I have been told that this coming week will be warm in the UK with temperatures reaching an unseasonally warm 20°C. Thank goodness, say I, because I don't know about you, but this last week I've been freezing! Before the heating went on at work, I had to scrounge a fan heater to warm my cold little fingers (they were so cold I actually found it hard to type!). At home we've had the central heating on for the first time. Him Indoors and I got the Winter duvet out of its storage home in a vacuum sealed bag. And I have even got my leather gloves out of their annual Spring/Summer retirement.
If you are like me, then cold weather demands hot food. Not just hot dinners, but filling, internally warming, comforting dinners. Often the food that your mother used to make. The meals that are beyond food fashion and mere trends. Stews, casseroles, pastas, curries..... mmmmm, I'm feeling hungry just thinking about them!
I have dug out the slow cooker and cast iron casserole dish from the back of the kitchen cupboards. They have been promoted to the front, and the salad bowls have been relegated. We have made a sausage and ale stew, yet another risotto and my Spanish Cocido (recipe can be found here) this past week to warm the cockles of our hearts before they got too chilled.
So I was delighted to find that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has been in very much the same mood. Not only because it means that I am not the only person to have found the recent weather cold (some colleagues are still not wearing a coat to work!), but because he has been kind enough to share some wonderful winter warmer recipes with readers of The Guardian. You can find his article, complete with recipes here:
I am particularly looking forward to making his Goulash recipe. Believe it or not, the last Goulash I had was in the bright sunshine in a Konobe style restaurant high up on the city walls of Dubrovnik! It was tasty and sustaining after a morning of tramping the streets and climbing up the steep inclines. However, I know that the experience of enjoying this wonderful Eastern European dish (hailing originally from Hungary) will be all more enjoyable in inclement weather.
I also discovered in my online research that it is possible to make tasty stews and casseroles without searing the meat first. Thanks to John Willoughby, I can now save quite bit of time in the evenings when I don't want dinner to take hours. This tip will also help me in the morning when loading up the slow cooker; I end up cooking in my dressing gown seeping up all the frying aromas then desperately showering so as not to smell like a kitchen at work! Mr Willoughby's article can be found here:
The weather outside may be frightful, but that does not mean what you eat need not be delightful. I hope that some of you will find my previous recipes such as the Marrakech Lamb recipe can be found here just the ticket for this season. Happy cooking and happy eating!