beef casserole kids cooking

Cooking just got a whole lot tastier and easier with the new OXO #HerbsandMore range, little pots of fabulous flavour that add a bit of verve to all your cooking. OXO sent us the range for us to have a go at and said they were so simple to use even the kids could do it. So we put them to the test and we had a lot of fun.

Beef and Ale casserole recipe – the making

Beef and Ale casserole recipe

Like I said loads of fun and dad said the best casserole he’s tasted yet. It would also be perfect for batch cooking find out more on Frugal Family

5.0 from 3 reviews
Beef and Ale casserole with OXO #HerbsandMore
 
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A super quick and simple recipe for the most delicious beef and ale casserole
Author:
Cuisine: English
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp seasoned flour
  • 500g diced beef
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 250 g chopped mushrooms
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 150 ml good ale
  • 300g beef stock
  • 1 x Rosemary and Red wine Herbs & More
Instructions
  1. To make the seasoned flour: Place circa 3 tbsp of plain flour in a pot, add a mixture of herbs and spices and mix. this time I added mustard powder, cayenne pepper, onion salt, black onion seeds, asafoetida, fleur de sel with grilled spices.
  2. Add the beef to the seasoned flour and coat on all sides.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and brown the beef, put to one side.
  4. Add the mushrooms to the pan and fry for 2 minutes, add the onions and fry until softened.
  5. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan. Transfer all to a casserole dish.
  6. Add the stock and the ale. Add the Herbs & More pot to the casserole and stir well.
  7. Cook in a slow cooker on high for 4 hours, on low for 8 hours.
  8. Cook in the oven 160C for about 2 hours

Chicken and vegetable risotto

But that’s not all, the girls took to cooking extremely well so one lunch time we made a Chicken and vegetable risotto with the Lemon and Thyme flavour pot.

chicken and vegetable risotto

 

Lasagna

Another time we made a delicious lasagna using the Rosemary and red wine pot. It was really tasty.

lasagna with oxo

We’ve been adding them to all our favourite recipes

Fish and Roasted Vegetables with Roast garlic and parsley, Fish Pie with Tarragaon and chive. Cottage Pie

Vegetables will never taste bland again. Take a look at the many recipes on the OXO Herbs & More page

The OXO Herbs & More chefs at work

lasagna kids cooking

The sky’s the limit so have a go yourself. Tonight I’m making a Chicken, Ham and leek pie and I shall  be adding a Lemon and thyme flavour pot to the mix too.

Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with BritMums and OXO, I have been compensated for my time. All opinions my own.

seafood risotto

I love seafood and when on my recent Morrisons shopping trip to discover their I’m cheaper bargains I found a tray of Seafood that looked so inviting and cheap! I snapped it up for the £2.00 with the thought of the delicious risotto it would make.

seafood selection Morrisons

As mentioned before, making a risotto is a labour of love as you stand over it stirring and pouring in ladle by ladle of stock waiting for the rice to absorb it before adding more

UNLESS

you are the lucky owner of a Sage Multi cooker then life is a lot easier, as all that is required is sautèing off the initial onion, veg and rice and adding all the ingredients before switching the machine to the risotto setting.

Hey presto! Risotto cooks itself and Heston Blumenthal says so too if you don’t believe me!

I love my Sage Multi Cooker. I have had it now for a couple of months and it has already done so many different meals for me, it is wonderful to work with and although it may cost more than an off the shelf slow cooker in my opinion it really is worth while as it offers you so much more.

Here are a couple of my risotto recipes to date that are in season now

Asparagus Risotto 

Risotto primavera

I’ll be bringing more risotto ideas your way but in the meantime here’s the recipe for my Seafood risotto.

When you find the Family Meals and Kids Approved labels on the images it means the girls ate it all up.

[yumprint-recipe id=’33’]

risotto primavera

I love risotto and have tried many many different kinds including with stinging nettles and even strawberries and gold leaf once which was a real eye opener and delicious too.

