chicken pot au feu
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Happy Halloween

Hey guys! I felt compelled to write a post about my favourite recipes at this time of year. I always feel at this time of year my eating habits change rapidly from the lightness of summer to the comfort and cosiness of autumnal eating. Again, we find ourselves in solitary isolation which was difficult in the brighter airy months and feels increasingly tougher in these dark grey and wet weeks. This has impacted on my eating as well I feel I want food that is bolstering, hearty, and soul comforting but, with also with a lightness. Food that feels good to make, eat, and after too.  

My slow cooker has been brought out and is working overtime at the moment. It really makes some of the long slow cook meals I’m currently eating very easy. I find I really never us the slow cooker in the summer months. Here are some of my favourite recipes that can be made either in the slow cooker or the oven.  

A hearty beef & Guinness casserole with a duvet like dumpling topping. Everything about this dish is comforting from the aroma that it fills the house with to those cosy warm flavours and nothing is more reassuring on a cold evening than a big steaming bowl of stew.

Yields6 Servings

 2 onions, peeled
 2 Stalks celery
 3 Garlic cloves, peeled
 1 kg Stewing beef or Shin of beef
 3 tbsp Plain flour
 2 tbsp olive oil
 2 Large carrots peeled and cut into diagonal chunks
 500 ml Stout
 500 ml Beef stock
 2 Bay leaves
 1 tsp Thyme leavesfresh or dried
 Sea salt flakes & pepper
Cheese Scone
 300 g Plain flourplus extra for dusting work surface
 1 tsp Sea salt flakes
 1 tbsp Baking powder
 100 g suet
 50 g Mature Cheddar or smoked cheddarcoarsely grated
 1 tsp thyme
 ½ tsp course black pepper

1

Peel and quarter onion add to a food processor along with the celery and garlic. blitz until a wet pale green pulp is achieved. Set aside while you get on with the beef.

2

Add the beef to a large zip lock bag or bowl. Add the flour, salt and pepper. Lock the bag and squelch about in your hands to coat everything in the seasoned flour or mix together in the bowl. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan over a high heat then tip in a third of the beef allowing it to brown before moving about allowing the other side to brown. Transfer to a bowl or plate when browned all over. Repeat until all meat has been browned.

3

Turn the heat under the pan to low. Then tip in the blitzed onion, garlic and celery and add the carrots . Stir this about scraping up any bits you can from the bottom of the pan. When softened and almost translucent, tip back in the beef and any juices that collected.

4

Pour in the Guinness and beef stock. Add the bay leaves and thyme. Allow the pan to come back to boiling point, put on the lid, then transfer to 170°C oven for 3 hours.

5

10 minutes before the stew has had its time in the oven get on with the topping by adding the flour to a large mixing bowl along with the baking powder, salt, suet, cheddar, pepper and thyme. Mix together and make a well in the centre and pour in approx 3 -5 tablespoons of water and mix until it forms a dough. If you overdo the water simply simply flour your surface well and knead gently. Form into a fat sausage shape and cut into slice approx 2 cm wide.

6

Retrieve the stew from the oven, check for seasoning and season accordingly. Add the discs of dumpling dough on top of the stew overlapping slightly if necessary. Return to the oven this time without a lid and cook for a further 30 minutes until the dumpling are puffed up they will be soft and tender underneath and firm on top. They won't gain much colour but you can increase the oven temperature to make them more golden brown on top.

Ingredients

 2 onions, peeled
 2 Stalks celery
 3 Garlic cloves, peeled
 1 kg Stewing beef or Shin of beef
 3 tbsp Plain flour
 2 tbsp olive oil
 2 Large carrots peeled and cut into diagonal chunks
 500 ml Stout
 500 ml Beef stock
 2 Bay leaves
 1 tsp Thyme leavesfresh or dried
 Sea salt flakes & pepper
Cheese Scone
 300 g Plain flourplus extra for dusting work surface
 1 tsp Sea salt flakes
 1 tbsp Baking powder
 100 g suet
 50 g Mature Cheddar or smoked cheddarcoarsely grated
 1 tsp thyme
 ½ tsp course black pepper

Directions

1

Peel and quarter onion add to a food processor along with the celery and garlic. blitz until a wet pale green pulp is achieved. Set aside while you get on with the beef.

2

Add the beef to a large zip lock bag or bowl. Add the flour, salt and pepper. Lock the bag and squelch about in your hands to coat everything in the seasoned flour or mix together in the bowl. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan over a high heat then tip in a third of the beef allowing it to brown before moving about allowing the other side to brown. Transfer to a bowl or plate when browned all over. Repeat until all meat has been browned.

3

Turn the heat under the pan to low. Then tip in the blitzed onion, garlic and celery and add the carrots . Stir this about scraping up any bits you can from the bottom of the pan. When softened and almost translucent, tip back in the beef and any juices that collected.

4

Pour in the Guinness and beef stock. Add the bay leaves and thyme. Allow the pan to come back to boiling point, put on the lid, then transfer to 170°C oven for 3 hours.

