Sometimes a little love in the kitchen can go a very long way - as is evident in these luxuriously comforting dishes with every second of cooking time.
Cheat's cassoulet with pork, duck and sausage
This is deceptively easy to make, but incredibly rich and decadent for an indulgent dinner with friends. Serve with steamed or blanched green veges.
2 Tbsp olive oil
800g skinless, boneless pork shoulder, cut into 4cm pieces
120g pancetta, sliced
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
4 sprigs thyme
½ tsp chilli flakes
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
5 cups chicken stock
400g tomato passata
2 x 390g-tins cannellini beans, drained
4 confit duck legs
8 good-quality pork sausages
200g sourdough, crusts removed, roughly chopped
½ cup curly leaf parsley
1 Tbsp reserved duck fat
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp sea salt
1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and brown the pork, in batches, until lightly browned. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside.
2. Add the pancetta to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, then add the onion, carrot, celery and thyme. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add the chilli flakes, garlic, bay leaf, chicken stock and passata, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and add the pork back in. Cover and cook over a gentle heat for 2 hours, remove the lid and cook a further 2 hours. Add the drained cannellini beans and stir through.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the confit duck legs in a roasting dish. Roast for 15 minutes, then break each duck leg into about four pieces by pulling apart and set aside. Once the pork has cooked for 4 hours add the duck and gently stir through.
4. Cook the pork sausages in a sauté pan for about 10 minutes, until cooked through, and set aside.
5. Place the chopped sourdough in a food processor with the parsley, duck fat, garlic and salt and whizz to form crumbs.
6. At this point the cassoulet can be constructed and refrigerated overnight or continue cooking.
7. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Put half the pork, bean and duck mix in a large ovenproof casserole dish. Slice the sausages into four pieces and stud through the mixture. Top with remaining pork mix and cover with breadcrumbs. Bake for 1 hour before serving with green vegetables.
- Recipe by Sarah Tuck
Beef cheek and cashew nut curry
This perfectly spiced and creamy curry is a real crowd-pleaser. The caramelised onions with roasted cashew nuts are the crowning glory and you need lots of warm naan bread when serving.
⅓ cup raw cashew nuts
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp peeled and chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp each ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala and ground turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
2 Tbsp tomato paste
½ cup chopped tomatoes (tinned or fresh)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 brown onions, sliced
1 tsp sea salt
1.2kg beef cheeks, cut into 6cm pieces
3 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup beef stock
½ cup cream
2 tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp olive oil
Good knob of butter
4 large brown onions, sliced
1 Tbsp brown sugar
½ cup roasted cashew nuts, roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C regular bake.
2. For the paste: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a smooth paste.
3. For the curry: Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish and cook the onions and salt for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the paste and cook for 5 minutes until fragrant, stirring frequently. Add the beef and stir to coat in the spice paste. Stir in all the remaining ingredients.
4. Bring to the boil then cover with a piece of baking paper and a tight-fitting lid or foil. Place in the oven and cook for 2½ hours, stirring once. Uncover and cook for a further 30 minutes until the beef is very tender and the sauce is reduced.
5. For the topping: Heat the oil and butter in a large sauté pan and cook the onions with a good pinch of salt for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle over the sugar and cook for another 10 minutes, or until deeply golden. Stir in the cashew nuts then spoon over the curry to serve
- Recipe by Claire Aldous
Braised pork with herbs, bacon and baby potatoes
Pork pairs beautifully with herbs and fennel seeds and produces meltingly tender meat when slow-cooked. If you don't have cider, use white wine instead.
1.5kg-piece pork scotch fillet, skin removed
Sea salt and ground pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
12 medium waxy potatoes, halved if large
2 brown onions, thickly sliced
150g streaky bacon, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp roughly chopped sage
3 big sprigs thyme
8 whole cloves garlic, skin left on
2 tsp whole fennel seeds
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
500ml pear or apple cider
2 Tbsp crème fraîche
To serve (optional)
Cress or rocket
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C fan bake. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper. Roll up the fillet and tie with kitchen string at 4cm intervals to secure.
2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and brown the pork on all sides. Transfer to a large roasting dish along with the potatoes. Don't wash the pan.
3. Add the onions, bacon, sage, thyme, garlic and fennel seeds to the sauté pan and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Stir in the mustard then add the cider, letting it come to the boil. Season then pour the contents of the pan over the pork in the roasting dish, spreading it evenly.
4. Cover the dish with a piece of baking paper then with foil to seal tightly.
5. Cook for 1 hour then uncover and continue cooking for a further hour, or until the pork is tender when pierced with a skewer and the juices run clear.
6. To finish: Transfer the pork to a large plate. Cover with a piece of foil to keep warm and rest for 10 minutes. Stir the crème fraîche into the pan juices and place back in the oven for 10 minutes.
7. To serve: Remove the string and slice the pork. Spoon over the onions and potatoes along with lots of the pan juices. Serve with cress or rocket and crusty bread, if desired.
- Recipe by Claire Aldous
Find more great recipes at dish.co.nz