It’s sometimes a good thing to keep busy. Luckily, I usually have lots of things I can do. I tried a new recipe in the little vintage slow cooker. I mustn’t have been as switched on as usual because I forewent sautéing the onions in the dish before adding them into the pot. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found that adding raw onion into a slow cooker/crock pot, results in a dish that’s okay but not great. This is because the onion doesn’t soften and the raw onion taste is not generally what the finished dish requires. It’s different if your cooking this type of casserole in the oven. I’m not exactly sure why and am certain there is a proper scientific explanation. I think it’s something to do with both the temperature difference and also because the crock pot uses moisture to cook the food, where as the oven is a dry heat method. Either way if you’ve been cooking for a while, using both methods, then you know, as I do to sauté your onions before you add them into the crock pot. Some recipes also suggest browning meat, and you do end up with a better result but it’s not strictly necessary. Not sautéing the onions though, is a no go.
Why am I ranting about the onions you may be asking. It’s because, even though I know better, I didn’t sauté my onion.
The result was okay but not brilliant because of my omission. I also admit to forgetting to reduce the amount of liquid from the original recipe as well. That wasn’t a huge disaster because it’s quite easy to thicken a casserole using a variety of methods. Methods can include a cornflour slurry, beurre manié, which is a paste of butter and flour or you could just add an instant gravy powder depending upon the flavour profile needed for your finished dish.
The buttery mashed potatoes we had as a side adequately lifted the end result of the casserole to a fairly acceptable, so I guess I’ll forgive myself. I also added chunky cut carrots and some garlic to the dish. I thought mixed spice was quite unusual for a casserole, at least I’ve never seen it in a casserole recipe before, I do realise that doesn’t mean it’s unusual for anybody else 😉
My current daily mantra is “chin up chuck” in a cockney accent, in my head of course. xo