Slow cooker Oxtail stew

Slow cooker Oxtail stew

Oxtail stew

Winter just shouts Oxtail stew and this Oxtail slow cooker recipe is fantastic, it takes the better part of a day to cook so put it on to cook on Saturday for your Sunday lunch and give it a gentle heat about 2 hours before serving. The meat is incredibly tender and the combination of the coke and red wine do wonders. I found this recipe in Zhoozsh, Jeremy Mansfields recipe book, what a great buy, every recipe has a South African flavour and they are all pretty much hassle free to make, my kind of book. (Good for about 6 people)

What you need

4 medium onions chopped
1 whole Oxtail in chunks
4 tablespoons Olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
125ml Coke
125ml red wine
2 cubes beef stock
1 packet dry brown onion soup
1 liter water

The process

In a large pot on a medium to high heat, add the oil and onions, cook stirring every now and then for about 5 minutes or until the onions begin to brown on the edges. Toss in the Oxtail, a few at a time and brown them all over. Repeat until all the Oxtail pieces are browned.

Add in the salt, pepper and paprika and any remaining oxtail, stir, now add the coke and wine and simmer for 5 minutes.

Now you are ready for the slow cooker. Toss all from the pot into the slow cooker, crumble up the beef stock, add the soup powder, and 1/2 water, put the lid on and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours. After about 4 or 5 hours check to see the liquid level and add water if necessary.

Could it be any simpler?

Once cooked, switch off your slow cooker until about 2 to 3 hours before your meal. Give the mixture a gentle stir and reheat on low with the lid off.

Thats it, the very best Oxtail stew I have ever eaten. Serve it with mashed potatoes or pap.

For an Oven version of Oxtail stew, try the Oxtail stew for Wintery days recipe.

Chicken stroganoff in a slow cooker

Chicken stroganoff in a slow cooker

Stroganoff

This has got to be one of the easiest recipes for slow cookers or crockpots and is quite delicious if I don’t say so myself. It is one of those recipes that you should keep and use as weekend hassle free recipe where you just don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen cooking. (4 people)

What you need

4-6 bonesless skinless chicken breasts sliced or cubed
1 heaped tablespoon butter or margarine
1 packet dry Italian salad dressing mix
250g tub cream cheese
300g consentrated cream of chicken soup (if you are using 6 breasts use the whole 425g can)

The process

Place the chicken pieces, butter and dressing mix into the slow cooker, give them a mix, place the lid on and cook on low for 5 hours.

Now add the cream cheese and the soup, mix, place the lid back on and cook for another 1/2 hour.

Thats that, a delicious meal with as little fuss as you can imagine.

Serve with pasta and a side salad.

Variations

Use a chicken and mushroom soup and add a handfull of sliced mushrooms when you add the soup.

Add about 1/2 packet of chopped bacon with the chicken.

Vegetable bake

Vegetable bake

vegetable bake

vegetable bake

If there was ever a way to get kids to eat their veggies then this has got to be it. It’s a potato bake version which includes a whole lot of other vegetables with a very tasty and creamy sauce topped off with cheese. It’s a vegetarian meal on its own and you could quite easily add chopped chicken  to it as well for a complete meal.(4 people)

What you need

2 large potatoes sliced
1 cup sliced carrot
1 packed cup washed and chopped spinach
1 cup slice onions
1 cup sliced baby marrows
1 400g tin mushroom soup
2 tablespoons butter
White pepper
Cheddar cheese grated

The process

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius.

Rub the butter onto the base and sides of a 23cm square or similar casserole dish.

Layer the vegetables, starting with a layer of potato and spooning over a thin layer of the soup before the next layer of potato and a little sprinkle of pepper.

If you are adding chicken to it just make an extra layer with the chicken.

Once the dish is full, pour over the rest of the soup and spread it evenly with a spoon. Top of with a layer of grated cheddar cheese and pop into the oven with a lid on for 1/2 an hour. Then remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes.

You could quite easily use broccoli or cauliflower as well, just make 2 different layer types, 1 of potato and the other of the rest of the veg and repeat twice.

This is so easy and tasty it’s worth making every day! Try this Traditional Moussaka recipe for something really special.

Chicken broccoli bake

Chicken broccoli bake

chicken-broccoli-casserole

Chicken Broccoli bake

This is a really great meal that is truly effortless. You can quite easily add all sorts of things to it like extra mushrooms or bacon pieces. It is serious comfort food and being a fan of broccoli, this one is a keeper for me. (serve 4 hungry people)

What you need

300g shell pasta
3 or 4 Boneless skinless chicken breast
1 tin cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard
2 cups broccoli florets (break them up quite small)
Black pepper
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs

The process

Poach the chicken breasts in slightly salted water for about 10 minutes until cooked through and then either shred using 2 forks to pull apart or cut into smallish cubes.

