When it’s getting cold outside, autumnal recipes give you a warm glow. And if you’re going to be cooking with kids, recipes have to be quick and simple. And tasty – very tasty!
So whether it’s a warming stew, a hearty Scotch broth, or shortbread leaves, we’ve come up with three tasty autumnal recipes that you can cook together.
This is the perfect dish to prepare before you head out into wild weather. You can look forward to heating it through when you get back for a nourishing, healthy lunch that’s a hug in a bowl. Just be careful with hot pots and liquids.
1 pack sliced carrots
1 pack diced turnip/swede (Did you know that a swede in England is a turnip in Scotland?)
1 pack sliced leeks
Cup of red lentils
Cup of pearl barley
1 litre of stock (ham or chicken, whatever you prefer)
A little oil
Salt and pepper
Put the oil in a heavy-based pan and gently warm. Pour in the veg and stir (that could be a task for the little ones - as long as you keep a careful watch, the pan is hot!) coating in the oil. Allow to soften a little, stirring regularly, and season. Turn the heat to low, put a lid on the pan and leave for five minutes to soften.
Meanwhile, place the lentils and barley in a sieve and rinse thoroughly. Another great task for the kids!
Pour the stock into the pan, followed by the lentils and barley. Stir, cover and bring to the boil.
Simmer for 30 minutes, then taste and season. Now it’s ready to serve (with some crusty bread and a nice dollop of butter!). Yummy!
Nothing says the nights are drawing in like having a warming stew for dinner – you just don’t cook it when the sun’s still out after 5pm!
1 pack diced veg
1 onion (diced – this is a parent’s job)
750g diced stewing beef
500ml beef stock
1 tbsp plain flour
A little oil
1 tbsp tomato puree
Salt and pepper
Place the beef in a mixing bowl and sieve over the flour. Toss the meat in the flour so it’s coated.
Put some oil in a heavy-based pan or casserole dish and gently warm. Add half the beef and brown on all sides. (Junior can do this job as long as you keep a careful watch – and they’re careful that the pot is hot.) Remove the browned meet and set aside, then do the same with the rest of the beef.
Add some more oil and gently fry the onion until it starts to go a little translucent. Your children can slowly add the diced veg (again, with you keeping careful watch) and keep an eye on it until the veg are soft.
Pour in the beef stock and, using a spatula, make sure you get any flour that is clinging to the pan scraped off and through the cooking liquor.
Now, add the beef, a few dashes of Worcester sauce, your squirt of tomato puree, and seasoning. You may need a little more liquid to cover the contents. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat to its lowest setting, cover and leave for at least two hours, stirring occasionally.
Remove the lid and reduce the gravy to thicken a little. (Cheat – gravy granuals thickens it up for you!)
Serve with some lovely garden peas and a dollop of mashed potato. Enjoy!
We’ve given the classic biscuit an autumnal recipe makeover by simply shaping each portion like a leaf. And it works, cos autumn leaves crunch – just like shortbread!
190g plain flour
125g unsalted butter (it’ll work better at room temperature)
55g caster sugar
Switch the oven on at 180C.
Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream together. Take it in turns between you and your children to get a lovely smooth consistency.
Sieve in the flour and mix well. Get your hands into the bowl and gather together the mixture in a ball (that’s a task your kids would love to do!).
Put a little flour on a clean surface and roll out the mixture until it’s about 1cm thick.
Now, using a butter knife, cut out individual leaf shapes. Use the blade to draw a spine and veins on the top. Roll the offcuts together and make more leaves.
Place the leaves on greaseproof paper on a baking sheet and bung in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden.
Place on a cooling rack and dust with more caster sugar.