I'd researched online about 'steaming' in the slow cooker and it looked really easy; just prepare the pudding as usual and set in the cooker with enough water to come at least half way up the bowl. The difficulty was knowing at what temperature and for how long to cook it as each recipe seemed to say something different...anything from High for from 4-8 hours, to Low for up to 10 hours. I decided to plump for somewhere in the middle and did it on high for 6 hours. Next time I'd reduce it down to 4 hours on High or 6 hours on Low as the result was a bit dry.
It tasted good, though, and made plenty enough for 4 decent servings. DH and DS1 had theirs with mash and either beans or peas left over from yesterday; I just had peas as it was really filling.
Not very photogenic;
DH had already started tucking into his before I could take a picture.
For the pudding I used:-
2 large leeks (Aldi at 49p for 3, so approx 32p), sliced and washed and then cooked until soft in a little oil (5p)
6oz diced bacon, fried until browned (1/3 Morrisons 89p Savers offcuts pack...approx 30p)
12 oz self raising flour (Aldi 45p for 3lb...approx 12p)
1 tsp Baking Powder (5p)
6 oz Atora Vegetable Suet (approx 3/4 pkt at £1.10...approx 80p)
A little butter/marg to grease the bowl (5p)
Mix flour, baking powder and suet together, add enough water to bind into a pastry. Save 1/3 and roll the rest to fit a 2 pint pudding basin. Grease the basin and line with the pastry, fill with the bacon and leek mix and a little ground black pepper. Roll out the remaining pastry. Wet edges, put on top of the bowl and pinch to seal all around. Make a middle pleat in a square of baking parchment or greaseproof paper and the same in a square of foil (to allow for expansion of the pastry). Put the parchment over the top of the bowl and then the foil, securely tie in place around the bowl with string/wool, and then loop the string across the top to make a handle to lift the bowl out. Place in the slow cooker and carefully pour enough boiling water around it to come about halfway up the sides of the bowl. May need to top up the water a couple of times during the cooking process. Cook on high for about 4-5 hours or Low for 5-7 hours.
Cost of pudding £1.69 or 42p a serving.
The frozen mash and peas/beans added about 30p a serving.
I saw some lovely wicker cat baskets in Pound Stretcher but wasn't prepared to spend £12.99. I remembered I had a lovely old-fashioned wicker basket in the bedroom that DD2 had given me some years ago for Xmas filled with Farmers' Market goodies. With a fleecy blanket in the bottom Shadow loves it and has hardly left it since I set it down on the living room floor yesterday afternoon.
Kitty in a basket
That's all for tonight. Hope we can get out and about this weekend as I've not managed much walking this week. Have a good evening everyone. Love Helen xx