Friday, 8 May 2009
There's an Alan Alda film I recall, from the 80's maybe? Where he and his lover get together at the same time every year for a week-long affair. Despite both being married to other people, they meet every year to re-kindle their passion. "Same Time Next Year". This pretty much sums up my relationship with my crock pot. At the first sign of Winter, I get her out of the cupboard, and there she stays on the bench top until the first sign of Summer. It roughly corresponds to the day I first realise that open-toed shoes are no longer seasonally appropriate and the day, the following season, when I paint my toenails in anticipation.
And what better way to celebrate my loves emancipation from the back of the pot cupboard, than with Beef and Guinness Stew?
500g of the cheapest stewing steak you can get your hands on.
1 stubbie of Guinness (don't bother with the special gas canned stuff. Keep that for drinking)
a goodly squirt of Worcestershire sauce.
a goodly squirt of tomato sauce.
One small brown onion, diced.
200g frozen peas.
One carrot, chopped.
Bung the whole lot into the crock pot, and leave on low for 24 hours.
Serve with parsley mash.
Thicken leftovers with cornflour and turn into pot pies for lunch the next day.
Apart from the cooking time, this is the fastest slow food in the Nomniverse. If you plan one day in advance, you'll always have dinner waiting when you get home. I don't bother browning, searing, or any of that phaffing about. Cut meat. Cut onions. Bung in cooker. Turn on. Walk away.
Total prep time? Less than 5 mins.
And once you've scarfed the stew, clean the pot out and bung in tomorrow night's nosh. In our case, the other 500g of stewing steak, a fine sliced leek, another carrot, some organic peanut butter, some fish sauce, and some Japanese cooking vinegar, and we'll be having beef satay on rice tonight!