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One pot lamb recipe - was this wrong?

(19 Posts)
redblue Tue 27-Mar-12 10:24:26

Made a one pot dish for dinner last night. It was lamb which was from a roast lamb I had made the night before so it was already cooked and I cut it up into fairly small cubes. I added small cubed potatoes (maximum size £2 coin) and chopped carrots. Both the carrots and the potatoes were raw. I also added tomatoe based sauce (tomatoes, peppers courgettes etc) and another sauce for lamb with some red wine and rosemary. There was a fair bit of sauce covering 95% of the lamb and carrots but reasonably thick (i.e. it was not soup!) It went in a casserole dish with a lid. It was ready to go in the oven about 7.30pm with a view to eating at 8.30pm or 8.45pm. I was told there was no way the carrots and the potatoes would cook in 1 - 1.5 hours. So I carefully spooned out the carrots and potatoes and microwaved them so they were soft and returned them to the lidded cassorole dish and put them back in the oven.
If I had not microwaved them would they have turned out ok?
What do you normally do for a one pot dish?

syberia Tue 27-Mar-12 10:29:28

If I am going to use meat that is already cooked, I would casserole all the other ingredients for a good hour and a half and then add the meat to warm it through at the end of the cooking time, probably on the hob.

I have to say, though, for a one pot dish, I would usually use raw meat and braise slowly for a couple of hours. smile

bagitha Tue 27-Mar-12 10:30:27

I would have thought they would cook in that time in a moderate oven, so long as the hot pot got to simmering heat reasonably quickly. You could always cut them a bit smaller and or increase the cooking time and make the most of that easy method. There is nothing wrong with the method. You maybe just need to experiment with how veg behaves in that situation in your oven. One idea is to cook it the day before so that essentially you're just reheating. Might save a bit of worry. smile

PS I bet it was delicious.

bagitha Tue 27-Mar-12 10:31:55

Something else I do with leftover roast meat is to cube it as you did and just heat it up in leftover gravy. Then you can do veg separately.

redblue Tue 27-Mar-12 10:33:51

thanks bagitha
never got eaten due to wrong method used by me
it was just a family dinner nothing flashy but i wondered what most people do with their veg
i probably should have cut the veg very very small indeed. it wasnt that big in any way but maybe i should have made them extra small just incase

Charlotta Tue 27-Mar-12 11:01:02

I always cube my potatoes, the size of a small dice and the carrots and parsnips in slices. I do all my casseroles the day before. Bring them to simmering point in my electric oven, turn it off and leave them for 5 o 6 hours.
Absolotely delicious and energy saved.
Its an old camping trick. Just put pasta in boiling water, put the lid on and after you have got the other part of the meal ready on the one gas ring, the pasta is cooked. All by itself in hot water. These energy saving days may come back again.

redblue Tue 27-Mar-12 11:10:33

thanks charlotta
i guess i am naieve in thinking it can be done that evening for a family dinner unless you cook all of the components in advance

Riverwalk Tue 27-Mar-12 13:45:56

I find for a one-pot dish that you have to either cook it slowly in the oven for a good 3-4 hours in a moderate heat, depending on the ingredients; or for a shorter time, at least one hour, on the hob simmering away.

If you hadn't microwaved the veg, particularly the pesky carrots, I suspect that they would have been a bit hard after an hour and a half in a moderate oven.

It always amazes me when recipes say things like fry the onions for 10 minutes until caramelized - no way does it take 10 minutes, more like 30!

Anagram Tue 27-Mar-12 13:50:30

I'm always amazed by the cooking instructions they give you on packets of veg from the supermarket, e.g. carrots, boil for 10-15 mins. Well, OK, if you like your carrots semi-raw, but I'm afraid I prefer mine 'cooked'.

wotsamashedupjingl Tue 27-Mar-12 13:56:54

If you had had the oven temp high enough to keep it bubbling a bit, the veg would have been cooked, the same as if they had been in simmering in a saucepan on top of the cooker.

wotsamashedupjingl Tue 27-Mar-12 13:58:03

The microwave method you used probably retained more of the taste and nutrients.

redblue Tue 27-Mar-12 14:16:31

thank you for all posts
i wish i was better at cooking and i wish i had someone to consult so i got it right more often. too much multitasking during the day means i sometimes make mistakes like this one and not sure what to do first when i get in from work, start the dinner or bath the kids, or cook the kids and bath the dinner....etc (only joking) - if it is not a ready meal i start out feeling proud of myself till something like this happens... and my two babies are clean head to toe and at all times supervised whilst in the water
anyway it is really useful to have the thoughts of you who have obviously successfully made one pot dishes many times before.

