Saturday night dinners always feel a little bit special in my house. I’ve usually got much more time available than I do during the week, so I love taking the opportunity to spend a little longer in the kitchen to make a meal that’s really going to satisfy.
Though I’m a big fan of getting creative and trying new recipes, I find it really useful to some good old favourites that I return to time and time again. They’re comforting, they’re satisfying, and I know that I can put them together whilst catching up with my favourite podcasts, without too much concentration.
Another benefit of my favourite Saturday night dinners is that you can decide just how much effort you want to put in. If you want the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve made everything from scratch, you can go all out. But if you’re in a rush or you’re happy with cutting a few corners, there are hacks you can use to slash the time required, and no one will even notice!
Here are my three of my ultimate favourite Saturday night dinners – including the recipes that I personally use, and the cheats I deploy when needs must!
CORNED BEEF PIE, WITH MASH, PEAS, AND GRAVY
Corned beed pie is almost definitely my most-loved meal of all time. There’s nothing more satisfying on a cold winter evening that having a generous slice served with mash, peas, and plenty of hot gravy.
It’s comfort food at its very best, and it always results in empty plates.
The recipe that I use:
I’ve tried so many different recipes, but nothing compares to Nigella Lawson’s corned beef pie. The tomato puree gives the filling a gorgeous colour, and the peas and carrots give it something a little bit different to the pies that you’ll see ready made in stores.
I’ll let you into a little secret here… Though I love the Nigella recipe and I think it’s well worth the time it takes, I very rarely make my own pastry! I pick up pre-rolled packets in the fridge section at my local supermarket, and it cuts down on the amount of fuss required.
LASAGNE WITH A GREEN SIDE SALAD AND GARLIC BREAD
Lasagne is one of those meals that are equally delicious whether it’s summer or winter, and I make it probably at least once a month. The beauty is that you can prepare it in advance, then just put it in the oven for a while and sit back with a glass of wine, making it perfect if you have guests.
It’s gorgeous even on its own, though I like to serve it with a fresh green salad and a garlic bread baguette.
The recipe I use:
Jamie Oliver’s simple lasagne recipe ticks all the right boxes. It has pancetta, chilli, and squash included in the ingredients which makes it that extra bit special.
I know some people swear by making their own white sauce. And it is, in fact, what Jamie himself recommends. To be honest though, I find it to be an unnecessary fuss. Instead, I keep a jar of Dolmio in the kitchen cupboard!
CHICKEN KORMA WITH NAAN
I can’t think of a single person I know who doesn’t enjoy a good curry. Though my personal preference is for something with a real kick, I appreciate that most of my loved ones prefer something a little milder. That’s why a chicken korma is one of my favourite Saturday night meals.
What it lacks in heat, it makes up for in creamy deliciousness. I serve it with garlic or plain naan, to mop up all the beautiful juices.
The recipe I use: You might think that korma isn’t the obvious choice if you’re watching your waistline, but the Hairy Bikers’ recipe substitutes cream for natural yoghurt, meaning that you don’t have to go overboard on the calories.
Have you ever made your own naan breads? They’re beautiful and fresh, but they’re also really not necessary. Your korma is special enough to be the star of the show, so don’t be scared to buy your naans ready made. These days, you can even get them in specially sealed packs so they stay fresh and tasty for many months.
What are your favourite Saturday night dinners? Leave a comment below and let me know!