Rabbit and chorizo stew

If you need a tasty dish for rabbit, look no further. I found it useful to have a mouli for the sauce. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil for frying
  • Approx 200g raw chorizo sausages
  • 1 rabbit, jointed
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, or home grown tomatoes
  • 4 colves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp hot paprika
  • 2 pointed red peppers, halved and grilled to char the skin
  • 200 ml light stock (chicken, vegetable or rabbit)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

METHOD:

  • In a large frying pan with a lid, heat the olive oil to a low/moderate heat. Fry the chorizo until the fat runs. Remove it from the pan, and set aside.
  • Season the rabbit with salt and pepper, and fry until browned on all sides, around 5 minutes
  • Put the tomatoes, garlic and paprika in a blender and blitz. Then put the mixture through a mouli to get rid of any seeds. 
  • Add the tomato sauce to the rabbit in the pan, bring to a simmer, and reduce the sauce over a low heat for around 15 minutes. 
  • Remove the charred skin from the peppers, chop them roughly, and add them to the pan, along with the chorizo and stock, and bring back to a simmer.
  • Cover the pan and cook slowly for around an hour, until the rabbit is falling from the bone. Strip the meat from the bones, and put it back into the stew. 
  • Just before serving, mix the parsley, lemon and olive oil and drizzle over the stew. 

I’m not sure what you are meant to serve this with, we had potatoes. 

Beef cheeks with pappardelle

While we were away in Devon, we went to a farm shop, where there were a lot of organic and locally produced foods. In the interests of no waste, they were selling a lot of cuts of meat that are not readily available in supermarkets. We bought a couple of beef cheeks. This is a delicious cut of meat, rich and tender when cooked long and slow. This made four portions, and is based on a few recipes I looked up on the internet. 

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 10 g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 beef cheeks
  • olive oil
  • 100g smoked pancetta
  • 4 sticks of celery
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/4 tsp powdered cloves
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • ½ a cinnamon stick
  • a bunch of mixed fresh herbs such as parsley, bay, rosemary, tied in a bundle.
  • 250ml wine
  • 300ml passata (or pureed tomatoes from a tin)
  • Salt and pepper
 
 
 

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 160C. Put the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Season the beef cheeks with salt and black pepper. Chop the vegetables into 1cm dice. 
  • In a small casserole dish, heat the olive oil, and then sear the beef cheeks on both sides until they are browned. 
  • When the beef cheeks are properly browned, turn the heat down a little, and add the pancetta and cinnamon, cooking and stirring until the pancetta is golden.  
  • Add the crushed garlic and diced vegetables. Reserving the liquor, drain the mushrooms and add them to the pan, along with the bundle of herbs. Cook and stir, cook and stir for 15 minutes. 
  • Pour in the wine, and bring to a simmer, reduce by half and then stir in the porcini water and the tomato puree. Add water, around 300ml. Scrunch up some greaseproof paper and dampen it, and put it on top, to retain steam, and then put the lid on. 
  • Cook in the oven for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until really tender. Check every so often to see if you need to add any water. 
  • When the beef cheeks are cooked, shred and stir. 
  • Serve with pappardelle, or with polenta. I’m sure it would be good with mashed potatoes as well. For pappardelle, I allow around 250g for four people. 

Local meat – it is the time that it is readily available as we head into winter. I have some plans for a duck ragu to go with pappardelle, and for a few lamb dishes. And some venison. 

 

Sausage and Kidney stew

This is delicious, but I may update this; the original recipe had peas in it, and I am not sure about when to add the kidneys to the stew. But it is delicious enough that I caught Mr B fishing around in it with a serving spoon, scooping up some more. I served this with mashed potatoes and kale. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 sheep kidneys, skinned, quartered and the middle bits removed
  • 6 sausages (I used beef sausages, because they were reduced in the co-op) – cut into thirds
  • 125g bacon or pancetta, cut into strips
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 200g carrots, cut into batons
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced quite thickly
  • 25g butter or 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 300ml stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 50ml sherry
  • salt and pepper

METHOD:

  • Set the oven to heat to 150C
  • Heat the oil in a casserole dish. When it is hot, add the bacon and cook until it is browning and the fat is running. 
  • Add the sausages and kidneys, and cook until just browning. Remove everything from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. 
  • Fry the onion, celery and mushrooms in the same pan over a medium heat, until softening. This will take around five minutes.
  • Add the flour, and stir it in, cooking all the while, for another minute
  • Add the stock, sherry and tomato puree, and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Add the sausages and kidney back to the pan, along with the carrots. Put the lid on the casserole dish and put it into the oven. Cook for half an hour. 

