HOPE

 

Last week we put together a family dinner deal for €30 - Today I'm going to share a recipe for the sausages - you don't just have a fry up with them! I cooked this last week and it was a big hit. It's a revision of another sausage casserole I've shared before but this one is easier and less wintry. I'll share a recipe for the rashers and pudding later in week - It make it stretch. ?

  • 1lb of round steak mince
  • 1 large chicken
  • 1 packet of sausages, 300g pack of rashers and 1 packet of pudding
  • 1 kg of back bacon joint
  • 4 large chicken fillets

I hope you're all doing OK? Nothing profound to say but I do just love Sean Corcorans @thearthand sand art. Isn't it just amazing? This too shall pass.

But while we're waiting I do what our family have always done. Food. Food is such a comfort at this time. In this house, because himself is not home until about 8;30 we're not having dinner until that time. In our previous existence dinner was at all different times and rarely together. Before training, after piano, after homework etc... It was something we squeezed in between the rushing and the racing. So I'm grateful for the time to eat together. But I'm also aware that our front line workers may not have this luxury. This one might suit you. Its a slow cooker one and its quick and easy and everyone will love it - young and old.

Hope you enjoy it.

 

SAUSAGE CASSEROLE
Prep Time: 5-10 mins
Cook Time: 4 hours in slow cooker(high)/ 8-10 hours (low)

If you don't possess a slow cooker use a casserole dish and pop into the oven at 180 for a couple of hours - just keep an eye that it's not drying out.

Serves: 4-6
Ingredients:
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 12 good quality sausages (Molloys obvs.)
• 2 carrots,roughly chopped
• 1 large onion, roughly chopped
• 1.5 litres beef stock
• 1 tin of tomatoes
• 2 tbsp tomato puree
• 6 sprigs fresh thyme/tbsp. of dried
• 3 large sprigs of fresh rosemary/tbsp of dried
Method:
1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat.
2. Add the sausages and cook until lightly brown on all sides.
3. Remove the sausage from the pan and chop into bite sized pieces.
4. Place all the ingredients into the slow cooker
5. Turn it on to high and cook for 4 hours/or low for 8-10 hours

6. I suggest serving this with mashed potatoes

You could always do it overnight

Mind yourselves.

Pass on the word to those in isolation, cocooning, or just staying at home and not making any unnecessary journeys, we deliver.

#staysafe #stayathome #cocoon


Chicken noodle soup

Perfect for our cold weather and light on the tummy too.

Something warm and comforting reading when you come in from the day!!

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients
4-5 chicken breasts
200gms or 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1.5 litres chicken stock (use my easy homemade stock, also made in the slow cooker*)
1 cup water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
300gms uncooked wide egg noodles/rice noodles
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions
1. Place whole chicken breasts on the bottom and top with carrots, onion, celery, garlic, olive oil, thyme and bay leaf.
2. Next add in chicken broth, water, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low heat 6 – 7 hours.
3. Remove cooked chicken breasts and cut into bite sized pieces. Place chicken back in to the slow cooker.
4. Cook your noodles separately according to the instructions on the pack and add to slow cooker along with the parsley and stir. Serve and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chicken Broth*
Ingredients:
* 1-2 chicken carcasses (from free-range birds)
* 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
* 2 large carrots, scrubbed clean and chopped
* 2 stalks celery with leafy tops, chopped
* 4 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
* 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
* Water to cover (about 15-20 cups)
* 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar (helps to draw the minerals out of the bones and into the stock)
* sea salt to taste
Directions:
1. Put all your ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on high for at least 12 but preferably 24 hours. The longer you simmer it, the more flavour some it will be, but keep in mind that it will reduce and you will end up with less.
When it has finished cooking, allow to cool a little and then sample your broth. Add sea salt to taste. Strain the broth, push some of the veggies through the sieve.
Your stock is now ready for use or you can package it up or use it to make your slow cooker chicken soup as above.

Let’s Nutrify – Jemma Tip
This divinely easy slow cooker chicken soup is such a nutritious boost for the immune system. If you choose to make it with the homemade broth, you’ll be getting a wonderful mineral and gelatin rich broth that is not only a useful cold fighter, but also supports good digestive health. I often add in some greens like a good handful of cabbage, spinach or kale approx. 10 minutes from the end of cooking time to increase the vitamin and fibre content of the soup. Enjoy!

