From weeknight pastas to comforting Sunday stews, six new winter recipes from British Leeks will each feed a family of four for under £5 – using fresh, seasonal ingredients to help you stay healthy and save money at the checkout.
Devised by Jane Hornby, BBC Good Food Cookery writer and author of 'Good Food: Budget Dishes', the new British Leeks 'Recipes for Under a Fiver' show the versatility of this subtle-flavoured vegetable, at its best during the coldest months of the year.
Says Jane Hornby, "I'm a huge fan of good old British leeks and use them in all sorts of recipes over the winter months. In season now and great value for family cooking, leeks are an easy way to add home-grown flavour to your favourite meals. Better still, they're quick to chop and soften when I'm short on time. Brilliant."
Check out the easy to prepare recipes by visiting www.british-leeks.co.uk where you will also find thrifty shopper tips; useful advice and guidance on preparing and cooking leeks and the history of this delicious and nutritious seasonal vegetable – full of anti-oxidants to help keep winter colds and flu at bay.
See below for a taste of Jane's winter warming new suite of leek recipes to tempt you - Spiced leek, potato and lentil soup and Hearty leek and lamb cobbler:
Spiced leek, potato & lentil soup
Ready in 25 minutes
Costs 90p per serving
1 tbsp cumin seeds
4 medium leeks, trimmed and sliced
thumb-size piece fresh root ginger, peeled then grated
handful fresh coriander, stalks finely chopped
1 fat red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 large (250g/9oz) Maris Piper or King Edward potato, peeled and thinly sliced
175g/6oz split red lentils
1 litre/1¾ pints chicken or vegetable stock
300ml/½ pint semi-skimmed milk
4 tbsp half fat crème fraiche or creamy yogurt, to serve
1 Put a large saucepan over a medium heat then add the cumin seeds. Cook for 2 minutes, or until toasty and fragrant. Set ½ tsp aside for later.
2 Add the butter to the pan, let it melt and sizzle around the cumin, then stir in the leeks, ginger, coriander stalks and most of the chilli. Cover and let the flavours sweat together for 5 minutes.
3 Stir in the potato and lentils, then the stock and milk. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
4 Blitz the soup in the saucepan using a stick blender, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, add a swirl of crème fraiche or yogurt, then scatter with the reserved chilli, toasted cumin and coriander leaves. Enjoy with warm naan bread.
Hearty leek & lamb cobbler
Ready in about 3 hours
Costs £1.21 per serving
450g/1lb stewing lamb such as shoulder, cubed (or use pork shoulder or braising beef)
2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
150ml/¼ pint brown ale
4 medium leeks, trimmed then cut into thumb lengths
1 stick celery, sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into big chunks
400g/14oz swede or turnip, peeled and cut into big chunks
a few sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
1 or 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried is fine
500ml/18fl oz lamb or beef stock
For the cobbler topping
250g/9oz self-raising flour
80g/3oz cold butter, cut into cubes
125ml/4fl oz semi-skimmed milk
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
1 egg, beaten
1 Heat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas 3. Toss the lamb with the seasoned flour. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a medium casserole, then fry the meat for 10 minutes, until dark golden brown all over. Transfer to a bowl. Splash in the ale and bring to a boil, scraping up all of the tasty brown bits from the bottom. Tip this over the meat then wipe the pan with kitchen paper.
2 Heat 1 tbsp oil then gently fry the vegetables with the thyme and bay for 10-15 minutes until turning golden here and there. Return the lamb and juices to the pan, top up with the stock, then season. Cover the casserole with a lid, leaving just a small gap to one side, then cook in the oven for 21/2 hours.
3 With 40 minutes to go, make the topping. Add ½ tsp salt to the flour in a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Combine the milk, mustard, thyme and half of the egg, then tip into the bowl and bring to a soft dough. Knead a few times on a floured surface till just smooth, then pat the dough to about 3cm/1in thick and stamp into rounds. Squash together any trimmings and repeat. Don’t overwork the dough as it will make it tough.
4 Uncover the meat, stir gently and taste the sauce for seasoning at this point. Place the cobbler pieces on top, brush them with the remaining egg, then return to the oven until the topping is golden and lamb tender. Let the cobbler settle for 10 minutes before serving with your favourite seasonal greens.
Note to editors:
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