Baked Beet Bourgignon and Homemade Sourdough Baguette

A long slow recipe, not that much effort if you’re around the house all day. Inspired by this recipe.
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Start the bread the day before. My starting point was this recipe, adapted for my starter and the bread machine.

The recipe will serve 6-8 but I make it for two and have lots of leftovers.

Sourdough Baguette
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My timeline
Night before -at 9pm (ish) – mix levain rest 12 hours (ish)
9am – into machine – 3.5 hour cycle
12:30- rest 3 hours
3:30 – shape, rest 1 hour
4:30 – bake
5:00 – cool 1 hour
6:00 – eat

The night before- mix:

20g white flour
20g rye flour
40g water
20g starter (no need to refresh as long as you baked in the last week)

Leave it tightly covered, out of the fridge, overnight.

In the morning:

Put the above mix (levain) in the bread machine and add…

500g white flour
200g water
Pinch of salt

Set the machine to a French bread cycle if you have it- or a standard dough cycle of at least 2 hours.

(Now start your Bourgignon…)

Allow the resulting dough to rest 6 hours or as long as you can. 3 hours on a warm day worked fine.

Then divide the dough into four. Shape each piece into a baguette using plenty of flour. Rest for another hour, while the oven heats to 250c.
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Slash the tops and brush with a little water before putting them in the oven for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 200c for a further 10.
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Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 1 hour on a rack.

Beet Bourgignon

Ingredients
10 medium beets (I make this when I have a glut, you can reduce the beetroot and up the carrot if necessary), scrubbed and peeled
3 medium carrots, peeled
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
15g (half a pack) of dried mixed mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes or more (keep the soaking water)
2 medium onions
4 cloves of garlic
4 fresh or smoked tomatoes, or 1/2 tin or chopped tomatoes
250ml red wine (vegan)
3 fresh bay leaves
150g puy or green lentils
10 pearl onions (if you can get them)
Sea salt
1 teaspoon arrowroot or cornflour
Salt and pepper

Method
Start this in the morning, the longer the flavours have together the better it will taste. You can pull it out of the oven at any time and do something else, or do everything first thing, and then leave it to rest. Use a timer to keep track of how long things have been in the oven and you won’t have to think at all.

Preheat the oven to 200c.

Cut the beetroot into large chunk,- probably quarters, and the carrot into chunky sticks.
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Toss in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and add the thyme leaves, in an oven-safe pan that has a lid.

Roast for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180c.
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Finely chop the onion and garlic. Roughly chop the tomatoes and mix it all in, then return to the oven with 1 more tablespoon of oil, for 20 minutes. If you are using tinned tomatoes then add them at the next stage.

Then drain and chop the mushrooms and add to the pot with the bay leaves, wine, tinned tomatoes and pearl onions (if you are using them), the soaking liquid from the mushrooms and a little water if necessary to cover everything.
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Return to the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Put the lid on and give it a further 20…

Then switch it off with the pan inside.

Boil the puy lentils in vegetable stock until just tender.

When you want to eat in an hour…

Add the puy lentils and heat gently on the stove.

Serve with your baguettes, a salad and sunshine.

Beany Vegetable Flatbread

This bread has loads of good nutrition and hearty flavour.
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Serve with salads, for a picnic or for children.

Serves 2 as a substantial snack, light lunch or supper with side dishes.
Ingredients
100g refreshed starter
300g white flour
Tablespoon dried oregano
Pinch salt
200g beany stew*
Coarse salt
Vegan Choritzo, finely chopped (optional)
Drizzle of olive oil

* Make a simple stew another day, the exact ingredients aren’t important. For this flatbread I used a big scoop of a stew containing:
75% Cannelini beans
Roasted tomatoes
Roasted onions
Roasted green pepper
Spinach
Leave as much sauce behind in the pot as possible.

Method
Knead everything together except the coarse sea salt, the beans and vegetables will disintegrate.
The dough shouldn’t be too wet, add flour if necessary.
Allow the dough to rest for an hour and then roll it out, using extra flour to dust the table and rolling pin.
Sprinkle over the salt and Choritzo, then drizzle generously with olive oil. Allow to rest for another half hour (or longer), then bake for 30mins at 229c.
This won’t rise much, but it will crisp and be rich and satisfying. You won’t need much with this.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Smokey Haricots and Soft Polenta

More of a mental note than a recipe- simple and good.
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Roasted
1 butternut squash, sliced longways
1 medium onion, in wedges
Pinch of thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
Roast at 200c 30 mins turning and rotating occasionally (till caramelised).

Beans
Fry:
1 finely chopped onion
3 grated cloves of garlic
1 finely chopped celery stick
Add:
1 tin of tomatoes
200g haricot beans (from a can or soaked and boiled)
1 teaspoon good smoked paprika
2 big handfuls of washed spinach leaves

Polenta
200g polenta
400g water
2 tablespoons poppy seeds (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Mix the oil and water, bring to boiling point. Slowly pour the polenta and poppy seeds from a jug as you whisk. Stir until creamy.

Mushroom and Cabbage Stew with Potato and Parsnip Latkish, with bonus battered mushrooms

We got a bag full of free mushrooms and there were some vegetables that really needed using up- cabbage, parsnip and potato. This is a very flexible dish- any rich stew would work well, and the Latkish are tolerant of varying proportions or additions.
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I’m pleased with the potato-cakes. They aren’t latkes but they hit the spot.

Latkish

Ingredients
4 medium potatoes
2 medium parsnips
1 large onion
A little oil (optional)

Method
Peel the potatoes and the parsnips and put into the microwave for 10 minutes. This should leave them almost cooked but still hard. Alternatively you could bake them for around half an hour at 200c and peel them afterwards.

