For a relatively inexpensive but very satisfying and comforting meal, it would be hard to beat meatballs. The classic of course is a ‘Lady and the Tramp’ style bowl of Spaghetti & Meatballs, with a rich, tomatoey sauce – loved by children and adults (and animated dogs!) alike.
Casserole, stew, braise – all terms we associate with slower cooking, but what do they actually mean? What is it that defines a dish as a casserole rather than a stew, or are they really just different names for the same thing?
There’s a very interesting book called Cooked by Michael Pollan; in it he explores how we, as humans, have developed various methods of cooking, which have not only transformed natural ingredients into something great to eat but also played a part in altering the course of our evolution. The book takes us right back to basics and is split into four parts (or perhaps should I say elements): Fire, Water, Air, Earth. In the section entitled ‘Water’, Pollan looks at the part water plays in the process and spends some time cooking food in liquid; he says “much like a stew, a braise is a method of cooking meat and/or vegetables slowly in a liquid medium. In a stew, however, the main ingredient is typically cut into ...
Sausages in some form or another have been around for centuries, with most places around the globe having their own versions – Chorizo from Spain, Kielbasa from Poland, Merguez from North Africa, and more sausages from Germany than I have the time or inclination to list here (over a thousand!), to name but a few. Some are raw, some are cured, some are smoked, but the one thing they all have in common is that, more often than not, they are delicious, economical and hugely popular.