Hearty, warming one-pot dishes are just the thing on a cold winter's evening – and this month's recipes are certain to hit the spot.
A humble, once-forgotten cut, ox cheeks have seen a resurgence and are now very popular in the restaurant scene. They're packed with flavour – try Donald Russell's recipe for a lip-smacking result.
Winter squash is at its seasonal best right now, and its mellow sweetness is paired perfectly with pork in Riverford Organics' tasty stew.
By Stefan Kolsch
Braised ox cheeks with vegetables and balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Allow the meat to come to room temperature, pat dry with kitchen paper and season with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in an oven-proof braising pan and sear the cheeks all over until nicely browned and caramelised. Remove the cheeks from the pan and set aside.
Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan and cook for a further 5-6 minutes. Add the port and reduce until the liquid has nearly all evaporated. Add the remaining ingredients and return the cheeks to the pan. Bring to the boil, cover with the lid and transfer to the oven. Braise for 2-2½ hours.
Take the pan out of the oven, place on the hob and remove the lid. Reduce the sauce to a smooth consistency.
Serve with mashed potatoes and lots of the lovely sauce.
Save up to £7 on ox cheeks from Donald Russell.
Pork with squash, lentils and sage
Toss the pork in the flour, then heat the oil in a heavy-based pan. Add the pork and brown on all sides, then remove and keep to one side.
Add the onion and fry gently for a few minutes, adding a little more oil to the pan if needed. Add the garlic and fry for a few more minutes.
Put the pork back in the pan, and add the stock and ginger. Cover, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Add the lentils, squash and sage leaves. Simmer for another 20-30 minutes, until the lentils and squash are tender.
Stir in the parsley and season to taste.
(24 October 2013)