Thursday, 20 October 2011

Autumn Vegetable Cobbler

The weather has been really chilly this last few days; all very autumnal with a promise of winter in the air.

The raised beds in the garden, which were groaning under the weight of assorted vegetables during the summer, are now almost empty and looking a bit sorry for themselves. We pulled up the last of the carrots at the weekend and I also pulled a couple of leeks to see how they were getting on; I’ll leave the rest of them there to use up throughout the winter. I can feel plenty of leek and potato soup coming on…

I’ve been looking for ways to expand my new-found scone know-how (I’m so chuffed with myself…you’ve no idea!) and was thrilled to be able to cook a cobbler for the first time. Along with the handful of carrots and leeks I’d collected from the garden there were sundry other veg in the fridge so I used a few mushrooms, a couple of sticks of celery and a solitary sweet potato to make a rather nifty autumnal dinner that will definitely be making further appearances in future.

**If you’re luckier than me the vegetable casserole base will all stay in the dish rather than bubbling up, running down the side of the dish and burning on the bottom of the blasted oven!

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 leeks, well washed and cut into chunks
2 sticks of celery, chopped
150g chestnut mushrooms, halved
½ tsp dried thyme
1tbsp olive oil
1tbsp plain flour
350ml stock
2 tsp Worcester sauce
½ tsp Marmite
1 dsp tomato puree

100g self-raising flour
25g butter
½ tsp baking powder
75g grated mature cheddar
½ tsp dried thyme
75ml buttermilk (you may not need all of it)

Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the veg for 10 minutes; stir in the flour and gradually add the stock followed by the Worcester sauce, Marmite and tomato puree. Bring to the boil, pop a lid on and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the cobbler topping, mix the flour and baking powder together then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the thyme and of the cheese then mix in enough of the buttermilk to form a very soft dough. Pat the dough out on a floured surface to form a small circle about 2.5cm thick. Cut out 4 small scones with a 5.5cm plain cutter. Heat the oven to 200C.

When the vegetable mixture is cooked transfer it to a small ovenproof dish and put the four scones on top; sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden and risen.

Serves 2

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