Last year, the UK experienced winter weather that would probably make those from North America snort in derision, but it was enough to grind the country to a halt. While news of road closures kept filling the broadcasts, I was influenced by a friends warning that supermarkets would not receive any more stock and panic-shopped a bunch of frozen vegetables including a kilo of frozen shredded spinach.
At the time I was horrified – what was I going to do with frozen spinach? I certainly didn’t seem to suit my style of cooking and unlike the traditional frozen peas and corn wasn’t going to be something I’d be happy cooking up in the microwave with a nice dollop of butter.
But what I’ve since realised is that its perfect for bulking up the veggie content of chillis and curries, casseroles and hotpots.
Frozen onion is wonderful – I’m not too lazy to chop – I’m just incredibly sensitive to whatever it is that makes your eyes water. My eyes will still be sore and red several hours later! But not with frozen onion.
Basic Beef Casserole:
- approx 500grams of diced casserole steak
- 300gm of frozen spinach (ie probably a 3rd of a bag)
- large cup of frozen onion
- large cup of frozen peas
- beef stock
- chicken stock
- tablespoon of lard
- tin of borlotti beans
- tin of button mushrooms.
- herbs – oregano and garlic
I put the beef, lard, spinach, onion and peas in a casserole dish. Added the beef stock (I used a knorr beef hot pot gel) and chicken stock (I used two units of my homemade stock) and topped up the dish with boiling water. Give it a good stir and put in the oven on 200C for about 30min. Then I turned it down to 180C for about an hour and a half. Add the beans and mushrooms, oregano and garlic – give a good mix and turn the heat down to 160C for approx another hour.
As a cold winters night comfort dish after a good weights workout at the gym – its a good hearty meal for two – or for one, and a delicious reheatable meal for later (that’s the great thing about hotpot style dishes – they reheat well). I think I might add another tablespoon or two of lard next time – need a bit more fat to balance all that protein and carbohydrates.
Approx per serve: 715 Calories, 33grams of Carbohydrates (17grams fibre – already deducted), 109grams of Protein and 16 grams of Fat