I love my slow cooker in winter, but it’s just as helpful the rest of the year! As a working mum I struggle to get in from work and find time to prepare a full dinner. Being able to throw stuff in the crock pot in the morning and let it cook away on its own is a necessity. I basically like gadgets that makes domestic chores easier and less time consuming.
400g diced beef
1 Brown /white onions, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thick slices
2 red pepper sliced
400g tin plum tomatoes
2 beef stock cubes or a dessert spoon of beef concentrate (Marmite of Bovril works well too)
Add it all into your slow cooker, turn the heat onto low and cook for five hours. You can easily leave it for a few hours more if you don’t have a timer and are popping it on in the morning before you go to work.
If you have time I recommend searing the meat and browning the onions first and coating in a spoon of flower, just to get the meat juices flowing and to thicken, but this is no way essential.
Supercharge and Pimp
This is a quite “saucy” recipe and is great served with a dash of hot sauce, noodles and some coriander on top, but it’s easy to pimp and modify to cater for different tastes.
For a more traditional, hearty texture don’t add the stock cubes but add a dessertspoon of instant gravy granules half an hour before serving. This is one of our favourites when I’m in a rush or don’t want to use pans to brown the meat first – great with a dollop of mashed potatoes or even crispy roast potatoes.
Alternatively if you have time brown the meat first in a pan and coat in a light dusting of flour before adding to the slow cooker/crock pot. The flour will add as a thickener. You can also use this method if you don’t have a slow cooker. Brown the meat on the job, add everything else and cook on a low heat (120) in the oven for 3-4 hours. As the vapour in the slow cooker creates more liquid you might want to keep an eye on it in the oven and add up to 500ml of water about half way through if needed.
The thicker versions go well with mashed potatoes but don’t forget to store any leftovers as it’s a delicious topping on baked potatoes.