I have toyed with buying one for an age but never seemed to get round to it but finally, after a few Twitter conversations I went out and bought this little 4.5 litre beauty for less than 20 quid at Argos.
After two days of ownership I already have an ever increasing list of things to cook in it including; chilli, pulled pork and of all things confit duck. To get the ball rolling and to give it a trial run, I decided to keep it simple with a beer and beef stew using the lesser used cut of oxtail and everyone's favourite Irish export, (after the Dubliners), Guinness. This is a fairy heavy stew which is probably not suitable for these Summer months but Winter is coming people, so be prepared.
To these two ingredients, I added a variety of vegetables, lots of rosemary and some tinned tomatoes. I also browned the onions and meat to add a bit more flavour.
The resulting stew after a long, painful wait of 9 hours was just glorious. Thick, rich, beefy and damned tasty. The previously tough oxtail was easily pushed off the bone with a teaspoon and then promptly fell apart into tender pieces of beef. It's the stuff dreams are made of.
Oxtail and Guinness Stew
Ingredients (makes 5 decent portions)
600g of oxtail, cut into sections, (ask your butcher)
1 bottle of original Guinness (2, if you fancy one yourself)
2 onions, diced.
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
2 carrots, sliced into circles
2 leeks, sliced
1 tin of chopped tomatoes.
2 twigs of rosemary, take off the leaves but put the twig in as well.
1 beef stock pot
200ml of water
Salt and Black pepper
Heat oil in a frying pan and brown the onions and garlic, transfer into the slow cooker.
Season the oxtail and fry in the pan until browned on all sides, transfer to the cooker.
Add every other ingredient into the cooker and give it a stir.
Put the lid, switch to low and go to the pub for the next 8-9 hours.
After the required time, remove the oxtails and scrap off the meat and mix into the stew.
Serve with your favourite carbohydrate and veg based accompaniments.