Sunday, March 13, 2011

Oven-baked stews

Certain stews, as I have mentioned before, require very little preparation. You do not need to start by browning the meat, or softening the onions, because the cooking process will perform those functions anyway.

The dish above has three chopped red onions, two red peppers deseeded and chopped into fork-size pieces, and two cloves of finely chopped garlic - all tossed in the dish with two tbsps of olive oil and some salt. The chicken thighs are coated in a little oil and placed on top. I baked the dish for 30 mins at gas mark 6/200C, after which I stirred the onions and peppers, turned the chicken, and lowered the heat to 4/180C. I gave the dish 90 minutes in total, stirring and turning once more after an hour.

Meat will also brown in a covered casserole, if it is not submerged in liquid. Yesterday, I cooked a couple of lamb shanks: three roughly chopped onions, a whole head of garlic separated into cloves, rosemary, bay, and salt, all tossed in a couple of tbsps of oil (sunflower this time). I coated the shanks in oil and laid them on top, with half a chicken stock cube. Gentle cooking: gas mark 2/150C for 90 minutes, until the stew was bubbling, then gas mark S/130C for another 120 minutes - again, I stirred the ingredients and turned the meat from time to time.


pablopatito said...

That's a long cooking time for your chicken thighs. Were they not overcooked?

Nicholas Clee said...

You're right - they don't need as long as that. But I like them to be falling off the bone. In my experience, they don't dry up.

Anonymous said...

No need for liquid other than the oil?

Nicholas Clee said...

No - the vegetables and the meat produce their own liquid. Plenty of it, in the case of the lamb stew particularly.