Caribbean Pepperpot Stew
If you're anything like me, you're probably feeling the effects of the Seasonal over-indulgence! I've mentioned a few times that one of the risks of running a food blog is that the pounds pile on! Having injured my foot in the Cardiff 10k back in September, I really haven't been exercising as much as I should, and I've also been eating whatever the heck I like! Generally, for me, that involves far too much of everything, and none of it very healthy! With the added decadence of Christmas thrown into the mix, I've put on about half a stone in three months... eek!
So, rather than waiting for the new year to start, I signed up for Fat Club (otherwise known as Slimming World) on Monday. I thought this recipe of theirs looked great, so I've decided to share it with you today, as a healthy option to kick-start your resolutions!
Don't worry, I'll still be having cheat days, so not every post for the next few months is going to be a fat club recipe! Although if they taste as good as this, you'd never know the difference anyway!
I've only modified this recipe very very slightly, but I have suggested some other tweaks (as ever)!
400g stewing beef, diced
2 red peppers, cut into chunky bite-size pieces
1 onion, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled & diced
200g green beans, trimmed & halved
3tsp lazy garlic
2tbsp jerk seasoning
1tbsp red wine vinegar
2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4tsp granulated sweetener
200ml beef stock
This served two quite easily, with 100g of rice each (dry, uncooked weight). I used 2 x Oxo cubes to make up the stock, as I always prefer to over-estimate than under!
1. Stick the oven on to preheat at 160ºC (or 140ºC fan assisted).
2. Meanwhile, spray a flame-proof casserole dish with some low calorie cooking spray (I use frylight) and brown the beef over a high heat for 4-5 minutes.
3. Lower the heat a bit, and add in the dry ingredients and Onion. Stir to thoroughly coat.
4. Add in all of the other ingredients, season well with salt and pepper, and give it a right good stir.
5. Pop on the lid, and cook in the oven for about an hour and a half.
6. Remove the lid, and turn the heat up to 195ºC (or 175ºC fan assisted) to thicken for half an hour.
7. Serve with some boiled rice.
ASDA return to winning ways this week, with their £15.65, which was quite a way ahead of Tesco's second place £16.18.
Third place wasn't far behind, with a fine moment for Sainsburys at £16.21, and Morrisons disappointingly last, but not all that far out, at £16.69.
This smells amazing the whole time it's cooking, and it tastes great too. As I said above, I doubled up the suggested recommendations for the oxo cube (one should make about 190ml of stock) for a fuller-bodied flavour.
As tasty as this was, I'd maybe have liked a bit more heat to it, so next time I'll add a green chilli or two. For a truly Caribbean flavour, maybe even a scotch bonnet could be used! Chilli Peppers are renowned for their fat-burning qualities, so not only are they free to use for almost any diet plan, they should also work harder within the recipe for you!
Anybody who follows the blog every week will see that I've forgone my favourite Coconut oil, to be replaced by Fry Light. This is to stay true to the Slimming World recipe. Again, though, Coconut Oil has a reputation for helping burn fat, so there's no harm in using a tablespoon, as long as you remember to count it accordingly for whatever diet plan you're following. If you're not following a plan... well, use your tbsp without counting anything else :p
I'm not a big fan of green beans... they squeak when you eat them! I'm not sure if this is just a strange fact of nature, or a plea for help... either way, I often find it annoying. They cook down so much in this recipe that they didn't really have that effect, so I was quite happy with their inclusion. If you're really against them, though, then you could replace them with something like mange-tout.
The original recipe didn't include that last half hour thickening-up time, but I thought that it looked too watery without this. Other methods to thicken it could be to use a tablespoon or two of polenta or cornflour, but neither of these are free on Slimming World, and again, I wanted to maintain that integrity.
The original recipe called for Passata with Onion & Garlic, but I couldn't find any. I therefore added the onion myself, and an additional tsp of garlic - the original recipe had no onion, and only 2 cloves of garlic.
If you like a bit more bite to your peppers (and green beans) you could add them for just the last half hour.
For a bit more bite to your sweet potato, maybe add for just the final hour. I'd probably chuck another one in, too, to be fair. I quite like my sweet potato mushy, so the original recipe was fine for me.
Although I've tweaked this, it's only very slightly, and full credit has to go to Slimming World for their recipe.