I’ve been in Darwin for just over a year now and until 2 weeks ago the fact that we often wouldn’t get home until 6.30/7pm evening and that I only had a BBQ to cook with meant I was a lazy cook trying to cook the easiest and quickest things possible with little experimentation.
I’m actually far too excited about the fact we have a cooker with an oven AND a grill. We also bought a slow cooker which meant I can try to recreate the delicious stews my mum makes as well as casseroles and the like.
Reading this blog post on the Smitten by Britain blog today really got me thinking about the foods I miss from the UK and the dishes I’ve cooked that remind me of home and my mums amazing cooking.
Every winter at home in the UK means stew season and on the weekends I’d often wake to the smell of my mums beef stew being cooked ready for re-heating at lunchtime or for dinner. This stew tastes fantastic the first time it’s cooked but is even better when re-heated especially with dumplings!
I made a Darwin version although called it a casserole as seems strange to call it stew and to be eating stew when it’s about 25 degrees.
Here’s what it looked like :
To make the stew I basically placed the following ingredients in the slow cooker, cooked it on the fast cook setting for 4 hours and then cooked it for a further hour just before serving. The only thing I will change next time will be to add some corn flour to thicken the stock:
1 litre beef stock
I also had a craving for my mums cottage pie today and came up with this which we enjoyed a lot
The ingredients were:
Two carrots sliced
Handful of mushrooms
Handful of frozen peas
Vegetable stock (I used a stock pot and added about a cup and a half of boiling water)
For the topping
Butter to mix
Drop of milk
To make the cottage pie I boiled the potatoes and carrots and started them at the same time but only boiled the carrots for about 10 minutes. Next I cooked the minced beef until it was brown, added the onions and mushrooms until cooked then added the stock, Worcester sauce, water along with the carrots and peas and simmered this until the stock reduced.
Once cooked I spooned it into an oven dish and mashed the potatoes with butter and pepper adding a drop of milk at the end. Once mashed I spooned it on top of the mince mixture and spread some grated cheese on top before placing the oven dish into the pre heated grill for about 10 minutes before serving.
This was a great home cooked meal and I’m looking forward to trying some when I get home in just 23 DAYS!!!!