Thursday, 7 August 2014

Keep it simple, Stew!

I often use my thermal cookers to make soup - and usually the large volume being cooked means there isn't enough room to use the smaller pot for a separate item.

Today I made a simple beef stew - and remained very mindful of wanting to cook potatoes to serve with it.  Even so there was only just enough space, about 7.5cm, for the top pot - so it was a bit gravied on it's base, when lifted out!  (As thermal cookers work on retained heat, being full to capacity - and thoroughly heated - provides the best energy-bank).

I don't use a recipe for stew, so the ingredients vary according to what is in the fridge and cupboard!  On this occasion I used:-

1 large onion, chopped
1kg gravy beef, cut into chunks
3 medium carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 packet French onion soup powder
1 tin tomatoes, diced
1 tin brown lentils
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen beans
2 cups beef stock (approx.)
1/2 cup red wine (approx.)
1/2 cup dried red lentils

Mixed herbs, salt and pepper to taste

I browned the onion and meat in a little olive oil, then added the other ingredients - in no particular order!  There is no loss of liquid during thermal cooking so I include brown lentils break down to thicken the gravy.  The mixture still looked a bit wet, so I also used some red lentils for extra thickening.  (Dried mushrooms and vegetables are good for the same reason but generally I only have them if camping).

I left the mixture to come to the boil while I prepared the potatoes.  Again, I filled the (smaller) pot as full as I could - and brought the potatoes to the boil.  All up the larger pot probably simmered for at least 30-40 minutes while I was organising the potatoes (and other missions).  The smaller pot simmered for a much shorter time. 

Both pots were put into the outer thermal pot and locked down till dinner-time.  Our stew was thick and steamy hot when we ate it, around 6-8 hours later.  (There was plenty left to freeze as two further family-meal portions for later occasions).

No comments:

Post a Comment