It was the first day of winter yesterday here in New Zealand and its a season I don’t overly enjoy. However one of the highlights of this cold season is the comfort food that comes along with it. As im sitting here writing this post I’ve just enjoyed a nice hot bowl of pumpkin, corn and bacon chowder which I will be sharing with you soon.
Beef Strog is something that has warmed up to me as I have grown older, but now I highly enjoy the dish and decided to whip one up for our lunch yesterday and a easy recipe for all of you.
Pasta, their is something very comforting about sitting down to a big bowl of hearty pasta after a long day at work. Been dreaming of a having rigatoni pasta and was leaving work the other day and venison mince caught my eye and well that, was that!
I’ve used venison with a tomato base and raisins for a bit of sweetness finished with some crunchy green beans and baby spinach. My partner and I were both pretty happy with the outcome but why don’t you be the judge and make it for yourself ?
500gm Venison mince
1/2 white onion, diced
1 tbsp. fresh garlic crushed
2 tbsp. oil
1c tin diced tomatoes
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 continental beef stock jelly pot
1 cup. raisins
1/4 cup. red wine
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. Worchester sauce
500gm rigatoni pasta
salt and pepper
200gm green beans
1 1/2 cup baby spinach
Heat frypan over medium to high heat add oil, onions and garlic until brown.
Add chunks of venison mince and brown pieces season well.
Add raisins, tomato paste, stock, sugar, Worchester sauce and red wine. Stir well to combine and add tin tomatoes, simmer for 30minutes over a low heat.
Cook your rigatoni pasta in boiling well salted water for 11 minutes and drain keeping 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
Blanch green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes and run under cold water to keep them nice and green.
Add venison base to drained pasta with blanched green beans and baby spinach followed by the 1/2 cup of pasta water.
Stir well to combine check and adjust your seasoning.
We brought a large crown pumpkin for $3 the other week and I have been wanting to try and utilize it in more recipes just than soup. Also been thinking of fun easy ways to get the family to … Continue reading →
Wanting to keep dinner pretty simple tonight and made a one dish wonder! Only had to brown a few things in a hot pan and the oven did the rest. Baked risotto rice with creamy chicken breast, mushroom, fennel, spinach and tarragon turned about to be a winner! You could serve alongside some steamed vegetables if you wanted but we kept it simple and just had the risotto bake! Could make it vegetarian and use big chunks of pumpkin for a meatless dinner.
One Dish Baked Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Risotto with Fennel
250gm. button mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp. crushed garlic
1/2 brown onion, diced
1/2 fennel bulb, core removed and sliced
1 tbsp. dried tarragon
3 tbsp. oil
1/4 leek, sliced
2 cups. baby spinach
1 cup. Arborio or short grain rice
2 cup. chicken stock, warm
3/4 cup. cream
1/4 cup. white wine (optional)
Salt and Pepper
700 gm chicken breast or thigh
Pre-heat oven 180 degrees fan-bake.
In large oven proof dish slice mushrooms and scatter over the base followed by rice and half the spinach.
Heat fry pan over high heat add half the oil, onion, garlic, tarragon and fennel with a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Sautee until browned add leek and cook for 2 minutes then pour in wine to deglaze the pan. I also chopped about 1 tbsp. of top of the fennel and added to the fry pan.
Add to baking dish followed by remaining spinach.
Add remaining oil to fry pan and season your chicken I used breast, add to hot pan and brown both sides around 2-3 minutes per side,
Add to baking dish with hot stock and cream.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes then remove cover and bake for a further 15 minutes until rice is tender.
Easter’s been and what comes next is Anzac day, you cant go wrong with your classic Anzac biscuit! However this time I decided lets change it up and make a simple breakfast snack either for before the dawn service or for when you get home. A short forage ended with finding a beautiful tart apple tree, the apples have a few dark circles but a quick wash and peel before dicing solved that problem. Tart apples cooked with honey and cinnamon and added to creamy porridge with crunchy Anzac crumb and a pour of cream ended up being a bowl full of happiness.
Honey Apple and Anzac Crunch Porridge
Ingredients: Honey apple
4x tart apples, peeled and 1cm dice
1 heaped dsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup. water Anzac Crumb
1 cup. scotch oats
1/4 cup. self raising flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. golden syrup
50 gm. butter, melted Porridge
1 cup. scotch oats
1 1/2 cup. milk
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
Cream to serve
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees fan bake.
Peel apples and dice into 1cm pieces, a easy way to remove apple from the core is to make 4 cuts around the core see pictures below.
