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Welcome to hot pot season!
Member Name: oioiyou
Advantages: great warming food and perfect for winter
Disadvantages: does take a little bit of time but easy to do
It's getting colder and I've started making those meals associated with winter weather. I like to think I am good in the kitchen but still I feel a bit limited in my recipes. I have tons of cook books but never seem to make very many of the recipes in them. In the run up to Christmas the budget seems to get a bit tight and with our rent going up by £50 this month I decided to try and shop smart and plan out meals. I'm on week two and shopping properly and using my freezer properly has already saved me about £40! Whilst putting the meal plan together I remembered one my mother used to make for me which was always well received. I've slowly added some things to it as my mother and I have a difference in opinion when it comes to spices.
I have a family of four but the baby only eats a very small portion and the rest becomes hubby's lunch the next day so the below will make about 4 portions.
Sausage & veg hot pot
What you'll need:
* 1 pack of sausages (usually has about 8)
* 3 big carrots
* 2 sticks of celery (if you have some, otherwise it can be left out)
* 200g Pearl Barley
* 1 can of chopped tomatoes
* Half a tea spoon of lazy garlic (if you don't have lazy garlic then obviously substitute for the real thing chopped up - I'm just lazy)
* 1 medium sized onion
* About a tablespoon of olive oil
* 1 vegetable stock cube
Get out your biggest pot or casserole dish and start heating up the oil, onion and garlic. Let it soften and brown for a couple minutes. Meanwhile get the kettle going to make up 1000ml of veg stock.
Add in 800ml of the stock and the pearl barley. Stir everything about, ensure the heat is at medium and pop the lid onto the pot. Allow everything to simmer for 25 minutes. Make sure you come back into the kitchen to stir it every 5 minutes.
During your 25 minute wait start trimming and chopping up the carrots. I usually have mine in small bits because the kids won't eat them if the bits are too much. Slice up the celery into thin slices and place all this off to the side for a bit.
Get a frying pan out and put a bit of olive oil. Start that heating up whilst you cut the sausages into smaller bits. For me each sausage is cut into three pieces. When ready start cooking the sausages in the frying pan until they are cooked through a browned a tad.
Your 25 minutes should be up now so lift the lid on the pot and give it a good stir, add in the carrots, celery, tomatoes (whole tin or box), and the remaining stock. Put the lid back on and allow to cook for another 25 minutes stirring occasionally.
After this is through your sausages should be cooked and the pearl barley should be looking plump (don't worry if the pearl barley hasn't come up enough yet). Add in the sausages, parsley and a pinch of salt if you fancy and give the mixture a good stir.
I usually let the mixture have another 10 minutes of simmering and by this time hubby is home from work and children are starving so time to tuck in! Pitta is an easy thing to have with this meal. Pop some in the oven coated in olive oil and chilli powder for an extra warming bit to this already scrumptious meal.
© oioiyou 2010
Summary: yum yum, try some!
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