Well it's that time of the year again when the old stews and casseroles come to the fore and in these days (mine anyway) of rushing around - school runs, food shopping, coffee with friends and blogging as well as spending 15/20 hours a week studying, there's not a lot of time left for anything else.
So my trusty Slow Cooker comes to the rescue. I use it regularly, at least twice every week and it comes into its own with the casseroles.
I don't really stick to a particular recipe but generally make my beef casseroles with the following:
500 g stewing steak - diced
A few carrots, sliced
Some chopped swede
4/5 mushrooms sliced
Large onion, sliced
Dash of Worcester sauce
Beef Stock Pot
Enough water to cover the meat and veg
Squeeze of tomato puree
Salt and pepper
Gravy granules to thicken at the end of cooking
Sometimes I squeeze in some HP Brown Sauce with Guinness - very tasty
I don't fry off the meat first but I throw it all in and add the boiling stock over the meat and this just browns it quickly. I normally switch on about 20 minutes beforehand and then turn up to High and there it stays for four or five hours - or more. If I'm going to be out all day, then I leave it on Low. This recipe made enough for two good servings and then I froze the rest.
I bought these Soup/Stew freezer bags from Lakeland and they are excellent for fitting into a freezer if you haven't much room for a plastic or china dish. You just take them out to thaw and then re-heat in the microwave or tip into a saucepan.
Today we had Beef and vegetable pies for our dinner using bought puff pastry and the de-frosted casserole mix, served with mashed potato and Brussels sprouts and a touch of English mustard on the side..
A big welcome to my new followers Greenthumb, Macha, Karen and Tammy - it's lovely to have you on board.
Have a good weekend