Seasonal local food recipe No.215 – Country-style hot-pot

A hearty casserole to warm you up when you come in out of the wind and rain!  It’s my adaptation from Sarah Brown’s Vegetarian Kitchen using vacuum packed chestnuts instead of dried chestnuts and is a meal in a pot if you serve it with the cheese nuggets.

Serves 2-4

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

200g vacuum packed chestnuts
250g whole pickling onions or shallots
250g carrots, peeled and sliced into 1cm rings
250g sprouts, peeled
125g button mushrooms, cleaned
1 tbs oil
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 tbs soy sauce
freshly chopped parsley
salt and pepper

for the cheese nuggets (optional)
50 fresh breadcrumbs
50g grated cheese
1 egg
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp paprika

Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole or large pan and gently fry the onions for a few minutes, add the carrots and mustard powder and continue frying for a few minutes.  Add the soy sauce, the chestnuts and 500ml of water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.

While this is cooking make the cheese nuggets.  Mix together the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.  Beat the egg and mix with the salt, mustard and paprika then mix this into the breadcrumbs and cheese.  Form the mixture into small balls the size of walnuts.

After the hot-pot has cooked for 20 minutes add the sprouts, mushrooms, parsley and cheese nuggets (if using).  Season to taste and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes until the cheese nuggets are cooked and the sprouts are tender.  Serve staight away.

This casserole will go further if you serve it with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.

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