Making the cake takes about 20 minutes to put together, 30 minutes simmering and 4 to 6 hours power free thermal cooking. This is a saving of 1 hour 30 minutes oven time. The recipe is based on a Waitrose recipe and uses their products but these can be substituted with similar ingredients.
This Flemish beef stew, or carbonnade flamande, is the national dish of Belgium. It is the perfect dish to serve to friends on a cold winters evening. I love to serve it with crispy potatoes in their jackets but it would be equally lovely with smooth mashed potatoes which would just soak up the lovely rich gravy.
Marinate the beef overnight in the ale with the garlic and bay leaves.
The next day, drain the beef from the marinade, reserving the marinade.
Pat the meat dry with kitchen paper and toss it in the seasoned flour until evenly coated. Shake off any excess flour so it is lightly dusted.
Heat 2 tbsp of the rapeseed oil in the inner pot until hot and fry the beef in 3-4 batches for about 5 minutes per batch, stirring occasionally. You may need to add a little more oil between batches but make sure it is hot again before adding the next batch. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium and fry the pancetta in the inner pot, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden.
Scoop the pancetta out with a slotted spoon and set aside with the beef.
Add the carrots, onions and leek into the inner pot and fry, until they start to brown.
Add the tomato purée, the beef, the reserved marinade, the pancetta, the beef stock and bouquet garni to the casserole.
Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
Once boiling turn down to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on.
Turn off the heat and place the inner pot into the vacuum-insulated outer Mr D's Thermal Container.
Shut the lid and leave to thermally cook without power for a minimum of 4 hours.
Serve mashed potatoes or potatoes in their jackets and greens.
The savory crumble mixture in this recipe can be used on anything that would normally have a potato topping. The important thing with the crumble is not to over work it or it will become a gooey mass rather than like breadcrumbs.
You should find that 2.4L of water will just creep up the side of the top pot by about 1 cm when in place. You may need to adjust the amount slightly especially if you are not using a Mr D's Thermal Cooker.
Pot roasting in a thermal cooker works really well as it can been seen with this recipe for pot roast beef.
I like to have a selection of vegetables with my pot roast so I add them all at the same time so a complete meal is ready at the end.
Mix the flour with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and roll the beef in the seasoned flour to coat, shaking or patting off any excess. Set aside.
Put the inner pot onto a medium heat and pour in the olive oil.
Once hot add the lardons and cook until starting to crisp.
Carefully place the beef into the pot turning it to brown it all over.
Once brown remove to a plate and set aside.
Add the carrots, celeriac and garlic. Crumble over the stock cube and fry gently stirring until starting to brown.
Pour in a little water and stir to deglaze the inner pot.
Put the beef back in and pour over the tin of tomatoes.
Top up with water until just covering the meat.
Bring to the boil then put on the lid and turn down to a simmer.
Simmer for 10 minutes before turning off the heat and placing the inner pot into the insulated outer container.
Shut the lid and leave to thermal slow cook without power for a minimum of 4 hours.
Once cooked remove the beef and bring the inner pot back to the boil.
To serve thinly slice the beef. Add the vegetables that were cooked with beef and mashed potatoes and cabbage. If you prefer instead of the cabbage and mash serve with some rustic bread and a side salad.