Contrary to popular belief risotto is really simple to make and the traditional Italian method needs a constant eye during the 20 minute cooking time which is why restaurants in Italy often only offer risotto for a minimum of two people.

vegetables

Risotto is also extremely versatile, you can add practically anything in and come up with an excellent tasty meal. One of my friends from Bologna taught me that with any leftover sauce and meat from the Sunday roast could be the perfect ingredients for a Monday risotto, a tip I have used many a time with leftover gravy and bits of meat chopped up fine.

vegetables diced

One of my all time favourite risottos has to be the risotto primavera which uses a collection of fresh vegetables. You will find many different recipes on the net but basically primavera means Spring so a mix of any vegetables that are in season would be perfect. For this particular risotto primavera I used onion, carrot, courgette, squash and peas but once you gain confidence you will see there are endless combinations of risottos to dream up

risotto primavera

As you know I have been sent a fabulous Sage Multi Cooker and one of the settings is for risotto, having learnt the traditional method I will admit to being sceptical as to what kind of risotto it would produce, a risotto needs to absorb the liquid slowly and it needs adding ladle by ladle to ensure the perfect ‘chicco di riso’ how could this work?

Well the only way was to try it out and I am a changed woman, it produced the fluffiest, tastiest risotto that didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan either!

There again Heston Blumenthal wouldn’t put his name to it would he unless it was a serious piece of kit.

In fact reading on the site you learn that the Sage Multi Cooker risotto setting has a unique cooking system…

It produces risotto by agitating the rice grains with bubbles to release the starch and create a creamy texture, turning itself off once ready. Simple, delicious, home made risotto, without even stirring.

As for timings I had to use the risotto setting twice to cook it to perfection but I am a learner and time will help me get the quantities and timings right I’m sure. Fact is my risotto was spot on Sage Appliances, spot on.

Risotto Primavera
 
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A quick and easy risotto to prepare that's full of vegetables
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 1 leek finely diced
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves chopped finely
  • 1 large carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium sized courgette, diced
  • 350g Arborio rice
  • 100ml dry white wine - like Lindeman's Chardonnay
  • 1.3l chicken stock
  • 140g frozen peas
  • a few basil leaves for decoration
  • 100g grated Parmesan
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil and saute the onion, leek and garlic until soft and golden.
  2. Add the remaining diced vegetables and continue to saute.
  3. Add the rice and saute, mixing so all of the rice is 'toasted'.
  4. Add the wine and allow the rice to absorb the flavour.
  5. Sage Multicooker method (see below for on the gas method)
  6. Add the stock and switch the Sage Multicooker to risotto setting. The Multicooker will cook the rice, once it beeps at the end add the frozen peas and stir through. On the arm setting for a couple of minutes will be sufficient to thaw the peas to a delicious crunchy consistency.
  7. Serve into bowls and garnish with a sprig of basil, offer grated Parmesan.
  8. Risotto on the stove method
  9. Once the rice has absorbed the wine, add the stock a couple of ladles at a time and allow the rice to slowly soak it in. Risotto on the stove needs constant attention, stirring frequently to avoid it not sticking and adding ladles of stock when it gets low. Your risotto is cooked when the rice is soft but not soaked.
  10. Serve and garnish as method above.
 

Risotto has to be a kitchen staple in any Italian Housewife’s recipe book and once you have learnt to follow the basic recipe then you are set up for creating some of the most delicous risotto’s on earth. People seem to be put off from having a go as it seems there is a mysterious secret into getting it right. Well one tip is experience, the more you make the better they become as you get the hang of tending to the rice and gently coercing it to cook to perfection and of course the second tip is adding the stock gradually and not boiling the rice.

In this short video I show you the very basic but delicious Asparagus Risotto simply because they are in season and I just had to eat some. To change recipe just substitute the asparagus with a vegetable of your choice, ie courgettes, radicchio, rocket. Other ideas to make delicious risottos are, saffron like Risotto Milanese – makes a beautiful orange colour, seafood, sausage and red wine. Cheese such as gorgonzola and some of the stranger additions strawberries, champagne, and nettles.

The list is endless and if you’d like to add your favourite risotto in the comment section to be shared forever that would be wonderful! Have a look at my video and tell me how you got on!

Ingredients for asparagus risotto

2 handfuls of rice per person

A good stock (vegetable stock if you’re vegetarian)

onion, white wine, asparagus and Parmesan cheese

You can add creme fraiche, cream, cheese and many other rich tastes to enhance your risotto I have purposely left this one delicate and plain, Buon appetito!