Monday, 28 October 2013

Beetroot, Carrot & Green Lentil Hotpot (Slowcooker)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Buckcherry ~ Sorry (Acoustic)
Evanescence ~ Never Go Back
Billy Joel ~ Honesty
Jem ~ How Would You Like It
Jackson Browne ~ Sky Blue & Black 
Tina Dico ~ Break of Day
Janiva Magness ~ End of the Road
The Union ~ Blame It On Tupelo 
The Cranberries ~ Dreams
Newton Faulkner ~ Face (Her)
Marilyn Manson ~ The Dope Show
Maroon 5 ~ How 
Missy Higgins ~ They Weren't There
Terra Naomi ~ Up Here 

Blimey, was I tired yesterday. ML was back from work travels and we barely had time to catch up before the four legged fella was back home with us accompanied by our friends A & C. They always look after the little guy when ML is away as I am not always well enough to meet his needs. But to be honest...I don't think he minds at all in fact he always looks a little sad to be home. Charming. lol. A & C were hot footing it off to a spa break for four days and they couldn't stop smiling and who could blame them eh? Saunas, pools of many kinds, massages and treatments galore and good wine awaited them at the end of their journey. They deserve it so good on 'em. After they set off on their journey to set off to our nephews birthday party..and it was everything a party should be..chaotic..filled with laughter of the birthday boy and his siblings and friends...awkward family situations *rolling eyes* and most importantly a fabulous birthday cake. Sadly for us we couldn't do this cake for him as ML is busy working on his parents upcoming wedding cake so it was down to my sister. And although the cake wasn't vegan...but they are not a vegan family...she knocked it out of the park. She had made a marble cake and then covered it in chocolate and pressed on sugar paper superheroes and figures. It was great and everyone enjoyed it....great job sis. But ML and I both left early as we were exhausted and then came home to crash...

...and then I remembered I still needed to make the bloody lovely Hotpot. So sat at my counter I sleepily peeled veggies and ML helped by making the stock and, to keep me focused, told me about the art gallery that had left an impression whilst in Copenhagen. It helped but by the end I was seeing black spots and almost sliding off of my stool. I think I over did it this weekend...but no regrets. 

I found the original recipe for this dish via Pinterest and for Teresa Cutters original recipe please visit her website TheHealthyChef .  I have adapted it somewhat to suit my personal tastes, what I had in my stocks and preferred cooking method. I had bought some beautiful examples of beetroot at the recent farm shop visit and also a fantastic red cabbage...or purple cabbage depending on where you It wasn't due to my extreme tiredness that made me choose to slow cook this recipe...from the first moment I saw it and read it through, I wanted to cook mine this way. And I think it worked really well. 

It's always a risk making veggie casseroles in the slow cooker because quite often you can end up with a mushy pile of..stuff. And the dishes can be quite watery...but given the hardiness of the veggies and the lentil addition I felt positive that slow cooking would work well. If it's important to you to eat the Rainbow of foods then this dish is a must because red/purple goodness starts to take effect as you inhale the And the textures held together great...the beetroot was tender but not about to collapse and the same for the carrots. The shallots were succulent as was the red cabbage. The lentils were cooked to perfection and although there was a little more sauce than wasn't by any means a soup. The flavours were heady and earthy with the beets and thyme kicking in the earthiness and the carrots adding that little bit of sweetness. Every mouthful was a pleasure and it wasn't stodgy or heavy on the stomach as most hot pots are. It was filling, beautifully textured with good wholesome flavours.

I don't often use alcohol in my cooking but it felt right for this recipe. And as soon as the slow cooker got going the smell of the wine heating and the cabbage reminded me of Christmas when I make a braised red cabbage in red wine side dish for the Pals Christmas Dinner and the memory made me very happy. If you've never tried this side are missing out. I still have plenty of the red cabbage left so I may make a batch and post it later in the week.  

Beetroot, Carrot and Green Lentil Hotpot

Beetroot, Carrot & Green Lentil Hotpot  Serves 4
(Adapted from original recipe by Teresa Cutter)

10 small shallots, peeled and halved
4 cloves garlic, micro grate or mince
4 med carrots, peeled and chopped
4 large beetroot, peeled and cut into large chunks
heaped 1/2 tsp dried thyme
4 cups of veggie stock 
1 cup of red wine
1 heaped tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste 
1 cup of dried green lentils, rinsed and drained (small green lentils not continental)
2 large leaves of red cabbage, stalk removed and shredded 
fresh flat leaf parsley to garnish

In a med-large slow cooker/crock pot layer the veggies as follows...shallots, carrots, garlic, beetroots and sprinkle over the dried thyme and black pepper. Give them a good stir to distribute the herb. Then layer on the green lentils. Mix the tomato paste into your stock and then pour the wine in followed by the wine. Layer the red cabbage on top and place the lid on. 

Cook for 4 hours on High or 8 on Low. I chose High this time because I wanted to finish the cooking before I went to bed. Serve with a grain or bread...or solo. 


Thanks go out to Teresa Cutter for creating such a tasty recipe and I hope my adaptions would be to your taste too. 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Monday is a fantastic one....I plan on spending mine writing and re-charging my batteries. lol.