Summer Casserole

A wonderful casserole cooked in lager beer, with a delicious cheesy bread topping. Use the freshest tenderest vegetables you can get. Don't get put off by the length of the ingredient list, it is mostly veg, and you can make omissions / substitutions as you wish. This recipe can be made vegetarian simply by omitting the chicken.
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
2 chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 courgettes, sliced
4 oz / 110 g baby sweetcorn
8 oz / 225 g baby carrots, trimmed
4 oz / 110 g button mushrooms, washed and trimmed if necessary
4 0z / 110 g broccoli florets
4 oz / 110g cauliflower florets
10 fl oz / 1/2 pint / 275 ml larger beer
10 fl oz / 1/2 pint / 275 ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp plain flour
6 oz / 175 g savoy cabbage, thickly sliced
1 small French stick, sliced (about 1 inch pieces) and lightly toasted
3 oz / 75g cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
Herbs & Spices
1 Bouquet Garni for Chicken
1/2 tsp Thyme
Cooking Instructions
Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and add the chicken(if using). Toss to seal. Add the garlic, thyme, bouquet garni and all the vegetables except the cabbage, and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the lager, stock and some salt and pepper (to taste). Bring to the boil and cover. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until the chicken and vegetables are just cooked. Stir in the cabbage.

Mix the flour and 3 tbsp of water to form a paste and stir into the casserole. bring back to a simmer and cook for a further 3-4 minutes uncovered. Remove the bouquet garni.

Heat the grill.

Place the slices of french bread cut side down over the top of the casserole, fitting as many as you can in snugly. Sprinkle the cheese over the top evenly, then place under the grill until the cheese bubbles.