Is there a difference between a stew and a casserole?
Essentially, as a cooking method, there is little difference between them. A casserole is the name of the pot used for cooking and over time has become known as the cooking method as well. Purists insist a casserole is cooked in the oven and a stew on the stove top. However, the two are totally interchangeable.
Whichever term you choose, both consist of meat and/or vegetables, cooked slowly over a long period of time, making it ideal for cheaper cuts of meat.
MIXED SEAFOOD CASSEROLE
2 leeks, finely sliced
10ml chopped garlic
250ml white wine
500ml fish stock
400g frozen Cape whiting steaks, cubed
250g small prawns, cleaned
200g calamari rings
125ml chopped parsley
salt and pepper
300g half-shell mussels
Melt the butter and oil in a pot. Add the leeks and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Add the white wine and stock and stir until the mixture boils. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Add the fish and cook for 5 minutes. Add the prawns and calamari and cook for another 5-6 minutes until the prawns turn pink.
Stir in the parsley and season to taste. Add the mussels and cover and simmer for 5 minutes until warmed through.
Serve with crusty bread.
BEEF AND GNOCCHI CASSEROLE
1.5kg beef shin, bones removed and meat cubed
45ml seasoned flour
30ml olive oil
1 onion, chopped
15ml chopped garlic
4 celery sticks, chopped
3 parsnips, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
400g can of chopped tomatoes
250ml red wine
400ml water and 350ml beef stock
200g baby marrows, sliced
60ml chopped parsley
Toss the meat in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole and brown the meat in batches. Remove and set aside.
Add the onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes. Add the celery, parsnips and carrots and cook for a minute.
Return the meat to the casserole and add the tomatoes, red wine and the liquid. Season well and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover and place in the oven at 160°C for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender.
Remove from the oven and stir in the marrows. Return to the oven for another 20-30 minutes, or until marrows are soft.
In the meantime, cook the gnocchi according to the instructions. Drain and stir into the casserole when the marrows are soft.
Serve sprinkled with parsley.
CHICKEN AND BUTTERNUT CASSEROLE
4 chicken thighs
4 chicken drumsticks
12 baby onions
500ml chicken stock
grated rind and juice of 1 orange
500g butternut, cubed
1 sprig of rosemary
Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole and brown the chicken pieces, remove and set aside.
Add the baby onions to the casserole and cook until browned. Remove and set aside.
Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes. Sir in the flour and cook for a few seconds.
Gradually stir in the sherry and stock until the mixture boils. Add the orange juice and rind and the butternut.
Return the chicken and the baby onions to the casserole and add the rosemary.
Cover and cook in the oven at 180°C for an hour.
SPICY VEGETABLE CASSEROLE
2 red onions, sliced into wedges
15ml harissa paste
30ml cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
250ml vegetable stock
300g baby carrots
250g small button mushrooms
2 brinjals, cubed
1 red pepper, cut into 2cm pieces
400g can of chickpeas
60ml chopped coriander
Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole and fry the onions, garlic and sugar until the onions start to caramelise. Add the harissa paste and cumin, and cook until fragrant.
Add the remaining ingredients except the coriander. Cover and place in the oven at 180°C for 40-50 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Remove and adjust the seasoning.
Stir in coriander and serve.
LAMB AND BARLEY CASSEROLE
3 leeks, thinly sliced
5ml chopped garlic
15ml olive oil
500g leg of lamb cubes
60ml pearl barley
a sprig of thyme, leaves stripped
500g waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
500ml lamb stock
60ml cream or milk
Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the leeks and garlic and fry until soft. Remove and set aside.
Heat the oil in the frying pan and brown the meat. Add the garlic, barley and thyme, cook for a minute and remove from the heat.
Line the base of an ovenproof casserole with a generous layer of potatoes.
Put the leeks on top, then add the lamb mixture. Season the layers. Press the mixture down with the back of a spoon.
Layer overlapping slices of potato on top and pour over the stock. Cover with a lid or tightly with tin foil.
Bake at 180°C for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender. Remove from the oven, take off the foil and brush the potato slices with cream or milk.
Return to the oven for another 30 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown.
PORK AND BEAN CASSEROLE
500g piece of pork belly, rind removed
2 chorizo sausages, sliced
125g streaky bacon, chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
5-10ml smoked paprika
150ml red wine
400g can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Cut the pork into cubes.
Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole and brown the pork well. Remove and set aside.
Add the chorizo to the casserole and fry for five minutes. Remove and add to pork. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove and add to pork.
Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and fry gently for about five minutes. Add the paprika and fry for a minute. Return all the meats to the casserole and add the tomatoes, wine and beans. Season well.
Cover and cook in the oven at 160°C for 2-3 hours until the meat is meltingly tender. Stir in coriander before serving. - The Star