ALLYSON’S NAME IS SYNONYMOUS with tasty, presentable, easy-to-produce food that you can dish up for the family dinner or a special dinner party. Now she takes us to a whole new level of scrumptious food with her new book ‘SLOW’. These are tasty, nutritious, great-looking dishes that take very little time to prepare and are simmering away readying themselves while you are working, sleeping, out in the garden or off with the kids.
COUNTRY BEEF POT ROAST
- 2 kilogram piece of beef for pot roasting
- 2 onions, peeled & quartered (or 8 small pickling-size onions, peeled)
- 2 carrots, peeled & halved crosswise
- 2-3 stalks celery, chopped roughly
- 1 apple, cored & thickly sliced
- 1 bouquet garni
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
• preparation time without browning: 20 minutes
• preparation time with browning: 30 minutes
• cooking time: low 6-7 hours, high 4-5 hours
Turn the slow cooker on to low to pre-warm while gathering and preparing the ingredients. A large piece of meat is best tied to keep shape. Using string, tie the meat securely in several places.
If you wish to brown the ingredients: Heat a good dash of oil in a large frying-pan and, when hot, brown the beef well on all sides. Browning the meat will give the finished pot roast a good colour as well as adding flavour. Brown the onions, carrots and celery if wished.
Into the pre-warmed slow cooker put the beef, vegetables, apple and bouquet garni, and pour in the stock. Season well with salt and pepper and cover with the lid. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4-5 hours, or until the meat is cooked. Carefully lift the meat from the slow cooker, place on a warm plate, cover and rest for 20 minutes before carving and while making the gravy.
Mix the cornflour with a little water to make a smooth paste. Stir into the slow cooker, cover and cook a further 20-30 minutes until thickened. The beef will rest during this time, making carving easier and it also ensures the meat will be juicy when carved. Serve the beef thinly sliced with the vegetables and gravy.
RICH CHOCOLATE SELF-SAUCING PUD
I’m sure this is every kid’s favourite pudding. It’s that luscious smooth sauce hiding under a rich chocolate sponge plus the addition of ice cream or cream to help it slide down with a 10/10 yum factor. And it is very easy to cook in a slow cooker, ideal for days where you want to put a pud on for the family and then run out the door to do something.
- 3 cups self-raising flour
- ¼ cup cocoa
- 100 grams butter, chilled and diced
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- Chocolate Sauce:
- 3½ cups boiling water
- ½ cup dark rum or coffee liqueur
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa
• preparation time 15 minutes
• cooking time 2 hours, using high and low
Turn the slow cooker on to low to pre-warm while gathering and preparing the ingredients. Sift the flour and cocoa into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Beat the milk, eggs and vanilla essence together and mix into the dry ingredients using a holed spoon to form a stiff batter.
Into the pre-warmed slow cooker, put the boiling water, rum or coffee liqueur, sugar and cocoa and stir to dissolve the cocoa.
Carefully spoon the batter evenly into the slow cooker and cover with the lid. Cook on high for 1 hour then turn to low for a further 1 hour. Serve hot with ice cream and cream.
The alcohol will have cooked out of the rum or liqueur. However, use only water for an alcohol-free recipe.