At such a beautiful time of year, its only right that you fill yourself up with warming, nutritious winter food. Recipes like this will help to boost your immune system, and fight off nasty bugs.
Have a look at these tasty winter dishes:
Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew Recipe
To create the tastiest winter stew, first choose the meat. You could either have a sausage, lamb, venison or beef stew (sometimes called a casserole). You can choose any kind of quality meat for a stew, in fact the less common parts of the animal taste fantastic in this kind of dish, as all the flavours will melt together, and any tough meat will soften.
Next choose some vegetables to go in your stew, begin with the basics: carrots, onions, celery and potato. Then how about throwing in some parnsip, turnip, brussel sprouts, or fennel.
Now move onto pulses and grains. Pearl barley tastes delicious in a stew, and gives a fantastic texture; lentils are great for giving depth of flavour and body to the stew; mixed beans are a lovely way to add goodness and variety to the mix.
Once you’ve chosen your ingredients, its time to combine them. Start by frying the chopped meat in a little oil, to seal in the flavours. You could fry them with a diced onion and a little bit of garlic. The meat only needs to be browned off on the outside, so it should not take very long. Pop this in your slow cooker.
Next, fry half of the veg in the leftover oil and fat from the meat; this will give the stew a lot more flavour. Then pop this, with the unfried vegetables into the slow cooker. Cover the meat and veg with some stock (any kind will do, bouillon granules are also tasty in this dish). Throw in a little salt and pepper, and some herbs if your feeling adventurous; try to compliment the flavor of the meat with your choice of herbs.
Leave this to cook overnight or throughout the day, and serve for a warming winter dinner with a crust of warm bread and a glass of red wine.
Beef and Potato Stew Recipe
Other easy beef stew recipes include beef and potato stew. Use the same method as mentioned above, only make sure to add a little more onion than normal, as this will taste extraordinarily good with the beef.
Serve this alongside a tasty homemade coleslaw and wholegrain ciabbatta bread.
Pork and Mushroom Pie
There’s nothing like a good pie on a wintry day. Its so warming and creamy, it will make you feel so relaxed and full you’ll fall asleep!
Start by making the roux for the sauce. Melt 100g butter on a medium heat, then mix in 100g wholemeal/gluten-free flour. Stir continuously. Cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, refrigerate or use straight away.
Fry 2 chopped onions in a casserole dish. Lower the heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Then turn up the heat, add 1tsp cumin, 1tsp coriander and then 1 1/2 lb diced pork. Cook until the pork changes colour, then add 250ml stock. Cover and cook for up to 1 hour.
While this is cooking, heat some olive oil in a frying pan, and throw in 300g mushrooms. Cook until slightly golden. Add to the pork halfway through its cooking time.
Once the pork is cooked, remove the meat and mushrooms from the liquid, and keep warm in a dish. Pour in 250ml low-fat cream to the juices in the casserole. Boil without the lid, in order to strengthen the flavour, and give intensity to the dish. Add 2 tbsps of the roux, whilst it is boiling, in order to thicken. Add some chopped parsley, then pop back in the pork and mushrooms.
Put this sauce in a large pie dish, cover with mashed potato or puff pastry, and put in the oven until golden. Serve with green beans and steamed broccoli.