Allow them to cool completely and then grate them in a food processor. Grate the onion as well- you’ll probably have to fish a few bigger ungrated bits out at the end but it beats doing it by hand.

Mix everything thoroughly and shape into cakes, leave them to rest on a plate. If you’re letting them sit for any longer than about ten minutes then cover them in clingfilm and put them in the fridge.
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Heat 2 tablespoons of oil on a baking sheet and remove from the oven to place the cakes on it.

Bake at 200c for about an hour until crisp and brown, turning after about ten minutes.

Mushroom and Cabbage Stew

Ingredients
1/2 medium cabbage
600g mushrooms (any kind)
6 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
1 celery stick
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
Handful of fresh parsley
Splash of wine or stock

Optional:
Vegan yoghurt (unsweetened)

Method
Clean and slice the mushrooms. Strip the outer leaves from the cabbage and slice into thin long strips. Finely chop the garlic, onion and celery.

Fry the garlic, onion and celery very slowly in the olive oil until just translucent. Then add the cabbage and turn the heat up a little.

When your cabbage is fully cooked and starting to colour, add the mushrooms, herbs and nutritional yeast. Cover and allow to cook for about ten minutes. Alternatively, cover and turn off the heat. Leave till you’re ready to eat before bringing it back up to heat.

Then add a splash of wine or stock and allow to simmer for ten minutes, for a thicker sauce you can add a dollop of vegan yoghurt at the end.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve over the crispy Latkish.

Battered Mushrooms and Seitan Choritzo
Even after making the stew I had mushrooms left over, and some Choritzo left over from Pizza Night… So

I mixed a quick batter:
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2 tablespoons each of:
Polenta
Nutritional Yeast
Self raising flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
Just enough water to make it pourable

Oil to deep fry

And (in this case):
10 mushrooms and
1/2 a Choritzo from Vegan Brunch

Method
You can use this fast batter on anything- halve the mushrooms and cut up the Choritzo.
Dip and fry…
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Serve them with garlic Mayonaise ( I blended 2 cloves with a half quantity of my standard recipe).

Smokey Stew – Chickpeas, Sausage, Spinach, Potatoes, Smoke… And a vaguely Moroccan Sourdough

A hearty, smokey stew with delicious bread. Cold smoking the ingredients makes this really special.
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Start the bread first:

Vaguely Moroccan Sourdough Bread
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I took advice and pointers from this recipe, but my version is fairly different – using only sourdough and cumin rather than fennel.

Ingredients
100g refreshed starter
600g white flour
225g water
1 tbsp cumin seed
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp cornmeal to dust

Method
I make it in the machine- 2:30h dough cycle (or knead well), then shape, sprinkle over the cornmeal, slash and rest 1 hour.
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Bake for 30 minutes at 200c and allow to cool for a minimum of 30 minutes, this will allow it to finish cooking.
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Stew
I made this with tomato, chickpeas, sausage and garlic that had been smoked in my cold-smoker. It would still be delicious with the plain variety, or you could add some liquid smoke.

Ingredients – to serve two with bread
4 cold-smoked tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves of cold-smoked garlic, finely sliced
1 tin of smoked chickpeas (drained), or a roughly equivalent quantity of home cooked ones
2-3 sausages made according to the Italian Feast Recipe in Vegan Brunch and then cold smoked (the recipe makes 4, I freeze them)
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4 medium potatoes, cubed
3 handfuls frozen spinach (that’s what I had, but I am positive that about 4 big handfuls of fresh, roughly chopped, would work well
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Splash of balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
Approximately 250ml white wine and 250ml water
Pinch of salt
Generous quantities of freshly ground pepper

Method
Slice the sausage diagonally, about 1cm thick. Fry the slices on both sides in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until browned and crisp. Remove from the oil and set aside.

Add 2 more tablespoons of oil to the pan and fry the garlic and spice until the garlic is nutty brown. Then remove the garlic, and set aside as well.

Fry the potato until browned on all side, then add the chopped tomatoes and cook slowly until they have collapsed into a thick sauce.

Add the chickpeas, vinegar, pre fried garlic and spinach add water and wine in equal proportions until the potatoes are just covered. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are cooked and the sauce is quite dry – about 45 minutes.
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Stir in the fried sausage and season before serving. Use generous bowls with bread on the side.

For the children
If this doesn’t suit the kids, serve the bread with some fresh fruit and vegetables, some beans or chickpeas in tomato sauce…

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Spiced Potatoes

Spicy and delicious- to serve two greedy people… (Photos to follow)

For the potatoes:
Ingredients
6/7 medium sized potatoes, cut into cubes

Spice mix:
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1 tsp freshly ground garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
Pinch of salt

Rapeseed oil

Method
Boil the potatoes until just about cooked, drain them and return them to the pot. They should still be quite firm.
Heat a few tablespoons of oil on a roasting dish in the oven until smoking and pour into the pot with the potatoes.

Put the lid on and give them a shake to distribute the oil and fluff the edges. Pour them onto the roasting dish and spread them evenly in one layer- ideally they should be spaced out a little. Sprinkle over the spice mix. And return to the oven for around 45 minutes, turning occasionally.

Now start the cauliflower while they cook.

For the cauliflower

Ingredients
1 cauliflower
1 tbsp coriander seed
1 tbsp cumin seed
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp garam masala (unground or ground)
Rapeseed oil

Method
Cut 2 or 3 big slices from the centre of the cauliflower, transfer carefully to an oiled sheet, sprinkle with the spices and turn over so that they are coated.
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Put in a preheated oven at 200c for 25-30 minutes. The cauliflower will be juicy and browned at the edges.

When the cauliflower is nearly done, make the broad beans.

I used the recipe above- roughly… Alternatively you could make simple spiced greens of almost any sort- spinach, broccoli, peas, kale…