5

10 minutes before the stew has had its time in the oven get on with the topping by adding the flour to a large mixing bowl along with the baking powder, salt, suet, cheddar, pepper and thyme. Mix together and make a well in the centre and pour in approx 3 -5 tablespoons of water and mix until it forms a dough. If you overdo the water simply simply flour your surface well and knead gently. Form into a fat sausage shape and cut into slice approx 2 cm wide.

6

Retrieve the stew from the oven, check for seasoning and season accordingly. Add the discs of dumpling dough on top of the stew overlapping slightly if necessary. Return to the oven this time without a lid and cook for a further 30 minutes until the dumpling are puffed up they will be soft and tender underneath and firm on top. They won't gain much colour but you can increase the oven temperature to make them more golden brown on top.

Beef & Guinness Cobbler

Authordanieldiver
Rating

A slow cook sensation and a crowd-pleaser. This recipe is well worth the wait.

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oxtail stew recipe

Yields6 Servings

 2.50 kg Oxtail, cut into 4cm pieces
 3 tbsp Plain flour
 Salt & pepper
 3 tbsp Olive oil
 2 Onions
 4 Carrots
 2 Stalks celery
 3 Cloves garlic
 1 x75cl bottle red wine
 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
 1 tbsp Worchsteshire sauce
 2 Bay leaves
 1 Small bunch Thyme, Leaves stripped from stalk

1

Add the oxtail, flour, and salt and pepper into a large zip lock bag. Seal and shake the bag to coat the meat in seasoned flour.

2

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a casserole pan over high heat. Brown the meat in the hot oil, this will need to be done in two or three batches depending on the dimensions of your pan. Allow the meat to gain a good colour and caramelize before turning over in the pan to brown the other side. Then transfer to a plate and repeat the process until all the meat has been browned.

3

Meanwhile, you can get on with chopping up all the vegetables. Peel and chop the onion and carrots. Then chop the celery and finely grate the garlic. Using the pan you browned the oxtail in, lower the heat to low. Add the remaining olive oil, if needed. Add all the vegetables and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables have softened slightly and the onions have become translucent. Tip any remaining flour from the zip lock bag into the pan.

4

Return the oxtail to the casserole. Turn the heat under the pan up high. Pour in the red wine and scrape up any caramelised bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the cans of tomato, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. When it begins to bubble again, put a lid on, and transfer to a 160˚C oven for 5 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.

5

You can serve straight away or alternatively, allow to sit until cool enough to remove the bones. It helps to glove up for this stage. The meat should come away easily from the bone.

Ingredients

 2.50 kg Oxtail, cut into 4cm pieces
 3 tbsp Plain flour
 Salt & pepper
 3 tbsp Olive oil
 2 Onions
 4 Carrots
 2 Stalks celery
 3 Cloves garlic
 1 x75cl bottle red wine
 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
 1 tbsp Worchsteshire sauce
 2 Bay leaves
 1 Small bunch Thyme, Leaves stripped from stalk

Directions

1

Add the oxtail, flour, and salt and pepper into a large zip lock bag. Seal and shake the bag to coat the meat in seasoned flour.

2

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a casserole pan over high heat. Brown the meat in the hot oil, this will need to be done in two or three batches depending on the dimensions of your pan. Allow the meat to gain a good colour and caramelize before turning over in the pan to brown the other side. Then transfer to a plate and repeat the process until all the meat has been browned.

3

Meanwhile, you can get on with chopping up all the vegetables. Peel and chop the onion and carrots. Then chop the celery and finely grate the garlic. Using the pan you browned the oxtail in, lower the heat to low. Add the remaining olive oil, if needed. Add all the vegetables and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables have softened slightly and the onions have become translucent. Tip any remaining flour from the zip lock bag into the pan.

4

Return the oxtail to the casserole. Turn the heat under the pan up high. Pour in the red wine and scrape up any caramelised bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the cans of tomato, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. When it begins to bubble again, put a lid on, and transfer to a 160˚C oven for 5 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.

5

You can serve straight away or alternatively, allow to sit until cool enough to remove the bones. It helps to glove up for this stage. The meat should come away easily from the bone.

Oxtail Stew

A recipe that I certainly can’t stop making at the moment is my chicken pot au feu it gives me the comfort of a stew whilst offering the lightness and freshness of a good chicken broth. A rare combination, but a welcome combo.  

chicken pot au feu

Yields4 Servings

 1 Large whole chicken
 1 tbsp Olive oil
 125 ml White wine
 2 Leeks (cleaned and chopped into thick logs)
 2 Sticks celery (chopped into large chunks)
 3 Carrots (peeled & cut into diagonal chunks)
 500 g New potatoes
 1 Sprig Thyme
 1 Sprig rosemary
 2 Bay leaves
 ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
 1 Chicken stock pot
 1 l Water approx.
 1 tsp Sea salt flakes
 1 Small bunch parsley (chopped)
 1 Small bunch dill (chopped)

1

Place the chicken on a chopping board breast side up and press down firmly to crack the breast bone and slightly flatten the chicken.

2

Heat the oil in a large casserole big enough to accommodate the chicken and vegetables over a high heat
Place the chicken breast side down in the hot oil it will splatter and splutter a little so be careful. Let it cook for a few minutes until golden and bronzed then flip over.

