Friday, January 28, 2005


Well here it is, the recipe you were promised:

The ingredients listed here are for a UK 14-pint casserole (that’s about 17 pints in the US), if you don’t have one this big then adjust accordingly, you need a pot that will go on the hob rather than in the oven. I get about 7-8 servings out of it, but then I’ve got a hearty appetite (why do you think I’m on a diet) so again you can adjust your portions to suit your appetite.

It freezes and keeps well and the vegetables don’t suffer for being frozen. That’s one of the reasons there’s no potatoes in it, they don’t freeze well at all.

This is very easy to make and once you’ve tried it a few times you will know how much veg to get and how many portions so you can calculate your points per portion. For the quantity of ingredients listed below the whole potful is 25 points. If you are doing the NoCount option then everything is on the NoCount list.

You will need:
1kg lean cubed meat (beef, chicken and turkey all work well, my favourite is beef)
2 stock cubes (bouillon cubes) to match your meat
2 vegetable stock cubes
2 or 3 cloves of garlic - minced
Lots of Carrots - sliced
500g(ish) Mushrooms - sliced
3 large Onions – Eighthed (cut in half, cut each half in quarters)
1 large (or 2 small) Swede (Rutabaga) or Turnip

Prepare the veg. Keep the pieces chunky this is meant to be a hearty dish. If the mushrooms are small then you may just want to put them in whole.

Put all the vegetables and the meat into the pot and mix together. Make up the stock cubes with boiling water and stir in the garlic, pour this over the mixed meat and veg and then add more boiling water until the mixture is just covered.

Put on the hob and bring to the boil. Stir the mixture at this stage otherwise you will find that some pieces have stuck to the bottom of the pot. Cover and leave to simmer for about 1.5 hours. If your pot has a steam vent make sure it is closed.

If you are planning to freeze portions this is the point at which to do it.

To finish and prepare to eat:

You can add potatoes (or dumplings) at this point, simply prepare them and add to the pot, Simmer for a further 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked. Add the points for the potatoes. NoCounters are still ok.

You will notice that the gravy in the pot is quite thin. At this point you can add a thickening agent to bring it to your preferred consistency. I use gravy granules but cornflour works as well, however don’t forget to add the points for this to your total or count the points if you are on NoCount.

Once the gravy is thickened simply serve and eat. I prefer crusty bread to potatoes for mopping up the gravy at the end.

It's a very simple meal but very comforting in cold miserable weather and you'll be surprised at the size of portion you can get for your points.

Enjoy =)