Happy New Year everyone, well out with the old and in with the new. My lovely husband has eaten his body weight in Christmas cake and chocolates which is always the way this time of year so I played around with some old recipes. I made us all an alternative Sunday lunch, vegetable hot pot with broccoli and peas with a pudding of baked apples. It was really tasty. All of the ingredients I had in cupboards or the freezer.
Vegetable Hot Pot
Serves 4 with leftovers.
Small amount of oil or butter
1 onion, chopped ( I prefer red onion, but I am sure any will do)
2 carrots diced
garlic granules to taste or a couple of cloves if using fresh
half a pack of mushrooms diced ( or to taste)
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon mixed herbs
1 can green lentils in water
50ml or a big splosh of red wine ( optional)
600ml vegetable stock ( to taste depending how much sauce you like)
2 tablespoons tomato puree
For the crispy topping
2 big potatoes sliced up after being washed ( I did not bother peeling)
big handful grated cheddar
salt and pepper
To make the sauce heat up the oil and fry off your onions, carrots and garlic until soft ( do not let them brown). Add the mushrooms, then cook for a few minutes. Stir in the herbs, and the tin of lentils. Pour over the wine and stock and then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until everything is looking sauce like. Keep checking and stirring and if it is too watery just keep simmering.
While everything is cooking wash and slice the potatoes into thin slices and part boil. Then drain them.
Heat the oven to about 200 C , I think that is about a Gas 5 or 6. Then assemble the hotpot, the filling on the bottom of a casserole dish then arrange the potato slices over this. Scatter the cheese over the potatoes and I cover this in foil and baked for 20 minutes then I took off the foil to brown the potatoes for about 10 minutes.
I then served this with lots of broccoli and peas my favourites.
Now the baked apples were just four big green apples I had in the fruit bowl. I washed them took the centre out of them leaving a bit of apple in place at the bottom so I could fill them with dried fruit. Each apple was filled with the fruit, a small knob of butter and a tea spoon of honey. I popped them in a high sided metal tray and covered the whole thing with foil. I then cooked them until the apples were soft which took about 30 minutes as the apples were big, but I did check them after about 20 minutes.