One-pot meals have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. These meals are typically easy to prepare and require minimal clean-up, making them a convenient option for busy people who want to enjoy a home-cooked meal without spending too much time in the kitchen.
Slow cookers and air fryers have taken over most people’s kitchens, but one-pot meals that take only about an hour to cook are always good to have in your repertoire. One of the primary benefits of one-pot meals is their simplicity.
If you’re cooking meat and want to sear it first, always do so before sweating off any veggies, as the cooking fats give a better flavour, and the veg won’t burn. It’s also a great way to use ingredients that you may not cook often, such as lentils, beans, grains and orzo pasta.
Orzo is one of my favourite ingredients to cook when I want to eat something filling, tasty and quick. At first look you would think orzo is a type of rice, but it’s actually a pasta, usually made from semolina. I like to cook it in the same style as arborio rice, sweating some onions and garlic and adding wine and stock. It’s a great way to clear out the veggies in the bottom of the fridge, and it’s almost impossible to overcook as its texture remains the same and holds moisture well.
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Lentils are another favourite of mine, beluga lentils in particular. Beluga lentils are black lentils, getting their name from their resemblance to caviar. They also don’t need to be soaked like regular lentils, and hold their shape better after cooking.
Duck legs are becoming more common to see in butcher shops and supermarkets, and are quicker to cook than most people think. Orange with duck is a classic pairing, and the addition of creme fraiche cuts through the sweetness.
Coq au vin is a classic for a good reason, and this recipe would also work well in a slow cooker. The thighs remain juicy and soak up the cooking sauces, and the potatoes and mushrooms bulk it out to make it a full meal. Of course, it would also work well with a side of buttery mashed potatoes.
Recipe: Mushroom, white wine and black garlic baked orzo
Recipe: Orange glazed duck legs, lentils, creme fraiche and coriander