Viva España

August 30, 2023

I am not alone in thinking autumn has arrived way too early to the shores of Burry Port. The mornings are filled with that crispness I associate with September, and the earlier sunsets (when you can actually see the sun), all point to the ‘dark’ times are ahead. Time then to get somewhat inventive with the casserole dish.

For my LatestSupper I scanned the freezer and fridge contents; looking for easy, SYN free and tasty, whilst ‘using up’ anything & everything that needed it. Firstly I decided upon a casserole, secondly, it was the meat, and finally, which style of cuisine. The meat choice was a pack of 5% fat steak mince. Defrosted for about six minutes, whilst the ‘poptŷ ping’ was working I retrieved from the fridge the following whole and part used veggies. Green, Yellow, Orange, & Red sweet peppers, a large white onion, a stalk of celery, closed cup mushrooms, carrot batons, remains of a red cabbage, and handful of baby sweetcorn. I also spied a 1/3rd jar of a pasta sauce with herbs part of the Aldi “Just” range. These jars are great for plain, simple pasta, but you can do a lot more with. At 49p and 1.5 SYNs per jar, they are a force to be reckoned with.

For this supper the kit was relatively straightforward. The cooking involved the aforementioned microwave for defrosting, the air fryer for the jacket potatoes, and a multi cooker for the stew. The spuds were scored and cooked at 200c for 45 minutes.

The multi cooker was set to the ‘browning’ setting and I added the mince and onion, before turning to the coarse chopping & slicing of my veg. The onions had softened were caramelising as I finished. A quick stir to stop any ‘sticking’ and the pot was ready for my veg mix. In it went and another stir. Followed by the left over pasta sauce (1/3rd of a jar) then a 1/4 jar of water to mix any sediment from the jar. I sprinkled in tablespoon of garlic granules, before setting the multi cooker to ‘pressure cook’ for 10 minutes.

When the pressure cooking completed, I stood by with some couscous to add as thickener and was pleased to find it wasn’t needed. A quick tasting and some seasoning, salt, black pepper and smoked paprika. This stew has a sweetness all of its own.

Multicookers have a ‘keep warm’ setting which translates to me as ‘slow cooking’, so its stir very occasionally and leave the flavours come together. Another 30-45 minutes and we were nearing service. The potatoes were baked to perfection – crisp skin with a light and fluffy inside. These were covered with generous amounts of the stew. A light stew full of sweetness & colour. A mixture of textures – some mushy whilst others slightly al dente but not hard at all.

Tomato-ey, sweet, savoury, warming and filling, how I find the wealth of Spanish cooking. Calculating that 1/2 SYN was from the sauce and everything else was either free or speed foods, this dish felt like it should come with a ‘health warning’ instead it was more of a ‘health warming’.

Another “CA” that’s code for “can come again”, a repeat visit of my Spanish stew. Unfortunately I have to write these down as I soon forget, hence the blog. I am not searching for ‘likes’ merely offering inspiration. However it tasted much more delicious than it looks.

Until next time, Hãsta Pronto, Adios x

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