As I mentioned in my previous post our new solar panels generate electricity during the day with no storage any energy we don’t use goes to the National Grid and a feed in-tariff causes a reduction in our overall energy bill.
However I am really keen to use our free daytime electricity, this poses a problem as it means doing most of cooking in daylight hours not always convenient if you want to leave the house.
However I had been reading in posts on frugal cooking and many of them mention about electric crockpots and slow cookers which promised for minimal effort preparing ingredients in the morning and low levels of energy consumption delicious cheap cuts of meats transformed by long and slow cooking during the day into delicacies by the evening.
It’s been one of the best Christmas presents ever , barely a day has passed since Christmas that I haven’t used it for stews and casseroles but also for pasta sauces and softening chick peas for hummus.
I was initially worried that somehow I wouldn’t get the colour but so far I have not bothered to brown the meat and everything still comes out perfectly caramalised
Mutton ( or Lamb) Tagine , is one of the most recent dishes a long-standing favourite of mine , however I have usually cook it in a Le Cruset in the oven but wanted to see how this dish would work in a slow cooker .
Mutton likes to be cooked slow , so the meat can softened and fall off the bones . The cooking juices combine with spices to soften the fruit and chick peas producing a rich fruit spicy sauce. I could eat is everyday but it is also perfect cold in wraps with some fresh coriander and spinach for packed lunches.
I use a combination of the meat and dried fruits, apricots, dates sultanas raisins, sometimes I will add root vegetables I have posted before it is the only way a can get through mountains of winter turnips
1kg mutton shoulder ( usually half a shoulder) no need to dice place in the slow cooker whole
200ml of water
2 handfuls of dried dates
2 handfuls of golden sultanas
1 tbsp of ras-al-hanout ( A Morrocan mix of spices including cardamom, clove, cinnamon, ground chili peppers, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, peppercorn, and turmeric.)
1 tsp of dried chillis finely chopped
200g of dried chick peas
1 large onion finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 glug of sherry
To serve : Fresh coriander leaves
- Soak the chick peas overnight in water
- Place all the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours , alternatively place the ingredients in a Le Cruset in the oven for 150degC for 3.5 hours.
- To serve pull the meat in chunks off the bone , stir in some fresh coriander leaves serve with plenty of the sauce over cous cous