This recipe is traditionally eaten during the hottest days of the year in Southern Bulgaria. However, I like to use plenty of paprika so it makes a great hearty, warming side dish for those cold winter days. Serve with a sprinkling of parsley as garnish and a dollop of sour cream.
40ml olive oil
Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley
1kg of firm ripe tomatoes
1 tsp caster sugar
45g white breadcrumbs
1 tbsp paprika
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Grease a baking dish with 1 tbsp of oil
Sprinkle the dish with a generous helping of chopped parsley
Slice the tomatoes and arrange in the dish so they overlap
Sprinkle the tomatoes with seasoning and sugar
Mix breadcrumbs together with remaining oil and paprika
Sprinkle breadcrumb mix over top of tomatoes
Cover dish with foil
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking
Garnish with a sprinkling of parsley and serve with a dollop of sour cream
This Russian lamb one-pot recipe is a personal family favourite. It’s great to serve in individual dishes so you don’t have to worry about dishing it up. It’s very easy too. Simply a case of putting it together and cooking on a low heat.
Ingredients (serves 4)
600g roughly-diced potatoes
1 large white onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 aubergine, sliced
1 mild red chilli, chopped and deseeded
800g boneless, diced lamb
3 tbsp parsley
3 tbsp coriander
4 bay leaves
8 black peppercorns
75 ml tomato puree
1 litre beef stock
3 tomatoes, sliced
Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius
Lightly grease individual casserole dishes with rapeseed oil
Put onion, potatoes, lamb, chilli garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander, parlsey in casserole dishes
Heat butter in pan
When melted add in tomato puree and stir
Add in beef stock and heat until simmering
Put slices of aubergine on top of each casserole dish
Pour tomato/beef stock mixture over casserole dishes
Place dishes in oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes
Baste aubergine etc. on a regular basis with any left over tomato/beef stock mixture
20 minutes before the end of cooking, remove dishes from oven, top with slices of tomato
Remove from oven and serve with slices of fresh bread
There is much more to Hungarian cooking than the stereotypical goulash, porkolt for one. Porkolt is an easy, one-pot, family dish and can be made with cubes of pork shoulder or veal. Just fry off the onion, add in the pork to seal the meat, add in the other ingredients, stir and leave to cook for a few hours on a low heat. Just serve with gnocchi or polenta. Super easy, super delicious!
This recipe is a traditional Bulgarian casserole, cooked on top of the stove in a flameproof pot. The chicken is cooked very slowly on a low heat until it is tender and just before it is falling off the bone. Despite the fact the sauce only uses a small amount of stock and tomatoes, I ended up with rather a lot of sauce. I would recommend serving with bread for the sauce or alternatively, rice.
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
8 chicken portions on the bone, I prefer thighs but drumsticks would also be suitable
6-8 firm, ripe tomatoes chopped
2 garlic cloves
3 white onions
250ml chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 tsp paprika
10 white peppercorns slight crushed/bruised
(It can be difficult to track down white peppercorns, even Waitrose did not stock them! However, it was worth the extra effort.
I do not own a pestle and mortar as my kitchen is so small, so I put them on a freezer bag and bruised using a bottle)
Handful of parsley finely chopped
Chop the tomatoes and crush the garlic, then place both in flameproof dish
Place chicken on top of tomatoes
Cover and cook on a gentle heat for 15 minutes
Add the diced onion, bay leaves, paprika, peppercorns and stock
Cover tightly and cook on very low heat, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks or burns, for 2 hours or until the chicken is tender
Depending on how fatty the chicken is, the fat on the top may need to be skimmed
Five minutes before the end of cooking, stir in the finely chopped parsley
I love food. I love eating. However, I am also prone toward being rather lazy, and as a poor graduate have to make the most from the little I can afford. As a result, I am all for one pot dishes and am particularly fond of my slow cooker. However, if you do not have a slow cooker, this recipe is still for you as it can be cooked either on the hob or in the oven, which ever you desire!
Goulash is by one of the more familiar dishes from Eastern Europe. Made with sweet paprika, it is typical of many traditional Hungarian dishes. It would normally be cooked in an iron cast pot on top of a fire, but living in a studio flat in London makes this is somewhat impossible. Instead, I opt for cooking either in my casserole dish for at least three hours at 150 °C, or alternatively, in my slow cooker for between four and five hours on high. However, as I said, you could cook this on the hob, but with three jobs, I prefer to not have to keep too much of an eye on things!
You can just chuck everything into the pot and go but I try to make it a little more authentic. Onion, for example, is one ingredient which never quite has the same effect having been put in raw to the slow cooker.
First, prepare the ingredients which can be placed into either the casserole dish or slow cooker. Peel a carrot and parsnip and place into the dish. Leave them whole as they are just for flavour, not for eating. Peel and cut a large white potato into cubes and place this in the dish too. Add a bay leaf (two if they are small) and some parsley tied together so it can be easily removed (if you do not have string, use some foil).
Dice a large white onion and cook in a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Traditionally, goose fat should be used, but I find this can make the sauce too greasy. Cook the onion until it is translucent (not brown!), add in the chopped garlic for one minute, and then add half the paprika. Pour the onion, garlic and paprika into the pot with the carrot etc.
Sprinkle the stewing beef chunks with a little corn flour (though plain flour can also be used) and place into a frying pan over a medium heat. Do not brown this too much, just a little, to seal in the juices. Sprinkle on the rest of the paprika and cook for a further minute and then add this into the pot.
Add two teaspoons of caraway seeds into the frying pan and heat gently for two minutes. Put these into the pot and then rinse out the frying pan with a little of the beef stock. I add this and the remaining stock into the pot.
Cut two medium sized tomatoes and two sweet peppers into chunks and place these into the pot with two or three teaspoons of tomato puree.
Cover and heat either in the oven, in your slow cooker, or on top of a hob.
The stock may need topping up if a lot evapourates/is absorbed.
I serve this with gnocchi and a sprinkle of parsley in a nice large bowl.
Ingredients to feed 2 very hungry people:
500g stewing beef chunks
500 ml beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 large white onion
1 large white potato
2 cloves of garlic
2 medium sized tomatoes
2 sweet red peppers
2-3 tsp tomato puree
4 tsp sweet paprika
2tsp caraway seeds
2 handfuls of parsley
Gnocchi to serve
3 hours on low heat on hob
4 hours 150 °C oven (although, the longer the better!)
4-6 hours on high in slow cooker (again, the longer the better!)
Hard work? Well, I will not lie, any form of cooking requires effort and drive but here is the washing up I was left with – hardly a mountain!
And to prove you do not need a mansion in order to cook for yourself, this is my small kitchen in my studio flat. If I can do it, so can you!