Side by side they sat, a row of them at my sister’s, for one of those extended family and friends evenings during the holidays. The cookers’ contents were yummy. My sister extolled the virtues of the appliance. So, heading into the Year of Efficient Eating, I checked out the New Year sales. I’m now the owner of a half-price slow cooker. I hope the wobbly lid won’t matter.
Now. Exclamation Mark. I have to learn how to slow cook.
The instruction booklet seemed simple enough. I chopped up vegetables – swede, carrot and onion. I chopped up two blade steaks – the cheapest cut of beef I could find on the supermarket shelf. I floured the beef. I cooked the onions in a little bit of olive oil and browned the beef. I brought the cooking liquid – tinned tomatoes – to the boil and then combined everything.
Looking back, the only difference I could see to my normal cooking routine was that, at this point, I added store-bought pre-prepared liquid seasoning out of a not-quite plastic, not-quite-metallic packet that claimed to be on the money for slow cooking.
Hours later, the vegetables had softened to a nice texture and the meat crumbled beautifully. There was a delightful aroma wafting through my home.
By this time, I had already eaten. Aside from testing a couple of pieces to ensure all was done, I didn’t get around to fully sampling the results until I took the first frozen meal to work yesterday.
I ate it. I felt … well, I don’t know how to convey the discomfort I felt. Perhaps if just say “It was too oily” and leave it to your imagination. I sat there at my desk pondering the fact I had four of these in the freezer. I tried to sell the idea to myself all afternoon, but I’m a hard sell. They are now in the kitchen sink, defrosting, so that I can throw them out.
In spite of the result, Attempt One did prove how easy slow cooking can be.
For Attempt Two, there will be no store-bought pre-prepared liquid seasoning out of a not-quite plastic, not-quite-metallic packet of any kind. I’m hoping it was the step too far, the one brush stroke too many, the top falling off the salt shaker.