With the end of summer quickly approaching, it’s time to dust off your casserole dish and roasting things as comfort food season approaches. To get you in the spirit for autumn, try one of these delicious comfort food recipes. Don’t forget, seasonal changes don’t just mean updating your recipes – welcome autumn into your dining room with a seasonal update to your dinnerware, like the Corelle Celebration or Corelle Crimson Trellis dinnerware range.
Butternut Squash Risotto – serves 4
With winter squash coming into season in September, this risotto is the perfect seasonal comfort food.
1kg butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3tbsp olive oil
Half a bunch of sage, chopped
1 ½ L vegetable stock
1 onion, finely diced
300g risotto rice
1 glass of white wine
50g parmesan, finely grated
Start by preparing the butternut squash as this can roast while you are making the risotto. First, heat your oven (220 degrees for fan ovens, otherwise 200 degrees or gas mark 7). In a bowl, toss together the squash with the chopped sage and 1 tbsp of olive oil before placing in a roasting tin and placing in the oven until golden brown.
Once you have put the squash in the oven to roast you can move on to preparing the risotto. Start by bringing the stock the stock to the boil then keep it on a low heat. In a saute pan, melt half of the butter and use it to sweat half the onion. Once the onion is soft but not yet coloured, add the rice, stirring continuously to ensure that it is fully coated in butter – do this until the edges of the rice grains begin to look transparent.
Next, pour in the wine and simmer until it has evaporated before gradually ladling in the stock until the rice is creamy but still slightly firm when you bite into it.
When the squash has roasted to a golden colour, mash half of it to a puree and stir through the risotto. Next, add in the cheese and the rest of the butter before leaving the risotto to rest for a few minutes. To serve, scatter the butternut squash on the risotto.
Beef and Ale Casserole – serves 4
Another hearty meal to enjoy on colder days, this delicious beef and ale casserole is a one-pot dish filled with a classic combination of flavours.
50g plain flour
1kg stewing or casserole beef steak, diced into 5cm chunks
4tbsp olive oil
250ml beef stock
2 large onions, diced
500ml ale of your choice
1 bay leaf
A couple of sprigs of thyme
200g button mushrooms
2 large carrots, diced
For the dumplings
100g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
A handful of fresh parsley, chopped, with extra to garnish
½ sprig fresh thyme, leaves picked
50g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
To begin with, add the flour to a large mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Doing it in thirds, coat the beef and shake off the excess. Next, heat 1tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and brown the meat. Once you have done this with all of the beef, add it to the casserole dish.
Once you have added the beef to the casserole dish, pour the stock over it before mixing in the onions, ale, bale leaf and thyme. Then, cover with a lid and cook on a high heat for 4 hours – adding in the mushrooms and carrots halfway through.
While the stew is cooking, you can prepare the dumplings. In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients apart from the cheese until resembles breadcrumbs. Add in the cheese and a couple of tablespoons of water to bring the mixture together to a doughy consistency. Split into equal portions and form into balls before adding it to the stew 1 hour before it has finished cooking, then cover with a lid until done.