Bacon or Ham Stewpot
There is something about a really messy casserole dish that appeals to me. Of course, what really happened is that I tried to stuff too much food into my Le Creuset and it leaked out!
If you don’t eat meat you could leave it out and it would still be a tasty stewpot.
However I had this gammon joint from the lovely Kilnford Barns Farm Shop
and I thought it would be ideal to get at least half the week’s dinners out of it. As I already had Pamela Westland’s Casserole Cooking
out of the bookcase for Random Recipes
last week, I noticed that there was a ‘bookmarked’ recipe for Bacon Stewpot.
750g (1.5lb) unsmoked bacon, collar or slipper
25g (1oz) butter
225g (8oz) small onions, peeled
4 medium leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tbsp plain flour
450ml (3/4 pint) stock, hot
2 medium carrots, sliced (I used about 10 small/medium carrots)
225g (8oz) haricot beans (soaked overnight and drained)
225g (8oz) potatoes peeled and sliced (I probably used about 2lb, no wonder if spilled over!)
freshly ground black pepper
The recipe states that you should remove the rind and cut up your ham into cubes, but as I wanted to use it for other things, I cooked it, covered in water, for 20 minutes in the pressure cooker until it was just tender. I kept the ham stock to make soup later.
1. Melt the butter in a casserole dish and gently fry the onions and leeks until they are soft.
2. Stir in the flour, and add the hot stock stirring constantly. Simmer to cook out the flour for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the bacon, carrots beans and potatoes (to be honest you could use any root veggies here, add a bit of celery or some butternut squash, whatever you’ve got, bung it in)
4. Season well with pepper and bring to the boil for 3 minutes.
5. Cover the casserole and cook in a pre-heated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
6. Serve with a green vegetable.
As I wasn’t using the cubed bacon but had the whole joint in the pot, so once it was cooked I took out the bacon joint, halved it and cut half into cubes then stirred them back into the vegetable mixture.
This makes a huge pot of delicious, filling and warming food, which would feed 6-8 people. It would be ideal for a Halloween or Bonfire Party and, even better, I still have half the ham which I’m making into a pie and will feature in another post soon!
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