Add water, honey and cinnamon. Bring to the boil then simmer for 12 minutes until tender, set aside.
In a lined oven proof dish combine all ingredients for the crumb and rub together.
Bake for 18 minutes until golden brown, stir half way through the cooking.
In large heavy based pot over a medium to high heat combine oats, water, milk and salt. bring to the boil stirring constantly and cook out for 5 minutes until thickened.
Add porridge to bowl and top with apple and crumble, serve with cream. You can use milk if you prefer.
Pineapple pork and kumara casserole for dinner tonight, thanks to the slow cooker for doing most of the work. Nice change to your usual beef casserole! I served mine with basmati rice however my partner had buttered toast either way this casserole will sure please a crowd.
Pineapple Pork and Kumara Casserole
500gm pork dice
1x tin pineapple chunks
2 cups orange kumara, chunky dice
1 red onion, sliced
2 cup red pepper, chunky dice
2 celery stalks, rough chop
4 garlic cloves, rough chop
1 tsp crushed ginger
1 cup vege stock
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
2 tsbp cornflour + 2 tbsp cold water into a slurry
Turn slow cooker onto high and add tin of pineapple including the juice.
Heat fry pan over a medium to high heat add sliced onion, peppers, ginger and garlic sauté until browned add to slow cooker with kumara as well.
Season pork pieces and add 1 tbsp oil to fry pan and brown each side. do this in batches to avoid stewing. Add to slow cooker with diced celery.
Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
After 3 hours make cornflour slurry and pour into casserole stirring well, cook out for 5 minutes and serve with chopped celery leafs.
You can serve with rice or buttered toast both ways you with thoroughly enjoy.
One of my biggest loves in life is making pies and if you know me you’ll know how much LOVE LOVE LOVE and appreciation I have for a good potato top or cottage pie. Something about them comforting and warm with perfect crunchy pastry topped with clouds of creamy mashed potato. So I took it upon myself today to create cottage pies family and individual size.
This recipe is made from scratch just for you all and it sure made me smile tucking into one straight from the oven this morning, It’s never too early for a pie in my book right?
Ingredients: Pie Filling
1kg Beef mince
1 Onion, finely diced
1/2 Leek sliced
2tbsp Crushed garlic
4tbsp The Good Oil (or canola)
2tsp Dried rosemary
1 tin Diced tomatoes
3tbsp Tomato paste
250ml Worcester sauce
2tbsp Malt vinegar
1ltr Beef stock
2tbsp Soy sauce
1cup Frozen peas
1tsp Cracked black pepper
1/4cup Cold water Mash Potato
6-8 Large Agria potatoes, peeled
1/2tsp Cracked pepper
1tbsp Dried Parsley or fresh
1tbsp Wholegrain mustard
1cup Potato flakes
4x Sheets puff or savoury pastry (I used puff)
2tbsp Plain flour
1/2cup Tastey cheese, grated
Heat fry pan over medium to high heat, add 1tbsp the good oil followed by onion,leek and garlic cook until brown add to a heavy based large pot, over a low heat. Browning the components develops the flavour of this pie.
Add 1/4 cup water to remove the caramilsation and add to the pot, dry pan with a paper towel.
Heat fry pan over a high heat add 1 tbsp of oil and half of the mince in large chunks, do not break the mince up let the large pieces brown, this is where a huge part of the flavour is going to come from. Once it has been cooking around 2-3 minutes turn the chunks over and start to brake them up. Add to the pot.
Repeat step 3 until all mince is browned add to pot.
Place stock, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper and rosemary into the large pot, stirring well. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours. Making sure you are stiring occasionally to prevent burning.
Taste and check the seasoning, add frozen peas and turn the heat up to high to get a rapid boil happening.
Mix the cornflour and 1/4 cup water to create a slurry, stir this into your boiling beef mixture. Cook out for 5 minutes, stirring as this can catch on the bottom once thickened.
Spread your pie mix out on a lined deep roasting tray to cool down fast.
Now to make the mashed potato.
Boil potatoes until tender with 1tsp of salt.
Drain and add salt, pepper, butter, cream, parsley and mustard. Mash well until smooth, stir in potato flakes. The potato flakes help give the mash structure on top of the pie.
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
Time to assemble, once your pie mix is cool if using this hot it can make the pastry soggy and not achieve a crunchy finish.
Butter and flour pie dishes I have used some small and a large Family size round dish as well. Bang the dish on the bench to remove excess flour. You can you muffin tins for mini versions perfect for the kids lunch box.
