One-pot chicken and chorizo stew
Warm 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Cook 1 chopped onion, 150g chopped leeks and 1 chopped green chilli for five minutes. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds. Add 130g chopped chorizo and cook for two minutes, then add 500g chopped chicken fillets and cook on all sides until sealed. Peel and chop 200g carrots, 200g swede and 300g potatoes and add to the pan with 1l chicken stock and some salt and black pepper. Tie 2 sprigs each of thyme and rosemary together with string and add to the pot. Bring to a gentle simmer on a low heat and cook for 20-30 minutes. Remove the herb bundle and season to taste, then ladle the stew into bowls. Sprinkle with a little fresh thyme and chilli flakes to finish.
Classic beef stew
In a large sealable bag, combine 60g plain flour, 1½ tsp salt and ½ tsp black pepper. Chop 600g beef stewing meat into cubes, add to the bag and shake until well coated. Heat 4 tbsp vegetable oil over in a large casserole dish over a medium heat. Shake excess flour off the meat pieces and add them to the oil. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned on all sides. Add the remaining flour from the bag along with 1 finely chopped onion. Stir for 1-2 minutes until well browned. Finely chop 1 carrot and 2 celery stalks and add to the pot with 1 tbsp dried parsley, ½ tsp dried thyme, 100ml red wine and 850ml beef stock. Cover and cook over a low heat for 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Add 3 diced potatoes, 4 chopped carrots and 2 chopped onions. Cook on low for another 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender, then serve.
Spicy fish stew
In a bowl, combine 500g firm white fish fillets, the juice of ½ a lime and some salt and pepper. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a high heat and cook the fish for 3-4 minutes on each side until just cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium-high and heat 1½ tbsp olive oil in the same pan. Add 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped green pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add 2 crushed garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds. Add 1 tsp sugar, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk, 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes and 250ml fish stock. Bring to simmer, then reduce to medium and cook gently for 15-20 minutes or until it thickens. Season to taste. Add the fish to the stew to reheat for two minutes, then stir in the juice of ½ a lime and garnish with chopped coriander. Serve with rice.
Slow-cooker veggie gumbo
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a casserole over a medium heat. Chop 1 onion, 1 green pepper, 2 celery stalks and 3 garlic cloves and cook for 8-10 minutes until softened and just beginning to brown. Transfer to a 4-5l slow cooker. Return the casserole to the hob and heat 1 tbsp oil. Stir in 2 tbsp plain flour and cook for about four minutes, stirring constantly, until golden brown. Pour in 500ml vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then carefully transfer to the slow cooker. Add 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes, 1 x 400g tin of kidney beans, 250g chopped mushrooms, 2 chopped courgettes, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp Cajun spice and 1 bay leaf. Season well. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. When ready, remove the bay leaf and season to taste. Serve with couscous or rice.
Pork and leek stew
Cut a 1.3kg pork shoulder into 4cm chunks and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over a medium-high heat and brown the pork on all sides. Remove to a plate and set aside. In the same pan, cook 1 sliced leek for 5-6 minutes until soft and translucent. Add 4 crushed garlic cloves and ½ tsp dried chilli flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 500ml chicken stock, ½ tbsp wholegrain mustard and 120ml cream, then return the meat to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Remove the cover and simmer over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened to your liking. Garnish with fresh parsley and serves with creamy mash.