Abel and Cole: The English Winter 20 Minute Stir-Fry
The depths of winter: short days, lack of energy and motivation and the ever-present, all-consuming question – what to make for dinner? This time of year we have loads cabbages; the crux of peasant food in northerly residing cultures around the world. Think borscht, kimchee, sauerkraut … this is how our ancestors survived these barren months.
This is a simple version of lots of simple recipes. The idea is similar to a stir-fry – quick and full of vegetables. A simple combination of onions, potatoes, cabbage and a bit of bacon or cheese sauce can make a very satisfying winter meal while making it fun for the kids.
4-5 medium sized potatoes, cubed into 1cm pieces (I leave the skin on)
1 large onion, chopped
2 splashes white wine
3-4 large cabbage leaves, washed and thinly sliced
3-4 rashers of bacon (smoked, back, streaky – all work) sliced
Two lumps of butter
Same size portion of flour
5-6 large chunks of cheese
Method Stir fry:
Boil water for the potatoes while you slice up the veg. When the water has boiled, pop the potatoes in and then take out a large frying pan and put in a glug of oil. Sauté the onion until the pieces are clear – throw in a glug or two of white wine. When the onions are clear, throw in the sliced bacon and stir until the bacon is cooked (5 minutes). Next add the cabbage into the pan and toss around with the other ingredients. Turn off the heat and put a lid on the top to so the cabbage is not over-cooked.
Method Cheese Sauce:
Melt the butter in the pan, add chunks of cheese to the butter and begin to melt. Add the flour and then mix in the milk at the same time and keep stirring until it all comes together as a velvety cheese sauce. You can add more milk or cheese to suit your preference.
If you children, like mine, might be slightly put-off by the green cabbage on their plate, offer them a ramekin of cheese sauce to dip their food into or pour it right over the top. Let’s face it, everything tastes better with cheese sauce on it. In the end, my kids enjoyed me bringing back this classic from last winter.