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Nice one.

 

I made a paella yesterday which I've portioned out in a similar way. We're clearing out our cupboards and I found some Paella rice which needed using. It had chicken thighs, chorizo, peas, and broad beans in it, as well as the usual base of onion etc. 

 

I've been eating a lot of ready meals for the last two years, but I'm going to be getting back into proper cooking like this in a big way soon. 

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I was in the same place, and just finding the ready meals so unsatisfying, the depth of flavour and quality just isn’t there, and even the good ones are full of things you wouldn’t add yourself (stabilizers, gums, thickening agents, emulsifiers etc)

 

1 nice home made pot, days or weeks after you’ve gone thru the faff of actually making it, feels like such a nice treat when you get home from work.

 

Its a bit psychological too for me, but somehow using these pots makes it even better too - you can do in Tupperware or Pyrex etc but there is something about having a pot you can just chuck after a few goes that doesn’t matter if it stains ups, cracks or warps. 

 

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Those look great. I prep lunches to take to work. I've tried doing 5 days worth but have found that 3 days is the max as after that the texture goes and I'm sick of it, mind you that's keeping it fresh and having the same thing rather then freezing it.

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That's some pretty impressive organisation there, Gotters. The meals look pretty good, too. I often make a big batch of tomato sauce or BIR curry base at the weekend, but nothing as comprehensive as a complete meal.

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That beef stew is amazing, its the most gastropub tasting thing I know how to make, something about the flavour combos that just don’t make it taste home cooked

 

Here’s the recipe if anybody wants to try

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/beef_and_ale_stew_with_39262

 

Couple of caveats on it having made twice now - meat is too stingy in his version, I’ve now made with 1.5kg of brisket and second time with almost 2kg of shin (which is amazing and will never use any other beef now for stews). Even with 2kg of meat its still a bit ‘wet’, I add a little cornflour a couple of hours in. Trust the recipe, cloves, star anise cinnamon and apples all seem a bit weird, but the apple dissolve into nothing and it all works as a whole beautifully. Other than the meat all other quantities are good.

 

FInally you won’t believe the dumpling ingredient measures are correct, it will seem far too dry and like the mix can’t come together, it will, go in with your hands and as the suet warms up the whole lot comes together into a beautiful dough and will give you possibly the best dumplings you’ve made, increadibly light and fluffy with a crispy outer.

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Cassoulet is a good one to make and freeze - you can experiment with what meats you add, sausage, duck, chicken, bacon, lamb etc.  Can be frozen with mash if you fancy.

 

 

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I knew that those hipsters had stolen dogs on a bit of string, trousers that are too short, cornflake cafe's and they invented coffee. Didn't know they'd claimed the Hairy Bikers and Tom Kerridge too, is nothing sacred ?

 

What makes it hipster ?

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now there is no way Ginger Pig sausage (bought in Hackney) cooked in red wine onion gravy with mushy peas and mash is hipster ! (I know I know)

 

second up I'm trying to work out how to get a roast into a pot - question with this one is how it keeps and reheats

 

IMG_0497.thumb.JPG.8c19b213dc13b0cb235a2d152f9bc1a2.JPGIMG_0498.thumb.jpg.df325e891c89298c23f119493ac28610.jpg

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1 hour ago, emerald fox said:

@Gotters Those look amazing. Have you wrapped a chicken breast in parma ham in the second one, also loving the portion of stuffing.

Thats exactly what it is, bit of sausage meat in there too, and a splash of gravy.

 

As its getting microwaved went for tinned boiled spuds, not roasts. 

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Man these look good! It's such an obvious idea, and crucially freezing them means you can't just bosh them all when you've got a hunger on. I'm intrigued as to what freezes well and what doesn't.

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15 hours ago, Plums said:

Man these look good! It's such an obvious idea, and crucially freezing them means you can't just bosh them all when you've got a hunger on. I'm intrigued as to what freezes well and what doesn't.

 

all the stews and mash freeze/reheat as good as new - the dumplings taste great but aren't quite as fluffy and light as when fresh out the oven (but at 730pm on a starving tuesday night they still taste like the best thing you can imagine yourself eating within 10m of walking in the front door).

 

the hairy bikers potato cobbler recipe reheats brilliantly in the microwave, as the potato gives it a different texture to start with.

