Springtime Casserole

May 13, 2011

 I made this mid-week, and was very apprehensive to how it would turn out as I didn’t have some ingredients so improvised.

It was so much better than I thought it would be… give it a go it’s basically a massive pile of vegetables… and although casseroles are quite wintery this one is chock full of spring veggies so doesn’t feel wrong.

I used;
for the mini dumplings:
100g self-raising flour
50g butter at room temperature, cut in pieces
50g mature cheddar , finely grated
3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
for the casserole
3 tbsp light olive oil
4 smallish red onions, peeled and cut in half lengthways
250g maris piper potatoes , cut into large chunks
3 peeled garlic cloves , cut in half lengthways
200g chantaney carrots
1 fennel bulb cut wedges
600ml boiling vegetable stock (I used chicken as I had run out and it was great)
300g fruity white wine pinch of muscovado sugar (I used caster!)
½ tsp light soy sauce
200g green beans cut in half
1 small pack purple asparagus
250g chestnut mushrooms, cut in half
2 courgettes chopped into sticks
2 tsp cornflour
½ fresh green chilli , seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp each snipped chives and chopped parsley

1. For the dumplings, rub the flour and butter together until it becomes like breadcrumbs.Then add the cheese, parsley and salt and pepper to season, leave to one side.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan over a high heat, and add the onions. Fry for a few minutes till beginning to soften and turn brown and gold in places.
Now still working on quite a high heat, add the potatoes and watch for the same effect for about 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon and generally moving the pan about a bit.
Then add the garlic, carrots and fennel, allowing a couple of minutes between each so they get a chance to release their flavours.
Pour in the stock along with most of the wine, then stir in the sugar and soy sauce and return to the boil.
Simmer covered for 10 minutes.

3. Stir about 2 tbsp of water into the dumpling mixture to form a soft dough.
Break off small pieces and shape into balls about the size of a cherry tomato.
Add the green beans and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms, courgettes and asparagus.
Stir the cornflour into the remaining wine until it has dissolved, then stir into the casserole until it thickens.
Bring to the boil, stir well then gently place the dumplings on top.
Cover the pan with a lid and simmer gently for about 15 minutes till the dumplings have risen, and the stew is rich and thick and the vegetables deliciously tender.
Check the seasoning.

4. Mix the chilli and herbs together in a small bowl and scatter on top of the casserole.

It was actually even better the next day when I had some for lunch.

Recipe from BBC Good Food

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