Tips from the butchers’ wife.
Delighted that a soup was included in our slow cooker special. At the weekend I often cook up a batch of vegetable soup so we’ve something hot when we come in from activities. Without the added protein vegetable soup just wouldn’t sustain and keep you satisfied for long. This one, with the added addition of chicken, is a meal in itself and will be a great addition to our lunch boxes. I bought really handy food flasks in home store and more and we all use them for work and school. Remember the ratio of dried herbs to fresh. 1:3. Dried herbs are more intense than fresh so less of the dried!! Batch cook and use for a couple of days too!!

Yum... The butchers wife x


Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks

Low and slow if definitely the way to cook lamb shanks. This brings all sorts of memories back to me. My dad loved lamb shanks. I can smell them now.... we didn't have a slow cooker growing up so in the bottom oven cooking for the day. When Dad was sick and had lost his appetite this was one of the things he asked for to savour and entice the taste buds and it worked. Try Jemmas quick and straight forward method below or find the other lamb shank recipe on the website for a special occassion. Just try it...

Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks
Serves 4
• 4 lamb shanks
• 2 tbsp. butter
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp. tomato purée
• 250ml light red wine
• 2 tbsp. plain spelt/wheat flour
• 500ml stock, vegetable, chicken or lamb
• 2 carrots, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled
• 2 bay leaves
• Any other fresh/dried herbs you like – thyme or rosemary work well

Method:
Preheat your slow cooker. In a large pan add 1 tbsp. of the butter and brown the lamb shanks all over for approx. 10 minutes, then transfer them to the slow cooker. Add the remaining butter to the frying pan and fry the onion gently until it starts to soften, then stir in the tomato purée and flour and cook for one minute.
Add the red wine and bring it to a boil, stirring the flour and purée into the wine until you have a smooth sauce around the onion pieces and add to the slow cooker. Pour the stock into the same pan and bring it to a boil, then tip into the slow cooker. Add the carrots garlic, bay leaves and herbs to the slow cooker and put the lid on. Cook on low for eight hours or on high for four hours. Turn the shanks over at some point during the cooking. After eight hours the lamb should be tender and starting to fall off the bone.

Let’s Nutrify – Jemma’s tip

Slow cooked meats are just the best, in every sense! Nutritionally and on the taste buds too. Slow cooking meats in this way preserves more of the delicate healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acids which are beneficial for immune and cardiovascular health. Lamb is a wonderfully rich source of these amazing fatty acids as well as minerals such as zinc and selenium. This dish is also packs a useful iron and B vitamins punch which help to lift flailing energy levels. Including some of the therapeutic herbs such as rosemary or thyme also increases the antioxidant compounds beneficial to immune health. Feel free to add in some extra veggies such as celery or red pepper 1-2 hours before the end of the cooking time to make sure you get your 7-a-day in!

Tips from the butcher’s wife.

This so tasty. With lamb shanks on offer this week, try this or try the other lamb shanks recipe on the website www.molloysbutchersardkeen.com. It's a bit more faffing about but is really really tasty. You can also modify for the slow cooker. Just put it on low. I just love when the lamb is falling off the bone. Hearty and wholesome - ideal for this time of year. Yum x

Shane Dineen Fitness
A recent convert to the slow cooker thing – Shane is loving the advantage of a hot meal ready when he finishes training. This is what he had to say about this week’s dish.
Lamb shank is one of my new favourite dishes as I only tried it recently and I love it. I popped it in the slow cooker on top of vegetables along with pepper, ginger and garlic.
This meal is a perfect dinner as it contains all essential amino acids along with a high percentage of protein. Would defiantly recommend trying this one out”


Sumptuous Slow Cooker Roast Chicken

 

Boo – if you saw me now you’d be scared – I’m up since before the crack of dawn trying to get some work done before the children descend on me. They’ll all be flying high today. The butcher as usually is gone since the early hours but not without leaving a trail of destruction in his wake….

Yesterday in a last minute bid to embrace all that is Halloween I bought a few decorations with the kids. One is a fake mirror that is sensor operated and has a very scary skeleton reveal himself and say scary stuff as you pass. We hung it inside the front door and we were waiting with great excitement to see himself come home and jump out of his skin with fright. Of course, it was cheap, and the sensor didn’t work. You had to press a button to get it working.

So we pressed it when we passed and all we’re suitably scared. The butcher and I were the only two awake as he left this morning – and guess what. As he walked passed it, the sensor worked for the first time ever. It’s very loud. The front door closed and a few seconds later a tear stained Harriet peered around the door of the office. God love her. ‘I hate it Mammy, I hate it’. Ah Lord…it’s going to be a long day.

