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Sunday 23 October 2011

Bacon or Ham Stewpot

There is something about a really messy casserole dish that appeals to me.  Of course, what really happened is that I tried to stuff too much food into my Le Creuset and it leaked out!

If you don't eat meat you could leave it out and it would still be a tasty stewpot.

However I had this gammon joint from the lovely Kilnford Barns Farm Shop and I thought it would be ideal to get at least half the week's dinners out of it.  As I already had Pamela Westland's Casserole Cooking out of the bookcase for Random Recipes last week, I noticed that there was a 'bookmarked' recipe for Bacon Stewpot.

750g (1.5lb) unsmoked bacon, collar or slipper
25g (1oz) butter
225g (8oz) small onions, peeled
4 medium leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tbsp plain flour
450ml (3/4 pint) stock, hot
2 medium carrots, sliced (I used about 10 small/medium carrots)
225g (8oz) haricot beans (soaked overnight and drained)
225g (8oz) potatoes peeled and sliced (I probably used about 2lb, no wonder if spilled over!)
freshly ground black pepper

The recipe states that you should remove the rind and cut up your ham into cubes, but as I wanted to use it for other things,  I cooked it, covered in water, for 20 minutes in the pressure cooker until it was just tender.  I kept the ham stock to make soup later.

1. Melt the butter in a casserole dish and gently fry the onions and leeks until they are soft.
2. Stir in the flour, and add the hot stock stirring constantly.  Simmer to cook out the flour for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the bacon, carrots beans and potatoes (to be honest you could use any root veggies here, add a bit of celery or some butternut squash, whatever you've got, bung it in)
4. Season well with pepper and bring to the boil for 3 minutes.
5. Cover the casserole and cook in a pre-heated oven for 1 1/2 hours.  Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
6. Serve with a green vegetable.

As I wasn't using the cubed bacon but had the whole joint in the pot, so once it was cooked I took out the bacon joint, halved it and cut half into cubes then stirred them back into the vegetable mixture.

This makes a huge pot of delicious, filling and warming food, which would feed 6-8 people.  It would be ideal for a Halloween or Bonfire Party and, even better,  I still have half the ham which I'm making into a pie and will feature in another post soon!

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At 23 October 2011 at 16:29 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait for my veggie week to finish so that i can try this out. Looks great and I bet really tasty

At 23 October 2011 at 17:24 , Blogger Karen S Booth said...

PERFECT looking stew and I am also a messy stew pot lover! Bacon or ham stew is one of my favourites Janice.

At 23 October 2011 at 17:35 , Blogger Unknown said...

I know this sounds bonkers but I could quite literally jump into that mess and swim around with my mouth open and drown happily with a belly full of love... divine!

At 23 October 2011 at 19:03 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This looks and sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing.

At 23 October 2011 at 20:22 , Blogger fiona maclean said...

lush! and I so know what you mean about overfilling your casserole. I now put mine on the roasting pan to try to save my new oven! And that's WITH the lakeland oven liner at the bottom.

Maybe we should start the blogger's campaign for messy food since there seems to be a LOT of support here:)

At 23 October 2011 at 20:50 , Blogger Janice said...

Ah Donkey - you've done so well with your veggie week!
Karen - glad to hear you like to mess your stew pot
Dom - I think it would be like jumping into a peat bog and we might never see you again :o
Purely Food - you are welcome
Fiona - yes I did put it on an oven tray, yay for messy food!

At 24 October 2011 at 10:01 , Blogger cornercottage said...

Looks delicious! Love a good spill-down-the-side on food like this!

At 24 October 2011 at 10:35 , Blogger Wendy@The Omnivorous Bear said...

Ohhhh how lovely that looks.....I miss having stews and casseroles. Even though I could get most of the ingredients (the ham is a bit of a problem here) there's no way I could bear to have the oven on for that long when it's already over 80 degrees inside. I shall just look at your pictures and drool!

At 24 October 2011 at 14:00 , Blogger Unknown said...

That looks like a big pot of comfort. What a delicious hearty dish to tuck into on a cold day.
*kisses* HH

At 24 October 2011 at 14:09 , Blogger Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Hee hee Janice - we use the same pot and your messy picture makes me feel at home. :-D

At 24 October 2011 at 16:46 , Blogger Sue/the view from great island said...

The messiness of that pot only adds to the deliciousness!

At 24 October 2011 at 19:58 , Blogger Janice said...

Thanks everyone. Aw Wendy, I'm sure a nice Malaysian Steam Boat will suffice, eaten outside of course!

HH - yes very comforting
Hanna, Sue & DFTA - what is it about that spill? Seems to appeal to everyone including me!

At 25 October 2011 at 21:13 , Blogger Shu Han said...

this type of one pot stew is my favourite at the moment. warming, hearty and perfect for the cold weather!


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