Recipes Using Bay Leaves

Beef and Vegetable Casserole

Serving: 5              Preparation:  15 minutes            Cook: 3 hours 50 minutes


2 celery stick, thickly sliced

1 onion, chopped

2 big carrot, halved lengthwise then chunk sliced

5 bay leaves

3 sprigs thyme

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoon plain flour

2 tablespoon tomato puree

2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 beef stock cube, crumbled

850 g stewing beef (feather blade or brisket), cut into nice large chunks


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Put the kettle on. Put the celery, onion, carrots, bay leaves and 1 thyme sprig in a casserole with 1 tablespoon oil and the butter. Soften for 10 minutes. Stir in the flour until it doesn’t look dusty anymore. Follow by the tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock cubes.
  2. Gradually stir in 600 ml hot water, then tip in the beef and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and put in the oven for 2 hours 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for 30 minutes – 1 hour more until the meat is really tender and the sauce is thickened.

Source: Sarah Cook at


Basic Vegetable Stock

Serving: 12            Preparation:  15 minutes            Cook: 35 minutes


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion

2 stalks celery, including some leaves

2 large carrots

1 bunch green onions, chopped

8 cloves garlic, minced

8 sprigs fresh parsley

6 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon salt

2 quarts water


  1. Chop scrubbed vegetables into 1 inch chunks.
  2. Heat oil in a soup pot. Add Onion, celery, scallions, garlic, parsley, thyme and bay leaves. Cook over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add salt and water and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, Strain. Discard vegetables.

Other ingredients to consider: mushrooms, eggplant, asparagus (butt ends), corn cobs, fennel (stalk and trimmings), bell peppers, pea pods, chard (stem and leaves), celery root parings, marjoram (stems and leaves), basil, potato parings…

Source: Stan Webber at


Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic, Bay and Lemon

Serving: 8             Preparation:  10 minutes            Cook: 20 minutes


2 heads cauliflower, cut into even bite-size pieces

1 garlic bulb, split into cloves, unpeeled

6 bay leaves, stalks removed, finely chopped

4 tablespoons olive oil

Zest and juice of 1 lemon


Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place the cauliflower, garlic and bay leaves in a large bowl, toss with the oil, zest and juice and season generously. Spread evenly onto the baking sheet (use 2 if you need to). Roast for 20 minutes, turning halfway, until al dente and caramelised.

Tips: If you don’t fancy garlic, roast the cauliflower with a little chopped red chilli or a sprinkle of smoked paprika or cumin seeds. Another idea is to serve it topped with shaved Parmesan.

Source: Maria Elia at