Hearty Ginger Wine Casserole

This is in the oven at the moment, on a freezing Dunedin day it is always the best thing to put something in the oven which will warm your insides and your outsides in one swoop.

The interesting ingredient in here is Ginger Wine.  Stones for preference.  It also has some of the gorgeous smoked garlic you can buy at craft and food fairs here, but you don’t really need that as any garlic will do.  There is also some brown sugar in here because I want a caramelish taste and it makes a silkier texture.

As with all my casserole recipes this is a method rather than a recipe.  Use what you have in your cupboards and fridge, don’t panic if you don’t have any one particular item that I’ve used just make it up as you go along.

On reflection I decided that this would work with chicken or pork as well.  Maybe adjust the stock to match.Cut about 750g of chuck or blade steak into pieces (or chicken or pork if you are going that way).  Put into a bag with 2 heaped tablespoons of flour, a good grinding of black pepper and a big shake of salt and give it a good shake.  You can do it in two batches if necessary.  You want the meat well coated, no red bits showing.

Fry the meat, in batches so that there is only a single layer of meat at a time, in a mixture of oil (I use rice bran) and a knob of butter, until it is nicely sealed and golden brown.  This is actually the most important step in making a really good casserole, if you don’t do this properly you get a less rounded taste IMHO!  Remove from the pan and dump into a casserole dish which either has a lid or can be lidded with foil.  Add more oil and butter if you need to, some onions cut into 8ths lengthwise and some shallots if you have them and most importantly about 6 cloves of garlic (less if you aren’t a fan of that much garlic loveliness)

Into the casserole dish add:  2 carrots, 1 stick of celery and any other veg you have available. Chickpeas, zucchini, red or green pepper, some beans or whatever is lurking in the bottom of the fridge would be great.

On top of the veg  throw in, a generous sloshing of green ginger wine, a generous slosh of dirty red wine, 1 dessertspoon of brown sugar, a small dollop of tomato sauce or ketchup. Add one or two stock cubes or the new concentrated stock which is more like a jelly and far more delicious (depending on the meat you are using, beef or chicken).  Add some thyme, I have fresh in the garden and I like a generous amount but you decide how thymey you want it to be. Add a good grind of pepper.  Stir around, taste, adjust to your preference adding more salt if you think it needs it.

Cover and bung it in the oven at 200 for 10 minutes or until it is really hot, and then reduce the heat to 160 for ages.  Chuck steak likes long slow cooking so be prepared for a long wait while it gets all melt in your mouth and yum.  If you are using chicken or pork it would take less time to cook.

I’m serving mine with some balsamic potatoes but you could just as well serve it with rice, couscous, mashed potato or another starch of your choice.  Hunker down and wait for the weather to improve.

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  1. I have just discovered your website and bookmarked it. For years I have been poaching fruit in Green Ginger Wine for an easy low sugar desert. Anything that keeps its shape is good, peaches, apricots, nectarines, pears, etc. it is so simple, just wash the fruit, put in a saucepan, tip a whole bottle of Stone’s Ginger Wine over the fruit, you can top up with a bit of water to cover the fruit if necessary) and gently simmer until the fruit is as soft as you like it. Cool and serve with double cream. You can use the reduced syrup to pour over icecream too. It is one of my all time favourites.

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