Category: Food
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Winter is almost upon us and we will all be thinking of ways to make nutritious tasty meals to warm us up and not have to spend an enormous amount of money to achieve results.

OAPSchatters have very kindly sent me in some of their favourite dishes for main courses and I would like to share them with you.

Let's begin with Beverley Ann Hopper and her Panackelty which is a favourite Sunderland dish. See lead image.

Pre heat oven to 200oC Fan or Gas Mark 6


Tin corned beef
Smoke bacon
Oxo cubes


Place all ingredients in a casserole dish, then sliced potatoes on top. Also you can add suet dumplings in as well.

Cook in oven until crisp on top then eat.


Next up is Elaine Fryatt  who makes lots of Vegetable Soup.


I use one pack Sainsbury’s frozen special mixed veg, add leeks and any veg I have e.g. cauliflower, broccoli, a few sprouts, a bit of cabbage etc., all chopped up. Add 2 Knorr stock cubes, 1 chicken, 1 veg, mixed herbs, and a few lentils and water. Plus black pepper.

I have a Morphy Richards Soup Maker but an ordinary pan is fine. Then freeze down in individual portions.


Patricia Humm enjoys a slow cooked Brisket Casserole.

pot Roast Patricia Humm


Brisket about 2lb in weight.
2 large onions
3 chopped carrots
diced swede
handful of frozen peas
2 beef stock cubes
black pepper
Worcester sauce
teasp garlic salt
enough water to cover


Cook on auto for 7/8 hours

Sear beef on all sides in frying pan before putting in slow cooker to thicken add cornflour and leave lid off for 30 mins before serving

Serve with creamy mashed potato. The following day the meat can be sliced and gravy added to make a roast dinner!


Giles Quingo shares his Gammon Casserole

Gammon Joint



1 Gammon joint
1 Large onion
2 Tins butter beans
1 Tin cannellini beans (any small white bean will do)
1 or 2 apples (size taste dependent)
2 Good quality chicken stock cubes/pots
1 Good quality vegetable stock cube/pot
1 1ltr flagon scrumpy cider

Wholegrain Mustard
Thickening agent like cornflour

Gammon Joint


Dice onion and apples and soften until translucent with the diced apple
Cube gammon joint as chunky or small as you like
Drain beans
Throw it all in a slow cooker or casserole & cover with cider.. drink any remaining cider (cook’s perks)
Add mustard (optional)
Cook on high heat in slow cooker or low heat in oven in a covered casserole dish checking regularly for a few hours.
Salt and pepper to taste (I find the gammon makes it salty enough for my tastes)
For the last hour of cooking add thickening agent (optional depends on if you like your broth thickened)



Bryony Hill has written a recipe book out next year and shares her MacaroniLeek, Red Pepper And Tomato Bake


Pre heat oven to 180oC Gas Mark 4


1-2 medium leeks, washed and finely sliced
1 long, sweet red pepper de-seeded and sliced
1 tomato, roughly chopped
1-2 cups strong cheddar cheese, grated plus a little extra for the top
2 oz butter
1 tablespoon gram flour
heaped tablespoon crème fraiche
heaped teaspoon Dijon French mustard
Panko crumbs
salt and pepper


Put the macaroni on to cook in a pan with boiling water making sure you stir to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom. Put the leeks and peppers in a pan with half the butter and some of the pasta water. Bring to the boil and gently simmer, stirring once in a while. When both the vegetables and leeks are cooked, drain the pasta and mix with the vegetables, keeping the cooking juices. Melt the remaining butter in a pan with the gram flour and whisk in some of the pasta water. Bring to the boil, stirring all the while, then remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraiche, cheese and mustard. Season well and pour into a shallow gratin dish. Scatter some more grated cheese on the top along with the Panko bread crumbs. Bake in a hot oven until browned and bubbling.


Bryony Hill

You can pre order Bryony's cookbook from Amazon here.

Chick casserole

 I often make this casserole for myself. Ginger, Chilli and Chicken Casserole.

Preheat Oven to 160oC Fan or Gas Mark 3

2 free range chicken breasts without skin on cut into small pieces
8 small potatoes cut in half
4 carrots chopped
1 large onion
tin of tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
Grated fresh ginger
1 red chilli deseeded and chopped
Sprinkling of mixed herbs
1 - 1 and a half pints of chicken stock


Chop the onion finely and fry until slightly brown. Place in casserole dish.
Add the chicken pieces and fry until chicken turns white. Also add to casserole dish.
Place remaining ingredients in dish and add stock.
Cover and cook in a moderate oven Gas Mark 3 or 160o Fan for two hours.

Sufficient for 3 or 4 people, depending on appetites! Ginger and chilli can be omitted if you don't like hot flavours.


Adrienne Laverick makes Slow Cooked Lamb, Brisket Of Beef Or Shoulder Of Pork.

Preheat oven Mk 2/3, 150-160c

Joint of meat of choice. If using pork, remove the rind and crisp up separately. Bag of small new potatoes.Beef stock cube. 2cloves of garlic finely sliced. Teaspoon of mixed herbs. black pepper. Large cooking pot with tight fitting lid. foil.

Place meat in large oven proof pot and place potatoes around it. Dissolve stock cube in 3/4 pint boiling water (or half a pint and make up to 3/4pt with red wine) and leave to cool. Slice garlic cloves and place over surface of meat, sprinkle on herbs and black pepper then gently pour stock around edge of pan. It should cover most of the potatoes but not essential. Place a piece of foil over pot and seal around the edges a well as you possibly can making sure there are no holes, then put lid on pot and place on middle shelf in pre heated oven. Prep your veg for steaming/boiling/ microwaving then go out for the day, as you can leave this dish for up to five hours and it wont spoil if it is well sealed---the longer the better. The meat will simply flake apart, or off the bone if you use leg of lamb, and if there are any left overs, they make good pulled lamb/ beef /pork sandwiches the following day with a dollop of home made chutney/apple sauce/ stuffing etc.


Adrienne Laverick has also sent me this recipe for Ratatouille------- and its uses

2 large Courgettes quartered and sliced(not too thickly ). Two shallots or small red onions finely chopped.2 cloves garlic crushed.Large tin of chopped tomatoes. Mixed herbs, salt and black pepper. Vegetable stock cube. vegetable oil.

Lightly sauté the onions and courgettes in a little oil until soft but not brown. Add garlic and cook for further two minutes. Add tomatoes, herbs, seasoning and crumble in the stock cube, with a little extra water if the tomatoes weren't juicey ones.. Bring to boil then lower heat and simmer until courgette and onions are cooked through, adding more boiling water if necessary.

This can all be done in a slow cooker if you don't want to spend time keeping an eye on it, or you want to make a bigger batch as it freezes well.
When cooked, this sauce can be used in many different ways over several days. On its own with pasta and grated cheese for vegetarians. Add prawns or small chunks of white fish-or both, and heat through until cooked and serve with new potatoes or crusty bread. Add fried chunks of gammon and its juices and serve with hash browns or simply put a quantity in blender and whizz few seconds, add a some veg stock to thin down a little and a few broken strands of spaghetti and heat through until pasta is cooked for a filling bowl of tomato minestrone soup.


I hope the recipes above have whetted your appetite!  Desserts will follow in my next article and hopefully some more main courses in a new article in January.

Bon Appetit!

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