Venison and coconut curry

We had had venison the other night, and so I made this curry with the left-overs. The original recipe uses venison fillet from a roe or sika deer, but the venison we had was of a more formidable cut. We had pot-roasted it, and so I diced up the remains and hijacked a few other recipes for ideas. I also used up a few bits from the depths of the fridge. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, or other vegetable oil
  • 2 small red onions, finely sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 500g diced cooked venison
  • 200ml coconut water
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • grated zest and juice of one lime
  • 4 small cloves of garlic, minced
  • 50g ginger root, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves, or 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder (I used Kashmiri chilli powder)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground star anise or 2 star anise 
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 50g tomato puree

METHOD:

  • I use an old coffee grinder attachment with my blender to grind up spice mixes, but a pestle and mortar will do the job. In the spice grinder, grind together the fennel, salt, cumin, cloves, ground star anise (if this is what you have) and garam masala. Add the chopped ginger and the garlic, and grind again. Then add the tomato paste and mix well. 
  • Melt the coconut oil in a large pan and fry the onion with the whole star anise and the cinnamon. Fry over a medium heat for five to ten minutes, until it is begining to brown. Add the spice mixture and continue frying for another couple of minutes 
  • Add the meat and continue frying for another couple of minutes, until it is hot, and then add the coconut water, coconut milk, lime juice and lime zest. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook until the meat is hot through, around another five minutes. 

This is good with plain white rice. 

Borlotti bean and vegetable stew

I found the original recipe I was given rather sweet, so I have reduced the amount of honey in the recipe here. I’m currently trying out all sorts of recipes with potato in, if you hadn’t noticed. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can of borlotti beans
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 carrots, 1cm dice
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 dried chillies, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp mild dried chilli flakes
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • juice of half a lemon, about 2 tbsp
  • a good grind of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve

METHOD: 

  • Heat the oil over a medium flame, and fry the onion, garlic and carrot for around ten minutes. Keep stirring so that the vegetables don’t catch. 
  • Add the tomato paste, chillies and chilli flakes, and cook for a minute. 
  • Add the borlotti beans, potato, dried basil and salt and cook for a few minutes to heat everything through
  • Add 500ml boiling water and the lemon juice, and simmer for around twenty minutes until the potato is cooked. 
  • Add the black pepper and honey to taste, and stir the parsley through. Leave the stew for around ten minutes before serving, to allow the flavours to mingle. 

Chinese potato stew

This is a delicious vegetarian stew, it reheats well, and is very forgiving with variations on the vegetables. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 slices of fresh ginger, peeled and crushed
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 4cm cubes
  • 1 pack of green beans, sliced into 4cm lengths
  • 2 carrots, cut into 4cm batons
  • 1 punnet of mushrooms, cut into 4cm chunks (or whole if you picked the right size at the shop)
  • 4 tbsp dark soy sauce (Chinese Soy Sauce)
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry or shaohsing wine

METHOD:

  • Heat the oil in a large pan, medium to high heat, and when it is hot, add the ginger and garlic, fry for around 15 seconds. 
  • Add the potatoes, beans and carrots, and stir for another minute.
  • Add the mushrooms, and fry for another minute.
  • Add around 500m boiling water, the soy sauce, sugar and wine, and bring back to the boil. Cover, turn the heat down low and simmer for around twenty minutes. 
  • Remove the cover and turn the heat up, boiling the sauce down, stirring gently as you go. You are aiming to get down to a thick gravy-like sauce which coats the vegetables. 
  • If you want to prep ahead and reheat for after work, leave a little more sauce, so that this boils down as you reheat it. 

Mutton Paprika

This stew is so tender, so tasty, and so simple. Tonight we served it with mashed potatoes, but it is also great with dumplings. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 kg neck of mutton or lamb, chopped
  • 3 tbsp mild paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 500ml stock
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • chopped parsley 

METHOD:

  • Check the meat over, remove any excess fat or loose bits of splintered bone. I leave the neck chops with the bone in. 
  • Mix the spices, salt and pepper, flour and meat together in a container, seal it and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to cook; this could be overnight, but don’t worry if you forget and don’t have so much time. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a large casserole pan, and gently fry the onions until they are soft. 
  • Add the meat and heat through, before adding the stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 2 hours or so. This can be done in the oven, temp 130 C
  • Once it is cooked, add the lemon juice (which is optional) and serve garnished with chopped parsley. 
  • If you want dumplings, mix 225g self-raising flour with 110g suet and chopped parsley, and add enough ice-cold water to make a loose dough. Make balls of dough about the size of walnuts, and drop them into the stew. Let them cook for around 20 minutes. 

Delicious. Also, adaptable. You can swap around the stock, add wine, add a few herbs such as bay leaves and oregano, add sliced potatoes for the last hour of cooking instead of dumplings. 

