Do you sometimes feel like you need to spend the whole weekend wrapped up in a duvet, eating comfort food and watching movies? We all have times like this! Here are a couple of ideas for delicious savory casseroles which are easy to make and will restore you and your loved-ones to your usual energetic selves! Both of these casseroles give off the most delicious aroma whilst cooking. They can be made in advance, and taste even better when re-heated a day or two later!
Braised Lamb shanks
You’ll need the following ingredients on your
- 4 lamb shanks
- Olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 3 cloves fresh garlic
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 pint full bodied red wine
- ¾ pint lamb or vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp. tomato puree
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius/300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a deep oven-proof/flame-proof dish and brown the seasoned lamb shanks for around 5 minutes.
- Add the finely chopped onion, carrot and celery and crushed garlic, and heat until the vegetables become golden and soft. Then add the wine, stock and tomato puree. Bring to boiling point and then add the rosemary and bay leaf.
- Cover and cook in the pre-heated oven for 2 to 2 ½ hours until the meat is so tender it is dropping away from the bone. During this time you will need to turn the meat a few times.
- Remove the lamb from the liquid and set aside in a warm place to rest.
- Return the dish to the hob and heat the liquid rapidly for around 10 minutes until it is thick and glossy.
- Remove the rosemary and bay leaf. Check the sauce for seasoning. Serve the lamb shanks with the sauce poured over. This goes well with creamed potatoes and green vegetables.
Chicken in Cider
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 6 shallots
- 1 apple (peeled, cored and sliced)
- 2 tbsp. chopped ham/pancetta
- 1 pint /600 ml dry cider
- ½ pint/200 ml chicken stock
- ¼ pint apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp dried tarragon/ 2 tbsp. fresh tarragon
- 4 tbsp. double cream
- Salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a deep flame-proof casserole dish. Brown the chicken breasts then add the shallots and chopped apple. Cook until the shallots and apple turn golden.
- Pour in the cider, chicken stock and cider vinegar.
- Add the tarragon. Season with salt and pepper and cover with tinfoil and a tightly-fitting lid. Simmer on the hob for 45 minutes- 1 hour until the chicken is very tender.
- Remove the chicken pieces and set aside somewhere warm to rest. Gradually whisk the cream into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve. This goes well with savoy cabbage and new potatoes.