We’ve only two dressing up this year – two out of four. This makes me sad. Little indicators that they are growing up. Last year for book day, the three that are left in primary dressed up. They were all very excited. Our eldest boy who was in fifth class then dressed up as Asterisks. He’s a large, round and funny Viking type character and we had great crack putting the outfit together. So everyone was up early and got dressed up. We arrived at school and as soon as our son realised that little or no one was dressed up in his class he freaked out. He was very upset. I brought him home to change. He felt like a fool. I was gutted. I had been delighted with his excitement and I suppose maybe hanging on to the innocence a bit longer clouded my judgement and didn’t warn him that maybe his peers weren’t dressing up. But his excitement led me to believe they all were. I dropped him back to school in his uniform and drove away, tears rolling down my face. A little bit of innocence gone for him and a little bit of his confidence taken away.

So if the kids are dressing up. If there are clothes and fake cobwebs everywhere and you’re tripping over skeleton bones and the decorations. If there’s face paint smeared into the couch (aghhhhhhhh…) it’ll pass. And then they won’t want to dress up. My eldest isn’t dressing up this year. Won’t risk it.

I’ll stop now because I’ll blubber. Jemma has given me this fab recipe. Although the butchers wife tips says I haven’t tried it because I hadn’t at that point but since. I’ve actually made it twice or should I say the butcher stuck it on twice. That’s a big flashing light saying how say this is… His go to meal is Daddys’ famous toasted sandwiches. Try this, divine. We has it potatoes and carrots and with stir fried vegetables and rice Monday night.

Happy Halloween you all…. Enjoy it x

Sumptuous Slow Cooker Roast Chicken

Spice Rub
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1 teaspoon garlic granules
• 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon thyme

Chicken
• 1 x Whole Chicken – approx. 1.6kg – 1.8kgs
• 1 x peeled onion, sliced into 3 x thick rings

Combine all of the spices together in a bowl and mix. Rub the chicken with 1 tbsp of soft butter to coat the surface of the chicken. This helps the spices to stick to the chicken but also creates a lovely brown skin by the end of the cooking time. Sprinkle the spices over the chicken and rub them so as all of the surface of the chicken is covered in the mix. (You let this marinade overnight if you have time for extra flavour) Lay the onion slices on the bottom of the slow cooker, add 100mls of water and then place your chicken on top. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Then allow it to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Enjoy!

Let’s Nutrify – Jemma’s Tip
So this is what will be cooking in my kitchen next Wednesday for a Halloween dinner. I’m already filled with dread at the thoughts of all of the sticky, sugary sweeties that my kiddo’s will collect after some “Trick or Treating”. So the secret is to get a hearty, protein rich dinner into them an hour or 2 before trick or treat time to prevent mega-sugar highs and lows (that and disposing of 9/10’s of their sweetie haul when they go to bed that night, but shhh! Don’t tell them that!). This fits the bill. I can pop this in the slow cooker around 9am and look forward to a scrumptious roast chicken dinner by 4pm. I often pop in some whole, peeled carrots and parsnip about 1-2 hours before the end of cooking time and that’s the veggies taken care of. Or you can serve with roast veggies and steamed baby potatoes.

Tips from the Butchers Wife
I’m really excited about the upcoming slow cooker recipes. Have I mentioned I LOVE MY SLOW COOKER – how has it come to this – I used to have a life. Honestly I did. But now I am busy…. Busy busy busy and anything that reduces the stress and feeds me well I love. My needs are simple. I would definitely marinate this the night before – take it out of the fridge in the morning and stick it on – haven’t tried this yet but Halloween is coming and I’ve a list of recipes to try. I must admit I’ve been rolling out the old reliables. So want a stock of new easy slow cooker recipes. I’ll let you know how I get on. Just a question for Jemma – by dispose of the junk do you mean eat them yourself. That’s how I interpret that – it’s for the good of the children after all!!


Winter Warmers

Winter Warmer Slow Cooker Beef

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb/680gms. diced beef, cut into 2" pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced thinly
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
8 oz/225 gm sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup/85gms. pearl barley
900mls chicken stock
1 tbsp. soy sauce
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Method:
1. Put the beef in a large mixing bowl, and pat it dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt and pepper.
2. Preheat a large cast-iron or heavy pan over a high heat. Drizzle with olive oil and sear meat on all sides until golden brown with a crust, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer meat to the slow cooker. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic, onions, carrots and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen all browned meat bits and cook 3 to 4 minutes. If needed, add a splash of water to fully deglaze the pan and then transfer to your slow cooker.
3. Add mushrooms, barley, stock and soy sauce; cook on low for 6-8 hours. The meat should be very tender.
4. This would be delicious served with some steamed broccoli and basmati rice or baby potatoes.

