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Roastiness with Aunt Bessies

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

I have a confession to make, my husband loves to have an Aunt Bessies Roly Poly for pudding occasionally.  I can make my own Roly Poly puds but it is a faff and sometimes our lives are so busy that a little convenient pud or other shortcut is called for.  I have been known to use their Midweek Mini Roasties during the week to accompany a roast chicken.

I was invited along to the superb Food At 52 Cookery School for an event  to showcase the versatility of products that Aunt Bessies produce and to cook up a tasty lunch with other lovely bloggers.

Here are the recipes for some of the delicious dishes we cooked at the event:

Aunt Bessie’s spicy mince and lentil stew

This hearty and filling stew is made with lean minced beef and budget-friendly red lentils along with Aunt Bessie’s Roasting Vegetable Mix and Classic Gravy for a good depth of flavour. Use mild, medium or hot curry paste, depending on how much spice you like.

Serves 6 -meal costs under £1 a head

1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
250g Aunt Bessie’s Roasting Vegetable Mix
1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp curry paste
250g lean minced beef
50g red lentils
50g long grain rice
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 small apple, grated
Salt and black pepper
1 pod Aunt Bessie’s Classic Gravy
100g spinach
Coriander, natural yogurt and crusty bread, to serve

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan oven/gas mark 7. Lightly oil a roasting tin and tip the roast vegetable mix into it. Roast for around 35 minutes until golden.

Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan and cook the onion over a low heat for 10 minutes until starting to soften. Stir in the curry paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the minced beef and continue to cook until golden. Stir in the lentils, rice, chopped tomatoes and apple. Season well.

Put the gravy in a jug and add 450ml boiling water. Stir into the pan. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes over a low heat until the lentils have softened and the rice is cooked. If the stew is very thick, add another 150ml boiling water at this stage.

Chop the vegetables into even-sized pieces and stir into the stew. Continue to cook for 2 minutes until heated through.

Spoon into bowls, top with the spinach, and serve with coriander, a dollop of yogurt and crusty bread.

Aunt Bessie’s simple roast chicken with bacon

Here’s a recipe that produces all the wonderful cooking smells of a roast, yet is very easy to do during the week. Chicken breasts are wrapped in bacon then roasted over a bed of chopped vegetables and served with Aunt Bessie’s Perfect for Chicken Gravy and Perfect for Chicken Yorkshires.

Serves 4

1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
4 chicken breasts
4 sage leaves
4 rashers streaky bacon
1 pod Aunt Bessie’s Perfect for Chicken Gravy
Aunt Bessie’s carrot and swede mash
Aunt Bessie’s Perfect for Chicken Yorkshire Puddings
300g frozen peas, thawed

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6. Put the chopped onion, carrot and celery in a flameproof roasting tin and season well. Drizzle with 1tbsp oil.

Put the chicken on a board, put a sage leaf on top of each and wrap the streaky bacon around each piece. Secure with a cocktail stick. Place on top of the chopped vegetables, drizzle with the remaining 1tbsp oil and pour 100ml water into the tin. Season well and roast for 30-40 minutes until the chicken
is golden and the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a skewer.

Take the chicken out of the oven and place the chicken pieces on a plate.  Keep warm. Add the chicken gravy to the roasting tin and add 400ml hot water. Heat gently, stirring all the time.

Put the carrot and swede mash in a pan and reheat according to the packet instructions. Cook the Yorkshires according to the packet instructions.

Reheat the peas in a pan with a splash of water until hot.  If you like a smooth gravy, strain into a jug. Otherwise leave as it is. Remove the cocktail stick from the chicken. Serve the chicken with the mash,
Yorkshires and peas and spoon the gravy over the top, ensuring everyone has some of the vegetables, too.

  Aunt Bessie’s stuffed mushrooms

This is an easy alternative to serve to vegetarians and pairs well with Aunt Bessie’s gravy granules, Yorkshires and mashed potato.

Serves 4

8 large flat mushrooms
2 shallots, finely chopped
25g butter
2tbsp cranberries, chopped and soaked in a little boiling water
2tbsp toasted pine nuts
The leaves from 2 thyme sprigs
2tbsp breadcrumbs
125g soft goat’s cheese
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil, for drizzling

Serve with: Aunt Bessie’s mashed potato, Aunt Bessie’s Irresistible Yorkshire puddings, gravy made with Aunt Bessie’s onion gravy granules
200g purple sprouting broccoli

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan oven/gas mark 6.

Pull the stalks off the mushrooms and chop finely. Put in a pan with the shallots and the butter. Heat gently until the butter has melted, then cook for about 5 mins until the shallots have softened. Tip into a bowl to cool.

Drain the cranberries then add to the bowl with the pine nuts, thyme leaves and breadcrumbs. Roughly crumble in the goat’s cheese, season with the salt and black pepper, and mix everything together.

Put the mushrooms on a baking sheet and drizzle over a little olive oil. Spoon the stuffing mixture evenly among the mushrooms. Season again and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.

Cook the Aunt Bessie’s mashed potato and Yorkshire puddings according to packet instructions. Make up the gravy in a jug. Steam the broccoli in a pan with a little water.

Serve the mushrooms on top of a spoonful of mash with the Yorkshire puddings and broccoli. Swirl the gravy around the edge and into the Yorkshire and serve.

You can also keep up with all Aunt Bessies news, product launches, great recipes and competitions by following them on Twitter and  Facebook.  Thanks to Aunt Bessies for paying my travel costs to enable me to attend this event.


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