Friday, 16 November 2012

Time for comfort food...

Well it's that time of the year again when the old stews and casseroles come to the fore and in these days (mine anyway) of rushing around - school runs, food shopping, coffee with friends and blogging as well as spending 15/20 hours a week studying, there's not a lot of time left for anything else.

So my trusty Slow Cooker comes to the rescue. I use it regularly, at least twice every week and it comes into its own with the casseroles. 

I don't really stick to a particular recipe but generally make my beef casseroles with the following:

500 g stewing steak - diced
A few carrots, sliced
Turnip, chopped
Some chopped swede
4/5 mushrooms sliced
Large onion, sliced
Bay Leaf
Mixed Herbs
Dash of Worcester sauce
Beef Stock Pot
Enough water to cover the meat and veg
Squeeze of tomato puree
Salt and pepper
Gravy granules to thicken at the end of cooking

Sometimes I squeeze in some HP Brown Sauce with Guinness - very tasty

I don't fry off the meat first but I throw it all in and add the boiling stock over the meat and this just browns it quickly. I normally switch on about 20 minutes beforehand and then turn up to High and there it stays for four or five hours - or more.  If I'm going to be out all day, then I leave it on Low. This recipe made enough for two good servings and then I froze the rest.

I bought these Soup/Stew freezer bags from Lakeland and they are excellent for fitting into a freezer if you haven't much room for a plastic or china dish. You just take them out to thaw and then re-heat in the microwave or tip into a saucepan.

Today we had Beef and vegetable pies for our dinner using bought puff pastry and the de-frosted casserole mix, served with mashed potato and Brussels sprouts and a touch of English mustard on the side..

A big welcome to my new followers Greenthumb, Macha, Karen and Tammy - it's lovely to have you on board.
Have a good weekend


  1. Oh those pies look so good. We have had a lazy day today, one friend for morning coffee, another for afternoon tea (at her's this time). We had looked after her little critters whilst she was away and she had bought us some goodies as a thank you. Tea tonight was a few chocolate liquers, toast and tea - lovely.

  2. I love to use our in the winter time also.

  3. I just love stodgy food this time of year, stews, yorkshire puds, pies, not good for the waistline though Patricia!

  4. Comfort food is a real pleasure this time of year, isn't it?

  5. I love using the slow cooker. So nice to have a meal all but ready in the evening.

  6. Yes. Slow cookers are great for the short winter nights, great to have something already cooking as I arrive home from work! X

  7. Those pies look so good . . . yum!!!

  8. Ooh - I must go looking for that HP Sauce with Guinness. Jx

  9. You've introduced me to something new - HP sauce with Guinness! Thank you! As always, all the best with the studying and fitting it in with all your other activities.

  10. It certainly is the right time of year for stews and casseroles I made a vegetable casserole in the week which was so tasty, sometimes if it is very cold I'll put herby dumplings in as well. I feel a visit to Lakeland is needed to buy some of those freezer bags:)

  11. I really should using my slow cooker more, it is so nice to come home to a lovely meal already prepared. Thank you for the recommendation those freezer bags look such a good idea too.
    Sarah x

  12. Mmmmm Mmmmm Mmmm Mmmm... that looks delicious!!!
    Shall I come round for tea then? :)
    I'm actually only in London for 12 days, not long this time...
    What part of England are you in?

  13. HP Guiness? How interesting is that!!
    I've not see that, but I did pick up some HP sauce today that had a MOstach on!! To celebrate MOvember... it cracked me up!

  14. I don't use a slow cooker but keep casseroles in a very low oven, they definitely are comfort foods. The pies look yummy - you've made me feel hungry now.

  15. Yes me too,you have made me hungry! Winter food is lovely. Stews ,casseroles and treacle pudding ! x Angela

  16. Those pies look delicious! I haven't got a slow cooker but I do like a good casserole or stew. Like you I don't brown the meat first, which of course cuts down on the calories.


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