Take it EASY
WOMAN'S WEEKLY|January 25, 2022
This collection of slowly simmered stews and sharing dishes is perfect for weekend cooking, to help you to slow down and relax with friends

IRISH STEW WITH HERBY DUMPLINGS

Mutton has the most amazing flavour, and slow-cooking it gives it a beautiful soft texture, too.

SERVES 6

  • 600g (1741b) stewing mutton or lamb
  • 2tbsp flour
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 600g (174b) potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 600g (1741b) carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 bay leaves

For the dumplings:

  • 200g (7oz) butter
  • 350g (12oz) self-raising flour
  • 3tbsp fresh chopped herbs (we used rosemary parsley and chives)

1. Heat the oven to 140C/ Gas 1. Dust the meat with flour and season well. Add the oil to a large pan and brown the meat. Add the remaining stew ingredients along with 500ml (16fl oz) water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 mins.

2. Cover and transfer to the oven, and cook for 3 hrs. Return to the hob and bring to a boil for 15 mins, until the potatoes thicken the sauce.

3. For the dumplings, rub together the butter and flour until you have a breadcrumb-like consistency. Pour in 200ml (7 fl oz) cold water, add the herbs and roughly combine. Once a dough has formed, roll into 16 small balls. Place the dumplings on top of the stew, cover and cook for 30 mins, until cooked through.

PER SERVING 805 cals, 419 fat, 22g sat fat, 76g carbs

CRISPY DUCK CASSOULET

For a little extra indulgence, serve with hunks of freshly baked crusty bread to mop up all the juices.

SERVES 6

  • 200g (7oz) smoked lardons
  • 300g (10oz) sausage, sliced
  • 2tbsp duck fat or olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 stick celery, diced - 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g (14oz) dried haricot beans, soaked overnight
  • 6 confit duck legs
  • Crusty bread, to serve

1. Heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

2. In a large casserole dish, fry the lardons for around 5 mins, until browned.

3. Add the sausage and fry for a couple more mins. Add the duck fat or oil, shallots, celery, carrot, bouquet garni and garlic. Fry for a couple more mins until slightly softened.

4. Add the beans, along with 2ltr (372 pints) water. Put the dish in the oven, uncovered, and cook for 1 hr 30 mins, until everything is soft. Check halfway through, and add more water if needed.

5. Meanwhile, cook the confit duck legs according to the pack instructions.

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