Growing up in a 1970’s household with a working mother, it was not uncommon to awaken to the smell of onions and meat browning. Reason being, my mother was the first generation of crockpot cooks, who have now evolved into the slowcooker generation.
A new name, but essentially not a lot has changed in terms of the workings or output of these machines. Perhaps only the aesthetics – ours being an earthy brown ceramic inner, housed in a vibrant orange metal unit to reflect contemporaneous kitchen décor. Today we are offered stainless steel and white. (In line with the colour pop emerging trend, I expect we shall soon be marketed these appliances in an array of primaries).
Our crockpot does all its work in the cooler months, and to provide us with lovely offerings it only requires meat and onions to be browned, cuts on the bone or large chunks thereof and removal of visible fat, in return.
At the end of the day (literally), regardless of model colour or name, there is nothing finer than opening the door to the aroma of your ‘low and slow’. Fill your crockpot with these Thai Beef Curry ingredients and an aromatic blend of cinnamon, lemongrass and bay will be first to greet you as you turn your key in the lock tonight.
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 large brown onions cut into wedges
1kg chuck steak, cut into large cubes
195g jar Massaman curry paste
250ml coconut milk
250ml chicken stock
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
3 medium potatoes chopped into chunks
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
handful of coriander leaves
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan and cook off the onions until browned, place in slowcooker.
Heat remaining oil and brown the beef in batches, add to slow cooker.
Add paste to pan and cook, stirring for one minute until fragrant, add to the slowcooker.
Add coconut milk, stock, cinnamon, bay leaves, potato and nuts to the slowcooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Remove cinnamon sticks and stir in the sugar and fish sauce.
Serve garnished with coriander, limes wedges on the side and fluffy white rice.
Postscript: curiously, with the technological strides taken over previous decades, crockpot manufacturers may have managed to up the styling and revamp the recipes but have overlooked a feature that would change the lives of many disappointed hungry evening families – a reminder device to switch the machine on before you close the front door behind you……