Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"It's too Orangey for Crows!"

Today I made a Butternut Squash and Carrot 'Cobbler' for dinner. It's the same recipe as my father's friend cooked for us when we were in Wales, and is meant to be done in a slow cooker, but I don't have one so I decided to just make it as a casserole. I also realised, half way through, that with the amount of veg I had, if I were to make the topping as well, it would probably feed a family of four, for two nights running! So I have now renamed this dish: Butternut Squash and Carrot Cobble-less Cobbler! The original recipe calls for blue cheese in the topping, which could be easily veganised, but for tonight I decided to do without. It would be just as nice eaten with some bread or brown scones.

The result is a perfectly sweet, tasty, super-bright-orange casserole. I didn't cook it for as long as it recommended so the carrots still had a bit of a bite to them, which I was happy with as I don't like my veg completely soggy.

Casserole ingredients:

1 whole onion, diced
500g butternut squash or pumpkin, deseeded and diced
500g carrots, diced
400g canned chopped tomatoes
250ml vegetable stock
1 teaspoon of caster sugar (optional)
Season with a pinch of salt, pepper & rosemary to taste

For the topping:

150g (5oz) self-raising flour
pinch of salt
50g (2oz) butter
75g (3oz) blue cheese, diced
4 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
4 tablespoons of water


1. Preheat the slower cooker if necessary. Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the onion and fry for 5 minutes until lightly browned.

2. Add the squash, carrots, tomatoes, stock, sugar and seasoning. Bring to the boil, stirring.

3. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the slow cooker pot. Cover with the lid and cook on 'high' for 2.5-3 hours until the vegetables are tender.

4. Meanwhile, make the topping. Put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the cheese ans rosemary, if using, then stir in enough of the water to make a smooth, soft, dough.

5. Pat the dough into a round 18cm (7 inches) in diameter then cut into 8 segments. Arrange these on top of the vegetable mixture. Replace the cooker lid and cook for another 30 minutes until the pastry is well risen and puffy. If the slow cooker pot fits under your grill, brown the topping before serving.

If anyone out there has a savoury cobbler topping recipe that is vegan, without the cheese, please let me know. Maybe the dough would still be ok without the cheese? I'll have to try it next time and report back!

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