Weekly Meal Plan: Early Winter Warmers

Close up of a Spanish lamb neck stew with red peppers.

It’s finally coat weather, and there was frost on the ground when I headed to the station yesterday. Because I’ll jump at any excuse, this means that I’m already well into winter cooking, braising meats low and slow, stirring sultry spices into cream sauces, and all together making dishes that can be described as warming, nourishing, or both! So, for this weeks Weekly Meal Plan I’ve decided to focus on five delicious, warming winter dinners that, be they quick and easy, or prime for slow cooking won’t take you any more than 15 or 20 minutes prep time.

Monday: Easy Chicken Paprikash

A speedy one for a Monday night, I love to serve this heady mix of chicken and paprika in a cream sauce alongside nutty brown rice and a good dollop of sour cream. You probably won’t find another version out there studded with sliced gherkins because that is my own addition, but I find they cut through the richness nicely.

Korean Chicken Ginseng Soup in a grey bowl with a blue dish of kimchi in the background.

Tuesday: Korean Chicken Ginseng Soup (Samgyetang)

Don’t be intimidated by cooking a whole baby poisson on a weeknight; all you do to make this simple, Korean-style soup is stuff the bird with rice and drop it into a pot with some aromatics. The result manages to be both light and rich at the same time, with a handful of spring onions and a scoop of kimchee on the side.

Wednesday: Slow Cooked Beef Shin Ragù

This super easy and wonderfully rich recipe for beef shin has been so popular this year! Don’t just relegate it to pasta, either, it is also delicious spooned over some parmesan-rich polenta. I also love that it freezes exceptionally well, so is a great one to batch cook for a special meal at a later date.

Thursday: Spanish Lamb Neck Stew (Caldereta de Cordero)

I buy lamb neck when it is on special offer just to make this rich, vibrant stew. It is a favourite of mine to leave cooking during the afternoon when I don’t know what time J will be home, as you can just warm it through and stir through the garlicky breadcrumb thickener just before serving.

Friday: Lamb & Potato Curry (Aloo Gosht)

And finally, a classic, cosy curry for Friday night curry night. Yes you have to return to it to remove the lid half way through cooking, but otherwise you won’t believe the tender meat and incredible depth of flavour you’ll get from such an easy curry made with just a handful of simple ingredients and spices.

A few cosy winter desserts to enjoy over the weekend: Proper Baked Rice Pudding, Russian Biscuit Cake, Mulled Wine Jellies, or why not try my Leftover Croissant Bread Pudding?