3

Pour wine around the chicken then add all the vegetables.

4

Tie together with some kitchen twin thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. Leaving enough excess string so that herbs will be submerged in the liquid and you can tie the other end to the pot handle.

5

Add the stock pot, water and salt. Allow to come to the boil once it does turn heat down low. Put lid on and allow to simmer for 90 minutes.

6

When it has had it’s 90 minutes using meat forks or a large slotted spoon, gently lift the chicken onto a cutting board. Allow to cool slightly, until you can carve chunkily or pull apart with your hands. Once you have removed all the meat from the carcass return the meat to the pot check for seasoning and serve with a good scattering of parsley and dill.

Ingredients

 1 Large whole chicken
 1 tbsp Olive oil
 125 ml White wine
 2 Leeks (cleaned and chopped into thick logs)
 2 Sticks celery (chopped into large chunks)
 3 Carrots (peeled & cut into diagonal chunks)
 500 g New potatoes
 1 Sprig Thyme
 1 Sprig rosemary
 2 Bay leaves
 ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
 1 Chicken stock pot
 1 l Water approx.
 1 tsp Sea salt flakes
 1 Small bunch parsley (chopped)
 1 Small bunch dill (chopped)

Directions

1

Place the chicken on a chopping board breast side up and press down firmly to crack the breast bone and slightly flatten the chicken.

2

Heat the oil in a large casserole big enough to accommodate the chicken and vegetables over a high heat
Place the chicken breast side down in the hot oil it will splatter and splutter a little so be careful. Let it cook for a few minutes until golden and bronzed then flip over.

3

Pour wine around the chicken then add all the vegetables.

4

Tie together with some kitchen twin thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. Leaving enough excess string so that herbs will be submerged in the liquid and you can tie the other end to the pot handle.

5

Add the stock pot, water and salt. Allow to come to the boil once it does turn heat down low. Put lid on and allow to simmer for 90 minutes.

6

When it has had it’s 90 minutes using meat forks or a large slotted spoon, gently lift the chicken onto a cutting board. Allow to cool slightly, until you can carve chunkily or pull apart with your hands. Once you have removed all the meat from the carcass return the meat to the pot check for seasoning and serve with a good scattering of parsley and dill.

Chicken Pot Au Feu

For simple solo indulgence I find myself making my mushroom barley risotto. It is a risotto made with pearl barley. Using the barley instead of rice means that it doesn’t require constant stirring. Although, I feel that at time perhaps that the mind numbing of standing stirring a traditional risotto might not bad thing either, a welcome distraction at the moment.  

mushroom barley risotto

Yields4 Servings

 25 g Butter
 1 tsp Olive oil
 1 Onion (peeled & chopped)
 2 Garlic cloves (minced)
 250 g Chestnut mushrooms (sliced)
 1 tsp Thyme
 300 g Pearl barley
 50 ml White vermouth or wine
 800 ml Beef stock
 90 g Cream cheese
 30 g Grated parmesan
 1 Small bunch parsley (chopped)

1

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based pan over a high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and tender.

2

Add the sliced mushrooms, salt, pepper and thyme to the pan and cook until the mushrooms have browned a little and soaked up the fat in the pan and then begin to omit their juices back into the pan.

3

Tip in the barley and stir through the juices in the pan for a moment. Add the white vermouth and allow to bubble for away for a moment before stirring in the stock.

4

When it begins to bubble, reduce heat, put lid on and simmer on a low heat for 25 - 30 minutes until almost all the liquid has been absorbed and barley is tender.

5

When cooked, turn off the heat and stir through the grated parmesan and cream cheese to make thick and creamy. Check seasoning. Spoon out onto a serving plate or bowl and scatter with chopped parsley.

Ingredients

 25 g Butter
 1 tsp Olive oil
 1 Onion (peeled & chopped)
 2 Garlic cloves (minced)
 250 g Chestnut mushrooms (sliced)
 1 tsp Thyme
 300 g Pearl barley
 50 ml White vermouth or wine
 800 ml Beef stock
 90 g Cream cheese
 30 g Grated parmesan
 1 Small bunch parsley (chopped)

Directions

1

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based pan over a high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and tender.

2

Add the sliced mushrooms, salt, pepper and thyme to the pan and cook until the mushrooms have browned a little and soaked up the fat in the pan and then begin to omit their juices back into the pan.

3

Tip in the barley and stir through the juices in the pan for a moment. Add the white vermouth and allow to bubble for away for a moment before stirring in the stock.

4

When it begins to bubble, reduce heat, put lid on and simmer on a low heat for 25 - 30 minutes until almost all the liquid has been absorbed and barley is tender.

5

When cooked, turn off the heat and stir through the grated parmesan and cream cheese to make thick and creamy. Check seasoning. Spoon out onto a serving plate or bowl and scatter with chopped parsley.

Mushroom Barley Risotto

During these challenging times I feel comfort and pleasure must be taken wherever possible and these are the recipes that give me immense joy and pleasure. 

Aboutdanieldiver

Food enthusiast and gym junkie. Love all things food and drink. Sharing recipes, cooking, eating and talking food.

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