I’m completely obsessed with my new slow cooker. I always thought they were a bit retro and gimmicky, like George Foreman grills (although someone will probably tell me they’re amazing now), but since buying my large CrockPot half-price (£17.99) in Sainsburys last week, I’ve been completely won over.
It’s amazing. All you have to do is bung a cheap cut of meat in with a mugful of liquid of some description, cook it on low for 8 hours, and you end up with the most melt-in-your-mouth, falling-off-the-bone-tender meat imaginable. Now I work from home, it’s particularly enjoyable as my whole house smells delicious with the CrockPot doing its thing. I’ll probably turn into a right bloater soon, but never mind.
I’ve slow cooked pretty much every meal this week – we’ve had duck legs, venison stew, epic pork (which completely lived up to its title – I’m planning on serving that with some sour cream and tortillas as part of my Christmas Eve spread) and gammon in cola. That was tonight’s supper, with some sweet potato mash and green beans. It went down a storm. My son asked me to cook it again tomorrow – high praise as he can be a little fusspot. The cat went completely nuts until we gave her some – the kids had theirs earlier this evening, and she was trying to jump onto the breakfast bar to steal it off their plates. I hope it was the gammon rather than the cola that was exciting her so much – she’s only got about 6 teeth left as it is, poor little tramp kitty. (The vet says some cats just have weak teeth, and she was an abandoned kitten that we took in so may not have had enough milk as a baby. She’s actually a very good mouser but her victims never have a mark on them, so I assume she scares them to death.)
I am – naturally, darlings – bang on trend as apparently slow cooking is all the rage at the moment. I wouldn’t actually know first-hand as I rarely eat out these days, and when we do it tends to be Nandos or Pizza Express – somewhere quick where they don’t mind kids making a mess – but I’m obviously subconsciously tuned into the modern zeitgeist, doncha know? Or not – I read an article in The Times a couple of weeks ago about how you can tell if you’re middle class, and was slightly depressed to find I ticked most of the boxes, including the one about making your own chutney. It’s not that I didn’t think I was middle class – I’m a dentist’s daughter and I ride horses – it’s just annoying to discover I’m a bit of a cliche. Anyway, I’m pretty sure there was something about the slow cooking revival in there too. If not, it should have been.
Tomorrow I’ve got some oxtail to turn into casserole. I’m doing slow-cooked lamb shoulder on Sunday. And on Saturday…we’ll go out for a curry. Well, it’s important to ring the changes, don’t you think?
Have you got a Noguchi coffee table or are you like Noguchiwhaaat?
The truth about camping. You read it here first.
Check out our gorgeous – well, passable if covered in icing sugar – recipe for blondies