Slow Food & the Electicity Monitor

When we changed to a new electricity tariff a couple of months ago, we were given a free? electricity monitor; the effect has been amazing. We now have the alpha male (me!) running around like a headless chicken turning everything off!

Slow CookerPart of the current economy drive (lousy pun) has been to buy a slow cooker, or crock pot; I like crock pot best 'cos crock's what I am!

So far we've had beef casserole, chicken casserole, and as I speak a chunk of brisket is happily chugging away in it. The only problem is that when food takes 8 - 10 hours to cook, you have to be up far too early in the morning to turn it on. However, casseroles are great cooked one day: eaten the next.

Now, without wanting to upset the millions of people who think Jamie Oliver is God - when he says that there is no need to brown the meat for stews, he is just plain wrong; I tried it and there was nowhere near the same depth of flavour, the same also applies, almost more so for some reason, to the onions and stewing vegetables. It's like using water instead of stock, you'll make a nice stew - but it won't be as good... When you start telling people to cut corners, it's OK if they just cut one, but when they have heard loads of corner cutting tips, someone is bound to cut them all at once... better not to start in the first place.

Now, don't get me wrong, I know what Jamie's trying to do, and commend him for it; if people cook 'proppa' food 'cos they don't have to brown the meat, instead of eating ready meals, then I'm all for it. However, in my experience people, once introduced to good home cooking, become almost evangelical and will be quite happy to brown the meat etc.

Looking again though at his recipe, he actually says that it tastes better not browned; mind you his recipe looks highly flavoured in other areas - I prefer to let the flavour of the meat shine through, that's probably why we probably differ - as if he cares what I think anyway!

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