Comforting and delicious, you can’t beat a good winter warmer dish that will satisfy hungry taste buds!
I have a selection of recipes specially saved for the winter months, it’s the season where family and friends can unexpectedly drop by, so I have a few fail-safe recipes that I can whip up at a moment's notice using ingredients I already have in my kitchen cupboards.
These winter warmer recipes are great for when you have plenty of other things on your mind through the festive season, like tackling your Christmas shopping and spending time with family and friends.
Comforting Beef Casserole
Beef casserole is the ultimate comfort food, extra tasty and super warming it’s just the thing we need for the dark winter nights. The great thing about a casserole is that you can switch up the ingredients to cater for every taste bud, plus it’s a great dish for using up any vegetables you have going spare – I love to make this on Boxing Day with ingredients from Christmas dinner that I didn’t end up using.
I’ve used beef here, but you could use extra veg, potatoes or mushrooms for a tasty veggie option.
A true one-pot wonder, you can pop the casserole into the oven, or in the slow cooker in the morning and get on with your day, no fuss or extra washing up required!
- 850g Stewing beef
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- Knob of butter
- 8 shallots
- 4 large carrots
- 3 garlic cloves (optional)
- 5 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 750ml beef stock
- 1 glass of red wine
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/Gas 3.
Step 2: Cut the beef into bite sized chunks, flour, and season. In a frying pan, sear the meat on a high heat to seal it. Put to one side.
Step 3: Add a little oil and butter to a sturdy casserole dish. Peel and finely chop the shallots and garlic cloves, add to the dish with a few sprigs of thyme and cook in the oven until golden brown.
Step 4: Meanwhile peel the carrots and chop in half.
Step 5: Heat up the beef stock and with the wine and beef on the hob. Add the meat, sauce and, vegetables to the casserole dish with a little salt and pepper.
Step 6: Cover and cook in the oven for around 3 ½ hours, turning halfway through as the sauce will have reduced.
Step 7: Serve with creamy mash, green veg and a dollop of brown sauce for an extra zing of flavour.
Ultimate Sticky Toffee Pudding
Nothing quite compares to a sticky toffee pudding, rich, sweet, and delicious, it’s a warm and comforting dessert that will satisfy sweet cravings. If you fancy serving an alternative to a traditional Christmas pudding on the big day, look no further than my ultimate sticky toffee pudding recipe. Serve with the toffee sauce, cream, custard, or as it is.
I like to make these puddings in big batches so I can prep them ahead of time and pop them in the freezer ready for the big day … or for an after-dinner treat, just because! Add them to an ovenproof dish with the toffee sauce and put in the freezer. Leave to thaw before reheating in the oven. Easy!
Makes 6 puddings | Prep time: 1 hour | Baking Time: 25mins
For the pudding:
- 225g whole dates
- 175ml boiling water
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 175g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarb of soda
- 2 free range eggs
- 85g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing
- 140g demerara sugar
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 100ml whole milk
For the toffee sauce:
- 175g light muscovado sugar
- 50g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 225ml double cream
- 1 tbsp black treacle
Step 1: Preheat the oven 180ºC/Gas 4.
Step 2: Remove the stones of the dates, use some scissors to chop the dates into small pieces. Place into a bowl and pour over the boiling water.
Step 3: Leave to soak well and cool, then mash with a fork. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Step 4: Butter the pudding tins and place on a baking tray.
Step 5: While the dates are soaking, you can make the puddings. Mix the self-raising flour and the bicarb together.
Step 6: Beat the softened butter and the demerara sugar together until creamy. Mix in two beaten eggs, a little at a time.
Step 7: Beat in the black treacle into the mixture using a large metal spoon, and gently fold in the flour, bicarb and the milk a little at a time until mixed well. Be careful to not overbeat your mixture.
Step 8: Stir in the soaked dates and spoon evenly between the tins and bake for around 25 minutes, or until your puddings are risen and firm to the touch.
Step 9: To make the toffee sauce, heat the butter, muscovado sugar with half of the double cream. Bring to the boil and continuously stir until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Step 10: Stir in the black treacle and turn up the heat so the mixture bubbles for 2-3 minutes, your sauce should turn a rich toffee colour. Make sure you stir occasionally to prevent from burning.
Step 11: Take off the heat and beat in the rest of the double cream to create a rich glossy sauce that’s ready to pour over your puddings.
Step 12: If you’re reheating your puds from frozen, let them thaw out for a few hours and then heat in the oven at 180ºC/Gas 4 still covered for about 20 mins or when the sauce is gently bubbling.
Simple Oat Biscuits
Nothing beats a homemade biscuit, and these biscuits are so simple to make – perfect to bake with kids on a rainy day, and best enjoyed with a cuppa or hot chocolate.
There aren’t many ingredients for these oat biscuits, so you won’t have to venture to the shops. Why not experiment by adding in some pumpkin seeds or leftover toffee sweets from the tub of Christmas chocolates.
Makes 15 small biscuits
- 75g wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 75g porridge oats
- 50g caster sugar
- 75g butter
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- 2 tbsp milk
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Step 2: Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, stir in the baking powder, porridge oats, and sugar.
Step 3: Put the butter, syrup, and milk on a low heat and stir until melted.
Step 4: Stir in the melted butter mixture into the flour and oats until well combined.
Step 5: Spoon the mixture onto the baking tray into small round shapes, make sure you leave a space between each biscuit as they will spread when in the oven.
Step 6: Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool before removing from the tray.