Borlotti Bean Cassoulet (to feed 4)
This is a thick, hearty
meal with hardly any effort whatsoever. The beans swell up to be nearly as big as marbles, and are delicious. I have not used other beans such as Cherokee Trail of Tears, but there seems no reason why they could not be substituted. Smaller beans may have
a shorter cooking time of course, but the ten minute boil is important to remove any toxins
What you need:
8oz dried Borlotti beans
8 fat meaty sausages, browned in 1 tbsp oil
3 big onions (I used huge red
ones) peeled and sliced fairly finely
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 level tsp smoked paprika
1tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1tbp fresh oregano leaves, or use ½ tbsp rosemary finely chopped
3 whole bay leaves
3 tbsp tomato puree
salt & pepper to taste
1½ pints of hot water or chicken stock
What to do: (Start the day before)
1. Put the beans in a saucepan with plenty of plain water, bring to the boil and
boil for 10 minutes. Take off the heat and leave them overnight in the water.
2. Turn on the oven - 140°C
3. Brown the sausages and put in a large overproof casserole dish.
4. Slowly cook the onions in the same frying pan, adding
more oil as required, until the are very soft and not quite caramelised: takes 10-15 minutes.
5. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the dish.
6.Stir the tomato puree into the hot stock/water and pour into the dish
7. Stir in the other
ingredients and seal the top tightly with foil
8. Put in the oven for 3 hours. If the sauce is too runny at this point, take off the foil and put the dish back into the oven for a further half hour.
Serve with: plain rice,
decent bread or just serve in a bowl to eat with a spoon.
Apple & Pear Cobbler (5-6 portions)
A very filling pudding which goes down well
when the weather is grey and damp outside
Turn on oven (Gas 200°C) and get out a 1.5l dish to cook it in, before you start.
What you need:
Around 1kg of peeling and sliced apples and pears. I used a mixture
of cooking and eating apples from the store, but the pears were from the market. I have made this before with black berries from the freezer added, but it is best to thaw these first and drain them
600g golden caster sugar
6 whole cloves
450g SR flour plus 1 level tsp baking powder
half tsp powdered ginger
half tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
200g cold butter, diced
100g golden caster sugar
1 large egg
1 level tbp golden
granulated sugar (optional)
1. Mix sliced fruit and sugar and pile in baking dish with the cloves.
2. Put flour, spices and salt in large mixing bowl and rub in flour
3. Mix up egg and milk in a small jug, and add all except a teaspoonful
to the dry mix. Bring together together ( I used a large knife) Add extra milk if needed.
4. Turn out onto a silicone baking sheet or a hard worktop and knead gently to a soft dough. Roll out 1.5 - 2 cm thick, using some extra flour for dusting.
5. Cut out enough scones to cover fruit, slightly overlapping - mine were 7cm across and I needed nine. Cut any remaining dough into scones to cooke separately.
6. Brush tops of scones with egg & milk. Sprinkle top of ones on the fruit with
golden granulated sugar if you like this.
7. Put in oven for 12 minutes (any extra scones will be cooked then so take them out of the oven) and then reduce heat to 140°C for a further 20-25 minutes. Top should be golden brown and fruit bubbling
Serve with vanilla icecream, custard or cream