Valentines day never has to be a big deal. You are either excited for Saturday or dreading its arrival and although either opinion is fine I figured it would be nice to do a small feature on making a fun, valentines meal with minimal fuss.
For our family, Valentines day is more than just cupid in fact its my Sister in Law to be’s Birthday so although we exchange cards, valentines day is always more about celebrating Boo’s birthday and really shouldn’t valentines day be more about celebrating the people you love than a romantic relationships? After all what are anniversaries for?
Over the years I have made many versions of this meal for Josh but at the very heart of it its really a one pot wonder. You start by frying your sausages in a large sauce pan with your onions and then add you other ingredients as you go along. We have made this with regular sausages as above (these have Bramley apple pieces in them as well!) but we have also made them with Chorizo and sweet potato.
For this one above I made it really simple, sausages, apple pieces, leeks and red onion. Everything is cooked in one pot bar the sticky gravy and mashed potatoes which makes it even better!
1 – Fry your sausages and onions together in a large saucepan with a small nob of butter.
2 – Adding liquid stock begin adding your additional ingredients (apple and leeks) once the sausages are lightly browned and your onions soft.
3 – Stew all your ingredients until the leeks turn soft and your sausages are fully cooked.
Then for the rest of your meal you will need to boil your potatoes and begin your sticky gravy once your main pot is gently simmering. I am a small cheat so I used this recipe from Jamie Oliver but its again as simple as frying onions, adding stock and some plain flour.
Now here comes the valentines part have you ever fancied mash potato in a love heart shape? Lets not kid ourselves most of us have made mash potato shapes as children so this is just as fun! and all you need is a cookie cutter!
1 – place your cookie cutter on your chosen plate and dollop a cookie cutter sized lump of mash potato.
2 – smooth the mash potato into the cutters shape with a spatular and then simply, lift!
Cheats and tips to make your food look better?
If you boil your green vegetables separately immediately wash them in cold water once cooked. This stops the cooking process and keeps their colour somewhat more fresh.
Jay cloths! Those blue cloths you use for cleaning? They work great when fresh to mop up any spillage on plates so your design looks neater.
Using a thick gravy or jus? Using a spoon put a dollop on the plate and the drag the back of the spoon through it to create an artful sweep on the side of your plate.
Finally we also made brownies. We followed this recipe but remember this day doesn’t have to mean that you have to make everything yourself. Brownies from a packet are just as tasty than entirely homemade ones and are a hell of a lot easier! Here are some photos from our brownie journey!
Our favourite Joseph and Joseph measuring cups!
I’d like to show you more but lets be honest bowl licking may have happened and then trying to eat warm brownies straight from the tray happened so we may have gotten a little distracted . . .