Comfort Food

Tonight I made some homestyle dishes for dinner that everybody loves.  The kind of food that feels like a big hug when the weather is not so good.  We’ve had two days of 30 degree weather but tonight it’s 11 degrees as I type and raining.  Time to revisit some of those cold weather dishes I didn’t get a chance to feature on the blog during Autumn/Winter.
The first is a beef casserole I cooked at 160 degrees for three hours, so the meat was very tender.  I served it with potatoes cut into small chunks and roasted in the oven.  For dessert I served this Apple Crumble with Salted Caramel Sauce.  I felt terrible cooking this kind of food when my youngest daughter is away at her school’s Bush Skills camp living on camp food!  The program involves bushwalking, canoeing and sleeping in the bush at night in a tent..I’m sure they (children & teachers) will be glad to come home to the comfort of their own beds tomorrow night.

The stew is Jools Favourite Beef Stew by Jamie Oliver and the Apple Crumble recipe is from three different sources.  Filling Jamie Oliver, Crumble Mixture Curtis Stone and Salted Caramel Sauce, Nigella Lawson for, my latest find in the online magazine world which I love & can’t wait to explore further.  Wishing you all a wonderful weekend wherever you are in the world.  Don’t forget to cook something nice and comforting for yourself.

Apple Crumble

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

3-4 cooking apples, peeled, cored and quartered
50g sugar, to sweeten
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Peel and core the apples, quarter and cut into chunks.

Put the apples into a pan with the sugar and water. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes and place in a small ovenproof dish.

Crumble Mixture
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant) (optional)
125 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup flaked almonds

Mix the flour, sugar and oats in a bowl together.  Using fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until moist clumps form.  Mix in the almonds.  Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the apple mixture.

Place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown.

Serve warm with salted caramel sauce and cream or ice cream.

Salted Caramel Sauce
75g best quality unsalted butter
50 g soft light brown sugar
50 g caster Sugar
50g golden syrup
125ml double cream
half to one-and-a-half teaspoons sea salt

Melt butter, sugars, syrup and butter in a small heavy based pan and let simmer for 3 minutes, swirling every now and then.
Add cream and half a teaspoon of sea salt (not table salt!) and swirl again, give a stir with a wooden spoon and taste – go cautiously so that you don’t burn your tongue – to see if you want more salt before letting it cook for another minute on the stove, then pour into a jug for serving.
NB:  I used 1 1/2 tsp maldon sea salt in the caramel sauce

Catherine x


  1. tina


    You know it's been quite cold here and I've been craving more substancial food. I don't eat much beef but rather prefer venison, other wilds or chicken.

    Somehow, in the past couple of days I've gone mad for grilled sardines. I think I'm deficient coz that's when I crave oily fish. Anyway had delicious grilled fresh cornish sardines tonight with a

  2. Anastasia

    looks so good Catherine!!! Food should always be comforting. I love the look of both these recipes…salted caramel – how good must that be to the tastebuds!

    My favourite comfort food is baked custard or Rice Pudding – takes me back to when i was a little girl! yum!!

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