Friday, February 25, 2011

Autumn around the corner

There are signs of Autumn in the garden: Trees are starting to turn,

Japanese anenomes are starting to flower,

Hawthorn berries are coming out,

mushrooms are in the lawn,

and my thoughts are turning to casseroles:

I whipped up this neck chop casserole last night and it really hit the spot.

I remember Dad feeding the neck chops to the sheep dogs which really was a waste as they slow cook so well.  The other great thing is that they are REALLY CHEAP.

These are home grown but you can easily get them from the butcher.  

You don't really even need a recipe, just get the general idea then adapt accordingly with what is languishing in the fridge.  I usually flour and season them (in a bag) and brown them in batches in olive oil in a nice heavy pot.  Remove then add a lick more olive oil and fry a chopped onion and garlic for a few minutes then add any vegies you like:  celery, carrot, leek, parsnip, pumpkin, potatoes, you get the idea.  This time I had a yellow capsicum so I threw that in: (please excuse the blackened state of my pan.   It is, as they say, well loved).

Then add a tin of chopped tomatoes (then half refill the can with water and add that), a slosh of worcestershire sauce, a spoon of tomato paste and season.  Return the chops and cook in a 160 oven for 1.5 hours, or put it in the slow cooker.  We had it with mashed pumpkin and potato and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

So hail the "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" (Keats for those who have forgotten) and we shall see what the goodies the garden will provide.  And it is probably time to collect some giant pinecones for the fires too..

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