Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 28 July 2011 Contents WHAT’S COOKING
Page 12 | 28 July, 2011
‘Tis the season for comfort food
and casseroles are champion
The cooking time may take longer
than other meals but casseroles
usually take less time to prepare;
you can cook the entire meal in
one pot; make double the amount
leaving some for the next evening
meal; vegetables can be baked or
roasted in the oven at the same
time; and desserts can be cooked
The secret of a good casserole is
long, low-heat cooking in a tightly-
covered, oven-proof container. The
lower the temperature, the longer
the cooking, the better the flavour.
This is the mantra of crockpot
enthusiasts. However, if you
can time-set your oven then you
can have your own slow-cooked
meal and bake the vegetable
I prefer to rub kumara, potatoes
or pumpkin with butter or table
spread then wrap them in
foil when baking along with a
casserole. This prevents them
from drying out and heightens the
Sautéing the meat and vegetables
prior to cooking also helps to
enhance the taste. It is especially
important to sauté the onion prior
to cooking in a crockpot otherwise
a raw onion flavour can dominate.
For guests, dress up your
casseroles by offering different
toppings. A classic is gremolata
as served on Osso Bucco - see
the recipe following. Or try salsa
verde, finely grated Parmesan
cheese and toasted breadcrumbs
or chopped capers, black olives
1 Tbsp each: rice bran oil, grated
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp each: ground cumin, coriander
1kg lean New Zealand pork suitable
for stewing, cut into 3-4cm cubes
2 star anise
1⁄2 cup pitted prunes
400g can diced Indian-style
420g can mangoes, drained
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
eat the oil in a large heavy-
based casserole or pan suitable
for the hob and oven. Sauté on
medium, the ginger, onion, cumin
and coriander until the onion is
tender. Add the pork, mixing well,
and sauté until lightly coloured.
Add the star anise, prunes and
tomatoes. Cut the mangoes into
smaller pieces, if necessary. Add
to the casserole. Cover and cook
in the oven for 11⁄2 -2 hours, until
the pork is tender. Add lemon juice
Alternatively, cook in a slow cooker
for 6-8 hours on low.
The juices can be thickened with 1
tablespoon of cornflour mixed to a
paste with 2 tablespoons of water.
Great served on creamy polenta or
with baked kumara.
Pork, prune and
4-6 large lamb shoulder chops
1⁄2 tsp dried oregano
1 small onion, finely chopped
freshly ground salt and pepper to
1 cup lamb jus or good meat stock
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups frozen sliced beans
1⁄2 cup pitted black olives
1 red pepper (capsicum), sliced
Preheat the oven
Place the trimmed
chops in a large
Sprinkle with the
Combine the stock
and tomato paste
and pour over the meat. Cover
and bake for 1 hour.
Add the beans, olives and red
Cover and continue cooking for
another 30 minutes.
Can be thickened with 2
teaspoons of cornflour mixed to a
paste with a little water. Stir into
Return the casserole to the
oven for about 10 minutes, until
Italian-style lamb hotpot
2 whole skinned and boned
3 Tbsp flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp dried tarragon
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 each: medium carrots, potatoes
4 pickling-sized onions
1 cup riesling
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh mixed herbs
eg basil, parsley, thyme
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Discard the skin from the chicken
and cut each breast in half. Toss
in the combined flour, salt, pepper
and tarragon. Heat the oil in a
pan and sauté the chicken, until
browned. Place in a casserole
Peel the vegetables and cut into
2cm cubes. Toss the vegetables in
the remaining flour and brown in
the remaining oil.
Add to the casserole.
Bring the wine to the boil in the
pan, stirring any burnt bits from
the base. Pour over the chicken.
Cover and cook for 1 hour, or
until cooked. Five minutes before
serving, stir in the herbs.
Perfect served with crispy baked
Tarragon chicken in wine
2 Tbsp olive oil
2kg beef shanks, cut about 4cm
freshly ground salt and black
pepper to taste
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups good quality tomato pasta
1 cup red wine
1 tsp dried basil
Gremolata: 4 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 tblsp finely grated lemon rind
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Heat the oil in a large pan suitable
for the hob and oven. Brown the
shanks then remove and season.
Add the onion, carrots and garlic
to the pan. Stir-fry for about 6
minutes, until the onion is tender.
Add the pasta sauce, the wine and
basil. Return the shanks to the
pan and bring to the boil.
Cover and cook in the oven for 21⁄2
hours or until the meat is tender.
Meanwhile, combine the
ingredients for the gremolata.
Remove the shanks to a warm
platter. Skim off any fat from the
cooking liquid. Bring the liquid
to the boil and cook until slightly
Spoon the sauce over the
shanks. Serve sprinkled with the
gremolata. Excellent served with
mashed potato or creamy polenta.
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