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Prep The Ultimate Autumn Comfort Meal
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Prep The Ultimate Autumn Comfort Meal

There is no more denying it – autumn is well and truly here. And while the days are still quite warm this time of the year, evenings are getting chilly, and our minds and taste buds are turning to comfort food. Curries, stews and soups are once again making their way back onto our tables, and not a minute too soon! Here’re five lip-smacking recipes to warm your belly this season.

Lamb Shank Rogan Josh Curry

Complex in flavour but very easy to make, rogan josh is a delicious red curry that packs just enough heat to keep you warm and satisfied. Serve it with fluffy rice or use warm flatbread to soak up the delicious flavours, fragrant herbs and spices. Wash it down with a nice glass of Curious Kiwi Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc or Tussock Jumper Pinot Noir.

Ingredients:

4 lamb shanks, French trimmed
2 brown onions, cut into wedges
½ cup (125g) rogan josh paste
500g Greek-style yoghurt
300g green beans, ends trimmed

Method:

Heat a large non-stick casserole pan over medium-high heat. Cook the lamb, in two batches, turning occasionally, for 5 mins r until brown all over. Transfer to a bowl. Reduce heat to low. Add onion to the pan and cook for 5 mins or until onion softens. Add the curry paste and cook for 1 min or until aromatic.

Return the lamb to the pan with the yoghurt and two cups of water. Cook, covered, turning occasionally, for 2 hours or until lamb is falling off the bone. Add the beans to the curry and cook for 5 mins or until bright green and tender crisp. Season with salt and pepper.

Fennel, Chicken & Mushroom Pot Pies

There’s only one thing to say about a creamy chicken pie, filled with tender mushrooms and sweet fennel: delicious. These rustic little pot pies covered with flaky golden pastry have us wishing it was pie weather all year round.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
6 chicken thigh fillets, coarsely chopped
200g brown mushrooms, halved
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
1 small fennel, trimmed reserving fronds, thinly sliced
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cups chicken stock
20g dried mixed forest mushrooms
1 lemon, zest and juice
¼ cup coarsely chopped tarragon
½ cup sour cream
1½ sheets frozen puff pastry
1 egg, lightly whisked
Cumin or fennel seeds, to sprinkle

Method:

Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, in two batches, turning, for 5 mins or until brown all over. Transfer to a bowl. Heat half the remaining oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Cook the brown mushroom, stirring until tender. Transfer to a bowl. Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Cook the onion and fennel, stirring occasionally until fennel softens.

Return the chicken and brown mushroom to the pan with the flour. Cook for 1 min or until the flour is well combined. Add the mustard, stock and dried mushrooms. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 mins or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, tarragon and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon mixture evenly among four 1¼-cup (310mL) ovenproof dishes. Set aside to cool slightly. Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut pastry into desired shapes and place over the filling. Brush with egg. Sprinkle with cumin or fennel seeds. Bake for 20-25 mins or until pastry is golden brown and puffed. Top with reserved fronds.

To complete your perfect autumn meal, serve your golden flaky pies with a side of creamy mash and a green salad. And if you’re wondering what wine to pair with a homely dish like this one, we wouldn’t go past a Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay.

Green Split Pea And Bacon Soup

Ok, if there ever was an ultimate chilly weather meal, it would have to be soup. Nothing beats a big steaming bowl of creamy soup served with a side of crusty bread for dipping. Yum! The smoky flavours of this pea and bacon soup and the speed at which you can whip it up, make this one a serious contender for your family’s new mid-week dinner favourite.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 ¼ cups dried green split peas, rinsed
2 cups Massel chicken style liquid stock
2 tbsp lemon juice
125g rashers shortcut bacon, rind removed
Smoked paprika, to serve
Bread or rolls, to serve

Method:

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until soft. Add peas. Stir to coat. Add stock and 2 cups cold water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes or until peas are tender. Remove from heat. Process half the mixture until smooth. Return to pan. Stir in lemon juice. Cook for 3 minutes or until heated through.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add bacon. Cook, turning, for 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Break into pieces. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with bacon and paprika. Serve with bread or rolls. We reckon it will work beautifully with a zesty wine with a touch of sweetness like Knappstein Riesling.

Chorizo And Bean Stew

For a heart-warming dish in a flash, you can’t go past this Chorizo And Bean Stew. A rich and hearty mix of tomatoes, chorizo, beans and potatoes feels homely and tastes heavenly. It’s a one pot comfort meal you can throw together anytime during the week from the staples in your pantry.

Ingredients:

700g potatoes, quartered
¼ cup olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
500g chorizo sausage, sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried chili flakes
400g can butter beans
410g can diced tomatoes
2 fresh bay leaves
150mL Massel chicken style liquid stock
4 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Method:

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of cold, salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until just tender. Remove from heat. Drain.

Heat the oil in the same pan. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until just softened. Add the chorizo and cook until it starts to turn golden. Transfer chorizo mixture to a plate and set aside.

Add garlic and chili to the pan. Cook for a few seconds, then add potatoes, butter beans, tomatoes, bay leaves and chorizo mixture. Pour in stock and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in parsley and serve with crusty bread and a nice glass of medium-bodied red like Musica En El Camino Rioja.

Classic Rhubarb And Apple Crumble

You cannot discuss comfort food without mentioning dessert. Even just saying the word fills us with a sense of warmth and happiness. And we reckon that a rhubarb and apple crumble really, er… takes the cake. The second that sweet smell of cinnamon hits your nose, you’ll be asking yourself why on Earth aren’t we putting this stuff in everything?

Ingredients:

5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped
¾ cup caster sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
6 rhubarb stems, trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces
2 teaspoons plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup plain flour, extra
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
80g butter, chilled, chopped
¼ cup flaked almonds
Icing sugar to serve

Method:

Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Place apple, caster sugar, cinnamon, lemon rind and 2 tablespoons of water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cover. Cook for 5 minutes or until apple starts to soften. Add rhubarb and flour. Cook, covered, for 3 minutes or until rhubarb just softens.

Transfer to an 8-cup-capacity baking dish. Next, combine oats, extra flour and brown sugar in a bowl. Using fingertips, rub butter into mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in almonds. Sprinkle over rhubarb mixture. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden. Cool 5 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

This sweet and tart crumble can be enjoyed with a sweet wine like Brown Brothers Moscato or a crisp cider like Mr Finch Apple Cider.