Greatnan Tue 27-Mar-12 14:35:09

redblue - you are not alone! I have never been a confident cook and make many mistakes. One of my daughters can't boil an egg (she tried to fry pasta) and the other is an outstanding cook and so are three of her six children. She knows which herbs or spices to use with everything, and which one she can use if she hasn't got the right one in stock. I have to follow a recipe slavishly. I think some people are natural cooks and I am not one of them!
I use my microwave for so many things - if I want a baked potato with a crispy skin I put the oven on but put the potato in the microwave until it is nearly soft and then put it in the hot oven for ten minutes. I buy frozen onions, leeks, cauliflour, spinach and sliced carrots and cook them in the microwave before adding them to stews, etc.
I have a slow cooker and just defrost chicken or rabbit or pork pieces and the vegetables and stick them in it with some stock (made from stock cubes, of course) . After six hours or so, it is very tasty.
I always check a recipe on-line before I do anything new.
I have had to learn to use French ingredients, so instead of brown gravy I make a sauce of creme fraiche and mustard.

Riverwalk Tue 27-Mar-12 14:43:40

Oh! redblue, I well remember the days of rushing from work to pick up the children from school, then charging through the door to get cracking on the home front. Back in the 80/90s a favourite standby was M&S Chicken Kiev, with sweetcorn and oven chips, followed by something like a choc-ice.

Your one-pot meal was a good idea, but the way you did it added to your work-load with the microwave bit and then joining it all up again.

I don't have one but am told that slow-cookers are great - you can pile in the ingredients before you go to work and come home to a lovely home-cooked casserole.

By all means brush up on your cooking skills and menu-planning, it really is very easy, simply to make your life easier, but don't fret ..... your kids won't remember that you got it right in the kitchen but they will remember the fun times they had in the bath!

JessM Tue 27-Mar-12 19:29:19

Carlotta is right - with slow cooking you don't need the oven all the time. Get it up to a really good heat, everything boiling then turn it off and leave the door shut. It will stay hot a long time and gently cook stewy things.
Excellent energy saving technique. And cutting things up small too. They take less time to cook. e.g. boiled spuds.
Carrots can be a b***er though. Specially the old woody kind. We've all done things in which everything is cooked except those darn carrots. And they take longer in stew than on their own. There must be a good scientific reason but I am not sure what it is.

Anagram Tue 27-Mar-12 19:42:51

Yes, JessM - those darn carrots! grin

Another strange thing is that recipes usually say 'cook for xxx hours at gas mark x , xxx degrees c etc. They never say turn down the heat when it's boiling like billy-o, which I always do, and which fits in with what others have said on this thread. If I left it bubbling away at 200 degrees in my oven, it would end up resembling a block of burnt concrete, not a casserole! confused

glassortwo Tue 27-Mar-12 20:34:46

red I would invest in a slow cooker you can throw it together and just turn it on as you leave and come home to a tasty meal.

Its a nightmare working all day, collecting children then starting to cook, you can do all kinds of meals in a slow cooker from traditional to spag bol, chilli and curry to name a few. There are some good cookery books on slow cookers.

Stansgran Tue 27-Mar-12 20:51:00

woody carrots can be sliced lengthwise with a potato peeler-they then cook very quickly like courgettes. I use a microwave steamer for most veg but I like crisp veg.and microwaving does keep in the vitamins I believe.

Charlotta Tue 27-Mar-12 22:29:05

One pot anytime. Beans make lovely casseroles but I use tinned white beans and mix 2 tins cooked, drained large haricot beans, 1 tin tomatoes, 1or 2 onions. and a piece of fat pork in rough cubes. Bung it all in together, simmer, 20 mins, turn oven off and leave till next day. You can add anything you've got. Left over ham, or sausage, chicken, olives, the list is endless.

Its a bit like a thick soup sometimes and best eaten out of a dish with a spoon.