Aga, Energy, consumption. Doubt, Resolution
My blogs are about living with a 13amp ElectricKit converted Aga
A TOPIC OF HOT DEBATE!
Living without an Aga is not a possibility for me. I have tried, when various moves and finances dictated a different way to cook. The honest truth is I really don’t know how to cook without one.
Faced with rising energy costs and feeling hopeless about it all, I had my beloved Aga converted to a 13amp ElectricKit system. Before it was an ordinary 13amp electric Aga, converted in the early 2000’s. It was eating up energy. Westbrook Cookers came to my house and converted my Aga.
Yesterday, I prepared a beef casserole, with carrots, leeks, cubed beef, lots of mushrooms and a shake of fennel seeds (my current passion) and some smoked paprika. (A vegetable stock cube as well).
TOP TIP: – I find leeks are tasty in a casserole, chop them finely.(in my opinion they taste better than onions)
I added some water and brought the casserole to the boil on my ElectricKit hot plate (guess what, both of your hot plates can be turned to simmering (no. 4) or boiling (no. 8) Then I placed it in the simmering oven. The rule of thumb is – if your roasting oven is on 180 degrees, your simmering oven will be 70% less – i.e. 126 degrees). And I forgot about it. Before I fell asleep, the thought did cross my mind but I took it out this morning and it tastes delicious!
My ElectricKit Aga enables me to set the exact temperature I need, so I can now cook excellent sponges (not that I do very often) and they actually rise. Turning my oven to 180 degrees; I place the sponges on the second set of runners from the top for 20 minutes. After about 10 minutes, I set the cold shelf beneath my bake to protect the base of my sponges from burning. (Remember, the electric element is situated below the base of your roasting oven, so it can be a hot spot). If you are doing a long bake, i.e. a fruit cake, you definitely need to shield your bake from cooking the base too quickly.
Here is the recipe for my Beef Casserole, using my ElectricKit Aga
11b stewing beef, cubed (1/2 Kilo)
About 3 carrots, chopped
6 large mushrooms, chopped
1 clove of garlic
A large fat leek, finely chopped (better flavour than chopped onion)
vegetable stock cube x 1
Shake of fennel seeds
Good sprinkle of smoked paprika
Heat your hot plate to no. 8. (from cold, this will take approximately 8 minutes. If you keep your Aga (ticking over) on 150 degrees, the hot plate will heat up a little quicker.
Fry the beef cubes in a little rapeseed oil (enough to brown the outsides).
Add the garlic, the carrots, the leek and the mushrooms. Blend all together on your hot plate for about 5 minutes. Add the fennel seeds and smoked paprika.
Crush the stock cube over your mix, and bring to boil with some water. You will need enough to cover the beef mixture and a bit more.
Turn down your ElectricKit dial for the top plateto no. 5, and mix it up for about 5 minutes to come back to the boil, and then transfer to your simmering oven. Place the top on your casserole dish. Turn off your hot plate.
Then go away and forget about it, paint a picture, clean the kitchen floor, or go to bed – it matters not, but at least leave it in there for 3 – 5 hours. (As a rule, I don’t recommend going to bed and leaving your casserole overnight, unless you keep your roasting oven at 150 degrees, which in turn will give you a slightly less warm simmering oven).