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February can be tough. It’s the last stretch of cold winter weather with the anticipation of spring just around the corner, and yet it seems to take forever to arrive. But there’s nothing better to beat away the cold and rain than with a lovely warm, home-cooked meal.
So to help cope with the February chills, Jurys Inns have selected our five favourite Hearty, Winter Warming Recipes. Don’t fancy cooking? Any one of our city centre hotelrestaurants offers a selection of ‘Home Comforts’ from fish pie to bangers & mash.
Winter Minestrone Soup
A proper winter warmer, Minestrone soup is the perfect remedy for those frozen fingers. Rich in flavour, colour and ingredients, this hearty soup is perfect as a starter or main meal with a side of toasted, buttery bread.
Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
1 Onion (Chopped)
2 Carrots (Chopped)
2 Sticks of Celery (Chopped)
1 Potato (Chopped)
2 Garlic Cloves (Chopped or Crushed)
1 Vegetable Stock Sage Leaves (2 tablespoons)
400g Can of Chopped Tomatoes
400g Can of Haricot Beans
A Handful of Parsley (Chopped)
100g of streaky bacon (Chopped)
Optional: shredded cabbage leaves and/or broken up spaghetti.
Method: Chop all vegetables, herbs and bacon. Start by heating the olive oil in a large pan, add chopped onions and bacon, and fry for around five minutes until the onions start to brown. Add the vegetables: celery, carrots, potato and garlic, stirring well. Cook this for a few minutes.
Next add the tomatoes, vegetable stock and sage. Bring this to the boil whilst stirring. Reduce the heat to simmer level and cook partly covered for half an hour (if including cabbage/spaghetti, stir in after 15 minutes of simmering). Rinse the beans and add them to the pan along with the parsley. Season to taste and then serve!
Guinness and Beef Stew
Here’s a delightfully warming stew that’s a bit different to the norm yet really simple to make. It doesn’t require a lot of effort and is great for serving a lot of people if you’re having a winter dinner party.
25g Butter 150g
300g Shallots (Chopped)
1kg of Beef for Stewing
400g Mushrooms (Chopped)
1 Litre of Guinness
1 Bouquet Garni (Mixed Herb Bundle)
1 Bag of Golden Potatoes.
Method: Chop the bacon and Shallots, and dice the mushrooms.First, preheat the oven to 140˚C or gas mark 3. Fry the butter in a pan on medium heat until it melts. Once melted, add the bacon and shallots. Cook until they are golden brown and then pour in to a large casserole dish.
Next fry the beef in a pan with salt and pepper until brown all over. Add to the casserole dish. Fry the diced mushrooms for 2 minutes whilst seasoning and then add to the dish. Make sure you scrape all the stuck bits from the frying pan as they have a lot of concentrated flavours.
Warm the pan again and add the Guinness whilst whisking it together with all the scraped parts. Pour the Guinness and pan juices over the beef and vegetables in the casserole dish. Add the bouquet garni, cover the casserole and cook for 2 hours.
After 1 hour of the casserole cooking, start preparing the roast potatoes. Wash and chop five potatoes (add or take away depending on size), then boil for about 20 minutes. Once soft, drain the water and place onto an oven tray. Cover with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and roast for 30 minutes.
Once the beef is tender and the seasoning is right, remove the bouquet garni and add roast potatoes. Add however many you feel is right for the amount of people that you are serving.
700g Potatoes (peeled & chopped)
1 Onion (Chopped)
2 Garlic cloves (crushed or chopped)
2 Carrots (Chopped)
500g mince (lamb or beef)
300ml beef/ lamb stock
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
1 Cup of peas (approximately, add more if wish)
2 tsp Chilli flakes
1 tablespoon Thyme
Instant Gravy (approximately 2 tablespoons)
Knob of butter
Dash of milk
Salt & Pepper
Method: Sweat the onion, carrots and garlic on a low heat with some oil for 15-20mins, stirring occasionally. Add chilli flakes and thyme, the above measurements are approximations; add more or less according to how spicy or herby you would like your dish. Add your mince and turn up to a medium heat. Fry until brown, stirring regularly. Add salt and pepper to season, again as much or little as you want. While the meat is browning, put your potatoes on to boil.
