The Nation’s Greatest Casserole

Casserole cook-off recipes

Mark’s chorizo, chicken and rabbit recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 jointed and boned rabbit (most butchers will do this)
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs
  • 30 cooked & peeled signal crayfish (reserve the shells but not heads)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 rashers of smoked streaky Bacon cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp curry Powder
  • 1 tsp ground Turmeric
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 chorizo, sliced
  • Grated parmesan
  • 1 beef tomato
  • Olive oil
  • 4 finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • 12 whole small onions
  • Unsalted butter
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • French bread cut in rounds


Method

Slice chorizo into slightly angled 5mm thick pieces.

Gently dry fry the sliced chorizo to extract the oils.

Remove and reserve leaving the extracted oil in the pan.

Mix the paprika, cumin seeds, ground cumin, coriander seeds, curry powder & ground turmeric into a dry mix.

Cut the rabbit into pieces (bite size) and dust with the dry spice mix then gently fry.

When this is done remove and fry the chicken (spice mix not needed for chicken).

Fry until lightly browned (2 minutes). Remove and reserve.

Lastly toss in the whole onions and streaky bacon, until lightly browned.

Remove and reserve.

Make basic rue by combining the butter and flour. (This thickening can be done with corn flour and water if you prefer).

Place the chicken stock, wine and crayfish shells into frying pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

Sieve out crayfish shells, add garlic and tin of tomatoes then season with salt and black pepper. Thicken broth with the rue or corn flour mix.

Place the rabbit, chicken, chorizo, onions and bacon in deep casserole dish making sure you mix them all well. (NOT THE CRAYFISH)

Gently pour the broth into the casserole dish making sure it submerges everything and cover with lid.

Cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours at 140C.

When you have 15 minutes cooking time left remove from oven and gently stir in peeled crayfish tails and squeezed lime juice.

Cut your French bread into enough rounds to cover top of casserole.

Lightly brush one side of each with olive oil.

Now gently push each round of bread, oil side up, into casserole then lift, flip over and push back into casserole oil side now down.

Place a thin slice of beef tomato on top of each round lightly sprinkle with grated parmesan.

Return to oven with no lid at higher temp of 200C until cheese has melted and golden.

Best served with big French flat fried potatoes and a cold glass of dry white wine.

Sarah’s full english casserole

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, hard boiled
  • 12 good quality sausages
  • 180g streaky smoked bacon, rolled up tightly
  • 250g mushrooms halved
  • 250g small tomatoes halved
  • 1x 400g tin baked beans
  • 1x400g tin chopped tomatoes in rich sauce
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • ½ each of a red, yellow and green pepper sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh or dried mixed herbs
  • 150ml red wine
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
  • Splash olive oil

    For garlic croutons …
  • 3 slices wholemeal bread
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 crushed clove garlic


Method

1. Heat the oven to 170C.

2. Grill the sausages under the grill until browned [ I prefer to grill the sausages to get rid of any fat before I add them to the casserole]

3. In a casserole dish heat the olive oil and add the onions, cook for a few minutes until softened, add the peppers and garlic and cook for a few more minutes.

4. Add the smoked paprika, red wine, tinned tomatoes, baked beans, Worcester sauce, mixed herbs, tomato puree and mushrooms. Bring back to a simmer.

5. Add the sausages and rolled up bacon, cover with a lid and cook for 1 hour.

6. Remove from oven and add the halved tomatoes and halved eggs carefully on top, so just covered with some juice. Cook for another 5 minutes.

7. To make the garlic croutons crush the garlic clove and mix with the olive oil. Cut the crusts off the bread and brush each side of each slice of bread with the garlic oil using a pastry brush, place on a tray and cook in the oven for a few minutes until browned, then slice into quarters.

8. Serve the casserole carefully so as not to break the egg, making sure each person gets 2 sausages, 2 halves of egg and equal quantities of the other ingredients and sauce.

Peter’s classic pork and cider casserole

Serves 4

Ingredients

About 500g of pork shoulder or leg, diced

  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into a 1cm dice
  • 8-10 charlotte potatoes, halved
  • 500 ml of Worcestershire or Herefordshire cider
  • 300 ml of chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A small handful of fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon of grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of crème fraiche
  • 2 apples, cored and sliced (just before you cook them)
  • A knob of unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper


Method

Pre heat the oven to 160C.

In a large heavy casserole dish or pot, fry the onions, carrots and celery in half of the olive oil for 5 to 10 minutes until they have softened.

When the onions, carrots and celery have softened, add the potatoes and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

While the onions, carrots and celery are cooking, dust the pork in the flour, season with salt and pepper.

In a separate pan, brown the pork in two batches in the rest of the olive oil. Fry the pork on a high heat so that the meat is sealed and caramelises on the outside and edges.

Cooking the pork in batches will ensure that it does not simply boil in its own juices.

When the pork is browned and the potatoes cooked in the casserole for 2-3 minutes, add the pork to the casserole and then almost all the cider, reserving about half a glass.

Tip the remaining cider into the pan in which you’ve browned the pork and deglaze it, scraping off all the little bits of pork that have stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula. Tip this mixture into the casserole – it will help to add flavour.

Bring the casserole to the boil and add the stock, mustard and bay leaves.

Again, bring the casserole to the boil and then put the lid on the pot and put it into the pre heated oven for about 2 hours.

Check the casserole about an hour and a half just to ensure the casserole has not boiled dry. You can always add a bit more stock if you need to.