2 inch pieces
–  1 Beef stock cube (may need 2 depending on how intense your stock is) 
–  Small sprig of Thyme taken off stalks and chopped finely
–  2 Bay Leaves
– 1 Tbsp of Tomato Puree
–  250ml of  Chianti Red Wine
–  2-3 Tbsp of Lee Kum Kee Oyster Sauce
–  2 Tbsp of Lee Kum Kee Deluxe Soy Sauce

Method:

–  Preheat your Oven to 160c

–  Place your Chopped Beef onto a chopping board or plate and dry off all moisture with a Kitchen Towel.

–  Season the Beef and also coat with the flour.

–  In a Heavy Bottomed Casserole Pot heat 1 tbsp of oil until sizzling and start to add the Beef. Do not overcrowd as it will not Brown properly.

–  Once all Beef has browned, take out and place onto a plate. Heat the remanding oil into the same Pot and a knob of butter. When Sizzling add the Onions, Celery, carrots and swede and allow to brown also.

–  At this stage add the Beef back into the Pot, stir and add the Red wine. Pop in the Beef stock, Tomato Puree and herbs and Cover with Water. Bring to a simmer on the hob.

–  Place into the Hot Oven for 2 hours.

–  After the 2 Hours Add the Oyster Sauce and Soy Sauce, Stir and place back into the oven for another hour or until Meat and Vegetables are tender.

– At this stage, you may need to balance flavours, i.e if needs a little sugar or more Soy Sauce.

–  This dish is great served with Mashed potato or Boiled Rice.




Ragu Tagliatelle and National Butchers Week

Between The 4th and 10th of March was National Butchers week.  I am such  a Lover and very Passionate about using our Local shops and keeping that Tradition going in the Uk.  I.E Keep our Butchers, Grocers, Bakers going!! etc etc… 
  Anyway…So What could I produce from my local Butcher, Something I hadn’t ever done before.  My first thought into my mind was a traditional Ragu.  Now I know that doesn’t sound very adventurous but in fact, In the Past I had cooked a ragu sauce before but not a “PROPER” one.  One where if Antonio Carluccio Or Giorgio Locatelli walked into my kitchen, they would be proud! 
 So I thought of these two great Chefs and wondered what their take on a “Ragu” was.  Well I found that They had quite different recipes and of course I couldn’t decide which to use? “Right then”, I said to my Partner.  “I do My own.”  “Actually no, I will do Both theirs and a few of my added touches in with it.”  As Carluccio does more of a tomato based with no herbs and pancetta.  Whereas Locatelli Uses more in depth ingredients such as more Red wine and hardy herbs.  Now at the time, I thought I was doing the right thing, all getting excited but unbeknown to myself, I was doing what I have still always done with the Ragu and complicating it…

  My Partner loved the outcome, but For me I hadn’t achieved my goal.  But as all us Chefs/Cooks will know,  sometimes Recipes take time… Anyway Well here Is the Recipe that I used and the outcome.  

Ragu Tagliatelle ( Thanks to Antonio Carluccio and Giorgio Locatelli) 

Recipe:


250g of Pork mince
250g of Beef mince
100g of Chicken Livers
Olive Oil
1 Carrot finely diced
1 Celery stick finely diced
2 cloves of Garlic finely chopped
very small sprigs of Rosemary , Sage and Thyme tied together,
150 ml of  white wine (pinot grigio)
1/2 a bottle of red wine ( I used a good chianti) 
2 tablespoons of tomato puree/paste
500ml of very good Organic Passata
Very small amount of chicken stock just added when
the sauce was getting dry.
Seasoning if needed.
Parmesan for serving.
Tagliatelle pasta (I used dried this time “shock horror”! next time I will do fresh) !

Method:

Heat up your pan with the Olive oil and Fry off the Onions, Celery, Carrot and Garlic for roughly 10 mins.  Then Add the Meat, not livers yet though, and cook until browned.  Add the white wine so that the alcohol evaporates into the meat. Add 250 ml of Red wine, The tomato paste and passata and simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours. However long you do it for, add the chicken livers half an hour before the finish time and add the stock and rest of red wine if the sauce becomes dry. My Dish took 3 hours but that’s probably due to my sciatica! 
 Before the sauce is almost ready, cook the pasta for no more than 10 minutes, you need it “Al dente” (bit of a bite still to it).  Drain the pasta off add a little olive oil to coat.  Then I just took some of the sauce into another frying pan and added the right amount of pasta to it to coat ( as you can see from the pictures ), as this depends on how many people, how much people like to eat etc… you know how it is people?! 

So My outcome to this dish is that I felt I over complicated it. My Partner loved it, I know it needs working on.  But I have learnt from my mistake and will do Both their versions again and adapt to what I like I feel my taste is. However one thing I do know is that I will never go back to what I did before.  Thank you to, two, Great Italian Chefs.









My warming beef stew with a hint of the med

Over The weekend in The Uk…As the “High meets the Low”, and brings in the Snow…I decided to cook a warm Hearty meal again but not too heavy.  I personally Do not mind the snow, as I have mentioned before that I love seasonal change and of course the food brought with it.  But maybe some of my readers would appreciate a bit “more warmth”. As some might have that thought of the Lovely foods abroad as we start looking at those Flights and Hotels and jetting away for summer. (I know You are out there!).

 So My perfect recipe I thought for this is…

 My Warming Beef Stew with a hint of the med.(Half English Stew and Greek Beef Stifado).


ChezJ9 © 2013.



Recipe : 

(Serves 4)

Beef Shin or Chuck diced 400g
Olive oil 
2 Onions roughly chopped
Plain flour to coat the meat
seasoning 
approx 250ml good quality Beef Stock (strong) any questions on this please comment me?
Red wine (Chianti) 250ml
2 tblsps of Tomato puree 
A good pinch of oregano I had dried but if fresh, use half at the beginning and half at the end.
2 or 3 Bay leaves dry or fresh again
Dash of Balsamic vinegar
2-3 Carrots
2-3 Parsnips
1 medium sized Leek sliced very chunky 3/4 inch thick
2 chestnut mushrooms finely chopped
Fresh Basil and Parsley to serve.


Pat Your meat with a good quality kitchen towel or Tea towel as your meat needs to be nice and dry to help it brown.  Then coat it lightly in plain flour with some salt and cracked black pepper. Not too much salt as you can always add later on.
 In a hot Deep stewing/casserole pan start to brown off the meat using the olive oil. Once it has a nice browning around the edges take out and place on Kitchen paper. 
 Start frying of half of the chopped onions until starting to brown. Add the Bay leaves, oregano, Beef, Tomato puree, dash of balsamic vinegar, Beef stock and the Red wine. Give a good stir and keep on a simmering heat. Always keep checking your stew to take off any scum from the flour also in fear of drying out. if so just keep tasting and adding water and if need be more wine and beef stock. 
 Once the meat is starting to become soft add your carrots, then after 8 minutes your parsnips and about 5 minutes after, your leeks and mushrooms go in.

If you find at any point it’s too tart, then add a touch of cinnamon.  When it is ready to serve add the chopped Basil and Parsley.

As this is such a versatile dish, you could serve with Crusty Bread, Polenta, Rice or In my case…Mashed Potato (Maris Pipers). I added Cream, Butter, seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon of Horseradish sauce (The best you can find). 

Please at any point if you feel you don’t understand somethings on this recipe? just contact me? as it sounds a long, complicated dish but once you get the hang of these sorts of dishes…they will come as a breeze to you 🙂