I promised I was going to try and do some recipe and food posts this year, and here we are, my first try!

I’m starting off with a recipe that’s actually my very own. I love stews, chillis and casseroles in winter, they’re comforting, warming, and actually pretty healthy being stuffed with as many vegetables as you can fit in the pan.

I make this with fresh cranberries, which I buy when they’re cheap after Christmas and put in the freezer. You can use them for the stew straight from the freezer, no need to defrost them first. I also use ready made bottled mulled wine, though if you’re feeling virtuous you could mull your own first. I also buy stew packs from Sainsburys, but you can buy the loose veg if it’s easier

Beware, I’m fairly free with my ingredients and cook mostly by guess work, so take all the measurements as a rough guideline! This should make enough for 4 portions at least, I normally freeze 2 for later.


400g pack of diced beef or lamb or other red meat, it’d probably be nice with venison if you’re feeling flush!

1 stew pack (normally contains 1 onion, 1 swede, 1 parsnip, 2 carrots)

150g fresh cranberries

200g mushrooms (optional! I use them to pad it out and stretch the stew further, if you’re vegetarian then you could probably add more mushrooms and take out the meat)

bottle Mulled wine

Beef stock cube

2 tbsp of flour

1 tbsp oil

salt and pepper

Pre heat oven to gas mark 4/180°C

Peel and chop all the vegetables

Slice the onions and fry them gently in a large saucepan until softened, add the beef/lamb/venison and cook until browned.

Add the flour and stir in till the meat is covered then add the remaining vegetables, mushrooms and cranberries.

Crumble over the stock cube, add salt and pepper, and pour in the mulled wine.

Simmer gently for a few minutes then transfer to a large covered casserole dish and place in the oven.

This needs to cook for a minimum of 2 hours, but what I love about it is you can just leave it till you’re ready. I normally leave it for a good 3 or 4 hours, it just gets a little mushier. If it’s too liquid then try taking the lid off for the last half an hour to an hour of cooking.

You can add dumplings to the mix for the last half hour.

Couldn’t be easier!

You can stretch this out even further by serving it with potatoes and green veg. It’s delicious just with a chunk of bread in a big bowl, which is how I ate it on Saturday night in the picture above!