Making the perfect comforting meal is one of the joys of cold weather. In the winter it is amazing to be able To cook up a storm in the kitchen and warm the whole house up in the process.
Today we are taking a look at some of the best comforting meals you can make for a cold winter night either spent in the house or in your garden with the heaters on!
Easy Chicken Pie
Chicken pie is a classic family recipe and it is one that is always a favourite for a cosy winters night when you are sat in the house or out in your garden with an outdoor heater and 100W outdoor flood lights. This is a simple recipe and is one that will please the crowd every time!
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 1 Handful tarragon, chopped or 3 tbsp dried
- 100g peas
- 1 large carrot, chopped finely
- 1 medium potato, chopped finely
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1tbsp flour
- ½ pint milk
- ½ cup cheddar cheese
- Shortcrust pastry, ready rolled or homemade
To make this favourite dish start off by baking the chicken in the oven with some salt and pepper for an hour. Make sure to use a glass dish with a lid or wrap the chicken in foil to steam the chicken and retain moisture. Once cooked, shred or roughly chop and set aside.
Boil the potatoes and carrot for 6 minutes until slightly tender. Once boiled, drain and place into a pan with salt, pepper, garlic and oil and fry for 5 minutes until golden.
Melt the butter into the pan and then add the flour. Mix into a paste and cook for 1 minute. Add a splash of milk and stir until thick. Add the rest of the milk and stir until thick and creamy. Add the tarragon, chicken, and cheddar cheese. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add the peas. Cool completely.
In a large pie dish or 2 small pie dishes, grease with butter and place the pastry. Add the cooled filling and create a top for the pies, and add a few air holes with a knife. Wash with a small dash of milk and bake in the middle of the oven at 200C for 30 minutes. Serve with chunky chips or sourced wedges.
On a cold winter night the ideal meal for you is a warming stew, and this one can either be cooked in a slow cooker for 8 hours or a stew pot in a low oven for 4 hours.
- 500g lean stewing steak
- 2-3 large potatoes
- 1 large carrot
- 100g peas
- ½ onion
- 1 large glass wine or 1 can stout
- 2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tbsp mixed herbs
- 2tsp gravy granules
Start off by parboiling chopped carrot and potatoes for 6-8 minutes. Chop the onion and sweat in a frying pan until slightly browned.
Sprinkle some flour and pepper onto your beef and sear in the frying pan until brown on all sides. This is a way to add a meaty flavour to the dish.
In a slow cooker or casserole dish add all of the ingredients apart from gravy granules and peas.
Boil a kettle and add the gravy granules to a mug. Create a mug full of rich gravy and add this to the stew to help provide a thick base.
Place on a high setting on the slow cooker or at 160C in the oven. Keep cheating it throughout the day until the beef is tender and melty, add the peas in the last 10 minutes and then serve with fresh bread and some pickled red cabbage.
This yummy and healthy dish is the ideal choice for a midweek meal when you want to eat something comforting and also nutritious.
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 aubergine, diced
- 1 courgette, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 parsnip, diced
- 500g lean beef mince
- 2 cups fresh tomato sauce
- 2tbsp mixed herbs
To roasting dish, add the vegetables as well as some salt, pepper, and butter. Roast the vegetables for about an hour until golden brown and beautiful.
In a saucepan, add the lean mince and cook completely. Add the herbs and stir. Add the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
Once the vegetables are cooked, add these to the pan and stir. Serve with some Parmesan, fresh crusty bread, and houmous for a nutty flavour.
All of the recipes here are ideal for a late night meal on a cold night and they will warm your cockles and keep you ticking over!