Winter Comfort Food Favourites
Many will moan and groan about the miserable winter weather, but as a food lover it’s one of the best times of the year. During the cold months the braai takes a backseat and it’s time for the Dutch ovens and crock pots to shine. Hearty, slow-cooked meals take centre stage here. Fragrant curries bubble away for hours while delicate flavours develop, and of course, who doesn’t love a wintery pud? The cold weather and necessary layers of clothing is also a great excuse for indulging – after all, we must be burning calories to keep warm, right? These four recipes are our picks for winter comfort food – they’re belly-warming hits that may take a bit of time to create, but will be worth it in every bite.
4 Winter Comfort Food Recipes
A real ragú is a total labour of love. There is a reason that Italians learn the art of making it from their nonnas, and that’s because nonnas have years of experience and plenty of patience. They are from an era without modern conveniences and the need for immediacy, and they appreciate that good things take time. The other thing that nonnas know, is that putting love into your food makes all the difference. This ragú is going to take a little time to produce, but after tasting it, you won’t be able to look an average meat sauce in the eye again. It’s packed with meaty flavour, plus a punch of Parmesan and truthfully you’ll probably be spoilt for life after this experience. It’s that good. Take our advice, double the recipe, set yourself up on a lazy Sunday to prepare it, and then use it in various dishes throughout the week. That’s smart cooking – just as nonna would expect.
The smell of an aromatic curry is pretty special, add lamb shanks into the mix and you have a mouth-watering combo. Rogan Josh is of Persian origin, and is now a popular dish on Kashmiri menus; most often made with lamb, this fragrant curry is fairly mild but full of bold flavour. This version deviates slightly from the traditional one with the addition of a little cream, but the base of yoghurt marinade with a combination of spices and aromatics remains the same. Serve with buttery rotis to mop up all the tasty sauce.
Forget commercial pies, these homemade ones are wall-to-wall with meaty filling. Don’t be scared off by the thought of making your own pastry either – this is a simple shortcrust that is super easy to make and to work with. Because this pie filing is quite rich, we opted to top with a layer of crispy, butter-brushed potato slices, taking inspiration from a traditional Lancashire Hot Pot. You could always seal completely with pastry if preferred. The slow-cooked beef short rib filling can also be a base for other dishes. The ultimate winter comfort food.
Pumpkin Pie is to Americans what Milk Tart is to us – a revered national treasure. We decided to make a ‘deep dish’ version using this winter veg and used a buttery crumbed biscuit base. The addition of cinnamon and allspice brings home the wintery flavour and the crispy bacon topping… well why not? If it’s too cold for ice cream this pie will be equally delicious with a blob of whipped cream sweetened with a splash of real maple syrup.
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