Mutton Curry, Jamaican style

I made this with some odd cuts of mutton from the freezer, I had about 1kg of meat, including some ribs and other odds and ends. I started with a recipe from Original Flava for Curry Goat, and scaled up the ingredients. There’s actually several versions on their website, so I didn’t feel so bad adjusting it to fit what I had. I made the main part of the stew the night before I needed it, but because the ingredients needed marinaded, I actually started the prep on Tuesday for a meal on Thursday. The actual cooking part is very easy, and the end result is very very tasty, and quite hot. 

The other thing that would be good to get ahead of starting is some scotch bonnet pepper paste, ground allspice and Caribbean curry powder, which is quite mild. They are all available online. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1kg mutton, cut into chunks about 3cm across
  • Caribbean curry powder – around 3 tbsp
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2cm ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 cm ginger root, chopped
  • 1 can of coconut milk (I only had around 300ml, not a full can, it was still delicious)
  • 300ml vegetable stock or water
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 6 small waxy potatoes, cleaned and cut into chunks
  • 1/3 tsp scotch bonnet chilli paste
  • If you wish, add chopped tomatoes. I added two ripe tomatoes that were minding their own business in the vegetable rack.

METHOD:

  • Chop the meat, leave bones in. In a large container with a lid, mix the mutton with 1 tbsp curry powder, salt, pepper, allspice and turmeric, and leave to marinade in the fridge overnight. 
  • The next day, heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a large pan and add a tablespoonful of curry powder. Fry the meat in batches, and set the browned meat aside in a bowl. 
  • Check there is enough oil in the pan, and the fry the onion over a medium to high heat, until it is beginning to brown, and then add the ginger and garlic. Continue to cook for another couple of minutes
  • Add a little coconut milk and the scotch bonnet paste, mix it in and then add the mutton back into the pan. Stir it all together and then add the rest of the coconut milk, tomatoes, another 2 tbsp of curry powder, thyme and stock, and then cook the stew in a slow oven, around 150C for 2 hours. Once this step is complete, you could freeze the stew or put it in the fridge ready to finish the cooking later. 
  • Add the potatoes and the sliced spring onions, and simmer for another 30 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked. 

    This stew is one of those that benefits from being eaten the day after, as the flavours mingle together. Serve with rice. 

Caribbean roasted vegetable curry

There are lots of delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes on Original Flava, introduced to me by my daughter’s mother-in-law. Some of the ingredients used are not readily available locally, but there are some substitutions and good options still. I have ordered some scotch bonnet paste online, and for the rest, I’ve stuck to recipes that I can adapt to local ingredients. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 200g butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 200g sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 200g small potatoes, with the skin on
  • Olive oil
  • 2 onions (preferably one red onion, one white onion)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • A 2cm piece of ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp curry powder (you can buy West Indian curry powder online at Seasoned Pioneers
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • A good handful of spinach or homegrown Japanese kale
  • 1/4 tsp scotch bonnet paste
  • salt and pepper

METHOD:

  • Heat the oven to 180C
  • Cut the vegetables to 3 cm chunks. You don’t need to peel anything, but I’m not a fan of butternut squash rind. Onion squash rind is softer and is a good alternative. Put the vegetables onto a baking tray, and add about 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for at least 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. 
  • Heat another tbsp oil in a pan, and gently fry the onions, garlic, ginger, spring onions and chopped tomatoes until they are soft.
  • Add a pinch of salt, 2 tsp ground black pepper, curry powder and paprika. Mix together and cook for a minute, and then stir in the coconut milk so that you have a thick paste. 
  • Take the roasted vegetables, and add these to the pan, along with the stock, thyme, spinach and scotch bonnet. Bring to a simmer, check for seasoning, and then keep simmering until the spinach is cooked. 

 

Ital rundown – Hebridean style

I’ve been given a book on Caribbean cookery, full of ideas and new ingredients. The limitation is on which ones I can purchase locally – not a lot of cho-cho or okra or scotch bonnet peppers. I tried this recipe, leaving out the cho-cho, and using some fresh garden kale, and it was really good, tasty and filling. This makes a lot of vegetable stew, to be served with rice, or perhaps alongside a chicken dish, or on its own. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp scotch bonnet pepper sauce or 1 scotch bonnet pepper (available online) (or use red chillies from the co-op – use a lot; this is meant to be very spicy)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger root, peeled and chopped, or half a teaspoonful of dried ginger
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 large corn cob, chopped into 5 segments 
  • 200ml marigold stock
  • 3 bell peppers, mixed colours, sliced
  • 100g Japanese kale, or spinach
  • 200ml coconut milk (half a can)

METHOD:

  • Heat the oil in a large casserole pan, and fry the onions and garlic, until softening. 
  • Add the scotch bonnet sauce, black pepper, thyme, ginger, all-spice, turmeric, and stir in, before adding the sweet potato, squash, corn and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. 
  • Add the kale, peppers and coconut milk, adjust seasoning. Simmer for another five minutes or so until the kale is cooked. 

This is a very filling, hearty stew, brightening up a winter’s evening.