This recipe comes to you straight from the mad scientist’s laboratory and has been tentatively tested on human subjects. As I write, they’re all still alive, at least I think they are, I’m the first one up.
Slow cooked beef
Some beef from Aldi – cut off the really gristly bits and feed to cat
Some pearl barley – pre-cooked for ten minutes to avoid costly dental bills
Various unidentified green things from the bottom of the fridge – I used leeks, peppers, mushrooms, mini sweetcorn and some ancient garlic
A stock cube
A tin of minestrone soup
Bitter tears (optional)
1) Wake up extra early so that you can prepare the ingredients for the slow-cooked meal you plan to serve tonight.
2) Marvel at the fact that a ‘time-saving’ dish can take so bloody long to prepare.
3) Take beef out of fridge and cut into bite-size chunks. Freak out when blood from beef packet leaks over pyjamas, squeal like schoolgirl, sponge most of blood off chest and carry on.
4) Chop up vegetables and fry until al dente.
5) Become increasingly resentful that you are slaving over a hob full of bubbling saucepans when you could be drinking tea and watching breakfast television.
6) Fend off complaints from family that house smells like soup kitchen. Reassure them that tonight, it will all be worth it. Attempt to inject at least 10 times more feeling into this assurance than you would normally.
7) Throw all ingredients into slow cooker.
8) Realise you have lost the instructions for the cooker and decide to guess (a) what temperature to set the cooker to (b) how long to cook the meal for.
9) Repeat the phrase: ‘DO NOT TOUCH THE SLOW COOKER, IT IS HOT’ at least 93 times during the day.
10) Forget slow cooker is hot, burn self while trying to lever the last few slices of bread out of the bread bin. Dress wound.
11) Eight hours after stove-slaving, serve up what could euphemistically be described as ‘peasant fayre’. Partner says: ‘this is new territory. You can’t blame me if I hate it and don’t eat it’.
12) Before anyone gets the chance to sneer, package leftovers into tub and put in freezer to serve to family on a day when they have pissed you off more than normal.
13) Quickly leave house on ‘errand’ to avoid post-meal analysis.
While everyone else ate pastoral mulch, I made myself a vegetarian sausage casserole which was delicious and took around seven hours and 15 minutes less time to make than the above.