The slow cooker has been dusted down and brought back out as a permanent fixture of the kitchen for the winter.
It's that time of the year when slow cooking becomes the norm. Get a few ingredients together in the early hours, off to work then on your return, tea awaits. It almost mocks timely preparation and 'cheffy' techniques. Many memorable meals have been produced from my £7 slow cooker and it has easily been the most cost efficient cookware in my collection.
If you are a curry lover and are looking for inspiration to use your slow cooker that has been sitting in its box since purchase last winter, look no further than the following. Packed with flavour and guaranteed to beat the winter sniffles, it's a must for giving a debut to your new best kitchen friend.
Slow Cooked Beef and Sweet Potato Curry
1kg braising beef cut into large chunks
2tbsp sunflower oil
For the curry paste:
A thumb size of fresh ginger, peeled
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 fresh red chilli, unseeded
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp tomato purée
3 sweet potatoes, or normal white potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper
1 - In a food processor or pestle and mortar, place in the curry paste ingredients and blend to a paste.
2 - In a large frying pan, heat the oil and add the beef. Quickly cook and turn until coloured then remove with a slotted spoon and add to the slow cooker.
3 - Add a little more oil if necessary, then add the paste and cook, stirring all if the time, for 5 minutes until coloured and fragrant.
4 - Add the tomatoes and a little water and combine. Add to the slow cooker along with the potatoes, cinnamon stick and cloves.
5 - Cook on its lowest setting for 6-7 hours. If you are at home, check after a few hours to see if it has gone dry which it should not.
6 - Taste for seasoning then serve with rice, breads and fresh coriander.