Milky Chicken and a pie without pastry

For those of you that have read my blog before, you will know I put up my first ever meal plan post on Sunday. Meal planning is a regular occurrence in my house, unfortunately so is going slightly off-piste! Needing to write up those meals, plus day 13 of my Blogging101 course, meant I was looking for a food event to take part in. Lo and behold CookOnceEatTwice reared it perfect head. So here goes…..

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Sausage Casserole

Day 4 of my current blogging101 course is to write for your ideal reader.  I’m a bit late starting this post as I’ve been trying to work out just who my ideal reader is. I discussed it with the Other Half and his answer was the truest so far ‘a girl a lot like you’. I’ve always said I write for myself and if anyone else enjoys it, that’s a bonus.  The more I thought about it, the more I realised he was right. I’m writing to a younger version of me, trying to get across that cooking is a lot simpler than people think so just crack on and have a go. Fortunately, the next post I had planned was ideal for this, a simple sausage casserole, the ultimate comfort food.

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Sun dried tomato bread

I haven’t baked bread for ages, over a year at least. Returning to part time work has given me a little more time and this week I put that to use and made a hearty sausage casserole (post coming soon!) accompanied by some nice fresh bread. The Other Half reckons this is the best bread I’ve made yet. It was based on a recipe from Bread by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno.

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Slow cooked beef cheek stew

Due to real life being both difficult and hectic at the moment, I am guilty of neglecting my blog at the minute so I apologise for that now.

Hectic and difficult mean only one thing for me, slow cooked comfort food and what better than beef stew? Beef stew made from ox cheek in lots of red wine!

Ingredients

2 Beef cheeks
1 bottle of red wine
3 garlic cloves
3 carrots
1 onion
Pancetta
Handful of sliced mushrooms
Tinned tomatoes
First of all marinade the cheeks in 300ml of the red wine with chopped garlic cloves, if you have any thyme this would also be a good addition as is a healthy dose of cracked black pepper. I left mine overnight but anything from an hour upwards will be fine.

Dice your carrots and finely slice the onion and then fry of in a little butter or oil until softened, then add the bacon and mushroom. At this point you can fry the cheeks to brown them but I never find this a vital step. Add the meat and marinade and bring to the boil, stir well, add the tin of tomatoes and enough wine to cover and then cook on a low heat for 6-8 hours. You can probably use a slow cooker but I cook mine in a stock pot on top of the woodburner. In the end it cooked for 10 hours but as it is not a fierce heat that was fine, alternatively you can cook for 3-4 hours on a low gas in the oven but you will need to check it doesn’t dry out.

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Serve with creamy mash. Fairly quick to prepare, the slow cooking takes out all the headache and you end up with a meltingly tender mouthful of gorgeousness. If you are frightened of cooking beef cheeks, there really is no need, they make the richest stew and all they really need is a lot of time. The fat adds to the flavour but if they are very fatty you can ask your butcher to trim, or do it yourself at home.

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