MY BIG POT is an experiment in stewing. The primary objects of this experiment is myself and MY BIG POT. I do not have a photo of MY BIG POT but will endeavor to supply soon. Suffice to say MY BIG POT is very big and holds about 15 litres of stew, if you were ever to stew that much.

Well I am. Sort of. You see I have always loves casseroles and stews, and always been impressed by big pots bubblin’ away on the hob. Reading a Bigos recipe a few weeks ago it suggested that part of the joy was adding new ingredients every day so that you may have some quite crunchy cabbage, and some which has been stewed to nothing three days ago in the same pot. Equally I love a cassoulet, and have become much more confident in flinging in beans to whatever I am stewing. So what will I do with MY BIG POT? Well it all started on Sunday…

And, in an ignomous fashion, it started with some reduced for a quick sale priced cocktail sausages. I suddenly though, weeny sausage casserole + cheaters cassoulet + bigos = surely all of these things can be mixed. So returning home with some pinto and butter beans, and a savoy cabbage I started to stew.

STEP 1:
Fry the meat in batches (this is a cassoulet trick). So Chorizo first (oil goes nummy red), followed by morcilla and then the cocktail sausages. Remove sausages and marvel at all the fat. Should have used lard though.

STEP 2:
Fry the veggies: in this case garlic, 2 red onions, a carrot, some of the cabbage (see fried cabbage before) – and because I was sausaging I also luzzed in an apple and some thyme. Also added some smoked paprika cos it don’t hurt. Cans of pinto and butter beans also went in now.

STEP 3:
The juice. Luckily flatmate had left half a bottle of white which was slowly vinegarising in the fridge so in that went. Then the whole thing was topped up with marigold stock to just under the level of the stew. Simmer for about twenty minutes.

STEP 4:

Not quite sure why I did this bit, but suddenly I thought it would be nice to HotPoterise my stew. So out came some Charlotte potatoes, sliced to £1 thickness laid over the entire stew, dotted with butter BECAUSE IT DOESN’T HURT. In the oven for an hour at gas mark 3.

END OF PART 1:
After I got out of my bath, I ran down with baited breath: the potatoes were just browning and I slopped about a quarter of the food into a bowl. Mopped up with crusty bread it was absolutely gorgeous. The cocktail sausages were blander than I thought, but the rest was really, really tasty. And there was loads left in MY BIG POT.

Which gets to the rub of the experiment. How long can I keep adding to MY BIG POT new ingredients and this stay a) nummy, b) safely edible. Understand that I allow the pot to cool and then put in the fridge between sessions. But this leads to

DAY 2:
Rolled in from the pub, wanted MY BIG POT action. Out came pot. Threw in half a glass of winethatt someone in thehouseshadd not finished. Added a well sliced handful of cabbage. Knocked another quarter of the potatoes into the juice to make sure they would cook quicker. Simmer/boil for about fifteen minutes. Serve with now hard crusty bread. As expected the flavours had developed, but the addition of crispy cabbage was nice. Conclusion: Day 2: nicer than Day 1.

MY BIG POT is happy to take advice on things to throw in. Possible Turkish sausage action tonight.

Pumpkin Publog