One Pot

One of the best things about winter is a pot of something delicious gently simmering away on the stove top, warming the kitchen and filling the house with wonderful aromas.

Make use of lovely vegetables like sweet potato, pumpkin and parsnips for a vegetarian braise.

Take a chicken and give it a makeover with asian flavours. Cooking the meat on the bone keeps it moist and tender.

For something a little spicy, try the black bean chilli. It is perfect for less expensive cuts of meat, which are full of flavour, as the longer cooking time ensures the meat is meltingly tender.


Sweet potato, pumpkin and parsnip with chickpeas and spinach

photo Marina Oliphant

This vegetarian braise is great for meat-free Mondays. Look out for pearl cous cous, which is larger than regular cous cous. The lemony yoghurt adds a refreshing zing.


2 tbsp oil

2 onions, cut in half then thinly sliced

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

500g sweet potato, cut in 1.5 cm thick chunks

500g pumpkin, cut in 1.5 cm thick chunks

2 parnips, cut 1.5cm thick

800ml vegetable stock

2 tbsp honey

50g unsalted butter

1 cup pearl cous cous

2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed

100g baby spinach leaves

fresh coriander leaves to garnish

fresh mint leaves to garnish

yoghurt sauce:

100g greek yoghurt

juice and zest 1 lemon

Heat oil in large wide based pan, add onions, cumin and coriander seeds and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until softened and golden.

Add potato, pumpkin, parsnips, stock, honey and butter. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer for around 15 minutes.

Add pearl cous cous and cook for a further 15 minutes until vegetables are cooked and liquid has reduced.

Add chickpeas and spinach and cook for a few minutes until spinach has wilted.

Remove from heat and set aside to rest whilst you make the yoghurt sauce.

Mix the yoghurt with lemon juice and zest and put in a jug to serve with the  vegetables.

Garnish the stew with fresh coriander and mint and serve with the yoghurt sauce.

serves 4.

Chinese braised chicken


Ask your butcher or poultry supplier to joint the chicken. Alternatively, use chicken casserole pieces.


2 tbsp plain flour

1 tsp five spice powder

1 size 16 free range chicken, jointed

60 ml vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, sliced

knob ginger, peeled and grated

½ bunch spring onions, finely sliced + extra for garnish

1 long red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped

2 Tbsp brown sugar

3 Tbsp chinese rice wine

1 cinnamon stick

3 Tbsp dark soy

500ml chicken stock

2 tbsp hoisin sauce

Mix flour and five spice, then coat chicken pieces.

Heat oil in a large heavy based pot and brown the chicken in batches. Remove and set aside. Add onion, garlic, ginger, spring onion, chilli and cook for a few minutes. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, along with the chicken and bring to the boil.

Reduce heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 40 minutes until the chicken is tender.

Serve with extra spring onions for garnish.

Serves 4.

Black bean chilli


Chilli con carne just got easier with the availability of tinned black beans. If you can’t find these, then soak your beans overnight and add them to the pot with the beef, as they will need a longer cooking time.


2 tbsp olive oil + extra if required

2 brown onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

500g chuck steak, cut into small pieces

2 tbsp plain flour

2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

2 x 400g tins black beans, drained and rinsed

1 red capsicum, diced

1 ripe avocado

1 punnet cherry tomatoes

½ red onion, diced

handful fresh coriander leaves, plus extra to garnish

1 lime, juiced

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

4 Tbsp sour cream to serve

Preheat oven to 150C.

Heat oil in a large heavy based oven proof pot and cook onion, garlic and chilli until softened. Remove from pot and set aside.

Toss steak in flour to coat then cook in batches in the pot until browned, adding extra oil if required.

Return the cooked vegetables to the pot and stir in the tomatoes. Put on the lid and place in oven to cook for 1½ hours.

Remove from oven and check if meat is tender. Add beans and capsicum and return to oven for a further 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the salsa. Chop avocado into small dice, quarter the cherry tomatoes and mix with red onion and coriander leaves. Squeeze over lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

Remove chilli from oven and serve with salsa and sour cream.

serves 4-6.