One of the great things about living afloat is that most boats have a built-in slow cooker in the form of a solid (or diesel) fuelled stove. During the winter, if you want to stay warm, and you don't have central heating then it's pretty much on all the time so you can always slow cook soups, stews and casseroles when it's cold.
I don't use this method of cooking often enough but when I do get around to planning a meal in advance, it's great. The other day I cooked a clootie dumpling on the stove, and at the weekend my friend was visiting in the evening so I had the afternoon to leave a stew cooking.
At lunch time, I went out and bought the ingredients. I went to A Waller & Son, butchers on Victoria avenue for some beef skirt (perfect for casseroles and stews) and then to the Radmore Farm shop on Chesterton Road for the veg. Both shops are no more than 5 minutes from home - we consider ourselves very lucky to have such great local shops close by.
beef skirt/stewing steak
Fry the onions in a big pan, then add the beef to seal the meat. Fill pan with chopped veg then add stock, tomato puree and wine (I'm not giving quantities here because it depends on the size of the pan but I used roughly 1 part wine to 4 parts stock). Add a sprig of rosemary, put the lid on and leave on the top of a ticking over stove for 6 hours. Or use a slow cooker if you're not lucky enough to live afloat! When ready to serve add lemon zest, and more chopped fresh rosemary.
It was very nice - the meat was all soft and fell apart easily. We ate it washed down with cider from the big jar of Weston's Old Rosie that our friend brought over. Dangerous stuff at 7.5%, but very tasty!
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