When cutting your pastry you want to cut it slightly larger than the pie dish to avoid shrinkage, any off cuts keep for the edges on the larger pie.
For the large pie I used one sheet of pastry on the base and the off cuts from the small pies around the edge. *see photos below
Once you have lined your dishes with pastry, trim the edges the a knife resting it on the edge of the dish and cutting the overhanging pastry if there is any.
Fill the dishes 3/4 of the way up with the pie filling, you want to make sure there is room for the potato.
Top with potato mixture, for the smaller pies I placed a large spoonful in the center and worked the mash to the edge of the pastry making sure there was no gap left or the mince with boil out in the oven.
For the large pie I placed spoonfuls of mash over the top and repeated this until it was cover. Smooth over the top making sure you get to the edges of the pastry just like the smaller pies to avoid the mince escaping.
Top with grated tasty cheese and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown.
I was left with about 1/4 of the pie mix left over, you can make more pies or freeze this down to use later on when you want the pie again. It could also can be served hot over pasta or creamy mash for an easy mid-week dinner.
Beef, Bacon and Chickpea Stew with White Wine and Tomatoes.
By the time Friday rolls in lets all be fair we’ve all really had enough of the weekend and the last thing we want to do once coming home from a long week at work is cook dinner. So I thought how perfect a tasty slow cooker meal you can chuck on in the morning before heading off to work and come home to a virtually completed dinner. You just have to bake your potatoes and thicken the stew when you get home.
Beef, Bacon and Chickpea Stew with White Wine and Tomatoes
900 gm blade steak, fat removed and 3cm dice
4 rashers streaky bacon, sliced into large batons
3 carrots, peeled and 2 cm dice
1 red onion, medium dice
3 garlic cloves, dice
3 tbsp. Worcester sauce
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup beef stock
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
2 tbsp. cranberries
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. fresh rosemary
1 tsp. fresh marjoram
salt and pepper
2 tbsp. cornflour, mixed with equal parts water
Turn your slow cooker onto low.
Brown onions, bacon and garlic in fry pan over a medium heat with half the oil, add to slow cooker.
Pour in half the wine and deglaze the pan add this to the slow cooker.
Season beef and heat renaming oil in pan, brown beef both sides add to slow cooker, deglaze with remaining wine add to slow cooker.
Add all remaining ingredients to slow cooker and stir.
Place on lid and cook for 7-8 hours on low or 4 on high.
Stir in cornflour mix and cook for 15minutes turn to keep warm until you choose to serve.
Serve with a baked or mashed potato and a dollop of sour cream.
Ready too be slow cooked.
End result a glossy tender stew.
Serve stew on baked or mashed potatoes topped with sour cream and chives.
The classic deviled sausage, I was brought up with my mother cooking this delicious meal a lot during my childhood and still to date.
Here i have created my own recipe for deviled sausage, with tart apple, tomato notes with whole grain mustard and a zing of balsamic vinegar and a hint of spice from the cayenne.
Heres the recipe I hope you enjoy making it and eating it as much as I do!
Robyn’s Deviled Sausages
8-9 beef or pork sausages
2 apples, cored and sliced
2 onions, medium dice
3 garlic cloves, grated
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp. worcester sauce
2 tbsp tomato chutney
2 tbsp. tomato sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp whole grain mustard
salt & pepper
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp. cornflour, combine with water
2 tbsp. cold water
If using oven method pre-heat to 180 degrees or pre-heat slow cooker to desired setting. See notes below*
Heat oil and brown onions, garlic over a medium heat, remove and add to your slow cooker or oven dish.
Brown sausages 2 minutes each side, add to your chosen dish.
Combine brown sugar, balsamic, worcester sauce, tomato chutney, tomato sauce, soy, mustard and salt and pepper. Stir well, add to the 1 cup of vegetable stock and into your sausage, onion mix.
If using oven method cover your roasting dish with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove tin foil and stir in cornflour mixture bake for a further 15 minutes with no tin foil. For slow cooker steps check below in notes.
Serve alongside your favourite greens and mashed potato or rice.
I’ve served mine with some creamy garlic polenta and sautéed lemon sliver beat with red capsicum.
For fast slow cooker: Cook on high for 1 hour and 45 minutes then add cornflour mix, stir well and cook for a further 15minutes, change to keep warm until ready to serve.
For long slow cookery, pre-heat to low and cook for 3 hours and 45 minutes add cornflour mix, stir well and cook for a further 15 minutes.
Pour in cornflour mixture, stir well.
Mine is served with sauteed greens and creamy polenta.