Pavlov's dogs drooled when he blew a whistle, trained to associate the whistling with mealtime. Within just four days, my children are showing that they too have conditioned reflexes. When our visiting Vitasteam machine pings at the end of the cooking cycle, they rush through to the kitchen. I think I may record the ping for future use, long after the Miele machine is returned to their head quarters.
We were following their recipe booklet but I now feel confident to go off piste. I made an organic sausage and sweet potato casserole which Freddie scored 9 out of 10. I've got into a rhythm now. Using the steamer speeds up the process of making a casserole, but you still have to start the process on the hob. Then you put it all in the steamer , stir in a little cornflour and cook for 3o minutes. And Ping, the kids run through.
Sweet Potato and Sausage Casserole
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 large potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
2 medium onions peeled and finely sliced
500 ml good quality stock (vegetable or chicken stock works well)
2 large tablespoons of concentrated tomato paste
1teaspoon of Za'atar (sesame, sea salt,somac,thyme,oregano,marjoram)
half a teaspoon of harissa paste
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt and pepper to season
In a large pan on a medium hob heat the olive oil with the onions and softened for 6 minutes, add the sausages and brown them gently. Add the cubed sweet potato and potato with the stock, spices and tomato paste and harissa paste. Stir well and bring to the boil. Take out a little of the stock and in a cup mix a tablespoon of cornflour with the stock and then re-add to the casserole, stirring in to thicken the sauce. Place in a oven proof casserole in an oven at 170 C for an hour, stirring every now and again.
If you are using a Miele steam oven then at the point after you have added the cornflour, out the casserole into a lidded steam container and cook in the vitasteam for 35 minutes at 100.
Serve with flat bread.