 

rice (and chilli) is working perfect too - I'd read a bit online and key here is to get the rice into the storage pot and lid on whilst sill warm - don't let the moisture all escape.

 

the one I'm interested in is the xmas dinner pot - be interesting to see how the chicken behaves.

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I tend to do big chillis anyway, just not quite that big. I think that'll be my starting point! Two lots of (meat free) mince, 4 tins of tomatoes, 2 tins of beans should do it.

 

Although I've just realised a minor flaw in my plan is that I don't own a microwave. To be honest I've wanted to get one for ages and they aren't exactly expensive. 

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I forgot to take pics but I roasted a pork joint and two batches of sweet potato and cauliflower for dinner last night and three days of lunches.

 

I've never roasted cauliflower before and it was surprisingly moorish with just a little olive oil and pepper rubbed in prior to roasting.

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so the report on the roast xmas dinner is very positive - I won't claim its as good as a fresh roast out the oven on a Sunday, but for a Monday evening that was a superb dinner !

 

I did add a few of spoons of gravy over the chicken before putting into fridge and think in the reheat that helped it keep moisture - only thing I'd do different is put the bigger lumps of sausagemeat and stuffing at the end of a pot as think they'd reheat faster there than in the middle. Also the idea was to originally slightly undercook the beans and carrots so the reheat didn't kill them totally.

 

Like the rice I put the lid over (but not fully pressed down) when serving them up originally whilst they are still hot, want to keep the moisture in and not let it all escape.

 

That one is staying on the list.

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2 hours ago, Davros sock drawer said:

 

They’re the ones !

 

So far have used several of them 3 times and they’re as good as new, freeze really well, don’t distort in the microwave and clean up perfectly. Also don’t stain (hard to tell I know with black) or do that thing some plastic tuppaware does where the sides start to flake little bits of plastic off. 

 

I’ve bought a few packs not because of chucking them but just so I can build up a decent stock of meals (I’ve been giving a few away to family as well as one look at them and they all want a taster)

 

They’re really good, I even eat out of them and use the lid underneath as a tray to protect the table from heat.

 

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They’ve all been winners so far - the sausage, onion gravy, mash and mushy peas was lovely - its really worth taking the time to put the extra bits in, as then its not just reheating leftovers, its a proper meal with several components

 

Home made onion gravy (had red wine, mustard, Worcestor sauce in) was delicious. Didn’t make the mushy peas, Ocada sell a nice fresh pot from Square Pie.

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Cracking thread Gotters! If it's not too much trouble, could you post some more of the recipes you've been using here. They all look great.

 

I've been making soups for my weekly lunches for years now. It'd be great to do it for dinner's as well.

 

One of the recent (and very tasty) soups I made recently, if anyone is interested-

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/roastedbutternutsqua_82587

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On 10/30/2017 at 09:53, Davros sock drawer said:

 

What are you talking about? There's nothing hipster about anything in the post, or the thread.

 

I think, for some people, any real effort is seen as being hipster. Had Gotters made a load of curry using a jar of Patak's he'd have been in the clear probably.

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Here’s a few good ones - The Tom K beef stew is mentioned higher up (his dumpling recipe is amazing)

 

This is the Hairy Bikers chicken stew recipe with cobbler - it worked perfectly as written up I found

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chicken_casserole_with_67654

 

Onion Gravy - tastes great, was a little thin so needed reducing a bit and a dash of cornflour to thicken it up

http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/267/onion-gravy.aspx

 

Dauphinoise spuds - I added a good spoon of mustard into the cream mix and pinch of nutmeg (read in comments I think)

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2013/apr/11/how-cook-perfect-gratin-dauphinois

 

The chicken roast was really just assembly of items, nothing fancy there.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Shimmyhill said:

I really like the idea of this but more for work, I tend to have 2 days of soup and 2 of microwave meals so could replace all of those with home made!

 

Have you tried a curry one at all?

 

Its next on the list - I've just been researching today for recipes as not cooked any home curries - I think any 'wet' meat curry will be fine as its just a stew really, rice technique is down as mentioned above. I like the idea of a nice dal side for some variety and something else, like sag aloo (bhaji or samosa will fail the microwave test as will go soggy)

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