Friday 8 May 2009

Same Time Each Year.

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!


Maree said...

Sounds delicious- there is something alchemical about the combination of guinness and beef! Enjoy the crock pot cause winter is certainly here!

Anonymous said...

Sigh. I have a major problem with your blog peeg. Really.

You post some AMAZING recipes. you really do - even as little as I eat beef, this has my mouth watering.

What's the problem?

You are sharing warm comfort foods as weather turns cold.

I'm counting days till the farmers market opens and want fresh, light, summery recipes.

You better move here. Or I move there. That's the only solution.


Christie @ Fig & Cherry said...

This stew looks beautiful! I can't believe you didn't brown the meat and it turned out so wonderfully.

Bluenose said...

I love my slow cooker. I agree with the not browning thing, I find that the meat turns out more tender that way and the long cooking time takes care of there being plenty of flavour. Sometime I caramelise the onions first though, it gives a different flavour profile, depends on what I'm trying to do.

I like to make hearty soups in my cooker during the cooler months, as well. Nothing better than a great big bowl of some home made soup with a dollop of sour cream and some toast with lashings of butter. (You're allowed, the soup usually has no fat in it to speak of, so the healthy couteracts the naughty - that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

Maree said...

Hmm, sounds like I'm going to have to get one of these slow cooker things. Any recommendations on brands or types to look out fro?

Bluenose said...

I got mine from Aldi. It's a 6 litre, oval shaped one, cost about $50. They have them from time to time, but if you can't wait I don't really feel there's much difference between the brands. Look for one that has High, Low and Auto settings, apart from that the only other options is how big you want it. I have seen slow cookers from as small as 3 litres capacity. The 6 litre oval ones are big enough to cook lamb shanks for four people - YUM!

Beer Blokes said...

I don't have a crock pot but I use a 10 ltr stock pot/pasta pot. I also use this to brew my homebrew in which I use for my slow cooked delights which is my version of 'The Circle of Life'!!


Anonymous said...

Try it with dumplings with either mustard, parsley or horseradish!!

Jazz said...

We've begun using a crockpot pretty recently. That recipe looks amazing. I'll have to try that.

Our current favourite:

Dump a bunch of chicken breasts, thighs or whatever into the crockpot (we also do it with pork loin) add wine or beer or a liquidy salsa, whatever you have. Cook and when you get home you shred the meat and use it for enchiladas, tacos or quesadillas. Delicious.

purple goddess said...

In terms of brands, min is a 2nd hand dodgy old one from circa 1980 and it works a treat.

Get thee down to your local 2nd hand shop/Salvos and pick one up.