Saturday Recipe 1

I’m addicted to my slow cooker, its definitely my favourite kitchen gadget of the last month or so. All I have to do is chop some raw ingredients and it makes me look like a great cook. I’m not, but it allows me the indulgent self-delusion and that’s not to be sniffed at.
There are some surreal side effects though –

1. Following breakfast, you do all the preparation for your tea. This can leave you wondering when exactly in the day it is.

2. By the time its ready to eat you’ve kinda forgotten you had anything to do with it, because you go into the kitchen “to make tea” and all you have to do is dish it up. This makes you feel like someone else made it (always a good thing). It can also make you feel like you get your food from meals on wheels (not always a good thing).

My simple and incredibly lazy recipe for slow cooking happiness –

1. Chop up a few potatoes, as many as you’d have if you were having baked potatoes. Don’t worry about peeling them, its going to be cooking for ages and you’ll not even notice them. Chuck them in the slow cooker.
2. Very lazy bit – add some frozen vegetables, whatever you fancy. Just throw them in the pot frozen, they’ll be fine. The slow cooker will be going long enough to cook them properly.

3. Chop an onion, don’t throw that in yet.

4. Chop up some meat to your preference. Steak and kidney is good. So is turkey. I’m partial to lambs hearts myself.

5. Grab a pan, put some Extra Virgin Olive Oil in and put it on the heat. Make sure its extra virgin oil, not because it’ll make any difference to the end product, but because it’ll make you feel more like a proper cook. If you really want to add to the ambience, make sure its in a poncy bottle too.

6. Throw the meat into the hot oil, knock it about a bit until it starts to brown, then throw the chopped onion in too. Make sure you turn on the extractor fan when you’re doing this, so that people passing can think you’re a proper cook because of the nice smells coming out of your kitchen. (Note, this will only work if your neighbours and anyone passing can’t cook. Anyone who can cook will know that the only reason you’ll be cooking anything savoury that early in the morning is because you’re slow cooking and therefore can’t cook at all).

7. Once the meat has browned, put the meat and onions into the slow cooker. Add in about 350ml of water, a stock cube and salt and pepper, give it a stir and set it going.

8. If you happen to be around a couple of hours before it finishes cooking, throw in a handful of paxo for some extra flavour and some thickening.

Erm, that’s it. Not exactly rocket science eh?

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