Winter warmer meals

May 19, 2014 (Last Updated: January 11, 2019)
Winter warmer meals recipes

With cold weather slowly but surely making it’s way into our lives it’s time to get into the kitchen and making the kind of food that suits this weather. We’ve got some delicious and comforting recipes for you that the family will simply love. Winter warmer meals are robust, comforting, and delicious.

1. Croque-monsieur

Serves: 4
Difficulty level: Easy
Time: 30 minutes

TO DRINK: This toasted treat is a winner with a light-style Belgian beer.


30ml (2 tbsp) unsalted butter
60ml (4 tbsp) cake flour
500ml (2 cups) milk
3ml (½ tsp) ground nutmeg
250ml (1 cup) Gruyère, grated
60ml (4 tbsp) Parmesan, grated
12 slices white bread
30ml (2 tbsp) Dijon mustard
150g Gypsy ham, sliced
30ml (2 tbsp) fresh thyme leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and add the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon for one minute to create a roux.
  3. Slowly add the milk to the roux, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat, add the nutmeg, Gruyère and Parmesan and season.
  4. Place the bread on baking trays and bake for 3 – 4 minutes. Turn and toast for a further 2 minutes or until golden. Spread each slice of toast with mustard. Add a slice of ham, top with another slice of toast, then another slice of ham and a final slice of toast.
  5. Spoon about 3 – 4 tbsp of cheese sauce onto the top of each toast stack and place under the grill for 3 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
  6. Remove from the heat, scatter with the thyme leaves and serve hot.

2. Soup au pistou

Serves: 4
Difficulty level: Easy
Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

TO DRINK: A lightly wooded Chardonnay will stand up to the richness of the beans.


100g dried white beans (cannellini or haricot), soaked overnight
45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 bouquet garni of bay leaves, thyme and parsley stalks
1 onion, chopped
3L water
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 leek, washed and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
150g green beans, topped, tailed and chopped
5 baby marrows, chopped
50g fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 ripe tomato, skinned and chopped
100g Parmesan, grated
60ml (¼ cup) olive oil


  1. Drain the beans and heat half of the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, bouquet garni and onion and gently fry for 5 minutes until lightly golden.
  2. Add the drained beans and the 3L of water. Bring to the boil, cover and leave to simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Season and set aside.
  3. Add the green beans and baby marrows and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  4. For the pistou, blend the basil and garlic together in a food processor. Add the tomato and cheese and, with the motor running, gradually add the olive oil.
  5. Serve the soup hot with a dollop of pistou.

Cook’s tip: For a quicker version, substitute the dried beans with 1 tin of drained cannellini beans.

3. Boeuf bourguignon

Serves: 4
Difficulty level: Easy
Time: 2 hours

TO DRINK: A no-brainer – this dish hails from Burgundy, where the most exclusive Pinot Noir wines are made.


1kg chuck steak
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
30ml (2 tbsp) flour
45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
15 button onions, peeled
1 onion, chopped
100g streaky bacon or pancetta, cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bottle of red wine (Burgundy or
Cabernet Sauvignon)
500ml (2 cups) beef stock
250g baby button mushrooms
crusty French bread, to serve


  1. Cut the steak into cubes. Season the flour then lightly toss the steak cubes in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a casserole dish, brown the beef in batches and set aside.
  2. Add the button onions to the casserole dish and brown slightly. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add the chopped onion and bacon to the casserole dish and fry for 5 minutes. Return the beef to the pan with the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, wine and stock.
  4. Season well and simmer for 1 – 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender.
  5. Return the onions to the pan together with the mushrooms and cook for a further 15 minutes on low heat. Spoon into bowls and serve with crusty French bread.

4. Sausage cassoulet

Serves: 4
Difficulty level: Easy
Time: 50 minutes

TO DRINK: A light, fruity, dry rosé is a refreshing match for this rustic dish that’s full of flavour.


60ml (¼ cup) olive oil
100g smoked sausage, chopped
500g beef sausages
3 leeks, washed and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
15ml (1 tbsp) fresh rosemary, chopped
15ml (1 tbsp) fresh sage, chopped
125ml (½ cup) brandy
2 x 410g tins chopped tomatoes
2 x 410g tins cannellini beans, drained
250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
45ml (3 tbsp) tomato paste
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
125ml (½ cup) fresh flat-leaf
parsley leaves, roughly chopped
crusty bread, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large heavybased casserole dish over medium heat. Add the sausages and sauté for 15 minutes until brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Add the leeks and garlic to the casserole dish. Sauté to soften for about 8 minutes over low to medium heat. Add the rosemary, sage and brandy and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid has nearly evaporated.
  4. Return the sausages to the pan. Add the tomatoes, beans, stock and tomato paste. Season well. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Scatter with the parsley and serve with crusty bread.

5. Chicken Normandy

Serves: 4
Difficulty level: A little effort
Time: 50 minutes

TO DRINK: A fruity local brandy will complement the rich chicken and sweet apple.


45ml (3 tbsp) butter
3 apples, cut into wedges
4 leg/thigh chicken portions
30ml (2 tbsp) flour
2 onions, cut into wedges
125ml (½ cup) apple brandy or brandy
500ml (2 cups) cider
15ml (1 tbsp) fresh thyme leaves, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
125ml (½ cup) fresh cream
steamed green beans, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of the butter in a large, ovenproof pan over medium heat. Add the apples and lightly fry until they have caramelised slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Dust the chicken with the flour. Heat the remaining butter in the same pan and fry for 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add the onion wedges to the pan and fry gently for 5 minutes until they are lightly golden in colour.
  5. Add the brandy to the pan and bring to the boil until it has reduced by half. Add the cider and bring to the boil. Add the thyme, return the chicken to the pan and season well. Place in the oven and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven. Set the chicken pieces aside. Place the pan on the stove top over high heat. Add the apples, onions and cream. Simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly.
  7. Serve with the crisp, steamed beans.

6. Steamed apple and salted caramel puddings

Yes, we did say apples and salt, but trust us on this one – it is delicious!

Serves: 6
Difficulty: A little effort
Time: 1 hour


Salted caramel
150g (¾ cup) sugar
50ml water
50g salted butter
50ml fresh cream
10ml (2 tsp) sea salt flakes

For the pudding
100g salted butter
100g (½ cup) sugar
3 eggs
200g cake flour
10ml (2 tsp) baking powder
150ml milk
2 apples, cubed


  1. To make the caramel, heat the sugar and water in a pan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and boil until the sugar reaches a light amber colour.
  2. Stir in the butter and cream, simmer for 2 minutes and add the sea salt flakes. Set aside.
  3. To make the pudding, cream together the butter and sugar.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift in the flour and baking powder, and mix well. Stir in the milk.
  6. Grease 6 small ramekins and add a spoonful of the salted caramel. Divide the chopped apples between the ramekins then top with the batter.
  7. Cover the puddings with baking paper and then with foil, ensuring that no liquid can get into the ramekins.
  8. Place the ramekins in a large pot and pour in water. The water needs to reach halfway up the side of the ramekins.
  9. Steam over a gentle heat until the puddings are cooked through, about 45 minutes. Remove from the water and allow to cool slightly before turning out.
  10. Serve with extra salted caramel.


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