Lost in a Forest…


Returned to the campsite described in https://theanxiouscook.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/campfire-desserts/ with a few additional friends, more wine, and (sod the firelighters) bags of amazing ready-burn charcoal, just add matches and stand back*. We battled rain, hail, thunder and madly-flailing low-flying pheasants (and that was just the first couple of hours). In return, New Rivendell delivered in full on its promise of campfire BBQs, impossibly-clear starry nights, and the opportunity to perfect your peeing-in-the-woods-at-2am technique.

Back to reality with a massive THWACK!! on Monday morning. My mother has recurring health issues, (which may or may not suggest a secondary cancer is now in situ). We await the results of her meeting with the consultant on Tuesday afternoon. My company is making redundancies, and whilst I think I’m reasonably safe, my manager, who has sweated blood, sweat, tears, bad coffee and fluorescent marker-pen to make this team a success that is recognised and name-checked at the highest levels of the company, is now also in the pool for potential redundancies (there’s gratitude for you). And no, I don’t want her job – do I look feckin’ stupid?

Whilst you ponder that question, I bring you a combination of BBQ leftovers and a Jack Monroe recipe (original at http://agirlcalledjack.com/2013/02/10/mushroom-bacon-ale-casserole-28p/ ).


*wood fires are still more fffuuunnnn though.

Sausage, Burger and Ale Casserole

Two vegetarian burgers (of the meatless-meat style), cut into small pieces
Two vegetarian sausages (preferably of the Cauldron “Lincolnshire” style, but hey, whatever you’ve got), sliced thinly
Half a white onion, chopped finely
Two garlic cloves, chopped finely
Half a large carrot, sliced finely width-ways
A medium leek, sliced mediumly-ish width-ways
One medium potato, cut into small chunks
Four large button mushrooms, skinned and sliced into chunks
Hot vegetable stock
Half a can of bitter (Guinness if you’re feeling flash, Own Brand if not)
Vegetable oil

In a wok, heat the oil and gently sauté the onion and garlic.
Add the “meat”, and brown.
Pour over half a can of the bitter, allow to bubble for five minutes.
Add potato and carrot, stir for a minute.
Add mushrooms, leek, salt, black pepper, thyme and vegetable stock, hot-simmer till bubbling.
Pour into a casserole dish or stock pot, cover and bake in the over at 180degrees for 30 minutes.


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