When the temperatures drop and there’s a chill in the air, warm yourself from the inside out. Indulge in a delicious, hearty meal and cancel your winter blues. With one (or all three) of these delicious dishes to look forward to at the end of an icy day, all of a sudden winter won’t seem so bad after all.
Oxtail and red wine potjie
Serves: 8 -10
When the temperatures drop and there’s a chill in the air, warm yourself from the inside out.
Recipe source: Jeanne Horak-Druiff for http://www.cooksister.com/2014/08/oxtail-red-wine-potjie.html
The richness of oxtail and red wine combine to make a meal to remember.
- 500g fresh oxtail (get your butcher to slice them into pieces in between the bones)
- 10 slices of bacon cut into 2.5cm pieces
- ½ cup flour, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper
- 1 litre beef stock and 115g tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 black peppercorns and 1 bouquet garni
- 4 large leeks, 2 large onions all chopped coarsely
- 6 large carrots, 2 chopped coarsely and 4 diced finely
- 20 button mushrooms, quartered
- 250ml red wine
- 2 tablespoons butter, olive oil and crushed garlic
- Wipe the oxtail dry with a paper towel. Put seasoned flour in a resealable plastic bag, then add the oxtail and shake to coat with flour.
- Heat the butter and olive oil in the potjie (either over coals or gas) and sauté bacon pieces.
- Remove bacon, add the oxtail to the pot and brown in the bacon fat. When each piece is browned all over, remove and drain on paper towels while keeping warm.
- Add four finely diced carrots to the pot together with the chopped onions and the leeks, and sauté until softened.
- Return the oxtail and bacon to the pot and add the bouquet garni, bay leaf, peppercorns, garlic, tomato sauce, beef stock and red wine.
- Bring slowly to the boil (if you got this far on gas, now is the time to transfer it to the coals). Cover tightly with a lid and allow to cook undisturbed for four hours.
- One hour before serving, add the remaining carrots and mushrooms and continue cooking slowly, without stirring. If you want a thicker sauce, stir in some corn starch mixed with cold water just before serving over rice or pap.
For a cheap and cheerful vegetarian option, try this quick and healthy stew.
Tomato Bean Stew with Spinach and Marinated Red Peppers
Serves: 3 -5
Recipe adapted from: http://www.treehugger.com/easy-vegetarian-recipes/anything-goes-savory-tomato-bean-stew-vegan.html
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 onions, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 2 cans tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 cup marinated red peppers, roughly chopped
- 2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 generous bunches spinach, washed and chopped
- Heat olive oil in large pot until it shimmers. Add onion and cook until translucent (about five minutes). Add garlic and thyme and cook until the garlic is golden.
- Add the tomatoes and red peppers. Stir and cover stew and cook for 15 or 20 minutes to allow flavours to come together.
- Add beans and spinach and cook until beans are warmed through and spinach is cooked. Taste and add salt and pepper accordingly.
Shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash
Recipe source: Pete Evan for http://www.goodfood.com.au/good-food/cook/recipe/shepherds-pie-with-cauliflower-mash-20140625-3assb.html
- 1 large head cauliflower florets, chopped
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (or coconut oil)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, diced
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 600g lamb mince
- 2½ tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped
- 80ml dry red wine
- 375ml beef stock or chicken stock (check gluten-free if required)
- 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil then add the cauliflower and cook for about 10 minutes until tender. Drain the cooked cauliflower and set it aside.
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan or saucepan over a medium to high heat. Add the cumin, onions, garlic, celery and carrots and cook for five minutes, or until they soften and begin to brown.
- Add the lamb mince and cook until browned. Add the tomato paste and thyme and cook for one minute, then pour in the wine and stock and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.
- Meanwhile, place the cooked cauliflower in the food processor and blend until smooth. Blend two tablespoons of oil through the puree and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To assemble, spread the meat mixture into the base of an ovenproof dish. Top with the cauliflower puree and smooth the top out evenly. Bake the pie in the oven for 30 minutes, or until lightly golden. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with a fresh, seasonal salad of your choice.