When the meat is brown, add the stock, Worcester sauce, peas, and instant gravy. Give a good stir until the gravy has dissolved, if the mixture feels too thick add a little more water. Turn the heat to low and cover the pan to simmer, stirring occasionally. Pre-heat your oven to 200˚C/gas mark 6.
Grate the cheese and split into two piles, and finely chop the parsley. When your potatoes are soft, drain and mash with a knob of butter and a dash of milk, adding small amounts of milk until the consistency is smooth but not puréed. Add one pile of cheese and the parsley and mix in with the mash.
Stir the mince mixture; turn off the heat, and spoon into a rectangular oven dish. Carefully and evenly spread the mash over the mince covering it entirely. Run a fork over the mash to make groves - this crisps up the top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the mash and bake into the oven for 30mins, or until the top has browned and turned crispy.
Here’s a vegetarian option that’s just as filling and warming as the above meat options. There’s no definitive combination of vegetables to put into this recipe so feel free to add your favourites.
Lasagne sheets Extra Virgin Olive Oil (2 Tablespoons)
½ Large Onion (Chopped)
3 Garlic Cloves (Chopped or Crushed)
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (1/4 Teaspoon)
2 Zucchinis (Chopped into pieces)
1 Butternut Squash (Chopped)
1 Large Cup of Roasted Peppers (Chopped)
Can 400g Chopped Tomatoes
A Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves
400-450gof Ricotta Cheese (or Cottage Cheese)
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Grated Parmesan
240g Grated Mozzarella Cheese
Salt and Pepper (seasoning)
Method: Heat your oven to 200˚C or gas mark 6 and lightly oil a large baking dish.
For the vegetables, start by heating olive oil in a large frying pan. Use a pan with sides as this will turn out quite saucy. First add the onions for around 4 minutes then add the garlic, red pepper flakes, zucchini, and butternut squash with a pinch of salt. Cook the mixture for around 7 minutes, stirring occasionally until it begins to brown. Add the roasted red peppers and chopped tomatoes. Stir together and then lower the heat to a simmer until the sauce has thickened (around 6-8 minutes). Add the basil leaves, salt and pepper to taste.
For the cheese filling add ricotta (or cottage) cheese, eggs and a dash of salt to a bowl and stir until properly combined. Spoon enough of the vegetable mixture into the baking dish to cover the bottom. Cover with lasagne sheets. Spread about half of the ricotta or cottage cheese over the sheets layer. Sprinkle about a third of the parmesan cheese and a third of the mozzarella over. Then top with another layer of the vegetable mixture. Add another layer of sheets and repeat with the remaining cheese and vegetables. Finish the final layer with sheets, vegetables, parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
To bake the lasagne, loosely cover it with aluminium foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the dish, then bake for a further 15 minutes or until the cheese becomes dark and crusty around the edges of the dish. To brown the cheese further (if you want), place under the grill for 1-2 minutes more.
Rhubarb and Pear Crumble
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3 Ripe Pears
600g Rhubarb (Chopped)
100g Caster Sugar
Finely Grated Zest and Juice of 1 Orange
For the topping:
200g Wholemeal Flour
200g Cold Butter (Chopped)
140g Light Brown Sugar
50g Muesli or Porridge Oats
Optional topping: Chopped Hazelnuts
Method: Heat oven to 180˚C or gas mark 6. For the topping, tip all the ingredients together and rub with your fingers until you have a rough pastry. Set aside in the fridge.
Peel the pears and chop into large chunks, then chopping the rhubarb into finger-length batons. Put both into a large oven dish with the sugar, orange zest and juice, and toss the mixture. Crumble the topping over the mix and bake for 40 minutes until golden and bubbling at the sides. Serve with custard or ice cream.
Want something with more of a kick? Why not check out our ‘Five Sweater Weather Autumn Cocktails’ for some warming cocktail recipes.