Boil your pasta in salted water until al dente and drain

Boil or steam the broccoli until cooked, you don’t want them soft, there should still be some crunch in them and drain.

In a bowl add the shredded chicken, broccoli florets, cream of mushroom soup, mayonnaise and mustard and combine. Season with black pepper.

In a casserole dish, add the cooked pasta and cover with the chicken and broccoli mixture. Use 2 spoons to mix gently, much like tossing a salad.

Cover with the grated cheese and breadcrumbs and place in a 200 Celsius oven for about 20 minutes or so until the cheese toping is golden brown.

It’s easy to make for many people and served with an easy dessert like sticky toffee pudding using a bought cake couldn’t be simpler to please a whole load of people.

Lamb cottage pie

Lamb cottage pie

sheperds-pieCottage pie is comfort food personified and this recipe uses chunks of lamb as opposed to mince which makes it more like a great chunky lamb stew with a baked mash crust. It’s really tasty and a complete meal. (6 people easily)

What you need

2kg lamb leg meat cut into smallish chucnks
4 sticks celery roughly chopped
4 carrots roughly chopped
1 onion chopped
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
40g flour
3 cups beef stock
100g tomato paste (2 sachets)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
4 large potatoes chopped into cubes
1/3 cup milk
Parmesan cheese for topping
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

The process

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius.

Heat a little oil in a hot pan and seal the lamb chunks in small batches to brown the outside of each piece. Remove and set aside. You want the pan hot and the meat to brown quickly but not cook through. Don’t be tempted to add too much at a time, it will cool down the pan and the meat will stew.

Wipe the pan clean and heat a little more oil on medium, add the garlic, carrots, celery chunks and onions and cook until the onions are traslucent and beginning to soften nicely.

Now add the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring constantly.

Add back the lamb with all of the juices, the stock and tomato paste. stir it, increase the heat and bring it to the boil. Toss in the bay leaves and worcestershire sauce and simmer for about a minute. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the entire contents into a baking dish, cover and bake for 1 hour.

Make your mash while the meat is in the oven and when ready, remove from the oven and a spoon over the mash, covering the top with about 5cm layer of mash. Then add the parmesan over the top and bake for 20 to 30 minutes uncovered until the mash has a golden brown crust.

Need another great winter recipe, try this Lamb casserole

Smoky chicken and pea casserole

Smoky chicken and pea casserole

chicken-pea-casseroleThis is a real treat for those who love that pea and bacon combination. The chicken pieces turn out tender with a hint of the bacon flavour and combined with peas, well what can I say, it’s a combination made in heaven. (4 people)

What you need

200g bacon chopped very small
2 tablespoons butter
handfull of cocktail onions – about 12 or so
1.5kg skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock
500g peas
salt and pepper
palm of chopped fresh parsley

The process

In a pan on a medium heat add the bacon pieces and onions, cook until the bacon is well done and the onions are browned a little. Remove and set aside.

In the same pan, add the chicken pieces and brown on both sides, remove and place in the bottom of a casserole dish.

Now add the butter and the flour, cook for a minute or 2, don’t allow the flour to burn. Add the chicken stock to the flour and butter mixture and stir vigerously until well blended.

Cover the chicken pieces with the bacon and onions, then pour over the stock and flour mixture. Cover and place in a pre heated 200 celsius oven for 30 minutes.

Now add the peas and the parsley, stir and place uncovered in the oven for a further 10- minutes.

Thats it, you have a fantastic meal.

Serve as is or with mashed potatoes.

For garlic lovers, you can happily add 2 teaspoons of garlic to the bacon pieces.

Try the bread and butter pudding to really top this off.

Chicken and fennel casserole

Chicken and fennel casserole

chicken-tomato-casseroleWhile on a mission to find something really different in a casserole I came across this fabulous recipe which uses canellini beans and fennel. Fennel is rarely used in SA for some reason and the combinations here really work well. The best part is that it is really a 1 pot wonder, with everything you need for a balanced meal. It takes just a few minutes to prepare and really well worth it. (4 people)

What you need

8-10 skinless chicken thighs
1 – 2 tablespoon flour
2 onions roughly chopped
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 fenel bulb sliced finely
1 bay leaf
Zest and juice of 1 orange
400g tin chopped peeled tomatoes
400g tin canellini beans drained
Salt and pepper
Oil

The process

Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and toss around with your hands to coat, use a little more flour but not more than 2 tablespoons if need be.