Let’s Nutrify! Jemma’s tip
Slow cooking is not just an easier, tastier way to cook but it also a very wholesome way to cook too. Cooking at lowered heat over longer periods of time reduces potential damage to the delicate healthy omega 3 fatty acids contained in the meat and can also increase the release of antioxidant compounds such as beta carotene from the carrot also.

Tips from the butchers wife.
I can’t tell you how much I love my slow cooker. I just bought another one because I wanted a bigger one – It was €60 and you can put the pot on the hob so there’s no extra frying pan to wash. I usually cook in the morning (before I shower so I don’t smell like dinner all day). You could also put it on at night if the cooking in the morning proves a step too far but I find in the morning you just fly through it because there’s no time for faffing. No big tip this week except to say, get a slow cooker. Coming home to a warm dinner is just bliss!!

Shane Dineen fitness
Although this dish might take a few minutes longer to cook, it is a perfect pre workout if you are planning on training at a steady state aerobic session, as your body will use the fats as it’s main energy source. Along with that you are also getting huge recovery and health benefits from the large amount of vitamins and minerals. On a cold, wet night this is definitely one of my favourites.

So why not give this a go..... the slow cooker is a life saver. Warm nutitious meals after a long day.

Enjoy,

The butchers wife

xx


september

Chicken and Coconut Curry

September September

So the rat race has begun and there's definitely a chill in the air. Some are dragging it out - last of the summer wine and all that,  at EP this weekend leaving the rest of us parenting at home!! ? But all is well. After such a glorious summer I feel ready for the crisp weather, cosy clothes, leaves crunching underfoot and the world changing colour all around us. It's that golden time when nature provides the colour and light, before we start with the twinkling artificial lights. The boys insist on shorts going to school. ?Julian will wear shorts until Halloween and I've given up trying to persuade him otherwise. He looks blue with the cold but never feels it. He never ever gets sick so who am I to argue. I always love the food at this time of year - we need to nourish ourselves - keep our immunity up and feel warmed by food. This recipe below is a really handy one. It's easy even if the ingredients list looks long but I promise it's worth it. I forgot the coriander leaves so I threw in a teaspoon of coriander when I was adding the other spices. If you use medium curry powder and the chillis, it's got a good kick to it.

Chicken and coconut Indian Curry

Ingredients

1 tbsp. of veg or sunflower oil

1 large onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic crushed

Thumb size piece of ginger finely grated

2 large green chillies deseeded (if you like it not too hot) or seeds in if you like the fire, finely chopped

15g of coriander leaves and then chop stalks separately

1 tbsp. of garam masala

1 tbsp. of curry powder (mild, medium or hot – you decide)

1 400g tin of coconut milk

150mls of chicken stock

450g of diced chicken fillet

Salt and freshly ground pepper

75g green beans trimmed and halved

Lime wedges to serve

Methods

Pour oil into large pan, add onions and garlic and gently fry for approx. 6-8 minutes, soft but not brown. Add ginger, chillies, coriander stalks, garam masala, and curry powder and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper.

Reduce the heat and simmer, covered with a lid for 30 minutes. Remove lid and simmer for a further 15 minutes adding green beans five minutes before the end.

Stir in the coriander leaves and serve with rice/cauliflower rice.

#Tip from Jemma – Let’s Nutrify!

Oh, the goodness in this dish, where do I start? This deliciously fragrant and quick meal is rich in immune-boosting healthy fats from the coconut, bug busting power in the onions, garlic and ginger.  The chicken is a great protein source and also contains some B vitamins and selenium, both of which support good metabolism and thyroid function.

*For some extra anti-inflammatory potential, add 1-2 tsp of ground turmeric and a good twist of black pepper to this meal as it’s cooking which enhances the health benefits of the

# What does Shane Dineen Fitness coach say…..

“This Curry dish is one of my favourite evening meals coming into the winter months.

After a long day of teaching various exercise classes from Spinning to a high intensity Bootcamp class, this quick and easy recipe helps my body recover quickly and be able to perform at my very best and provide good energetic classes day in day out.

For me this meal covers all the essential Macro and Micro nutrients to keep my body performing my best.

Tip: If your like me and can’t handle too much spice, add a little more coconut milk or some Greek Yogurt (which helps boost the protein content)on the side, or just simply cut back on the portion of curry you are using”

#tip from the butcher’s wife

Batch cook! Batch cook! Batch cook! Cook once eat twice.  Lovely Friday night dinner but also quick enough to have during the week. This would also work with our chicken thighs and drumsticks. It will really enhance the flavour. Enjoy x