Old-fashioned one-pot warmers (+recipes)

By Grant Allen

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Take time to cook tasty meals the old-fashioned way.

Slow cooked lamb shoulder with red wine and rosemary. Photo / Michael Craig
Slow cooked lamb shoulder with red wine and rosemary. Photo / Michael Craig

The demise of the old fashioned pressure cooker allowed the microwave to rise as an essential in our kitchens. Next we all had crockpots sitting on our benches. I predict that the next "must have" will be the new-fashioned pressure cooker. These versions plug in. You can brown in them, they are safer than the old models (that used to "blow their top" if you didn't keep an eye on them) and reduce cooking times by about two thirds, but that's another story.

I don't own any of the above. I find I can replicate all their functions by the addition of time. Yes you do need to "have" this time, and in our sped-up view of our world we often feel that we are short of it. These hot-pot ideas take time, but while they are cooking, the time is yours to do something else with. Now that's an excellent reworking of the use of time if ever I heard one.

Lamb leg in a pot

You can use a leg of lamb with the bone still in it if you have a pot or casserole dish big enough, bearing in mind it needs to be cooked with the lid on.

If you don't, get your butcher to take out the bone.

1 Sit the joint in your pot and set your oven to medium.

2 Pour at least 3 cups of a "soft" red wine over the meat (merlot for example).

3 Add a whole head of garlic, 2 bay leaves, 10 peppercorns, a small sprig of rosemary and the zest and juice of three oranges. The lamb doesn't need to be covered but it needs to be well bathed.

4 Top up with water or beef stock to mid level, season with salt and 2 tablespoons of raw sugar.

5 Put the lid on and cook for at least one and a half hours, the meat should be fall-apart tender.

Tip: Check the seasoning and serve with lots of juices, wilted winter greens and maybe some fresh mint sauce.

Here are other one-pot wonders to try:

* Cheese fondue

* Pulled pork

* Beefy hot pot

* Pot full of beans

- Herald on Sunday

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