Category Archives: Make and Freeze

Pork and Tomato Stew with Cheesy Dumplings

This one isn’t quick to make, but is worth the wait! The stew freezes well and could be served with crusty bread on defrosting, whilst the dumplings are simple enough that a toddler can help make them.

Makes enough for 2 adults and 2 toddlers


1tblsp cooking oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 pork steaks, diced

A quarter of a pint of white wine

2 carrots, diced

1 medium sweet potato, diced

1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and diced

1 tin chopped tomatos

1 vegetable stock cube

3 tblsps tomato puree

Half a teaspoon of garlic granules

1 tblsp golden syrup

1 handful of chopped, dried dates or raisins

1 tsp mustard

Salt and pepper

1 packet dumpling mix (enough to make 6 dumplings)

80g cheese, grated


1) Heat up the oil in a large, heavy based saucepan. Add the onions and reduce to a medium heat. When the onions start to soften, add the pork, turn up the heat and fry until the meat is lightly browned.

2)Add the wine and bring quickly to the boil. Allow to boil vigorously for 4-5min, stirring occasionally. Then reduce the heat, add the carrots, sweet potato and apple and stir.

3) Stir in the chopped tomatos and add enough water to the pan so that the vegetables and meat are just covered.

4) Add the vegetable stock cube, tomato puree, garlic, golden syrup, dates and mustard. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring the stew to the boil, then allow to simmer for 30min.

5)Meanwhile empty enough dumpling mix into a bowl to make 6 dumplings and stir in the grated cheese. Then follow the instructions on the packet to form into dumplings.

6)Keep the stew simmering. Check the taste and add any more salt and pepper if required. The stew should be thickening by this stage. If it is still very thin and runny stir in some tomato puree, one tablespoon at a time, until it begins to thicken.

7)Now place the dumplings on the stew and simmer for a further fifteen minutes.

8)Carefully turn the dumplings, and simmer for another fifteen minutes.

9)Check the dumplings are cooked through by cutting one in half. Serve on large plates.


Homemade Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Makes 6-8 portions. Freezes well.


3 onions, finely sliced

4 medium potatoes, sliced

4 carrots, sliced

5 sticks celery, finely chopped

1tbsp fresh sage, chopped

2 branches fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1.7 lt vegetable stock

4 skinless chicken thighs

Vegetable oil


1) Heat two tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large, heavy based pan. Reduce to a medium heat, and gently cook the onions, celery, potato and carrots until the onions are soft but not brown.

2)At the same time, heat a little oil in a frying pan and lightly fry the chicken until brown. Remove from the heat.

3) Add the thyme, sage, bay leaf and vegetable stock to the vegetables and bring to the boil. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and reduce to a simmer.

4)Simmer for 30min or until the chicken is cooked and vegetables are tender. Remove the chicken, bay leaf and thyme with a slotted spoon. Discard the herbs.

5)Transfer the vegetables to a blender and blend until smooth. Shred the chicken and remove any bones.

6)Return the vegetables to the pan, add the chicken. Adjust seasoning to taste.

7) Save warm, with plenty of fresh bread.