A crockpot recipe.

Take one crock pot (chuckle) and put it on a cooker ring, and heat. Pour a good glug of olive oil into the bottom. Then either go the route of Italian herbs, herbes of Provence or a shake of thyme, sage tarragon and rosemary. Chop up good steak into inch squares, about 2 llb’s. Then into the oil to brown 25% at a time. While meat is browning/searing chop two courgettes, two medium or one big aubergines, two fennel bulbs, two red chillies(medium)  and about 1/2llb of mushrooms. I used small button ones. Then use two tablespoons of wine or cider vinegar to cut the deposit from the bottom of the pot. Then first the courgettes into the pot. While they are taking up the residue open two cans of very good peeled plum tomatoes and upend into the pot.  Then one by one the rest of the veg. Putting on the lid after each entry. By doing it this way you are keeping things on a high heat so by 25 mins the first of the veg has cooked through and is starting to break up. Once the liquid has formed over the veg return the meat to the crock. There are a few optional extras. I put in a couple of bay leaves and a few anchovies. Some put a slash of Worcestershire sauce . But I stopped that when I discovered the thing is awash in sugar. And you can get Tamarind in a block like dates. Allow to simmer to bring up the heat once more, then into the oven with the lid on at 150c/310f ishy for about 1-1/2 hours. Depending on the concentration of flavours, it may need diluting a bit. And things like salt and pepper are better going in just before one eats as it is hit or miss when you salt something when the process is ongoing. Sometimes, if you use potatoes salting before they are cooked will cause them to first absorb it only to release it into the liquor, pickling it.

I don’t use wine like most. I think it makes it far to heavy in an iron taste. And I also believe Coq au-vin is a waste of the chicken, the heat and the wine. Why not just roast the darn thing.

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4 Responses to A crockpot recipe.

  1. Kimberly says:

    Yum! What time is dinner!?!? 🙂
    I had to look up Tamarind. We have a street by that name, but I didn’t know it was named after a fruit.
    I agree on the s&p, but do like the flavor of cooking with wine.

    • V.H says:

      Yes, it’s the combo of the Tamarind and the anchovies that gave the flavour to the Worcestershire sauce. But now it’s seems here anyway it’s mostly E-numbers and colourings suspended in sugary vinegar. So I’ve used the paste and a few little fish to get that dimension. But I’ve been out of the paste for a while now and it’s one of those things you forget while shopping.
      No don’t get me wrong. Cooking in wine can produce good dishes, only not here. This reduced to a semi-solid. And that wine tannin would have become bitter.
      The Coq au-Vin I don’t like because I don’t like boiled chicken. Boiled in wine or water, same thing, it looks raw. I’ve cut you cooked chicken, or cut it up and then cooked it and after added a glass of wine with veg. Then though the wine is cooking the veg only so it’s hardly reduced at all. The meat being cooked it just colour’s it.

  2. Rebecca S. says:

    I’m suddenly quite hungry. I don’t care for boiled chicken either, but wine makes for good gravy in my book.
    I like your undorthodox manner of giving a recipe 😉

    • V.H says:

      Oh yes, wine is very good in some dishes. But here, not so much. And I wanted that dimension of the bay. And with wine and bay, well you need to get the proportions precise or you really will make something inedible. You don’t have much leeway with those two.
      As to the recipe. I was surprised. For the most part the veg stayed intact. It just sorta relaxed but stayed intact. And the meat you really could cut with a spoon. But somehow the flavours morphed to an earthy lusciousness. It’s also without a primary starch so it should be out of balance, but it wasn’t. Next time I’ll not put as much in. I was squeezing things an I’d say it might have been better with more room.

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