An accidental invention in my slow cooker, this tastes just like I remember oxtail soup from my childhood. It’s a bit more solid than soup, however, so at a push could be passed off as a stew!
Makes about 8 portions
500g beef mince
500g mixed frozen vegetables
About 5 tablespoons plain flour
Mixed herbs (a sage-free mix)
Chilli flakes (optional – replace with extra black pepper if omitting)
Mace (optional – omit completely if sensitive)
6 to 7 cloves of garlic, chopped in half
1 onion, finely chopped
2 good handfuls red lentils
2 good handfuls medium oatmeal
2 bay leaves
2 beef stock cubes or pots
1 to 2 cups of chicken stock or chicken gravy left over from your Sunday roast, or 1 chicken stock cube or pot
1 tablespoon yeast extract (a spice free version! Tesco’s own is okay for me)
Plenty of water
1) Put the raw beef mince in a large bowl, add the frozen vegetables, the flour, and generously season with salt, pepper, herbs, chilli, and a tiny pinch of mace
2) Toss the mince and vegetables in the flour until all are liberally coated.
3) Pour mince, vegetable and flour mix into a slow cooker or casserole pan. Add the lentils, oatmeal, garlic, onion and bay leaves.
4) In the previously used bowl, put the stock cubes or pots, the chicken stock or gravy if using, and the yeast extract. Dissolve in plenty of boiling water.
5) Add stock mix to casserole, topping up with more boiling water if necessary. Leave in the slow cooker for a minimum of 8 hours at the standard cooking temperature, or in the casserole pan on as low a heat as you can manage for at least 4 hours. You may need to stir occasionally during cooking to stop the oatmeal from sticking too badly.
6) When serving, be careful not to get the bay leaves in people’s bowls! Serve with home baked bread or pitta bread.