Food cooking and eating – stories and ideas from a passionate foodie

OK – it’s one of those link things.  The link takes you to my You Tube channel and has the how to bits for this recipe. It is very easy to pull a stew together, and is definitely one of the best meals to give you a real feel of inner cuddle.  I love them best on cold wet days.  Today is actually very cold and dry – winter sun, and rather nice.

One of the best things about using the slow cooker is when you come in after a Saturday afternoon stroll.  The sweet smell of the casserole (or stew as I still call them!) pervades the whole house.  I don’t know about you, but it feels to me like the house feels warmer.  Can a smell be warm?  It does feel like it…

Not many ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb of good stewing steak, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes (Look, if you want metric, find a conversion table) OK?
  • A chopped onion
  • 7 small mushrooms or 1 large one – washed and chopped into pieces about 1/2 the size of the meat chunks
  • Optional – a de-seeded and chopped pepper – red ones look good in this
  • A can of Guinness or other favourite dark beer
  • Salt and pepper

Slow cookers don’t like thickening agents – it stops them working well, because the flour tends to stick to the warming element and sort of seals it so the temperature is then too low.  So just fry the meat first, then the onions, then the peppers and mushrooms.  Chuck them into the slow cooker and switch it on.  Wash out the pan with the Guinness, and transfer that to the slow cooker.  Make sure the ingredients are covered by the liquid.  I tend to put a little mushroom ketchup (very liquid – be careful!) and a squirt of balsamic glaze (great stuff – every home should have a bottle), and some dried herbs and a bay leaf if you have them.  Salt and pepper to taste, and maybe some garlic salt if you have it.  That’s it.  Leave the lid on, and 6 hours later your stew will be ready to have some dumplings added.  An hour later, when you have made mashed creamed potato, you can have glorious and calm exciting cheap robust and immensely tasty old-fashioned food.  I will tell you how good it was tomorrow, along with tips for the dumplings and the mash. I can feel your jealousy from here.

if you want some instant thought:

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