Any dish that is ‘hearty’ is a number of things. It’s rich, so it’s going to be fatty. It’s meant to be served with big portions so it has to have ingredients that go a long way but don’t cost a lot. So you’re looking at dishes in the stew, casserole and roast categories. These are categories which are dominated by certain cultures, such as the UK, France, the U.S. and Canada to name a few. It’s because they have very cold places in their nations and that means, there’s a need for an entire meal to be on one plate, in one serving.
Classic Shepherd’s pie
This is one of the UK’s best, hearty meals that will warm your insides, make you feel full and satisfied. Start off with a few chopped onions and carrots, gently frying in some sunflower oil. Then you’ll want to put 1 pound of ground lamb into the frying pan breaking it up into little bits. Add about 2 tablespoons of tomato puree and then a teaspoon Worcestershire sauce or to taste. Allow the fat to render. You can pour off some, but the classic way of making this pie wastes nothing. Add around 2 cups of beef stock and simmer the meat for around 40-45 minutes with the pan half-covered. Make the mashed potatoes as you normally would, but this time, add in some extra butter and milk to make it richer. Pour the meat and vegetables into an oven safe dish and cover it with the potatoes. Bake for 20 minutes and you’re done!
Cheesy chicken casserole
This creamy king ranch chicken casserole is fantastic for the whole family. It’s actually not creamy in the normal sense because you’re not adding heavy cream, but rather sour cream instead. You also have a lot of choice for your cheese since this topping is to be generously applied. It’s a classic Texan dish whereby you layer your chicken, cheese, tortillas and creamy gravy. What you need to do is to slice the chicken breasts and wrap them up so you can then pound them out to about the three-quarters of an inch thick. Season the chicken when you’re ready and cook them on a skillet over medium heat. Add in some bell peppers, onions, and chili powder. Then add some cheese as well. Place all of this in an oven at 375ºF. Then you begin adding the other ingredients after taking it out of the oven and make a superb casserole.
Quick and easy
Perhaps you have come home from a long day and you want something quick yet hearty. You can make simple baked ziti in just 45-minutes. Boil some rigatoni pasta until it’s medium al dente. Then add some passata (uncooked tomato puree), diced onion, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, tomato puree, some cubed mozzarella, and some sliced sausage. Top with some parmesan cheese, stick it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes at 400°F.
Hearty meals are some of the best in the world. Simple, filling, delicious and they don’t cost a lot to make. Rest your weary bones and tuck into some shepherd’s pie, baked ziti or creamy cheesy chicken casserole.