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius and have a casserole dish ready.

Heat a little oil in a large pot and brown the chicken pieces, remove and place in the casserole dish.

Wipe the pot with kitchen paper and add a touch more oil, cook the onions, fennel and garlic until beginning to brown on the edges.

Add the tomatoes, beans, rind and juice of the orange, bay leaf and finally season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir it around, pour over the chicken pieces, cover and place nto the oven for 45 minutes.

Thats it, serve with crusty bread and enjoy.

The chicken and tomato casserole is really quick and easy, if you like this type of chicken recipe.

Chicken hotpot Chinese style

Chicken hotpot Chinese style

chinese-chicken-hotpot

Chinese chicken hotpot

Oh wow, this one you just have to try, It’s quick to prepare and something really different and impressive. It is reputedly from a very famous Chinese restaurant in Sydney and I can tell you will not dissapoint it’s perfect for winter and the flavor is so unexpected from a hotpot style dish. (4 people)

What you need

1.5kg skinless chicken pieces(bone in)
Maizena (cornflour)
100g black mushrooms
6 thin slices of ginger
3 or 4 spring onions cut into 5cm pieces
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
3/4 cup chicken stock
125ml dry white wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce

The process

Put about 1/2 cup maizena on a plate to coat the chicken.

Heat about 75ml oil in a wok. Coat each chicken piece in Maizena and place them in the oil in 2 batches and fry until golden brown, remove and set aside. Once all the chicken is browned add back to the wok and add the ginger slices, spring onions, garlic and mushrooms and toss around.

Combine the 1/4 cup chicken stock, white wine, soy sauce and 2 teaspoons of maizena together and add to the wok, stir until the sauce begins to thicken and remove from heat.

Pour the whole lot into a casserole dish, add the last 1/2 cup of chicken stock, cover and place in a 180 celsius oven for 30 minutes.

Serve straight out of the oven with rice or noodles.

The sauce is thick and delicious and is sure to become a favorite.

Weekend Beef n’ Beer casserole

Weekend Beef n’ Beer casserole

This has got to be the ultimate cold weekend meal. It will fill your home with a smell that will have the neighbors dropping in to say Hi! Casseroles are really simple, chop everything up, into the oven and wait it out, it really could not be easier. There is serious rugby on this weekend, so for those who want to be prepared, get a few french loaves, make this and have a few friends around.

What you need

1.5kg beef neck or chuck
Seasoned flour for the meat (1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons butter
6 roasting potatoes peeled and roughly chopped
2 onions sliced
2 or 3 carrots roughly chopped
2 cans of beer
2 tablespoons worcsteshire sauce
2 bay leaves
Pepper to taste
Oil for frying

The process

Cut up the beef into cubes and discard the bones.

Sprinkle the flour over the meat and toss it around to coat evenly.

In a hot pan heat some oil, add the butter and brown the meat on all sides. Do it in batches so you do not stew the meat, you want it drowned nicely. Set aside

Layer a casserole dish,

Potatoes
Onions
Browned meat (with the liquid still in the pan)
Carrots

Then add all of the liquid ingredients, the bay leaves and a good grind of pepper.

Place uncovered in a 180 Celsius oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, check on it after about 1 1/2 hours and if the carrots are beginning to brown, give it a mix and return to the oven.

Your home will fill with the most amazing aroma and you will want to dive in straight away.

Let it sit for about 15 minutes out of the oven before serving.

This will serve 4 to 6 people and while you are looking for a really tasty stew, the tomato bredie recipe has been a real winner.

Sausage and potato dinner

Sausage and potato dinner

sausage-dinner

Sausages and potato

This has got to become a favorite with many of you. It’s really quick and you can use beef, pork or lamb sausages. The humble sausage transformed into something really special. kids and adults will love this one which is perfect for cold winter nights. (good for 4 people)

What you need

500g baby potatoes
12 sausages
125g strips bacon chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions sliced
1 heaped teaspoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon granular mustard
4 or 5 chives chopped finely
250ml sour cream

The process

Boil the potatoes until they are cooked through and tender.

Place the sausages in a pan with water about half way up the sides of the sausages on a high heat and cook until the sausages are firm, remove and slice diagonally about 1cm thick.

In a wok, add the bacon bits and cook until almost crisp, add the onion and garlic and stir fry until the onion is soft, add the sausages and potatoes and stir fry, tossing from time to time until the sausages are cooked through.

Add the chives, mustard and sour cream and toss around until the mixture is well blended and hot.

Serve straight away with a nice warm crisp roll. Perfect weekend food.

if you love sausage meat try this sausage meat pasta