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My Cosy Comfort Food for Autumn Nights - Panacalty

Summer is over, thankfully for me, I'm not a sun person I melt in the heat.  So as soon as the leaves start to turn and the nights start to draw in I do a little happy dance.  I love autumn/winter, I love the deep jewel colours, the cosy jumpers, big thick coats and walking on ground that crunches underfoot.

Over the past couple of weeks I've had some time to myself to chill, relax, concentrate on my writing and also my cooking.  I love cooking, I like to play with flavours and mess around with random things I have in my fridge.

At this time of year my craving for cosy comfort food starts to grow.  I love food that makes me feel warm and satisfied.  So I've decided to share with you all some of my favourites over the coming weeks and I would love to hear about some of your favourite cosy comfort foods so I can give them a try too

Panacalty or Pannack 

I'm from the Northeast and we have some regional variations on Panacalty or Pannack as my family has always called it. I think most families who make this warming one pot wonder have their own variation on the base recipe.  I tend to add vegetables to mine, I use it as a way of using up the veg tray in my fridge when it's nearing its end.  For those unfamiliar with Panacalty it is a one pot corned beef /bacon casserole with a potato top.

I generally start by greasing a deep casserole dish - I do this so washing the residue off is easier as the gravy tends to stick less to a greased dish.

You can use either sliced corned beef or a tin both work well.  I used a tin in this one.  I opened the tin with those fiddly little key things and once I had extracted the content I chopped it in to rough chunks and put it in the casserole dish.

Chopping two red onions I add this with two thinly chopped carrots and a handful of mushrooms.  You can adjust the quantities easily depending on however many you are catering for.  This one will feed four easily.

I then added some chopped bacon and mixed up some gravy using everyday gravy granules.  You can always use your own homemade gravy if you wish.  I add the gravy and bacon to the dish and then thinly slice enough potato to provide a layer on the top almost like a pie crust.

I heat my oven to 160 fan and let the dish cook for around 90minutes checking on it after about 1 hour.  I boost the heat for the last fifteen minutes to allow the potato to crisp and colour before serving.

This is an ideal meal on a cold autumn night to warm your stomach and your heart.  It's also pretty adaptable, you can add any veg you like such as peas, turnip or broccoli.  You can also add tomatoes if you prefer you sauce to be richer.

When serving I love to add  fresh buttered bread to mop up the gravy.


Panacalty Recipe 

(Serves 4 - adjust quantities as necessary) 

340g Corned Beef  
200g Bacon 
Potato (enough to cover the dish you are using when finely sliced) 
2 Carrots
200g Mushrooms  
2 medium onions 
500ml of gravy (mixed from granules) 
Salt and pepper to season 

1. Heat your oven to 160 fan 
2. Grease the edges of a casserole dish or roasting tin 
3. Crumble the corned beef in to the dish 
4. Add the bacon cutting it in to small pieces 
5. Chop and add the carrots, mushroom and onions 
6. Mix up 500ml of gravy and add to the dish 
7. Finely slice potato and layer across the top of the dish 
8. Cook for 60-90 minutes  - boost the heat for the last 5-10 minutes before serving to crisp the potato top 
9. Serve with your choice of accompaniments and enjoy 



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